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Staying in a Cabin at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground: Resort Review

Walt Disney World photo
by Jennifer Shorey Arnold, PassPorter Guest Contributor
Last modified 05-05-2011
  

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Filed in Articles > Walt Disney World > Lodging  

When someone mentions Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground, do you think of roughing it with a tent? Maybe you’re someone who loves nature but doesn't like the idea of camping? Or are you longing for a new Disney resort experience?


Well, the Cabins at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground may be the right fit for you.

We had our first stay in the Fort Wilderness Cabins this February. Although the mornings and late evenings were chilly at that time of the year, it was the perfect way to spend Valentine’s week. The cabins are great for couples looking for a romantic getaway or for families of up to six people. A huge benefit is that each cabin comes with a kitchen including full-size stove, microwave, refrigerator, dishwasher, and an array of pots, pans, plates, and utensils. The cabins also have a nice size full bath with tub/shower, a bedroom with a double bed and bunk beds, and a living room/dining room combination complete with dining table for six, a television, DVD and VHS player, and Murphy bed for additional sleeping.

lovely deck with grill and a picnic table allow for even more cooking options, however, it good to note that you must bring your own grilling supplies including grilling utensils and charcoal. All cabins also have both heating and air conditioning. Plus, you get your very own parking space right out in front of the cabin.

here are even conveniently located laundry facilities at the resort in air conditioned comfort stations. These are perfect if you need to clean something on your trip or want to get a jump start on the laundry before heading home. Just like with the other Disney resorts, Mousekeeping visits daily to clean the cabin and leave fresh towels. In addition, we were surprised to find that they even cleaned the dishes for us by loading and turning on the dishwasher. For a special treat, Mousekeeping may leave towel animals. By the end of our four night trip, we had been greeted with nearly a dozen towel animals found all over the cabin.



Cabins photo
Cabins

Fort Wilderness Cabins - photo by jarnolddancer

Before your trip, you can arrange to stock the kitchen with groceries by using an online grocery delivery service vendor, or if you are driving to the resort, you can just stop by a grocery store in the local area before checking in. A selection of grocery items can be found at the resort’s two Trading Posts but, as you may suspect, be prepared to pay a little more for the convenience of getting your supplies on property.

Having the full kitchen makes it perfect to get up each morning and have a nice breakfast before heading out to the park, or for a day of exploration in the campground. Not only is this a great way to spend some quiet time with the family, but you can also save a few dollars or save one of your Disney Dining Plan meal credits for a lunch or dinner, if you’re on the dining plan. If you want to eat out, Fort Wilderness has a variety of food locations including the Trail’s End Restaurant, Crockett’s Tavern, Chuck Wagon Snack Bar, and Meadow Pool Snack Bar. If you’re on the Disney Dining Plan, be sure to check your Dining PlanlLocations brochure to learn which dining locations are included and if they are snack, quick-service, or table-service.

During our trip, in the early mornings and late evenings we would stroll through the campground watching for wildlife and enjoying nature.Our cabin was about a fifteen to twenty minute walk to the beach and boat launch, where boats were available to take us to the Magic Kingdom or Contemporary Resort. We could walk just five to ten minutes in the other direction and quickly be at the main bus depot to take Disney Transportation to the Parks or Downtown Disney. Also, readily available are buses that travel throughout the campground for those who do not want to walk or who may find the weather during their visit to be less than welcoming. Golf cart rentals are available but they can be a bit pricey with a daily rental fee of $59 per day plus tax.

he campground offers numerous activities for the young and young at heart to enjoy. Many are free, while others require a rental fee. By day, the Bike Barn (open 8:00 am - 6:00 pm) rents bicycles, canoes, pedal boats, kayaks, fishing poles, and tennis equipment, enabling you to enjoy all parts of the resort. They even have shuffleboard equipment that you borrow for free with a resort ID. Additionally, they have an Archery Experience program.

If you enjoy horses, visit the Tri-Circle D Ranch for both horseback riding and pony rides. Still looking for something to do? The resort has pools, trails, wagon rides, carriage rides, playgrounds, two arcades, more water sports at the docks, and even a Wilderness Back Trail Adventures Segway tour.

There are two shopping locations, The Settlement Trading Post and The Meadow Trading Post, offering camping supplies, some groceries, souvenirs, and video rental (video at Meadow Trading Post only). At night you can enjoy a Campfire Sing-Along with Chip & Dale, which includes a sing-along and autographs with the characters. Enjoy this free event by bringing your own marshmallows to roast on the fire or you can purchase some at the Chuck Wagon Snack Bar. After the sing-along you and the family can settle down for a Disney movie on a large outdoor screen.

Want dinner and a show? Take the family to the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue at Pioneer Hall or Mickey’s Backyard BBQ (seasonal). If you would rather a quieter and more peaceful way to conclude your evening, take a stroll down to the beach area and find a cozy spot to experience the Electric Water Pageant as it glides by nightly at 9:45 pm.

The Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground is a great way to have a more laid-back Disney resort experience. There is plenty to do for those who want tons of activities, or it can become a peaceful retreat for those who find pleasure in doing nothing at all. When booking your next trip, take the time to look into the Fort Wilderness Cabins. This resort may just become your next favorite Disney resort home!


Cabins photo
Cabins

Fort Wilderness Cabins - photo by jarnolddancer




About the Author:
Jennifer is a Disney enthusiast and loves to visit Walt Disney World and Disneyland with her husband as often as possible. Since taking their first tour, The Magic Behind Our Steam Trains, in February 2011, the couple has been researching other Disney tours and are looking forward to planning their next Disney trip.

Related Links:
The Art of A Smooth Check-in At Walt Disney World - Save Time and Trouble On Your Next Trip last updated 12/04/2008
Disney's All Star Movies Resort - Big "Blockbuster" Fun On a Small "Indie" Budget last updated 01/20/2009
Disney's All Star Music Resort - Quality Lodging For a Song last updated 1/13/2009
Disney's All Star Sports Resort - The Original Value last updated 1/13/2009
Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge - The "Perfect" Resort for Teenagers last updated 1/13/2009




Reader Comments:


Great article! We like to camp at Fort Wilderness with our son (the Cub Scout). He gets a lot of his requirements done like archery, orienteering, etc. right from Disney World. It is a lot of fun and a comfortable place to camp!

     DestinationsinFL on May 6, 2011 @ 8:46 am
I am so glad you posted this article! Half of our group will be staying here on our next trip and none of us know anything about this resort. It sounds like such a great place, I seriously considered switching from AKL to FW.

     goofyboysmama on May 6, 2011 @ 9:32 am
A friend of mine stayed at FW cabins last spring and she UPS'd her food down there ahead of time. She said it saved her time and money doing it that way. they started buying non-perishables that were on sale a month before they left and would load the boxes up. She also sent some clothes down to save on tgheir baggage fees. I thought this was a great idea and a good time saver too.

     ridlersbaby on May 6, 2011 @ 9:42 am
My husband had conveyed an interest in staying @ the Campground (in a cabin!) for a few years. In 2010, we finally took the plunge.

Our cabin was lovely and the parking was great, however, we did not find it easy to navigate the campground itself. Not having a larger closet and no bedroom drawers was going to prove inconvenient, as well.

My mom requires a scooter for all distance walking - even to an on-ground bus. This was a definite "time suck".

Indicating that the golf carts are optional is too ambiguous. We found that they are a margin away from absolutely necessary. We had our own vehicle and have had a vehicle on-site since 2001, but you can't drive it to the General Store or the restaurants.

When we checked in, Davy Crocketts was closed - every day during lunchtime. We had to wait for a bus to take us to the marina, catch a tender (that didn't allow my mom's scooter), walk from the pier to Ft. Wilderness Lodge (a very long, uphill trek) just to get lunch.

When we got back to the campground, we went, immediately, to the front desk and relayed our "adventure". In true Disney fashion, they made all the arrangements for us to move to another resort. Just experiencing the "frenzy" to make sure we were happy, made the initial disappointment worth it!

     LoveWDW71 on May 10, 2011 @ 12:59 am
I have stayed there both in a cabin and rv. I honestly have no desire to stay anywhere else. My DH, DD, and DS feel the same. We loved the spaciousness of the campground. We weren't on top of other families, the kids could play without worry, and the proximity to Magic Kingdom was great.

I would suggest to first timers maybe renting the golf cart on the first day in order to get a feel for the lay of the land. I felt the maps provided were a great help after we took 15 minutes to study them. Then we relied soley on the bus service. While you might get anxious waiting for a bus sometimes, it was less stressful and cooler!

The campground is a vacation in itself without even going to the parks. So worth every penny!

     amyforrest1 on May 10, 2011 @ 4:53 pm
I enjoyed the article and the reader comments. I've always wondered what Fort Wilderness was like.

     Lilianna on May 15, 2011 @ 7:26 pm
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Updated 05-05-2011 - Article #636 



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