Do not leave the resort
This is one family’s opinion on how to Disney. Over the next few weeks I will outline some of our favorite spots and why you should dedicate at least some time to enjoying them.
Many times, when people visit Disney, they are so consumed with going to the parks they come home exhausted. The resorts are amazing and have a lot to offer on their own. Consider saving some money on park tickets and spending that extra time enjoying a resort vacation. At the very least, consider spending at least a few days enjoying what the resort has to offer. If you are paying to stay on Disney property, remember that you paid for the amenities and enjoy them!
Part 1: Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground
We love this resort and think you will too. This resort has it all, for all budgets and comfort levels with nature. Tent, pop up, RV, or cabin, the accommodation choices are abundant.
You can even rent a tent from Disney if you want the full camping experience but live too far away to bring your own tent. However, if the idea of tent camping is not your thing and you would prefer “glamping,” you can stay in a cabin that is fully equipped with a kitchen.
One of the greatest things about this resort is the wide range of dining options (not found at non-Disney campsites) and activities. You can cook at the campsite (to keep the authentic camping vibe), grab a quick service meal, gorge on a buffet, or enjoy Mickey’s Backyard BBQ or the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue.
We did not leave our resort (2-day stay). We enjoyed a host of activities, some of which cost extra, but certainly were manageable. We rode ponies; well, the boys did ($8 for one lap $12 for 2). We also took a kayak adventure, swam in the pool, drove around the site with a golf cart ($62 a day), and played on the playground and at the arcade. You get the picture, right? There are also pool activities for the kids to enjoy and games like tether ball scattered around the campsites. You can even take horse-drawn hay rides or go fishing. Believe me when I say we felt a world away from the hustle and bustle of the parks. Did I mention the pool bar? We are suckers for a good poolside drink.
You can also enjoy the Chip ‘n’ Dale’s Campfire Sing-A-Long. Here, you can sing some campfire favorites and dance in the early evening with Chip and Dale. There are two fire pits ready for you to roast the perfect s’mores. If needed, s’mores kits and/or ingredients can be purchased at the Chuck Wagon or in the general store. We brought our own and just bought roasting sticks for $.60 each. (No Gluten free or allergy friendly s’mores ingredients were available to purchase at these locations. Bring your own to make sure all can participate.) The Chuck Wagon also sold a variety of snacks, drinks, and adult beverages (camping = moonshine margarita).
This is an activity that you can also enjoy regardless of whether you are staying at this resort. Following the campfire, a movie will show on the giant screen. Check the schedule as the movie changes and may not be appropriate for all ages (Captain America Civil War was the movie our night).
Pro tip: If staying off property arrive early or take a bus. Parking is limited and they will turn you away if the parking lot is full.
If you choose the right resort it can be a destination unto itself. Slow down. Relax. Don’t forget to stop and smell the perfectly manicured Disney roses. Stay tuned for more recommendations. You can thank me later.
(all photos not otherwise credited are my own)