Last weekend my family and I took a camping trip down to Disney’s Fort Wilderness. The trip was the first foray into my wife’s UNSETTEMENT project, our summer long trip traveling up and down the east coast meeting and documenting the lives of RVers. But enough about that for now. I want to talk about the campsite and the running.
The running was great. I prefer running in the morning so the heat wasn’t too bad. The area is scenic and the camps are well hidden from the road so you don’t see many of the RVs and tents as you run. The traffic isn’t bad in Fort Wilderness as most people zip around in golf carts, or the ubiquitous Disney buses. The golf cart drivers are used to pedestrians and yielded to me on my run and the buses stop for everything so no worries there. The main loop in the camp is an even mile but there is a larger loop that is two plus miles, part of that loop is made up of a jogging trail. I didn’t have the opportunity to run it on this trip but it looks to be scenic and just as easy as the short loop. All the more reason to go back I think. This is Florida so it can be hot. Morning and evening runs are suggested and as always drink plenty of water.
This is a Disney campsite so it has all the amenities you can ask for and more. There are plenty of clean, air-conditioned restrooms and showers. As you might expect there was tons for the kids (and adults) to do in Fort Wilderness even if you don’t go to one of the Disney parks. There is a pool with snack bar that serves a limited selection beer (Budweiser, Sierra Nevada and Yuengling). The pool has a nifty slide, not too high for my 6 and 8 years olds but high enough to be exhilarating. There is nightly meet and greet with Chip and Dale followed by a campfire and Disney movie of the day. During the campfire there is the opportunity to roast marshmallows for smores. I suggest taking your own smores fixings as the snack bar ones are on the pricy side. After the campfire there is a nightly movie. We saw Dumbo and Homeward Bound while we were there. The Settlement is a small frontier “town” within Fort Wilderness, complete with restaurants, general store, musical revue and Tri-Circle D ranch. The Settlement is on a lake and has a beach, but no swimming. There was enough in the Settlement to keep anyone busy for a long afternoon even without hitting the restaurants and music show. There is a ferry from the settlement to the Magic Kingdom.
We stayed in a RV site but tent camped. There are tent only camping sites but as far as I can tell the only difference between the two is an RV waste removal hookup and the price. There are also cabins for rent, though I didn’t have the opportunity to see them. All in all the camps are easy to access are all a short walk to the pool and all close to a restroom or two. I only had two gripes about the Fort Wilderness. There are no open campfires. I like a campfire both for cooking and ambiance. There is a charcoal grill in each site, which I used some, but most used propane gas grills. Secondly we were told there were no pets allowed so we left our dog at home only to find out that pets are allowed though they have to be kenneled or in an air-conditioned RV if you leave them for any length of time.
I’ll be writing more on the sites I run at over the summer while tagging along with my wife and family on the UNSETTLEMENT project.