Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground is by far my most favorite campground of all. I can’t quite figure out which aspect makes it my favorite. Is the fact that it is owned and operated by Walt Disney World and is a part of the “Happiest Place on Earth”? Or is it the fact that it is the largest and by FAR the cleanest and friendliest campground I have ever visited? Nonetheless it is safe to say that the Fort is my “happy place”.
There are 750 acres that are covered by Fort Wilderness. You can find a variety of camping from tent camping to fully equipped campsites. Don’t have a tent or a camper? You too can enjoy the facilities as Disney has fully equipped cabins that are available for you to rent.
One of the really great features from a camper’s perspective is the privacy-enhancing landscaping that is available in between each and every site. Now you are not completely surrounded by landscaping in your own site but it does provide enough of a barrier that you do not feel as if you are watching your neighbor’s satellite TV (although when it rained every day but one this last trip I would have enjoyed some satellite TV). Every campsite is equipped with water, electric and cable hook-ups. Most of the sites have the sewer hook-up as well.
A fun part of the family camping trips is that you are able to take along the furry friend. They are most welcome at the Fort. They must be kept on a handheld leash that is 8ft or shorter or confined in the interior of the climate-controlled personal vehicle. Pets are NOT permitted in tents and the pop-up campers. There is an opportunity for there to be leash-free play time in the Waggin’ Trails Dog Park however, the majority of the time that we have visited we have found this site to be very muddy and have not wanted to allow our furry friend to run free or splash in the mud. You are required to pick up after your pet and dispose of their droppings. Being from the country, I have found that this is not very appealing to me so it is a great chore for the little one.
Speaking of having a little one, we have visited the Meadow Swimmin’ Pool many times. We have enjoyed the fort-themed water play area complete with toddler-friendly slides. We have also noticed on our past 2 trips that they have placed a lifeguard in this location, which provides a little extra relief when relaxing especially since they police the going backward up the slide. However, as we get older we have ventured out into the larger pool area with the corkscrew water slide. There is a spa however, most every time we are there it is covered with younger teenagers and does not provide much relaxation. The past couple of trips to the fort (most recent was June 2017) the Meadow pool has been over run to where you are literally standing shoulder to shoulder. We have found that there is smaller crowd at the Wilderness Swimmin’ Pool as it is the all-ages quiet pool with a whirlpool spa.
Fort Wilderness provides plenty of recreational activities some of which are free. The Chip ‘N’ Dale’s Campfire Sing-A-Long was supposed to be just a sing-a-long on our last trip due to the drought conditions however, after a week of raining (again all but one day of our trip) we noticed the smores were cooking on the campfire toward the later part of the week. You can also enjoy a movie under the stars in the same outdoor theater of the Meadow Recreation Area. One of the newest additions that we saw on this trip was the food truck providing meal options during the sing-a-long and the movie (see the video on Wishes and Wands Facebook page for menu options). There are plenty of other recreational activities at the Fort that we have yet to take advantage of primarily because we do live in the country and have access to on a daily basis. However, you can go fishing, rent boats, go on a horse/pony ride, wagon ride, rent bikes or even canoe/kayak. There are many other different recreational amenities such as basketball courts, jogging trails, arcade and one of our personal favorites the playgrounds.
Let’s get to the part where I personally feel that this is one of the cleanest and friendliest campgrounds I have visited. On previous trips, we have noticed the grounds crew (apologies if that isn’t their official title) picking up trash at least twice a day, mostly because if the trash is left out the squirrels are getting in there. Yes it is a campground complete with critters. This trip we noticed the nicer trash stations throughout the campgrounds with doors that those critters without opposing thumps could not access. They also accommodate those who wish to recycle in the new garbage stations. Any time you encounter a cast member/resort staff you are always greeted with a smile and kind word. Never once have we encountered someone who has not lived up to this expectation. I can remember one experience of picking up the droppings of the furry friend (it was early and I couldn’t get the kid out of bed to take care of it) the staff member went out of their way to stop in the middle of the road so I would not have to carry the poop package the rest of my walk. That is service right there.
A huge recommendation that I could give whether you are tent camping hauling in a super nice Class A or simply staying at a cabin…rent a golf cart. You are able to bring your own cart as long as it meets the standards they set forth. But if you do not bring one you have the option of renting a cart. Call to reserve your cart as soon as you make your reservation! You do not want to be left without. Disney has provided buses for those who do not want to rent a cart and there are different bus stops and routes that the buses take all day and through most of the night time. We have always just found the great convenience in having a cart whether we took ours or rented from them.
My last recommendation is a food one. Whether you are staying at the campground or another resort, go to the Trails End Restaurant for breakfast. This is our second favorite place on Disney property to have breakfast. No, contrary to popular belief, my campsite is not the favorite place, ‘Ohana at the Polynesian Resort is. Now back to the Trails End, they have an incredible buffet. You can have anything from eggs to Mickey waffles, which is a fam fav. You also get sausage, gravy, biscuits, fruit, taters, you name it on a breakfast buffet and they cook it to perfection. All you can eat at a fairly reasonable price and great setting. The breakfast is usually a staple for us on every trip to the Fort. An honorable mention is the pizza or BBQ nachos that you can get as take out. This is always a great option when you have played hard all day and cooking at your own campsite just really isn’t that appealing to you.
Again, there are many different things that are appealing at the Fort. We have failed to mention one of the biggest in this blog but we will revisit it in a different review, which is the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue. It isn’t the top on our list so it didn’t make the initial cut for us. We hope that you have enjoyed the Wishes and Wands Review of Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground. Stay tuned for more Disney reviews as well as some non-Disney campground reviews.