I’m going to make a bold statement: Fort Wilderness Campsites and Cabins is the best resort at Disney World for a family. I spend much of my time (as a teacher) telling students to support your idea with facts and details, so brace yourself, they’re coming. 😉
- Fort Wilderness is like a hidden gem- I have stayed in several other resorts at Disney, but the laid back, less crowd atmosphere cannot be compared to Fort Wilderness. You have little to no wait time for buses and there is a ferry that takes you to the Magic Kingdom. Even though we went in June, a typically busy month, we literally did not wait in line for the ferry at all. We were able to get on the first ferry that arrived. (Now, keep in mind that we got up early to arrive at the parks when they opened, but still, in other parks I’ve had to wait even in the morning.) The worst thing about Disney World is the constant crowds in the parks and then again when you get back to your resort. At Fort Wilderness you feel like you are arriving home each day.
- Your cabin is fully equipped with most necessities from home.- The cabins have a full kitchen with a stove, oven, microwave, refrigerator and small kitchen appliances. It is also stocked with dishes, cups and silverware and a dish washer to wash it all. As a family of 5, we can go through some dishes. So it is nice to have the ability to wash dishes when you are through. Also, we did not use the dining plan and you can save money by cooking in your room a couple meals of the day. It is nice to have that option. TIP: If you plan on ordering groceries to your room, which I highly recommend, I know there are several options to order from. We used Garden Grocer and they were timely and price efficient.
- Activities Galore- As with most Disney Resorts there are plenty of activities to do once you get back to your resort. This is the same, only better. 😁 There are the typical things like two pools (a quiet pool and the main themed pool). Which I don’t want to slight as something just normal. My kids were obsessed with the main pool. My oldest daughter loved the spiral water slide that looks like a water tower. My youngest two were loving the splash area that has a slide, buckets that fill up with water, hoses and sprayers everywhere. It is a full afternoon of fun for sure. There are arcades and several playgrounds as well. One is even conveniently located near the restaurants, outpost and dock where you catch the ferry. On top of that, there are some other things that other resorts don’t have and Fort Wilderness does. It is the home to Circle D Ranch. There are horses there you can see and also ride or even take a horse drawn carriage around the resort! There also are boats to rent and you can go fishing. In my opinion, one of the coolest things is that there is a campfire sing along led my chip and dale! You can even buy a s’mores kit at the chuck wagon to make a smore!
- Mickey’s Backyard BBQ- Fort Wilderness is the home to Mickey’s Backyard BBQ. It is located near the marina and is only offered certain nights of the week and you need to get a reservation. People come from all over Disney to dine at Mickey’s Backyard BBQ. The food is great (buffet style) and the entertainment is (if possible) even better! This was hands down my childrens’ favorite place we ate during the whole trip, and I even planned dinner with princesses! There was dancing with Mickey and Minnie, Goofy and Chip and Dale. The kids laughed and danced while the characters danced with them. (Mom tears everywhere) The band was wonderful and played well known country songs and were upbeat and so fun. Then, my childrens’ favorite part was the cowboy, and I won’t lie, he was pretty cool. He did amazing lasso tricks and had a great performers personality. Thanks to him, I’ve had multiple “lasso” hits to the head…. but I’ll let it slide. 😒
- It is affordable- Fort Wilderness is listed as a moderate resort according to Disney. If you try to book a villa in another resort you will be paying significantly more money. I know because I priced them before our last trip. Fort Wilderness Cabins will hold your large family. It has twin size bunk beds, a full size bed and a full size pull out couch bed. It was perfect for our family of 5! (Even though our kids ended up sleeping all together each night in the full size bed lol) My husband and I could put the kids to bed in the bedroom and then still stay up in the living room or even on the front porch and have hang out, adult time (which Lord knows you need during your fun-filled, child driven vacation). All of this, and you still are paying “moderate” prices.
We had an absolute blast during our stay this past time and are already planning on going back next June! If the question is “should we stay in Disney or outside of it?” Then the answer is definitely, 100%, yes, yes, yes inside Disney. However, if your question is “where should we stay within Disney?” Then I think you should really consider Fort Wilderness!
Tip: I would also seriously consider renting a golf cart because the layout of the resort is HUGE and would not be easily walkable. There is an internal bus system, I have heard that it is rather slow. We had zero problems with a golf cart and there was always places to park it. You can park it at the bus pick ups for the parks and also at the marina to catch the ferry. 👍🏻