A journey of
a thousand miles
begins with a single step
Have you wanted to go camping but the great outdoors isn’t really your thing?
I definitely know the problem. But we have a solution for that!
Disney’s Fort Wilderness Campground.
We recently had a chance to stay out there - and then a few weeks later sent some friends/clients to camp out themselves!
So what’s a weekend at Fort Wilderness got in store for you?
You pull up to an outpost where you adventure begins! Check-in is done in vehicle with Disney providing the same magical service they would at a desk. You can start the process on the Disney app and speed up your arrival even more, including have Magic Bands sent to you at home!
Once you’re all confirmed, the cast member will hand you a map of the property, pointing out hot spots and guiding to your site. You’re then on your way to your neighborhood where you can leave your car parked and spend the rest of your trip on foot, bike, or via a golf cart (the last two also available for rent here)!
We spent our weekend stay here in a cabin, since the idea of sleeping outdoors still did not settle with me (even with all the pixie dust). The cabins are all in pods with other cabins, so if you’re camping in tent or RV, you’ll have your own roundabout too. But neighborhood are lintermixed, so you can have a prime spot regardless of your lodging option!
The cabins sleep 6 and host even more! You walk into a living/dining space with full kitchen and basic hotel amenities provided (including coffee to start your day). The living area has a sleeper sofa, TV, dining table for 6 and plenty of storage space.
The cabin also has a bedroom with separate entrance with a Queen bed and bunk beds. You have even more storage here, including a closet and chest of drawers (and we know how imperative this is with kids)! The room has its own TV and Disney even provides a safe for your valuables in your home away from home. Full-size bathroom with shower/tub and toiletries are provided.
The cabin has an outdoor area which is perfect for gatherings! You have your own grill and a porch the extends the length of the cabin with picnic table. This is where inspiration for hosting a party here first generated for us - more on that soon though!
Already the great outdoors type? Bring your tent, trailer or RV and rent a plot.
There’s a whole new world (to me) of camping lifestyle that exists! But the comforts of home while you’re away are fantastic.
The various categories of campsites each provide what you need. All offer grills, tables, electrical and water, and for the motor homes even disposal and extra space to begin a few cars.
Campsites range from space for just a tent all the way up to a Premium site nearest the prime location - the Meadow (more on that later).
Once you’re parked, you’re home so get comfortable. Recommend to have a golf cart or bicycle for transportation, unless you don’t mind walking (like us)!
Forgot something? You have a shop onsite to pick up what you need - the selection isn’t large, buts convenient. Want to shop with cheaper prices? You still have access to your car, on-site with you and can easily access a local store. Don’t want to leave at all? Use a grocery delivery service to have it brought right to you!
And if you’re here doing the holidays, check out all the beautifully creative displays! These campers show up and it’s so impressive (and a great way to get in the spirit)! Below is even a shot of one of our personal friends and their family’s amazing dedication to this!
This is your vacation after all, so make the most of your time right on site!
So you’re here now. What is there to do?
Actually, what isn’t there! We stayed two nights and spent our first at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party which In hindsight took away from a weekend of what could’ve been R&R! We’d recommend for a short weekend to enjoy the camping experience only - any days over, add in the parks!
What’s in store at Fort Wilderbess?
Meadow Swimmin’ Pool & nearby playground
▪ Bring towels as they are not provided
Horse Drawn Carriage Rides from Crockett’s Tavern
▪ $55 for 25-minute (2 adults, 3 children or 4 adults)
▪ Reservations (407) 939-7529
▪ Boston Whaler (seats up to 6 guests); $45/per half hour
▪ Reservations not required, first-come, first serve
▪ Dockside and guided excursions available at marina
8:30A – 2:30P Horse Back Riding
▪ From age 9, $55/person
9A – 5P Canoe Rentals & Kayak Rentals
▪ From age 11, $13/person
10A – 3P Pony Rides at Tri-Circle-D Ranch
▪ From age 2 ($8 per child)
▪ Explore the ranch and see the horses used in the parks
6P & 8:30P Wagon Rides from Pioneer Hall
▪ $12 (10+), $8 (3-9), FREE (2 & under)
SUNSET Campfire Lighting at the Meadow Chip-n-Dale Sing-a-Long & Movie
11A-5P Meadow Snack Bar
3P – 10P Crockett’s Tavern open – beer, wine & bar food
430P – 10P Trail’s End open for Dinner (Reservations available)
5P–10P The Chuck Wagon open (by the campfire)
▪ Reservations recommended
▪ Starting at $38+/ child & $64+/adult (Category seating)
So what about this birthday party idea out here?
Our nature loving 7 year old wanted a birthday party of adventure. We wanted something different. We all also had discussed staying out here at some point. So after some careful thought and detailed party planning, we decided why not host a party here?!
It’s not such a far fetched idea as we’ve heard from friends about parties they’ve hosted or attended here as well! So we knew we were right on track for a great time!
We decided to a Wilderness Explorer themed party, of the UP kind, and have our explorer and friends enjoy the wilderness. We initially were planning to host the party at the cabin, as there was room enough for a small gathering. But our particular cabin was situated in a weird spot for outdoor running around. Had we stayed at the cabin, it would’ve been perfect for a good little cookout and scavenger hunt.
But for active elementary school kids, we decided to move to the Meadow and host it there! The Meadow has the main resort pool & splash pad, playground, tennis courts, bike rentals, and a covered gazebo with grills. There’s other picnic tables scattered around too in case the first-come, first-serve facility is completely occupied.
We fired up the grill, let the kids play, and after some time did some specially created Wilderness Explorer activity books. A lunch of burgers and hot dogs perfectly complemented the laid back day we had. We had a cupcake serenade for bringing in his 8th year, and still after all that - headed to the pool!
We had a later start time to the party, 3p, purposely to coincide with the Campfire Sing-Along. And it perfectly went with an empty pool for swimming when our kids all swarmed it for an evening dip! Those friends that lasted all the way through made their way with us to the campfire. We had also gifted all his friends with s’more kir party favors, so everyone was ready for roasting on the fire!
Logistically for our guests, it took some maneuvering but cost them nothing more than their time. Disney allows two cars per cabin, but will charge for those staying overnight. Otherwise if you’re a visiting day guest, just state your purposes and they guide you. Our friends had to park at the front and then take a bus to the location, and same in return. So packing light is ideal since a little trekking is necessary. But for the magic, it’s all worth it!