Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground is a 750-acre wonderland for lovers of camping and nature. While there are many excellent reasons for choosing this resort as your accommodations, there are many reasons that you should set aside some time to visit the resort even if you aren’t staying there. Fort Wilderness offers some unique recreation opportunities available to everyone! More than any other resort on property, Fort Wilderness is almost a theme park until itself.
Here are seven reasons you should set aside an afternoon on your next trip to visit Fort Wilderness!
7 – Horsin’ Around
There’s just something about horses. Walt Disney knew that, and they are featured prominently on stage in many Disney World attractions. But if you want to get up close and personal with them in their off-stage home then head over to Tri-Circle-D Ranch which offers a variety of horse-loving activities (pony rides, trail rides, etc.) for all ages!
6 – Canoe, Kayak & Boat Rentals
Fort Wilderness features scenic waterways which can be enjoyed through canoe and kayak rentals. Simply visit the Bike Barn near the Meadow Trading Post during the hours of 9:00 am – 5:00 pm. to take advantage of this offering.
Motorized Boat Rentals for Bay Lake are also available at the Fort Wilderness Marina. One of our favorite pastimes is renting a boat and enjoying the spectacular views of the lake and the Magic Kingdom resorts.
Editor’s Note: During the phased reopening of Walt Disney World in 2020, marina rentals are temporarily suspended.
5 – Fishing
If you enjoy fishing, then you’ll love fishing in the well-stocked waters at Fort Wilderness. Fishing gear can be rented from the Bike Barn. Note that all fishing at Walt Disney World is catch and release only.
4 – Fort Wilderness Archery Experience (age 7 and up)
Do you have a budding Katniss Everdeen in the family? At the Bike Barn, archery guides teach guests ages 7 and up how to use a compound bow and arrow. Then there is plenty of time for practice! This 90-minute experience is mostly focused on firing at range targets. Class size is limited to 10 guests. With that small class size, you’ll receive personalized advice from the guides to help improve your archery skills. Reservations are highly recommended and can be made up to 180 days in advance.
Editor’s Note: During the phased reopening of Walt Disney World in 2020, the archery experience will be temporarily suspended.
3 – Movies Under the Stars
Complimentary movie screenings are available to Guests of Disney resorts. While most Disney resorts host their Movies Under the Stars poolside, the movie at Fort Wilderness is screened at the amazing outdoor theater in the Meadow Recreation area. Stadium type seating, a large movie screen, snack bar filled with ice cream and popcorn treats all make this an unforgettable evening for the whole family. Tip: you may want to bring a cushion for the seats as they are either metal or hardwood. Be sure to arrive early for …
2 – Chip ‘n’ Dale’s Campfire Sing-A-Long
One of our family’s favorite night activities is going to Chip & Dale’s Campfire Sing-A-Long in the Meadow Recreation Area at Fort Wilderness. You’ll be treated to favorite western tunes from a real cowboy! Chip ‘n’ Dale join in on the fun singing and moving through the crowd for pictures. A campfire is also lit for roasting marshmallows. Don’t worry if you don’t have the supplies. Disney sells all the necessary s’mores items including chocolate, marshmallows and even roasting sticks! Times and movies vary each month.
Editor’s Note: During the phased reopening of Walt Disney World in 2020, Chip & Dale’s Campfire Sing-A-Long will be temporarily suspended.
1 – Watch the Magic Kingdom Fireworks on the Beach
Fireworks are a great ending to any evening and Magic Kingdom fireworks are the best. Many guests of Disney World are unaware that you are able to get a fantastic view Magic Kingdom’s fireworks at the beach at Fort Wilderness. Not only do you have a great view, but Disney makes the experience complete by playing the music for the guests. So, you get the full fireworks experience, albeit at a distance. This is a fantastic option for guests who cannot make it into Magic Kingdom for whatever reason. You get to experience the fireworks without the admission costs! Limited beach chairs are available, but you’ll need to get there early to ensure seating. We usually just bring a blanket or towels to sit on. I highly recommend viewing the fireworks on a special event night such as Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween party. You get the special firework display for free!
Whether you’re looking for an out of the ordinary Disney World experience of just need a midweek break from the hustle and bustle of the parks, an afternoon at Fort Wilderness won’t disappoint.
Editor’s Note: During the phased reopening of Walt Disney World in 2020, Fireworks will be temporarily suspended.
TIP: If you want to combine the evening activities with the sing-along, movie and fireworks, book dinner at Trails End Restaurant.
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