Our first trip to Disney was nearly six years ago. My kids enjoyed pin trading, meeting the characters throughout the park and eating our way around the World Showcase. We loved our trip and the only thing we swore we’d do differently if we ever returned was to stay at one of the Disney resorts.
When we planned a trip back to Disney for only one night we wanted a hotel that would give us the most bang for our buck. Turned out, it wasn’t a hotel at all, but the Disney Fort Wilderness Campground, that fit that description.
The cast member that checked us in was very friendly and helpful, just what I remembered from our previous Disney experience.
We found our site relatively easy and were mildly surprised by the size of the sites, which were much larger than I expected them to be. I also appreciated that each loop of campsites is located within close proximity to a comfort station that not only includes the cleanest bathrooms I’ve ever seen at a campground, but also a laundry facility as well.
Our loop of campsites was located directly across from the pool and hot tub – that is open 24 hours a day.
There are also volleyball nets, a playground and a small game room for campers.
The Meadow Trading Post sells souvenirs, basic food items that you may run out of and snack items.
I was excited to find several penny pressing machines at various locations (the Meadow Trading Post, Settlement Trading Post, outside the Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue, and the Outpost Depot) throughout the campground. Don’t leave home without a stockpile of pennies and quarters!
In addition to scheduled crafts, activities and organized games, each night the Disney Fort Wilderness Campground welcomes special guests Chip ‘n Dale for a Campfire Sing-a-Long followed by a movie.
The Sing-a-Long was really fun and upbeat and I couldn’t help but think of how much fun my kids would have had stayed at the campground when they were younger!
They may be teenagers but they didn’t pass up their chance to have their picture taken with Chip! I appreciated that Chip ‘n Dale took the time to pass through each row of seats one by one to welcome each guest.
If you want to spend a bit more money you could take a horse drawn carriage or wagon ride. You could also purchase tickets for the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue. Or you could take advantage of more freebies on the property.
The beach at the boat launch is the perfect spot to watch the Electrical Water Pageant and if you stick around afterward you’ll also be able to see the firework display from the Magic Kingdom.
I know Disney couldn’t predict that those guests were going to be such a disruption, but my husband was extremely disappointed by the way security handled things on each occasion that he had to call. After three calls and no resolution, with our neighbors pacing around our tent, alternating between taunting my family with a string of expletives and making vomiting noises only stopping long enough to pee- yes- you read that right, he urinated on our tent- my family had had enough. This was the single worst camping experience they had ever had.
While my son and I were having the time of our lives at the Star Tours Meet-up, the rest of my family were being terrorized by the drunks next door. When I returned with the van at nearly 3 in the morning, we packed up our tent and headed out. Which is why we spent the rest of the night not in the tent, but in one of the cabins at the Disney Fort Wilderness Campground. I guess we could thank our neighbors for the upgrade.
The cute kitchen, dining room, and living area is fully stocked with dishes, pots, pans and dish towels. There is also a Murphy bed that pulls down from the wall, which is where my husband and I slept.
We gave the kids the bedroom and they were excited to see the folded Mickey towel that welcomed them. You can never be too old for those extra touches.
Though my husband still was not appeased, the kids and I were happy that we didn’t need to search for a hotel room in Orlando at 3 in the morning.
If you’re considering a trip to the Disney Fort Wilderness Campground, I suggest if you think you’ll have any problems at all with your neighbors, call the Outpost early in the day and request a new campsite. My husband’s suggestion? If your neighbors give you as much grief as he had, skip Disney security and call the police. What should have been a great camping trip turned into a horrible experience that we never expected to have at Fort Wilderness. Did we feel safe at the Happiest Place on Earth? Absolutely not, and had we been at any other campsite, more than likely, the offending neighbors would have been kicked out of the campsite, or reprimanded a bit sterner.
So, is the Disney Fort Wilderness Campground really an affordable alternative to the Disney resorts? Honestly, my opinion of Fort Wilderness drastically changed after hearing and seeing the incredible nonsense my family put up with in my absence. Yes, the campground definitely has some benefits, but so do a lot of other resorts. Unless you are dead set on camping, or really can’t afford to stay at Disney any other way, I’d really think long and hard about tent camping at Fort Wilderness. We won’t do it again. Ever.
That doesn’t mean that we wouldn’t welcome another night in a cabin though. After all, the cabin has a door. That locks.
I know some of you have probably experienced the Disney Fort Wilderness campground, and I hope it was more pleasant. Why not leave a comment and share your experience?
© 2011 – 2017, Tonya Prater. All rights reserved.