Are you the kind of person who craves adventure, but doesn’t like to give up amenities? If so, a trip to Fort Wilderness may be the vacation for you! This awesome campground is a unique way to experience both Disney World and camping, and gives guests the opportunity to wind down in nature after long days in the parks. Of course, because Fort Wilderness is quite possibly the most unique of the Disney Resorts, there are some things you’ll want to know going in. This is true for everyone, and even if you’re a seasoned Disney pro, you’re likely to eventually discover some things you didn’t know when planning your Disney World camping adventure. For this reason, we’ve taken the time to provide you with a list of 8 important things to know before heading out on your camping excursion. These tips will help you plan, ensuring you have the very best Disney camping experience possible.
1. Know the Price Point
While Fort Wilderness is almost always the least expensive place to stay on Disney property, it is incredibly expensive when compared to typical campgrounds outside of Disney World. Still, because of the location and all the other awesome perks, Fort Wilderness is well worth the extra cost. In fact, we highly recommend staying here at least once in your life because it is such an awesome experience.
2. Different Types of Sites
Some people arrive at Fort Wilderness with nothing more than a tent to sleep in. Others come in with fully stocked RVs. No matter what kind of camper you are, there is a site for you in Disney’s campground. The least expensive (and thus smallest) sites are the tent and pop-up sites. These are only for those staying in tents or small pop-up campers, and bigger rigs will not be allowed. Don’t worry though! For just a bit more, those with large campers can stay in a larger site with a concrete pad and 30- and 50-amp electric hookups. Of course, there are also extra special sites for those who prefer to be closer to things as well.
3. Fort Wilderness Books Up
It’s important to note that despite the 788 sites found there, Fort Wilderness is often one of the first Disney Resorts to book up completely. This is especially true during the winter months when full-time RVing snowbirds flock to the warm weather and fun times. Therefore, you will want to book your site as soon as possible and hold on tight to that reservation. Above all else, never expect to drive up to Fort Wilderness and get a site without reserving one. That would be setting yourself up for disappointment for sure.
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4. Consider the Weather
Florida weather isn’t always ideal for camping. Summertime is incredibly hot and brings daily thunderstorms with it. Meanwhile, winter days tend to be warm and sunny, but the nights can get pretty chilly. For this reason, fall and early spring tend to be the best times to camp at Fort Wilderness, especially if you plan to stay in a tent. No matter when you plan your trip, be sure to keep an eye on the weather. Rain storms can strike unexpectedly, and this can leave you with a campsite full of soaked items if you aren’t prepared.
5. The Grounds are Enormous
As mentioned before, Fort Wilderness is home to 788 campsites. Clearly, this means the place is quite big. In fact, it’s so big that it has its own internal bus system. This is great for getting around, but can become frustrating because it does require some waiting to get anywhere. Because of this, many people choose to rent golf carts in order to get around the place. Other people use the opportunity to get in some exercise and ride bikes around the campground.
6. Only Approved Fire Pits
Disney takes fire safety very seriously, and this means they are very picky about the types of fire pits they allow. Therefore, if you plan to enjoy a campfire during your trip, you will want to be sure to get your hands on a Disney-approved fire pit or plan to make use of the communal fires that happen nightly. Rules for fire pits can be found here.
7. All the Usual Perks
Many people don’t realize that staying in Fort Wilderness doesn’t mean you have to give up all the perks of staying in a Disney Resort. In fact, Fort Wilderness guests get all the same awesome things that any other Disney Resort guest might receive. These include MagicBands, early FastPass reservations, access to the Disney Dining Plan, and more.
8. Tons of Extra Fun
Beside the usual perks, Fort Wilderness guests also have quick and easy access to tons of additional bonuses as well. These include such things as carriage rides, horseback riding, nightly campfires with character meet-and-greets, and a great beach from which the nightly fireworks can be viewed. Clearly, those staying at Fort Wilderness are getting an awesome deal, making that camping trip sound more tempting by the minute.