Campground Review and Guide To Disney's Fort Wilderness

By:  Julie Chickery

25th Oct, 17


Open since 1971, Walt Disney World's Fort Wilderness Campground is huge! It has almost 800 campsites broken into 4 types accommodating everything from tents to big rigs. The campground also has more than 400 air conditioned cabins with full kitchens. Set among 750 acres of pine and cypress forest, it blends "real Florida" with the imagination of Disney World. Most importantly, Fort Wilderness Campground is the only pet-friendly resort at Walt Disney World. If that isn't enough convince you to stay here, watch this video, or read on for more!

Campground Site Types and Cost

All campsites have water, electric, cable television, a picnic table and a charcoal grill. All sites except the tent/pop-up type have sewer as well.?
  • Premium Campsite Room $96* – Concrete pad up to 18 feet by 60 feet. Shown in video above.
  • Preferred Campsite $89* – Concrete pad up to 10 feet by 45 feet. These are located closer to amenities than the Full Hook-Up sites. Shown in video above.
  • Full Hook-Up Campsite $83* – Combine a concrete pad up to 10 feet by 50 feet with a smaller tent space at the back. The full hook-up loops are loops 1600-1900, and are all pet-friendly. Loop 1600 is closest to the Meadow area and best among these for first-timers.
  • Tent or Pop-Up Campsite $62* – Room for a pop-up camper or a camper van-type vehicle, and up to 2 tents. Accommodates equipment on a concrete pad up to 10 feet by 25 feet. These do not have sewer and pets are not permitted.

*Rates listed are pre-tax weekday/non-holiday rates. Prices may change after publication of this article. Visit Disney World's website for up-to-date pricing.

Tent site at Fort Wilderness

Comfort Stations – More than just a bath house!

There are 15 comfort stations strategically located through the campground. Many loops have their own comfort station; however, some of the smaller loops share a single, centrally located station. The comfort stations are all air conditioned and include private showers, restrooms, laundry rooms, pay and house phones, and ice machines. They are open 24 hours a day, but have security locks that are activated from midnight to 6 a.m.

Restaurants

  • Crockett's Tavern, located in Pioneer Hall, features beverages and snacks such as pizza, quesadillas, etc.
  • Trail's End Restaurant, also located in Pioneer Hall, provides an all you can eat buffet for breakfast and dinner, a la carte lunch.
  • P and J's Southern Take Out, located at Trail's End on the left, offers limited carry-out items all day.
  • Fort Wilderness Food Truck offers an assortment of burgers and salads to go.
  • Mickey's Backyard BBQ*, an all-you-can-eat buffet with a live country band, line-dance instructor, and appearances by Disney Characters, is held on certain evenings at the Fort Wilderness Pavilion.
  • TheHoop Dee Doo Musical Revue*, an all-you-can-eat dinner show, is held 3 times a night at Pioneer Hall. Fare includes fresh baked bread, tossed green salad with vinaigrette dressing, country fried chicken, smoked BBQ pork ribs, corn, baked beans, strawberry shortcake, coffee, soft drinks, hot and iced tea, unlimited beer and wine.

*Note: Both Mickey's Backyard BBQ and Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue sell out, so book it early once you've secured your site reservation.

Trading Posts (AKA Stores)

Fort Wilderness has two stores, also known as trading posts: Meadows Trading Post and Settlement Trading Post. They are almost identical and offer basic groceries, as well as Disney apparel and gifts. The Meadows Trading Post also has camping supplies (including propane tanks, sewage hoses, etc.), a deli, video rental, and an expanded selection of Fort Wilderness souvenirs.

Walt Disney World offers a grocery delivery service for the Fort Wilderness cabins. If you're a cabin guest, you can pre-order a pantry full of fresh groceries days - or even months before you arrive - and they'll be ready to enjoy the moment you arrive.

Recreation

The campground has so much to see and do that it really is a destination in itself. Some of the highlights are listed below. Activities included in the stay are noted as "free".

Arcades

Fort Wilderness has two arcades: Davy Crockett Arcade at Pioneer Hall (near Settlement Depot) and the Daniel Boone Arcade (near Meadow Trading Post).

Archery Experience

Archery guides at the Bike Barn offers training and tips on how to hit the bulls-eye with a Compound Bow. Open to resort guests and non-guests alike, ages 7 and up, the 90-minute experience costs $39 (plus tax) per person, includes equipment and instruction and can be booked up to 90 days in advance.

Bike Barn

Located behind the Meadow Trading Post, the bike barn rents bicycles, canoes, kayaks, and equipment for fishing and tennis. Life vests (provided) must be worn by all guests while in the boats.

Campfire Program (Free) – Sing-a-long, S'mores, and a Movie

The campfire program occurs every evening and has no admission fee. It is held behind the Meadow Trading Post. The program begins with a sing-along led by a Disney cast member and a marshmallow roast around two campfire rings. You may bring your own marshmallows or buy them at the Chuck Wagon. You may also buy pizza, hot dogs, candy, nachos, juice, popcorn, sodas, coffee, beer and other refreshments at the Chuck Wagon. While this is going on, Chip and Dale make an appearance to visit with guests and sign autographs. The sing-along lasts about 40 minutes. Next, a Disney animated feature is shown on a large outdoor screen. Seating is available in bleachers or on benches. There is also plenty of room to lay out a quilt or blanket. In the event of rain, the sing-along is still held on the porch of the Meadow Trading Post.

Electrical Water Pageant (Free)

You can view the Electrical Water Pageant from the beach/marina area each night.

Marina

Guests can rent boats in a variety of sizes at the marina. These boats are restricted to the waterway from which they are rented. The marina also offers guided fishing excursions on the bay lake. Fishing in the canals is free.

Playgrounds (Free)

Climb, slide, and play at outdoor activity areas located at Pioneer Hall, the Meadow Recreation area, Creekside Meadow and the Marina/Beach area.

Sports (Free)

  • Basketball and tetherball courts
  • SandVolleyball court
  • Horseshoes and shuffleboard
  • Two lighted tennis courts

Swimming Pools (Free)

There are two heated outdoor swimming pools available for FW resort guests only. Lounge chairs and tables are provided. The pools are open 24 hours, but the lifeguard hours vary seasonally.

The main pool, the Meadow Swimmin' Pool at the Meadow Trading Post has a water slide, hot tub, and children's play area. They also have planned pool activities for children.

The second smaller pool is located with the Wilderness Cabins, between loops 2500 and 2700, which is more near the resort entrance.

Tri-Circle-D Ranch

You can book a private horse drawn carriage ride, or elect for the less expensive group wagon rides. They also offer 45-minute trail rides or pony rides near Pioneer Hall for the little ones.

You can wander the Ranch and Farm in front of Pioneer Hall, and see a blacksmith affix horseshoes (on select days) to Cinderella's Ponies and the horses seen on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom Park. There is also a tribute to horses in Disney movies.

Summary

I LOVED Fort Wilderness, but husband said he was underwhelmed. To explain, you have to understand that #1 I love Disney and #2 I loved the spirit of this campground. Guests decorate their campsites, bikes, and golf carts. The energy of Disney is alive and well here! Sean, however, goes to Disney because he loves me. He read a bunch of reviews where people said this was the "best campground ever", and I think he was expecting something a little more polished and upscale.

Don't miss our companion podcast, where we talk about Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground. We discuss the pros and cons, and share our personal experience. You can listen to it here.

*A version of this article was originally published on chickerystravels.com. It is published here with permission. All opinions expressed are solely those of the author.*