I’m a bit of a camper, although I do admit since I have had my two youngest I much prefer glamping over roughing it. Had you asked me when my older 3 kids were little, I would have said camping is not camping without a tent. I was crazy like that. These days, I find solitude in the serene sounds of nature, the beauty of the wildlife I come across and the overall sense of sharing mother nature with my family. As a big family, there aren’t too many destinations that will accommodate so I was excited to have the opportunity to visit Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground on a recent trip to Walt Disney World for the #DisneyHaunt event, thanks to Disney Canada.
This isn’t my first time to Walt Disney World; we took the 4 kids 2 years ago and each time we find something new to explore with Disney. We have never been to Disney’s Fort Wilderness and were excited to see how it would fit our large family needs. We stayed in the cabins which slept 6 comfortably, with a pull down bed in the living room area. The daily housekeeping services, wifi and a full bath and kitchen were only some of the modern amenities provided in this pleasantly rustic atmosphere. What I found exciting was that Disney’s Fort Wilderness offers a campground for campers who tend to pull RV’s.
The cabins were set back into the trees among the wilderness. I loved that it wasn’t uncommon to see wild turkey’s, deer, racoons, armadillo and little lizards walking about. Baby Girl especially enjoyed the little lizards, although they made her squeal a little when she was off guard.
Nestled on 750 acres of pine and cypress forest, Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground evokes the timeless beauty of the American frontier. Teeming with such wildlife as deer, ducks, armadillos and rabbits, the Resort welcomes you to delight in scenic woodland trails, a white-sand beach, exciting pool areas, rootin’ tootin’ entertainment and hearty country eats.
When we arrived from a long day of travel our cabin was like an oasis in the desert. Baby Girl immediately snagged the remote and made her way to the top bunk in the bedroom to watch a little tv before bed. The next day we placed an order for a few groceries from the onsite grocery store for delivery (a $10 fee) straight to our cabin before setting off on our first Disney adventure.
I really enjoyed the attached deck and barbecue for the ability to really envelope your family in the outdoors. In the evenings we enjoyed visiting with our neighbours while the little ones slept within earshot just inside. I felt a real sense of community tucked back away in the woods. It was quiet but every so often I would hear little giggles while children came and went from the Disney parks. My heart skipped each time I’d look out through the trees and see flashes of princesses, fairies and pirates fluttering about.
Disney’s Fort Wilderness Cabins are nestled back among the trees on 750 acres; naturally that means it is a little more remote than the other Disney resorts. I appreciated each cabin had a little driveway with golf cart rentals available.
For the first 2 days we chose to utilize the Disney transportation system, available to all resort guests. On our way to the Magic Kingdom it was just a little walk to the first bus to take us where we could meet the ferry with a direct jaunt to the park, easily reachable within 20 minutes. The scenery was beautiful and kept within the serene feel of the wilderness. If you are on a schedule, you may want to allot yourself enough time for transport to the parks.
On the 3rd day we chose to rent a vehicle to allow us the ability to go off the resort for a little shopping and we were happy to learn that with a flash of our resort card, we were provided free parking at all the park locations. Regardless of whether or not you rent a vehicle, you will have to jump on a tram to reach the main doors of the park so travel light. My travel stroller did the trick for Baby Ro but we ended up renting a stroller for Baby Girl when her legs gave out shortly after arriving at the park; poor Hubs. Single or Dual strollers can be rented at any Disney park for a small fee. Make sure you keep your receipt if you are park hopping, pay once and grab a stroller at any of the parks during your rental.
After long days at the park the kids had tired little feet, even the ones that were in a stroller most of the time. Cough. Baby Girl was quick to peel off her princess skin for a dip in the pool back at the cabins; she was dressed as a mermaid after all. We spent a lot of time at the nearby 24 hour pool between parks to cool off from the hot day; it was nice to be able to come back for a relaxing swim with new found friends at any time of the day.
When we first arrived we were informed that the Chip ‘n Dale’s Campfire Sing-a-Long was about to begin around the wilderness campfire. I really wanted to be able to attend but the kids were too exhausted to enjoy. Had the older kids have come, they would have been eager to roast marshmallows with some of their favourite characters.
Guests can gather ’round the campfire, roast marshmallows, make S’mores and sing songs at Chip ‘n Dale’s Campfire Sing-a-Long at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground. Nutty Disney characters Chip and Dale join the nightly activities which are followed by a Disney movie in a theater under the stars.
One of the best meals we had was at the Trail’s End Restaurant located right on the resort where we enjoyed a breakfast buffet of literally almost everything you can imagine; what’s breakfast at Disney without a Mickey waffle? As with any of the Disney staff, the Trail’s End Restaurant service was exceptionally friendly and courteous. In fact, I graciously had an offer from one of the waitresses for babysitting my chubby Baby Ro; she couldn’t get enough of him. I thought about it…briefly.
The best part of staying at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Cabins was the experience of nature and Disney’s integration of all things magical for a unique family experience. On one of our returns to our cabin we found our very own hidden mickey among the pine needles; from there on we were searching for hidden Mickey’s everywhere we went. On another morning, I opened the door to enjoy a morning coffee on the deck before the kids awoke to a flock of wild turkeys meandering their way by our cabin. Sigh.
If you are looking for a family resort with a magically rustic feel without sacrificing modern amenities, especially those with larger families, the Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness is a great place to plan your next family vacation spot.
Disclosure: We were guests of Disney Parks Canada for this review. The opinions on this blog are my own.