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Fort Wilderness Fun Facts and Information

All photos are thumbnails, click to see an enlarged version

This page is, and probably always be a work in progress.  Please feel free to drop me an e-mail with any suggestions, corrections or additions. 

Actually, my first camping trip ever was to Fort Wilderness. We lived in Miami at the time (around 1974) and Miami was not know as the camping capitol of the world. I was in high school and on the baseball team. As a team "field trip" we went to FW for a few days.

We packed up the old yellow school bus and trucked up the turnpike to this new place to check it out. We reserved 3 campsites if I remember correctly, and ended up on the Little Bear Path.

For those who never camped there in the early days, neat things happened.

For one, instead of buses they ran trams like the parking lot at the Magic Kingdom around the campground loop until around 2AM. Buses to the park (remember it was just the MK then) only ran from the settlement or reception outpost. The trams were neat because you could ride round and round all night.

The were still running the steam train then and that was a lot of fun to ride.

Who would ever have thought that 30 years later I would still be going to FW.

Until you visit and look around, you may have difficulty understanding the impressiveness of Fort Wilderness.  Many have said that Fort Wilderness is the standard by which all commercial campgrounds should be judged.  I do agree with this!  The campground boasts over 700 camping sites with a wonderful canopy of trees throughout.  With swimming pools, arcades, marina (sorry you can't bring your own boat) and activities galore there is something for every camper.  With so many sites, the campground is divided into individual camping loops of 30 or 40 sites. Each loop has both a number (i.e. the 1900 loop) and a name (i.e. Conestoga Trail).  It is hard to imagine the size and scope of Fort Wilderness until you have been there.


Reservations at Fort Wilderness are easy to make as Disney has a large full time reservations center which handles reservations for thousands of rooms on the WDW property.  No toll free call here, 1 407-W-DISNEY (1-407-934-7639) is central reservations. 

Some things to keep in mind when making a reservation at Fort Wilderness.  The folks who answer the phone (i.e. reservations cast members) have differing levels of expertise regarding Fort Wilderness.  Think about it, there are tens of thousands of Disney hotel rooms fitting into a few categories such as Value, Moderate and Deluxe and most rooms, no mater what property have similar size rooms, room capacities and rules regarding the room.  So, the reservations cast members have most of the information regarding rooms in their head.  Except for the exceptional reservations cast members, for Fort Wilderness they usually read what is on the screen in front of them.  You may need to guide them with your reservation as you may actually know more about the campground then they do. At the very least, make sure they note the following things in the comments for your reservation:

  • Type of camping unit (i.e. trailer, tent, motorhome/coach etc.)

  • Length of your entire rig including tow vehicles and toads

  • Number/location of all awnings

  • Number/location of all slides

  • Let them know if you are bringing pets

For more information, see the section below regarding "Specific Site Requests"

Site Pricing

For years I tried to keep up with the site pricing, but with the changes made in 2008 it has just become to difficult to keep up with.  So Site Pricing can be found on the Mousesavers Web Site.

 Suffice to say, the pricing is a little confusing.  For most properties Disney divides the year into four rate "seasons, but for Fort Wilderness that add a fifth.  Additionally, there are four levels of sites, each with a different price.  There is more on the types of sites below.
Previous Pricing

Many people ask what to do if Fort Wilderness is booked full.  I have been lucky and have always been able to get into Fort Wilderness.  If you are told that there are no sites available you can always call back.  You can try as often as you like - cancellations are very common. The computer system seems to release the cancellations at 7AM, so an early morning call is usually best.

When calling for reservations remember you are talking to WDW Travel or WDW central reservations (see more about these groups below), not Fort Wilderness.  Any questions about the campground itself should be directed to Fort Wilderness staff. 

Campsite pricing is usually posted in July/August for the following year.  So in July/August 2011 the prices effective January 2012 would be should be posted by Disney.  Prices generally remain firm for the entire year once posted.  Discounts are available most of the year and change regularly.  The best site I have found for discount information is MouseSavers.com

WDW Travel and CRO

When calling 1-407-W-DISNEY two groups answer the phones

CRO = Central Reservations

WDW Travel = WDW Full Service Travel Agency

In the "olden days" the only group that existed was CRO and all they did was book rooms/sites. As the need for a full service travel agency arose for things like packages, airfare, cruises and the like WDW Travel was created.  WDW Travel books complete packages including air, cruises, tickets and other stuff.  Trip cancellation insurance has been a big moneymaker for travel agencies for years, especially in the cruise industry, so be sure to ask if it's included.

Now, we do have to remember to compare apples to apples. Most times when WDW Travel quotes an all inclusive price (i.e. trip insurance has been added) they have already added taxes also. Taxes at WDW are a big part of the "add on" price.  CRO usually quotes the price without taxes and other add ons.

When I called once to book a trip I was quoted $186.70. I asked if that included taxes, the reply NO. Knowing full well that I was in Value Season ($40 a night at that time) I knew right away I was talking to WDW Travel.

When I questioned the price and who I was talking with, the CM state that she was with WDW Travel and it included trip insurance. I asked to be transferred to CRO. CRO then booked the same 4 days for $178.40 + tax.

So the insurance on my 4 night stay was going to be $8.30   As the insurance is sold a a percentage of the total cost, the insurance fee can add up quickly on a cabin with tickets and other stuff included.

Disney Vacation Club Members

If you happen to be a member of the Disney Vacation Club, you can book nights at Fort Wilderness using your DVC points.

Park Tickets

In the past I have purchased tickets from both AAA as well as Orlando based ticket brokers.  This has provided up to a 5% discount form face value.  I never purchase from roadside stands or e-bay as the tickets may be no good.  In the past I have always purchase more days than my stay (usually the longest ticket available) with the no expiration option.  As of 2015 the no expiration option was discontinued by Disney so any new multi day ticket will expire 14 days after the first use.

Now, the options available on tickets can be very confusing so I recommend that you read up on the issue before you decide which park tickets you are going to buy.  Reading the following two web pages will help:

Advice, Tips and Tricks for Walt Disney World Tickets and Passes

Sources for Discounts on Walt Disney World Tickets

Both of these pages are by Mary Waring, and are on her MouseSavers.com web site.  This site is one of the best I have found regarding saving money on your trip to Walt Disney World.  Check it out!!

Specific Site Requests

When making reservations you can ask to be assigned to a specific loop, and they will even note a specific favorite site, but remember nothing is guaranteed!  While I could give specific instructions, I would just recommend reading one of the best articles I have found regarding site/room requests is "Faxing Your Room Preferences To Your Disney Hotel" by Jack Marshall.  This and other great information is found on the All Ears Net/Walt Disney World Information Guide.

Now, with that said I will give you my personal opinion.  Make your site selection known when you make your reservation so they can note it on your reservation.  You are much better off requesting the things you like about the site/loop rather than the site/loop itself. For example, if you like the site because it is near a comfort station, then request that, if you like it because it is in the back of the loop and is quieter request that. The problem with asking for a specific site/loop is that the site assigners really don't know why you wanted that site/loop. If your request  is not available they really don't know what you might find as a comparable site.

Check In

The easiest way to get to Fort Wilderness is to follow the signs for the Magic Kingdom (MK).  When you see the toll booth for the MK,  move all the way over to the right and try to use the first open toll booth on the right.  It works easiest if you have your reservation confirmation available, just pull up to the toll booth and show your reservation.  You will be waived through, no charge.  Turn right at the very first corner (it comes up quick) which is Vista Blvd.  You will follow this all the way to the fort. Look for the sign for check in and turn into the drive.  You will again stop, this time at a kiosk where Disney security will again confirm your reservation and direct you to the proper location.  If camping in a cabin, you will be directed to the parking lot so you can go inside the reception outpost to check in.  If you have your home with you, you will be directed to the "drive through" check in lanes. 

Check in time is 1PM (check out is 11:00AM).  If you arrive prior to 1PM and you site is not ready, you can still get your resort ID's and enjoy the campground or the parks.  There is a very large parking lot at the reception outpost, so you can stash the camper there and check out the pool or other activities.  If you want, you can go to a park and make a day of it.  When you return, get your site assignment and set up camp.

Disney now offers on line check in where you are able to handle all of the administrative tasks like verifying your information and providing a credit card to pay the balance of your reservation as well as purchases during your trip. As of late 2013 Disney has introduced a new system called Magic Bands.  These will be mailed to your addressof record well inadvance of your trip.  They are plastic wrist band you wear which replace room keys as well as become your park tickets, charge card and severl other things.  Magic bands are beyond the scope of FW, so Google it and you will find more information than you really want.  This is tied to a new system Disney calls "My Disney Experience" (MDE)  which allows you top use your Magic bands as Fast Passes at the parks and schedule them in advance.  MDE has Apps for your iPhone or Adroid, so download and install.  For this system to work Disney has installed WiFi in al the parks for your MDE App to use.

Room Keys

Room keys are a thing of the past at Disney.  They have been replaced with the Magic Bands.  The two things you really need the Magic Bands for at the Fort are to get into the comfort stations after midnight and to open the returning guest gate if you drive out of the fort.   


Fort Wilderness Phone Numbers

Location Phone Number
Reception Outpost 407-824-2900
Reception Outpost Fax 407-824-3508
Bike Barn 407-824-2742
Kennel (Now Offsite) 407-824-2735
Meadows Trading Post407-824-2740


There are 4 levels of campsites at Fort Wilderness:

Standard, which includes electric and water and cable TV.  This class of site is for tents and pop up campers.   This includes the 1500 and 2000 loops.

Full Hook Up, which includes electric, water and sewer.  Cable is bing added  This includes 1600**, 1700**, 1800**, and 1900** loops..

Preferred, which includes electric, water, sewer and cable TV.  .  See the  section on "Internet Availability" below.   The preferred sites are also in loops situated closer to the settlement which includes the marina, beach, restaurant, and many other activities.  Also, if you plan on using the cable TV hook up, remember to bring a long coaxial cable to hook up with.  If you don't have one Disney will be happy to sell you one.FW Camp Site The preferred loops include the 100, 200, and 300** loops

Premium, which includes electric, water, sewer and cable TV.   The sites feature an expanded parking area over other sites. They are wider (up to 24 ft), and deeper (up to 60 ft). They also feature new upgraded picnic tables and grills and new landscaping to allow more privacy and better appearance.  The exact size and shape of each campsite depend on Mother Nature. While all the campsites in this new category are enhanced, the final dimensions will be based on the limitations of the natural surroundings for each individual site.  The Premium loops include the 400**, 500**, 600**, 700**, 800**, 900**, 1000, 1100, 1200, 1300, and 1400 loops.

Loops marked with ** are pet loops.  See below for more information on pets at FW.

The preferred and full hook up sites provide a full length concrete parking pad for the tow vehicle and camper.  Behind that is a compacted sand/gravel pad on which you will find a full sized picnic table.  The premium sites have an extended length concrete parking pad and NO sand/gravel pad.  On the standard sites you will find a smaller concrete pad and larger sand/gravel pad.  Also on each site is a charcoal grill.  You are allowed a camping vehicle and 1 tent on the site, so the kids can have a tent to themselves.  Most sites are under a full canopy of trees with bushes shielding you from adjoining sites.  While you will still see your neighbors, you are not in a field like many campgrounds, you are truly in the woods.  Conveniently spaced around each loop are trash cans and recycling containers (aluminum, glass and plastic).  Trash/Recycle containersThe loops are lighted at night by soft low to the ground lights allowing you to actually see the stars at night.  My biggest disappointment at Fort Wilderness is the rule against open campfires at each site as we do love to have one.  I do understand that it would be a lot of smoke for 4 or 5 hundred campfires to be burning at the same time.  Now, if you have a totally enclosed portable fire pit, if there is no burn ban you are allowed to use it.  It must have mesh sides as well as a top.  Phones are not available at any level site but the cellular coverage inside the campground is quite good.

Prior to your occupancy Disney cast members go over the campsite cleaning the grill, raking the sand area and cleaning off the concrete.  Unless there is a mix up you never have to worry about dealing with the previous campers trash.

Loop Names

In addition to a loop number, Fort Wilderness assigns names to each loop.  See a complete list HERE.

Pull Through Sites

FW experimented with converting sites to a pull through configuration.  They converted sites 1203 and 1205 to pull through (when entering, you access them from the main road rather than from the loop) but never went any further.  During the remodeling in 2008 the rear of these sites have been closed off, so no more pull through. 

Sites Near Cabins

Many times folks with RV's want to stay at Fort Wilderness with friends who do not have RV's.  Unfortunately, there are no combined Cabin/RV Camping loops.  The closest you will get is the several sites in the 1100 camping loop that back up to sites on the 2100 cabin loop. Explain the situation to the reservations cast  member and have it noted on both reservations.  There is a good chance you will be within walking distance of each other.

Rental Campers

So, you like the idea of camping at Fort Wilderness but you have a small issue - No Camper.  If you are like me, a tent is out of the question.  What to do?  It's easy, rent a camper.   There are many places both nationally and locally that can rent you a camper for your trip.  Some things to keep in mind while you are planning:

1. How many miles will you have to drive/tow the camper?  Many rental companies charge a mileage fee in addition to the rental fee.

2. What is included in the rental.  Some companies include everything while others charge extra for things like sheets towels plates, etc..

3. If you rent in Orlando, how do you get from the airport to the rental car company?  Will they be open if  your plane is late?

4. Once you get to the campsite in your rental how do you back it in.  Campers don't back up as easy as your family Chevy!

My suggestion, rent from a Fort Wilderness camping expert.  Many rental companies in the central Florida area will not only rent you a camper, they will deliver and set it up on your site.  When it's time to go they will return and take it away.  Nothing easier!

Site Decoration

If you feel up to it remember to bring along any tacky lights or site decorations you may have.  During holidays (i.e. Christmas, Thanksgiving...) people tend to pull out all the stops.  Lots of lights and other decorations abound.  So decorate the trees and bushes on your site and have at it.

Site Electric Service

Each site has an electric power pole that provides 20a, 30a and 50 a service.  In addition to the RV power pole, FW is adding electric outlets to every site number pole to make it easy to plug in a golf cart.

P0002281.JPG (469599 bytes)

"Original" electric service poles were themed to appear to be tree stumps


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Here is the working side of the "tree" One 50a, one 30a and two 20a outlets.  These "tree" poles are being replaced with standard RV electric poles that only have one 20a outlet.

P0002288.JPG (490621 bytes)

Site Number Pole




Internet Availability 

Originally, if you had a need to hook up your laptop to the Internet a phone jack was (actually, still is) available at the reception outpost.  Disney has finally figured out that folks want to stay connected while camping, so a couple of more options are now available.  You can cedk out a cable modems "kit" at the Meadows which connects to the cable TV jack at your site to give you internet at your sites, but these kits are limited and may not be available. WiFi is starting to appear around the campground. A hot spot exists in the area of Pioneer Hall, in the Meadows Area ) pool, store and movie area and in the Reception Outpost area.  Only time will tell how big the system ends up being. While many folks have reported WiFi signal at FW campsites, this is probably from someone who has set up their own WiFi hot spot in their RV. Additionally, cellular data signals appear to be strong for most carriers at the Fort.

Off Air TV Reception

Folks report being able to receive the following off air stations:

2 - Local NBC Affiliate
6 - Local CBS Affiliate
9 - Local ABC Affiliate
15 - Daytona Beach
18 - WB 18
24 - PBS
27 - WRDQ
35 - Local FOX Affiliate

Campfire Sing Along and Movie

Each night Fort Wilderness hosts a campfire (yes, bring your marshmallows), sing along and enjoy a Disney movie in the Meadows area.  This is free, and you do not have to be staying at the "Fort" to attend.  For those who do not have marshmallow, a "smore kit" is sold at there.  Adult beverages are allowed, so bring them along or buy them there.  At the beginning of the month the movie schedule is posted, so check out what is playing during your trip.  This activity is held every night, weather permitting.  When you check in ask about the time as it changes seasonally due to the differences in sunset.


Nightly hayrides begin in the settlement area.  Cost is around $8 per person and they leave when the wagon is full.  For those who want a little more privacy or romance they also offer carriage rides during the evening for around $30.

Tri-Circle D Ranch

Open daily in the settlement area is the Tri-Circle D Ranch.  This includes a barn tour area and pony rides.  While the barn tour area are free, the pony rides are around $3.  This used to be the location of the petting zoo, but the animals were removed in the summer of 2005.

Comfort Stations (Bathhouses)

Bath houses, know as "Comfort Stations" are well placed around Fort Wilderness, with 2 loops usually sharing 1 comfort station.  They are air conditioned, have private hot showers, laundry facilities and ice machines. In several trips to Fort Wilderness I haveComfort Station never found them anything but clean.  While they can get busy during the morning rush, I usually shower at off hours and was usually alone.  Both house (all Disney Properties) and pay phones are outside of every comfort station.  After midnight you need your Magic Band to enter the comfort station, so don't forget it!


As always, in an emergency situation attempt to call 9-1-1 or your emergency response number as soon as possible to activate the emergency responder system in the area!

All comfort stations, as well as other high activity areas (like the pool area) have phones to allow calls for all types of emergencies.  New in 2004 are AED's (automated external defibrillator) in most of these same locations.  These are devices meant to be used by lay persons to assist victims of cardiac arrest.  But just like CPR, training is always helpful.  Check out the American Heart Association web page for more information.

I would recommend checking with your insurance provider for Urgent Care facilities within your insurance plan in the area of Disney.  Should you need less than "emergency" care you will already have information on a provider that accepts your insurance.  As a starting point, here are a couple of facilities in the area:

Centra Care-Lake Buena Vista
12500 S Apopka Vineland Rd
Orlando, FL 32836
(407) 934-2273
Florida Hospital Celebration Health
400 Celebration Place
Celebration, FL 34747
(407) 303-4000

Meals at Fort Wilderness

One of the nice things about camping is saving a few dollars on food.  For those times when you don't feel like cooking several options are available right inside the campground.  Located in Pioneer Hall in the settlement area is the Trails End Buffet, Crockett's Tavern and the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Review.  As the name implies, Trails end is an all you can eat buffet while Crockett's is a "finger food" type place.  The Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Review has to bee seen!  A family style meal and a wonderful country dinner show.  Seating for the Hoop-Dee-Doo is assigned by the date you reserve, so book early.

Refillable Mugs

For those people who drink coffee like I do, one of the best deals in the campground is the refillable mugs.  Buy a mug at Trails End and fill it up anytime you want for your entire visit.  At Trails End you can select coffee, hot chocolate or fountain cold drinks.  At the Meadows Trading Post coffee and hot chocolate are the choices.  By the end of my last 5 day visit, my cost for a cup of coffee was down to about a quarter.

Food Shopping

The meadows trading post has a small grocery section for emergency shopping.  While the prices are not totally outrageous, they are higher than local supermarkets. If possible I would suggest stopping at a local store (my favorite is the Florida chain Publix Supermarkets) on your way in as to go back out can be quite a drive.  If necessary stop again if you make any side trips off Disney property.  There are many other stores in the local area including Winn Dixie and Goodings (a bit high in prices).  The closest Publix I have found is Publix Regency Village Shopping Center. 

Driving Directions:

  • Exit the Disney complex on Hotel Plaza Blvd (Lake Buena Vista) to 535, turning right on 535. 

  • Drive under I-4, turning left at the first light after you cross under I-4. This should be Vineland Ave. 

  • Continue on Vineland Ave, pass the outlet stores (nice center) and follow the signs to Publix. 

This is about 5 minutes further than Goodings, but you save a bunch! 

Current Store Hours: 

  • Sun 8:00 AM - 10:00 PM

  • Mon 8:00 AM - 10:00 PM 

  • Tues 8:00 AM - 10:00 PM 

  • Wed 8:00 AM - 10:00 PM 

  • Thurs 8:00 AM - 10:00 PM 

  • Fri 8:00 AM - 10:00 PM 

  • Sat 8:00 AM - 10:00 PM





Grocery Delivery

If you don't have a car available, groceries can be ordered for delivery at Fort Wilderness.  One company that delivers in the central Florida area is GardenGrocer.com.  Excerpt from the "2007 Unofficial Guide to Disney": GardenGrocer.com will shop for you and deliver your groceries. If you are staying at a hotel you can arrange for your groceries to be left with bell services..." (Complete article on page 370).  Reports I have read form folks who have used their services are positive.


There is an ice machine located at every comfort station (bathhouse).  If you plan to use them, bring a roll of quarters.  This is one of the few areas that Fort Wilderness disappoints me in.  A small bag of ice is $2.00!  As with food, I suggest picking up ice on a stop outside of the Disney property.  Almost all supermarkets, quick marts and gas stations have larger bags cheaper.

LP Gas Fills

While FW does not offer a "while you wait" service, LP Gas is available at FW.  Just take the tank to one of the trading posts in the morning (leave it on the porch, don't take it inside) and it will be ready that afternoon.  Folks have reported getting quick "emergency" fills during the winter when heat was needed..  While I have never used this service, folks report that the price is not out of line. 


Swimming Pool

After years of requests, Disney has added a "theme" pool to Fort Wilderness like many of the other Disney resorts has. Fort Wilderness boasts slide, childrens splash & play area.  The pool is heated and open 24 hours a day which can be nice for a late evening swim.  Even on a December night I find it a nice place to unwind and relax.  Just remember, no glass on the pool deck.  There is a second "quiet" pool in between the 2500/2700 cabin loops.  While much smaller, this pool is also available for a quick soak.


Available adjacent to the pool as well as in the settlement area, arcades are available to use up all the available quarters.


Fort Wilderness is chock full of play areas for kids.  Most loops have some sort of play area such as volleyball, basketball, tether ball and things like that.  Also in several areas of the campground are larger playgrounds, just check out the map. 


Both canoes and paddle boats are available for rent at the bike barn.  With a small pond in front of the barn as well as several canals available you can canoe to your hears content.  Jut remember, not private watercraft is allowed on any Disney waterway.  For a little more FW Marinaaction, drop on by the marina area behind Pioneer Hall.  Small personal watercraft (water sprites) can be rented and operated by guests.  Other power boats are rented with a captain or crew running the show.  For that someone special in your life, why not book a champagne cruise to watch the fireworks?  But remember, for special cruises like this book early!  If you plan to spend a lot of time on the water, you may want to check out the marina at the Wilderness Lodge.  Ask about discounts as they are offered off and on.  AAA usually gets you 10-15%.

Vehicle Use

Fort Wilderness restricts the use of motor vehicles inside the campground.  Other than four 15 minute restricted spaces at the Meadows Trading Post, the ONLY place to legally park is on your campsite.  

  Skate boards, skates and scooters can be used on the camping loops and hiking trail only, not on any of the roads.  Motorized 2 wheel transportation, i.e. mopeds, scooters and the like are prohibited. In the Fort Wilderness Gazette (the paper they give you at check in) it states:  "Motorbikes or Cycles:  No two-wheeled motorized vehicles are allowed in Fort Wilderness."

Transportation (Buses)

Internally, Fort Wilderness provides buses for transportation around the campground

Fort Wilderness has been divided into three colored internal bus routes: ORANGE, PURPLE and YELLOW

All internal buses stop at the Reception Outpost (Check In Area) and the Settlement Depot (Pioneer Hall Area).

YELLOW Route: 300, 500, 1400, 1500, 1600, 1700, 1800, 1900
PURPLE Route: 2000, 2100, 2200, 2300, 2400, 2500, 2600, 2700, 2800, Creekside meadows / Group Camping area

ORANGE Route: 600, 800, 900, 1000, 1100, 1200, 1300, Meadows Trading post, 2100, 2200, 2300, 2400, 2500, 2600, 2700, 2800, Creekside Meadows / Group Camping area

The Reception Outpost Bus Stop has direct buses to the Ticket & Transportation Center, , Downtown Disney, EPCOT, Animal Kingdom/Blizzard Beach

Settlement Depot Bus Stop has direct buses to the Disney (MGM for you old folks) Studios

During busy periods (park opening and closing) the buses get crowded quickly! Boat transportation is available at the marina if your destination is the Magic Kingdom or the Wilderness Lodge (one of Disney's premier resorts). For transportation to other parks, I suggest taking your own vehicle. As a Disney resort guest, no parking fee is collected at any of their parks.

Transportation (Bikes)

Remember, Fort Wilderness is very large - more than 750 acres and over a mile as the crow flies from the Reception Outpost in the front to the Settlement/Marina area in the back. My preferred method of transportation at the fort is my bike. I generally ride it everywhere. Bike racks are available at all destinations within the campground, plus a little exercise never hurt me. You can find them at Trail's End, by the marina dock, at the Settlement Trading Post, at the pool, at the Meadows Trading Post, and at the Reception Outpost bus area. I generally only lock them if I leave them fore more than an hour, but do what you think is best.

Transportation (Golf Carts)

Fort Wilderness has golf carts available for rental to FW campers. The rental carts are electric and run quite a while on a charge. There is electric available at both your site as well as some other cart parking areas to allow you to keep it fully charged. According to FW, The guest must be 18 years old (and have a valid drivers license) to rent the cart. The guest must be 16 years old (and have a valid drivers license) to drive the cart.
But, fear not for those of you who have your own personal electric cart, Disney will allow you to bring it into the campground. For a time there was a big business of commercial cart rental companies delivering rental carts to FW, but Disney no longer "officially" allows them to be delivered to the campground. If you have a means to pick them up and transport them yourself, outside rentals may be available.

As I said above, bikes are my favorite mode of transportation in the campground. Most mornings while I'm at FW, you will see me on the bike headed to the Meadows Trading Post for my first cup of coffee.

Here are the cart rules that apply to both rentals and personally owned carts.

CartRules1.jpg (153808 bytes)

CartRules2.jpg (90949 bytes)

Pets at Fort Wilderness

The on site Fort Wilderness kennel has closed.  As of 2008 the kennel is no longer run by Disney themselves, but it has  been  "outsourced" to a company called Best Friends Pet Care.   A new centralized kennel for all resorts is now open.  It is off site from Fort Wilderness, but it is just around the corner from the Fort and across the street from Port Orleans Riverside.  It is staffed 24 hours a day, so if you are out late you can pick up your fur friend.

Within Fort Wilderness, three "pet walk" areas include a canal pet walk off the 1800 loop, a canal pet walk off the 300 loop and a nice wooded walk behind the 700 & 800 loops.Canal Pet Walk Area Additionally, a pet play area was constructed as of January 2008.  You must drive them to the kennel, you can NOT walk them to the kennel (it's too far and off property). The old rule was that you could not walk you pets out of the pet loops themselves, but that is a thing of the past.   With  the new off  leash park, pets are walked all over (but not in the stores of pool area).

As for which loops are pet loops, The rule has traditionally been that pets were restricted to certain pet designated loops.  In early January 2008 folks began reporting that pets were now allowed on all loops.  I called the FW front desk on two occasions and was told once that they were now allowed in all loops and the second time that the rules were still the same... Pets were restricted to pet loops -not all loops.

So, either the rules are the same as always or as has happened in the past we will have months of confusion while the "new" rules get out to everyone. So far, everyone I talk to reports that the old pet loop restrictions are still in place as of February 2008.

For the safety of your pet and others, it is required that dogs be current on their required vaccinations which include:

  • Rabies
  • Parvovirus
  • Distemper
  • Hepatitis
  • Parainfluenza
  • Bordetella (kennel cough)

Many vets list some of these on their records as DHP (Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza) or DHPP (Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, Parvovirus)

For pop up owners, be careful.  The Disney website used to state: 

"Q. Can you tell me more about keeping my pet at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground?

A. Specific areas of Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground have been made available to Guests with pets. These are full hook-up campsites. There is a $5.00 per day pet charge. (This is a per day, per site charge only, not per pet.) Sorry, Guests in tents and pop-up campers may not keep pets at their site - they must be kenneled.

As of January 2011 it was changed to:

Pets like to go on vacation, too, so we offer a limited number of pet-friendly Preferred Hook-Up and Premium campsites. Pets are not permitted to stay in vehicles without air-conditioning or at tent sites.

As of June 2011 it states:

Pets like to go on vacation, too, so we offer a limited number of pet-friendly Preferred Hook-Up and Premium campsites.

  • All pets must be kept on a handheld leash that is 6 feet or shorter or confined in the interior of the owner's personal recreational vehicle. For pop-ups and tents, pets must be secured in a container, such as a portable cage or kennel.
  • Campsite Guests with pet privileges may take their dogs to play in the off-leash Waggin' Trails Dog Park or walk the many on-leash trails. So that our Guests with pets can enjoy ample time at the Walt Disney World theme parks and destinations, day and overnight kennel care is available at Best Friends Pet Care.
  • Pet owners are required to pick up after and properly dispose of their pet's droppings.
  • Pets that interfere with the quality of the Guest experience at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground in any away (such as aggression, noise, etc.) or generate a legitimate complaint to management will result in the pet owner being required to discontinue the pet's inappropriate behavior, remove the pet to an off-site kennel or leave the Resort.

So, previously the "official" rule was no pets in pop ups.  Rest assured if you are camping in a tent or pop up  you can bring your pet to the site as long as you book a space in a pet loop.  The two tent loops (1500 & 2000) are not pet loops.  I have spoken to FW Cast Members several times and they state that the statement should be that pets can not be left unattended in a tent and that as long as the pop up has A/C your pets are welcome.  If you have any questions regarding this give the reception outpost a call at 407-824-2900.

Veterinary Care While at Fort Wilderness

Sand Lake Animal Clinic
8932 S. Apopka-Vineland Rd Orlando, FL 32836
Tel no: 407-876-4461
This is about 8 miles from Ft.Wilderness
24 hour emergency vet care:
Veterinary Emergency Clinic of Central Florida
2080 Principal Row Orlando, FL 32837
(407) 438-4449
This is about 23 miles from of Ft. Wilderness

Tent Camping

While the only time I have tent camped in Fort Wilderness was way back in 73, I see lots of tents on every trip.  While most seem to stick to the partial hook up sites to save a few dollars, I have seen them on every loop in the campground.  Remember, every site has electric so bring a couple of extension cords and away you go.IntCamp.jpg (78215 bytes)  For those in tents, or pop ups which are really a tent on wheels use common sense in securing valuables at your campsite.  Keep cash and valuables locked in your car or you can use a lock box at the reception outpost.

I really liked this site pictured to the right.  A partial shelter under which you will find all the comforts of home; refrigerator, microwave, coffee pot, and toaster!  Sleeping takes place in the tent.

Handicapped Availability

Fort Wilderness was designed for handicapped access.  Campsites have level concrete pads connecting to the loop roads with no curbs or other obstructions.

The bathhouses each have  at least 1 roll in shower and 1 accessible toilet  stall.  The  handicapped sink is equipped with an automatic faucet as well as an angled mirror.  Buses used for  transportation within the campground are all equipped with wheelchair lifts

Satellite Coverage at FW

A common question I hear is "What is the chance of getting a site that will give satellite TV coverage?" While I don't use satellite TV, folks I talk to say it's hit or miss on satt around FW due to the tree cover. After last years storms a lot of trees went down so older reports of good sites or loops may not be valid.  With that said I see lots of folks with dishes out and the TV's in their coaches seem to have a great picture

RV Repair at FW

 As luck would have it, some folks report having RV trouble while at Fort Wilderness.  Disney web board members have reported using Masters RV Mobile service with good results.  Again, I haven't used them but I have read positive reviews.

Masters RV Mobile Service
112 Celava Court
Kissimmee, FL 34743
Phone Number: (407) 348-0862
Fax: (407) 348-0862

Another mobile RV tech with good reviews is Protech Mobile RV Service & Repair.
 Mobile Service (860) 803-2359
Available seven days a week mid December thru mid March.The rest of the year he is at his shop in Eastford, CT

  Dump Stations (i.e. where do I get rid of the gray water)

Fort Wilderness is unusual in this respect, they do not have a dump station.  For those of us who contain our gray water but do not get a full hook up site, just stop by the comfort station and call the reception outpost.  FW cast members direct you to any vacant full hook up site to dump in.

As there are only 2 loops which do not have sewer connections this is not usually a problem.  In my opinion it is just easier to pay a few extra dollars a day and get a sewer hook up.

Parking & Extra Vehicles

Fort Wilderness only allows the camping unit and one vehicle at each campsite.  Any additional vehicles must be parked at the reception outpost parking lot.  Cabins have two small spaces, really it's space for a car and a golf cart.  Driving around the campground is discourage, and other than a few 15 minute spaces by the Meadows Trading Post there are no parking spaces in Fort Wilderness.

Electric Water Pageant  

Each evening there is a wonderful parade on the waters of Walt Disney World. Passing Fort Wilderness at 9:45PM (ask when you check in, times may change) is a wonder of sight and sound. So grab your beverage of choice and wander on down to the waterfront to enjoy the show.

Fishing at Fort Wilderness

Catch and release fishing is allowed in the canals and ponds of Fort Wilderness.  As a matter of fact you can rent poles and buy bait for your expedition.  No State of Florida fishing license is required.  For a little more action, the marinas at most resorts can arrange a boat fishing trip including guide.

Fort Wilderness "History"

I had to go back to my old Disney stuff to figure this out, and here is the "History of Fort Wilderness" as I know it:

Fort Wilderness opened November 19, 1971 on 750 acres between the Contemporary Resort and the Walt Disney World Village. At that time it had 231 camping sites including loops 100 - 600.

June 1973 added 481 sites, loops 700 - 1900

April 8, 1974 "Treasure Island" opened with a pirate theme

April 1974 Pioneer Hall opened

April 1976 Treasure Island renamed Discovery Island and became an accredited Zoological park 

June 1976 added 113 sites, loops 2000 - 2100

June 1976 River Country opened

April 1979 added Creekside Meadow group camping area

December 1986 added 383 cabin sites, loops 2200 - 2800

June 2008 New "Premium" site level created with the conversion of existing sites

* the current sites of cabins had rental Terry Trailers on them

For a look at older documents relating to Fort Wilderness, check out my Fort Wilderness Scans Web Page.  If you have old menus, price lists or any printed matter from FW that would be of interest, contact me.

FW Photos


Mickey with a Musket

It appears that the last "Mickey with a musket" sign is still hanging over the Fort Wilderness marina dock.  It's probably just a matter of time before this one is gone like all of the others.

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The Wilderness Line Steam Train

During many of the early years Fort Wilderness had an actual railroad running around inside the campground.  My 1978 Resort Guide states "This authentic, narrow gage steam train provides guests with a scenic journey across the length of Fort Wilderness.  Resort guests may ride for $ .50 a day."

I'm sorry to say that it did not last long.  I remember riding it on one of my earlier trips to Fort Wilderness.  Apparently Disney found it too expensive to retain and removed it.  All that is left is a section of track bed leading from "Fort Wilderness Trail" next to the 700 loop into the woods.  I followed this for about 100 yards into the woods following the back of the 700 loop until weed growth and fallen trees blocked my path.  If you take a look at the 1978 maps below you can see the entire train route.

Steam Train TracksSteam Train Tracks




A great site giving an overview of the train is the Fort Wilderness R. R. web site.  Additional information on the Fort Wilderness Steam Train is available at startedbyamouse.com 

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Total Heresy, or Other Campgrounds in the Area



Fort Wilderness Maps

The maps are Copyright The Walt Disney Co

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Current FW Map

Adobe PDF Format 1 Meg

2003 FW Map

Adobe PDF Format 5 Meg



1978 Resort Guide FW Map

Adobe PDF Format



Walt Disney World Property Map2011 Fort Wilderness rate card

This page is not affiliated with The Walt Disney Company.  The information on this site is provided for information only..
For Official Disney information, visit the Disney Web Page


   Revised: November 8, 2015


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