If you are the parent of a toddler and looking to plan a fun family weekend with a rhythm right for your crew, we got you! A visit to Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground is a great idea for families of all ages but is an especially great choice for folks traveling with little ones. The cabins at Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground provide a beautiful vacation retreat in the woods of central Florida but close to the heart of the magic at Walt Disney World Resort. Let’s plan a toddler friendly trip to Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground!
Finding a Disney Resort that is right for your family is a big part of vacation planning. Budget, Park preferences, time spent at the Resort and must-have amenities are all details to consider when booking. For families with toddlers and small children, Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort provides a surprisingly simple but awesome family vacation option that entertains little ones without overwhelming them while providing some much-needed breathing room for parents.
Let’s start by talking about the cabins. The Wilderness Cabin setup at this Resort provides the much-needed extra space families require and can each sleep 6 Guests. A set of bunk beds, queen-sized bed in one room and a pullout bed in living space provides enough lodging space for larger families and valuable flex space for any family. Outside, Guests can enjoy a small porch and a picnic table next door to the cabin.
The private nature of each cabin is a dream come true for parents worried about crying babies or busy toddlers disturbing Guests next door in a typical hotel room. The outdoor space means that parents of napping little ones can take their conversation outside during nap time, so the fun does not have to stop. Bring along a baby monitor to keep tabs on your snoozing little ones and enjoy an outdoor happy hour in the Florida sun.
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Golf cart rental is available at Fort Wilderness Resort to make trips to Pioneer Hall, pools, and Tri-Circle-D Ranch a snap. Golf cart rental is around $80 per day and can be booked online prior to your arrival. In addition to the convenience of a golf cart, you’ll also have a built-in activity for your little ones. Each cabin and campsite has space decorated by families with signs, outdoor lights, and favorite Disney characters, so a campground tour via golf cart is enjoyable for the whole family. If you are visiting around holidays, you’ll see Halloween decor and Christmas lights that your little ones will love!
Even if you are not planning on cooking during your Disney vacation, the kitchen in your cabin comes in handy with little ones. Store snacks and easy-to-prep foods, like frozen pizza or sandwich fixings, to ensure no one in the family gets hangry. With a refrigerator, oven, stove, and microwave on the ready, you can bring your family’s favorite snacks or even popcorn for a Disney movie night in the cabin.
Disney dining is one of my favorite parts of a Disney vacation, and there is some great food to enjoy on Disney property. Fort Wilderness Resort has a quick service dining option that delivers on convenience, flavor, and value. Visit P&J’s Southern Takeout to buy individual entrées like burgers and sandwiches or shareable meals you can take back to the cabin to split with the family. Large pizzas, a fried chicken meal with sides, or a barbecued rack of ribs with all the fixings are just a few of the family-sized options you can snag at this spot. Buy a large pepperoni pizza for $19.99 and enjoy back in your cabin while you unwind from a busy day.
If you are looking for a table-service dining experience with your little ones, there is a great option right at Fort Wilderness Resort. Visit Trails End Restaurant to enjoy a bottomless breakfast of sausage, Mickey Waffles, pastries, bacon, breakfast casseroles, and more. The timing will be great for little ones who are freshest in the early morning, and you’ll get a table service dining experience for a cheaper price. Breakfast for adults is $22.99 each and $12.99 each for kids. If you are in need of any grocery basics, toiletries, snacks, or souvenirs, visit Meadow Trading Post at Fort Wilderness to stock up on all your needs.
Little ones often have short bursts of energy that make a Disney vacation fun, but a Park day in Animal Kingdom or Magic Kingdom Park, a tough activity. If your little one is not fond of waiting in attraction lines, but you want to enjoy the Disney magic, you are at the right resort!
Hop a ferry over to the Wilderness Lodge for a change of scenery, or head over to Magic Kingdom Park to ride the monorail line. Even if you don’t get off to explore other Disney Resorts like the Contemporary Resort and Grand Floridian Resort, you can enjoy views with your family from this air-conditioned highway in the sky as you circle Bay Lake. Even a detail as simple as Disney buses can provide a thrill for little ones as they enjoy identifying the Disney characters that decorate the exterior of Disney buses.
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Enjoying Disney transportation and exploring nearby Disney Resorts is completely free and a great way to see the Disney property with your little ones. Because this is a plan-as-you-go activity, you can easily bail and head back to your cabin for some downtime if your little ones are melting down. No need to stick it out in the name of an expensive theme park ticket or keep moving during the heat of the day when everyone is ready for a nap — head back to the cabin when you need to.
There are plenty of activities to enjoy back at your cabin too. Take a dip in one of the two pools at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Campground. Visit the Wilderness Swimming Pool for a quiet lap pool experience or the Meadow Swimming Pool to engage in family fun at the max level with a corkscrew waterslide and a small fort-themed splash pad, complete with small slides for the little ones.
Speaking of slides, the playground is a great place for little ones to run and play right at the Resort. There are playgrounds located near Clementine’s Beach and the Meadow Recreation Area. Be sure to bring sunscreen as these playgrounds get hot. If your little one is an animal lover, take the short walk to Tri-Circle-D Ranch to look at the barns and horses. Pony rides are available for $8 each for children under 80 lbs. and 48″ tall.
Meeting Disney characters is a great way to make memories with the family and snap special family photos. That said, the cost of a character dining experience or a theme park ticket to meet characters can be a lot of pressure to put on little ones. Fort Wilderness Resort actually has a free character experience with Chip & Dale. Toast marshmallows fireside with these adorable chipmunks and pose for a photo too. If your little ones love the characters, awesome! If they are afraid and would rather not hug these furry friends, no big deal — this character experience is totally free!
The nighttime fun continues with free views of fireworks and the electrical water parade. Guests of Fort Wilderness Resort and Disney’s Wilderness Lodge get a view of the fireworks beyond Bay Lake each evening. Watching the beautiful but brief electrical water parade is a perfectly paced activity for little ones with short attention spans. Happy trip planning!