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Top 5 Reasons to Stay at Disney’s Fort Wilderness

Top 5 Reasons to Stay at Disney's Fort Wilderness Fort Wilderness View

Call this a love letter to Fort Wilderness; this Disney resort has my heart and many special memories! Whether you’re a friend of the Fort or looking for a completely new Disney experience, this article might just convince you to book your next stay.



Top 5 Reasons to Stay at Disney's Fort Wilderness Fort Wilderness Sign

1. Cabins or Campsites – the choice is yours!

If you own a camper or RV, staying at Fort Wilderness is an obvious choice! Even if you don’t personally own a camper, you can book your campsite directly through Disney and rent a camper from various third-party companies. I’ve done this before and it was a breeze. When we arrived, our camper was completely set-up and many of these rentals come with the option to add a golf cart, fire pit, etc. This option is usually more cost-effective than booking a Fort Wilderness Cabin.



Speaking of, the cabins at Fort Wilderness are undergoing some big changes in 2024! The cabins (not campsites) will officially switch to Disney Vacation Club July 2024. The great news is even if you are not a Disney Vacation Club Member, you can reserve these cabins beginning March 20th through your Dreams Unlimited Travel Agent. I’m personally going to miss the rustic details of the old design but the amenities will remain the same. These cabins accommodate up to 6 guests and come with a full kitchen, porch, and charcoal grill. After a few nights of staying in the cabins, you begin to feel like you live at the Fort… and who doesn’t want to live at Disney!

You can also tent camp at Fort Wilderness and many people do! This is usually the most affordable way to stay at Disney but you will likely want to pack a lot to be comfortable. Each campsite loop offers “comfort stations” with showers, restrooms, and ice. In true Disney fashion, they are nicer than any campsite you’ve ever visited!

Top 5 Reasons to Stay at Disney's Fort Wilderness Fort Wilderness Cabin



Golf Carts are available to rent through Fort Wilderness by calling 407-824-2742. You must already have your cabin or campsite booked to reserve a golf cart. This is a new-ish policy, meaning you have to be staying at the Fort to reserve a golf cart. These golf carts book up pretty quickly so I recommend reserving yours as soon as you can, up to a year in advance. Most of the golf carts are four-seaters ($65.73 per night) but you can request a six-seater ($84.51 per night) if available.

Top 5 Reasons to Stay at Disney's Fort Wilderness Fort Wilderness Golf Cart




2. Holidays at the Fort

If you have the opportunity to stay at Fort Wilderness during Fourth of July, Halloween, or the Christmas season… DO IT! You think you know Disney until you experience one of these events. In my opinion, Halloween is the biggest of the celebrations, including a golf cart parade and campsite decorations that would make Walt Disney Imagineering blush… it’s that good. Since these seasonal events are so popular and Fort Wilderness usually is at capacity, you must be a guest staying specifically at the Fort or have a Hoop-Dee-Doo reservation. One of my favorite traditions is now “loopin” on the golf cart visiting each of the campsites decorations… it’s a full-day event! Even Tri-Circle D Ranch gets in on the fun with a visit from the Headless Horseman on October 30th and stunning holiday decorations.

Top 5 Reasons to Stay at Disney's Fort Wilderness Fort Wilderness Halloween



Top 5 Reasons to Stay at Disney's Fort Wilderness Fort Wilderness Halloween 2

Top 5 Reasons to Stay at Disney's Fort Wilderness Fort Wilderness Halloween 3


3. Fried Chicken… and Hoop-Dee-Doo!

“More chicken! More chicken! Let’s eat!” Hoop-Dee-Doo recently celebrated its 50th anniversary and if you haven’t been, you absolutely must. Served family-style, this all-you-care-to-enjoy feast includes fried chicken (duh!), BBQ ribs, mashed potatoes, cornbread, baked beans, mac n’ cheese, strawberry shortcake and more. The price of your meal also includes select, beer, wine, and sangria. Not only do you get a great meal but the show is feel-good, fun every time!

Top 5 Reasons to Stay at Disney's Fort Wilderness Hoope Dee Doo

In addition to Hoop-Dee-Doo, you can get the same food served at Trail’s End; the quick service right next door. One of the best deals at Disney is the 8-piece fried chicken meal served with two sides for $28.99. You can also order fun coffee versions of Fort Wilderness desserts like the strawberry shortcake and smores lattes. In the evening hours you can also enjoy Crockett’s Tavern with moonshine cocktails, beer, wine, and appetizers. Plus, this view!

Top 5 Reasons to Stay at Disney's Fort Wilderness Fort Wilderness View


4. Unique Activities

The Chip n’ Dale’s Campfire Sing-A-Long is a Fort Wilderness classic and offered Wednesday through Sunday evenings as a pre-show to the nightly “movie under the stars.” Both the outdoor movie and campfire are available each evening. Did you even go to the Fort if you didn’t eat a s’more??

Top 5 Reasons to Stay at Disney's Fort Wilderness Fort Wilderness Sing Along

The Tri-Circle D Ranch is also a must-do. The barn was recently renovated and is absolutely beautiful. You can see the large Percheron horses up close and often get a glimpse of the ponies that lead Cinderella’s carriage. Pony rides are also offered here for a small fee. Tri-Circle D is located to the left of the bus depot for Hoop-Dee-Doo but keep in mind it does close at dusk. There is another barn near the front of the resort that offers trail rides for guests 9 and up and most evenings you can take a guided carriage or wagon ride throughout Fort Wilderness.

Top 5 Reasons to Stay at Disney's Fort Wilderness Fort Wilderness Pony

As if this wasn’t enough, you can fish both at the resort and Bay Lake, canoe or kayak, mine for gems, take a Segway tour, etc. Be sure to also check the activities guide when you check-in! There are some awesome crafts offered each day for a small fee and seasonal events you won’t want to miss. You’ll want to plan at least one resort day to soak in all there is to do.


5. “Getting Away” in the Middle of Walt Disney World

As an Orlando local and major Disney fan, there is something so magical about being at Disney with the same awesome cast members and amenities but also being able to get away from it all! On a recent visit, I spent several hours playing with my son in the “woods” and relaxing in a hammock. We topped off each evening by enjoying a fire pit, s’mores, and an outdoor movie. Side note – only certain fire pits are allowed at Fort Wilderness. If you don’t bring one with you, search for a very helpful Facebook page that helps families pass along firepits after their stay.

While you can experience these things in other places, there is truly nothing like driving through the Walt Disney World gates to this outdoor oasis or better yet sitting around a campfire with the sound of Magic Kingdom fireworks in the distance. After staying at almost every US Disney Resort, including Aulani, nothing else compares to Fort Wilderness.

Top 5 Reasons to Stay at Disney's Fort Wilderness Fort Wilderness Hammock

Top 5 Reasons to Stay at Disney's Fort Wilderness Fort Wilderness Fire Pit

Hannah Anderson is a Dreams Unlimited Travel Agent, DIS Contributor, former Disney Cast Member, and Orlando local. Mostly importantly, she is a mom and loves spending time in the Disney Parks each week with her family.
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