Who Is Fort Wilderness Ideally
â Budget Traveler: someone who is looking for a cheaper way to experience Disney World. Fort Wilderness has something for every budget.
â Families: Want to be able to spend time with loved ones and enjoy the parks without feeling rushed? Fort Wilderness’ laid-back vibe will float your boat. Particularly if you have older teens who have seen it all , this is the perfectly fit for big groups.
â Disney-Only Camper: Maybe you’re not necessarily an outdoorsy person, but you love Disney so much you’re willing to try camping in order to stretch your time at the parks.
â Disney Superfan: We all know one of these! The all-Disney-all-the-time person is a die-hard Disney World fan who needs to experience everything the parks have to offer. Campign at Disney World is absolutely on their bucket list.
â Outdoor Enthusiast: Are you someone who loves the outdoors, and enjoys camping? This is the place for you. If you have family members who aren’t âtheme park peopleâ but do like to experience wide open spaces and recreational activities that bring the whole family together, this is a perfect way to make everyone happy.
â Millennials: This type of traveler can be finicky, wanting to have a good time in style while also checking out stuff off the beaten path. Fort Wilderness is perfectly suited to people who want an experience that’s easily individualized to their own tastes.
Your Guide To Rving To Disney World
Everything you need to know about RVing to The Happiest Place on Earth
Chris Harrison/Flickr/CC BY 2.0
Its the happiest place on earth! Children and Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks cant get enough of it. Were talking about Walt Disney World. Disney World is popular for tourists from around the world and RVers as well. Whether youve been here before, going for another trip, or want to take a unique family vacation in your recreational vehicle, Disney World is an experience youll never forget.
Lets look at some of the benefits of RVing to Disney and some tips and tricks for taking this trip with your family.
Camping At Disney: Tent Camping Loops At Fort Wilderness
The best loops for tent camping at Fort Wilderness are loops 1500 and 2000. Campsites in these two loops are in the Tent or Pop-Up Campsites category. You will be able to choose the campsite category when making a reservation with Disney.
While those tent camping at Fort Wilderness can stay in other categories of campsites , you will not have a sandy tent pad in these types of sites. They will have a concrete pad and you likely wont be able to stake down your tent here.
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Blue Spring State Park: Spring For Swimming 30 Minutes To Beaches
1 Hour to Disney via Interstate 4
On the northeast side of Orlando, minutes off I-4, is popular Blue Spring State Park in Orange City, about an hour from Disney and home to one of the most beautiful spring runs in Florida.
The park is on the eastern edge of a vast basin of preserved lands, wildlife refuges and state parks that protect the watershed of the oddly north-flowing St. Johns River, making this park an ideal launching pad for paddling your kayak into the wild or just chilling out in the spring.
A tempting and popular magnet for bathers in summer, the quarter-mile-long spring run ambles through an idyllic setting of dense sub-tropical vegetation to the St. Johns River. Plenty of room to play in the water. Near the junction with the river is the kayak and canoe concession, where you can paddle to pristine islands.
In winter, the springs become a magnet for sheltering manatees, drawing crowds on weekends but off-limits to swimmers because of the manatees.
One thing that might make this an extremely attractive camping destination is the beach at New Smyrna Beach, which is 40 minutes away. Universal Studios is 40 minutes away and Disney World will take a full hour.
The Magic Of Disney World And Rving
There are typically three main factors affecting your camping experience while visiting Disney World.
Lets take a look at a few very popular camping locations you should consider if you want to plan an RV trip to Disney World.
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Disneys Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground Overview
Fort Wilderness is one of the three original resorts at Walt Disney World .
The resort consists of 799 campsites and 409 cabins on a huge 700-acre wooded plot. Fort Wilderness is wonderfully undeveloped when compared to the rest of the Orlando area!
There are four different types of campsites at Fort Wilderness:
- Tent or Pop-Up Campsite
- Preferred Campsite
- Premium Campsite
At each campsite, youll find a paved driveway, picnic table, charcoal grill, electricity, and water. Full-Hook-Up, Preferred, and Premium Campsites also have sewer hook-ups.
Fort Wilderness also has four restaurants, two pools, playgrounds, two dinner shows, and recreation galore!
Copper Creek Villas & Cabins At Disneys Wilderness Lodge
Copper Creek Villas and Cabins at Disneys Wilderness Lodge is a Disney Vacation Club property that first opened its doors to members in July 2017.
The resort is situated on the shores of Bay Lake, just a short boat ride away from the Magic Kingdom theme park.
Copper Creek Villas & Cabins offers a variety of accommodations to suit every need and budget, from studios and one-bedroom villas to two-bedroom villas and three-bedroom grand villas.
Guests can also choose to stay in one of the resorts Deluxe Studios, which come complete with kitchenettes and whirlpool tubs.
No matter which type of room you choose, youll enjoy access to all of the resorts first-class amenities, including a heated pool, fitness center, and full-service spa.
In addition, Copper Creek Villas & Cabins is home to several dining options, including Artist Point and Roaring Fork .
With so much to offer, its no wonder Copper Creek Villas & Cabins has quickly become a popular vacation destination for Disney Vacation Club members.
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How To Maximize Your Experience
Since the campsites are comparatively so remote, this is the kind of place thats great for families looking to unwind in nature, and really spend more time where theyre staying. Fortunately, the campground is FILLED with recreation opportunities and family fun!
With some of the most unique activities of any Disney World resort, this is the rare place that combines TWO swimming pools with an archery range, a ranch for pony rides, holiday sleigh rides, guided fishing trips, canoe rentals, basketball courts, playgrounds, volleyball courts, two arcades, and Campfire Sing-A-Longs with Disneys resident woodland critters, Chip N Dale!
Restaurants are abundant, too! And affordable!
Black Fort Cupcake From P & Js Southern Takeout
Stop by P & Js Southern Takeout for Barbecued Ribs or Fried Chicken dinners, and, umm, a Chicken Dinner Cupcake Trio?! For something on-the-go, Crocketts Tavern is a walk-up window slinging everything from beer and wine to Loaded Nachos, while Trails End Restaurant offers family-style feasts with Smokehouse Skillets, Bread Baskets, Chopped Salad, and Covered Wagon Sundaes!
Chicken Dinner Cupcakes!!
There are also rotating food trucks where you can find fun and delicious options.
The Naked Cupcake
All in all, if youre willing to put in a little extra work, come a little more prepared, and rough it Disney-style, then youll be in for a magical retreat at a fraction of the typical Disney World costs!
Lake Louisa State Park: Hiking Fishing Really Nice Cabins
30 minutes to Disney via secondary roads
The campground at Lake Louisa State Park was sparse and seemed lonely when I visited, so you might opt for one of the well-appointed cabins on a hill overlooking a scenic lake.
This is one of Floridas newer state parks, situated in a sea of rolling hills covered with citrus trees. The park itself is a former citrus grove that was acquired by the state, and parts of it are still maintained as a working grove by local farmers.
The campground was sparse when I visited, but it was giving rise to low-lying vegetation between sites, so its probably worth another visit. There is no swimming in this park, a downer in summer, but the cabins are equipped with central air.
The parks 20 cabins string out along a ridge overlooking the lake, and they are quite comfortable with two bedrooms, two baths, a dining/living room and a fully equipped kitchen with microwave, dishwasher, dishes, pots, pans and silverware. Linens and towels are also provided. Every cabin has a screened deck with a picnic table and rocking chairs. No TVs, but the view from the porch is beautiful.
Two of the parks six lakes are accessible for fishing, canoeing and kayaking, and there are more than 20 miles of off-road trails for hiking and cycling with another 7 miles of park roads.
Pets are allowed in the campground area, but not in the cabins.
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Rv Camping At Disneys Fort Wilderness
With all the positives, there have to be some negatives right? Those are the cost and availability.
Typically youre going to spend upwards of $150/per night and Disney uses dynamic pricing. So when the demand goes up so does the price. Ive seen it reach over $190/night during the Christmas season. Even if youre willing to pay those prices, getting a reservation is not easy. The holiday season is extremely challenging, to say the least. People who have been there before love it so much they typically book dates as far in advance as possible. But dont get discouraged, keep trying to book and your perseverance will pay off.
Bottom line: Fort Wilderness is a must-visit campground for all Disney World lovers.
How To Prepare For Disney World Camping
Pack Your Gear
This will vary wildly depending on your accommodations. If you’re booking a cabin or bringing your RV, you’ll have everything you need. If you’re staying in a tent site, you’ll want to have sleeping bags and a camp stove. It’s a great idea to bring food and snacks no matter what site type you choose, to help cut down on meal costs.
Golf Cart Rentals at Fort Wilderness
If you want to book a golf cart rental for your time at Fort Wilderness, make reservations as early as possible by . Most golf cart rentals are 4-seaters, but there are a few 6-seaters available that are first-come first-served. You can go ahead and get on the list for a 4-seater, and cancel your reservation if you need a 6-seater and there are none available when you arrive. That said, I’ve seen more than 4 people squish into the 4-seaters when necessary.
Rentals are available for pickup at 1pm and need to be returned by 11am on the return date. Since we nabbed a coveted 6-seater on our trip, we opted to rent it for the duration of our stay to make transportation easy, and to ensure that someone didn’t nab it if we returned it for a day .
Reserve Dining and Theme Park Tickets
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Amenities At Fort Wilderness Campgrounds
You’ll feel right at home at Fort Wilderness Campgrounds when camping at Walt Disney World. Enjoy free parking, high-speed internet, and transportation services to all theme parks including water transportation, buses/shuttles, and Disney Magical Express. Self-service laundry facilities and a dry-cleaning service are also available. For parents who want a few hours to themselves, a childcare location is on site. Although parking is free, driving private vehicles is prohibited throughout the campsites, but golf carts are available for rental.
Recreation at Fort Wilderness Campgrounds
In addition to the two pools on locations, guests looking for some extra curricular activities can work out on the volleyball, tennis, and basketball courts available. Runners and bikers can challenge themselves on the several miles of biking/hiking trails. Bicycles are available for rental as are kayaks, canoes, and motorized boats. Guests can take aim at an archery range to channel their inner Hawkeye or Robin Hood. Families with younger kids can enjoy pony rides, horse drawn excursions, or even spend a day at the Tri-Circle-D Ranch. For recreational reservations, call 407-WDW-PLAY.
For a nighttime delight, sing along by the campfire as you roast marshmallows with Chip N Dale then sit back under the stars to view a favorite Disney animation. weather permitting.
Bring Your Pets
Puppies are welcome to meet more Plutos at the Waggin’ Trails Dog Park on site and enjoy the walking trails.
Orlando Winter Garden Campground Resort
At the Orlando Winter Garden Campground Resort, you can enjoy a massive number of amenities such as a clubhouse, playground, WiFi, shuffleboard, basketball, swimming, horseshoes, high-speed internet, a game room, and a fitness center. There are also laundry facilities, RV storage, restroom and shower facilities, and weekly potlucks.
There are church services on-site each week, planned seasonal outings, and in-resort activities that vary with the season. This RV park is pet-friendly and family-friendly and can accommodate a larger group of friends and family as easily as a romantic getaway for a couple.
RV Value sites start at $57.75 per night, standard sites cost $61 per night, and Premium RV sites are $65 for each night for two adults. The maximum RV length for most of these sites is forty feet, so if you have a longer RV, you should call ahead.
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Wekiwa Springs State Park
If you want to take in Walt Disney World but also view some incredible nature, then the crystal blue waters and diverse landscape filled with abundant wildlife at Wekiwa Springs State Park, one of the best state parks near Orlando, is an ideal match. You can explore the many miles of trail here by bike or foot, but horseback riding is also an option.
Guests can rent kayaks and canoes on-site to explore the water, see the spring vent, and get a closer look at the unique plant life. The water here hovers around 72-degrees all year round, and the shoreline is perfect for picnics and relaxing at any time of day.
This state park is just 16 miles from downtown Orlando and 30 miles from some of the biggest tourist attractions in the state. Hiking the parks 25+ miles of trail is another loved activity, and guests can choose from quick treks or any length to full-day hikes.
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The Best Rv Parks Near Disney World Florida
There are several RV parks near Disney World as many families and groups of friends travel the state to see its many attractions. Our list of 19 RV parks includes multiple options for luxurious vacations and budget-friendly picks with a bounty of recreational activities, so you will never get bored.
These RV parks also reside close enough to Walt Disney World and other attractions for easy commutes without wasting much time. Most of these parks are a short distance from downtown Orlando and other nearby attractions so that you can make the most of your time in Florida.
Why not also check out our guide to the best family campgrounds in the Sunshine State?
Bill Frederick Park At Turkey Lake
The Bill Frederick Park at Turkey Lake boasts over 183 acres of land, and this lake ranks in the top-five for fishing lakes in Florida. This park is ideal for individuals that love nature, and the family-friendly setup also works well for camping with groups.
The community environment at this park includes recreational activities and many scenic views but is also just minutes from some of the hottest attractions in Orlando. If hotels are not your thing, this park is an ideal alternative, and one unique feature is the pavilion on site that has multiple outlets for charging battery packs on-site.
You can reserve tent, cabin, or RV sites at this park and even host other larger events like family reunions or fundraisers. Amenities include picnic tables at camping sites, paved walking paths, paved roads, grills, fitness stations, a dedicated drone flying area, and multiple playgrounds.
There is also a swimming pool and disc golf, and many different trails, pavilions, and nature areas for hiking and bird watching.
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Rv Parking Near Disney World
If you plan to be at Disney World for several nights, then the price might seem a little steep for you. Luckily, there are several sites available in the nearby Kissimmee or Orlando areas. These sites will have all the amenities you need and are only a short drive to not only Disney World but Universal Studios and Legoland as well. By choosing a site outside of the resort, you will not only save on nightly rates but also be able to save money on dining and shop for necessities.
Parks outside the resort tend to be less busy, so youre better able to enjoy quiet nights after long days. It also a better way to restock on supplies, skirt around resort traffic, and enjoy the other activities built in Central Florida. If you want to stay out of the fray of Disney World itself, staying outside the park can be an excellent way to give your family a taste of everything Florida has to offer, not just Disney World.
Three of my favorite RV parks and campgrounds in the Disney World area are: