Do you think COVID-19 will increase demand for Fort Wilderness?

Tallis

Mouseketeer
Joined
Apr 1, 2019
I wonder if more people considering RV purchases now, rather than staying in hotel rooms? It may impact camping in lots of places, like here in Florida where some state parks must be reserved 11 months in advance.

Then again, it may not even occur to people if RV'ing/camping has never been on their radar before.

Fort reservations are so hard to get now, does anyone think it will get worse because of this virus? My opinion keeps swinging back and forth, so was curious what others think.
 

Stork

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jul 14, 2019
I wonder if more people considering RV purchases now, rather than staying in hotel rooms? It may impact camping in lots of places, like here in Florida where some state parks must be reserved 11 months in advance.

Then again, it may not even occur to people if RV'ing/camping has never been on their radar before.

Fort reservations are so hard to get now, does anyone think it will get worse because of this virus? My opinion keeps swinging back and forth, so was curious what others think.
I agree. Not being WDW specific here but focused on locals in FL, perhaps the fear of used and abused hotel rooms by people who are not in your family tree may nudge some to invest in a capable RV and join us in the campsite lottery game. That said, I don't see our largest population segment, the many FL seniors, making the leap from hotel with all their services and amenities to become, at best, Glampers.

On a similar vein, I learned a long time ago as an airline pilot on layover in Anchorage just how prolific viruses are on cruise ships. The designated crew hotel was filled with inside passage cruise visitors who were too ill to see the sights of AK or even go out for a meal. That definitely soured me on the idea of taking hot wifey on a romantic cruise somewhere just to test our "out of network" health insurance. I suspect that DCL will experience some notable downturn in business by concerned parents/travelers/revelers.

All of the above contestants are potential new competitors in the hunt for coveted campsites. As a side note, WDW reservation booking system for the Fort really Sucks (with a capital S). That doesn't help matters at all. I want a system that lets me see availability of a campsite tier over weeks or months at a time instead of picking a day and asking for "X" number of days in a row, only to have to reduce the number of nights requested...or change the start date...or both. And still not be able to find the days/nights you want. I bet I've used up two lifetimes over the years desperately seeking reservation satisfaction. To quote a popular rock group, "I can't get NO..."
 


rdaky

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 12, 2014
I don't know. It will be interesting to see. We upgraded our TT in early March having no idea that everything was about to shut down. We have now already canceled about 3 weeks worth of travels and haven't been able to use it at all other than some driveway camping.

RVs aren't cheap. I don't think they're on a lot of people's radars and I can't imagine the demand going way up. Most of our friends who are hoping for some sort of late Summer vacation are planning on staying in hotels or rental homes and taking lots of Lysol. I think you have to enjoy camping and the lifestyle in order to invest in an RV more than just having the desire to avoid germs hotels. We LOVE that we can have everything already packed in our TT and we know that it's clean, but I think that really is a bonus.

We had two weeks reserved at the Fort in June and they're now canceled. We aren't even considering staying there again until next year and instead we will find plenty of other less expensive places that we can equally enjoy.
 
  • StitchesGr8Fan

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 17, 2009
    Tent camping? Maybe. RVing? Only with people who already own. With the economy the way it is, RV sales are going to be down for a while. That is a luxury purchase that a lot of people can’t afford right now. Those that can afford it probably already have one and are just trading in for a different model.
     

    Sjm9911

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 11, 2019
    I think it will be the opposite. I thi k many have the means to get a smaller TT and hit the open road. I also think that many of those will be for sale next year. Up here there were people in NYC that rented units to get out of the city. They blogged about it and got blasted for not staying at home. I figure there were a lot more that didnt blog about it. Only time will tell.
     

    Tallis

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 1, 2019
    Up here there were people in NYC that rented units to get out of the city.
    That's exactly what got me thinking about it. There are quite a few people down here from NY, living in their RVs that were recent purchases at the start of this virus. Florida eventually started blocking NY residents but not before a bunch of them relocated.

    And I want to agree to the sentiment that Disney's website sucks! Always has, always will.
     

    rideswithchrist

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 7, 2014
    I don't think so. For the majority of normal resort goers, they trust Disney to make clean the room. Housekeeping is a big deal and all. I think they will bring their own lysol and refuse housekeeping until the end of the trip, but I don't think they will buy a camper and stay at the Fort to avoid germs. Some of them, maybe, but not the majority.

    I DO think there will be an increase in road trips and sight seeing overall, so maybe there will be more RV'ers that are spending their vacation money on other places than the Fort.

    And yes, the reservation system sucks.
     
  • rajak73

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 1, 2002
    I don't think so. For the majority of normal resort goers, they trust Disney to make clean the room. Housekeeping is a big deal and all. I think they will bring their own lysol and refuse housekeeping until the end of the trip, but I don't think they will buy a camper and stay at the Fort to avoid germs. Some of them, maybe, but not the majority.
    Some of them think all campers are germ carriers and below them anyway.
     

    Stratman50th

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Nov 17, 2019
    We didn't specifically buy our coach just to use it at the Fort, or specifically buy it to avoid germs. That being said, we will never stay in another hotel again. This has nothing to do with COVID. My wife started talking that way as soon as we got it. She said that she only has to put up with our COOTIES now, not everyone else's.
    It's really nice to come back to your own home after a day of activities regardless as to where you are staying.
    As for others, I think that people who have RVs now, or plan to get something in the near future already have it in their mind to do so. Some people don' even think about it as a possibility.
     

    rdaky

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 12, 2014
    Some of them think all campers are germ carriers and below them anyway.
    This is true. We have friends who think that every RV is either a pop up camper or an RV with carpet from 1960 that smells like skunk. They picture cousin Eddie in a trailer lot with boarded up windows and have no idea that our TT cost more than our minivan. And they think it's odd that this is how we travel when we could easily afford to stay in a nice hotel instead. So again, I just don't see people moving to RVs just to avoid germs in hotels.

    According to the local dealer where we purchased our upgraded one at the beginning of March, interest in purchasing is way down. I'm expecting to see some amazing deals just to move them off of the lot.
     

    Sjm9911

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 11, 2019
    This is true. We have friends who think that every RV is either a pop up camper or an RV with carpet from 1960 that smells like skunk. They picture cousin Eddie in a trailer lot with boarded up windows and have no idea that our TT cost more than our minivan. And they think it's odd that this is how we travel when we could easily afford to stay in a nice hotel instead. So again, I just don't see people moving to RVs just to avoid germs in hotels.

    According to the local dealer where we purchased our upgraded one at the beginning of March, interest in purchasing is way down. I'm expecting to see some amazing deals just to move them9 off of the lot.
    I will try not to be offended that i owned a pup. Lol. A bet half of us will.......:oops:
     
  • tiggerdad

    I don't always get distracted but whe...SQUIRREL!
    Joined
    Jul 8, 2009
    This is true. We have friends who think that every RV is either a pop up camper or an RV with carpet from 1960 that smells like skunk. They picture cousin Eddie in a trailer lot with boarded up windows and have no idea that our TT cost more than our minivan. And they think it's odd that this is how we travel when we could easily afford to stay in a nice hotel instead. So again, I just don't see people moving to RVs just to avoid germs in hotels.

    According to the local dealer where we purchased our upgraded one at the beginning of March, interest in purchasing is way down. I'm expecting to see some amazing deals just to move them off of the lot.
    More spots for us.
    :thumbsup2
     

    Sjm9911

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 11, 2019
    Im hering the opposite from people saying that this was a banner month for campers. On my pop up fourm. Lol. So it could be area driven also. So if you are in say , NY area thats hard hit, you might be thinking of getting one and go camping . Since 1 your not working , or remote working, and stuck in a 2 bedroom apartment. They also extended lock down in NY till mid August. We will see what happens if pools and beaches dont reopen. At least in NJ , beaches will open. Some towns are limiting parking to locals only. This will cause problems. Only way to know is to wait and see i guess.
     

    sirenia88

    You are a Toy car!
    Joined
    May 25, 2004
    This is true. We have friends who think that every RV is either a pop up camper or an RV with carpet from 1960 that smells like skunk. They picture cousin Eddie in a trailer lot with boarded up windows and have no idea that our TT cost more than our minivan. And they think it's odd that this is how we travel when we could easily afford to stay in a nice hotel instead. So again, I just don't see people moving to RVs just to avoid germs in hotels.
    The solution to this problem is to make new friends...preferably at the Fort. Plus the Fort is not the only campground in the world. Find some local places or go to some of the other destinations mentioned in here. Even if we cannot get to the fort every year due to logistics or time off, we always find other places to go. We have our regular spots but we also travel to at least 2 or 3 new places in a year especially with the new trailer, I have no issues with doing that. Last year we had 8 trips in 7 months which is a bunch for us. This year we would have kicked off our camping season in April which would have been a first since most of our trips start in May and end in October. We were going to be April to November. That is huge for us. We had at least 8 if not more trips plus new places to go. Now it's looking like may be a 2 week long trip to some place that might be a little more out of the way and easy to get to. Who knows.

    If you haven't figured out yet. Who cares what your friends may think about camping. I bet their opinion would be radically changed if they walked into some 300K Class A diesel pusher or some large 5'er. I betcha all of a sudden they would be into glamping too. I jokingly say my home away from home is bigger than home in more ways than one.
     

    Brett Wyman

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 30, 2018
    We literally just bought a popup to avoid COVID era hotel germs and to social distance for the next couple of years until this shakes out. Will we stop going to resorts? Probably not. But like any thing COIVD related is all about the reduction of possible exposure. So we will replace some resort trips to various areas with camping trips. I think most buying their first camper are doing it more for social distancing than to avoid germs in the hotel room itself. It's the entire package. Having your own bed and sheets, your own bathroom, your own kitchen.


    Rentals are up 650%!!! So I thinks this adds to the "people are trying to social distance with RVs" thought more than the trying to escape hotel germs one.
     

    mowog

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 3, 2004
    I think any increase in demand will be countered by the crazy price increases. It seems the Disney solution to too much demand is to just increase prices. For us WDW is just not as much fun as it used to be. As a "well off" but not "have more money than I know what to do with" family, we are evaluating the value of WDW vacations. I'm sorry the it has come to this, and I really don't know how an average family can afford to visit WDW and it's resorts. We have an RV and staying at the Fort cost than Winter in the Keys. Thats just the site, not passes or restaurants. When things open back up demand will be high, but this discussion is about a "want" and not a true "need".
     

    BarbLynnM

    ICMongeese
    Joined
    May 28, 2018
    I think that while virus fears will encourage some to camp at the Fort, it looks like it might be for only those who have larger RV's--not so much pop-up or tent campers.

    We have a mini-camper (T@g), and while it's a gem, it doesn't have a self-contained bathroom. Unfortunately for us, campgrounds (we usually do KOA as that's the company we're most familiar with) no campground, state or private, that we've looked at for our trip from northern Mi to Orlando has open restrooms yet, and I'm not 100% convinced that the Fort will be any different.
     





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