Obviously, I’m going for controversy with my title! I have never been a fan of camping. My husband and sister-in-law, on the other hand, have some very fond memories of touring the country and staying in a pop-up. That’s why they wanted to take the kids camping in Disney Fort Wildereness. Though not in a pop-up this time, but the actual tent, though tricked-out, as you can see from the photos.
My in-laws were coming along and planned to get a hotel, nearby so I decided to stay with them. Good decision. By the way, read this post from the blog “Stuff, white people like” LINK It’s not racist at all and is meant to be tongue-in-cheek.
Here is an excerpt: “If you find yourself trapped in the middle of the woods without electricity, running water or a car, you would likely describe that situation as a nightmare or “a worst case scenario like after plane crash or something.” White people refer to it as camping. ” Enough said. Hmm, he really should put miles and points on his list!
To be fair, Disney camping is the “Hyatt” of camping. The lots are paved, bathrooms are super clean. In other words, very civilized. Still, my husband and my sister-in-law got almost no sleep for those 2 nights. There were families all around, and unlike hotels, the walls are made of fabric. The first night there was a blood-curdling scream at 2 am by one of the kids that woke everyone up.
There are a lot of good things about Fort Wilderness, though. My favorite is the Campfire sing-a-long. The kids absolutely loved it. They have different Disney characters doing meet- and- greet and everyone dances together. There is also a fire pit where you can roast marshmallows. In typical Disney fashion, you have to pay for everything, even the sticks.
Afterwards, they show a Disney movie on the outdoor screen, which is a lot of fun. Watching my daughter snuggled with her grandpa enjoying “Cinderella” made for a priceless memory. During the day, you can take a boat to go to Disney parks or other resorts.
You are allowed to use their facilities and pools, since it’s included in your camping package. I really enjoyed the Polynesian resort that had a lot of flowers and waterfalls. You would have to catch a boat to “Contemporary” hotel, and from there, you can get on a monorail to Magic Kingdom if that’s your ultimate goal.
The price of a lot rental varies by season and location. Generally you can expect to pay between 64 and 100 dollars per night(plus tax) for up to 10 people. Not cheap at all, obviously. Basically, you are paying for the Disney experience on a budget. Fort Wilderness also has cabins , but they are extremely expensive, running between 300-400 dollars per night, depending on the season. They can sleep up to 6, but only have one bedroom and a pullout couch in a living room.
The nice thing is, even though my in-laws and I didn’t stay overnight, we were listed on the reservation and were able to take advantage of all the activities during the day. Then at night, we went back to our much more comfortable lodging. The reservation was part of my IHG Big Win promotion, so that was another plus. I planned to do a trip report, but don’t want to inundate my blog with those, especially since we have a stay at IHG property coming up very soon.
Back to the campground. There are complimentary buses roaming around the property, taking you from one location to another. It can take awhile for one to come, which can be inconvenient at times , especially if you have small kids. You also have an option to rent a golf cart, which runs around 65 dollars last time I checked.
The campground has a nice pool area with a slide and several playgrounds, so there is a lot to entertain little people. There is also a basic store and a couple of restaurants. Once again, this is Disney, so prepare to pay more for everything.
Overall, my husband and his sister were exhausted from the whole experience, but, they decided to do it again in a year, once the bad memories fade away. The kids loved it so much, it made it all worth it. There are a couple of things we will do differently. I decided to pay for a premium lot in the area, where there are mostly RV’s.
The theory is there should be less noise at night. I also decided to pay for a golf cart because it would save us time and make it more convenient. Just like this time, though, I’m going with my in-laws to a hotel. Camping is not for me!
Leana is the founder of Miles For Family. She enjoys beach vacations and visiting her family in Europe. Originally from Belarus, Leana resides in central Florida with her husband and two children.