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If you have been following my adventures through my blog posts, you may remember that I camped on my last trip. Kristen? Camping? Really? Well, yes I was convinced to give it a go since several of my fellow Disney geeks were doing it for Tentfest. Since the last time I camped I was approximately ten years old, I was pretty apprehensive about this segment of my trip. Along with the appeal of Disney geeks in the woods, I have the long range goal of staying at every Disney resort, so I figured this was just another step closer to achieving that goal and I signed up.
I have to say it was more fun than I thought it was going to be. It probably helped that Disney geeks gathered for a barbecue earlier in the day and we all had a great time hanging out. While it was quite chilly the night we camped, I made out ok thanks to the advice of my friend who’s an avid camper. The worst part of the evening was when I had to get up in the middle of the night in the cold to use the lady’s room. I’m not saying I’m going to make camping a regular part of my travels, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be, and I’m sure I would do it again. Shocked? Amazed? Yeah, me too!
My friend who convinced me to camp, Neil, is an avid camper and it is his opinion that Fort Wilderness is among the nicest campgrounds in the country. So I’m thinking my camping experience was greatly enhanced by the Disney magic. Camping at Fort Wilderness is not exactly roughing it in the middle of no where. There are nearly 800 campsites all having electrical and water hook ups. Preferred and premium sites ideal for larger RVs even come with cable, sewer, and internet! Each site also includes a picnic table, charcoal grill, and a paved area for parking cars or RVs as well as a sandy area for tents, and The sites are situated in loops, most of which have their own comfort station with bathrooms, showers, and a laundry facilities. The comfort station in our loop was well maintained and clean, but I opted to go back to Pop Century for a shower being the princess I am.
For those less adventurous guests, the camp ground also offers cabins. The Fort Wilderness Cabins are considered to be moderate accommodations and can house up to six people, although that would probably be pushing it. These air conditioned vacation homes offer a double bed, a set of bunk beds, a Murphy bed, living area, and a small fully equipped kitchen. The cabins would be a great option for a larger family who might normally need more than one hotel room. They are also beneficial for those folks who don’t mind making their own breakfast or lunch while they are on vacation. Guests could save quite a bit of money not eating out for every meal. Readers of the Unofficial Guide give high praises to the cabins. I’ve always wanted to try one out, but it still remains on my Disney geek bucket list.
One of the most important things guests who are thinking about a stay here should know is Fort Wilderness is that it is huge. There are several loops for tent and RV camping, 409 cabins, and several recreational areas. To maintain the quiet and nature filled atmosphere these areas are spread out over more than 700 acres. Guests may drive their own car to their campsite, but there is no parking at any of the recreational facilities. Likewise visiting guests must leave their cars at the main parking lot near the entrance. People can walk anywhere within the property, but it could be a bit of a hike from your campsite to the pool or marina.
If you’ve had enough walking after touring the parks all day there are some alternative modes of transportation unique to this resort. First of all Disney provides bus service within the campground property. There are three internal bus lines (purple, orange, and yellow) to shuttle guests between the Outpost Depot near the resort’s main entrance, The Settlement Depot near the marina and restaurants, and other recreational areas. This system can be confusing and might require waiting around at bus stops to get from point A to point B. Many guests opt to use a golf cart instead of the free bus. Many bring their own (some of which are seriously tricked out), but Disney also offers them for rent for $54 a day. Bicycles are also available to rent for fun or as a way to get around the grounds, but by all means use your own if you’ve got it.
One of the most unique things about Fort Wilderness are all of the activities offered throughout the property. There two pools, two video arcades, walking trails, hay rides, horseback riding, boat rentals, and even a petting zoo. Those activities just scratch the surface of those available at the campground! If your family needs a break from the parks one day why not make a day out the fun waiting for guests at Fort Wilderness? You could rent fishing equipment in the morning, play some tennis and go for a swim in the afternoon, and finish the day off with a campfire sing-a-long. You don’t have to be staying at the campground to partake in these festivities, so any guests are welcome to head over to visit the animals in the petting zoo or take part in a segway tour.
All in all I enjoyed my time at Fort Wilderness Campground. With so much to do among the quiet setting away from the hustle and bustle of the parks, it’s a great place to visit. Have any of you stayed at the campground recently? What did you think of it?
Next week I’ll take you on a culinary adventure to Jiko…