When it comes to deciding where to lay your head at Walt Disney World, most people immediately think of the cartoon-like fun of the Value Resorts or the elegant grandeur of the Deluxes Yet, there’s also a special (and often overlooked treat) for those who prefer to bask in the great outdoors. Whether you’re pitching a tent, hitching up your RV or sleeping in style in a quaint cabin, there’s a lot for active families and nature enthusiasts to love about Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground.
Not only will guests enjoy exploring the 750 acres of pine and cypress forest but there’s a ton of recreational activities, special add-ons and dining delights making this a fantastic option for those who prefer a more rustic vacation. To give you a. sample here’s our list of 8 reasons to make Disney’s Fort Wilderness part of your next trip to the Mouse.
1) The Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort – A fantastic option for those who enjoy the country charm of Disney’s campground but aren’t ready to rough it, the cabins are perfect for families looking for convenience and space as they sleep up to 6 people. Visitors won’t have to worry about neighbors making noise after a long night at the parks or noisy corridors at all hours. With the cabins, you’ll be nestled in your own tranquil and secluded accommodation. Guests can save on having to pay for meals as the cabins come with a fully equipped kitchens and there’s also a charcoal grill if a BBQ tickles your fancy. Kids love the bunk-beds in the main bedroom and a pull-down bed in the living room provides extra space for families to spread out. The Cabins fall into the Moderate category with prices typically in the $250 per night range.
2) Just a boat ride away from Magic Kingdom – Nestled along the shores of Bay Lake, Fort Wilderness offers a regular boat service to and from the Magic Kingdom. In around 10 minutes guests can go from the serenity of the campgrounds to the excitement of the parks. Regular boat service also operates between Fort Wilderness and Disney’s Wilderness Lodge for those who want to grab a bite at the Whispering Canyon Cafe or Signature Dining Restaurant, Artists Point. Fort Wilderness also offers regular bus service taking guests to and from the three other theme parks and water parks.
3) Unique dining experiences – Visitors to Fort Wilderness will have two unique Disney dining options at your disposal. Mickey’s Backyard BBQ is an open-air dining experience that gives guests a chance to saddle up next to some of their favorite Disney characters including Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Chip and Dale while enjoying an all-you-can eat BBQ feast. Foodies can indulge in BBQ classics like ribs, hamburgers and corn on the cob. Bring your dancing shoes and join your Disney friends for a boogie to the in-house Country Western Band. Those wanting to take in a dinner show need look no further than Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue. Located at the Pioneer Hall this high-spirited vaudeville-style stage show will have guests, laughing, singing and stomping your feet while dining on all-you-can-eat friend chicken and BBQ pork ribs. Those over 21 can also indulge in unlimited draft beer, wine and sangria. Advanced reservations for both dining options are strongly recommended. Mickey’s Backyard BBQ will set visitors back around $35-59.00 per person or 2 Table Service credits and Hoop-Dee-Doo visitors will pay in excess of $60.00 per person or 2 Table Service credits for this evening of entertainment. Reservations can be made at 180 days at 1.407.WDW.DINE.
4) Great value for those willing to rough-it – The Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort offers fantastic budget options for campers or those with RVs. Prices start at just $52.00 per night for those wanting to pitch a tent, to $69.00 for a full RV hook-up. The lots can accommodate vehicles up to 45 ft in length and up to 10 guests are allowed to book under 1 plot. Visitors can expect to pay more during peak season or for spots closer to central amenities with rates veering more toward the $125.00 mark.
5) Recreational Activities – For Wilderness is perfect for active families who want to enjoy the theme parks but also explore the amazing forests surrounding Bay Lake. There are a ton of activities for all ages and interests including: 2 swimming pools, archery classes, basketball and volleyball courts and jogging trails. Guests also have the opportunity to navigate Disney’s amazing waterways with canoe, kayak and motorboat rentals or indulge in some old-fashioned creek fishing. Those looking for adventure may also want to explore the grounds on a Segway in the 2 hr Wilderness Backtrail Adventure Tour.
6) Tri-Circle-D Ranch- Horse lovers of all ages will want to set time aside to visit Disney World’s active stables at the Tri-Circle-D Ranch. Here you’ll find a variety of horses from gigantic Clydesdale’s to wee Shetland Ponies. Highlights include Cinderella’s cavalcade of white ponies and Walt’s horse-drawn musical instrument the Dragon Calliope. Trail Rides are also available for visitors 9 years and up and run $46 per person for a 45 minute trek.
7) Horse-drawn carriage rides – For visitors not quite ready to hit the trails on horse-back but still looking for a unique experience, Fort Wilderness offers a range of carriage rides for all ages. Wagon Rides are offered as a group activity. These 25 minute mini excursions are a great way to meet other families at the campgrounds and cost $5 for children and $8 for adults. For a more intimate experience families can arrange for their own private carriage. Carriages seat up to 4 adults or 3 kids and 2 adults and are $45 per carriage for a 25 minute ride. Guests camping over the Christmas holiday may also want to climb aboard their own one-horse-open-sleigh which will set families back about $79 for a 25 minute ride.
8) Chip ‘n’ Dales Campfire Sing-A-Long– Rounding out the list is a fantastic free activity that often tops Disney insider’s best things to do at Disney lists. Those arriving near dusk each evening will have the opportunity to meet everyone’s favorite furry critters Chip and Dale, make Smores around a roaring campfire and sing along to campfire classics. The event is free to attend but visitors may want to buy a Smores kit from the nearby Chuckwagon Snack Bar for around $8.
Those looking for a one-of-a-kind outdoor adventure with a touch of Disney magic need look no further than Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground. With so much to see, do and explore it provides a fantastic option for active families or those looking to spend as much time in the great outdoors as you would strolling through the theme parks.
Interested in booking a stay at Fort Wilderness? Why not work with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner? As an agent with MickeyTravels, I provide a FREE concierge level service and can help with everything from finding that perfect spot to lay your head to organizing dining and Fastpass reservations. Get in touch today at 1.800.801.4025, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow along on Facebook.
Photo credits: Disney
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