When people think of Walt Disney World they often think of the theme parks, rides, and characters. There is so much more to the Walt Disney World Resort though. The resort is 42,000 acres making it twice the size of Manhattan, so there is a lot to actually do there. One of my best Disney planning tips is to schedule time to do things outside of the theme parks. One place that we almost always visit on our Walt Disney World Vacations is Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground. In my opinion this is a Walt Disney World jewel that is overlooked and often forgotten.
What is Fort Wilderness?
Having opened in November 1971 Fort Wilderness was one of the very first resorts that was available to Walt Disney World guests. It covers 700 acres and contains 799 campsites as well as 409 air conditioned wilderness cabins. The resort is set within a forested area full of pine and cypress trees. You’ll often spot a lot of wildlife there including rabbits, deer, ducks, geese, and peacocks.
I have actually stayed at Fort Wilderness quite a few times. Even the dog I had growing up has stayed there as there in one of camp sites that are pet friendly (there are only so many sites for pets). In fact this was the first resort I every stayed at. My family stayed in the cabins on that trip and I was only 2.
What is there to do at Fort Wilderness?
While staying at Fort Wilderness is nice what I love about it is how much there is to do there, and you don’t have to stay there to enjoy it. First there are some really good restaurants. One is called the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Review which includes a fun dinner show. The other is Trail’s End. This is a great place that some die hard Disney fans don’t even know of. We prefer to go there for either breakfast or dinner since they are both buffets. The food is always good and it’s the best priced buffet in Disney. There is one other place where you can eat called Mickey’s Backyard Hoedown. It’s a dinner show that happens a few nights a week during certain times of the year. It gets pretty good reviews, but we tried it last fall and did not like it. The music was very loud and it wasn’t a show in the sense that we had expected, so it didn’t keep Nick entertained at all. Considering the high price tag it has we found it to be a waste.
There are still lots of other great actvities to be had at Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground. Be sure to check out the Sports & Recreation tab on the Walt Disney World site to see what’s happening there during your visit.
Fort Wilderness Bus Tip
What are your favorite things to do at Fort Wilderness?