We debated staying at one of the other Disney resorts, and came very close to booking Animal Kingdom, before going with our gut and reserving a cabin at Ft. Wilderness as we had done last year. We had enjoyed the experience of having a "home away from home" while staying at Disney, and had found it to be so convenient to all the parks with easy-to-use and quick transportation, that we really knew that it would be the best place for us to stay again. The only precaution we took was to call housekeeping several times in advance, to ask them to triple-dust the cabin - my husband has allergies and had been stuffed up the entire time last year due to half-hearted cleaning of the cabin.
We booked the cabin through AAA and got a great rate. I had actually found a better rate on Expedia (best on the web), and when I told AAA what it was, they came within $100 so I went with them. We also bought our parkhopper passes through AAA. I can't say enough how helpful they were through the whole process.
We ordered grocerieson-line in advance from www.wegoshop.com (which I would HIGHLY recommend!), so once we arrived at the cabin at noon after a friendly bus ride on the Magical Express from the airport and and easy check-in, we just had to wait for the groceries (which I had scheduled for 1:30 delivery) and we could hop on a bus for Epcot. Groceries arrived right on time, and off we went!
The cabins are equipped with everything you need to prepare family meals just as though you were at home. We avoided buying anything that required a lot of time to fix, though - frozen pizza, sandwich meat and cheese, cereal - we had "breakfast for dinner" one night. You can save a TON of money on food this way.
One suggestion - it takes a couple of hours if you've had Magical Express take care of your luggage for the airport, so if you plan to head right out to a park, it's best to pack what you need for the day in your carry-on.
In addition to the comfort and convenience of a cabin, the Ft. Wilderness experience itself is wonderful. The pools are heated with adjacent whirlpools. We never made it to the Meadow (large) pool area, but the smaller one is great and our 4-year-old had a blast. There are clean changing areas/bathrooms adjacent to the pool, and plenty of chaise lounges. Bring your own towel from the hotel, as they don't supply them at the pool.
There's also a $5 pony ride in the Settlement area, which we were able to do once - the first time Ava had ever been on a pony, and it was worth every penny to see her smile! I led the pony after the employee helped her into the saddle, and we followed a well-marked pathway around the barns to make a good-sized loop for the ride.
Chip n Dale do a performance every night at 7, with lots of music and dancing for the kids, and a movie if you care to stay for it. We did it last year, but never got to it this year.
A housekeeping tip - if a cleaning staffer sees you walking while she's working on someone else's cabin, and asks what cabin you are and if you need a cleaning, say YES! I made the mistake of saying, "well... we need more towels..." and when we got back that evening, there was a stack of towels on the kitchen table, and absolutely nothing else had been done!! We got kind of a kick out of that...
All the parks are accessed with buses, with the exception of Magic Kingdom which is a boat ride. We had a dilemma on Tuesday morning, when we had an 8:10 breakfast reservation at Cinderella's table, and it was raining a monsoon! The day before, we had called the front desk to tell them about the reservation, and they assured us that even if the boats weren't running, we'd be able to get a bus. So, slickered up with our rain ponchos at 7am, we made a run for the bus stop, and sure enough - a bus was there! We were the only passengers, and once we told the driver of the reservation, he called on the radio to ask if he could take us directly to Magic Kingdom (rather than switch buses up at the regular park bus stop), and he did! We were so grateful!!
After the breakfast, the boats were running and we had a lovely retired captain regale us with stories all the way back to Ft. Wilderness where Ava could change out of her princess gown and into play clothes to go back to Magic Kingdom - we just loved him.
As we expected, we loved the cabin and were glad that's where we stayed. We are planning to do the same thing next year and the year after that - until Ava's in sports and then we won't be able to have these getaways any more!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Camp amid the magic of the great outdoors. Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground evokes the timeless beauty of the American frontier, with deer, rabbits, ducks and armadillos roaming the Resort's 750 acres of pine and cypress forest. Discover charming woodland trails, a pristine beach, spectacular pool areas and rip-roarin' entertainment at this picturesque backcountry retreat. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia and Hotels.com so you can book your The Campsites at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Disney Camping
- Fort Wilderness Disney
- Campground Orlando
- Fort Wilderness Florida
- Disneys Fort Wilderness Resort Campground
- Ft Wilderness Disney
- Disney Fort Wilderness Resort
- Disneys Ft Wilderness Campground