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10 Amazing Things about Fort Wilderness Campground at Walt Disney World

750 acres of wildlife, pine and cypress trees with the beauty of nature that cannot be rivaled by any other setting, in my opinion, makes for a restful place to come “home” to at the end of a noisy, busy day in the Parks. Fort Wilderness offers the lowest price for accommodations on the Walt Disney World property. All you need is a tent and you can rent a space here for a low price. If you did not think you could ever afford a Walt Disney World vacation, consider the price of Fort Wilderness camping spaces and see if it will help you meet your vacation budget. You don’t need to have a tent of your own, you just need to know someone else who has one and ask to borrow it. Disney does have tents for rent at about $30.00 a night. Pick up a copy of FW Gazette when you check in at the Reception Outpost. This carries news of what is going on during your visit as well as useful maps of the property and information on all the transportation available at Fort Wilderness. Pioneer Hall was made from handcrafted logs shipped from Montana by the railroad to give that authentic look to the building. The Campground is a unique property and only a boat ride away from Magic Kingdom. Here are some of the reasons this is such a remarkable resort.

10. The resort is said to be 1 ½-miles long, ½ mile wide. There is an awful lot of things for you to do and see within this large resort. That could lead to a lot of walking depending on where you want to go and where you are coming from. There are golf carts for rent, as well as bicycles, but they are in a limited number. If you have any way to bring either of those with you it will save you a lot of extra walking. What other Disney resort has these options? (Ok, the Treehouse Villas do have the golf carts too.) Carts can be rented by the day or by the week. You can reserve a cart up to one year in advance.

9. There is security at the gate preventing anyone not registered as a guest from driving into the campsite areas. There are security locks on the Comfort Stations from Midnight to 6AM only opening to those who have guest status on their Magic Bands. The Cabins have safes inside and for campers there are safes available at Guest Relations. I like the extra work they do to prevent others from having direct access to the campsites and prohibit them from getting into the Comfort Stations at night. Don’t forget a flashlight or lantern so you can find those Comfort Stations at night!

8. A short boat ride away from Magic Kingdom-from the docks at the Campground you can take a boat to Magic Kingdom. If the boats are not running due to weather there will be additional buses available to take you to the Park. You can take the Monorail from Magic Kingdom to Epcot making that transportation pretty easy too. There are buses to the other parks. Within the Campground resort is a bus service to take you to the main bus stop, the store, the restaurants, and the docks. That means you are only a short boat ride away from the restaurants and amenities at Fort Wilderness Resort and the Contemporary Resort as well as Magic Kingdom. That puts a lot of Walt Disney World within your reach.

7. It has a Beach and Resort Pools- the Meadow Swimming Pool and the Wilderness Swimmin’ Pool are available to guests of this resort. You don’t want to miss your opportunity to slide down a 67-foot long slide with corkscrew turns splashing into the large feature pool. It is surrounded on one end by buildings you would expect on the American frontier. A kiddie pool is nearby, a whirlpool spa, and a water play area. The Wilderness Swimmin’ Pool is the quieter pool but it also has a whirlpool spa to get rid of the pain from your saddle soars or tired feet at the end of the day. You can enjoy the pristine beach, playing in the sand, but you cannot swim in Bay Lake. Hiking trails and Other Unique Activities-If you are looking for something different in the way of experiences at Walt Disney World, you will find it here! For any guest age 7 and above can take an Archery Class to learning to handle a compound bow. It is a 90-minute class that has the teaching session then target practice where the Archery instructor will give personal advice on your shooting. The class is limited to 10 guests but it is held several times a day. Reservations are recommended but if there is space available you may be able to walk up to the class. Meet at the Bike Barn. Speaking of the Bike Barn, that is one of the locations that you can rent a bicycle, adult or child size, as well as 2-, 4- or 6-person Surrey bikes to ride around the beautiful surroundings at Fort Wilderness. Perhaps you would like to explore the waterways in a canoe, kayak, sailboat or motorized boat, those are available too. Water skiing is available on Bay Lake at the edge of Fort Wilderness. You can fish off the docks near the Bike Barn and they even have rental fishing rods and bait. Remember though, all the fishing at Walt Disney World is catch and release. If you would like to go on a fishing excursion you can sign up for that at the Campground as well as 8 other locations at WDW. The fishing excursions are geared toward fishing for largemouth bass. Perhaps you would enjoy some other sports like Volleyball? Sand Volleyball court is located near the Meadows Recreation Area. The Campground has Jogging trails, Basketball Courts, two game arcades, a Playground and even a Wilderness Back Trail Adventure tour that takes guests at least 10 years old and up on a Segway tour of the beautiful grounds of the resort. Ready for a romantic tour of the grounds? Reserve a ride in the horse-drawn wagon! For kids of all ages Chip ‘n’ Dales Campfire Sing Along is a huge hit. Come sing songs and stay for the S’mores. Right after the Campfire Sing Along is Movies Under the Stars where you can settle in and watch a Disney movie outside, nightly, weather permitting. The beach is a good place from which to watch the Electrical Water Pageant on Bay Lake each evening around 9:45PM.

6. Tent or RV camping make it a perfect option for larger families who want to stay together. Each site is made for either a tent or there are sites suitable for smaller RV’s up to over 45-feet long. There are four types of sites available but they have an array of services for all types including landscaping to make it feel more private from its neighboring sites, water and sewer hookups, cable TV hookups, wireless high-speed internet, electric hookups, a picnic table, and a charcoal grill for you to cook out on. There are 123 Preferred Campsites nestled in woodsy settings that has a capacity of 10 adults. There are an additional 90 sites for Tents or Pop-Up Campers, also with woodland view and capacity of 10 adults. Both of the Tent sites have level pads for the tents to be placed on. The 156 Full Hook-Up Campsites with a view of the woods also has a capacity of 10 adults. That brings us to the top Premium Campsites of which there are 430 on property. Each campsite has parking for one motorized vehicle, any others will be parked at the front of the resort. Don’t worry about the restrooms and showers, they have hot and cold water and there are self-service laundry facilities available in the comfort stations scattered around the campground. Fort Wilderness Campground does have a limited number of sites that permit your pet to stay with you. It is the only Walt Disney World resort that offers this. When making your reservation make sure you mention that you are bringing your family pet. There is a Waggin’ Trails Dog Park where dogs can run without their leashes on. There are self-filling water stations located around the pet area to help keep your dog hydrated.

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5. Cabins-These convenient cabins brings the experience of the campground but in comfortable digs. Each Cabin has a living room, full bath, fully-equipped kitchen, a charcoal grill outside and a private patio. These cabins sleep up to 6 adults and it brings Disney housekeeping. If you leave dirty dishes on your way out to the parks in the morning, don’t worry, housekeeping will clean them for you. There are grocery supplies and charcoal for the grill at the Trading Post. The quiet beauty of the campground can be enjoyed from your comfortable cabin. You will sleep well in these rustic cabins of Fort Wilderness.

4. Tri-Circle-D-Ranch-is a very unique part of Fort Wilderness Campground. You can mosey over and check out the horses inside the stables and perhaps you will recognize some of these inhabitants. This is where the horses that pull the Main Street Trolley during the show in the Magic Kingdom. Cinderella’s ponies are here along with a collection of breeds such as Appaloosas, the big Clydesdales, Percherons, Arabians, Belgians, quarter horses and some Shetland ponies. You are not permitted to feed the horses anything because they are on a healthy diet already. The hands in the stables are friendly and welcome any questions you may have. Children at least 2 years old and under 80 pounds, no more than 48-inches tall and can hold onto the saddle on their own, can ride the small Shetland ponies. (Cash payment required for this.) For adults and children at least 9 years of age have a more exciting horse riding experience through the natural areas of the resort. Reservations are recommended for this 45-minute Trail Ride. Riders must be over 48-inches tall and weigh under 250 pounds and must wear closed-toe shoes in order to ride. If you exit Pioneer Hall in the evening, between the hours of 6PM to 8:30PM you may notice a horse drawn Wagon Ride departing. This is where you can take a 25-minute ride through the campground, first-come, first-served. You can even schedule a large group wagon ride for 30-35 guests! There are Carriage Rides that you can make reservations for, up to 180 days ahead for Disney resort guests. So if you are making a dining reservation at Fort Wilderness you may want to consider making one for the Horse Drawn Carriage to complete your evening. A Holiday Sleigh Ride version of this carriage ride is available during the month of December and it is extremely popular and you will want to make that reservation 180 days prior to your arrival.

3. Hiking trails and Other Unique Activities-If you are looking for something different in the way of experiences at Walt Disney World, you will find it here! For any guest age 7 and above can take an Archery Class to learning to handle a compound bow. It is a 90-minute class that has the teaching session then target practice where the Archery instructor will give personal advice on your shooting. The class is limited to 10 guests but it is held several times a day. Reservations are recommended but if there is space available you may be able to walk up to the class. Meet at the Bike Barn. Speaking of the Bike Barn, that is one of the locations that you can rent a bicycle, adult or child size, as well as 2-, 4- or 6-person Surrey bikes to ride around the beautiful surroundings at Fort Wilderness. Perhaps you would like to explore the waterways in a canoe, kayak, sailboat or motorized boat, those are available too. Water skiing is available on Bay Lake at the edge of Fort Wilderness. You can fish off the docks near the Bike Barn and they even have rental fishing rods and bait. Remember though, all the fishing at Walt Disney World is catch and release. If you would like to go on a fishing excursion you can sign up for that at the Campground as well as 8 other locations at WDW. The fishing excursions are geared toward fishing for largemouth bass. Perhaps you would enjoy some other sports like Volleyball? Sand Volleyball court is located near the Meadows Recreation Area. The Campground has Jogging trails, Basketball Courts, two game arcades, a Playground and even a Wilderness Back Trail Adventure tour that takes guests at least 10 years old and up on a Segway tour of the beautiful grounds of the resort. Ready for a romantic tour of the grounds? Reserve a ride in the horse-drawn wagon! For kids of all ages Chip ‘n’ Dales Campfire Sing Along is a huge hit. Come sing songs and stay for the S’mores. Right after the Campfire Sing Along is Movies Under the Stars where you can settle in and watch a Disney movie outside, nightly, weather permitting.

2. Great Restaurants-Let’s start with the casual dining available at the Trail’s End Restaurant. During breakfast and dinner hours the restaurant serves up a big buffet meal, and during lunchtime hours you can order a la carte. The design of the restaurant is based on frontier-type split log construction, beams stretching across the open ceiling, a little taxidermy, wagon wheels, wooden tables and chairs, make you feel like an explorer who discovered a quaint relaxing dining experience. I hope that you are hungry because they serve up all you can eat and it is tasty! If you need to grab some grub and want to take it back to your campsite or cabin you can do that at the Trail’s End too. This delicious down-home comfort food is well worth the journey to get there. It is a boat ride away from the Magic Kingdom. There is the Meadow Snack Bar adjacent to the Meadow Swimmin’ Pool. Choose from sandwiches, salads, ice cream, snacks, smoothies and alcoholic beverages. Crockett’s Tavern is located next door to Pioneer Hall where you walk up to the windows and order a beer, wine, or pizza, nachos, potato skins, and wings to satisfy your thirst and need for a snack. There are specialty cocktails in both alcoholic and non-alcoholic versions. Take a seat on the front porch and enjoy! Now we come to not one, but two Dinner Shows at the Fort Wilderness Campground. Let’s start with the Hoop-Dee-Doo-Review. This is a fast-paced, hilarious, musical stage show. Combine that with buckets full of fried chicken, smoked BBQ pork ribs, salad, baked beans, fresh-baked cornbread and for dessert, what else but Strawberry Shortcake? For guests 21 years or older there is unlimited draft beer, wine, or sangria (with proof of age). There are non-alcoholic sodas available. If you are celebrating something make sure you let them know and they will acknowledge it during the show. You can also request a special occasion cake, but that Strawberry shortcake is not to be missed. Mickey’s Backyard BBQ is the other dinner show. It takes place under an enormous picnic shelter so it won’t be ruined if it rains. Join Disney characters Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Goofy and Chip ‘n Dale. Join the characters in the country line dancing. You will have an opportunity to get photos with them during the evening. There is a live country western band that will keep your toes tappin’ as you get all the BBQ you wish to eat and then join in the fun on the dance floor. The menu includes smoked chicken, hamburgers, hot dogs, BBQ ribs, corn on the cob, macaroni and cheese, and more food item. Enjoy lemonade, fruit punch, soft drinks, and for those 21 and over they can choose complimentary beer and wine.

1. The other guests-I have found the campers at Fort Wilderness to be among the nicest people in the world. During Holidays many guests return each year and decorate their campsites making it a destination in itself to look at all the lights. During Halloween there is a Trick or Treat experience with the other campers that is quite fun as people dress up and really get into the spirit of Halloween. There are parades, pet costume contests, decoration contests, and more. Easter and 4th of July are great times to be there with special events that you cannot find anywhere else. Campers do go over the top in these special celebrations! There is just something special about campers that make the experience of camping so enjoyable. If you have never done it, try to fit this resort in your list of must-do resorts. If a tent makes you want to run, try the very comfortable Cabins.

About Cassie

Cassie L. I am a lifelong Disney fan. I attended Walt Disney World in 1971, and was there during the opening week of EPCOT, and have visited the Disney Parks for than 30 times. I have had the privilege of visiting Disneyland as a child, and then again with my children. My family recently moved from the northeastern United States to the Walt Disney World area. I now have cast members in my family and enjoy hearing the magical stories at the end of a shift. I love visiting all of the parks and getting to try more Disney food and being able to share it with you to help you plan your own magical day at Disney.