Walt Disney World has introduced plans to develop the Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground by bringing reimagined cabins to the property. On this put up, we’ll share particulars and a timeline, share our opinion of the DVC enlargement and why that is possible taking place. (Up to date December 13, 2023.)
For many who are unfamiliar with it, Fort Wilderness presents roughly 800 campsites and over 400 cabins together with a variety of leisure choices. Whereas Fort Wilderness is barely a brief boat trip from Magic Kingdom (behind Disney’s Up to date Resort and “subsequent door” to Wilderness Lodge), it feels worlds away. The sprawling ‘resort’ is located on 750 acres of pine and cypress forest, giving the campground a ‘buffer’ between it and the remainder of Walt Disney World.
Fort Wilderness is a Walt Disney World authentic, opening again in 1971 slightly over a month after Magic Kingdom. Just like how Up to date was as an extension of Tomorrowland and Polynesian of Adventureland, Fort Wilderness was a counterpart to Frontierland–a method to keep within the American frontier. The campground debuted with 232 campsites in addition to Tri Circle D Ranch, which was constructed for horses within the parades at Magic Kingdom. Fort Wilderness has not modified a lot since then. It does have many extra campsites, cabins, and one fewer railroad–however the vibe is basically unchanged since I began staying at Fort Wilderness within the Eighties.
In opposition to that backdrop, Walt Disney World and Disney Trip Membership introduced proposed plans to deliver refreshed cabin hideaways to Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground, providing friends a personal retreat within the midst of nature with most of the comforts of house.
“For greater than 50 years, Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground has provided friends the chance to discover nature with their family members whereas staying within the coronary heart of Walt Disney World Resort,” mentioned Invoice Diercksen, senior vice chairman and basic supervisor of Disney Trip Membership. “We’re excited to proceed to construct upon the resort’s wealthy legacy and elevate the cabin expertise for our Members and all friends to take pleasure in for years to return.”
December 13, 2023 Replace: Disney Trip Membership has shared new particulars in regards to the Cabins at Fort Wilderness. This began with them “by accident” spilling the beans final week in the course of the 2023 Rental Affiliation Assembly (air quotes round by accident because it was in a slideshow, and that was clearly made on goal–even when the corporate wasn’t prepared to offer an official replace on the venture).
Throughout that, VP of DVC Invoice Diercksen shared a slideshow with new photos of the brand new Cabins at Fort Wilderness Cabins. He indicated that Chip ‘n’ Dale will likely be featured on the pull-out mattress, and that there will likely be Easter Eggs with nods to Fort Wilderness and Walt Disney World historical past. (We noticed loads of that within the new rooms at Boulder Ridge, too.)
Most notably, Diercksen shared that the Cabins at Fort Wilderness will open in Summer season 2024. We talk about under how this timeline is sensible regardless of work not even having began, however regardless, it does. This additionally signifies that gross sales will begin very quickly–earlier than the Polynesian tower–most likely by March 2024.
At this time, Walt Disney World formally confirmed these particulars and launched idea artwork showcasing the interiors of the brand new Cabins at Fort Wilderness. Every cabin sleeps as much as 6, and a few may even accommodate canines. All supply a restful retreat with charming touches and plenty of conveniences.
Every morning you may draw the curtains again to disclose floor-to-ceiling home windows and your individual private patio deck, the place you may bask within the glories of nature whereas firing up the charcoal grill and eating al fresco.
In the principle bed room, you’ll discover a queen-size mattress, twin-size bunk beds, a 55-inch TV, closet and a nightstand. It is a fairly comparable setup to the present Fort Wilderness Cabins.
By way of the sconce-flanked entrance doorways is a spacious dwelling space that includes a eating nook and a completely geared up kitchen—together with a fridge, dishwasher, convection/microwave oven and a pair of countertop burners.
The kitchen consists of loads of storage, in addition to a kitchen desk able to seating all 6 occupants of the cabin. Off the kitchen you’ll discover a self-importance space outdoors the doorway to the toilet, which has a bathe and an extra self-importance inside.
A convertible seating and sleeping space is positioned reverse the kitchen and boasts a 65-inch TV and a cushty couch—the right spot to assemble your loved ones to look at a favourite Disney film. At bedtime, merely fold down the queen-size Inova mattress from the wall, for added sleeping area.
I’m guessing fan suggestions goes to be very blended on these, since they’re a mixture of trendy and rustic and use extra muted colours. And we are able to definitely perceive that to some extent. However like loads of different latest room designs, these strike us as marriage of kind and performance, and appear like main upgrades by way of usability.
Acknowledged otherwise: I’d somewhat really keep in these cabins than the outdated ones. As that’s crucial factor about lodging, we’re wanting ahead to those new Cabins at Fort Wilderness. For us, the jury remains to be out as as to whether we desire the model of those. We completely love the concept of extra home windows permitting for mild and views of the wilderness outdoor. We additionally just like the art work in each the bunkbeds and the Inova pull-down.
With that mentioned, I’m additionally a bit on the fence in regards to the theme and particulars–it jogs my memory extra of the Copper Creek model (a little bit of a hodgepodge) somewhat than the implausible new Boulder Ridge Villas, if that is sensible. Hopefully DVC sticks the touchdown and consists of even element and thematic thrives to tip the scales in the appropriate course.
The plans to develop Fort Wilderness with a Disney Trip Membership addition name for greater than 350 new cabins to interchange the present cabins on the resort, which have delighted friends for a few years and can quickly be prepared for a refresh. Moreover, the cabins could be constructed with a watch towards the surroundings, using the footprint of the present cabins and making the most of extra energy-efficient options.
Design ideas supply a contemporary tackle the present cabin expertise and are impressed by the resort’s idyllic setting, whereas additionally paying homage to the resort’s distinctive tradition and heritage via the magic of Disney storytelling. Every stand-alone cabin presents spacious lodging, sleeping as much as six adults, and includes a bed room, lavatory, front room, full kitchen and personal patio. A choose variety of cabins are additionally anticipated to be dog-friendly.
As with all Disney Trip Membership resorts, the cabins will proceed to be open for reservations to all friends, together with those that aren’t Disney Trip Membership Members, topic to availability. A small share of the property will likely be retained by Walt Disney World and not a part of the DVC stock–identical to all DVC resorts. Accordingly, it’s going to possible be troublesome to e-book these cabins for money friends, they usually’re prone to be each costlier and excluded from reductions.
The deliberate cabins are a part of a set of enchancment initiatives underway at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground which are designed to reinforce the visitor expertise. Examples embody proposed pool and strolling path enhancements in addition to new expanded eating experiences at Path’s Finish Restaurant and Crockett’s Tavern, with extra thrilling information to return.
Disney Trip Membership members and friends would have quick access to the theme parks and be capable of benefit from the resort’s cherished facilities, together with horseback driving on the just lately up to date Tri-Circle-D Ranch, fishing, strolling trails, swimming pools, playgrounds for the little ones, Chip ’n’ Dale’s Campfire Sing-A-Lengthy and rootin’ tootin’ eating and leisure at Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue. Campsite lodging can even proceed to be out there for friends.
The Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort – A Disney Trip Membership Resort is projected to open in 2024 and could be the seventeenth Disney Trip Membership resort. Extra data concerning venture particulars, the beginning of gross sales and rental bookings will likely be launched at a later date.
Walt Disney World has filed a new development allow with the State of Florida to start development work on the brand new Cabins at Fort Wilderness. There are just a few fascinating issues about this allow, with the primary being that it has an prolonged expiration date. Usually, the allow would expire in a single yr–for this, Disney has specified a date of Could 1, 2025.
Second, as a result of the contractor on the allow is J&J Enterprise Group. It is a just lately shaped entity with no observe report of doing work for Walt Disney World. Nevertheless, a fast search of Sunbiz reveals that it has the identical officers and tackle of JCQ Providers, which has accomplished a number of room overhauls for Walt Disney World. So the previous might be a subsidiary or shell of the latter.
Lastly, as mentioned in our up to date put up on Reflections – A Disney Lakeside Lodge, there has additionally been allow exercise with that venture. It’s potential that that is associated to staging for the brand new DVC Cabins, however based mostly on different rumblings, we imagine there’s way more than a nonzero probability that Walt Disney World is getting ready to renew work on the Reflections web site.
One factor to notice is that the cabins won’t be merely refurbished/reimagined, nor will new ones be constructed on-site. As an alternative, these are totally new prefabbed items that will likely be constructed off-site, trucked in, and put in unit-by-unit. That explains how the design is differing considerably and can incorporate classes realized from the outdated cabins and DVC member lodging preferences. So much has modified within the years because the cabins debuted, and Disney has gotten room layouts right down to a science. Using area and practicality of those cabins will nearly definitely be higher.
The Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort – A Disney Trip Membership Resort being prefabbed off-site additionally explains the Summer season 2024 opening date. The “development” timeframe right here will likely be measured in days, not weeks or months, which is how these will be capable of go on sale and open earlier than the Poly tower, regardless of nothing having occurred but.
One other fascinating tidbit is that the present Cabins at Fort Wilderness stay bookable throughout subsequent yr–you may nonetheless go to the DisneyWorld.com web site and make a reservation for late December 2024. That is curious, however not essentially conclusive of something. Now that we all know the brand new cabins will begin opening in Summer season 2024, this both signifies that the venture will take till not less than the tip of the yr, or that these new cabins are already bookable–that friends making reservations for the vacations will likely be assigned to them. (Is perhaps sensible to e-book now earlier than the inevitable worth will increase in 2025!)
Turning again to our authentic commentary, I’ll begin by saying that I’m shocked by the timing of this announcement. Along with these cabins, the New DVC Tower at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort is at the moment below development and is at the moment slated to open in late 2024 at Walt Disney World. Based mostly on the extremely fast tempo with which that enlargement is being constructed, there’s no purpose to imagine it’ll be delayed.
That signifies that Walt Disney World could have two new Disney Trip Membership additions in 2024, each of that are Magic Kingdom space resorts. On prime of that, DVC will nearly definitely nonetheless be promoting Disney’s Riviera Resort. That totals 2 resorts within the Magic Kingdom space and one within the EPCOT/Skyliner space.
Oh, and don’t overlook the Villas at Disneyland Resort and Aulani in Hawaii, which nonetheless has not offered out. That’s a completely unprecedented quantity of stock concurrently on the market, and it comes amidst a Disney Trip Membership Gross sales Stoop. It may also come because the U.S. financial system enters a recession. Who is aware of.
My subsequent thought is that this lastly realizes rumors of a Average Resort DVC enlargement, which began years in the past earlier than Disney’s Riviera Resort was introduced. (The categorization has by no means actually made sense, however Fort Wilderness is technically a Average Resort. It’s completely incomparable to different resorts, and we’ve beforehand positioned the Cabins at Fort Wilderness in the identical grouping because the Household Suites at Artwork of Animation.)
Actually, this new tier of DVC most likely one of the best ways to elucidate how Disney Trip Membership plans to promote this alongside Riviera and Polynesian. It’s extremely possible that that is geared toward a distinct demographic, and will likely be a extra economical different to the aforementioned resorts.
We definitely don’t anticipate the Cabins at Fort Wilderness to hit the $230 per level of the Villas at Disneyland Resort. Our guess is that this DVC resort will are available at a sub-$200 worth level under the place Disney’s Riviera Resort began promoting again in 2019. (Anybody anticipating a cut price priced under $150 per level had higher suppose once more.)
Even when the per level value remains to be within the ballpark of different new DVC resorts, the purpose charts will nearly definitely be extra favorable. That can imply fewer factors must be bought as in comparison with the Poly, Grand Floridian, or Riviera. Regardless of the way you slice it, the typical monetary outlay for patrons of the Cabins at Fort Wilderness will likely be decrease.
I might see this having a mean entry level of round $30,000 for brand spanking new members, whereas these resorts is perhaps nearer to $40,000. Whether or not that’s as a result of a decrease per-point value, smaller contract sizes, or a mix of the 2, stays to be seen.
It’ll be fascinating to see if Disney Trip Membership introduces new restrictions geared toward avoiding unintended penalties of getting a Average Resort DVC. We doubt that’ll be crucial, because the per level value possible received’t be that a lot totally different from different present Disney Trip Membership resorts.
What’s completely unsurprising is that Walt Disney World is opting to swap out the present cabins for ‘enhanced’ Disney Trip Membership lodging. It’s a reasonably widespread tactic for the corporate to focus on lodge stock that’s underperforming and convert it to DVC. This improves occupancy for the remaining lodge stock by lowering its web variety of rooms, and provides Disney Trip Membership one thing to promote. (It’s an analogous story with Copper Creek; Wilderness Lodge is now performing a lot higher, however on the time, occupancy was weak.)
Regardless of Fort Wilderness as an entire having a really vocal and passionate fanbase, the present cabins aren’t significantly standard. There’s routinely availability right here when the campsites are offered out, and there are ceaselessly extra aggressive reductions for the cabins. Like Olivia’s or Sanaa, these lodging have a loyal fan following–but additionally are routinely provided to Forged Members at 40% off.
Actually, this isn’t the primary time within the final decade that Walt Disney World will likely be lowering the variety of cabins. Again over the past comfortable items refurbishment (in 2016-2017), Disney eliminated the cabins within the 2100 Loop so as to add extra campsites. Even after that, occupancy is decrease for the cabins than the campground as an entire.
Personally, I’ve blended emotions in regards to the model of the DVC cabins. It’s nonetheless early and we solely have a single piece of idea artwork, so it’s untimely for a fully-formed opinion. Nevertheless, there’s loads that may be inferred from the idea artwork and up to date precedent. With that in thoughts, I’ll start with the positives.
I really like the massive home windows that can enable loads of pure mild and good views out into nature. Whereas good updates from what was there earlier than, the present cabins are darkish and dreary, and don’t lean into their pure environment all that properly. I’m an enormous proponent of home windows, and indoor-outdoor dwelling. These must be a major enchancment on that entrance.
Moreover, it’s secure to say that the interiors will likely be higher. Say what you’ll about latest resort reimaginings, however it’s very troublesome to criticize room redesigns from a practical perspective. Personally, I believe Disney has been crushing it since Riviera Resort, and the present ‘wave’ of progressive lodging that marry space-saving kinds with well-themed ones is ideal. Simply distinction the brand new rooms at Boulder Ridge with these just a few years earlier at Copper Creek–the previous are far superior to the latter in each conceivable method.
Now, the detrimental. The outside of those cabins does appear like the design frankenstein of an HGTV character and a Gensler designer. It appears too on-trend, leaning into she-shed, tiny house, and tacky stylish kinds. A bit just like the worst of the Copper Creek interiors with the Reflections and new Poly tower exteriors. Hopefully, the tip consequence appears higher or the inside is so good (and on par with Boulder Ridge) that it doesn’t matter. On stability, I’ll admit that I’m cautiously optimistic in regards to the look of the cabins. My prediction is that these will likely be higher than the present cabins, however we will see.
Past that, my greatest concern is that including Disney Trip Membership will irreparably change the character of Fort Wilderness. Though there’s nothing within the announcement to recommend it will happen, it looks as if a given–and one which’ll be crucial as a sensible actuality. It’s additionally considerably obvious from the subtext discussing expanded eating and “extra thrilling information to return.”
Walt Disney World is aware of how this variation goes to be acquired by diehard Fort Fiends. There’s a purpose the announcement got here buried amongst Midway to Halloween information, and why sure particulars are highlighted and others are omitted. The corporate is making an attempt to ease followers into the event, specializing in the perceived positives and making an attempt to reduce the negatives.
There’s one easy purpose that Fort Wilderness is nearly sure to alter in a method that received’t be well-received by its longtime followers: demographics. Assuming the per level worth is $185 and the typical contract is 160 factors, that places the upfront value proper at $30,000 for the Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort – A Disney Trip Membership Resort.
I don’t wish to make any unfair assumptions, however I believe it’s most likely secure to say that the typical common at Fort Wilderness will not be the target market for a $30,000 timeshare. This isn’t to say that Fort Wilderness friends are much less prosperous than the typical customer. I do know that isn’t the case, I’ve seen a few of these tricked-out RVs and Googled their value! (Aspect word: HOLY COW.)
However, they’re nonetheless totally different demos. Simply because somebody has sufficient cash to buy the Rezvani Vengeance doesn’t imply they’re additionally out there for a McLaren 720S. Each are equally costly automobiles, albeit with very totally different audiences. Virtually assuredly, the identical thought is true with the Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort – A Disney Trip Membership Resort.
Taking a look at latest Disney Trip Membership additions, it’s additionally honest to say that the DVC demo has totally different priorities and expectations for lodging. It’ll be fascinating to see how Fort Wilderness modifications to comport with shopper preferences, however not all of that’s potential.
What DVC members appear to favor–comfort, consolidated structure, and ease of entry–aren’t the sturdy fits of Fort Wilderness. What DVC members don’t appear to care about–themed design, environment, seclusion, and serenity–are among the greatest strengths of Fort Wilderness. Solely a lot of that may conceivably change; a lot of these are immutable traits of the campground, and DVC members are going to have to satisfy Fort Wilderness midway.
To that time, it will most likely be a savvy transfer if DVC guides took all potential patrons of the Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort – A Disney Trip Membership Resort to the precise campground and had the spend a half-day really experiencing and getting across the resort.
Truthfully, I’d go a step additional and advocate to anybody contemplating this that they do an precise multi-night keep at Fort Wilderness first. That looks as if such an apparent factor that anybody would do when making a $30,000+ buy, however I’m wondering to what extent it’ll really occur.
In the end, a few of my commentary right here is much like what it was for Reflections – A Disney Lakeside Lodge. Nevertheless, all of my complaints are dialed down dramatically right here, as Reflections was going to do way more harm. In contrast, these cabins will substitute comparable lodging, in order that they received’t trigger that many detrimental impacts on their very own.
Even after Disney Trip Membership involves the scene, Fort Wilderness will nonetheless possible be 90% unchanged from its standing in the present day. And truthfully, as in comparison with Walt Disney World as an entire, that’s nonetheless fairly good. It’s really wonderful how well-preserved the campground nonetheless is, whilst improvement has exploded throughout Walt Disney World within the final a number of a long time. Fort Wilderness has lengthy been an outlier and one thing of a time capsule of a bygone period, and that can possible stay true in 2025 and past.
Furthermore, whilst different elements of Fort Wilderness do change to pave method (a becoming method of placing this) for the Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort – A Disney Trip Membership Resort, there’s solely a lot I can realistically see the corporate investing on this venture. There’s a purpose Disney is doing this versus resuming Reflections. It’s the trail of least resistance. On this case, that’s factor for Fort Fiends and all different followers of the unique Trip Kingdom of the World! So we shouldn’t over-exaggerate the harm it will do.
Furthermore, there can even be some positives–as a lot as we benefit from the occasional meal at Path’s Finish (RIP) or the quick-service choices, there’s loads of room for enchancment on that entrance. A correct meals courtroom could be implausible, as would improved eating choices. Promoting this DVC enlargement is an incentive to considerably improve all of that, and if there’s one factor Disney’s Riviera Resort does properly, it’s eating. There’s no denying that. I’m additionally hopeful this ends in the restoration of a strolling path between Fort Wilderness and Wilderness Lodge.
That’s not the one constructive for my fellow pessimists on the market. Assuming that DVC goes to be constructed indefinitely, I’d somewhat have this than one other tower or bland high-rise sprouting up the place it doesn’t belong. Whereas I’m not wild about this, it’s exponentially higher than constructing one other bland tower that’s nearly indistinguishable from a metro Marriott or Fairfield Inn by an airport. Extra of that’s coming finally (improvement on the Reflections web site is inevitable over an extended sufficient time-horizon), however I’d somewhat postpone it for so long as potential, or not less than till themed design is again en vogue.
Should you’re contemplating becoming a member of DVC and need extra steering, you’ll want to learn our Final Information to Disney Trip Membership. That information covers the professionals & cons, resale v. direct, how a lot cash you’ll save, and different essential issues to know earlier than taking the plunge. Should you nonetheless can’t resolve whether or not membership is best for you, “strive before you purchase” with the suggestions in Learn how to Save BIG on Deluxe Disney Lodging Renting DVC Factors.
What do you consider this Walt Disney World information? Are you optimistic or pessimistic in regards to the Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort – A Disney Trip Membership Resort? Glad that DVC is increasing to cabins at a Average Resort, or want they’d construct a brand new stand-alone property? Should you’re a Fort Fiend, are you upset by this or detached to it? Do you agree or disagree with our evaluation? Any questions we will help you reply? Listening to your suggestions–even whenever you disagree with us–is each fascinating to us and useful to different readers, so please share your ideas under within the feedback!