Changes are underway at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground, the first such major improvements since this area opened 37 years ago.
Among the plans are a dog park, scaled down water park, internet access and cable TV throughout the campground, larger pads for today's RV's and an upgraded electric cart system. Also being addressed is the problem with proliferating plant species which are not indigenous to the area.
While Fort Wilderness does have three Wi-Fi hot spots as well as access from the Cabins, the same is not true for the campsites. The planned addition of both cable and internet access is being widely praised by those who camp at this resort.
The Meadows pool area will see a major overhaul with the addition of a a splash zone and water slide. Disney's first water park, River Country, which has been closed, is adjacent to this area. While the plans do not include reopening that park, there is discussion to incorporate some of the more iconic elements of River Country into this new themed pool area. One such feature being looked at is River Country's water tower.
The expanded campsites which are being built are expected to rent from $66 to $116 a night, varying by season and will also feature grills and picnic tables.
Jean Gallagher, General Manager of Disney's Wilderness Lodge and Fort Wilderness stated "The fort is a treasure at Walt Disney World. There really is so much history with the success of Walt Disney World that stems back to Fort Wilderness. And because of the nature of this property, and the theming, we really haven't done a lot of changes. ... We have not made a lot of investment from a site perspective in the 37 years we've been open. So this opportunity to meet what our guests are asking for, and how the industry has changed, this is more than we could expect."
While the changes are being welcomed and are considered long overdue, Linda Profaizer, president and chief executive officer of the National Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds speculated that the campsite pad expansion may be happening at a time when the trend of oversize campers may be ending in response to current gas prices.
Disney's CEO Bob Iger previously commented "We have a big RV park in Orlando, and I would think that they would be hit the hardest, because it's pretty expensive to fill up a tank in one of those babies. Those parks have been completely full. And there's demand going forward from a bookings perspective."