On Roughing It (Disney Style)

Each time we go to Walt Disney World we like to try something new, be it a restaurant, new tour, or resort.  We were lucky this trip to be able to do all three.  And since I know you’re dying to know, the new restaurant we tried was Citrico’s and the new tour we did was the Nature Inspired Design one at Epcot.  But today, I wanted to tell you about our experience staying in one of the cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Campground and Resort.

Let me start by saying there is a certain degree of mystery surrounding the Fort.  People, it seems, are curious about staying there, but often times not curious enough to try it out for themselves .  Before our trip, I was curious too.

The actual campsites at Fort Wilderness do not interest me in the least.  Not in the least.  Because sleeping on an air mattress and constantly wiping dirt from the faces of my children is not my idea of a vacation, kwim?  The cabins, on the other hand, were enticing.

For our family of six, the ability to close a door and find a bit of privacy is a valuable feature.  And, though I wouldn’t dream of cooking while on vacation, I thought that the full kitchen would be very convenient at least for hearty breakfasts before we hit the parks.

Both of those features proved useful.  I know, I know.  I could always stay at a DVC resort and have all that and more.  But the price!  Oy.  Those DVC room rates keep me away.

The cabins though?  Very reasonable.  So we booked one.

And we’re glad we did.

Like I said, I loved the space.  And the kitchen.  We used Garden Grocer to order some breakfast supplies along with a couple cases of bottled water.  Having wholesome, familiar foods on hand really did make a difference.  We also rented a golf cart from an off-site vendor.  That was another wise choice on our part; after seeing the size of Fort Wilderness I wouldn’t do it any other way for future trips.

Aside from those things though, I loved the cozy charm of the cabin, and Fort Wilderness as a whole.  More than one of my Disney Mom friends asked if a stay at Fort Wilderness was “less Disney”.  The answer?  No.  Not less Disney.  But Disney different for sure.

As with each and every Walt Disney World resort, the Fort is extensively themed, meaning that once you go through that gate, you really feel like you are where they say you are–in this case, the wilderness.  You’re surrounded by towering pines and wide open spaces.  When we came back in the late evenings we saw real, honest to goodness wildlife (deer and armadillos namely).  Even stepping foot into the shops at Fort Wilderness lent to the feeling of visiting a rustic trading post –woodsy, musty smells (in a good way) and all.

We found the pace to be slower at the Fort, and more familiar.  We exchanged many a wave with other guests on golf carts, just because.  We took the little ones on a pony ride.  We explored the beach.  Jeff and I even ran a lengthy trail through the trees one morning.

So yes, a stay at Fort Wilderness is definitely different.  But for families who appreciate the outdoors, and a quieter, cozier pace, the cabins may be just right for you.  I found our stay there to be reminiscent of our 2007 stay at Port Orleans Riverside–which, by the way, happens to be my favorite moderate resort.  Perhaps that explains why I felt at home in the cabin.

Still not convinced?  Maybe some of our photos from the Fort will change your mind…



  1. I LOVE the pictures! Especially the one of Jayce and Cass drinking slushies – as silly as it sounds, they look relaxed!

    Your costumes are adorable! Steve has a special comment for Jeff about them, but I don’t trust him enough to let him comment here…


  2. OMG you guys are UNBELIEVABLY cute!! Love the photos but the one of Jayce and Cassidy drinking on the chairs is adorable! Love your recap and can’t wait to hear about the trip. Hope we can catch up soon, miss you. xo

  3. I missed you! I’ll call you back soon. I can’t wait to hear more about your vacation. It was quite a vacation! I love the pictures.

  4. Oh boy…loved the Fort Wilderness segment, but these photos really are such a tease – LOL! Dying to hear more! I assume all those cute little piggies spent a nite at the MNSSHP? Can’t wait to read more!

  5. It looks like exactly the kind of place that I would love to stay with my family. I think I would much prefer it to a “typical” resort. I am an outdoorsy girl at heart – and that trail run sounds particularly enticing.

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