Walt Disney World has introduced plans to broaden 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 seemingly taking place.
For individuals who are unfamiliar with it, Fort Wilderness provides roughly 800 campsites and over 400 cabins together with a variety of leisure choices. Whereas Fort Wilderness is just a brief boat journey 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 unique, opening again in 1971 a bit 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 strategy 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.
Towards that backdrop, Walt Disney World and Disney Trip Membership introduced on April 20, 2023 proposed plans to deliver refreshed cabin hideaways to Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground, providing company a non-public retreat within the midst of nature with lots of the comforts of house.
“For greater than 50 years, Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground has supplied company the chance to discover nature with their family members whereas staying within the coronary heart of Walt Disney World Resort,” mentioned Invoice Diercksen, senior vp and normal 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 company to get pleasure from for years to return.”
The proposed plans to broaden Fort Wilderness with a Disney Trip Membership addition name for greater than 350 new cabins to interchange the prevailing cabins on the resort, which have delighted company for a few years and can quickly be prepared for a refresh. Moreover, the proposed cabins can be constructed with an eye fixed towards the atmosphere, using the footprint of the prevailing 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 proposed, stand-alone cabin provides spacious lodging, sleeping as much as six adults, and includes a bed room, rest room, lounge, 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 proposed cabins will proceed to be open for reservations to all company, together with those that are usually not Disney Trip Membership Members, topic to availability.
As with all DVC resorts, a small proportion of the property shall be retained by Walt Disney World and not a part of the DVC stock. Accordingly, it’ll seemingly be troublesome to e-book these cabins for money company, they usually’re prone to be each dearer and excluded from reductions.
The deliberate cabins are a part of a group of enchancment initiatives underway at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground which might be designed to reinforce the visitor expertise. Examples embrace 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 company would have easy accessibility to the theme parks and be capable to benefit from the resort’s cherished facilities, together with horseback driving on the not too long ago 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 accessible for company.
The Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort – A Disney Trip Membership Resort is projected to open in 2024 and can be the seventeenth Disney Trip Membership resort. Further info relating to challenge particulars, the beginning of gross sales and rental bookings shall be launched at a later date.
When it comes to commentary, I’ll begin by saying that I’m surprised by the timing of this announcement. It comes contemporary on the heels (actually 2 days in the past!) of Disney Trip Membership asserting the begin of gross sales, pricing, and level charts for the Villas at Disneyland Resort. Granted, that’s in California and that is in Florida, however a massive demographic for DVC gross sales is current members.
Accordingly, it will appear that this announcement shouldn’t be solely stealing thunder from the Villas at Disneyland Resort (VDH), however can even cannibalize some gross sales. To us, this reinforces the chance that Disney Trip Membership is extremely assured about VDH doing gangbuster gross sales, and thus doesn’t care about these issues.
That’s additionally what explains the aggressive pricing, charging for parking, and separating out the occupancy tax. Disney Trip Membership is aware of that the Villas at Disneyland Resort will promote effectively it doesn’t matter what. That, or there’s an extreme quantity of misplaced hubris on show!
With that mentioned, there’s additionally the matter of the New DVC Tower at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, which is at the moment beneath development and is at the moment slated to open in late 2024 at Walt Disney World. Primarily based on the extremely fast tempo with which that enlargement is being constructed, there’s no purpose to imagine it’ll be delayed.
That implies that Walt Disney World may 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 each Disney’s Riviera Resort and the Villas at Grand Floridian Resort, each of that are roughly 50% offered out proper now.
That totals 3 resorts within the Magic Kingdom space and one within the EPCOT/Skyliner space. Plus 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 Hunch. 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 in all probability one of the best ways to elucidate how Disney Trip Membership plans to promote this alongside Riviera, Polynesian, and Grand Floridian. It’s extremely possible that that is aimed toward a unique demographic, and shall be a extra economical various 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 in at a sub-$200 worth level under the place Disney’s Riviera Resort began promoting again in 2019. (Anybody anticipating a discount priced under $150 per level had higher suppose once more.)
Even when the per level value continues 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 shall 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 consequence of a decrease per-point value, smaller contract sizes, or a mixture of the 2, stays to be seen.
It’ll be fascinating to see if Disney Trip Membership introduces new restrictions aimed toward avoiding unintended penalties of getting a Average Resort DVC. We doubt that’ll be needed, because the per level value seemingly gained’t be that a lot completely different from different current 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 offers 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 a complete having a really vocal and passionate fanbase, the prevailing cabins are usually not notably widespread. There’s routinely availability right here when the campsites are offered out, and there are regularly extra aggressive reductions for the cabins. Like Olivia’s or Sanaa, these lodging have a loyal fan following–but additionally are routinely supplied to Forged Members at 40% off.
Actually, this isn’t the primary time within the final decade that Walt Disney World shall be lowering the variety of cabins. Again over the last 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 a complete.
Talking of the prevailing cabins, don’t assume that something about these–the scale, configuration, or structure–will stay the identical. The present cabins had been pre-fabricated off-site and put in unit-by-unit, not constructed on location.
Primarily based on each the verbiage of the announcement and age of the present cabins, it’s extremely seemingly that these are solely new prefabbed models. Which means the design might differ considerably and can incorporate classes realized from the outdated cabins and DVC member lodging preferences. Rather a lot 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.
Talking of which, the Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort – A Disney Trip Membership Resort being prefabbed off-site seemingly explains the 2024 opening date. Whereas no month is given, it wouldn’t shock us within the least if this goes on sale and opens earlier than the Poly tower.
Personally, I’ve blended emotions in regards to the type 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. Nonetheless, there’s lots 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 may permit loads of pure gentle 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 effectively. I’m an enormous proponent of home windows, and indoor-outdoor residing. These must be a big enchancment on that entrance.
Moreover, it’s secure to say that the interiors shall be higher. Say what you’ll about current resort reimaginings, however it’s very troublesome to criticize room redesigns from a purposeful perspective. Personally, I believe Disney has been crushing it since Riviera Resort, and the present ‘wave’ of modern lodging that marry space-saving types 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 manner.
Now, the unfavourable. The outside of those cabins does seem like the design frankenstein of an HGTV persona and a Gensler designer. It appears to be like too on-trend, leaning into she-shed, tiny house, and tacky stylish types. A bit just like the worst of the Copper Creek interiors with the Reflections and new Poly tower exteriors. Hopefully, the tip consequence appears to be like 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 shall 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 counsel this may happen, it looks as if a given–and one which’ll be needed 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 alteration 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 attempting to ease followers into the event, specializing in the perceived positives and attempting to attenuate the negatives.
There’s one easy purpose that Fort Wilderness is nearly sure to alter in a manner that gained’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 need to make any unfair assumptions, however I believe it’s in all probability secure to say that the typical common at Fort Wilderness shouldn’t be the target market for a $30,000 timeshare. This isn’t to say that Fort Wilderness company 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 observe: HOLY COW.)
However, they’re nonetheless completely 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 autos, albeit with very completely different audiences. Virtually assuredly, the identical thought is true with the Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort – A Disney Trip Membership Resort.
current Disney Trip Membership additions, it’s additionally honest to say that the DVC demo has completely different priorities and expectations for lodging. It’ll be fascinating to see how Fort Wilderness adjustments to comport with client preferences, however not all of that’s attainable.
What DVC members appear to favor–comfort, consolidated structure, and ease of entry–are usually not the robust 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 in all probability 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 suggest 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. Nonetheless, all of my complaints are dialed down dramatically right here, as Reflections was going to do rather more harm. Against this, these cabins will change comparable lodging, so that they gained’t trigger that many unfavourable impacts on their very own.
Even after Disney Trip Membership involves the scene, Fort Wilderness will nonetheless seemingly be 90% unchanged from its standing at present. And actually, as in comparison with Walt Disney World as a complete, that’s nonetheless fairly good. It’s really superb 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 may seemingly stay true in 2025 and past.
Furthermore, whilst different elements of Fort Wilderness do change to pave manner (a becoming manner 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 challenge.
There’s a purpose Disney is doing this versus resuming Reflections. It’s the trail of least resistance. On this case, that’s an excellent factor for Fort Fiends and all different followers of the unique Trip Kingdom of the World! So we shouldn’t over-exaggerate the harm this may 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 court docket can be incredible, 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 effectively, 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 fairly 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 just about indistinguishable from a metro Marriott or Fairfield Inn by an airport. Extra of that’s coming ultimately (improvement on the Reflections web site is inevitable over an extended sufficient time-horizon), however I’d fairly postpone it for so long as attainable, or no less than till themed design is again en vogue.
When you’re contemplating becoming a member of DVC and need extra steering, make sure 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. When you nonetheless can’t resolve whether or not membership is best for you, “attempt 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? When 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 may help you reply? Listening to your suggestions–even if you disagree with us–is each fascinating to us and useful to different readers, so please share your ideas under within the feedback!