Walt Disney World has a lot of different resort options to choose from, so the question is, where should you stay, what resort will best suit you and your family’s wants and needs? When I was young, my family always chose to camp at Fort Wilderness, and I have many fond memories of the resort from my childhood.
To help you figure out if Fort Wilderness is right for you, weigh the pros and cons:
- Peace and Quiet: it is a big, beautiful, peaceful resort, full of lush green meadows, and it seems like you’re a world away. It really is a quiet escape from the hustle and bustle of the parks
- Lodging Options: When staying at Fort Wilderness you have the option of camping with your own equipment (they offer sites with hookups for all kinds/sizes of RV’s and campers), or you can rent one of their Cabins, which sleep 6 and come complete with a bathroom and kitchen (truly a home away from home!)
- Cost: compared to other WDW resorts, camping at Fort Wilderness can be considered cheap if you already have a camper, since you’re only paying for a campsite. If you decide to rent a cabin, since they sleep 6, if a few people are pitching in on the cost, that’s another way to be able to save some money. Not to mention the fact that you can cook your own food in the cabins or in your camper and save on meal costs (the resort has 2 small stores where you can purchase grocery items)
- Built in Entertainment: Since the resort is so large, it is able to offer lots of ways to keep you and your family amused away from the parks. Swimming, biking, nature trails, horseback riding, canoe and powerboat rentals, nightly campfires featuring an appearance by Chip and Dale, golf cart rentals (that’s right, you can even rent a golf cart here!)…there’s so much to do that Fort Wilderness is practically a theme park itself!
- Shuttle Boat Service: You can take a boat from Fort Wilderness to the Magic Kingdom, and from there you can take a monorail or bus to pretty much anywhere in Walt Disney World. The boat is really a time saver (versus staying at a value resort and having to take a 30 minute bus ride to the Magic Kingdom)
- Restaurant options: Fort Wilderness is home to the famous Hoop Dee Doo Revue dinner show, a wild west themed show that is a must-see at WDW! If you’re looking for something a little more tame, try Trail’s End, where they serve breakfast and dinner buffet style and lunch is offered a la carte. Either way, you won’t go hungry with the delicious food offerings at Fort Wilderness!
- Confusingly Large: Fort Wilderness is so large that it has it’s own internal bus system which can be confusing, and you could spend 15 minutes or more walking back to your campsite from the bus stop after a long day at the parks (not fun on feet that have already spent 12 hours walking!)
- Bus Service: The Magic Kingdom shuttle boat makes things easy, but bus service to other parks can be slow, with long times between buses and the rides can be crowded and long
- Grocery Offerings Small: Should you plan to cook the majority of your meals at your campsite, and you will need to purchase food once you arrive at the Resort, you may end up paying too much….the Resort offers groceries, but the selection isn’t huge, and the prices tend to be way higher than a regular grocery store. Try using Garden Grocer to have food delivered to you!
- “Wild West” cuisine offerings not for everyone: Trails End has some great food, but the variety is not as large as you would find at a Value or Moderate resort’s food court. Health wise, the options aren’t as plentiful, and it’s really the only place to eat at the Resort, so it might get old fast
Overall, I can’t say enough good things about Fort Wilderness, as an adult I would definitely bring my family there, it’s a beautiful resort with a ton to offer, and something for everyone for sure.
Hopefully it ends up being the right WDW resort for you, and you can make some memories there too!
- Celebrating Thanksgiving at Walt Disney World (chipandco.com)
- Is Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort For You? (chipandco.com)
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