SATURDAY SIX: Six Reasons We Love Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort Cabins

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This week’s SATURDAY SIX takes a look at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Cabins, and today we even have a special guest author in Steve Bloom. Now Steve is a statistician by trade so he brings the one thing we’ve never had in the two years of writing this fine blog, a brain. In fact, because of Steve’s experience in numbers we are going to officially dub this the first ever edition of the STAT SIX. So without further ado, take it away Steve!

Fort Wilderness is the largest resort at Walt Disney World. The rustic themed resort opened with the park itself in 1971 and covers 750-acres. The original Wilderness Homes were added in the ’80s. The current cabins started to replace the Wilderness Homes in the late ’90s. The resort currently has 800 campsites and 409 cabins. Disney classifies the cabins as moderates, but they are really in their own category. 96% of the Unofficial Guide readers would stay at the cabins again, so let’s look at six reasons many of them feel this way, starting with…

Ft Wilderness Sign

# 6 – “There’s so much room for activities!”

Fort Wilderness has more activities than any resort at Walt Disney World. There are two dinner shows: Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue and Mickey’s Backyard BBQ. The Trails End Restaurant is a SATURDAY SIX favorite. In addition to the evening movies, there is the charming Campfire Sing-Along with Chip ‘n’ Dale.

At the bike barn, you can rent canoes, kayaks, bikes, and tennis rackets. At the marina, you can rent water crafts to explore Bay Lake and Seven Seas Lagoon. Tri-Circle-D Ranch offers pony rides, trail rides, and horse-drawn wagon rides. From the beach, you can watch the Magic Kingdom fireworks and the Electrical Water Pageant. There are miles of trails, including a 2.3 mile exercise trail to Wilderness Lodge. There are two pools, a quiet pool, and the larger Meadows Pool with a slide, hot tub, and kid’s splash zone. Scattered across the resort are sand volleyball courts, basketball courts, and playgrounds. There are even Segway tours!

Tri Circle D Ranch
Tri Circle D Ranch.

Ft Wilderness Beach

# 5 – Parking

Feel like the VIP you are with your own parking spot. The Unofficial Guide recommends driving to Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom. If you are one of the 70% of guests that drives to Walt Disney World, having a reserved parking spaces just steps away from you door is priceless. If you don’t have a car, consider renting a golf cart to get to Disney transportation.

Cabin Parking
Parking at the Cabins.

#4 – Full Kitchen and Living Room

Having a kitchen is a nice option to have while you are on vacation. Eating breakfast in the cabin can save you time and money, helping to have your family ready to go at rope drop. Here is a handy dandy article on various ways to stock up that fridge while staying in The World. While the full kitchen can save invaluable time (and just as valuable money), a separate bedroom and living room is nice for decompressing and being able to spread out. Keeping one’s sanity is an under appreciated factor in spending a week (or more) with friends and loved ones while on vacation and the extra space in a cabin can certainly help in that department.

Cabin Living Room
Room to stretch out while those in All Star Movies are screaming “Serenity Now!”

Cabin Kitchen 

#3 – Water Taxi to the Magic Kingdom

Ft. Wilderness is the only non-deluxe resort with a boat launch to a Disney theme park. There is also a boat launch that will take you to Wilderness Lodge and the Contemporary.

Ft. Wilderness Boat Launch

#2 – Space and Size

The cabins are larger than a normal moderate hotel room. A cabin is 504 sq. ft. and can sleep six people. The bedroom has a full-size bed and bunk beds. The living room has a full-size murphy bed. Outside is a large deck with a picnic table. Cabins are 20-30 feet apart from each other. The setting is calm and quiet. On our last stay, we hosted a cookout with eight families and had plenty of space.

Cabin Bedroom

Cabin Murphy Bed

Cabin Deck 
cabin floor plan

#1 – Glamping

Before Glamping (a portmanteau of glamor and camping) was a thing, Disney had it. Feel like you are camping but have daily housekeeping, air conditioning, and running water. Two HD televisions and Wi-Fi is the only way I want to camp. There’s no Netflix, so in a way you’re still roughing it.

Cabin Animal Towel

Cabins on loops 100, 2200, 2300, and 2500 are being remodeled. Below are a few pictures of a cabin on loop 2200 that is nearly complete. The kitchen and bathroom are completely replaced. The oven/stove is being replaced with a cook top. The Murphy bed is replaced by cabinets and a larger TV. I assume the sofa will be a pull out bed. The carpet in the bedroom has been replaced with hardwood flooring. The beds get new mattresses and the safe is replaced with a larger digital version. Flooring and deck are also replaced.

Remodeled Kitchen
Remodeled Kitchen
Remodeled Living Room
Remodeled Living Room
Remodeled Bathroom
Remodeled Bathroom
Remodeled Bedroom
Remodeled Bedroom

 

So there you have it: Six Reasons We Love Disney’s Fort Wilderness Cabins. We’d like to thank Steve Bloom for classing up the SATURDAY SIX a little bit, although as a statistician he should know there is a 0% chance any of our readers know what “portmanteau” means. We do know what “port wine” is though, if that means anything.

See you next weekend for the latest installment of the SATURDAY SIX, where we’ll look at something fun from the world of Disney and Universal. If you enjoyed yourself, be sure to check out The Magic, The Memories, and Merch! articles, or, for your listening pleasure, check out the Pardon the Pixie Dust podcast. You can also follow Your Humble Author on Twitter (@derekburgan)

horseback riding at Fort Wilderness - Amy Farkas
Horseback riding at Walt Disney World, check that one off your bucket list while staying at the Fort Wilderness Cabins. (photo by Amy Farkas)

If you enjoyed this article, you will surely like the following:

Six Reasons We Love Port Orleans French Quarter

Six Reasons We Love Pop Century

Six Reasons We Love The Contemporary

Six Reasons We Love The BoardWalk Resort

Special Thanks to crack staff photographer Brandon Glover and blogger to the stars Megan Stump for their invaluable assistance with this article. Be sure to also check out Brandon on The Park Blogger podcast with co-hosts Aengus Mackenzie and Brian Carey.

FINAL PLUG! Did you know The Unofficial Guide to Universal Orlando has a special edition of the SATURDAY SIX in it? Finally, someone came up with an actual reason to read a book. ORDER this baby now and support SIX NATION (boy do we need a better name than that.)

Steve Bloom

By helping TouringPlans.com continue to reach the most accurate crowd level predictions, Steve finally found a way to meld his training in statistical analysis with a lifelong passion for Disney. He first visited the Magic Kingdom in 1972, just a few months after it opened. Now he enjoys frequent trips with his two kids. At age four his son insisted on wearing cowboy boots to reach the height requirement for Test Track, and his daughter believes that a smoked turkey leg and Dole Whip make a perfectly balanced meal. Even though she doesn't quite get it, Steve's wife is supportive of his Disney activities.

16 thoughts on “SATURDAY SIX: Six Reasons We Love Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort Cabins

  • October 3, 2015 at 8:32 am
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    Ha! I was one of the 0% who knew what portmanteau meant! I read it and thought “wow-I had no idea there was a word for that. Cool!” Next time we go to WDW we will be family of 5 so we were highly considering staying at the cabins. This gave me additional reasons to cement its place as the front runner. (The reason my kids want to stay here is because it has bunk beds and they really want to try them out).

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  • October 3, 2015 at 8:57 am
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    Absolutely LOVE Fort Wilderness. It is the only place we stay when going to Disney. It is one of the best kept secrets and it just got better. I saw pics of the remodel and the cabins look fantastic. The couch is indeed a pull out queen. My biggest complaint was always not enough draw space. Now they fixed that so I am thrilled.

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  • October 3, 2015 at 10:33 am
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    My biggest concern would be where to do the wash. I am so used to having them in the rooms with us. Does this work as DVC?

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    • October 3, 2015 at 11:20 am
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      There are convenience stations in each “loop” that have bathrooms and a coin operated laundry room.
      The cabin loops might not have the bathrooms, but I usually am in a camping loop so I’m not sure.
      The washing machine / dryer equipment is the typical commercial top loader you’ll find all over property. These are free at a DVC resort.
      We actually resorted to hopping to SSR to do laundry (we did know someone with a studio room there). Did laundry for free and used the pool.

      My 1 experience with the ft wilderness laundry is that the washer has a VERY weak spin and you can’t do anything about it. So it takes FOREVER to dry (and many quarters).

      I’d recommend for a small amount of laundry just paying to have it done. Or for a larger amount, making a plan to go somewhere with it.

      Or stay off site at a vacation home with a washer and dryer. Or stay at 1 BR and up DVC accomodations.

      Ft wilderness now costs slightly more than art of animation family suites. It’s more expensive than 2 value resort rooms. And it’s WAY more expensive than a vacation home.

      PROS: It’s unique, has a special feel, and it’s right next to MK. It’s staying within the magic on property bubble but in a relaxed way;
      It’s not perfect. And it’s WAY OVER-PRICED if you’re just looking for square footage and a parking spot (get that and more with a vacation home).

      Also, you can do a room reservation that can be cancelled a week out. Vacation homes typically require about a week’s stay and need to be pre-paid about 1 month out.

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    • October 3, 2015 at 2:34 pm
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      Loop 21 has easy access to the convenience station at loop 11. The other cabin loops do not have a convenience station. There are washers and dryers at the quite pool. The washers and dryers have been updated in the last year. You can now check availability of machines across WDW at: http://www.laundryview.com/disneyworld/

      Reply
  • October 3, 2015 at 12:10 pm
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    In remodeling the kitchen, are they doing away with the oven entirely? We have stayed in the cabins numerous times and having an oven had been awesome. From taco chips to bake chicken I would hate to see only burners now!

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    • October 3, 2015 at 2:36 pm
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      I didn’t see where an oven would go, so I assume they are history. I did not see the cut-out in the counter until I reviewed the picture and thought the stove & oven were gone. Maybe there will be a good size toaster oven.

      Reply
  • October 3, 2015 at 3:21 pm
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    I think it’s a serious downgrade to replace the Murphy bed. It was so much more comfortable than a pullout. They really did need more storage though. Looks like the pantry that was beside the stove is gone though.

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    • October 3, 2015 at 3:45 pm
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      I’m holding judgment until I see the new pullout bed. I have found sleeper-sofas at other Disney resorts to be very comfortable.

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  • October 5, 2015 at 8:22 am
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    Staying at the cabins is like have two different vacations in one. We go to the parks all day, then in the evenings spend the time at the campgrounds doing the campfire, swimming, biking, watching the fireworks from the beach, we especially love riding around on the golf carts and even more fun at Halloween when the campers decorate for the occasion. We love taking the boat over to MK in the morning. It’s just a whole other adventure! Glad they are remodeling the cabins, they were a little run down last time we went. Yes they are expensive, but isn’t everything at Disney? You pay more for the high end hotels and I like the convience of pulling right up to your cabin. The only complaint I have is the laundry, I wish there was a washer/dryer in the cabin, but we rent a golf cart so we just take our laundry to the quiet pool, or try to request a cabin nearest to pool. We did that one year, my husband walked over to do the wash. I wouldn’t do it because I would be afraid to fall in the woods, but if your young and healthy no reason you couldn’t do that.

    Reply
  • October 5, 2015 at 10:45 pm
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    I love FW cabins/homes/trailers.

    It’s probably the best bang for your buck for a full kitchen place that sleeps 6. But the draw back is transportation for most ‘loops’..you wait for a bus to take you to the dock..to wait for a boat…to take you to the Contemporary to wait for a monorail to take you to the MK or TTC to wait for a monorail to take you to EPCOT.

    Rent a golf cart for the cabin to go to the dock…it’s worth it.

    Reply
  • October 15, 2015 at 11:08 pm
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    HI! Thank you for all the amazing information! My hubby, 5 year old daughter and I are going to be staying at Fort Wilderness Cabins (for the first time!) the week before Thanksgiving! We can not wait! I had a quick question about the cabins and the loops that I hope you can help me with? I’ve been peeking at all the pictures and trying to figure out what loop/cabin might be “best” for us. Trust me, we are NOT picky people but this is such a special trip that we have waited for, for such a long time, and we are not sure when we might be able to do this again – I just hope to do the best I can at finding the right place to feel comfortable after a long day. You had mentioned that they were refurbishing some of the cabins in certain loops? Do you know whether any loops have been completed? And, if so, are we able to request them? Is there a special way to do so (without sounding crazy and needy? ; ) Thank you so much, in advance, for ANY incite you might have on this!

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  • October 16, 2015 at 2:31 pm
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    Hi Steve! Thank you again for your help! I called the number that you shared with me but the girl I spoke to had no information on the refurbishing of the cabins and she thought that the 2200 loop was a camping area…..would you be able to tell me the number cabin (or cabins) where you took the pictures so that I might be able to request it though touring plans? Thank you so much!

    Reply

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