Fort Wilderness Resort Review

It’s no secret that we love a good Walt Disney World Resort – the more theming, the better. But, everyone once in a while, we like brushing off the bells and whistles and escaping all that pixie dust for the simple pleasures of Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground. Split between rustic cabins and campsites nestled amid pine forests, it’s a relaxing stay in the Magic Kingdom resort area. 

So, how does Fort Wilderness compare to other Disney World Resorts? Who should try Fort Wilderness camping? Are the cabins or campsites better? Continue on, as we break down everything you need to know about Disney Fort Wilderness Campground. 

Overview

Unlike other Disney World resorts, the beauty of Fort Wilderness is that there is no theme. This is all about being out in nature, whether it’s sleeping in a tent beneath the stars, riding a horse through the stately pines and cypress trees, fishing on Bay Lake, or roasting marshmallows over the campfire.  

Outdoor campsite with tent

Fort Wilderness Resort is also unique in that it is considered both a value and a moderate resort, with campsites fetching the lowest rates and the cabins the highest. Regardless of which option you choose, each enjoys up-close views of the area’s natural beauty and access to an astonishing number of resort amenities. 

Overall, a stay at this Disney World campground can truly be as big of an attraction as a visit to the theme parks. It can be an incredible value as long as you choose to stay on one of the campsites. Plus, it’s the perfect option for nature lovers and those who like a reprieve from all the Disney magic after a long day in the parks. 

Disney Fort Wilderness Resort During COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has turned life around the world, and at Walt Disney World, upside down. The safety of guests and cast members is Disney’s number one priority. So, a number of changes have been put in place to help keep everyone as healthy as possible including increased housekeeping measures across property, social distancing guidelines, and the temporary alteration or cancelation of things like character dining and backstage tours. Even with these changes, we think Disney is still just as fun and magical as ever. 

Fortunately, with most of the resort being outside, much of Fort Wilderness remains open or is operating but in some altered form. The only amenities currently unavailable are Trail’s End Restaurant, marina rentals, Daniel Boone’s and Davy Crockett’s Wilderness Arcades, the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue, and Chip ‘n’ Dale’s Campfire Sing-A-Long.  

There are also some general guest amenities that have been suspended or are operating at a reduced capacity throughout Disney World. However, we’re hopeful that these will return to normal, or in an altered capacity, as the world returns to normal. They are:

  • Disney’s Magical Express
  • FastPass+
  • Extra Magic Hours
  • Minnie Vans
  • Valet parking
  • Bell services (reduced)
  • In-room dining
  • In-room celebrations
  • Package delivery
  • Airline check-in service

RV at campsite

Even with all the changes, Disney Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground guests still have a lot to look forward to – all the pools and fitness centers are open, poolside activities and Movies Under the Stars are still happening, outdoor adventures like archery, fishing, and trail rides are available, and many dining outlets are serving. Although, it is possible that these are operating with reduced hours, so be sure to double-check with a cast member upon your arrival. 

Disney Fort Wilderness Cabins & Campground

When staying at a resort on Walt Disney World property, there are generally a few things you need to remember, such as how far the resort is from the parks, the resort’s amenities, if there is dining available for everyone in the family, and maybe even the resort’s theming. For families looking for a rustic escape from the over-the-top theming that’s still in the thick of the Disney action, the Campsites and Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground is the perfect choice. Currently, the Disney Fort Wilderness campground has a 4.5 on TripAdvisor, landing it in the top 7 of specialty lodging in Orlando.  

If you decide to stay at the Disney Fort Wilderness Campground, there are a few other things you’ll need to think about as well, like whether you want to stay in The Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort or go camping at Disney World instead, and, if you do decide to camp, how much space you’ll need for your campsite. Keep in mind that, unless you opt for one of the cabins, you will be camping at Disney World, meaning you’ll need to bring your own tents, pop-up camper, or RV.  

Aside from lots of peace and quiet in the great outdoors, camping at Disney World has its fair share of perks. Pets are allowed to join your family at Fort Wilderness provided that certain conditions are met including staying on-leash, picking up your pet’s droppings, and making sure your pet isn’t disruptive. For those wanting to move around the resort with ease, you can also rent golf carts at Fort Wilderness (reservations are recommended).

Lodge with foliage

Finally, if you so choose, you can even decorate your campsite or cabin. This is especially popular for those visiting during one of the holidays. Just be sure to follow the guidelines here. Plus, for those staying in one of the Fort Wilderness cabins, groceries can even be delivered directly to your refrigerator.

The Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort

Whether you want to rough it in a tent under the stars or bask in glamping luxury from the comfort of your RV, the Disney Fort Wilderness Campground is sure to have a campsite that fits your needs. 

Tent or Pop-Up Campsite

  • Sleeps up to 10 adults
  • Space for a camper van or a pop-up camper, plus up to 2 tents 
  • Concrete slab up to 10 feet by 25 feet

Full Hook-Up Campsite

  • Sleeps up to 10 adults
  • Space for an RV and a tent
  • Concrete slab up to 10 feet by 50 feet
  • Sewage hook-up included

Preferred Campsite

  • Sleeps up to 10 adults
  • Space for an RV and a small tent
  • Concrete slab up to 10 feet by 45 feet
  • Sewage hook-up included
  • Near the marina

Premium Campsite

  • Sleeps up to 10 adults
  • Space for a larger RV
  • Concrete slab up to 18 feet by 60 feet
  • Sewage hook-up included

Premium Meadow Campsite

  • Sleeps up to 10 adults
  • Space for a larger RV
  • Concrete slab up to 18 feet by 60 feet
  • Sewage hook-up included
  • Close to the Meadow Trading Post, Meadow Recreation Area, Bike Barn, and Campfire Area

Cabin in the woods

In general, all of the Fort Wilderness campsites include: a picnic table, a charcoal grill, cold water tap, television and electrical hook-ups, free WiFi, privacy-enhancing landscaping, and views of the surrounding woods. 

The Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort

For those who’d rather not have to tow a camper or pack a tent, or for those looking to experience the great outdoors without having to actually sleep in it, the Fort Wilderness cabins offer all the comforts of home surrounded by the secluded beauty of Mother Nature. And best of all – you can let housekeeping take care of the dishes!

Wilderness Cabin

  • Sleeps up to 6 adults
  • 1 queen bed and 1 bunk bed and 1 double-size sofa sleeper
  • Views of woods

In general, all of the Fort Wilderness cabins include: a hairdryer, an iron & ironing board, a telephone with voicemail, free WiFi, and a kitchen (dishwasher, 2 cooktop burners, refrigerator, convection microwave oven, coffee maker, and toaster).  

Disney Fort Wilderness Campground Rates

When making Fort Wilderness campground reservations, you will likely notice that rates can vary widely. That’s because while The Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort is considered one of the Disney value hotels, The Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort is one of the Disney moderate hotels. At the campsites specifically, rates also increase for campsites with larger concrete slabs, more provided hook-ups, and better locations. Fort Wilderness prices also vary depending on when you decide to travel, particularly if it’s during the high, low, or shoulder seasons and if it’s during a holiday. 

RV camper at campsite 

In general, for the Fort Wilderness campsites, rates start out in the $90s for the smallest Tent or Pop-Up Campsite in the low season and go up to $789 for one of the Wilderness cabins between Christmas and New Year’s. 

More specifically, the Tent or Pop-Up Campsite is the most affordable option, running between the $90s up to $179. The Full Hook-Up Campsite ($120s to $220s), Preferred Campsite ($130s to $240s), and Premium Campsite ($140s to $250s) are next, in that order. The largest campsite with the best location, the Premium Meadow Campsite, is the priciest camping options, starting in the $150s and topping out in the $280s. Of course, the Wilderness Cabins are the most expensive place to stay at Fort Wilderness, with rates beginning in the low to mid-$400s and climbing to the $780s. 

Disney Fort Wilderness Resort Amenities

Even though you’re just a boat ride across Bay Lake from Magic Kingdom, when you’re surrounded by towering pine and cypress trees, camping at Disney World can make you feel like you’re worlds away. Best of all, the resort’s sprawling 750 acres are chock full of things to see, do, and eat. Let’s dig into everything this Disney RV park has to offer.   

Fort Wilderness Restaurants

Fort Wilderness may not have the most restaurants of any resort on Disney property, but it does have some can’t-miss dining experiences. No matter if you’re looking for a moonshine-filled cocktail, a bottomless buffet of comforting breakfast and dinner favorites, a hootenanny of a dinner show, or a sandwich to go, there’s a dining option to fit your Disney day.  

Crockett’s Tavern

Mosey on up to the bar at Crockett’s Tavern, the walk-up drink window next to Pioneer Hall, for bar bites with a Southern comfort food twist and drinks dripping with moonshine. With rocking chairs on a wraparound porch replacing the rowdy bar crowds or soft tinkling of glasses and hushed whispers, this isn’t like any of the other lounges you’ll find on Disney property. 

Boat dock on a lake

Crockett’s Tavern has a delightfully extensive bar menu. While classics like the Rum Swizzle and Spicy Poblano Margarita, as well as wines and brews, are available, we suggest going for one of the specialty cocktails mixed with moonshine like the Blackberry Lightnin’ or the Gullywhumper. Top it all off with some Fried Green Tomatoes or the pulled pork-topped Smoke House Nachos

Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue

Enjoy two hours filled with finger-lickin’ good food, rousing music, and laugh-out-loud entertainment at the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue, Disney’s longest-running stage show. Advance reservations are required, and audience participation is encouraged at this dinner show set in Pioneer Hall next to Trail’s End Restaurant. 

Here, guests dine on buckets full of bottomless downhome favorites like crispy Fried Chicken, smoky BBQ Pork Ribs, and sweet Strawberry Shortcake. Soft drinks are included, as are *unlimited* beer, wine, and sangria for guests over 21. 

Meadow Snack Bar

Next to the Meadow Swimmin’ Pool, the Meadow Snack Bar is the perfect spot for guests looking for some All-American sustenance in between trips down the waterslide. This open-air pool bar serves up filling favorites like the Wilderness Dog piled with pulled pork, Meadow’s Loaded Chips, pizzas, and fresh salads. Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, including some of those moonshine-filled cocktails, are also available. 

Outdoor pool at Fort Wilderness

P & J’s Southern Takeout

Rustle up some hearty grub at P & J’s Southern Takeout. Trail’s End Restaurant’s attached counter service counterpart, P & J’s Southern Takeout is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with individual entrees, kids’ meals, and even family meals being available. 

This is comfort food to-go. We’re talkin’ French Toast Sticks and Potato Barrels in the morning, Barbecued Pulled Pork in the afternoon, and a Half-Slab of Barbecued Ribs in the evening. You can even get a refreshing bowl of Strawberry Shortcake. 

The Chuck Wagon

Need food extra fast? Track down The Chuck Wagon food truck, a classic camper serving up portable eats straight from your neighborhood cookout. Here, guests can grab handhelds like Hot Dogs, Corn Dog Nuggets, and Chicken Nuggets or the slightly-less-mobile Pioneer Berry Salad, as well as both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. 

Keep in mind that this is a food truck, so The Chuck Wagon’s location is apt to change. And while you’re waiting for your food, take some time to appreciate all the little details, like retro Disney stickers and the old school camping chairs hanging from the back, packed into this quirky food truck.

Trail’s End Restaurant

Feast on bottomless homestyle eats at Trail’s End Restaurant. Open for breakfast, dinner, and weekend brunch, this country-style dining hall filled with Southern comfort food classics is a welcome respite from the hamburgers, hot dogs, and pizza slices of the theme parks. 

Inside dining room with tables

At Trail’s End, Disney Fort Wilderness guests can dine on stick-to-your-ribs dishes like Pulled Pork Eggs Benedict, Fried Chicken, and Smoked Pork Ribs. It’s the perfect place to fuel up before a day of visiting the parks or to go into a food coma after a day filled with exploring. 

Fort Wilderness Pools

Guests staying at this Disney World campground have access to two different pools: the Meadow Swimmin’ Pool and the Wilderness Swimmin’ Pool. The Meadow Swimmin’ Pool, part of the Meadow Recreation Area, is the resort’s feature pool. This sprawling water complex comes complete with a 67-foot corkscrew waterslide, a whirlpool spa, and a water playground themed to look like an old fort in the wild west. For a more relaxed swim, guests can also visit the more mellow Wilderness Swimmin’ Pool and hot tub. 

Fort Wilderness Merchandise Locations

Disney’s Fort Wilderness Campground has two different shops available for guests.  The Meadow Trading Post is located near the middle of this sprawling Disney World RV park. Whether your campsite is in the area or you’re planning to attend the nearby campfire and need to grab some stuff for s’mores, this is a convenient place to grab some camping supplies or even rent a movie. Located back near Trail’s End Restaurant and the Fort Wilderness Marina, the Settlement Trading Post is another place for guests to pick up a souvenir or stock up on that thing you forget from home. 

Both shops also stock a variety of Disney merchandise, some even inspired by Fort Wilderness, as well as snacks and essentials. Due to the pandemic, operating hours may be reduced, so we recommend checking with a cast member once you’re at the resort. 

Empty campsite with parking pad

Other Recreation at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground

The only Disney World campground, Fort Wilderness is a massive resort with the most amenities of any other resort on property. As a result of its location and sheer size, there are tons of outdoor activities to be had here. 

Kids staying at Fort Wilderness will love Chip ‘n’ Dale’s Campfire Sing-A-Long, Movies Under the Stars, pony rides, playgrounds, and Daniel Boone’s and Davy Crockett’s Wilderness Arcades. Meanwhile, adults might enjoy running on the jogging trail, getting in a game on the basketball or beach volleyball courts, or exploring the backwoods of Disney World by Segway on the Wilderness Back Trail Adventure. 

And the fun doesn’t stop there. Fort Wilderness is filled with activities for the whole family like the Fort Wilderness Archery Experience, horse-drawn carriage and wagon rides, and fishing excursions. You can even rent a bike, kayak, canoe, or motorized boat to discover Fort Wilderness’s watery highways and earthly byways. And whatever you do, you won’t want to miss the Tri-Circle-D Ranch. Not only is this where the horses of Fort Wilderness live, it’s also where Cinderella’s Ponies and the trusty steeds of Main Street call home. 

Fort Wilderness FAQs

Want to know more about Disney Fort Wilderness Campground? Read on for answers to some commonly asked questions. 

Tent site at Fort Wilderness

What can you do at Fort Wilderness?

Lots! Thanks to its abundant outdoor space, Fort Wilderness is blessed with tons of outdoor activities like fishing, archery, horseback riding, wagon and carriage rides, bike and boat rentals (including motorized boats, canoes, and kayaks), campfires with Chip and Dale, and so much more. 

How long is the boat ride from Fort Wilderness to Magic Kingdom?

Although buses are also available, guests can take an approximately 10-minute boat ride from the back of Fort Wilderness to the main entrance of Magic Kingdom. 

Can you see fireworks from Fort Wilderness?

Although you won’t get as good of a view as you would from some other Magic Kingdom area resorts – particularly the Contemporary, Grand Floridian, and Polynesian – you can see both the Magic Kingdom fireworks and the Electric Water Pageant from the beach area along Bay Lake. 

Can you walk from Fort Wilderness to Magic Kingdom?

Unfortunately not. While it is a Magic Kingdom area resort, Fort Wilderness is definitely not within walking distance from Magic Kingdom. However, both buses and boat rides across Bay Lake are available for guests traveling between the resort and the park. 

Cast of broadway show on stage

Can you walk from Fort Wilderness to Wilderness Lodge?

Actually yes! In addition to water taxi and a bus, there is also a walking path that connects Fort Wilderness and Wilderness Lodge. Keep in mind that as these two resorts aren’t that close together, so the walk is about a mile long. Ask a cast member for an updated map indicating the walking path. 

What is the best loop at Fort Wilderness?

Unless you’re planning on spending all your time at Fort Wilderness or visiting Magic Kingdom, we suggest you try for a loop near the center of the resort. This includes Premium Meadow Campsites as well as other loops nearby. This will help keep you close to both the main pool area and the various bus routes that crisscross through Fort Wilderness. 

What is the best cabin loop at Fort Wilderness?

In our opinion, the best cabins can be found on loop 100 – specifically cabin numbers 118 and 120. The only cabins found on the loop for preferred campsites, these are just a short 3-minute walk from the boat launch and Trail’s End Restaurant. 

Well, that wraps up our Disney Fort Wilderness review. Overall, we love this resort. With its rustic, away-from-it-all atmosphere and abundant outdoor amenities, it’s a welcome departure from the other Disney World resorts whether you’re traveling as a family with young children or with a group of adults. 

While you’re there, make the most out of your visit to Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Epcot, or Hollywood Studios with one of our one-day plans. Or, if you’d prefer to make your dollar go farther, save some cash with our discounted Walt Disney World tickets

Have you stayed at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground or tried out one of their restaurants? If you have, we want to know about it! Any tips or tricks we forgot? Let us know in the comments.

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