The first time my family ever stayed on Disney property during a Walt Disney World vacation was in 1980 and we stayed in the Treehouse Villas which were part of the Disney Villas Resort. The treehouses were a unique place to stay during our Disney vacation. Traveling through the treehouses secluded and wooded surroundings made you feel like you had left the hustle and bustle of the Magic Kingdom and were relaxing in the wilderness. The treehouses were great because they had a kitchen so we would have breakfast there each day and we also had snacks and drinks for in the evenings.
The treehouses opened in 1975 and were open to guests through 2002, though from 1996-2002 they were part of the Disney Institute. Beginning in 2002 the treehouses were used as homes for the international cast members that work in world showcase. In 2004 Hurricane Charley did a good bit of damage to the treehouses. Because of wetlands issues the property use in this area is very resrticted so Disney was not able to just demolish the tree houses and build something different. In 2008 it was announced that Disney would reconstruct 60 treehouse units as part of the Saratoga Springs DVC resort.
While at Walt Disney World for the Florida Mom Blogger Mixer we stopped in at the new treehouses. I was excited to see how they looked today. They are beautiful! Very reminiscent of the original treehouses. The decor is beautiful and rustic at the same time. The only thing that disappointed me, and others who had stayed in the original treehouses, was the lack of the 2nd story loft and spiral staircase. They were beautiful parts of the original that, for some reason, were left out of the new design. The new design is 3-bedroom, 2-bath, sleeps nine so it is still a great option for a trip with extended family. Since this is a DVC resort you may rent a treehouse if there is availability, the per night cost for a treehouse villa is $545-$900 per night depending on the “season“.
Did you ever stay at the original treehouses? What is your favorite memory? Leave me a comment and let’s talk.