Sunday, June 19, 2011

REVIEW Fort Wilderness Campground at Walt Disney World

We are sad to see our 13 days here at Fort Wilderness come to an end. Fort Wilderness is located right in Walt Disney World in Florida.

Value 4/5
Sites here are pricey but when you compare them to the Vegas KOA you get way more here for your money at the actual campground. Prices vary by site here and we were in a premium campsite which accomodated our RV's length for $98 weekdays and $101 weekends. That sounds expensive but when you look at the cost of staying outside the park, gas and time to drive in 1/2 an hour each way each day, $15 to park for the day it begins to be worth it. Especially with everything available at the campground..see facility fun for more details.

Site Quality 5/5
We stayed in 546 and our site was large, spacious, flat and had many trees between sites. We barely ever heard our neighbours. Even though we were quite close to the road you didn't hear much traffic as most of the traffic in the park is golf carts (which you can rent for $64 per day or you can walk like we did for free or even take a free bus) as you are only allowed to drive your vehicle in and out of the park. Buses go by about every 12 minutes but again, they are barely noticable. Our site was a paved pad with full hook ups and cable included. It also had a newer picnic table and barbeque grill. I think they could have thrown in the wifi as well as it costs just shy of $10 per 24 hour period if you don't have your own internet stick. We were very happy with our site in the 500 loop. It was halfway between the pool area for days we stayed in the campground and halfway to the marina for days we wanted to take the boat to Magic Kingdom. All transportation inside the park is FREE when staying at any of the Resorts including Fort Wilderness.

Facility Fun
This campground has everything and more to make sure you have a fun time (some free and some added costs). There are two pools but we only went to the Meadows Pool which was the closest to our site. It was huge! There was a water slide in it, a hot tub, a wading pool and a kiddies play slide area. There was a snack bar here and they played pool games, did crafts and games here too. A playground is beside the pool. There is a bike barn here where you can rent bikes, canoes and kayaks. The Campfire is located near here as well where there is a Chip and Dale sing a long every night where you can roast marshmellows (take your own as they sell kits for about $12!!!) followed buy a Free outdoor movie (weather permitting but played a selection of movies from new releases to classics). There are many playgrounds throughout the campground as well as an off leash dog area.  Other paid activities in the campground include horsebackriding (age 9 and up), horse and carriage rides ($45 for 20-25 minute ride around the campgrounds), There is camp store (very expensive $3 for 1 litre of milk), a themed restaurant, and Mickeys character picnic pavillion. We didn't do any of these paid activities and we had a great time. Be prepared to either say NO or have your money easily slip out of your wallet :) Afterall right after providing a magical adventure then next best thing Disney knows how to do is get you to spend money or at least TRY to get you too ;)

Natural Surroundings 5/5
The campgground is set in the middle of a forest with many trees all around you and a lake and rivers to paddle along. On the big lake by the marina there is a sandy beach area and has small boats to rent. All the playgrounds are nestled between mature trees for shade. We also saw deer, birds, squirrels and an armidillo.

Bathrooms 5/5
These bathrooms were large, spacious and very clean. The showers were roomy and hot. Laundry was right next door for $2 a load however you are allowed to have clotheslines so that's how we dried ours. Ice is also available for $2 here, as well as payphones.

Staff 5/5
Upon arrival Disney staff give the kids little goodie bags to keep them happy while dealing with your arrival. Fast and friendly service and staff are always very helpful. They except incoming mail so we had a few packages sent here since we weren't stationary anywhere else long enough. We had a problem (not Disneys fault) with a delivery and everyone including the managers were very helpful in working with us and the delivery company to get it located. For a few days we were in contact with them via email and phone working it out. Another day we forgot our passes at the trailer on our way into Magic Morning and we flagged down a staff member on a golf cart who happily drove Ian to the trailer and back to the marina so we could make the boat on time.

Location 5/5
You will spend the least amount of travel time by staying at one of the resorts. If you like camping then this way is cheaper then staying in one of the hotels. Disneyworld is not like Disneyland where you can get an offsite hotel and walk across the road to the park. Fort Wilderness is right in Walt Disney World and you can't camp anycloser to Magic Kingdom then Fort Wilderness. Free transportation to and from all the parks is included and you don't have to pay the $15 a day to park as you would if you stayed outside and drove in daily. If you don't like camping Fort Wilderness Lodge is just down the road.

Overall 4.5/5
If we were to ever drive to Florida again and go to Walt Disney World we would stay here again. We only planned on staying here 9 nights but because the campground was so nice we added on 3 more nights so we could spend some days enjoying the campground and the pool which provided us with days to relax between parks making our whole experience more enjoyable. The only drawbacks...basic groceries were too expensive here. It was cheaper to drive 1/2 an hour to Walmart then buy milk and bread here. I don't see the need for raising these prices so much. Our only other complaint...throw in the wifi Disney. We had an internet stick but if we didn't then $10 for a 24 hour period is kind of steep.

Our site #546

Showing the distance between sites

An empty site

The trading post (general store with basic groceries and Disney trinkets)

Horse and carriage

Preschoolers water slide at Meadows Pool

Water slide at Meadows Pool

Wading pool

Campfire to roast marshmellows, some people even
 roasted hotdogs. It's the only campfires
allowed in the park

Chip and Dales Sing a Long

Surprise Chip sat with us :)

A view towards the outdoor movie screen
from behind the bleechers
Playground by the pool
Playground by the beach
Playground by our campsite

Beach area

Boat to Magic Kingdom
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