Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground at Walt Disney World in Kissimmee, Florida provides what Fodor's describes as "Disney's most economical lodging." Accommodation options include tent and RV campsites, as well as cabins. Although hotel rooms abound in and around Walt Disney World, Disney's Wilderness is a popular vacation option that provides the convenience of staying at a Disney property paired with an opportunity to escape from theme park excitement to relax in a charming, rustic setting.
Choosing Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground
While there are many options of places to stay on the grounds of the Walt Disney World Resort, Fort Wilderness is the place for tent or RV camping or cabin rentals. MousePlanet states "While expensive for a campground, the site does keep you outdoors while staying within easy reach of the Walt Disney World theme parks." The park is on 700 acres in what WDWMagic.com describes as a "relaxed, rustic atmosphere" where visitors "can explore a quieter side of Walt Disney World Resort."
Guests who have stayed at Fort Wilderness, including campers and cabin guests, have many positive things to say about the experience. A post on the trekaroo blog written by a repeat guest describes Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground as "a destination in itself" and says that her family returned for a second stay because "it has everything we need to provide respite from days at the theme parks."
The trekaroo blogger is not the only one who likes the resort well enough to return; several posters at RV.net indicate that they have stayed at Fort Wilderness numerous times. Fodor's states that the property has "a real community of repeat guests" - a sure sign of satisfied customers.
You can choose from four types of campsites at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground, including tent or pop-up camper sites, full hook-up campsites, preferred campsites, and premium campsites. A review on Yourfirstvisit.net emphasizes that "campsites are not one size fits all" and specifies that it is very important for RV campers to specify their exact type of rig when making reservations.
The camping loops and individual sites vary widely; for example, certain spots are well-suited for those who have slideouts and others will not work with them at all. There are almost 800 campsites at the resort.
The prices quoted here are starting rates. Fees change seasonally; contact the campground or search for availability via the resort's website to get exact pricing for the dates of your visit.
- Tent or pop-up camper sites: Priced from $54 per night.
- Full hook-up sites: Priced from $75 per night.
- Preferred sites: Priced from $80 per night, these sites can accommodate the largest RVs and are considered premium locations within the campground.
- Premium sites: Priced from $89 per night, these sites can accommodate the largest RVs and are in the locations considered to be the most premium spots.
Each type of campsite can accommodate as many as ten guests and has:
- Hookups for water, cable TV and electricity
- Picnic table
- Grill (charcoal)
- Landscaping designed to enhance privacy
- Free Internet access (requires a modem - use of the modem is free, but you must pay a deposit)
Some sites also have sewer hook-ups. Pets are allowed at some RV sites, but not all. If you are traveling with a pet, specify this at the time of reservation to be sure that you'll be assigned to an appropriate spot.
A TripAdvisor reviewer raves about RV camping at Fort Wilderness, citing such positives as large sites, privacy, friendly employees, convenient location and more.
For tent campers, Yourfirstvisit.net points out that standard tent stakes do not work here; instead you should bring sand stakes. Additionally, the review advises tent campers to avoid premium sites, as those don't have tent pads.
Yourfirstvisit.net says that Fort Wilderness is best for those who have "RVs or a complete set of tent-camping gear" and "larger families seeking an inexpensive place to stay in Walt Disney World."
Cabins are available for those who are not traveling with a tent or RV. Each 'Wilderness Cabin' can sleep up to six people and is fully furnished. According to Allears.net, the cabins "are about 12' x 42'" and are decorated in a rustic theme. There are a few more than 400 cabins at the resort. Prices for cabins start around $335 per night; "they are classified as Moderate resorts in the Disney hierarchy." As with the campsites, rates vary seasonally.
Wilderness cabins are outfitted with:
- One double bed
- One double pull-down bed
- One bunk bed
- Separate sleeping and living areas
- Picnic table
A number of the cabins are wheelchair accessible; if you need an accessible cabin, be sure to specify this when making your reservation.
A review on the DisneyTouristBlog.com described the cabin's interior as "nothing short of gorgeous." The reviewer describes her overall experience as very positive, including the quality and comfort of the cabin as well as transportation to and from the Disney parks and states, "I would not hesitate to book a stay at Fort Wilderness if a more rustic setting appeals to your party."
In addition to the above amenities, visitors to Disney's Fort Wilderness enjoy the following as well:
- Pull-through check-in: You can get checked in and set up quickly and easily.
- Privacy: The campsites are designed with landscaping that enhances privacy.
- Larger groups: For groups of 20 or more people, tents-only campsites are available for reservation at the Creekside Meadow campground.
- Air-conditioned comfort stations: Located throughout campsite loops, comfort stations offer guests the use of private toilets and showers, as well as telephones, ice machines, and laundry facilities.
Dining and Recreational Activities
While the lure of Disney World provides plenty of opportunities for fun and excitement within each of the four parks, Fort Wilderness offers plenty of excitement of its own. Families often find that they don't have to leave the campground to find fun elsewhere, and they can choose from any or all of the following.
You can choose to eat at your campsite, in your cabin or visit one of the following dining options:
- Mickey's Backyard BBQ: This character dining adventure is located at the Fort Wilderness Pavilion. Kids can dance with their favorite Disney characters, and the whole family can enjoy a country barbeque buffet. Prices range from $30 to $60; reservations are recommended. Some dining plans are accepted.
- Hoop-De-Doo Musical Review: Priced at $60 per person, this old-fashioned dinner show features an all-you-can-eat dinner along with some old-time music and family-friendly comedy. Reservations can be made. Some dining plans are accepted.
- Trails End Restaurant: Choose from a la carte items at lunch or eat the delicious breakfast or supper buffet. Prices typically range from $15 to $30, and reservations can be made. Some dining plans are accepted.
- Crockett's Tavern: For the casual diner, check out Crockett's Tavern for a nice selection of pizzas, nachos, specialties, and a full-service bar. Menu items are $15 or less. Dining plans are not accepted here.
Recreational activities in and around Fort Wilderness abound and include the following:
- Bay Lake: Spend some time on the water when you rent a pontoon or canopy boat, or simply relax on the white sand beaches of Bay Lake.
- Arcades: Choose to play a variety of fun arcade games at either Davy Crockett's Wilderness Arcade located at Pioneer Hall or Daniel Boone's Wilderness Arcade located at the Meadow Recreation Area.
- Bikes: Rent a bike or bring your own, and explore the trails throughout the campsite and wilderness area.
- Carriage rides: Enjoy a scenic, 30-minute trip along the Sassagoula River in a horse-drawn carriage.
- Campfire sing-alongs: Families always enjoy the Chip 'n Dale's sing-along. After the singing is over, stick around to watch a Disney classic movie.
- Swimming: Guests can choose to swim at either the Meadow Swimmin' Pool or the Wilderness Swimmin's Pool. Planned swimming activities are often available.
In addition to the above activities, guests can enjoy one or all of the following:
- Horseback riding
- Aquatic parades
- Electric cart rentals
- Pony rides
- Dog park
Planning Your Trip
If Disney's World's Fort Wilderness is your family's destination, you'll want to begin planning early. Even though the resort is quite large, campsites and cabins book quickly - especially during peak tourist times. Going to Disney World and staying at one of the resort properties is a family vacation dream, so start living yours today!