Disney Institute, The

Disney Institute, The Participatory vacation experience opened at Walt Disney World on February 9, 1996. Guests chose from a wide selection of interactive programs (more than 60) in the areas of Entertainment Arts, Performing Arts, Story Arts, Design Arts, Culinary Arts, Lifestyles, Gardening & the Great Outdoors, and Sports and Fitness. The facilities were located at the Disney Village and included Seasons Dining Room, a store (Dabblers), studios for animation, design arts, culinary arts, radio and TV, a 400-seat cinema, a 225-seat amphitheater, and a large 38,000-square-foot sports and fitness center and spa. The former Village Resort accommodations became part of the Disney Institute—Bungalows (formerly Club Suites), Townhouses (formerly Vacation Villas), Treehouse Villas, Fairway Villas, and Grand Vista Homes. In the summer of 2000 the Institute no longer offered programs to individual tourists, but rather focused on programs that catered to groups and corporate retreats, a shift that had begun in late 1996. The last guests stayed at the Disney Institute on February 11, 2002. In 2004, the Institute was replaced by the Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa, part of the Disney Vacation Club.   Even though it lost its home, the Disney Institute has continued to teach professional development, reaching business audiences around the world to share strategies perfected through Disney’s years of exceptional service and business excellence.