A Disney Resort in Maryland?

National Harbor

National Harbor

Yes, this time the rumors about Disney building a resort somewhere else in the continental U.S. besides California or Florida may very well be coming true. It was announced today that Disney has purchased 15 acres of land in the National Harbor development near Washington, DC, with the intent of building a resort hotel similar to the project currently being built in Hawaii.

NATIONAL HARBOR, MD (May 19, 2009) – The Peterson Companies announced today the sale of land at its National Harbor development near Washington, DC to Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. Disney is considering using the 15-acre site overlooking the Potomac River in National Harbor, MD as the location for a resort hotel for families and others visiting the National Capital Region.

“We’re thrilled Disney has decided to invest in National Harbor,” said Milton V. Peterson, chairman of the Peterson Companies. “Disney is the top family entertainment company in the world, and its purchase is a great vote of confidence in the future of National Harbor and the Washington area as a top family tourism destination.”

The new resort hotel would be one of Disney’s stand-alone resort hotels separate from the Disney theme parks. This new resort hotel, like the project under construction in Hawaii, will be in a prime geographic location and will provide guests with the same comfort, fun and amenities for which Disney is famous.

“As we began identifying possible locations to grow our business, the Washington, DC area immediately jumped to the top of the list,” said Jay Rasulo, Chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “National Harbor offers an array of entertaining activities for regional visitors, but it is also a family-friendly base camp, from which visitors from around the world can explore the stirring sights and inspirational stories of our nation’s capital. We believe National Harbor has the unique opportunity to offer a new level of family-friendly hospitality.”

Disney purchased the Maryland property from the Peterson Companies for $11 million.

National Harbor is already home to the Gaylord National, a sister resort to the Gaylord Palms in Kissimmee near Walt Disney World. It should prove to be an interesting competition or collaboration between Gaylord and Disney, since Gaylord has already proven itself to be quite successful at running resort destinations which do not depend on a theme park – including the Gaylord Texan and Gaylord Opryland.

Learn more about National Harbor at www.nationalharbor.com. There are many dining, shopping, and entertainment options that already exist in the area and should help complete the experience for any Guest staying at the resort which Disney may eventually build.

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts chairman Jay Rasulo said to the Washington Post that “Disney has to weigh “lots of factors in the coming months and the coming years” before deciding when to break ground.

“We wouldn’t be buying this property if we didn’t think this was a great location for a Disney resort hotel,” Rasulo said.


8 Responses to “A Disney Resort in Maryland?”

  1. 1 Riley

    Following this news, don’t be surprise for a park to finally pop up in Virginia — Williamsburg, not Haymarket.


    • 2 Jeff

      I doubt a theme park could be built in a tract the size of this plot in Maryland. UltimateRollerCoaster.com says that Disney’s California Adventure is 55 acres. That’s the smallest Disney park – and 15 acres is approximately a quarter the size.

      However, a project like this COULD be a great way to gauge the public’s affinity to Disney resorts in the DC area.

  2. 3 Maestro Mickey Mouse

    Riley: as a life-long Virginian – Disney America will NEVER happen in Williamsburg. Pigs will fly before that ever happens…

    I, for one, am quite pleased to hear about the Disney resort in our nation’s capital. The National Harbor is really shaping up to be quite an area!

  3. 4 Fred

    Does anyone know when this hotel will be completed? An open date?

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