« Mid-Month Mousy Mindboggler - March 2014 | Main | The Imagineers - Doing It Right! »

No RV? No Problem! Fort Wilderness Rentals

Gary Cruise banner

If you have read some of my previous blogs, you know how much Carol and I enjoy staying at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground in our motor home. It's our favourite Disney resort. As you were reading, did you ever think, “That sounds like fun! I'd sure like to give it a try, but I don't own a camper.”

Don't give up on the idea! If you really like the prospect of camping at Walt Disney World, why not rent a camper and try it out before you pay out the money to buy your own RV? There are quite a few companies who rent campers . . . and they make it very easy for you. They deliver the unit to Fort Wilderness and set it up; once you arrive all you have to do is move in!

If you do an internet search using “Walt Disney World camper rental” you will find a number of rental options, including all different shapes and sizes of trailers. There's a solution for every family!

Carol's 84 year-old parents, John and Sybil, have listened to our tales of Fort Wilderness for several years and just last month they were able to experience first hand what we had been describing. We decided almost a year ago to take them along on a trip with us and set them up in a rented trailer at a camp site near ours. Once the decision was made, Carol got to work analyzing all the options. She did an online search, narrowed the list of rental companies down to a short-list of about a half-dozen companies who had pet-friendly units and started looking at dates and specific trailers.

She was able to find a very roomy 5th Wheel Trailer quite quickly through a small, family owned-business and before you could say “It was all started by a mouse” she had the two camp sites reserved and the trailer booked for a two-week stay. Carol used our reliable travel agency, Mouse Fan Travel, to book the camp site and worked closely with Rod, the owner of the camper rental company, to ensure that we ended up in side-by-side sites at the campground. We had given Disney agents our permission to share our information with Rod so he was able to text us the campsite numbers Disney had assigned before we arrived. They were exactly where we had hoped to be so we gave him the go-ahead to set up before we pulled in.

Florida_Welcome_Sign

We arrived on Valentine's Day and there was John and Sybil's little Shangri-La, fully equipped and ready for occupancy. It had been delivered to the campground that morning, set up on the site and all the utilities were connected. The patio mat was in place in front, four lawn chairs had been arranged on the mat, the electric golf cart (included in our rental package) was fully charged and ready to go! How easy was that?

The_Trailer

Here's a YouTube video showing a typical trailer being set up!

Naturally we added a few little touches of our own, a Mickey Mouse lamp post and some Mickey rope lights " then it was perfect!

Now_it's_perfect

The trailer was wonderful; a 35-foot-long, 5th wheel model with three slide-out rooms, two in the living area and one in the upstairs bedroom. John, Sybil and our son Rob were very comfortable and had plenty of elbow room.

When they entered the RV, the kitchen, dining area and living room were on their left and the bathroom and bedroom were up a few steps to the right. The unit was fully equipped with dishes, pots, pans, utensils, toaster and coffee maker. Even the coffee filters were included " nothing was overlooked.

All the linens were supplied; the bed was made and the towels were hung when we arrived. It could not have been simpler; the only thing we had to do was pull out the hide-a-bed couch at the end of the day " that's where Rob slept.

The_Living_Room

The living room had a couch, two very comfortable recliner chairs and a large entertainment centre with television, stereo and DVD player.

The_Living_Room

The kitchen contained a large refrigerator, microwave oven, three burner gas range, double sink, toaster, coffee maker and all the pots, pans, utensils and cleaning products you need. All we had to add were some groceries!

The_Kitchen

Opposite the kitchen was the dining area, a table and four chairs, which also doubled as Sybil's computer desk!

The_Dining_Area

Up a few steps from the living area, behind a solid privacy door, was the three-piece bathroom. There was a full adult-sized shower, a porcelain toilet and a sink and vanity.

The_Vanity

Past the bathroom was the bedroom which offered a very comfortable queen sized bed, plenty of closet space and loads of drawers for storage.

The_Bedroom

Before long John, Sybil and Rob were all settled in their new home and it was time for them to discover what makes a Fort Wilderness vacation so much different than staying at any other Disney resort.

It is very difficult to explain how comfortable a Fort Wilderness vacation is . . . it's probably due to the distinct absence of any “hustle and bustle”. No one there is in a hurry, everyone is laid back.

People stroll at Fort Wilderness; they ride bicycles; they take nature walks and they walk their dogs. Total strangers will say hello as they walk past, often they will stop and chat. It's like stepping back 50 years in time to those good old days when we smiled at our neighbours and they smiled back.

The campground is filled with wildlife; there are thousands of squirrels but there's so much more than that to see. The folks in the camp site next to us were from Maine and they spent a great deal of time sitting out in lawn chairs behind their RV. Every day they spotted deer and wild turkeys as they waited to see that hard-to-spot pileated woodpecker we often heard rapping in a nearby tree. As I sat reading under the awning of our RV I often heard, and occasionally saw, the cardinals which were nesting in the palmetto bush just a few feet away.

Don't get me wrong, it's not like being away out in the wild, not by a long shot. There are plenty of activities for all ages at the campground . . . but it's also very easy to just "mellow out" there.

Waiting_for_the_boat

What a treat to wake up in the morning hearing the boat whistles in the background! The boat ride to the Magic Kingdom is a wonderfully scenic way to start your day. And every night you can hear both Wishes and Illuminations " you can even see them through the trees from some camp sites! The Fort Wilderness beach is a terrific spot to watch the Wishes fireworks show as the starbursts reflect off the waters of Bay Lake. The sound track is piped in, so you don't miss a thing! Then at 9:45 every night the Electric Water Pageant sails by.

Even our dogs love Fort Wilderness Resort; they looked forward to their golf cart rides to the off-leash dog park!

Trip_to_the_dog_park

There are so many things we love about Fort Wilderness; I've barely scratched the surface.

Was our rental experience perfect? The 5th wheel trailer was very nice but we did have a little plumbing issue. A call to the company brought an immediate resolution. Rod was there in no time; the issue was fixed and all was working again in just a few hours. He was very easy to work with and very responsive whenever we called or texted him, before our arrival and after. We were really impressed with the service and definitely recommend the company to others.

You might be wondering how John and Sybil enjoyed their stay. We quickly settled into a routine " after breakfast at our individual campers we all hopped in the car and headed to one of the theme parks for a few hours. Lunch was sometimes a quick counter-service meal as we left the park to head home for the afternoon; other times we had sandwiches at the campground. Everyone relaxed for the afternoon. Some of us went to the pool, some to the off-leash dog park, some napped or sat in the sun reading. Ahhh! Nice! Most evenings we returned to one of the parks for dinner and a few more attractions. We had plenty of fun with no “hustle and bustle.”

On the trip home John said, “That was worth every penny we spent. We had a wonderful time!”
Would they do it again? Oh yeah - in a heartbeat.

So if you think you would like to give Disney camping a try, why don't you get busy with that search, rent a camper, book a camp site and make it happen!

The previous post in this blog was Mid-Month Mousy Mindboggler - March 2014.

The next post in this blog is The Imagineers - Doing It Right!.

Comments (42)

LindaBabe:

Oh, you make it sound SO appealing! Much better than the way we used to do it - in a tent.

Kelley Groh:

Hi!

We will be there in 45 days but who is counting! Fort Wilderness is our home away from home. We have tried and loved some of the other on Disney hotels, but always go back to the Fort! One day will try a rental but for now -tent camping here we come!

Ben:

How does this compare to staying in a cabin cost-wise? How competitive are rates between RV rental agencies?

[Gary adds: Hi Ben, the cost depends on the sort of camper you need. You pay the regular campsite fees, the same as any other camper, plus whatever you negotiate with the rental company. Most companies have their rates available online.]

Marla and David Marlow:

Where did you purchase the Mickey Mouse lamppost? We are going in May with our fifth wheel - our maiden voyage at camping and at Ft. Wilderness. You made it sound very appealing. We will be there for 10 days with our five year old granddaughter.

Beautiful collies/ Shelties?

[Gary adds: You cannot buy the Mickey Mouse lamp post, you have to make them. I've e-mailed a link to online instructions. The four dogs are all Shelties and as you can see, they love Fort Wilderness too! Enjoy your upcoming trip.]

Jillian:

Gary, so nice to see you back! I always enjoy your blogs so much.

Michael de armas:

I was just wondering what the name of the camper rental company is? Sounds like a great company to rent from! Thanks for the article.

[Hi Mike, check your e-mail.

Gary]

Judy :

Loved your blog! We have great memories of Fort Wilderness with our five children and their friends! Now we are DVC members but I would love to have the name of the rental company and the costs! And also, when did they start allowing pets in the campground! I love it! Judy

[Gary adds: Check your e-mail for the name of the rental company. Costs vary based on the size of the RV you need. As for pets, they've been allowed in "pet friendly" loops since we started camping there in 2006.]

Leanne:

My husband and I have been considering renting a camper and taking the dogs with us. Tell us more about having the dogs at Disney! And what was the name of the company you rented from?

[Gary adds: The dogs will love it there . . . at least ours do! There are "pet friendly" loops of campsites and there are "non-pet" loops. At least half the loops are pet friendly; be sure to book the right category. There are lots of dog-walk areas and a very nice off-leash park. I wrote a blog on the subject a while ago, you can find it here: http://land.allears.net/blogs/guestblog/2012/02/disney_fun_with_your_pets.html Have fun!]

Lisa:

Love your blog wondering who you rented the RV from, would love to give them our business!!

[Gary adds: Check your e-mail for the name.]

Pam Hanson:

I, too, would love to know the name of the rental company. Also,were the dogs kenneled up during the day or allowed to be free in the trailer? We have 2 under 10# and would love to bring them along. We have a Prius, so pulling a camper is not an option, so this sounds perfect for our November trip.

[Gary adds: Check your e-mail for the company name. Our dogs stay in the motor home while we're at the parks. Dogs are allowed to be left alone in trailers, but not in tents. If you prefer a kennel, Best Friends has a new kennel less than a mile away.]

Jaime Hughes:

This is an awesome idea I hadn't thought about! Where did you go through for the rental? I'm trying to figure out the best option for my son's first trip & this might be perfect!

[Gary adds: Great idea Jamie, check your e-mail.]

Ruthie g:

We always wanted to camp but with a small car it not really possible. Can you provide the camper company info?

[Gary adds: Ruthie, check your e-mail.]

Tracy:

What a fantastic idea! My kids would love this. (And the decorating would be a blast.) Is there room for a small car and an RV at the camp sites? And I'd love the name of the camper company too.

[Gary adds: Yes, the kids will love it!
There are three levels of campsites, premium, preferred, full-hookup. Check the specifics here:
http://allears.net/acc/faq_fw.htm

There is always room for a camper and a small car.

Check your e-mail for the company name.]

Michelle:

Excellent blog, Gary! I haven't stayed at Fort Wilderness in many years, but you have me convinced that I need to go back!! Could you please email me the name of the RV rental company? Thank you!

[Gary adds: Thanks Michelle. Check your e-mail.]

Lisa Nordstrom:

Hi Gary,
My husband and I have been thinking about doing travel with an RV. Could you please email me the name of the company you and Carol used? We have dogs. This may be a silly question, but isn't it hot leaving them in an RV during the day?
Lisa

[Gary adds: Hi Lisa, most of the trailers are air conditioned, so the dogs are nice and cool. Check your e-mail for the company name.]

Robert:

Wow! We just went to an RV show because we think this would be great for us; never realized we could actually try it out this way. I'd love the name of the company you used, as we also want to bring our dogs along. Thanks!

[Gary adds: Robert, I have sent an e-mail. Enjoy your trip!]

Dana Gould:

My husband and I are looking forward to being able to go to Fort Wilderness when we retire (not many years away now) and I think a practice run with a rental would be really fun. I know you have been swamped with requests but could you send me the name of the company too? I have thought about this before but you never know about the companies and you had such a good experience.

Thanks! I love to read your blogs!

Dana

[Hi Dana, check your in-box! You're going to love your practice run!]

John:

Hi Gary,
Loved this article! Can you please e-mail me the name of the company you used? We had our first stay at the Fort a few weeks back, but had an issue with our RV. Plan to go this route next time. Thanks, John

[Hi John, e-mail should be in your in-basket.]

Jane:

This was a great article, that's the way to "camp"!

I have only stayed at Ft. Wilderness once, way back when, in those old Fleetwood trailers they used to have before they built the little cabins. This looks much better - would you please email me the name of the rental company too? Many thanks!

[Gary adds: Hi Jane - e-mail is on the way!]

Stacy Hines:

Hi Gary!

Thank you so much for your blog! It had never dawned on me to look at rv rentals in the Orlando area! My husband and I just took our daughter to Walt Disney World last year for the first time! My parents invited us to go along with them and stay at Fort Wilderness in their motorhome! We had a blast! I would love to know the company that you rented the camper from! Since we do not own our own camper or motor home and borrowing from my parents is not an option, I'd be interested in seeing what their rates are!

Also, I saw that you had e-mailed the directions for the Mickey lamp posts! If possible would you be willing to share that as well! My parents travel to Disney often and this would be a great addition to their campsite!

I have enjoyed reading your blog entries They were helpful during our planning and preparation for staying at Fort Wilderness last year!

Thanks again!

All the best!
Stacy Hines

[Gary adds: Thanks for the kind words Stacy. Check your e-mail.]

Shannon Robinson:

Wonderful article!! We always visit the campground, usually to eat (and I can get my sweet tea :-) ). It never occurred to me that you can rent an RV and they will set it up for you!?!! Love that idea!

I do not have an idea of how to search for that...help me please? I may be able to convince hubby on this and we can get to the World sooner than was originally thought.

Thanks so much for the great article!

[Gary adds: I'm sure your husband would love it! Check your e-mail!.]

Joni:

I would like the email for the rental company also. Sounds sooooo relaxing.

You should have requested a referral fee :) You would have enough to rent from them again already!!

[Gary adds: Yes Joni, it is very relaxing! Check your e-mail.]

Doris De Jong :

Gary, I too would like the rental company name.

We camped there in the seventies with three of our children and again in the early eighties with all of our children and their spouses.

Christmas is the best time there.

Thank you.

[Gary adds: Yes Doris, Christmas is great at The Fort! Check your e-mail.]

Karen:

We camped at Ft. Wilderness in '86 with our two young daughters. The best campground we have ever experienced!

River Country was open then. Now the girls are all grown up with kids of their own.

Camping as a group of 3 campsites would be fun with the grandkids. Could you please share your rental company via email?

Thanks for the memories of our camping trip so long ago!

Karen

[Gary adds: You bet Karen, check your e-mail.]

Rhet Redpath:

Sounds great....we will shortly being taking our first RV vacation...having always been tenters before. Now we feel we might try Fort Wilderness in a rented trailer, before buying one of our own. Any chance you could furnish us with the name of that rental company?

Many thanks, and keep up the good work!

RR

[Gary adds: Check your e-mail Rhet.}

Bobbe Singer:

Another great story; we where just saying next time we go to the campgound we will have a camper delivered and just drive up!

Can you please send me the rental info too :)

Thanks,
Bobbe

[Gary adds: Thanks Bobbe - Check your e-mail.]

sandy:

What rental company did you use?

[Gary replies: Check your e-mail Sandy.]

Paul:

Hi Gary,
Great article. We've been to Fort Wilderness numerous times staying in our pop-up camper and also in the cabins. Since we're thinking of upgrading to a larger camping trailer, this seems like a great way to "try before you buy". Please email the name of the company you rented from and also info. on how to make the Mickey-head lamppost.
Thanks - Paul

[Gary writes: Check your e-mail Paul.]

Chris:

I was just wondering what the name of the RV Rental place.

[Gary writes: Check your e-mail.]

Beth Ratliff:

What camper company did you rent from? Thanks

[Gary writes: Check your e-mail.]

Dawn Springsteen:

Hi, My family and I will be camping for the first time at Fort Wilderness this August. I have enjoyed reading you post and noticed the mickey mouse lamp in your pictures. I think that is a really nice decoration and was wondering if you would share with me your instructions on how to make one. Thanks so much, Dawn

[Gary writes: The instructions are online Dawn, you can find them here: http://www.carol-anne.ca/Mickey%20Lamp.htm Have fun making yours.]

Jessica:

What camper company did you rent from? Thanks

[Gary writes: Hi Jessica, check your e-mail.]

Kim Eddleman :

Hi
I would love the rental information too. We are shopping for a camper to buy but think we should rent first. I grew Rv'ing!! I have the best memories and want that for my kids.

The heat has kept us from tent camping at Disney. We are pass holders. I never knew about companies placing the trailers on site!

Thanks for all your information!

Kim

[Gary writes: Your kids will love it! Check your e-mail Kim.]

Beckie longacre:

You're probably tired of this, but, could you send me the name of the company you used. Looking at websites is OK, but if someone has had a great experience - you can't beat word of mouth. Thanks.

[Gary writes: Always happy to help Beckie!

Check your e-mail.]

Sherry:

The family and I are looking to camp at the Fort for the first time. Could you also send me an email with the rental company name.

[Gary writes: Check your e-mail Sherry.]

Cathy:

Hi there. I'm considering a stay at the campground for next year (November 2015) and would like to know the company you used that gave you such wonderful service. Thanks!

[Gary writes: Check your e-mail Cathy]

Debbie Sewell:

Hi Gary,

Really interested in doing this for Xmas 2015. Do you know whether or not it is possible to purchase the ddp whilst staying at the campsite? Also can you please email me the link to the rv rental company

Thanks
Debbie

[Gary writes: Yes Debbie, you can purchase the dining plan while staying at the campground. Check your e-mail for the name and a link to their web site.]

Lynn grave:

Gary, could you please send me name of rental company? Planning trip with the grand kids!

[Gay writes: Hi Lynn, check your e-mail.]

Celestia:

Thank you for your blog and all the information on camping and renting a trailer. We are very interested in this and would love to have the name of the company you used.

I'd also be interested in the directions for the mickey lamp. Thank you so much.

[Gary writes: Hi Celestia. Check your e-mail.]

Michael England:

Hey Gary,
Just like everyone else I also would like to know the name of the folks you rented from. Also, after the intial rental did you have to purchase any extras (propane, cleanup fee, waste fee)? We have stayed at Fort Wilderness four times but always in the cabins, so this is our first experience with renting an RV.

Thanks,
Michael

[Gary writes: No Michael, there were no extra fees. The RV was all set up and equipped when we arrived. All you pay is the camper rental fee and the normal campsite fees to Fort Wilderness.

Check your e-mail for the details.]

Carol Jean Peterson:

We rescued a dog that someone tossed from his pickup a year and a half ago. This past April, we were at Disney, and he had to stay at the Best Friends Kennel, which he enjoyed, I believe. But we missed him. So someone suggested we give the campground a try, so that we could keep him with us.

We are not campers. We don't have a camper. So I am very interested in your blog and any other info you care to share with me. I also would like the name of a good camper rental. I heard about one company that didn't rent their nicer campers to people with dogs.

We will be spending the month of January at the campground. I already have my campsite reserved. I reserved the Full Hookup. Hope I did right. So I need to find a camper now. Please email me.

[Gary writes: Carol, you will just love vacationing at "The Fort" with your rescue dog!

Be sure to specify in your reservation that you need a "Pet Loop" - there are a few loops where pets are not allowed.

There are plenty of pet walking trails, with handy pick-up bag dispensers and the off-leash park is very nice!

Check your e-mail for all the details you need!]

Brian:

Hello Gary - great blog. Can you email the name of the rental company? Thanks.

[Gary writes: You bet Brian - check your e-mail. You are sure to enjoy your adventure at Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground!]

Post a comment

(All comments must be approved before they appear on the entry.)


Return to Blog Central

About

This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on March 18, 2014 7:18 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Mid-Month Mousy Mindboggler - March 2014.

The next post in this blog is The Imagineers - Doing It Right!.

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