February 28, 2023
Our family decided we would spend a week at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Campground to celebrate our Christmas this year. We waited until January, when the prices drop and time was more available in our schedule. We have stayed there before for both tent and RV camping weekends, so wanted to enjoy an extended stay and skip the parks to just enjoy the resort and resort hopping (an activity of just visiting the various resorts and strolling around to see the shops and enjoy a snack or meal).
The check in process is pretty simple, just have your photo ID and confirmation information readily at hand. You’ll get a map to your site and a key card for access to facilities after hours. As in any campground, drive slowly and with caution, there are lots of bikes, golf carts and pedestrians around.
The roads to the sites are one way and can be narrow if you are in a large vehicle or rig, so it may be good to get to your loop and stop and walk it to plan your approach. Being a one way loop road, traffic can build up quickly.
The sites themselves are spacious and the hookups are neat and easy to access. In the sites we’ve been in, they are about midway on the pad. Be mindful as you set up to keep your vehicle and any decor clear of the road so you aren’t an obstruction as you come and go. Our 5th wheel is 37 feet, but as we were trying to park in our site, the campers across from us had posts and lights right up to the road that we had to move to have enough swing to park. We moved them and put them back in place because they weren’t home at the time, or we would have asked them to do it.
The campground is a giant loop around which is nice for walking or navigating. There is a bus stop at the loop areas for getting around within the campground, if you don’t have bikes or carts and don’t want to pay to rent them. You can stop in all the areas of the park, or get transport to the front for busses to all the other parks and areas, or the back for transport to the Magic Kingdom.
In the middle is The Meadows, a recreation area with a pool, splashpad and rental area for canoes and kayaks along the waterways in the campground. It doesn’t appear they would allow personal SUPs or watercraft, but we didn’t ask and didn’t have time to use ours since it was cooler. There is a dog park on the outside of the loop about midway, and seems to be well maintained and has an area for both large and small dogs, as well as vehicle parking if you don’t want to walk.
At the front of the park you’ll find the main bus stop to connect to other parks and areas, the front office, and the horse barn. There is also overflow parking up front for dollies or spare vehicles, as well as guests.
At the back of the park, you’ll find the camp store, a play ground, the restaurants (both sit down and walk up), and the boat area for rentals and boat transportation to the Magic Kingdom. We had breakfast at the walkup restaurant and it was not only tasty, but a fair price, considering it is Disney property.
There are activity schedules and nightly movies and smores, so be sure to check the schedule they give you at check in.
Sidewalks are all around the park, but it does get dark at night, so be sure to have some sort of flashlight if you will be out after dark and not using the busses. They do enforce the bicycle helmet laws for children, so be sure to have those ready. Once confusion we ran into was that some cast members tell you to ride your bikes on the sidewalks, although they are not wide enough for two way traffic or for both pedestrian and bicycle, and there are blind corners. Just be sure to proceed with caution whichever surface you ride on. There are bike parking racks at the bus and boat stops for you to secure to if you are taking transportation. We forgot our bike chains, but never had an issues with them–but they are not electric either.
If you do want a golf cart/club car during your stay, the website does have information about renting them. At the time of our stay, they were $60-$80 per day and we prefer a bike ride anyway. If you do rent one, have some sort of lights or streamers to temporarily decorate with so it is identifiable in the sea of carts in the parking. Also be aware there are some Cart Only pathways and No Carts areas, so watch for signs.
Park admission is not required to stay at the campground, or any of the resorts, so that can save lots of money and you’ll still have plenty to do. We did end up spending one day at a park, courtesy of a friend with tickets. If you decide to enjoy the parks, be aware of the rotating additional hours at the parks for those staying in resorts and plan accordingly for transportation. The busses and boats can get pretty busy at peak times. We spent our time around work and school exploring the resorts, Disney Springs and The Boardwalk.
Another helpful tip, be flexible in your dates to stay–this can save you a lot of money. Our stay in January was a fraction of the cost to have stayed in December or February and we had a variety of sites to choose from.
While it does have resort prices and great amenities, it’s a bit lackluster in delivery and the sites are kind of small for larger rigs, making arrival, departure and setup a bit challenging. But it is very well maintained–all sites are washed down and reset before guests arrive.
There is resort wifi, but we didn’t use it much. We have Verizon cell service and I was able to work all week with no issues, even with tree coverage. Due to the tree coverage, Starlink won’t work well. We saw many people reaching theirs through the back of sites and out to open areas on the sidewalks for signals–not recommended.
This is a great location if you want to explore Disney property or visit the many things to do in the area. You can park your vehicle and won’t have to drive again, if you don’t want to! We did enjoy it, but are undecided on whether we will return, unless we have plans to visit parks. We had annual passes for 7 years, so have done a lot of it.
In my next blog post, I’ll go more in depth about navigating around the WDW Resort system using their free transportation, so be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss it and other great information!
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