Official: Walt Disney World Resort To Be Overhauled, Opened in 1971

in Walt Disney World

Aerial view of a large lake surrounded by various buildings, roads, and green areas, with Disney World prominently positioned near the center. The landscape features scattered patches of forests and other smaller water bodies.

Credit: @bioreconstruct

Significant changes are afoot at Walt Disney World, and fans should be aware that a complete overhaul is coming to one resort area.

Statue of walt disney holding hands with mickey mouse in front of cinderella castle at disney world, with a clear blue sky background.
Credit: Disney

With a flurry of construction activity buzzing around Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort, the signs of change are unmistakable, and a complete overhaul is planned for the 53-year-old resort. Over the past month and a half, a staggering 32 permits have been filed for various construction projects, ranging from labor and electrical work to full-scale renovations.

This flurry of activity comes hot on the heels of Disney’s announcement in April 2023, signaling the replacement and refreshment of the beloved Fort Wilderness cabins to create the next Disney Vacation Club (DVC) property.

“Introducing a new Disney Vacation Club Resort that is under construction and projected to open July 1, 2024, 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. And create cherished family memories, nestled in the magic of nature. As a Disney Vacation Club Member, you can save on future Disney accommodations—including The Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort—as you enjoy vacations, near and far, year after year.”

Concept art for the Cabins at Fort Wilderness Resort
Credit: Disney

The centerpiece of this ambitious project is the construction of over 350 new cabins, each meticulously designed to offer a modern yet nostalgic retreat for Disney Vacation Club Members and guests. Set within a forest oasis of cypress and pine, these cabins promise to blend seamlessly into the natural surroundings while providing all the comforts and conveniences one would expect from a Disney resort.

Drawing inspiration from the resort’s rich heritage and unique culture, the new cabins will pay homage to the spirit of Fort Wilderness while introducing fresh design elements and amenities. Each standalone cabin will accommodate up to six adults, featuring a bedroom, bathroom, living room, full kitchen, and private patio. For Disney World guests traveling with furry companions, a select number of cabins will be dog-friendly, ensuring that every member of the family can join in on the adventure.

Aerial view of a luxurious estate featuring large houses with swimming pools, a tennis court, and surrounding ponds, nestled among lush greenery at Disney World's Fort Wilderness Lodge.
Credit: Disney

Behind the scenes, a team of local businesses is hard at work bringing Disney’s vision to life. From construction to fabrication, these small businesses are playing a crucial role in shaping the future of Fort Wilderness, showcasing the power of collaboration and innovation in the face of a monumental undertaking.

One such business is JCQ Services, whose owner, Juan Quiroga, embodies the spirit of perseverance and determination that defines the Disney ethos.

“Starting my business with my mom and overcoming my fear of heights on that first job taught me that to succeed, sometimes you have to face your fears head on,” said Juan. “It’s so exciting to be part of this venture and see how it’s bringing together the expertise of local businesses like ours to create something truly exceptional for Disney.”  

Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort
Credit: Disney

But, the transformation of Fort Wilderness extends beyond the construction of new cabins. With rumors swirling about the potential erection of a new building, speculation is rife about the direction in which the resort is headed. Will it embrace the innovative spirit of the new cabins, or will it succumb to the lure of bland uniformity?

While there is a lot of excitement surrounding the new project, there are other Disney World guests who say that Disney “ruined the entire aesthetic” when they began making changes to the resort, which have been ongoing for several years.

As the countdown to the grand unveiling of the new cabins begins, excitement is reaching fever pitch among many Disney Vacation Club Members and guests alike. No one can deny that there are significant changes on the horizon with the Disney Resort. With reservations now open for the phased opening starting on July 1, anticipation is building for what promises to be a landmark moment in the history of Walt Disney World Resort.

What do you think of the massive overhaul coming to the Walt Disney World Resort? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments!

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