Swiss Family Robinson Camp

Fort Wilderness Campground Review

Swiss Family Robinson CampWe never go anywhere for Spring Break. Every year we say we will do something fun. Well, for 2011, we decided to try something different. Let’s go camping at Disney World. That was a great decision that led to a very fun trip.

Campground Activities

On our first night, we decided to try the campfire sing-along and movie. The campfire part was a bit disappointing. There are two campfire rings. Large crowds formed around them to roast marshmallows for smores. If you have never had a smore, this might be a great way to try it. A guitar player performs some traditional western songs – he was pretty good. You could sign along if you like. Chip and Dale are available for photos. Most of the time, character greetings are a lot of fun. Maybe it was just for Spring Break, but they raced through the crowds and there wasn’t much time for a picture. If you really want to meet Chip and Dale, you would be better off doing a character meal. There is a different movie shown each night. We saw Tangled. For an outdoor theatre, the picture quality was fantastic.

One of the feature attractions at Fort Wilderness is the Hoop De Do Review. This is a dinner show that was really fun for the whole family. Corny jokes, silly songs, even strumming along on a washboard. Everyone was smiling and laughing through the show. The food, served family style, was pretty good, too.

From our campsite, it was a short walk down to the lake. There is a nice beach area. Unfortunately, they don’t allow swimming. But, it is the perfect place to watch the nightly boat parade and fireworks show. You can also rent a two person speed boat or a pontoon.

Transportation

The lake is also where you can catch boat transportation to the Magic Kingdom or to some of the other resorts. We enjoyed using the boats – what a fun way to travel. Transportation to other parks, like EPCOT, is provided by bus. This is a bit less convenient. You need to take a campground shuttle to the main entrance. Then, you transfer to a different bus to go to your destination. I appreciate the service – it sure is nice not to have to drive everywhere.

The pool was a bit farther away from our site. Many people bring or rent a golf cart to get around more easily. We opted to ride our bikes. The pool is large and very nice. There is a fun water slide. Another second pool was also available – but farther away from our site.

Relaxing

One thing we noticed with staying at Fort Wilderness compared to staying at a Disney Resort Hotel was that you had the feeling of more space and more privacy. Just sitting out by the camper felt relaxing. Maybe it was the campground or maybe it was our experience of having visited Disney World a few times before. But, it felt like we could take things at a somewhat slower pace. If there was a rainy day, we could hang out and watch a movie like Toy Story 3 or play a game without feeling like we were missing something.

Universal Studios

When we have flown to Disney World, we usually use their transportation to the hotels. It really works well. However, it also means we don’t have a car to leave the property. This time, we decided to venture out for a day. We went to Universal Studios to see the new Harry Potter attraction. Amazing. Wonderful. But, incredibly crowded. The Butter Beer tasted great. The Hogwarts ride was extremely well done – best simulator ride I have been on. But, everything in this part of the park was so crowded, it was nice to move on and see the rest of Universal. The ET and Men In Black rides are still fun.

Getting There

For us, Disney World is a long drive. After asking on the Trailer Life campground forum and checking RV Park Reviews, we decided to break the 800 mile drive into one long and one short driving day each way. We chose the KOA Savannah South campground on the way down and the Fayetteville KOA on the way back. These were great places for an overnight stay. They were clean, friendly, and easy to access from I-95.

Summary

To summarize, The Fort Wilderness Campground was fantastic. It is among the nicer campgrounds we have stayed at. I am looking forward to going back as soon as possible.

Pros:

  • Large, level sites
  • Nice table and BBQ
  • Great bike paths
  • A dog park if you have a dog
  • Nice swimming pools
  • More natural than you might expect for a Disney property; lots of trees and a clear night sky.
  • Very relaxing atmosphere

Cons:

  • It is a huge campground. They provide bus shuttles but getting around can be a big overwhelming at first.
  • If you want an early, quiet evening, you might be interrupted by the boat parade, fireworks, evening movie or some of the other activities that are happening until after 10:00.
  • Among the more expensive campgrounds we have stayed at – roughly 3X KOA prices and 5X a state park. But, it is still much cheaper than a resort hotel.
  • No pull-through sites.

I hope this review was useful. Have you stayed at Fort Wilderness? What is your favorite part? Do you have any tips or tricks? Let me know by posting a comment.

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