I almost talked myself out of writing this post, because one of the things I like the most about Fort Wilderness is the wonderfully uncrowded feel of the campground. Then again, the Fort is unlikely to ever be on the Top Ten Must Do list for first time visitors to Walt Disney World, so there is really no reason not to spread the word!
Once you’ve got your fill of thrill rides, castles, Dole Whips and parades, it may be time to slow down and check out a whole different kind of Walt Disney World experience. Fort Wilderness is a campground in the Magic Kingdom area. It was one of the first resorts to open at Walt Disney World and has been a family favorite for many over the decades. Accessible by boat from the Magic Kingdom, by bus from any of the parks and by car to those staying at the Fort, the Fort offers everything from boat rentals to pony rides to dinner shows to complimentary character meets to carriage rides.
One easy way to experience the Fort for the first time is to book a dinner at Mickey’s Backyard BBQ. Just take a boat over from the Magic Kingdom and walk a few hundred feet to enter the BBQ pavilion. It will be an evening full of food, fun and lots of movement for any little ones in your party.
There is another dinner show at the Fort, if the thought of one more meal with characters makes you want to yell “enough with the fur already!” The Hoop De Doo is the longest running dinner theater in the United States. One visit was enough to convert my family into fans – it is a great deal of fun! Here’s a look at some of the highlights of our visit.
Both of these shows include all you care to eat dinner plus adult drinks and the entertainment. Of course, there is a price tag associated with this kind of Disney fun. For the more budget conscious, a fun alternative might be the Chip and Dale Campfire Sing Along. There is no cost to attend, however if you forget to bring your s’mores fixings, be aware that you will likely be conned by the sugar-loving members of your family into buying them there. This Fort Wilderness tradition has been around for years. It includes the nightly campfire for s’mores, a short show by a singing cowboy and time with Chip n Dale. My daughter had a blast here and wants to go again. Right Now!
Other activities at the Fort include Pony rides for younger children, Segway Backwoods tours for adults, visits to the horse barn, working blacksmiths, another resturant, two shops, horse rides for adults, carriage rides, wagon rides, watching fireworks and a host of play area for kids plus pool, tennis, ball courts and play areas for family fur-babies.
If you would like to learn more about Fort Wilderness, please leave a comment and I will continue this post with a Part 2. Or, you may enjoy reading about my family’s adventures in Fort Wilderness. Learn more about what we did right – and more importantly, learn how NOT to do what we did wrong – in Camping Disney, the Field Guide to Fort Wilderness! It’s available for $4.99 as a kindle book from Amazon.