Disney Vacation Club has announced the opening date and when sales start for the Cabins at Fort Wilderness Campground, along with a very member-friendly point chart for the resort. This post shares the timeline and everything else you need to know about the newest DVC accommodations at Walt Disney World.
As quick background, Fort Wilderness Campground currently offers approximately 800 campsites and over 400 cabins and is classified as a Moderate Resort by Walt Disney World, largely for lack of a better option. The woodsy retreat is a short boat ride from Magic Kingdom, but it feels worlds away. The rustic resort is situated on 750 acres of pine and cypress forest, giving the campground a ‘buffer’ between it and the rest of Walt Disney World.
While Fort Wilderness feels like one of the last vestiges of the 1971 ‘Vacation Kingdom of the World’ and still has large portions of its personality preserved, a lot has changed in the last several years. This started in anticipation of Reflections – A Disney Lakeside Lodge, which was the previously-proposed DVC resort that would’ve been built between Fort Wilderness and Wilderness Lodge. Other modernizations have continued last year in anticipation of these Disney Vacation Club Cabins at Fort Wilderness.
Disney Vacation Club has shared new details about the next new DVC resort, which will actually open before the Polynesian Tower, which was announced and started much earlier. The first loop of the DVC Cabins at Fort Wilderness will open on July 1, 2024.
Additional DVC Cabins at Fort Wilderness will open later in July, and even more units will open in subsequent loops throughout the rest of 2024.
Additionally, Disney Vacation Club has released the sales dates for the DVC Cabins at Fort Wilderness Resort:
February 1, 2024: Sales open to current DVC members
February 27, 2024: New sales open to general public
Here are the booking start dates for the DVC Cabins at Fort Wilderness:
February 15, 2024: Current DVC members who added points at the Fort Wilderness Cabins can begin booking
March 12, 2024: New DVC members at the Cabins begin booking
April 23, 2024: All DVC members can reserve the Cabins
Booking dates above are also subject to the 7/11 month rules.
Next, the 2024 Points Chart for the DVC Cabins at Fort Wilderness:
2025 Points Chart for the DVC Cabins at Fort Wilderness:
Note that there’s a chance that these are not fully-finalized, as the links have stopped working on the DVC website. However, that’s probably because they were published prematurely. It would be really odd for Disney Vacation Club to create charts like these in final form, publish them, and then change them…but stranger things have happened.
With that caveat out of the way, this is more or less what we were expecting with the point charts, which are very member-friendly and favorable to conserving points. Our commentary back when this DVC project was announced was that it “finally realizes rumors of a Moderate Resort DVC expansion, which started years ago before Disney’s Riviera Resort was announced.”
With a point chart like this, which puts a 6-person cabin on par with a studio at the Polynesian Villas, it’s easier to see how Disney Vacation Club plans to sell this alongside higher-caliber Deluxe Resorts. The Cabins at Fort Wilderness will likely be aimed at a different demographic of DVC buyers, and will be a more economical alternative to the aforementioned resorts.
As with all Disney Vacation Club resorts, the cabins will continue to be open for reservations to all guests, including those who are not Disney Vacation Club Members, subject to availability. A small percentage of the property will be retained by Walt Disney World and not part of the DVC inventory–just like all DVC resorts. Once the DVC side sells out, it’ll likely be difficult to book these cabins for cash guests, and they’re likely to be both more expensive and excluded from discounts.
It’ll be interesting to see the per-point cost, which will soon be increasing for other new DVC resorts. While we don’t expect the Cabins at Fort Wilderness to be quite on par with the $239 per point of the Villas at Disneyland Hotel, we also don’t expect it to be that far off. Disney Vacation Club probably doesn’t want to create another mess for itself with a “bargain” entry level that savvy DVC Members will use to join…and then use their points elsewhere.
Anyone expecting a cost below $150 per point had better think again. My bet is that the cost is around $200 to $215, which a slight chance of a $199 baseline, or better rates after incentives. But we shall see!
I’d also bet that the average contract purchase price ends up being significantly lower than Riviera Resort, Disneyland Hotel, or Polynesian Villas. That won’t just be due to a lower per-point cost–it’ll be primarily because DVC members here will be buying smaller contract sizes since they won’t need as many points for larger accommodations.
In addition to officially confirming these details, Disney Vacation Club released new concept art and a floor plan (above) showcasing the interiors.
With this, Disney introduced The Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort—the newest Disney Vacation Club Resort—set within a forest oasis of cypress and pine. Retreat to your own private cabin featuring plenty of modern amenities and charming, convenient comforts.
Wake up to the buzzing of life and its endless fun, from poolside relaxation to fishing excursions to fireside sing-a-longs. Create cherished memories as you and your family enjoy decades of magical vacations, near and far—including every wonder-filled stay at The Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort.
Every morning you can draw the curtains back to reveal floor-to-ceiling windows and your own personal patio deck, where you can bask in the glories of nature while firing up the charcoal grill and dining al fresco.
The Cabins at Fort Wilderness sleep up to 6, and some can even accommodate dogs.
In the main bedroom, you’ll find a queen-size bed, twin-size bunk beds, a 55-inch TV, closet and a nightstand. This is a pretty similar setup to the current Fort Wilderness Cabins.
Through the sconce-flanked front doors is a spacious living area featuring a dining nook and a fully equipped kitchen—including a refrigerator, dishwasher, convection/microwave oven and 2 countertop burners.
The kitchen includes plenty of storage, as well as a kitchen table capable of seating all 6 occupants of the cabin. Off the kitchen you’ll find a vanity area outside the entrance to the bathroom, which has a shower and an additional vanity inside.
A convertible seating and sleeping area is located opposite the kitchen and boasts a 65-inch TV and a comfortable sofa—the perfect spot to gather your family to watch a favorite Disney movie. At bedtime, simply fold down the queen-size Inova bed from the wall, for added sleeping space.
I’m guessing fan feedback is going to be very mixed on these, since they’re a mix of modern and rustic and use more muted colors. And we can certainly understand that to some degree. But like a lot of other recent room designs, these strike us as a good marriage of form and function, and look like major upgrades in terms of usability.
I’d rather actually stay in these cabins than the old ones. As that’s the most important thing about accommodations, we’re looking forward to these new Cabins at Fort Wilderness. For us, the jury is still out as to whether we prefer the style of these. We absolutely love the idea of more windows allowing for light and views of the wilderness outdoors. We also like the artwork in both the bunkbeds and the Inova pull-down.
With that said, I’m also a bit on the fence about the theme and details–it reminds me more of the Copper Creek style (a bit of a hodgepodge) rather than the fantastic new Boulder Ridge Villas, if that makes sense. Hopefully DVC sticks the landing and includes even detail and thematic flourishes to tip the scales in the right direction.
One thing to note is that the cabins will not be simply refurbished/reimagined, nor will new ones be constructed on-site. Instead, these are entirely new prefabbed units that will be built off-site, trucked in, and installed unit-by-unit.
That explains how the design is differing substantially and will incorporate lessons learned from the old cabins and DVC member accommodation preferences. A lot has changed in the years since the cabins debuted, and Disney has gotten room layouts down to a science. The use of space and practicality of these cabins will be better as a result.
The Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort – A Disney Vacation Club Resort being prefabbed off-site also explains the July 1, 2024 opening date. The “construction” timeframe here will be measured in days, not weeks or months, which is how these will be able to go on sale and open before the Poly tower, despite nothing having happened yet.
I’m really curious about how the Cabins at Fort Wilderness will be received by Disney Vacation Club members. Not in terms of online sentiment where a vocal minority can dominate and distort the conversation, but rather, where it really matters: sales.
Obviously, membership is not monolithic, but this is a dramatic departure from other recent Disney Vacation Club additions. What DVC members seem to favor–convenience, consolidated layout, and ease of access–are not the strong suits of Fort Wilderness.
What DVC members don’t seem to care about–themed design, atmosphere, seclusion, and serenity–are some of the biggest strengths of Fort Wilderness. Only so much of that can conceivably change; many of those are immutable characteristics of the campground, and DVC members are going to have to meet Fort Wilderness halfway.
I also wonder if this means the Cabins at Fort Wilderness will start hitting the resale market in greater volume in a few years after the honeymoon is over. It’s not difficult to envision a scenario where, when points go on sale on February 1, existing DVC members who have never stepped foot in Fort Wilderness buy solely based on the member-friendly points chart.
Those same members could be in for a rude awakening the first time they actually stay at Fort Wilderness, make the long trek across the resort every day during a weeklong trip, and come to the realization that this is no Riviera Resort!
Or perhaps I’m totally wrong, and DVC members will come to love Fort Wilderness, be won over by its rustic charm and escape from the hustle and bustle of Walt Disney World. All I know is that this campground is very taste-specific, and I just have a hard time imagining people who have a ‘taste’ for Disney’s Riviera Resort would also love Fort Wilderness. But what do I know.
Honestly, perhaps some of this is wishful thinking. While I’ve expressed ‘mixed’ feelings about the DVC Cabins at Fort Wilderness in the commentary to past posts, I should probably be fully transparent: this is the most excited I’ve been about a “new” Disney Vacation Club resort in a long time.
I still have mixed thoughts about the transformation of Fort Wilderness into a (partially) Disney Vacation Club resort, but what’s done is done. From a practical perspective, I love this. We’re huge fans of Fort Wilderness and the current cabins. We’re frugal with our points. And we now have a daughter, which will presumably mean more multi-generation trips to Walt Disney World for us in the coming years.
The DVC Cabins at Fort Wilderness check all of the boxes for us, and we’re tempted to add-on here. That probably won’t happen right away as this initial excitement is met with the hard realities of pricing, but it certainly could in a few years if there’s an influx of points to the resale market. Or we could add-on elsewhere and simply stay here if these accommodations prove unpopular with other members. All of that is probably just wishful thinking on my part, though. I’m probably far from the only one excited for these DVC Cabins!
What do you think of this Walt Disney World news? Thoughts on the points chart or potential pricing? Excited to stay here in July 2024 or beyond? Are you optimistic or pessimistic about the DVC Cabins at Fort Wilderness Campground? Do you agree or disagree with our assessment? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!