There is nothing like the magic that Disney brings to it's theme parks and resorts, with Fort Wilderness Campgrounds being no exception. From the very front parking entrance where the helping hands told fun jokes to my kids in the back seat as we checked in, to the Chip 'n' Dale campfire experience, all the way to the Magic Kingdom fireworks being in view at the beach...magic. This was our kids first camping experience and something tells me it will never be topped. I want to share all the ins and outs to camping at Ft. Wilderness with kids so you are prepared for your visit!
Minnie Tee by Piggy Had Tea
Tent or Pop Up Camper Sites: These start at $59 per night and are great for the full camping experience. Definitely doable with toddlers, but I'd advise the next few options until they are a little older.
RV Hook Up Site: Starting at $73 per night, these are a fabulous option to get your camping on while meeting in the middle. You have a bed or bunk to sleep in, electrical hook up which means A/C in the Florida heat and sewage hook up. While I don't recommend anyone going number two in such a small, small space, it's nice to have in the event of an emergency. There are nice bath houses in each area so don't worry, no toilet paper leaves needed.
Cabins: Starting at $309 per night, these fall more under glamping, but they are fabulous. We've stayed in the cabins at a past visit and they have all the amenities of a hotel, but with a rustic feel. Sleeping up to 6 adults, they make great use of the space and include a kitchen for meals. I hear these days, you can even have groceries delivered so you can make a delicious meal to be enjoyed on your patio.
The Lodge: Starting at $307 per night, if you just aren't a fan of even being close to anything outdoorsy, the lodge is for you. This is beautiful resort with all the bells and whistles--detailed native decor, multiple pools, restaurants and turn down service of course! *Keep in mind, this is it's own resort entity and is on a separate location from the campsite, but can be reached by a short boat ride.
All Disney lodging options or reservations can be reached here.
what to do:
Grab Your S'mores Gear: Join Chip 'n' Dale for their campfire sing-a-long and movie nights. The fires are blazing for lots of marshmallow melting and don't worry, if you forget s'mores supplies, they have a food truck with full kits for $10. They start off the evening with the sing-a-long as the characters mingle with the crowd, taking time to visit with each family, then as it gets dark, transition to movie time, a Disney one of course. There are ample benches and bleachers, but this is a camp favorite, so try to arrive a little early for a great spot.
Watch The Pyrotechnics: With the resort sharing a lake with The Magic Kingdom, you can catch the fireworks show by the lake at 9PM. If you grab a spot by the dock, the live music feed from the theme park is over the speaker system and the view will not disappoint.
Take A Dip: Take a dip at one of the pools onsite. The largest pool, the Meadow Swimmin' Pool, features a 67 foot slide and kids splash pad area. My three year old twins braved the big slide, but mostly got their excitement from going down the mini slides in the gated splash pad area. This pool is central to many other activities like the tennis courts and archery. The other pool is the Wilderness Swimmin' Pool. This pool is more for leisure, but still meant for all ages to enjoy and even has movies under the stars. If you stay at the Lodge or happen to be dining over there, their largest pool also features a large slide and amazing kids splash pad with a mini flume.
Get some R & R: Something we never do enough of, so instead of always having a vacation agenda, we leave room for downtime. Some things we love doing: Grab the kid's sleeping bags, like these from Olive Kids, to stare at the stars, have a picnic on a lawn or just enjoy all the little things.
Explore The Wilderness: You're in the great outdoors, so take a long walk along the jogging trails, let the kids get up close and personal with leaves, pine cones or even some good old fashion dirt.
Get your blood pumping: The grounds has basketball and tennis courts, jogging trails and a sand volleyball court lakeside. For the little ones, there are multiple playground sites, all fenced in for extra safety. If you have a pup, there is even a little obstacle dog park that sits in the meadow with the largest play areas. If you prefer to explore by bike, the Bike Barn has rentals for $18 per person.
Hang With The Horses: For the littlest campers, there are pony rides within the corral for $8 each. If you head to the Tri-Circle-D Ranch, you can do a horseback trail ride for $55, wagon ride for adults $8/kids $5, or even a carriage ride for $45.
Head out on the water: Lots of options here--boating in all shapes and sizes. You can head down to the lake to rent large pontoon boats for $45 per half-hour or even hop in their two person mini speed boats for $32 per half hour. If you want to stay in the inland waterways of the campgrounds, you can rent a kayak or canoe for $13 per person with no time limit, but likely the adventure will take about an hour. There are also great spots for fishing alongside the waterway fun as well, so bring your gear!
Get Your Game On: There are two arcades for the gamers to enjoy, cutely named the Davy Crockett and Daniel Boon Arcades. You can load credits onto a card at the arcade, so no need for change.
All recreational activities can be found here.
where to eat
PSA-You will save yourself from having to sell a kidney if you make your own meals at your campsite or cabin. We generally try to do breakfast and lunch on our own, but usually treat ourselves to dinner out. Each campsite is equip with small square grill and large picnic table. We brought lots of non-perishables, but planned ahead on some cold items to make sure they'd keep. If you don't have access to a stove in your camper, a large griddle or portable stove will do the trick and keep you creative on meal prep. The kids loved watching us cook things in new ways they were't used to.
For camping appropriate dinnerware for kids, we chose Re-Play as they are environmentally friendly, BPA free and easy to wash. They have their massive collections (the Sorbet Collection is shown, $110) with everything you'd ever need for a meal, or they break down products into mini sets of plates, bowls, utensils and cups. Most six piece sets are around $18 or you can grab a two pack of plates for $5.99.
Hoop-Dee-Doo Review: A frontier musical for interactive family styled fun accompanied by good for the soul food. Prices start at $64 for adults and $38 for children under 10.
Mickey's Backyard BBQ: A character dining experience under a large pavilion with all the fixins. Prices start at $67 for adults and $37 for children under 10.
Trails End Restaurant: Old-fashioned Americana flair ranging from $15-34.99 for adults.
Crockett's Tavern: Walk-up and order dining with items like pizza, wings and nachos. All items priced under $14.99.
Meadow Snack Bar: Located at the Meadow Swimmin' Pool, this option is great for poolside snacks and drinks including frozen lemonade.
P&J's Southern Take Out: All the yummy fixins, but to be enjoyed anywhere you please. Prices under $14.99.
The General Store: Down by the lake, this store is a mix of souvenirs, candy and most importantly, Mickey pops.
Don't forget, you can take the boat over to the lodge and there are additional dining options of varied prices as well.
For all dining options or to make reservations, click here.
Mickey and Minnie Tees by Piggy Had Tea
Once you get your camper unhitched, you really shouldn't need your vehicle again. For travel within the resort, the golf cart rentals at $59 per day, you can ride your bike or even take the bus routes that are within the resort only. If you want to leave the park to head to Disney Springs (which is ah-may-zing since they remodeled) or the theme parks, you can head to the front of the resort and catch the bus system that travels within all of Disney. The bus system wait times are posted on screens so you know how long you have to entertain your littles, but should only be about 5-10 minutes. If you prefer the water route, you can take of of the two boat routes, one of which heads to the Magic Kingdom.
See, who would have thought camping could still be so wonderful, but that is Disney for you! No detail is ever missed and you are sure to make some incredible, magical memories at Disney's Fort Wilderness Campgrounds. Be sure to tell us below if we should add any tips to our list! Thanks for reading and hope you enjoy your own magical adventures ahead!
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