This August, I returned to the Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground for the first time in twenty plus years. We were at the resort for six nights, and we barely scratched the surface of available activities. There is literally so much to do it can be overwhelming. The campground posts an activity calendar each month, but even so, it can be difficult to know where to start.
Every evening the campground holds Chip ‘n Dale’s Campfire Sing-a-long in a small amphitheater near the Meadow Trading Post. You can roast marshmallows (bring your own if possible, a s’mores kit runs $9.99, but a roasting stick is only .59) at a campfire and pick up some yummy food or drinks at the Chuck Wagon, a cool, retro-looking motor home turned food truck. A “cowboy” then leads the audience in a few songs combined with lots of corny, but hilarious, jokes. After that, Chip and Dale show up and everyone in the audience gets a chance to meet one of the chipmunks. By that time, it’s dark and a Disney movie is shown.
Tip: Take a flashlight – the campground is really dark at night!
Each evening you can also watch the Magic Kingdom fireworks from the marina area. The view is decent and they pipe in the music from the theme park. You won’t, however, be able to see any of the projections for Happily Ever After. You can also see the Electrical Water Pageant as it makes its way around to all the resorts on the lagoon and lake. This childhood favorite has been around since 1971, too!
There are two pools on property; a quiet pool near the cabins, and a feature pool with a slide by the Meadow Trading Post. There are all types of water craft available for rent in the marina area, from motorized boats to kayaks and canoes.
Fort Wilderness is also home to the Tri-Circle-D Ranch, where you can visit Cinderella’s ponies and the horses of Main Street or perhaps go on a trail or pony ride. You can also go on a wagon ride or a horse-drawn carriage ride. There are special, holiday-themed “sleigh” rides, too. All of these are best booked in advance as they do sell out.
In addition to all the above activities, Fort Wilderness also features playgrounds, tennis courts, volleyball courts, fishing, basketball courts, two arcades, jogging trails, an Archery Experience, and a Wilderness Back Trail Adventure on a Segway.
Tip: If you are traveling to Fort Wilderness to go to the Hoop-de-Do Review or any of the other activities, you should either take a boat from the Magic Kingdom (Pioneer Hall is very close to the Marina) or take a bus from another theme park to the front of the resort, where you will transfer to an internal bus. You *will not* be able to drive your car into the resort itself. If you drive, you will have to park at the front of the campground and take a bus.
Aside from the Chuck Wagon, the campground has a table service restaurant, Trails End, as well as two other all-you-can eat dining experiences: the seasonal Mickey’s Backyard BBQ and the Hoop-de-Doo Musical Review. There’s also Crockett’s Tavern, a full-service bar that serves food and two quick service locations: Meadow Snack Bar and P&J’s Southern Takeout . We didn’t have the opportunity to dine at any of the Fort Wilderness restaurants during this stay, although I did sample a moonshine cocktail from the Chuck Wagon.
Rates at Fort Wilderness campsites start at $53 for a tent/pop up in the value (low) season to $183 for a premium site during the holidays. There are rarely, if ever, discounts offered for this property. It is so popular it sometimes fills up right as the booking period opens 499 days in advance.
Tip: Don’t have a camper? Can’t afford a cabin? You can rent a camper and have it set up on site for you. If you like roughing it, you can purchase (or rent from Disney!) an inexpensive tent.
With such a mind-boggling array of activities, it’s easy to see why guests return over and over again to this resort. My husband is now convinced that we need to buy an RV of our own. And I’m convinced that we need to go back to Fort Wilderness!
If you want help planning your stay at Fort Wilderness, contact our FREE Disney Diva travel agent Patricia Payne at All For Dreams Travel!