PDA

View Full Version : History Experts - Treehouse Villas ??


erikthewise
12-13-2005, 07:44 AM
During our trip last week we went to visit Saratoga Springs during member open hours 5-7 one evening, and noticed that between OKW and SS along DVC Way, you can see the old treehouse villas lit up from the road!

I assumed that they are not actually using the treehouses villas but just turn on the lights for security purposes. Am I right? Were any of them torn down in building Saratoga Springs? Are there any plans at all for them, even plans to tear them down, or are they completely derelict?

I recall when planning our first trip in 92 the treehouses were still in operation. When was the last time they were used?

goofy4tink
12-13-2005, 07:56 AM
I'm pretty sure they were still an option for my first trip in '99. They are not in use anymore. They used to use them for students/CMs if I remember correctly but haven't done that in the past few years or so. It was a safety issue I believe. I don't think any were destroyed in the building of SSR. They were pretty cool units. I wish they could have done something productive with them but I guess it wasn't cost effective. So there they stand...unused and falling down. Very sad.

WebmasterDoc
12-13-2005, 07:56 AM
The Treehouse Villas are presently occupied by International College Program students. They have not been available to the public for several years now- since prior to DI closing.

This was discussed at the recent Annual Meetings and Jim Lewis announced that Disney does have a plan for the future of that area, but is not ready to make any public announcement about those plans. There has been speculation that the area is controlled by federal wetlands restrictions and has great limitations regarding what can be done on that property.

Stay tuned! :)

goofy4tink
12-13-2005, 08:00 AM
The Treehouse Villas are presently occupied by International College Program students. They have not been available to the public for several years now- since prior to DI closing.

This was discussed at the recent Annual Meetings and Jim Lewis announced that Disney does have a plan for the future of that area, but is not ready to make any public announcement about those plans. There has been speculation that the area is controlled by federal wetlands restrictions and has great limitations regarding what can be done on that property.

Stay tuned! :)

You know, I thought they had a 'lived in' look to them last August, but we were told that they were not being used. I wonder why?? I mean, there were lawn chairs at some and towels hung over the railings. but, still they said 'Nope, no one living there...too unsafe.' It makes you wonder how much of what we are told is actually true.

dvc_john
12-13-2005, 09:43 AM
As Doc said, they are being used for the college program. When walking the path from OKW to DD, you can notice a recently added security fence blocking the bridge to the treehouse villas, so there is no longer access from the path.

changjoe
12-13-2005, 11:05 AM
my tour guide driver told me those cost too much to maintain, and since those don't have elevators, so they failed to meet the handicap policy.

DisFlan
12-13-2005, 11:37 AM
The Treehouses were still available in October 2000, but we ended up staying in one of the Club Suites (or whatever the newer name was for the 1-bd. units) on that trip. We would have stayed in a Treehouse if I'd known at the time they'd be unavailable after that. I believe the demolition of the rest of DI started sometime in 2001. We were sorry to see it go. We'd been staying there since 1984 - way before it was called "Disney Institute". Back then, it was all part of the Disney Village complex.

A bit of history for any of you newer WDW people: the old DI was a great place to stay. It had 1-bedroom suites with kitchenettes, Townhouse Villas (very roomy, with vaulted ceilings and of varying configurations) and gorgeous, huge Fairway Homes. And the Treehouses. There were lots of ponds, canals and wildlife, and beautiful landscaping. The accommodations were all impressive and very nice. The golf course ran through and around all the villas. The water views were beautiful. The smaller units were arranged in small 2-story "pods" so that everyone had a "view" from the balcony. Room service was available and delivered by golf cart. Service was always great. We rented electric golf carts to go back and forth to the Village (now DTD). The place was a trip in itself and a LOT of fun. We still miss it.

DisFlan

Simba's Mom
12-13-2005, 04:45 PM
When we were taking the boat from POR to DTD, I could actually see people walking around IN the Treehouse Villas so I know they were being used. Actually, I brought my binocculars on the boat ride for bird watching, but noticed that.

Saxton
12-13-2005, 08:24 PM
Last week I walked from OKW to DTD and talked to a golf course grounds keeper along the way. I wanted to walk over to see the Tree House Villas but he explained that the international CMs were living in some of the units and they would walk out on to the golf course which disrupted the players ... so they basically closed the area off. As I walked further I noticed that there is a small bridge which would allow access to the Tree Houses but sure enough it was fenced off completely. The grounds keeper talked for quite a while (he was very nice) and he also said that some of the units have termite damage. He also mentioned that a few years ago they did a study on how long it took housekeeping to clean each unit and they decided that it they could clean many standard rooms in that amount of time so it just wasn't cost effective. He did confirm that the area is classified as wetlands and there are restrictions.

Fellowship9798
12-14-2005, 01:01 AM
The Treehouses were still available in October 2000, but we ended up staying in one of the Club Suites (or whatever the newer name was for the 1-bd. units) on that trip. We would have stayed in a Treehouse if I'd known at the time they'd be unavailable after that. I believe the demolition of the rest of DI started sometime in 2001. We were sorry to see it go. We'd been staying there since 1984 - way before it was called "Disney Institute". Back then, it was all part of the Disney Village complex.

A bit of history for any of you newer WDW people: the old DI was a great place to stay. It had 1-bedroom suites with kitchenettes, Townhouse Villas (very roomy, with vaulted ceilings and of varying configurations) and gorgeous, huge Fairway Homes. And the Treehouses. There were lots of ponds, canals and wildlife, and beautiful landscaping. The accommodations were all impressive and very nice. The golf course ran through and around all the villas. The water views were beautiful. The smaller units were arranged in small 2-story "pods" so that everyone had a "view" from the balcony. Room service was available and delivered by golf cart. Service was always great. We rented electric golf carts to go back and forth to the Village (now DTD). The place was a trip in itself and a LOT of fun. We still miss it.

DisFlan

Here's another vote for the old Disney Village resort being a nice place to stay. My first WDW trip was with DSis, parents and grandparents staying in a Treehouse villa in 1987. Thanks to my Dad for picking that one! It was a nice unit alongside the golf course. I had my own room all to myself in the lower section. I remember grudgingly doing my homework on the bed down there while looking out the blinds to the trees, since we took the trip during the school ear. Second trip was in 1991 with my sister, parents and another family of 4 staying in a fairway villa. Lots of space and no homework since it was a summer trip. Yay! Palmetto bugs were everywhere though and a frog found it's way into teh villa and onto my sisters shirt, causing quite the scene. In 1998, when I was working at Epcot, my family came to visit and stayed in the club suites. Smaller but a nice quiet and relaxed environment. I have great memories of the old Disney Village resort.

I'm now looking forward to making my own family memories with my DW and my own DS with our DVC membership in the coming years. We may not get to stay in a Treehouse ever again, but I'm sure we'll find some magic of our own.

DisFlan
12-14-2005, 10:32 AM
Fellowship9798 -

Wasn't it wonderful? As I understand it, in 1975 the whole Village complex was originally supposed to be a real community - with home and condo sales combined with the rental units. I'm not sure why it fizzled out. How cool would that have been? To live in one of the Town Homes or Fairway Homes right inside WDW?

I'm sure the varied architecture we enjoyed was the result of the original plans, and it probably didn't turn out to be all that cost effective as a "resort" in the long run. The addition of the "Disney Institute" aspect sure didn't help. We never did any of that stuff. Who goes to WDW to learn how to climb a rock wall?

I doubt we'll see the like again on Disney property <sigh>. I can understand why, and in truth, it had a good, long run. But it's still a shame it's gone. It was such a great complex.

DisFlan

EdDome
12-15-2005, 01:27 PM
There was a post some time ago that had a great history of the Treehouse Villas. I thought I recall it saying that some of the treehouses were used for storage and others were damaged by the hurricanes a few years ago.

Fellowship9798
12-15-2005, 01:32 PM
Fellowship9798 -

Wasn't it wonderful? As I understand it, in 1975 the whole Village complex was originally supposed to be a real community - with home and condo sales combined with the rental units. I'm not sure why it fizzled out. How cool would that have been? To live in one of the Town Homes or Fairway Homes right inside WDW?



I think it was mentioned in the old Birnbaum's guidebook many years back. Just imagine what people would say if you told them you lived in a Treehouse at Disney World. People already think that the Disney fascination most people on these boards have is crazy. Add to that the mental picture of us living in a tree in the swamp just to be near Mickey. Then we would really be considered loons.

Darren

DisFlan
12-15-2005, 02:07 PM
I think it was mentioned in the old Birnbaum's guidebook many years back. Just imagine what people would say if you told them you lived in a Treehouse at Disney World. People already think that the Disney fascination most people on these boards have is crazy. Add to that the mental picture of us living in a tree in the swamp just to be near Mickey. Then we would really be considered loons.

Darren


I could stand it. :teeth:



DisFlan

MrShiny
12-15-2005, 02:15 PM
Fellowship9798 -

Wasn't it wonderful? As I understand it, in 1975 the whole Village complex was originally supposed to be a real community - with home and condo sales combined with the rental units. I'm not sure why it fizzled out. How cool would that have been? To live in one of the Town Homes or Fairway Homes right inside WDW?

The story I heard had to do with the Reedy Creek Improvement District. As you may know, that is the municipality set up for WDW. It allows WDW to essentially control all its own facilities (build roads, power, etc.). They even have the authority to build an airport and a nuclear power plant!

Anyway, the entire voting public of this municipality live on trailers provided by Disney somewhere on property. They are not Disney employees, but amazingly seem very friendly to Disney when voting!

Well, after they built the villas at what became DI and then SSR, it was determined that if people actually lived there (and if they were condos, they couldn't really stop people from doing that), then they could vote. That could mean potentially un-Disney friendly RCID votes, so they never were condos, just rental.

That's also why when Disney built Celebration, they did it outside of the RCID.

DisFlan
12-15-2005, 02:32 PM
The story I heard had to do with the Reedy Creek Improvement District. As you may know, that is the municipality set up for WDW. It allows WDW to essentially control all its own facilities (build roads, power, etc.). They even have the authority to build an airport and a nuclear power plant!

Anyway, the entire voting public of this municipality live on trailers provided by Disney somewhere on property. They are not Disney employees, but amazingly seem very friendly to Disney when voting!

Well, after they built the villas at what became DI and then SSR, it was determined that if people actually lived there (and if they were condos, they couldn't really stop people from doing that), then they could vote. That could mean potentially un-Disney friendly RCID votes, so they never were condos, just rental.

That's also why when Disney built Celebration, they did it outside of the RCID.


Well, that's just a real shame! Darned politics...

I'd think if I lived inside WDW, I'd probably be a fairly Disney-friendly voter. And I doubt that all the owners would have been permanent residents who could vote. A lot of the units would have been vacation or partial-year homes. Sort of like an expensive pre-DVC.


DisFlan

scottb8888
06-27-2006, 07:23 AM
I would love to stay there again!

dianeschlicht
06-27-2006, 09:01 AM
The Treehouses were still available in October 2000, but we ended up staying in one of the Club Suites (or whatever the newer name was for the 1-bd. units) on that trip. We would have stayed in a Treehouse if I'd known at the time they'd be unavailable after that. I believe the demolition of the rest of DI started sometime in 2001. We were sorry to see it go. We'd been staying there since 1984 - way before it was called "Disney Institute". Back then, it was all part of the Disney Village complex.

A bit of history for any of you newer WDW people: the old DI was a great place to stay. It had 1-bedroom suites with kitchenettes, Townhouse Villas (very roomy, with vaulted ceilings and of varying configurations) and gorgeous, huge Fairway Homes. And the Treehouses. There were lots of ponds, canals and wildlife, and beautiful landscaping. The accommodations were all impressive and very nice. The golf course ran through and around all the villas. The water views were beautiful. The smaller units were arranged in small 2-story "pods" so that everyone had a "view" from the balcony. Room service was available and delivered by golf cart. Service was always great. We rented electric golf carts to go back and forth to the Village (now DTD). The place was a trip in itself and a LOT of fun. We still miss it.

DisFlan
LOL, and with the exception of the tree house villas, that discription could have been for OKW!

MinnieGirl33
06-27-2006, 09:19 AM
Another :thumbsup2 for the Disney Village!

I remember staying there in '85. We were always CR & Poly people but as I got older & my brother was born (15 yrs between us - Surprise!) my parents thought the extra space at the village was enticing.

What a great place! We stayed in the townhouses & they were HUGE. I had my own room & bathroom which makes any teenage girl happy. The living area looked out on the Empress Lilly & marketplace. We would get groceries at the marketplace where EOS is now (IIRC).

I think part of that memory is what inspired me to buy DVC.

OurDogCisco
06-27-2006, 09:49 AM
Does anyone have pictures of place?

DisFlan
06-27-2006, 02:45 PM
LOL, and with the exception of the tree house villas, that discription could have been for OKW!

Yup! That's the first thing we noticed when we first arrived at OKW. So naturally, we loved it. I just wish OKW had the golf carts.

DisFlan

changjoe
06-27-2006, 06:26 PM
I took a couple of pictures of it when we were golfing next to it.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/changjoe/100348599/

It actually seems like some people stays in there.

DisFlan
06-28-2006, 07:25 AM
I took a couple of pictures of it when we were golfing next to it.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/changjoe/100348599/

It actually seems like some people stays in there.

I believe some of the international CM's are being housed in Treehouses. So at least a few of them are being used - which is better than leaving them empty and letting them just fall apart.

DisFlan

DisneydaveCT
07-08-2006, 03:24 PM
I stayed at the Treehouse Villas during NYE 1999 into 2000. I enjoyed them, but a few family members thought they were too small. They were spoiled by OKW and other new resorts. The feature I enjoyed the most was the private deck attached to each villa. It was nice to sit there for a cup of coffee before starting the day, or another beverage later in the day after a day at the park or on the golf course.