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- During my most recent Disney World visit I stayed in a cabin at the Fort Wilderness campground.
- I was surprised by how woodsy the area was, we even saw wild deer and turkeys.
- It was a great escape after a long day at the park and offered lots of peace and quiet.
During my most recent visit to Disney World, I stayed in a cabin at the Fort Wilderness campground.
I wasn’t sure I was going to like staying in a cabin and I never pictured myself staying in one during a Disney vacation. After all, when I think of Disney resorts, I think of the more luxurious Grand Floridian or the Contemporary.
But I ended up really enjoying the experience. Fort Wilderness is now one of my favorite places to stay at Disney World, and it’s possible to do so for a pretty reasonable price.
Fort Wilderness places you in the great outdoors
Before arriving, I had no idea what to expect. In fact, up until a few years ago, I didn’t even know that Disney had a campground.
The first thing I noticed after arriving was just how big Fort Wilderness is — the entire property is surrounded by swamplands and woods.
While there, I had no idea I was anywhere near the parks despite Magic Kingdom being just across the lake. It was quiet, relaxed, and felt worlds away from Disney.
Waking up every morning surrounded by trees and to the sounds of birds was peaceful and helped me feel refreshed. It was also the perfect place to come back to after a long day at the parks.
The pace at Fort Wilderness is also much slower than other Disney resorts. Instead of busy lobbies and music, the campground is spacious and quiet.
The cabin I stayed in was fantastic and I felt like it was a good deal
The second we opened the door to our cabin, I fell in love. The cabin offered more space and more privacy than most resort rooms would — and at a fair price.
We had a living-room area with a TV and pull-out couch, a full kitchen (with complimentary coffee), a bedroom with a queen bed and a bunk bed, and a large bathroom with a lofted timber ceiling and a window to let in natural light.
It’s the kind of spacious bathroom I wish more resorts had.
At the time of writing, a cabin that sleeps six adults costs around $455 a night. When divided among a few friends, the price is super affordable. Just make sure you’re OK staying in close quarters.
Plus, with the kitchen and the outdoor grill, you can cook your own meals at the cabin, saving tons of money by skipping nearby restaurants and eateries in the parks.
I loved that my cabin was only about 5 minutes from Wilderness Lodge
As much as I was loving Fort Wilderness, there was one morning when I craved the full Disney resort experience. I wanted to walk inside a grand lobby that was meticulously themed in the Disney way, and I craved a massive breakfast.
Luckily, Fort Wilderness sits next to Wilderness Lodge — you just can’t see it because the campground is so densely forested. Normally there’s even a walking path that connects the two, but it was undergoing maintenance when I visited. Instead, I was able to take a short bus ride between the two properties.
We had breakfast at Whispering Canyon Cafe, which serves huge meals in cast-iron skillets, keeping the camp vibe alive. The portions are massive and one skillet can easily be shared between two people.
I loved that Wilderness Lodge was nearby so we could easily visit all of its dining options — the Fort Wilderness area also houses the iconic Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue, which is dinner and a show.
The campground’s activities were lots of fun
Fort Wilderness offers all the activities you’d expect to find at summer camp, like archery, horseback riding, bike riding, kayaking, canoeing, and fishing.
We went on a guided horseback riding tour and it brought back tons of nostalgic memories of being a kid at camp. My horse, Denver, was a bit rambunctious and liked to stop mid-journey to eat ferns and flowers. But as someone who is always hungry, I couldn’t blame him. I like a good afternoon snack too.
Renting a bike was one of my favorite things we did, and it cost about $20 for an entire day. I had a great time biking around the massive 750-acre property of trails and sidewalks. I saw pinewoods, marshes, small creeks, and even wild turkeys and deer.
If you’re not the active type, the campground also has a bus service that you can hop on and off of, or you can rent golf carts for around $70 per day to explore the property with.
Fort Wilderness may not be for everyone, but I really loved it
It has convenient bus access to the parks just like the other resorts, but it’s also distinctly its own place. It kind of felt like staying in two different resorts at once. There were the parks, and then there was the campground.
For some people that juxtaposition might be jarring, but I really loved it and felt that spending time surrounded by nature in the campground really helped me calm down after being in the parks all day. After sleeping in my cabin, I felt more rested and ready to head back to the parks next morning.
Overall, if you like the outdoors, I think you’ll love Fort Wilderness.