Headed to Disney/Fort Wilderness… Thoughts, ideas?

Discussion in 'Campground / Trip Planning & Suggestions ?' started by RickM, May 27, 2014.

  1. RickM

    RickM Member

    Messages:
    85
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    May 30, 2010
    We are leaving Dallas, this coming Saturday, with the plan to be in Fort Wilderness by Sunday afternoon for a long stay in Disney. We are hauling a Fleetwood E3, and have a premium site booked. This will be a bit of a different trip for us. Mostly we are state park campers and usually our campsites have been a bit more rough than RV sites. That said, I am looking for any idea suggestions on;

    Route- Planning to drop southeast out of Jackson Miss., and get to Marianna FL by Saturday evening. Anyone have any experience on this? Is coming home through NOLA a bad idea in terms of having a trailer on the truck the next morning?
    Things to take- We do plan to spend most of our waking time in Disney enjoying the place, but this is our first time in our camper for more than 3 days in a nice site like this. Anyone have any recommendations on what we should take for our kids? We do have BMX bikes on the list.
    Food- I had planned to cook breakfast every day, but apparently they only have small grills. Anyone experience any problems cooking outdoors at Disney/FW?

    Thanks in advance.

    RickM
     
  2. speckhunter80

    speckhunter80 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,782
    Likes Received:
    62
    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2012
    Location:
    Shell Rock Landing, Hubert NC
    Use the search function and you will find numerous threads on camping at Fort Wilderness
     
  3. busdriverwc75

    busdriverwc75 Chester County, PA

    Messages:
    631
    Likes Received:
    6
    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    Location:
    East Fallowfield, PA
    We haven't been there in years, but we cooked all of our meals at the site outdoors. We either used a charcoal grill, our Coleman stove, or since we had electric, we ran an outdoor extension cord into our screen room & used our big electric skillet for many meals. In 3 yrs of ownership, we never connected the propane to the stove inside & besides, our popup didn't have air conditioning. Cooking in a popup, in FL, in the summer, just didn't sound too pleasant.
     
  4. Sumoman

    Sumoman New Member

    Messages:
    826
    Likes Received:
    26
    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2013
    Long drive with an E3[emoji12]

    Seriously I would eat dinner at on of the animal kingdom lodges. Expensive but by far one of the best meals I have had. They also have a buffet with most of the continent of Africa represented and it is awesome. Same buffet has a huge breakfast as well.
     
  5. RickM

    RickM Member

    Messages:
    85
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    May 30, 2010
    FYI. I did use the search button and only ran into folks talking about going, and family pictures.

    As far as the restaurants go, my wife booked a package deal that allows for 2 meals a day in each park, and we have dinner reservations each night. I just personally wanted to at least cook breakfast as I like to cook on an open fire!!
     
  6. jmcclung11

    jmcclung11 Active Member

    Messages:
    1,163
    Likes Received:
    4
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2008
    Location:
    Fishersville, VA
    There are no fire pits, but each site does have a grill. So, you should be good cooking on the grill. Make sure to go to the Chip & Dale movie/smores making at least once.
     
  7. Sumoman

    Sumoman New Member

    Messages:
    826
    Likes Received:
    26
    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2013
    Great we did that. Do not waste it on burgers and snacks. Those I spoke of earlier are one point except the buffet. Its two. Seriously I told my kids not to order off the kids menu.. They got the huge steaks for one point two. Just realize a points a point, regardless of your order. We ate like kings and paid cash for little snacks.
     
  8. mikemclovin

    mikemclovin Generation X Dinks.

    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    May 25, 2014
    Aha! My first reply where I know a bunch.
    DW and I live in Orlando and we are also annual passholders at Disney World. We love FW! They do a really good job of making it fun. One thing that is awesome about Fort Wilderness is you can prepare all your food at the site and backpack it in to the parks. If you do want to eat out $$$, some of the best restaurants are in the other resorts, easily accessible by boat or bus. I recommend working with disney on reservations well in advance, this is peak season and everything is slammed. This includes the FastPass+ for use inside the parks.

    Anyway, I'm excited for you. We will be staying there later this summer. It is totally awesome even without the parks. There's Circle D Ranch, The Hoopty-doo-Revue and the beach and pools are awesome! Another thing many folks don't take the time to do, visit the other resorts.. At least the ones on the lake there.. Polynesian, Grand Floridian and Contemporary all have cool stuff to check out.

    I hope you have a blast!
     
  9. Chopperno1

    Chopperno1 New Member

    Messages:
    86
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2013
    I like bringing my golf cart to cruise around the campground. You can rent them there as well or from an offsite vendor for cheaper.
     
  10. mckeapc67

    mckeapc67 New Member

    Messages:
    681
    Likes Received:
    3
    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2011
    First, let me say that you'll love Fort Wilderness. We spent a week there last summer in our PUP.

    Are you planning on spending any time in NOLA (New Orleans)? If so, then you may consider camping nearby outside of the NOLA area. I would suggest maybe Buccaneer State Park in Waveland, MS or Fontainebleau State Park in Madisonville, LA.

    I, personally, wouldn't pull a PUP into NOLA and try to do anything there.

    If you are just passing through, and not actually wanting to go to NOLA, then you'll want to bypass using I-12 on the north side of Lake Ponchartrain.

    BTW, either of the two State Parks I mentioned are fairly easy drives from Orlando. I live in Slidell, LA which is about 1/2 way between them and made the Ft. Wilderness to home drive in a day. It's about a 10 hour drive.


    Swim Suits, obviously. Fort Wilderness has nice pool and beach areas. The bikes will be a nice idea for the kids if you are going to spend much time in the campground.

    If you have a small tv, you may consider bringing it. The campsites have cable tv hookups. It's nice for the kids to be able to relax and watch some TV in the evening.

    Trust me, you could spend the entire week in Fort Wilderness and have a good time. There is even an outdoor movie at night. You can also watch the Magic Kingdom fireworks from the beach.

    We used their grills. They are the same type that are typically found at state parks and other campgrounds. We didn't have any issues with them. We set up our campsite just like we would at a state park and had no issues with cooking. We ate breakfast at the PUP every day and many other meals too.

    If you get the chance, though, you must take in the buffet at the campground restaurant. It is awesome. We didn't do the character BBQ, though.

    Here's a link to the thread about our Ft. Wilderness trip: http://www.popupportal.com/index.php?topic=71699.0
     
  11. MiamiCamper

    MiamiCamper New Member

    Messages:
    162
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2013
    Hey RickM,

    I'll be at Fort Wilderness Friday - Sunday! They are calling for Thunderstorms so hopefully it won't be that bad..

    Check out these guys.. In my opinion, foremost experts on Fort Wilderness: http://www.fortfiends.net/forum/
     
  12. mckeapc67

    mckeapc67 New Member

    Messages:
    681
    Likes Received:
    3
    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2011
    As I mentioned in my previous post, here is a link to our trip: http://www.popupportal.com/index.php?topic=71699.0

    The meal plan is a nice benefit. My DW and I did that when we went without the kids. The main reason we opted not to do that with the kids is that we didn't feel it would be worth the $$. Our kids are picky eaters and some of the nice restaurant kids' meals are limited. DW and I definitely got our money's worth, though. We ate at some really nice places that would have been very expensive on our dollar whereas we were able to use the meal plan.

    Another thought for you would be to check out the water parks if you aren't already thinking of doing that. It makes for a nice mid-week break. Both of the water parks are nice, although different.
     
  13. MichelleMS

    MichelleMS Member

    Messages:
    768
    Likes Received:
    3
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2012
    The only thought I have is how awesome!!! I've read some of the threads about Fort Wilderness. Have a great, safe trip! Looks like you got some great tips!
     
  14. JeepMama

    JeepMama New Member

    Messages:
    2,424
    Likes Received:
    12
    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2011
    My husband did all the trip planning for our trip last March. He might chime in with his thoughts, he is more of a Disney expert than me.

    He did have the 'My Disney Experience' app for his phone - it came in handy when we found that a ride we had Fast Passes for was short and so we were able to switch our Fast Passes to another popular ride.

    Also, we purchased the 'Memory Maker' photo package and I was very pleased with all the great family photos we got. I felt it was worth the $'s spent.

    We did not get the golf cart, but I can see how it would be very convenient to have one.

    We did not have the meal package, but ate most of our meals at resorts or at the parks, even a couple of breakfasts. We brought way too much food with us in the camper, that did not get eaten.

    We had reservations at a campground at the FL/GA line, it was nice to not worry about where we would spend the night. We did not make reservations for our return trip and ended up turtle-ing at Wal-Mart parking lot, I would have been more comfortable stopping somewhere with reservations, but it all worked out fine.
     
  15. huizarr

    huizarr Member

    Messages:
    432
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2009
    We went to Ft Wilderness last December.

    We drove from San Antonio so we went I-10. On the way there we stopped at a KOA just outside Pensacola, FL. Stay the night and head into Orlando the next day. Unless you are planning to visit NOLA I wouldn't, we take the I-12 to Baton Rouge and bypass NOLA. I would image you are planning to take the Florida Turnpike, just a reminder the tolls will be more with the extra axle. I always had 2 extra axles so the toll was steep (about $10 each way for 2 toll stops), but it is much faster.

    We spent almost all our time at the parks. Next time we plan to take at least one day and enjoy the campground.

    We just ate convenient breakfasts (toaster waffles, cereal, etc.) to maximize our time at the parks. Also the meal plans give you a ton of food (large portions plus dessert at every meal and snacks) so we were not that hungry for breakfast anyway. You don't say how old the kids are, from experience the menu choices for kids under 10 are limited. FYI, IMO the best meals are at Epcot.

    Have fun.
     
  16. arthuruscg

    arthuruscg Active Member

    Messages:
    1,363
    Likes Received:
    6
    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2012
    Re: Headed to Disney/Fort Wilderness� Thoughts, ideas?

    Usually in the mornings you will want to get moving. It is when the temp is the lowest in the parks and the crowds are the lowest. Which dining plan are you doing the Quick service or the regular dining plan?

    We usually just did cereal/ pop tarts for breakfast or used the Snack points. Then had a early lunch because we wanted to beat the lunch crowd.

    Here is a link to the loop classification.
    http://www.fortfiends.net/_/info/fort-wilderness-loop-classification-map-r196

    The bath houses are the gold standard to which you will be judging all other campgrounds. When we went we stayed in the popup/tent sites. On check in, you might be able to swap for the 1500 loop to save some $, especialy if they put you in the 1000, 1100, 1200 or 1300 loops. Also, all loops are "pet loops".
     
  17. FiveInAFlagstaff

    FiveInAFlagstaff Member

    Messages:
    119
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2013
    Use the touringplans.com's app to create touring plans for the parks. They are customizable and will save you precious park time! Our last trip, DH was complaining that he felt like a drill Sargent following the plan, so we flew by the seat of our pants the next day. After a day of that, my husband agreed we were experiencing much less and spending more time undecided or waiting in lines. Back to the plans we went!
    I wish we could do Fort Wilderness in our pup, but the drive from the west coast would be prohibitive, time-wise. We are considering Ft Wilderness with a rental RV next year as an option. But the Polynesian is our favorite resort. You will have an amazing time, I'm sure!
     
  18. mikemclovin

    mikemclovin Generation X Dinks.

    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    May 25, 2014
    I would recommend a trip down historic US27 rather than waste your money on the turnpike. There's many ways to 27 from I-75... then you can take 27 south to US 197 in Kissimmee right into WDW.
     
  19. Sumoman

    Sumoman New Member

    Messages:
    826
    Likes Received:
    26
    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2013
    27 from the top of MI all the way down to FL... But don't speed through our city, we will be watching.
     
  20. arthuruscg

    arthuruscg Active Member

    Messages:
    1,363
    Likes Received:
    6
    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2012
    Re: Headed to Disney/Fort Wilderness� Thoughts, ideas?

    on http://www.fortfiends.net/forum/ one of the sponsors rents out large popups for a pretty cheap rate with setup included.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.