One awesome way to visit Disney World on a budget is to tent camp at Fort Wilderness Campground and RV Park, the official Disney World campground. Tent sites are cheaper than any other accommodation on Disney property (including the value resort locations), and up to 10 guests can stay on a single site, meaning you can invite the whole gang without spending a small fortune. On top of all that, you’re surrounded by fun and entertainment when in Fort Wilderness, meaning you can buy fewer park days and still have a blast.
Another way camping at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort saves you money on your Disney trip? It allows you to cook most of your meals at your campsite, meaning you won’t need to spend money on Disney dining. That said, if you plan on cooking during your Disney World vacation, you will want to go in prepared.
Lucky for you, you’ve come to the right place. Below, we’ve put together a list of our top food tips for tent camping in Disney World. Let’s get started!
Before leaving home for your Disney vacation, make a list of absolutely everything you will need to make meals for your trip. Include items for quick breakfasts, things you can pack for lunch, and foods you can cook on a grill or camp stove for dinners. Don’t forget filling snacks for in between meals.
On your way to your campsite, stop at the grocery store and stock up on what you need. Not driving to the campground? Schedule a grocery delivery instead.
…But Use Trading Post Groceries When Needed
Of course, even with plenty of meal planning and a well-put-together shopping list, it’s easy to miss a thing or two. Not to worry, the trading posts in Disney’s Fort Wilderness campground actually carry a number of basic grocery items. Yes, you will pay for the convenience, but when you’re only missing one item and you need that ingredient in order to cook your next meal, it’s totally worth the extra cost.
Always Put Your Food Away
For the most part, Fort Wilderness feels very much like any other Disney Resort. It’s tidy and clean, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t home to some wild animals.
No, you probably won’t see a bear roaming the campground, but raccoons, squirrels, and other small animals are everywhere in the resort, and they aren’t too shy to dig through your food and trash and take what they want.
For this reason, it’s important that you always put your food and trash away after every meal.
Carry a Grill or Stove
Obviously, you will need some way to cook while tent camping in Disney World. Many people assume that camping means cooking over an open flame. Unfortunately, this isn’t possible in Fort Wilderness because you need a very specific kind of fire pit in order to have a fire in Fort Wilderness. These pits wouldn’t lend themselves well to campfire cooking, meaning you must find another cooking solution when tent camping in Fort Wilderness.
Our suggestion? Carry a small grill and/or a camp stove to cook on. There are many things that can be cooked on a grill or camp stove.
Take Advantage of Free Ice
If you’re tent camping you probably won’t have access to a refrigerator. The obvious solution to this problem is to pack your cold foods and drinks into an ice chest.
That said, you have to work to make sure things stay cold in the ice chest by dumping the melted ice and replacing it at least once a day when in the Florida heat. Normally, this would be a gigantic pain in the neck because it would mean running to the store every day to buy a bag of ice.
Fortunately, Fort Wilderness simplifies things by providing free ice at the convenience stations throughout the campground. This saves you money and makes it easier to keep foods cold for the duration of your trip.
Related: 10 Disney Freebies You Should Take Advantage Of
Pack Snacks and Lunch Items
Most theme park locations don’t allow outside food or drinks. However, Walt Disney World Resort isn’t like most theme parks, and packing a snack and a lunch is totally allowed at any Disney park. Not only that, but we recommend it.
You see, while we love dining in Disney World Resort, the snacks and meals are not cheap there. Packing lunches will sometimes help you save quite a bit of money. It will also ensure you have food that your kids like. This is a lifesaver if you’re the parent of picky eaters.
Don’t Forget about P&J’s Southern Takeout
You’re on vacation. We don’t blame you if you don’t want to cook every dinner your family eats while in Disney World. For those nights when you’re too tired to even lift a pan, head to P&J’s Southern Takeout. This food spot is located in Fort Wilderness, making it super easy to get to from your campsite.
The food options include all kinds of southern comfort food, and some of the menu items are shareable family meals that are quite reasonably priced, making this a budget-friendly option as well as a lovely break from cooking.
Splurge at Trail’s End
Finally, we highly recommend splurging on a meal at Trail’s End Restaurant at least once during your Fort Wilderness stay. Meals at this Disney restaurant are served family-style and are absolutely delicious. In fact, many in-the-know Disney Guests actually ride over to Fort Wilderness from Magic Kingdom just to dine at Trail’s End! For this reason, we definitely recommend making a dining reservation for this meal.
Make use of these tips and you’ll dine like a king while saving a significant amount of money on your Disney World vacation. Why not book your campsite today? Once that’s done, you can make a list of the food supplies you need, so you are well prepared to have a magical camping trip.