My DVC Points
My DVC Points
5 Reasons Not to Buy DVC Fort Wilderness Cabins

My affection for Disney Vacation Club runs deep, but I have reservations about jumping on board with the cabins at Fort Wilderness. In a heartfelt yet analytical chat, I'll be unwrapping the layers of my hesitation, sharing how the nitty-gritty of resale restrictions on newer DVC properties gives me pause. I can't help but voice my concerns over what seems like a fairy tale wrapped in a moderate-resort disguise, complete with the looming shadow of hefty dues and the dread of hurricane-induced wear and tear. Join me as I balance the scales of financial wisdom with the sentimental allure of Disney's timeless retreat, all while maintaining the utmost respect for those who hold the campground close to their hearts.

Season 11 of the My DVC Points Podcast was brought to you by:

DVC Resale Market – Industry Leader in DVC Resales

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Foremost, I intentionally named this show My DVC Points as a grassroots member-to-member-based community and podcast.  We want to know what everyday members think, how they use their points and their real-life experiences.  Yes, we have sponsors.  Excellent sponsors that do a great job serving our members.  I believe that, and I’ll always promote their services in a fashion that serves you.  The heartbeat of our community is authentic member discussions about a company and timeshare product that we all love.  DVC members are the absolute most loyal and committed people in the Disney community.  We own the magic.  Welcome home isn’t just a marketing slogan.  It sincerely represents what we think of our vacation homes.  

Usually, I try to take a neutral position as host and interviewer and do my best to present other member’s stories.  I say this because today’s episode is all about my opinion and is pretty strong.  If you have bought the Fort Wilderness Cabins, I invite you to the show to share your perspective.  We all love hearing others share their passion and the magic they find in DVC Resort.  I genuinely believe there is something in DVC for everyone.  One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.  If you treasure the resort and want to share your opinions, drop me a note at My DVC Points at gmail com.

That being said, here are the top 5  reasons why I’m NOT buying Fort Wilderness Cabins.

#1 – DVC Restrictions.  When you’re done with this membership.  Life happens.  Death.  Divorce.  Disability or contrary to all the money Disney spends marketing the lie, you’ll never outgrow vacations.  50% of DVC owners are selling their property within 8-10 years.  People sell for a variety of reasons.  Statistically speaking, you’re going to be a seller at some point.  The current DVC Restrictions limit your buyers to ONLY staying at the Fort Wilderness Cabins.

We have children.  They grow in size.  You will eventually need more space—an awkwardly configured one-bedroom cabin with bunk beds in the master bedroom.  However, over time, I’ve learned my kids grew in size.  They want to bring friends to Disney.  Then, they want to bring boyfriends and girlfriends to Disney.  Then finances.  Then spouses.  Then, the super awesome fun part I’m looking forward to in about 10 years is bringing grandchildren to Disney.  My point is that my needs as an owner have changed.  Whoever buys my resale contract will also have changing needs.  Disney has limited my resale buyer market to ONLY people who want to stay in cabins.

I don’t mind the resale restrictions at Disneyland Hotel. They don’t have room for more resorts, and they probably won’t ever get another timeshare license from the city of Anaheim. Even if they do, my resale buyer will have duo studios, studios, 1 BR, 2BR, and Grand Villas at their disposal. And that resort is going to be surrounded by a theme park.

#2—Limited room choices. There is only one booking category: awkwardly configured one-bedroom cabins. Owners may revolt down the road and get something similar to the “near hospitality house,” but there’s only one booking category at the time of sale.

#2B—the limited room choices mean fewer options are available at 11-months. If I own here, I get one single choice for 11 months.

#2C – the limited room choices will be incredible for waitlisting if I ever want to stay in a cabin.  You will have over 300 cabins available in a single booking category.  This is our most extensive inventory number for a single booking category.  Jambo has four views.  Kidandi has two.  Bay Lake Tower has three categories.  If you want to waitlist a studio at Grand Flo, you have five different studio choices; however, there is one waitlist.  300+ cabins mean 300+ chances for your room to become available upon cancellation.  Why buy when the statistics and waitlist process facilitates using other points to book here?

#3 – DVC has not been forthcoming about the Palmetto Trust.  Their only official commentary is that it would allow more flexibility in the future with how members book vacations.  We don’t know if this is a good thing or a bad thing.  We don’t know if this is a trust because they sell mobile homes and not permanent structures inside a timeshare.  We don’t know, and they’re not being forthright about what this means.  Unless I have clarity and fully understand the product, I cannot commit myself to a $35,000 purchase of your product as an intelligent and educated consumer.

The Palmetto Trust could include more resorts in the future by redefining and expanding home resort priority.  However, we don’t know that.  And if I buy into the cabins and pay the insanely high dues here, I don’t want somebody buying the next tower with cheap dues to share my home resort booking priority.  DVC must be forthright about its plans so consumers can make educated decisions.  However, the timeshare industry, as a whole, doesn’t want informed and educated decisions.  In my opinion, this is a serious red flag that DVC is taking the Palmetto Trust and another sign that DVC is no longer innovating, being the one beacon of hope of excellence in a timeshare. Still, it appears they’re following the industry at this point.  We don’t know.  We don’t have enough details.  I'm out until they lay out all the cards on the table.  I think you should strongly consider this point as well.

#4 – The dues are insanely high, and this resort has the most expensive maintenance features.  I project that this will always be among the highest dues in DVC.  What drives up dues?

  • Individual buildings cost more to cool, paint, and maintain than towers. Currently, Villas at the Grand Floridian and Bay Lake Tower are some of the cheapest dues in DVC. That’s partly because they’re big, huge apartments like towers. Rooms are stacked on top of each other to share heating and cooling expenses.
  • Labor and transportation costs are higher due to the spread-out nature of the 300+ buildings. In tower configurations, the rooms are all immediately next to each other, making it more time-efficient for mousekeeping to travel between rooms. It’s cheaper to haul the towel cart down the hallways and up and down the elevator than to haul their supplies around the campground. No matter how you slice it, owners must pay mousekeeping travel time between buildings and cover the expense of hauling supplies from building to building.
  • Low point cost per night drives up dues. Grand Floridian and Bay Lake Tower are cheaper dues because the cost to maintain the resort is spread across significantly more points sold.  Cost per point is a simple division problem—the annual budget for the resort is divided by the number of points created.  Over time, the costly nature of individual units will be further amplified by the lower number of points sold to owners.  My predictions of cost per point for long-term ownership are very bleak.
  • The history of Hurricanes at Walt Disney World hasn’t been so kind to the campground.  As coastal resorts, Hilton Head and Vero Beach hurricane assessments drive up their dues.  In 2022, Hurricane Ian closed down Fort Wilderness Campground and did noticeable damage.  Disney paid for repairs.  If you own the campgrounds, this expense will fall upon you as the owner.  A trailer park turned into a timeshare in a hurricane zone isn’t something I want to own.  Disney evacuated all the individual free-standing units during the last hurricane – no treehouses, Copper Creek cabins, bungalows, and 300+ Fort Wilderness Cabins were evacuated.  This is a legitimate concern.
  • Transportation expenses include bus rides to the parks, three internal buses, and numerous boats transporting people across Baylake. The resorts' spread-out nature requires three internal buses operating continuously during business hours, and boats are expensive.
  • On the positive side, owners do not have to maintain individual washers and dryers per unit. However, that diminishes the resort's desirability.

#5 You’re buying a trailer—a mobile home converted to a timeshare. Bay Lake Tower and Polynesian Tower are cement buildings with giant pylons driven into the ground for foundations. The cabins are wheeled in trailers. If lucky, some metal strapping holds their frames to the ground. However, history hasn’t been kind to the Fort Wilderness Cabins during hurricanes.

#6 The incentives at this resort were not impressive. When Grand Floridian went on a final blowout sale, getting points in the mid-$160s per point with magical beginnings as possible. Villas at Disneyland Tower were under $180 with incentives and magical beginnings. Now you’re at $200 a point with opening day member incentives—$33k for 150 points. The incentives offer minimal incentives given historical prices.

Why Own Here? The Fort Wilderness Cabins have strong emotional ties with your family. People love the cabins. DVC can be an emotional decision. Welcome Home is an incredible tagline. If you’ve looked at all the math, the changes, and the unknowns, and you’re in, more power to you. If you’re a brand new member, head over to You can use my referral link and save $500 off your purchase price.  

There is a small glimmer of hope that Palmetto Trust will add value; however, you can’t assume so.  Assume the worst until Disney confirms it in writing or a sales presentation.

There are two extraordinary times at the campground surrounding Christmas and Halloween. It’s challenging to book a cabin during those times. I believe there’s a lighted golf cart parade that is insanely popular. My advice: If you’re buying Fort Wilderness Cabins, consider buying a fixed week for one of those weeks. I’m told that in about ¾ or ⅗ years, your fixed week will line up with the popular events. When you sell your membership, the fixed week element will increase your membership's resale value and desirability.

My DVC Points is an awesome community of DVC members. Our positive, respectful, and authentic conversations about Disney Vacation Club are designed to help people make informed and educated decisions about what's best for their families. Please join us to continue our Facebook Group and YouTube channel conversations.

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