In our opinion there’s no better way to spend your vacation at the “happiest place on earth” than to camp in Walt Disney World’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground! It is located on Disney property, and is considered an official WDW resort. That means you get all the perks like extra magic hours, fast pass access 60 days before your trip, and all the resort discounts. You’ll also be able to ride a boat from the campground directly to WDW’s ticket and transportation center — no driving during your Disney vacation! If that’s not enough, read on to learn more about this fabulous campground and all the activities it has to offer the whole family!
Open since 1971, Walt Disney World’s Fort Wilderness Campground is huge! It has more than 800 campsites broken into 4 types accommodating everything from tents to big rigs. The campground also has more than 400 air conditioned cabins with full kitchens.
Set among 750 acres of pine and cypress forest, it blends “real Florida” with the imagination of Disney World. Most importantly, Fort Wilderness Campground is pet friendly resort. Watch this video or read on for more about what makes this campground at Disney World so great.
Campground Sites & Loops
Disney’s very own campground, Fort Wilderness, has more than 800 back-in campsites spread out over 21 loops. There are also seven loops with cabins. The type of campsites on each loop are not all the same. They are priced by size, location in the campground, and hook-ups. All Fort Wilderness campsites have water, electric, cable television, a picnic table, and a charcoal grill. All sites except the tent/pop-up type have sewer as well.
There are also also 15 conveniently located and wonderfully clean Comfort Stations with restrooms, showers, and coin laundry facilities spread out for easy access to all sites.
Site Type and Cost
Cost Considerations: Keep in mind when you are looking at the campground fees, that you don’t have to pay for parking at Disney. In fact, you don’t even have to drive! You can take a boat right from the campground to the Magic Kingdom and Wilderness Lodge. There are free buses that go to the other theme parks and resorts. That is a savings of the $20/day Disney theme park parking fee.
There is also plenty of free recreation at the Fort (more on this below) so you don’t need to go to the theme parks every day.
Here’s a breakdown of the different site types based on cost. Please note that cost will vary seasonally:
- Tent or Pop-Up Campsite $70+ – These sites have room for a pop-up camper or a camper van-type vehicle, and up to 2 tents. The concrete pad is only 10 feet by 25 feet, but there is a sandy area behind it for your tents. These are the only sites that DO NOT have sewer, but there are 2 comfort stations (bath houses) nearby.
- Full Hook-Up Campsite $93+ – These sites combine a concrete pad up to 10 feet by 45 feet with a smaller tent space at the back. The full hook-up loops are numbered 1600-1900. These sites are the same size as teh next category, preferred, but priced lower because they are farther away from the action, which can be a good or bad thing depending on your preference. Read more about internal campground navigation and transportation below.
- Preferred Campsite $100+ – We love the preferred campsites in because they are closest to the marina, Settlement trading post, and restaurants. Located in loops 100, 200, and 300, the concrete pads are up to 10 feet by 45 feet. It is important to note that these are the first three loops built at Disney back in 1971, so they roads are tight and backing in can be tough.
- Premium Campsite $108+ – These make up the bulk of the camping loops. They are the longest and widest with up to 18 feet by 60 feet. They also have have an upgraded picnic table and outdoor grill as well. Note: Beginning in January 2020, some of the most popular premium loops (600, 800, 900, 1000, 1400) will be designated as Meadows Premium Loops with a higher price tag. These are the ones closest to the to the Meadows recreation area with the pool, campfire show, and trading post.
- Cabins $335+ – The cabins are a terrific way to enjoy the campground without your RV. They sleep six, with a queen bed & two bunks in the back room and a pullout sleeper sofa in the living room. You can also get a portable crib. They also have one bathroom and a kitchen with a full-sized refrigerator, microwave, dishwasher, and a small cooktop with two burners. Each cabin also has a picnic table and grill outside. There is a second pool at Fort Wilderness located closer to the cabins. It is affectionately called, “the quiet pool” because it doesn’t have the snack bar or slide that the larger, Meadows pool has.
For detailed information on the loops and even individual assessments on specific campsites, check out this terrific article from the Wilderness Princess or take this quiz to find out which loop is best for you.
Comfort Stations – More than just a bath house!
As previously mentioned there are 15 comfort stations strategically located through the campground. Many loops have their own comfort station, but some share a single, centrally located station. The comfort stations are all air conditioned and include private showers, restrooms, laundry rooms, and ice machines. They are open 24 hours a day, but have security locks that are activated from midnight to 6 a.m.
- Trail’s End Restaurant is located at the Settlement by the Marina and has a buffet style breakfast and dinner or a la carte lunch.
- P and J’s Southern Take Out is located at Trail’s End, but has a separate entrance on the left. It offers limited carry-out items all day.
- Crockett’s Tavern is on the right side of Trail’s End and offers drinks and savory snacks.
- Meadows Snack Bar is located at the entrance to the Meadows Swimming Pool.
- Chuck Wagon, a fun, RV food truck at the Chip n Dale Campfire that offers an assortment of burgers and s’more fixings.
- TheHoop Dee Doo Musical Revue*, an all-you-can-eat dinner show, is held at Pioneer Hall. Dinner includes: Fresh baked bread, tossed green salad with vinaigrette dressing, country fried chicken, smoked BBQ pork ribs, corn, baked beans, strawberry shortcake, coffee, soft drinks, hot and iced tea, beer and wine. Note: It sells out fast, so book it early once you’ve secured your site reservation.
Stores aka Trading Posts
Fort Wilderness has two stores, also known as trading posts: Meadows Trading Post and Settlement Trading Post. The Meadows is slighter larger, but they both sell basic groceries, as well as Disney apparel and gifts. The Meadows Trading Post also has camping supplies (including propane tanks, sewage hoses, etc.), and an expanded selection of Fort Wilderness souvenirs.
Walt Disney World also offers a grocery delivery service for the Fort Wilderness cabins. If you’re a cabin guest, you can pre-order a pantry full of fresh groceries before you arrive and they’ll be waiting for you.
The campground has so much to see and do that it really is a destination all by itself. We love to break up our theme park days with full days at the campground. In fact, the crowds are usually greatest on the weekends so that really is the best time to stick to the Fort. Some of the highlights are listed below. Free activities are noted.
Fort Wilderness has two arcades: Davy Crockett Arcade at Pioneer Hall (near Settlement Depot) and the Daniel Boone Arcade (near Meadow Trading Post). If your kids enjoy this type of thing, be sure to visit Davy Crockett’s at least once.
Archery guides at the Bike Barn offer training and tips on how to hit the bulls-eye with a Compound Bow. Open to resort guests and non-guests alike, ages 7 and up, the 90-minute experience costs $39 (plus tax) per person, includes equipment and instruction and can be booked up to 90 days in advance.
Located behind the Meadow Trading Post, the bike barn rents bicycles, canoes, kayaks, and equipment for fishing and tennis. Life vests (provided) must be worn by all guests while in the boats.
Campfire Program (Free) – Sing-a-long, S’mores, and Outdoor Movie
The campfire program occurs every evening and has no admission fee. It is held behind the Meadow Trading Post. The program begins with a sing-along led by a Disney cast member and a marshmallow roast around two campfire rings. You may bring your own marshmallows or buy them at the Chuck Wagon, a fun RV food truck. You can also buy other food, snacks, and drinks at the Chuck Wagon. While this is going on, Chip and Dale make an appearance to visit with guests and sign autographs. The sing-along lasts about 40 minutes. Next, a Disney animated feature is shown on a large outdoor screen. Seating is available in bleachers or on benches. In the event of rain, the sing-along is still held on the porch of the Meadow Trading Post.
Electrical Water Pageant (Free)
You can view the Electrical Water Pageant from the beach/marina area each night. This is an old school, low tech show that has been a Disney Lagoon mainstay since 1971. A boat pulls seven barges, each with a 25-foot-tall screen of lights that is illuminated to music (think Pete’s Dragon, Little Mermaid, and Peter Pan tunes). It is followed by the fireworks from the Magic Kingdom.
Guests can rent boats in a variety of sizes at the marina. Exampes include 21′ Suntracker pontoons, Sea Raycer by Sea Ray, and Boston Whaler® Montauk. These boats are restricted to the waterway from which they are rented. The marina also offers guided fishing excursions on the bay lake. Catch and release fishing in the canals is free.
Climb, slide and play at outdoor activity areas located at Pioneer Hall, the Meadow Recreation area, and Creekside Meadow.
- Basketball and tetherball courts
- SandVolleyball court
- Horseshoes and shuffleboard
- Two lighted tennis courts
Swimming Pools (Free)
There are two heated outdoor swimming pools available for Fort Wilderness resort guests only. Lounge chairs and tables are provided. The pools are open 24 hours, but the lifeguard hours vary seasonally.
The main pool, the Meadow Swimmin’ Pool at the Meadow Trading Post has a water slide, hot tub, and children’s play area. They also have planned pool activities for children.
The second smaller pool is located with the Wilderness Cabins, between loops 2500 and 2700.
You can book a private horse drawn carriage ride, or elect for the less expensive group wagon rides. They also offer 45-minute trail rides or pony rides near Pioneer Hall for the little ones.
You can wander the Ranch and Farm in front of Pioneer Hall, and see a blacksmith affix horseshoes (on select days) to Cinderella’s Ponies and the horses seen on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom Park. There is also a tribute to horses in Disney movies.
Fort Wilderness offers so many benefits that it really is a good value for your Disney World vacation. You’ll save on gas and parking by using their transportation to the parks. You’ll also have plenty of Disney-themed recreational options when you’re not at the parks. We love Fort Wilderness, not only because it’s Disney, but also the spirit of the other campers. Guests decorate their campsites, bikes, and golf carts. The energy of Disney is alive and well here!
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This campground, of course, is one of the kids’ favorites from our Florida years and we’ve stayed there a few times. It’s so much fun around Halloween (Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween) and Christmas with all the decorations, but we’ve never been able to get reservations around those events. Oldest daughter did a marine biology internship with Disney (those free tickets were wonderful while they lasted-LOL), so we got to drive through the campground at peak times and see the elaborate decorations. This campground is off the chain! Definitely the Mac-Daddy of family campgrounds and absolutely magical for little ones.
Amber Harrop says
It sounds like a wonderful campsite and as we are Disney Fans I am sure we would love it
It was really great! I wish we could have stayed longer. We’re going back for Halloween, though!
How far in advance so you have go book for Christmas time sites?
I’m not certain. We tried about 2 months out and they were booked for the premium sites. There is a Facebook group called Disney Campers. People on there could probably tell you. I say the earlier, the better.
I’m already booked for Christmas 2019. Premium sites are gone already if you want to stay until Jan 1.
Julie Chickery says
Christmas is one of the most popular times to stay at Fort Wilderness. Glad you got your reservations!
Thank you that was very informative.
We have been to Disney 5 times but the next one will be in a motor home can’t wait great tips.
I’m excited for you! Feel free to drop me a line afterwards and let me know how you enjoyed it!
I showed my husband and we both felt your video tour was so informative. I can’t wait to read other things you have written about Disney. We are highly consider blogging when we get started after I retire. Still trying to educate myself on this.
Stacie Langland says
We LOVE Walt Disney World and Fort Wilderness! I stayed there for the first time in 1984 and it is still the campground by which all campgrounds are measured. LOL There is nothing like waking up amongst the trees, strolling to the boat and ending up at the Magic Kingdom in just a few minutes. It is a great place to get away from the chaos of the parks and relax. And yes, the Disney spirit is everywhere in the campground. 3 things I miss from years past: the tram that traveled thru the campground, the peacocks, and River Country. I once had Goofy water ski right up to me on the beach at River Country. Super fun! Love that they still have the sing-along and electrical water pageant.
This was our first time actually staying there so didn’t know about those other things. We definitely plan to become regular visitors.
We have reservations for later this year and are so excited! It will be our first time staying at Fort Wilderness. Love the review you put together. Thank you for sharing all this info.
So happy for you! You’re going to love it!