We’ll take some time to peruse a refurbished Cabin at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground.
Before moving forward, I do ask for your forgiveness as it appears that the new intern in the website’s “Arrows Department” grossly mislabeled this diagram in the recent Trail’s End brunch review. While the website went Full Kylo Ren and this particular employee “no longer enjoys the faculties necessary to label any future diagrams,” his or her life was spared because, “Hey there is probably still a boat somewhere in that direction right.” A fair argument, padawan. Also, after running additional timing runs, it appears that the Purple route to Settlement Depot is not the slam dunk that was implied in the post, with transportation times in the neighborhood of either Orange or Yellow. In my experience, you might select your bus route based on following whichever family looks like they’re least likely to change into their swimsuits on the bus. All of your subscriptions will be extended one month due to this unfortunate oversight. If you cannot forgive, hopefully in time you will forget.
While Fort Wilderness is officially recognized as a “Moderate Resort,” the Cabin rates are significantly higher than Standard Rooms at the other Mods.
During a weekday during Value Season, a Cabin would run you $134 more per night, a difference of 76.6%, compared to a Standard Room/View at Port Orleans. During Holiday Season, the price difference is $239 or an 89.8% increase.
To confuse things further, it might be easiest to compare Cabin prices and amenities to a Family Suite at the Art of Animation Resort, which is a Value Resort with prices that occasionally eclipse Wilderness Lodge, which is in turn a Deluxe Resort.
For example, a Wilderness Lodge Standard View room is cheaper than any Art of Animation Family Suite during a weekend in Value Season.
On the other hand, the picture is a little different if you compare room cost to room size. The following chart shows the cost per square foot for the least expensive room type during the least expensive pricing season at each resort:
The Cabins come in at a bit of a premium over the other Moderates and also the Family Suites at Art of Animation. But there is perhaps more to life than cost per square foot in cents, otherwise we would all be sipping our Taittinger Comtes Rose Brut, pinkies up, out of paper cups from the comfort of the double bed inside our room at the All-Star Sports.
Back to the Cabins, which are somewhat unique in that each is its own separate unit. There are no upstairs or downstairs neighbors and a reasonable distance separates each Cabin. So the constant flushing sounds that plague the majority of Disney’s rooms, and me cursing about being out of Andre Brut, should be much less of an issue. Those driving also benefit from being able to drive right up to their unit and park just a couple of feet outside, which is a lot more convenient than the majority of resort parking lots where you could be a thousand or more feet away from your room at the end of a long hallway at the BoardWalk Villas or something.
Outside, you’ll find a deck with a picnic table and two doors, one of which opens up to the main kitchen area and the other into the bedroom.
Each unit also has one of those really dirty grills that you might find at your local or state park and I’m never really sure of the logistics of using. Out of frame and out of mind.
Dave from yourfirstvisit.net and the co-author of our award-winning and occasionally best-selling guidebook, was nice enough to invite me over for a strategy session that probably rivals what goes on at Bilderberg. I will defer to his more robust review here and largely parrot what he has to say for the sake of this review.
Fort Wilderness Cabins come in at 504 square feet, which puts them larger than any standard room or studio on property. Standard Value rooms are 260 square feet; Moderates are 314 square feet; and Deluxe rooms run from 344 square feet at Animal Kingdom/Wilderness Lodges up to 440 square feet at the Grand Floridian Resort. That’s also 61 square feet smaller than Art of Animation Suites, which is why the cost-per-square-foot was lower in the comparison above, even given similar per-night-pricing.
So we are talking about a large living space with a separate bedroom area on the far end, in addition to a mostly-full kitchen. 1-Bedroom Villas start at 710 square feet at Animal Kingdom Lodge and go up to 942-square feet at Old Key West. As we’ll see shortly, most of that added space is in the bedroom.
The dining room table off to the right would seat five or six comfortably in chairs and on the bench.
Those same chairs would also provide more seating in front of the large television.
The sofa to the left pulls out into a queen bed, replacing the old pulldown-style murphy.
That potentially makes things a lot more comfortable for a taller person to sleep in the main living area.
In addition to adding ample, and much-needed, drawer space.
One more look from the easydubz chopper. The theming here is obviously rustic with a heavy emphasis on wood and the American frontier.
The kitchen is largely functional, though the refurbishment drops the number of burners from four to two and eliminates the dedicated oven.
Larger for the instructions on the bottom: https://www.easywdw.com/reports13/fort_wilderness_oven_microwave_thing.jpg
Dave reviews the oven in full by cooking up cornbread, pizza, cinnamon rolls, and a 3-pound roast, among other things in this post: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2016/02/07/the-new-oven-in-the-cabins-at-fort-wilderness/. It is perhaps proof that at least some of us Disney bloggers do survive in the wild, however feebly in your author’s case.
The full size fridge/freezer. Disney pushes its own grocery delivery service a little harder than usual at this property, offering up this ordering form that can be completed and emailed/faxed: https://wdpromedia.disney.go.com/media/wdpro-assets/places-to-stay/cabins-at-fort-wilderness/cabins-at-fort-wilderness-resort-grocery-list-FW-02-03-16.pdf.
A picture inside some of the cupboards along with the coffee maker, sink, and toaster.
One more look.
Cabins officially sleep six guests, which is two more than the Values and one more than most standard Moderate and Deluxe rooms types.
But the bathroom situation may deter some larger, potentially “high maintenance” parties with its single toilet, single shower/tub combo, and single sink/mirror all in one space. And that’s okay as I speak from experience when I say it took me 17 tries to get just the right amount of aloofness in that microwave reflection a couple images back. You do get two toilet paper rolls on the wall though, which is a big positive.
But the one bath area may complicate mornings a bit with 4+ people. Even if each person takes a total of 15 minutes, you’re still looking about an hour and a half of time. You could potentially head to one of the many comfort stations located in the camping loops of the resort, but going for a drive first thing in the morning to take a shower and use the facilities isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when I think of “$400 hotel room.”
Dave has a further breakdown of the bathroom and some thoughts on the small size of the hot water heater here: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2016/02/14/photo-tour-of-a-refurbed-cabin-at-disneys-fort-wilderness-resort-bath-and-back-bedroom/. Those that have stayed in a cabin with 4+ people are more than welcome to chime in with their thoughts in the comments section below. You can’t really find a Disney blogger that likes or is liked by more than two other Disney bloggers so it is not like we all get together and try out the morning bathroom situation ourselves.
Though I would also take this opportunity to point out that several, largely Nikon shooters, would fit comfortably in these little bunk beds.
The bedroom is on the small side and sleeps up to four guests on the queen bed and dual bunks. As Dave points out, the bed is up against the wall so the person on the left side either has to climb over their companion or try to exit off the front of the bed. It also means no elbow room on the wall-side.
Dave measured the beds as being 66 inches long by 39 inches wide, but would sleep someone shorter than that with the railings and pillow. Still, this would be far more comfortable than the short pull-down beds that Disney has been installing to sleep a fifth person in most Moderate and Deluxe rooms.
A look in the opposite direction where you’ll find a closet, more storage, and a small swivel-television.
Overall, the Cabins at Fort Wilderness Resort are certainly a unique option that those favoring a bit of privacy may want to consider over a Family Suite at Art of Animation, two rooms at a Value or Moderate, or perhaps even a Deluxe room elsewhere. They would certainly be more convenient with a vehicle and perhaps like any other room, those with fewer members in their party may have an easier time with the bathroom and sleeping situations.