Fort Wilderness Refurbisments/River Country Info

#1

I wanted to share some information that I got yesterday. DH and I attended a big RV show in Tampa yesterday. We have attended this show in past years and, as always, there were representatives there from FW. There is one gentleman that we have met on several occasions who regularly attends things like this and he has helped us out on property many times.

I stopped to say hello and he filled me in on some refurbishment plans for the next 2 years. I consider him a very reliable source.

So, he told me that they have already begun refurbishing the sights. They had before and after pics up showing the difference. They will be getting made wider and longer. FW execs realize that the trend in RVing is that RV’s are getting larger.

Take us for instance, we are around 70 feet long total with truck and trailer. Of course, we are an exception. Most folks don’t haul their RV’s with semi, although it is a growing trend.

All of the loops in the center of the resort will be getting refurbished. This includes loops 400, 500, 600, 700, 800, 900, 1000, 1100, 1200, 1300, 1400, 2000, and 2100.

They are also redoing a lot of the greenery and adding new plants.

The best part, IMHO, is that next January they will begin a pool rehab. They will add a water slide and give it more of a water park feel. He expected that the pool refurb would take approximately until next April.

I am pretty excited about all of this. As this is our favorite resort, I am happy to hear about any improvements.

Now, RIVER COUNTRY. I asked him what would come of this sad, forgotten space. He told me that is will most like be torn down. Most of the rumors we have heard about it are not true, like bacteria issues and such. It closed because of cost issues. It was expensive to run and operate and it was not generating enough revenue once BB an TL opened.

When the other 2 parks opened, RC just couldn’t compete. As of now it would cost something like $12 million to refurbish and they would need something like 15,000 people to come through the gates every day to make it worth operating and they just don’t see that happening.
He didn’t have any specifics as to when that might happen, but sadly is will most likely never be re-opened.

So that’s the scoop. I hope someone finds some of this of interest. I just felt like sharing.

#2

WOW… thanks for that scoop. I have never stayed there, but do enjoy visiting when I am at WDW.

#3

You are very welcome. In Sept., when we go next, we are not staying at FW this time, but we plan on driving around to see some of the updates. I will take some pics when we do.

#4

Do a lot of people RV here? How much do they charge to park?

#5

I don’t know how many people RV from this forum, but Fort Wilderness is almost always full. It is a beautiful RV resort. One of the nicest we’ve ever stayed in, and we have stayed in hundreds of parks all over the country.

The rates are least expensive on property. I think it is at $49 per night right now for the value season and somewhere around $90 per night for peak.

It is definitely a value if you own an RV and want to stay on property.

#6

Thanks for that information! We have stayed in the cabins twice, and my two boys and I tent camped there this past June. My husband bet us we couldn’t handle it, so of course- we did!

That’s great news about the pool. FW is so wonderful, and that was really the only thing I thought was lacking. We don’t RV, but maybe one day…

#7

You are welcome. I hope you enjoyed your tenting experience. The cabins are very nice, but pricey. However, it is a good way to fit several people in one place.

#8

I 've never stayed in a RV but this March will be our 3rd annual Cub Scout campout. Usually we stay in tents in Creekside Meadows but this year we will stay two tents to plot on a loop closer to the main area.
I agree that the pool needs some work.

#9

Group camping sounds like it could be fun, although I don’t know if I would want to be responsible for that many boys.

You won’t see the pool rehab until next year.

#10

Hmm…since they are probably not gonna open River Country again…I wonder what they will do with that space.

#11

We RVed at Fort Wilderness once-twice a year from 1983-1994 so I consider that my first REAL “Disney home.” It’s VERY near & dear to me, I STILL know the resort like the back of my hand. :tongue: Although, in all the 11 years I was going there, there never seemed to be any significant changes, at all! So, it’s GREAT to hear that there is going to be a sizeable refurb, especially of the pool which was honestly always kinda lack luster & boring.

I am still disheartened about the River Country thing. It’s been sitting there for SOOO long! Disney has the $ & power to DO SOMETHING with that valuable land. I hate to see ANYTHING sitting there rotting on Disney property that long, come on now… GET AN IMAGINEER ON THAT PROJECT!!!

Thank for the info :smile:

#12

I totally agree. It is so sad to pass by there in the boat every time we go to Mk and see it just sitting there. I would love to see that land used for something useful. The old Discovery Island is still sitting there abandoned as well. When AK opened they moved all the animals and now the island just sits there.

Discovery Island - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Get on the ball people.

#13

you said they are going to make it more water parkish. Do you know besides the slide what other changes they will be making. I completly agree that the updates are needed. The pool certainly lacks,just like wishy said, and is boring. I have been tenting there about 10 yrs. ago and feel in love with it. The best campground I have ever been to. But, with that said, they do need to give it a face lift. I believe I would think about camping again if there were some changes. For my family, we absolutly love pools. So, we would certainly considering going back. I guess I have become spoiled with the resorts and left camping for awhile.

#14

He didn’t give details. That was all he said. I am very excited about the pool though, whatever they do will be an improvement.

#15

As you posted yourself, the economics of operating three water parks just doesn’t work in the near to middle future. Needing 15,000 turnstile clicks every day in addition to 30,000 clicks in the other two parks is a lot of people going swimming and not to parks every day. I’d like to see Studios and AK fleshed out fuller before they tackle resurrecting River Country. I’d also like to see some more thrills added into MK and Epcot first. In short, more rides in the parks are my priority. River Country, at this point, is probably going to be the same as starting again from the ground up.
I don’t even know what they could do with Discovery Island. Well, yes I do. There are already pirate cruises. Perhaps Discovery Island could be turned into some sort of Pirate Island with activities themed that way.

#16

Now THAT idea I like! :eek: That would be a great use for the island.

It’s so sad that River Country is still just sitting there and will probably never be re-opened. :sad: Someday it will become something new and exciting, though, someday…

#17

Great idea Soundgod. I would love to see them take the success of Pirates and do something major with it. That sounds like an intriguing idea. Whatever they do I just hate to see the property sitting there being neglected.

#18

Let’s hope for someday.

#19

Thanks for that info! DH and I went to the one in Memphis,TN

#20

I think it’s great that FW is getting an upgrade and a pool refurbishment.

As for River Country - I’m glad it’s being torn down. We thought that place was just downright dangerous. We had a terrifying experience when my daughter got caught in an “eddy” in the lake. My dh and I had a terrible time getting to her and all three of us felt like we could have drown. Nope - no regrets that RC is gone for good.