Top Pros & Cons for Staying at Fort Wilderness at Walt Disney World

Fort Wilderness
Credit: Disney

My first ever Disney memories were at Fort Wilderness. Growing up, this beautiful, unique resort was my family’s home away from home. There are just so many things to do and explore at Fort Wilderness. It may be the perfect choice for some people, but there are some cons to staying here too. Here are some top pros and cons for staying at Fort Wilderness at Walt Disney World.


1. Amazing Views

One of the perks of Fort Wilderness being so in the middle of nowhere (sort of) is that the views guests can enjoy are incredible. From campsites hidden in the midst of towering pine trees, to pathways along the serene lake, Fort Wilderness provides views like no other. Guests can watch the sunrise early in the morning and the Electrical Water Pageant on the lagoon in the nighttime. There’s always something to experience. Make sure to keep your eyes peeled for some of the animal inhabitants of Fort Wilderness, like deer, horses, armadillos – I even saw peacocks when I was little!

2. Great Dining Experiences

Even though Fort Wilderness is an outdoor resort, it still has some super fun dining experiences. For any time of day fare, there’s The Chuck Wagon and P & J’s Southern Takeout. If you’re looking for a meal to keep you full for a week, check out Trail’s End. This old western-style buffet is a hearty one, with décor that will make you feel like you’re in the deep south for sure. But the most popular restaurant at Fort Wilderness has to be Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue. This dinner show extravaganza is an absolute blast for the whole family. The show is hosted by the Pioneer Hall Players, who entertain through song and skits, while guests enjoy an all you can eat feast of ribs, mac and cheese, strawberry shortcake and more!

3. Outdoor Activities

Being in the great outdoors, there are about a million activities to choose from! Here are all of them listed. Ready? Okay: pools, Fort Wilderness Archery Experience, Tri-Circle-D Ranch (pony, wagon and carriage rides), holiday sleigh rides, Chip and Dale’s Campfire Sing-A-Long, fishing, motorized boat, bike, canoe, and kayak rentals, basketball courts, jogging trails, volleyball, playgrounds, Davy Crockett’s and Daniel Boone’s Wilderness Arcades (admittedly not outdoors), Wilderness Back Trail Adventure (a Segway tour), and horse-drawn carriage rides. You will never be bored at Fort Wilderness. But even if those activities aren’t your thing, this resort is the perfect place to just wander and enjoy the scenery.


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4. Boat Transportation

Water transportation is a free service offered by Disney to make guests’ visit more convenient and enjoyable. It works. This service runs daily to and from the Magic Kingdom, Wilderness Lodge, and the Contemporary Resort. This is a fantastic asset to Fort Wilderness. The marina is right by the center of the resort, near Trail’s End, which makes it super easy to get to. The water service is generally less busy than the monorail or buses, so the end of your park day is much less stressful. Plus, the boat ride is peaceful and beautiful!

5. Less Expensive

A major perk of Fort Wilderness is it is significantly less expensive to stay here if you want. When staying on a campsite, there are certain levels that determine where your site will be in relation to the center of the resort. The least expensive sites, for tent camping, come in at just $55 a night! The prices go up for RV sites. But even still, you won’t see prices like that in the regular resorts.

6. The Cabins

These are some of the not inexpensive options at Fort Wilderness. But they are lovely. The Cabins are a perfect marriage of outdoor living and luxurious charm. Guests still get the benefits of being remote and secluded in the beautiful forest, while staying in a fully stocked house with indoor plumbing. To me they almost feel like miniature Wilderness Lodges.


1. Remote

For some a pro, for others a con. There’s a certain romance to Fort Wilderness. It’s smack dab in the middle of the forest – well, Disney’s version. It’s away from the hustle and bustle of the parks and feels less crazy than a resort on, say, the monorail loop. The downside to this is that it takes longer and it’s more involved to get anywhere on property. There are two transportation options at Fort Wilderness: bus and boat. The boat will get you to Magic Kingdom relatively quickly, but everywhere else you’ll have to budget in some extra time.

2. Less Luxurious

Let’s face it: camping is not the most luxurious of activities. Some people swear by it, but I don’t think anyone has every compared Fort Wilderness to the Grand Floridian. Basically, if you and your party are looking for a day spa resort stay, Fort Wilderness isn’t the place. There are plenty of relaxing, wonderful aspects of this resort, though! If you stay in the Cabins, it’ll be pretty luxurious. Or if you have a really nice RV!

About Molly Elias

Molly Elias has been a dedicated Disney fan since she was 18-months old. She has grown up with and learned from Disney her whole life. As her family's main vacation spot, Disney World is a place of love and laughter and magic for her. Her family also prides themselves on their Disney Cruise Line knowledge and would rather be on the high seas with Mickey than anywhere else in the world. Molly plans to keep Disney in her life forever, while also pursuing a writing career. She recently completed a master's program in creative writing in the hopes that someday she will be able to be a writer for the Happiest Company on Earth. Molly keeps Walt's famous quote at the forefront of her life: "Around here, however, we don't look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we're curious...and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths."