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Disney’s Fort Wilderness -- DizneyMike’s World

Looking for something to do on the day you arrive or the day that you are leaving? Or if you and the kids just need a break from the parks?

Well, a fun thing to do is to take Disney transportation, or your car, over to Disney's Fort Wilderness. It's a fantastic way to spend a couple of hours; and it free!

Fort Wilderness

Fort Wilderness

The “Outpost” is where the parking lot is and where the Disney buses will drop you off. It's also where you will find the Fort Wilderness Kennel and the Tri-Circle-D Ranch " Trail Rides.

From the “Outpost” you will take a Disney bus to the “Settlement”. It's a short bus ride that travels on roads with campsites on either side. Every time I take that bus ride all the people I see seem to be having lots of fun camping out. I've never done it but it sure looks like a really fun thing to do.

Fort Wilderness

Fort Wilderness

Fort Wilderness

Fort Wilderness

Once the bus arrives at the “Settlement” you are free to roam the property. I suggest you take the short walk over to the Tri-Circle-D Farm. Here is where all the horses used to pull Cinderella's coach and the trolley's on Main Street are kept and cared for.

Fort Wilderness

Fort Wilderness

Fort Wilderness

Fort Wilderness

Fort Wilderness

Fort Wilderness

Fort Wilderness

The kids can even have a pony ride (for a price).

Fort Wilderness

If you are lucky you could see the blacksmith in action or Cast Members washing and grooming some of the horses. This is an actual working farm so it's pretty neat to see it in action.

Anyway, from the ranch head over by Pioneer Hall. That's where they have the Hoop Dee Doo Review every night. Also there's a very good restaurant there called Trails End. It's an all you can eat buffet. The fried chicken there is finger lickin good!! The Settlement Trading Post is where campers can purchase food and souvenirs.

Fort Wilderness

Fort Wilderness

Fort Wilderness

Fort Wilderness


Fort Wilderness Landing is where you can rent boats or take a boat over to the Magic Kingdom, Disney's Contemporary Resort or Disney's Wilderness Lodge Resort. In a future blog I'll take about things you can do if you decide to head over to one of these hotels.

Fort Wilderness

Fort Wilderness

Fort Wilderness


My recommendation is if you have some time head over to Fort Wilderness. You won't be disappointed!

I hope this blog helped you as you plan your next trip to Walt Disney World.

Well, that's all for now. As my good friend says “see ya real soon”….DizneyMike

Mike Bachand (aka DizneyMike) is a long time Disney Enthusiasts. Over the years Mike and family made numerous trips down to WDW from their home in Massachusetts. Now Mike and his wife live year round in the Orlando area. He is a Florida Annual Passholder who visits WDW on an average of once a week. Besides his love for WDW, Mike has a large collection of Disney books, figurines and ornaments and is a former Disney Cast Member working as a Concierge at the Contemporary Resort.

The previous post in this blog was Magic Kingdom Updates - DizneyMike's World.

The next post in this blog is Animal Kingdom Lodge Concierge Part 1.

Comments (14)

Eric Bouchet:

This May 2009 will be my families 4th visit to Fort Wilderness and our 6th visit to Walt Disney World since October 2004. I had never been to WDW until 2004 and have become addicted. Just wanted to say that we absolutely LOVE Fort Wilderness. We have a Pop-up camper and the place is absolutely perfect for us. It is a HUGE money saver for families on a budget. Now don't get me wrong...the first 2 times we visited WDW we stayed at the Pop Century resort and enjoyed every minute of it...But, as our family spends almost every waking hour in the parks I would rather pay the $43-$63(depending on season) a night than the $82-$100 at the hotels. Even though there is something to be said about coming "HOME" to a clean room and not having to make a trip to the bathhouse at midnight. Also families with pets(such as ours) can keep your loved ones at the campsite with you for only an additional fee of $5 per night instead of the now $18 per pet per night at the kennels. The boats leading to the Magic Kingdom are also very nice. I have a daughter who is 3 and my son is 1 and they both enjoy the Boat "Ride" as they see these as just another Awesome attraction at WDW. All in all we have come to truly cherish our time in WDW and will probably continue to stay at the Fort Wilderness Resort for many trips to come.

Christian Balog:

Ft. Wilderness also has bike and canoe rentals, located at the "Bike Barn" behind the "Meadow Traking Post". My fiance and I went there on an "off day" from the parks in August; mainly because I have many fond memories of Ft. Wilderness from when I was younger. We had an excellent time just riding the bikes and canoeing around the campground.

Michele Artist:

My family was in WDW for Christmas 2008. On our last official night we had reservations to eat at the Trails End. We live in NY and have a 32 foot 5th wheel camper. We wanted to check out the facilities for a possible future trip with our camper. My husband was very impressed with the sites and the ease of getting into a sight. I am thinking the next summer trip we make we might be staying at Ft. Wilderness. Oh, by the way, yes the food was excellent at Trails End and the service was great, too.

Amy:

I absolutely L-O-V-E Fort Wilderness. I am about to make my 17th trip to WDW in July. Most of the times we stayed in Fort Wilderness. I have stayed in everything from tents to RVs and it is a huge money saver. especially considering that you can have more people stay on one site than you can in one hotel room (we had 9 at our site last time!) and there is so much extra stuff to do, but we spend most of the days in the parks. however, after spending a day at a water park, the best thing to do is to grab some marshmallows and go sit around the campfire and sing songs and watch a movie! also, usually on the day we arrive we don't go into the parks but we love sitting on the beach and watching the electric water parade and thinking about the fun we will have the next day at magic kingdom, which is just across the lake (we always do magic kingdom first because it seems to hold all the disney magic!!) the boat ride to the magic kingdom is awesome. although i'm 24 years old, i still get ants in my pants waiting till magic kingdom comes into view. its the best!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ahhhh i'm sooooo excited i can't waaaiiiitttt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Manic minnie:

I have stayed at FW several times throughout my life. I have both camped there in a tent and also stayed in a Wilderness Home (awesome.) I simply love it. The beach is beautiful and it's wonderful to be able to wake up in the morning and take a boat ride over to the MK. The campground is filled with native plants, small animals, and birds, which just leaves you actually feeling relaxed at the end of your Disney vacation.

Camperz5:

Our family ADORES Fort Wilderness! We have made 14 trips to WDW from our home in Wisconsin over the last 16 years, and half of the trips have been in our trailer at Fort Wilderness. The hookups are top notch, the sites clean and beautiful and the facilities are great. You get all of the Disney Magic ( and THEN some) at a great price, which in turn allows us to take a longer trip than we normally would if staying at a resort. We have stayed at Value, Moderate and Deluxe and enjoyed them all, but Fort Wilderness feels like home! Don't miss the EWP on the beach and the view of the MK fireworks. The evening campfire with Chip & Dale with a movie is also a must. WE LOVE FORT WILDERNESS and plan to come back in September.....CAN'T WAIT!!!!! See ya soon Partner!

Amy:

I have camped with my family quite often at Fort Wilderness, it is a wonderful place to stay. If you are visiting WDW near a holiday or during a holiday season, you have an even better reason to take some time to explore Fort Wilderness! Many of those staying in RVs there take the time to decorate extensively for Halloween and even more for Christmas - it's definitely worth visiting for an afternoon. I'd suggest arriving in the afternoon to explore the Settlement and beach area, having dinner at Trails End, and then taking an after-dinner stroll around the campground once the sun has set, to enjoy the decorations.

The bus system at Fort Wilderness can seem complicated, but it's really not. All the buses will get you from the Outpost to the Settlement - they just all take different routes through the property to get there. It only matters which bus you take if you are actually staying at Fort Wilderness and need to get to a particular camping or cabin loop.

Kathleen Palmer:

How much I love Fort Wilderness. I have been to the other resorts but I have been to Ft. Wilderness 8 times. We have pulled our own 30 ft. travel trailer. This year I actually thought we would try something different and I booked a vacation package that included the Grand Floridian Beach Resort. I have actually decided to cancel and book a campsite because I just love the atmosphere of Ft. Wilderness and the relaxing environment it has. Believe me the whole Disney experience itself is wonderful but add my next favorite thing to it (camping) and I am in heaven!

Diana S.:

We'll be staying at FW cabins for our upcoming trip to WDW this June 2009... we simply can't wait! It looks very family friendly, and although the swimming pools do not look as fancy as some of the other resorts, I think it will be just fine!
I love the full kitchen in the cabins... this will save us a ton of money to make breakfast and lunch in our room!!!

And we'' be doing the HDDR our arrival night... I've read great reviews and can't wait to taste that fried chicken (oh, lets not forget all you can drink sangria and beer with the dinner... got to have something for us grownups too! LOL)

Leslie :

We have stayed at Fort Wilderness several times. We have also stayed at the Animal Kingdom Lodge and prefer to stay at Ft. Wilderness hands-down. It is ideal for families and provides endless entertainment. We LOVE the fact that the pool is open 24 hours, it means we can close the parks down and then my husband can take our sons there to wind down before turning in. We love that our kids can play outside, ride their bikes, play on the beach. We love the free movie and Chip and Dale meet and greet! We love to watch the electric parade and fireworks display from the beach and we LOVE LOVE LOVE the boat service directly to the front doors of the Magic Kingdom!! Disney can be overstimulating at times, we find it awesome to come back to the campgrounds and be able to wind down and take a deep breath and not have to worry about bothering our neighbors to the left or right. Also, the money we save by spending only $55 a night can be spent at the Princess breakfast and O'Hana and other fun Disney hot-spots!!

Ron J:

We stayed at Ft Wilderness over labor day weekend from a few days before to a day after.

This trip was a mixed bag. It was one of the first times we used our pop up camper, and it was definitely the first time we used it in the rain.

Overall, the campground itself is nice. It has its issues: It's hard to back in. It's sandy and muddy. No Grass. It got really gross to walk around. I resorted to wearing crocks so I could wash the sand off my feet and sandles.

If we had a premium site with full concrete pad, and better grass surround the site, this would have been a non-issue. But that would have cost more than double probably.

The good:
Our loop location: We stayed in the 1500 loop near the pool for partial hookup campers. This gave us electric and water. Our rate averaged to less than forty per day for the partial hookup with a discount. (No discount for labor day weekend friday and saturday.)
The bad thing about this location was that they had burned out some vegetation or something previously, and it was kind of gross in there. We could not help but track sand and mud everywhere.

It was so humid that our A/C created a constant pool of water on top of the camper. This then proceeded to find a way to drip into the camper.

Also, it was a lot of work to set up our site. It was difficult to back in and we had to work around the trees.

But that's also the good part. Once we were set up, we really liked the setup.

Here's a few tips: If you plan on cooking dinner, bring good lighting or cook inside the camper. But I wouldn't plan on cooking dinner. We had every intention of cooking for ourselves, and it just didn't happen. We were away at the parks too often.

The pool was awesome!! The service and wait at the snack bar and the trail's end buffet carry out were HORRIBLE.

The comfort stations were too small sometimes. There are only about 4 showers. It's not always available. Also, the washing machine didn't work in the spin cycle one time, and it took 4 hours and $12 to dry one load of laundry. Because of the lack of hotel towels, we got a lot of towels dirty throughout our week stay, and needed to use the washing machines.

So, I get the feeling that the people who have nicer campers will rave about their experience, and the people who stayed in tents or cheap/old popups in the partial hookup loops will have some issues that they deal with.

If you want to camp, this is a great campground, and I don't think you'd want to seek out an alternate campground off site.
If you're comparing camping with staying in a hotel, then it's really an apples and oranges comparison. The differences will be determined by your own camper/motor home setup and which hotel you are comparing.

The Gallaghers:

WE love Fort Wilderness..we have been to Disney over 25 times...and most of the times we stay in a cabin ...my sister comes down in her motor home and my daug and son in law bring down their trailer....so it a big family reunion...which is funny in itself because we all live within 5 miles of each other in New Jersey...you just cant beat sitting on the porch in a rocking chair having a drink...we rent golf carts...we make sure we have a day or two in our plans for just Fort Wilderness...and now we come down with our grandchildren.... many wonderful memories for all of us...

Tom C:

We too are from Massachusetts and are planning to take our camper down to Fort Wilderness next August. My question to you is where to find information on how to plan for the ride down to Disney. Where would be a good place to stop and rest for the night? We are traveling with a 6 and 8 year old so would prefer overnights at camp sites but would consider wal marts or crackerbarrels if known . We are judging the first leg to take us somewhere around Baltimore and the second around Savannah. Curious what you would suggest.

Thanks,

Tom C

DizneyMike Replies: Tom, I will send you an email with some specific travel information....Mike

Patrick Meyer:

We have been going to Fort Wilderness for many years now. Our last visit was a few weeks ago. The weather was perfect. We tried something different this year. Instead of staying in the log cabins we tried myrvhotel. Was a lot cheaper. They have upgraded their pool with a huge slide, great for the kids and adults too. There is so much to do. We took the ferry over to the manarail and went for a ride, kids loved it. Fort wilderness is so much better than a staying in a hotel and cheaper too. Love Disney.
Patrick

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on February 19, 2009 5:00 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Magic Kingdom Updates - DizneyMike's World.

The next post in this blog is Animal Kingdom Lodge Concierge Part 1.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.