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Behind-the-Scenes of Disney’s New Fort Wilderness Cabins 

Javier Soto

by , Communications Manager

Orlando small business owner Juan Quiroga’s first job was cleaning windows off the edge of a skyscraper. His latest job? Helping build more than 350 new cabins coming this summer to Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort for Disney Vacation Club Members and guests.

“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, who runs JCQ Services. “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.”   

The new cabins will begin opening this summer, providing Disney Vacation Club Members and guests at Fort Wilderness with more ways to relax and celebrate the natural beauty that has made this resort so special since opening in 1971. In the meantime, the project team is already hard at work making the cabins just a few miles down the road from Walt Disney World

An Inside Look at New Disney Cabins Construction

In a discreet warehouse in Orlando, Florida, the new Fort Wilderness cabins – designed by Walt Disney Imagineering and Disney World’s Facility Asset Management team – are coming to life. 

Building each cabin is an intricate process that combines many different talents and disciplines. Since each cabin is a standalone unit, this project is not your ordinary hotel room renovation. 

“We worked to develop a pre-fabrication strategy to allow construction of the components of each cabin off-site in Central Florida. This approach assures minimal construction disruption at Fort Wilderness and assures a high level of quality in the construction of each of the new cabins,” said Dean Huspen, Executive Architect with Walt Disney Imagineering. Once delivered, these pieces will be assembled to bring this innovative design to life at the cabin sites.

If you have stayed in one of the resort’s cabins before, you will find some of the same great elements you love. Like today, the new cabins will sleep six guests and include a private patio, bedroom and spacious living room. The cabins will also be dog-friendly for your pups!

New bonus features include a stove in the kitchen, larger, floor-to-ceiling windows to allow more Florida sunshine and gorgeous views of the forest oasis and artwork that pays tribute to the history of Fort Wilderness (look out for nods to the former River Country water park!). 

A Unique Collaboration

The cabin construction is happening through a unique process developed in collaboration with a pair of local Florida small businesses, JCQ Services and Friedrich Watkins Company. Both employ 150 people and are among 8,500 small businesses that The Walt Disney Company employs throughout the country (including over 2,500 in Florida alone).

The innovative construction process for the Fort Wilderness cabins is being approached with sustainability in mind. Jeff Friedrich, owner of Friedrich Watkins Company, says the technique they are using limits metal waste to less than 1%, which can be recycled for other uses.

“By using a cutting-edge machine that reads plans designed by Walt Disney Imagineering, we’ve created customized metal studs to save time and minimize waste,” Jeff said.

With work full steam ahead just months from the first cabins opening, this project is in addition to all the turbocharged growth on the horizon for Disney Experiences around the world.

Check out the recent economic impact report on Disney in Florida to learn more about the company’s impact across the state with projects like this one.

How to Reserve Your Stay at Fort Wilderness

So, who else is ready to book a stay at the new cabins? Reservations are now available! Don’t forget, the new cabins will open in phases beginning July 1 – just in time to start celebrating the 50th anniversary of the resort’s beloved Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue. If you’re interested in learning more about becoming a Disney Vacation Club Member at The Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort, you can learn more at DisneyVacationClub.com

Comments

  • meh, sustainability can look rustic and woodsy and fun can’t it? Looks like a prefab uninspiring home. I expect way more from Disney and the Imagineers. Everything is turning so sterile and mundane looking. I get no feel for the outdoors and rugged outdoorsy feel at all.

  • Why was a washer/dryer not included?