Disney’s Fort Wilderness: Insider Tips for a Smooth Camping Adventure

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As you plan your visit to this unique and enchanting campground, there are a few things you should know to make the most of your experience. In this blog post, we’ll provide you with valuable insights and practical tips that will ensure your journey to Fort Wilderness is filled with joy and wonder.

From exploring the accommodation options to discovering the exciting recreational activities and dining offerings, there’s so much to plan for and do at Fort Wilderness.

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Quick Jump

15 things to know before you head to Disney’s Fort Wilderness 

Overview of Fort Wilderness

⭐There’s Disney owned Cabins, and campsites for Tent Camping and RV’ing at Fort Wilderness. You can rent Tents and Cots directly from Disney.

There a lot of ways to stay at Disney’s Fort Wilderness.

You can:

  • Rent a Cabin from Disney
  • Reserve a Camping Spot and rent Tents
  • Reserve a Camping Spot and bring your own Tents
  • Reserve a RV spot and rent a RV
  • Reserve a RV spot and bring your own RV

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⭐There’s Golf Carts for Rent if you have a lodging reservation here, they are not available for those staying elsewhere.

I do recommend a Golf Cart if you are going to be staying at Fort Wilderness. You can learn more about renting Disney Golf Carts in the Transportation Guide.

⭐There’s two shopping locations with different activity selections. You need to use the Internal Transportation, Golf Cart or walk to get to them.

They are officially named Meadows Trading Post and Settlement Trading Post.

Meadows Trading Post is in the center of the Resort, and it’s connected to the Meadows Recreation Area where you’ll find a Quick Serve option, Pool and Splash Pad, Playground, Campfire, Bike Barn. There are Handicap Vehicle Parking Spots here.

The Settlement Trading Post is at the ‘back’ of the Resort, opposite the Check in area at the Front. Here you’ll find the Boat Launch to take you to Magic Kingdom, Fishing and Boating Excursions, a Playground, Quick Serve and Hoop De Doo Musical Revue.

⭐There’s Comfort Stations on each of the Camping/RV loops that have full Bathrooms and Showers, with Laundry, Information Stations and Ice Purchase (and you can use your card for the ice, no cash required!) 

While you can walk to the Comfort Stations, some sites are further away, and others have a direct path to the Comfort Station.

Most of them have 3-4 restroom stalls, and 3-4 shower stalls. There are Handicap Restroom and Seperate Shower stalls. For those needing the Handicap options, you would need to transfer from an ECV or wide chair as the Handicap stalls are at the end of the stall row.

You’ll find lots of mirrors, and several plugs inside the Comfort Stations for getting ready! Key Cards are not required during daylight hours, but are for nighttime.

Transportation Section 

⭐You need a Golf Cart, or plan to take the Bus to get around. You can also Walk, Ride Scooters or Bicycles (and in some rare cases, use your vehicle). Learn more about Internal Transportation in this Fort Wilderness Transportation Guide.

You need to reserve Golf Carts ahead of time so they don’t sell out 

⭐The Boat Transportation only takes you to Magic Kingdom on planned stops, sometimes the boat will detour to Wilderness Lodge. 

⭐You cannot Walk to Wilderness Lodge, they removed the walking path. 

⭐There are buses that take you to the Theme Parks, you need to drive, walk, ride or internal bus to the Front to catch those buses. Learn more here about getting to and from Fort Wilderness from the Theme Parks and other Disney Resorts.

Campsite, Cabin and RV set up 

⭐Cabins at Fort Wilderness 

Not much is needed to set up the Cabins at Fort Wilderness, as they are permanent structures and maintained by Disney! You’ll have fresh linens, a clean cabin and electricity.

If you need Recommendations or Travel Help with setting up your Cabin, connect my preferred Travel Team.

If you want groceries for the kitchen, or a golf cart, you’ll need to set those up seperately. Head to the front to collect your Golf Cart and bring in or order groceries (Target, Publix and Amazon are all great options there)

⭐You can rent an RV or a Tent 

Don’t have your own to bring? Or Want some help getting a rental option that will set it up for you? You’re in luck, as Disney has options and recommendations for both! While Disney proper will set up your tent, they have an authorized dealer for RV rentals, Meacham’s RV Rental – (941) 224-4939.  

Shopping and Dining Section 

⭐There are two main shops at Fort Wilderness- both of them carry different items.

While you’ll find Souvenirs and Food options at both locations, they vary in what is provided. There’s more Toys and General Camping Supplies at The Meadow Trading Post, with more food options and clothing options at The Settlement Trading Post.

⭐Truly one of the most entertaining Evening Shows is the Hoop De Doo Revue Dinner Show. It is the only table service location available at Fort Wilderness. 

Advanced Reservations are recommended, even with three shows a night, they sell out fast!

⭐There are two Quick Serve locations. One at the Meadow pool area in the middle of Fort Wilderness and the other at the Settlement Trading Post near the Boat Ramp.

If you have Food Allergies, you’ll be directed to the Quick Serve at The Settlement Trading Post. You cannot drive to this location and will need to use approved transportation options to get to the back of Fort Wilderness.

Entertainment and Amenities Available 

Follow this link for all the Best options (with insider tips!) for fun at Fort Wilderness.

⭐There are multiple pools, but only one splash pad.

The Main Pool is located at The Meadows Recreation Area and features the splash pad. The other pool is located off the beaten path and is generally less busy, it’s called the Wilderness Swimming Pool.

⭐There’s four playgrounds, the most playgrounds out of any Disney Resort! 

You can see them on the map, but here’s where they are.

  • One by the Main Pool at The Meadows Trading Center
  • One at the Dog Park
  • One at The Settlement Trading Post (this is where you’d catch the boat for Magic Kingdom)
  • One by a Bus Stop and Basketball Court, outside loop 1300

(Note that on the Digital Disney Map, there are several playgrounds listed that are small areas with a TetherBall setup. The ones listed above are playgrounds that contain playground equipment typically designed for Ages 2-12)

All of the Playgrounds are maintained and fenced in. My favorite is the one outside bus loop 1300 as it has a hard mulch floor and doesn’t get very crowded. The Playground at The Settlement tends to get VERY busy as people wait for reservations, food or the bus to Magic Kingdom. The Playground by the Pool is also busier. And lastly, the Playground at the Dog Park is great for the mornings, but too hot to play on in the evenings.

⭐You can watch the Electric Water Pageant each night around 9:45- but if you don’t watch it, you’ll definitely hear it!

I recommend heading to The Settlement Area around 9:30 if you want to catch the entire show. You can also see this show from the Water Craft Transportation Taxi that takes you to and from Magic Kingdom (but the best view is the beach)

⭐Speaking of night time entertainment, you can watch the Magic Kingdom Fireworks from the Beach

Weather Permitting, it’s a nice way to watch the Fireworks without the crowds! The beach area does get slightly busy, with chairs and recliners filling up the fastest.

⭐But before the Fireworks, Catch Chip and Dale in a Fun Campfire Show. 

This is offered Wednesday through Sunday at The Meadow Recreation Area in the Chip n Dale Campfire Circle (where you’ll also find the Nightly Movie and Campfires for Marshmallows)

⭐And there’s plenty of time for Marshmallows. Each evening you can head to the Campfire pit (which is also the Chip n’ Dale Campfire location) to roast your own marshmallows (or buy them there!) 

Nightly from 7-10pm you can roast Marshmallows at the Campfire location (or you can bring your own Campfire Container. Disney

⭐Movies are shown each evening between 8 and 9:30 depending on activities and time change. See the listing at Fort Wilderness for an up to date listing of available movies. 

Some of the movies are classics, and some options are newer! These change based on availability. You can expect these to be rated G or PG.

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