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indytarheel
11-08-2008, 04:07 PM
Hi all!

We were set to stay in an ASM suite on our January trip but with the new special for buy 4 get 3 free it is actually cheaper for us to stay in the cabins at Ft. Wilderness (which we've always wanted to try).

Any special tips on things to try/do there for a family with a 4 and 2 year old?

Also, we weren't going to rent a car and aren't overly concerned about a little extra time using the buses/trams to get where we're going. Feel free to throw any advice my way on that too...especially relative to which ones to request to be closer to the buses, etc.

Are there paved sidewalks or are the paths pretty rustic? I'm ok either way, just want to be prepared.

Jennifer

Rhonda
11-08-2008, 04:39 PM
You will love the cabins! There's lots of room for the kids to run around, and you don't have to worry about them making too much noise, like you would in a hotel room!

The campground has lots to do for little ones! There are pony rides, bike rentals (with kids' seats), campfire program every night, and a playground.

The campfire program starts with a singalong around a campfire, where you can roast marshmallows! Chip & Dale pay a visit, and sign autographs, etc. After the singalong, they show a full-length Disney movie on the outdoor screen. There bleachers and benches to sit on, or you can just spread out a blanket or bring lawn chairs, if you have them.

The bus service is very good! There are internal buses that go around to the cabins and campsites, Meadows recreation area, and Marina. Then, there are outside buses that bring you to the parks. There are boats that bring you to the Magic Kingdom!

The beach at FW is a great place to watch the Electrical Water Pageant every night, as well as the MK fireworks!

Once you stay at Fort Wilderness, you'll never want to go back to another resort! :thumbsup2

JodyLynC
11-08-2008, 06:02 PM
We were there in May with our 5yos. We loved it and are seriously considering doing the 4/3 special there again. DH and I used to live in FL and have visited many of the WDW resorts. One of our goals is to stay at all the resorts. Well, after seeing our cabin, we have no desire to go anywhere else.

First, there are no kids screaming down the halls or doors slamming. You are in your own little cabin. Second, we could spread out. Third, a full sized kitchen w/pots, pans, tableware, etc. As DH and I unpacked the car, the girls ran thru the cabin. As I entered carrying a box of food items, one of my DDs was shaking a white, fuzzy object at me. I squealed w/delight. It was a towel snake. In all my years of going to WDW, I have never seen the mythical towel animal. My DD squealed in return. "Mommy, there is more!" A pair of towel doves graced one of our windows.

I can't say enough about the FW cabins. It was great to put the girls to bed in the bedroom then stay up and watch TV or read. It was just great!!

We had multiple towel animals everyday. The bus system was great! We went to the marina one evening to watch the fireworks. Two nights we went to the Chip n' Dale sing-a-long campfire.

We had most of our breakfasts and half of our dinners in the cabin which saved us a lot of money.

zagafi
11-08-2008, 08:02 PM
For what it's worth, we just took advantage of the 4/7 deal and are staying at the cabins! We have 3 boys and it's going to be perfect! They're usually a bit too pricy for us, but this makes it very doable...and Ft. Wilderness is a resort by itself, so we win!

rt2dz
11-08-2008, 09:05 PM
We just stayed there and fell in love with the cabins. The privacy, the quiet, the convenience was so wonderful. We may never buy DVC now because we can get two rooms and a full kitchen at a heck of a lot cheaper there.

You must do the campfire with little ones at least once. There are playgrounds a plenty. All the paths are paved. Best laundry facilities I have ever used on Disney property. The following is from All Ears, who can explain it so much better than I.


There are so many fun things to do at FW that some campers never leave the resort. Activities/facilities include:


Two lighted tennis courts - complimentary equipment available for resort guests at the Bike Barn. Open 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. daily.
Nightly wagon rides at Pioneer Hall at 7 and 9:30 p.m.- Cost $8 adults, $5 children. Depending on Magic Kingdom hours, the later ride stops at the marina and beach so guests can see the Magic Kingdom fireworks with the music piped in from the park.
The Archery Experience - Whether novice or expert marksman, an archery guide offers training and tips on how to hit the bulls-eye. Open to resort guests and non-guests alike, the 90-minute experience costs $25 (plus tax) per person, includes equipment and instruction and can be booked up to 90 days in advance by calling 407/939-7529. Offered Thursday, Friday and Saturday afternoons.
Private carriage rides - Cost $35/half-hour. Call (407) 824-2832 to reserve (reservations suggested, not required). Depart from Crockett's Tavern at Pioneer Hall between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. nightly. See Carriage Rides HERE for more info.
The Wilderness Back Trail Adventures Tour - Hop on a Segway for Disney's Wilderness Back Trail Adventure, a nature tour like no other. You'll be cruising on your own Segway X2 Personal Transporter as you glide through the pristine Florida landscape in and around Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground. No experience is necessary; training is provided before the tour. It lasts 2 hours and costs $85 per person (includes tax).
Pony rides from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. for children 2-8 years old, weighing no more than 80 pounds - Cost $4
Bicycle rental: $7.54 plus tax/1/2 hour, $20.75 plus tax/day. Surrey Bike (2seater): $16.90 per 1/2 hour. (Prices are estimates, call the Bike Barn at (407) 824-2742 for current pricing.)
Fishing in canals (free) or chartered largemouth bass fishing excursions on Bay Lake, which include a professional guide, refreshments (soft drinks, coffee, hot chocolate & water), fishing gear and a dozen shiners.
Sand volleyball court near Meadow Trading Post
Horseshoes and shuffleboard
Basketball and tetherball courts throughout the resort
Two arcades - Davy Crockett Arcade at Pioneer Hall (near Settlement Depot) is open 7 a.m. to midnight. Daniel Boone Arcade (near Meadow Trading Post) is open 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Two heated outdoor swimming pools
White sand beach
Rental watercraft at Fort Wilderness Marina (open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily) including: 21' Suntracker pontoons ($34.74/half hr), must be 18 to drive; Mercury Water Mice ($21.59/half hour; $27.23/45 minutes; $30.05/one hour), must be 12 and 5 feet tall to drive. Parent or guardian signature required for all drivers 12-18 years old. At the Bike Barn: canoes, kayaks and paddle boats ($6.13 plus tax/1/2 hour; $10.38 plus tax/hour) (Prices are estimates, call the Bike Barn at (407) 824-2742 for current pricing.)
Water skiing, wakeboarding - starting at $140/hour with a 5-guest maximum
Parasailing: See our Parasailing page HERE.
Tri-Circle D Ranch - home of the draft horses used to pull the trolleys down Main Street USA, featuring a blacksmith shop
Swamp Trail - 3/4 mile loop along the shore of Bay Lake
FW Exercise Trail - 2.3 mile paved and sand path
Electrical Water Pageant - nightly at 9:45 p.m. at the FW beach and marina


There are several internal busses on each loop, but if you want a faster route, you may look into checking out renting a golf cart. We didn't, but we drive so we had our car and walked when we wanted to catch something.

Sxofus
11-08-2008, 09:22 PM
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1999292

Love 'em.

Mouse Skywalker
11-09-2008, 06:38 AM
We loved the cabins too, and would stay there again in a heartbeat. There are paved sidewalks in the resort. Also, it is a really big resort - over a mile from where you check in to the bay. So you really do need to take the internal bus system. But, if you have some extra money in your budget you can rent a golf cart ($47/day). This was a great way to get around, and was soooo much fun. It gave you a lot of freedom to not have to wait for the buses. My kids still remember riding around on the golf cart. I think that was one of the best parts of the trip for them.

Mouse Skywalker
11-09-2008, 06:39 AM
Oh, I also wanted to say that the cabins have so much room too. With bunk beds and a queen bed in the bedroom, and a pull down Murphy bed in the living room. The kids loved the bunk beds!

EpcotBill
11-09-2008, 06:42 AM
The Cabins don't have the split bathroom so remember to give yourself enough time to get ready in the morning. Other than that I love Fort Wilderness.

disnut8
11-09-2008, 09:07 AM
A few things from our stay there (where we all loved them - we had two cabins side by side).

Take flashlights. There's limited lighting outside. I see you won't have a car so get a cheaper one and put it into your suitcase somewhere.

There is limited vehicle traffic so it's fairly safe for your kids to run around outside your cabin with limited worries. Also, people do not speed through there. The only traffic that is allowed are buses, golf carts (we didn't rent any and didn't see the need for them), and cars going to and from their sites.

There is a door leading directly from the bedroom (which has a door inside from the living area) to the deck. I loved this as I could go out in the morning before anyone else and sit at the picnic table without disturbing the others.

If you are planning on grilling, don't forget the matches (as we did). Everything else is available at the trading post but having your own matches will help greatly.

Housekeeping is wonderful (we never even saw a cart or a housekeeper our entire week). We once left a used glass in the sink before we left and it was cleaned and in the dishwasher when we got back.

Your Do Not Disturb sign is a magnet on the front door in case you want to sleep in or for nap times.

There is a TON of cabinet space. And lots of it above the heads of kids.

We found the buses to be easy to use and not a pain like others seem to think. Our daughter-in-law had never been to Disney World before and had the system figured out immediately. So did our 80 year old cousin. I even think the five year old granddaughter knew where she was going at all times.

You'll have a lot of fun. Take your time and really look around at the nature. Some of my favorite memories are seeing the granddaughter with my husband and father-in-law (we have four generations that trip) and having the guys explaining all the bugs and birds to her. She's ten now and still remembers a lot of what they taught her.

dfarner
11-09-2008, 03:01 PM
We just booked the cabins today! We're going in May 30-June 8th:banana: . I really wanted to stay at WL, but my DH talked me into the cabins for the extra room. The more I read about the cabins the more excited I get!

dgaston
11-09-2008, 06:09 PM
Bring salt and pepper, small cups for the bathroom, and flat-bottomed coffee filters.