Last week me and my family had our first stay at Disney's Fort Wilderness campground in one of their adorable cabins. I had mixed feelings about staying at this property since I am personally not a camper but I figured since it was on Disney property it had to be great.
Although the cabin is truly a trailer with logs over it (don't tell anyone I told you), it is very authentic. The area surrounding the cabin is very park like. It has a grill, a hose, a nice sized deck and picnic table to enjoy meals outside.
Unfortunately we had checked into our cabin in the middle of the night, so everyone was too tired to take pictures while the cabin was clean. This is a picture of the living room area that is directly off of the kitchen. On the right side is a large table that seats six people and the couch that my son is sitting on pulls out into a bed that sleeps two. There is a full kitchen with refrigerator, sink, stove top with two burners, dishwasher and a microwave oven combined with a convectional oven (which I was not a fan of). I personally loved having a regular oven in our Villa last month at Saratoga Springs, it is much harder and inconvenient to deal with the microwave/convectional oven combination, but for those on the dining plan not cooking, this will not mean much. The kitchen does come complete with pots, pans, utensils, plates, bowls etc. Mousekeeping will even put your dirty dishes from the sink into the dishwasher and start it for you when they clean your cabin daily.
There is one bathroom and one bedroom with a bed that sleeps two and a set of bunk beds. We were a party of six with older children and adults so although the cabin sleeps six, it was a tight squeeze, especially with one bathroom!
We rented a four seater golf cart about a month before our trip, which at the time was $59.00 per day. We really wanted a six seater cart, however they do not reserve those, they are first come, first serve so you want to show up exactly at 1:00 pm when you can pick up the cart. Luckily, we were able to always squeeze the six of us on this cart. The cart is an important "Must Have" if your going to be enjoying the grounds while you are staying at the campground. The resort is 750 acres and is impossible to walk. They do have buses circling the resort but it is much more fun to ride in your own cart. Plus, it takes two buse rides to get from your loop to a Disney park. If you have a cart, you can drive it to the front of the resort to the main bus station and take the park bus (which unfortunately can take awhile to show up). We would have to give our stay a thumbs down if we were judging it on park bus transportation alone. Even at the parks the bus transportation was not great.
One of my favorite things about staying at this resort and having the golf cart is being able to drive to the beach area and enjoy the Magic Kingdom fireworks from your own cart. They even pipe the shows music through speakers in this area!
Towards the marina end of the grounds is where the hustle and bustle is. For those who would like to enjoy their sit down meals while at the campground, you can enjoy Trails End, Hoop-Dee-Doo review, and Mickeys Backyard BBQ. Some of our family did have breakfast at Trails End and felt there were not enough food options offered at the breakfast buffet and the food was sub par. For on the go dining, you can grab something at P&J's Southern Take Out. We have our own personal experience with P&J's. Our daughter was sick and she had asked us to find her soup. She is vegetarian and all we could find at the outpost areas was chicken noodle. We stopped into P&Js during their quiet time before dinner, explained the situation, and the chef actually came out, introduced himself and told us to give him twenty minutes and he would whip up a vegetarian soup just for her. The Disney difference, and that is why so many of us keep coming back! If you have the rapid refill Disney mugs you can fill them up here at P&Js or at either of the two outpost shops. Again, any of these could be a bus or golf cart ride away, so if it is convenience your looking for, think hard about your stay here.
Another favorite part of our stay here at Fort Wilderness Campgrounds was the Chip 'n' Dale's Campfire Sing-A-Long, followed by the Movie Under The Stars. You can bring your own marshmallows and sticks, or purchase a s’mores kit from the Chuckwagon Snack Bar (that cute little food truck). While making your s'mores, you enjoy the old-time favorites sang by a guitar-playing cowboy, as you take pics with Chip ‘n Dale. Afterwards we personally enjoyed watching CoCo and I have to say, this was my favorite place to enjoy Movie Under The Stars so far on Disney property.
This main pool area is near the Meadow Outpost area, a bus or cart ride away. There are many lounge chairs available but not nearly enough tables offered in the pool area, there are many in the shade under the overhand, again similar to a park setting. They also have a food and snack area that offers moonshine cocktails (another plus in my book). Also in this area you can fish or rent a bike. If you are into nature, camping, or park like settings, this area is perfect for you. On Sundays they were hosting a nighttime glow in the dark pool party which looked like a lot of fun, however we did not attend.
At Fort Wilderness you can also visit Cinderella’s Ponies and the horses of Main Street, U.S.A.. You can watch the blacksmith make horseshoes and affix them to horses’ hooves, and discover the Dragon Calliope—the horse-drawn musical instrument that Walt Disney purchased for the Mickey Mouse Club Circus Parade at Disneyland Park in the 1950s. Although we are not the horse riding types, this was a very neat thing to watch and surely great for people who enjoy these types of activities. They also have horse drawn carriage rides, and seasonal sleigh rides.
Since we arrived to the campgrounds around 1:00 am, we really did not check out the lobby area till the day we left while we were awaiting the Magical Express. The lobby here is extremely underwhelming. It is very small and to the point. That being said, the theming is spot on for pioneer times. Many of the people checking in are coming with RVs and checking in at a different area which allows them to drive up and check in from their RV or car towing their trailer. One of the nice features of staying in the cabin was we were able to leave our luggage in the cabin and head to a park on check out day. Bell service comes to the cabin after check out time (11:00 am) and picks it up and brings it to the holding area outside of the lobby where Magical Express pick up is. Unfortunately there was no one to be found in this area the day we left and we actually walked right into the luggage holding area and took our own luggage out. It was not that big of a deal but if you are used to being spoiled, it is another thing to think about when deciding to stay here.
I am going to give our stay here at Fort Wilderness Campgrounds in the cabins 3.5 stars out of five. We had a great time touring the grounds, we enjoyed trying the cabins, and really liked having the golf cart to ourselves. That being said, I do not feel like we have to stay here again in the near future like I do when we stay in other on property resorts. We made wonderful memories together this trip, but we are, as the front desk agent told us, a really fun group!
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