Yes, ANOTHER giant hotel will be built near Disney World!
There has been lots of construction going on in and around Disney World lately. This constant progress has seemed to have forced other major entertainment parks to continue to innovate to keep up with all the updates Disney seems to have their eye on lately. Universal Orlando has been making huge strides on their next main gate park, Epic Universe which is set to include two brand new celestial-themed hotels, and now another Orlando-based park is looking to make some BIG changes soon!
Disney World’s entertainment giant neighbor has taken steps to secure permits to build a brand new hotel. SeaWorld Orlando (which lies along the major highway 1-4 in between Disney World and Universal Orlando) has officially filed plans outlining the building of another hotel to host their park visitors.
Plans for this new addition were submitted with Orange County just days ago according to Spectrum News 13 for what they’re calling, “Project Canopy.” The plans for this hotel outline building a new hotel for the company featuring 250 rooms near its Discovery Cove resort.
Upon further inspection, the plans show the hotel is planned to be located near the park’s entrance (just off Central Florida Parkway) on a section of SeaWorld Orlando’s property which already includes 50 acres and has a parking lot. The proposed plans for “Project Canopy” would include a restaurant, bar, pool, fitness center, retail space, and nearly 7,000 square feet of meeting space.
This isn’t a first of its kind though for SeaWorld Orlando. These latest plans were filed just a month after the company filed plans to build its 1st Orlando-based hotel according to Click Orlando. Under the codename “Project Starboard,” the initial plans for a SeaWorld Orlando hotel are said to include a massive 15-story, 504-room hotel with a rooftop terrace, restaurants, meeting space, and an elevated walkway connecting the hotel to the park.
While not much further about plans for either hotel in store for SeaWorld Orlando has been provided, SeaWorld’s CEO Marc Swanson said on an earnings call in November of 2023 that the company planned to open its first hotels in 2026.
As it stands now, SeaWorld Orlando is the only major theme park operator in Central Florida that doesn’t operate their own onsite hotels. This has left several to speculate if these latest plans to expand the SeaWorld Orlando footprint are to help the company compete against upcoming hotel projects with other major entertainment players such as the Universal Stella Nova and Universal Terra Luna hotels joining the Universal Orlando offerings with the opening of its next park, and Disney World’s latest Disney Vacation Club tower under construction at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort.
SeaWorld Orlando has also really taken to updating its ride and attractions offerings in recent years as well. Penguin Trek, the family-friendly launch coaster is expected to debut this spring at SeaWorld Orlando, following very shortly after the ambitious Pipeline: The Surf Coaster that debuted last May. The company’s sister water park, Aquatica Orlando, is also gearing up for some new attractions as well. Aquatica Orlando is currently wrapping up a new “immersive” water slide called Tassie’s Underwater Twist set to open this spring.
We’ll be keeping you updated on the progress of this giant hotel as it’s being built and finished. Be sure to stay tuned with us at Disney Food Blog for the latest updates on this and more around Orlando!
Do you typically stay at a Disney World hotel or somewhere off property when you visit? Tell us where you prefer to stay in the comments below!
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