Type of Resort: Moderate
Theme: the American frontier and pioneer life
Location: Magic Kingdom Resort Area
Transportation Options: Take a water taxi to Magic Kingdom, Wilderness Lodge, or the Contemporary and buses to other parks
Unique Amenities: It’s so surreal to feel like you’re really “in the woods”, while being a short boat ride from Magic Kingdom. Because of this spacious setting, Fort Wilderness has an internal bus system to move people efficiently around the resort. You can also rent a golf cart for your stay and skip the internal buses! There are two pools, the Meadow Swimmin’ Pool (with a 67-foot corkscrew water slide, whirlpool spa, and kids’ splash area) and the Wilderness Swimmin’ Pool. There is fine art photography available, if you want to commemorate your trip with a family portrait session! Guests can now preorder groceries for their Cabin too. You just submit your list and your groceries arrive on check-in day! They also have the standard Disney amenities like merchandise pickup and delivery, laundry services, mail, ATM and bank services, airline check-in, concierge services, Magical Express, online check-in, and complimentary wi-fi. This is also one of the pet friendly resorts on property!
Dining: You won’t go hungry at Fort Wilderness. Stop by the Chuck Wagon food truck for a dinner of hot dogs, burgers, and salad or P & J’s Southern Takeout for a whole range of quick service food like pizza, fried chicken, Italian subs, salads, and traditional breakfast fare. Adults can also escape to Crockett’s Tavern for pizza, wings, beer, and wine. Trail’s End is a family buffet of down-home cooking. The real stars of the show are the entertaining dinners available here. The Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue is a two-hour dinner show featuring music, dancing, and comedy, while Mickey’s Backyard BBQ features all-you-can eat BBQ, live music, and classic characters we all love like Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, and Chip and Dale!
Shopping: The Meadow Trading Post and Settlement Trading posts stock groceries, spirits, and souvenirs. You can rent movies at the Meadow Trading Post too!
Activities: You could truly plan an entire vacation around Fort Wilderness activities without setting foot in a park. Circle-D Ranch is full of fun, from taking a tour of the stables to see Cinderella’s ponies and the blacksmith making horseshoes, to horseback and pony rides. This is also home to the horse-drawn Dragon Calliope that Walt himself purchased for one of the Disneyland parades. You can also take extremely reasonably priced group wagon rides or private horse-drawn carriage rides from the Ranch. If you’d rather take a more active tour, you can even hop on a Segway as part of the Wilderness Back Trail Adventure. The Fort Wilderness Archery Experience will thrill Merida fans, learning how to use a compound bow with lots of target practice for 90 minutes. At night, you can head to the water to check out the Electrical Water Pageant floating by too. If that’s not enough, there’s also motorized boat, kayak, and canoe rentals, bike and golf cart rentals, fishing, playgrounds, two arcades (David Boone’s Wilderness Arcade and Davy Crockett’s Wilderness Arcade), Movies Under the Stars, campfire activities, basketball, volleyball, jogging trails, and swimming.
About Our Stay
Time of Year: May 2017
Room Type: Cabin
Travel Party Size: 7 people (4 adults, 3 kids), 2 households
Our Experience: Our travel party included my best friend, her husband, and her son, who’s also Ruby’s best friend. We were celebrating the kids’ third birthdays and wanted to stay all together.
We weren’t sure what to expect from the Cabin experience with two households, but we weren’t disappointed! It was such a luxury to have a full kitchen with three kids in tow – a dishwasher and full size refrigerator without the Villa pricing. The master bedroom had a comfortable queen bed and extremely comfortable bunk beds that the kids loved. The bathroom was large, although tough to manage 7 showers and routines in! The living room was a good size with a large TV. The only real letdown was how uncomfortable the sleeper sofa was. I mean, that thing was terrible. If you plan to stay with multiple adults, you might want to plan to rotate nights, so everyone sleeps in comfort at some point.
We also really enjoyed being able to park right at our front door. With two strollers, it was nice to stow them away in the cars at the end of the day! It was also amazing to have our own patio to relax on. This is the only place on Disney property where you can smoke on your patio, so that’s something to consider if you’re traveling with a smoker. We really enjoyed being able to put the kids to bed and hang out on the patio with our best friends each night.
We opted not to rent a golf cart, because we were dealing with two strollers, but we occasionally wished that we had. It would have been nice to hop on and drive directly to the dock or bus stop! If we stay again, we will definitely rent one! That being said, we never waited more than 5 minutes for an internal bus and the walk to the bus stop was short, so we made do just fine!
Favorite Part: The peace and quiet after long days, the patio, the convenience of having a full kitchen and parking right outside, the boat to Magic Kingdom
Least Favorite Part: The internal buses made trips feel longer and meant wrestling with bags and strollers twice, the uncomfortable sleeper sofa
Would We Stay Again?: Definitely! It felt like a great value for the cost and was so relaxing. Todd has anxiety and the peaceful retreat really helped him stay centered. Fort Wilderness really is unlike any resort on property.