Camping at Fort Wilderness is, for our family, the absolute best way to visit Walt Disney World. Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground combines a top-notch camping experience with all those extra Disney magical touches. Together, they create an atmosphere that is both exciting and laid back.
You might think that camping, even at Disney, is far from magical. I’m telling you that from the theming to the activities, this is camping done right. Where else can you enjoy all the amenities and services of a Disney resort while staying in the comfort of your own camper?
Yes, Disney does have cabins you can rent, but this is my review of what it was like to camp at Fort Wilderness. I’m talking campsites, bathrooms, and more.
Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort has more than 800 campsites at the 750-acre resort. The basic tent sites are good sized and have a soft, sandy area to set up your tent. Full hook up sites feature a generous paved area for your camper along with a small sandy area large enough for a tent. They offer water, sewer, electric and cable hook ups. Preferred sites are full hook up sites located closer to the marina. Premium sites accommodate larger campers, and premium Meadow sites are located close to the main recreation area.
Rates vary depending on the site type and time of year, but each campsite can accommodate up to 10 guests, making Fort Wilderness a nice option for larger families.
Every loop shares a comfort station with a neighboring loop, and they are, by far, the nicest comfort stations I’ve seen at any campground. The comfort station features a men’s side and a women’s side for bathroom and showering facilities. Each has three to four sinks, toilet stalls and shower stalls. In between the two is a laundry area. Disney carries the theming right into the comfort stations and the facilities are very clean and well kept.
When you arrive at Fort Wilderness, you will enter the drive-thru registration area where a Cast Member will assign your site and give you a campground map and activities guide.
On our first trip to Fort Wilderness, we booked a full hook up site but were upgraded to a premium site. Our site in the 500 loop – named Buffalo Bend – was a close and easy walk to the marina and the Settlement Trading Post area. A quick walk to the marina and we were on a ferry headed to the Magic Kingdom. We loved taking the ferry back to Fort Wilderness at night. It was a relaxing way to end the day.
While convenient, there were a few drawbacks to our site. It was on the smaller side and on the outside of the loop, which put it close to the main road that loops around the campground. We could hear the internal Fort Wilderness buses every morning and night.
On our second trip, we once again booked a full hook up site and that was exactly what we got. This time we were in the 1700 loop, Hickory Hollow, and found the sites there to be much larger and more spaced out. We were also away from the road, so it was quiet.
Overall, we enjoyed having our own space both inside our camper and out. It seemed less crowded to us than times we stayed at a Disney resort hotel. We enjoyed having outside space that was our own and room to spread out. And did I mention trees and shade? Oh yeah, you will also see some wildlife from time to time. We’ve seen deer, turkeys, armadillo, lizards, squirrels, and even a small gator!
The Fort Wilderness internal bus system is easy to use. These buses transport guests around the campground, making stops all around the campground. We never waited very long for a bus. There are also sidewalks around most of the campground for those who prefer to walk.
Some people bring or rent golf carts to get around the Fort. There is plenty of room to park it at your site. Disney provides cart parking areas in all the recreation, dining, busing, and shopping areas at Fort Wilderness.
Fort Wilderness offers several ways to get to the parks. You can catch an internal bus to the Outpost Depot, where buses to all other Disney destinations stop. From the marina, you can take a ferry to the Magic Kingdom. You can also choose to drive your own car if you have it with you or take a Minnie van.
When not at the parks, there is plenty to do at Fort Wilderness to keep everyone entertained and happy. There are two swimming pools plus a kid’s splash zone. You can also take an archery class, rent a bike, go fishing, rent a boat, go for a horseback ride, and so much more.
At night, visit the campfire where you can join in some sing-a-long fun, make s’mores, and enjoy an outdoor movie. If you prefer, sit on the beach and watch the Electrical Water Pageant float by. There truly is something for everyone to enjoy at Fort Wilderness.
For us, we loved being in the heart of Disney with our own camper and our own stuff. Our kids are mostly grown now and our camping days are behind us, but we still think Fort Wilderness is the best place on Disney property to stay.
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