PDA

View Full Version : Why do you have the passion for camping at Fort Wilderness?


DavidLeaphart
06-22-2009, 11:11 PM
From your viewpoint, what makes Fort Wilderness, "Fort Wilderness"? What is it about the resort that fires your passion? What is it that makes you want to pack up and go right now??

Lastly, ponder this one: If Fort Wilderness was not a Disney resort, not located at Disney World, would you still feel the passion to go there?

:woohoo: :wizard:

David

des1954
06-23-2009, 05:22 AM
The first question: The ambience of FtW, which I've never experienced anywhere else.

The second question: Probably. I've just never heard of another CG that offers everything that FtW has (parks exlcuded). If you know of one - share it!!

YellowXterra
06-23-2009, 06:06 AM
If it were anywhere but Disney I would not go as the cost is way to high. I prefer state parks for my general camping. Fort Wilderness is the best private campground that we stay at.

SunshineCamper
06-23-2009, 06:45 AM
Well-I'm a FL resident and I've lived here since 1978. I had only discovered (ok visited) FTW in 2004. It was always so expensive. My dh got 50% off resorts and a 5 days pass from WDW after the hurricances so that's when we decided to try it. After camping at State parks (which is what we usually do) and KOA's while traveling...The fort is the way to go. It cost just as much as some KOA's and RV resorts. You get more at the Fort for your money in my opinion. You are paying for the movie, campfire, the pool(s), the bus system, the fireworks, the electric water show, etc.-technically
It's the fun for the whole family-it's the "magic":wizard:, it's relaxing (we don't go into the parks). It's an adventure you can't get anywhere else....someone correct me if I'm wrong.
I wish I had experienced it earlier in life but luckily early enough for my kids to enjoy it. Yet, lucky enough to have it in my backyard.:cool1:

Shan-man
06-23-2009, 06:57 AM
My favorite thing about the Fort are the people, the sense of instant community. Campers are a friendly lot to begin with, but things are ramped up at the Fort. We all know this is a very expensive vacation, for many maybe the trip of a lifetime, and sure don't want bad attitudes to ruin it, so most folks are determined to be as happy-go-lucky as possible. Particularly around Christmas, my favorite time to visit.

If the Fort were not at Disney, but was still a boat ride away from an incredible entertainment, shopping and dining district then the answer is an unequivocal "yes!" If the Fort were a short boat ride to the River Walk, or Bourbon Street, or Washington DC we would still drive that far and pay that much. The dining options are a major part of the attraction of a Fort vacation. And I just love hopping boats and monorails to go touring other resorts and shopping. We could easily spend a vacation at the Fort and never enter a park and not feel the least bit deprived. If the Fort were plopped down in some remote woods and the only attraction were the things currently within the confines of the Fort we might still go occasionally to just unwind and get a Hoop-fix, but it wouldn't be often at these rates... maybe once every 5-6 years.

:santa:

drafthorsecrazy
06-23-2009, 10:01 AM
We like the fort because its one of the few true resort campgounds that you can be as busy or as lazy as you want to be everyday. We are snowbirds and try to spend 6-8 wks of our winter at Disney. Would another campground be a lot less expensive? Sure, but, our idea of busy is looping, watching new neighbors move in....catching a boat, monorail, train, or bus ride. Not playing horseshoes, shuffleboard, or bingo like at other campgrounds. Our idea of eating out is having dinner at the Biegarten or Cape Mays clambake. Not potluck dinners at the clubhouse.

Would we come to FW if it wasnt attached to Disney? Maybe....but it'd be for a short stay of a week not 2 months.

chinsmom1997
06-23-2009, 11:30 AM
We love the Fort, because of all the activities at the Fort alone. When we go we rarely go into the parks. We love the atmosphire, security, cleaniness, and the other campers. I mean where else can a Mother, 2 daughters, and a granddaughter go on a camping trip alone and feel perfectly safe these days?

Would we still go to the Fort if it was not on Disney Property? Probably if it had all the same activities, security. Like I said there is a lot of times we don't even go to the Parks and there are sometimes we are so busy doing the activities that are offered at the Fort that we forget we are on property until we walk into the Trading Post and get slapped in the face with Mickey Stuff then reality comes back.
Sheri

ynottony99
06-23-2009, 02:13 PM
It is difficult to nail down just what it is about FW that I really love the most.
I do love camping in state parks. FW is a resort. It's location in WDW is one factor that makes it appealing to all of the family. My wife and I may or may not go to a park. The kids have easy access to all that FW has to offer, the parks, DTD, etc.

For me personally, I have a sense of being home when I am there. It is a familiar place, a friendly place to be. Sitting on the porch out front of TE with a cold drink watching folks, listening to the boats, just soaking it all in, it just feels good on so many levels.

4mickey2
06-23-2009, 04:31 PM
IT'S A DISNEY THING..... we just don't need to explain :goodvibes

there are people we know that just don't get it and never will... i think all us fort fiends were born with ears. :earsboy:

DavidLeaphart
06-23-2009, 05:04 PM
Wow!

Good stuff and interesting perspectives....keep the messages coming!!

:rotfl:

David

kskone
06-23-2009, 06:38 PM
We are also snow birds and last year was our first exstended stay at the fort, For many years my family would make the drive from MA. to WDW and my friends would always say you can go any where why do you keep going back, after many years of thought I guess it's just a fort wilderness thing once it gets you it's hard to get it out of your system!!! And for the record yes my wife and I will be back January and February next year cant wait!!!!:cool1:

AuburnJen92
06-23-2009, 06:49 PM
I just like the otters and the beer.

Born 2 Fish
06-23-2009, 07:16 PM
Let's Go Fish'n !!

bigdisneydaddy
06-23-2009, 07:39 PM
It would be a lot nicer without all the tourists :rolleyes1

Stinkerbell1973
06-23-2009, 08:04 PM
It would be a lot nicer without all the tourists :rolleyes1

Love it! Haha!

I much prefer camping to being anywhere. Shan-man said it best, campers are just a friendly community of people. You don't get that everywhere. We just got back from Daytona Beach Shores.....stayed in a hotel we've been staying at for years...I do love the hotel, but would honestly much rather be in my camper, meeting and talking to other campers. I've only been to FtW one time (second time coming in less than 4 months) but just feel it's a magical place to be. Part of that is Disney magic. :)

dissybroad
06-23-2009, 08:10 PM
cruisin' around in a golf cart, starting the day on the motor launch, aardvark huntin' (yankee passtime), communal sense of purpose.

datgrt@fw
06-23-2009, 09:43 PM
Well, I don't know where to start! Fort Wilderness has been such a big part of our family for around 30+ years. As I have shared on the Disboards before, for our family it is a tradition that we absolutely 'Love'! We feel like we have raised our two daughters at Disney once or twice a year since they were 2-years old and now our oldest will be 36 this October and our youngest is 32. During the time that our youngest daughter was in college she loved Disney so much she became a Cast Member at Disney in the College Program and worked at MGM. Our oldest daughter and her family have visited WDW so many times I have lost count! They both still 'Love' Disney and Fort Wilderness as much as my wife and myself do! We now have the joy of sharing the Fort with our four grandchildren and we still get very excited every time we plan our next trip back! It all started at the 'Fort'! Believe me, we are a 'Fort Wilderness Family'!

As was shared earlier on this thread every time we are at the Fort we feel like we are back at our second home! We have so many great memories of the special times we have had at Fort Wilderness! It's the people (Campers & Cast Members), it's the place (Beautiful, Clean, Safe, GC Looping, Pool & TE), it's the special feeling that you have while you are there! No other place like it in my opinion!

The Fort is a very special place but part of what makes it special is it's 'Disney'! It is part of the total package! We have vacationed at FW many times and have not gone to the parks but just enjoyed all that the Fort has to offer! I am sure the experience would not have been the same without WDW there but we would still go back but not as often.

Doug / datgrt@fw

mouseketeer_mom
06-24-2009, 06:51 AM
I have to agree with thought that there is just friendly atomoshpere at the Fort. There is a sense of community there that is just stronger than any other campground we've ever been to. Add to that the amenities, cleanliness, activities etc.; no place better.

Would we still make the 14 hour haul if it was not attached to WDW? I'd like to think so. I know we would after we had been once but it's hard to describe or believe how wonderful the FW experience is until you've been there. If there was another FW located 14 hours a away with no WDW attached, their ad would have to be "as great an experience as the other FW or your money back" to get be to try it.

TomM
06-24-2009, 06:53 AM
I'm not sure exactly what draws me to FW but I think it the nice campsites, being able to take a boatride or hop the monorail in the evening, strolling through the campground early in the morning, memories of camping there when my daughter was 3, 4, 5, 6....10, being able to feel and act like a kid again (wear mouse ears if you want), decorate my campsite with things I would never put out at home, swimming at the pool and then hoping a boat and then monorail to go out for dinner, the familiar smell of the Meadows Trading post. . . . Can't wait until October!!!

bigdisneydaddy
06-24-2009, 08:19 AM
No snow in December

RocklandRVers
06-24-2009, 09:58 AM
My favorite thing about the Fort are the people, the sense of instant community. Campers are a friendly lot to begin with, but things are ramped up at the Fort. We all know this is a very expensive vacation, for many maybe the trip of a lifetime, and sure don't want bad attitudes to ruin it, so most folks are determined to be as happy-go-lucky as possible. Particularly around Christmas, my favorite time to visit.
:santa:


I totally agree. People really go all out decorating their sites. I rarely see as much at state parks or other private campgrounds. I compare FtW to a very nice neighborhood where people compete for who has the best decorations. One of our favorite things to do at night is to drive around in the golf cart as if we were riding around in our home town looking at all the lights and elaborate displays. Its like a miniature home town to us.

We often use campgrounds as a base to sightsee an area of interest. That is what led us to the Fort the first time...a place to stay inside Disney and save money. Then the Fort became a destination in itself. In fact I would say that less than 1/3 of our total days visiting Disney have been in the parks. The fort is that good by itself.

A few of the best things: Clean Comfort Stations with laundromat and ice machines in every loop. Level paved sites with plenty of room so your not sardined in. Security. Easy drive thru check in. Courteous staff. So much to do (horseback riding, boating, fishing, tennis, pools, beach, etc). The dog can have fun too.

CCIntrigue
06-24-2009, 06:29 PM
First question ... proximity to the parks!

Second question ... no, there are better, more fun, and cheaper campgrounds elsewhere.

Boomer1
06-24-2009, 06:33 PM
I've asked myself this same question before, generally during the 30 plus hour haul. I guess others have mentioned the feeling of being home. We have stayed at other WDW resorts and never had the same feeling of being home. What could be much better than having your own "home" at WDW? So I guess without being attached to WDW we might visit if we happened to be near FW but certainly not endure 30 hours of "family togetherness" to get there.;)

LarryJ
06-24-2009, 06:38 PM
From your viewpoint, what makes Fort Wilderness, "Fort Wilderness"? What is it about the resort that fires your passion? What is it that makes you want to pack up and go right now??

I wouldn't call it a passion, but a great campground with the convenience to WDW you just can't get anywhere else. What makes me want to pack and go is not FW, but everything WDW has to offer. FW is just the best option for us being an RV owner.

Lastly, ponder this one: Fort Wilderness was not a Disney resort, not located at Disney World, would you still feel the passion to go there?



:woohoo: :wizard:

No

David

Larry

DavidLeaphart
06-24-2009, 07:07 PM
I just like the otters and the beer.

Hi AuburnJen,

I see your first visit was in 1973.....Do you remember anything about the railroad that ran thru the campground during those visits in the 70's?

popcorn::

David

justcynn
06-24-2009, 07:15 PM
After just two nights at the Fort, our family is hooked - we have been camping as a family for 8 years and are always eager to try new places. But the Fort is just a magical place - no where else that I know of could a private company put together a 700 acre camping resort in a major metro/major tourist area and set it up like the fort is, I just hope that Disney values the fort and the experience it provides its camping guests and doesn't decide in the future to convert it to private ownership lots, more cabins or a different alternate use of the land like many of the other large camping resorts we have been to seem to be trying to do.

AuburnJen92
06-24-2009, 07:43 PM
Hi AuburnJen,

I see your first visit was in 1973.....Do you remember anything about the railroad that ran thru the campground during those visits in the 70's?

popcorn::

David

Yes, I remember riding the train and the visits with my grandparents back then. They had a class C. It is fuzzy, but I remember. My father's whole side of the family are huge train buffs so trains are a big deal. I thank my grandfather for my passion.

DavidLeaphart
06-24-2009, 09:13 PM
Well, I don't know where to start! Fort Wilderness has been such a big part of our family for around 30+ years.

Hi Datgrt,

With your many visits to Fort over the years, do you remember anything about the railroad that ran there in the 70's?

:3dglasses

David

DavidLeaphart
06-24-2009, 09:28 PM
Yes, I remember riding the train and the visits with my grandparents back then. They had a class C. It is fuzzy, but I remember. My father's whole side of the family are huge train buffs so trains are a big deal. I thank my grandfather for my passion.

Hi Auburnjen,

Good stuff! I'm a big train fan myself..... Does your family have any photos of the Fort and maybe the railroad of those days?

popcorn::

David

DavidLeaphart
06-24-2009, 09:31 PM
no where else that I know of could a private company put together a 700 acre camping resort in a major metro/major tourist area and set it up like the fort is,

Well said, justcynn!

:yay:

datgrt@fw
06-25-2009, 06:48 AM
Hi Datgrt,

With your many visits to Fort over the years, do you remember anything about the railroad that ran there in the 70's?

:3dglasses

David

Hello David ......... Sorry I can't help you with your question about the train. It stopped running before our first trip to Fort Wilderness. During our early visits to FW the trams were used throughout the campground to transport guest instead of by bus.

http://i626.photobucket.com/albums/tt350/datgrt/fw_tram_88.jpg

Doug / datgrt@fw

lakelandcallsme
06-25-2009, 11:33 AM
i have been camping at fort wilderness since i was 15 with my best friends family. now that we have teenagers of our own it is so much fun to ride around in the golf carts and embarrass them just like we were. home is where the heart is and fort wilderness is what comes to mind when i think of home.

BigDaddyRog
06-25-2009, 12:28 PM
I like the inexpensive, half frozen bags of ice!!! No....wait...I love it when they put the beer on sale. Oh,wait...that doesnt happen either!

Separating FtW from Disney isnt possible, because most of the things that make the fort such a great place to be are directly related to being on Disney property. Jumping on the boat for a trip to the monorail for a tour of the resorts....that cant happen on NON DISNEY grounds....Ive never wanted to tour regular ol' resorts! Would the outdoor movie/campfire really be so special if it werent Disney movies? Would the internal transportation even be neccessary if it werent for the parks?

The Fort is an incredible place to camp...possibly the best. But MUCH of that is BECAUSE its in the heart of Disney World. That doesnt mean that a trip to the fort is pointless if you arent going to the parks...because I'd rather play around the campground all day versus going to the parks. But there's enough Disney magic at the Fort not to feel the desire for the full blown Disney hype.

The Fort is perfect if you just need a little Disney Magic and dont want to deal with the all out super-excitement of the parks...a little Disney goes a long way.

AuburnJen92
06-25-2009, 12:30 PM
Hi Auburnjen,

Good stuff! I'm a big train fan myself..... Does your family have any photos of the Fort and maybe the railroad of those days?

popcorn::

David

I will certainly ask them. They will probably be in my uncle's possession now that my grandfather has passed. Let me see what I can find.

BigDaddyRog
06-25-2009, 12:37 PM
First question ... proximity to the parks!

Second question ... no, there are better, more fun, and cheaper campgrounds elsewhere.

CCIntrigue...you've been around for a good while on the DIS...and I sure respect your opinions and value your input. Could you tell us about some of the campgrounds that are better than the fort, and what attractions make them more fun.....I would love to take my family somewhere that compares to the fort for less money, and now that we have finally gotten a camper...Im ready to roll!!!

DavidLeaphart
06-25-2009, 05:31 PM
I will certainly ask them. They will probably be in my uncle's possession now that my grandfather has passed. Let me see what I can find.


Thanks, AuburnJen!!! :thumbsup2

I'm currently writing a book on Walt Disney World railroads and the Fort Wilderness RR is a key chapter (of course!). Photos of the Fort in the 70's and especially the RR are very hard to find. If you find any, I would really appreciate your consideration to have them published in the book, and credited to your collection and probably your Grandfather (presuming he took them!).... Good stuff...

:smickey:

David

team bradfield
06-27-2009, 08:37 PM
It would be a lot nicer without all the tourists :rolleyes1

we alternate vacations between WDW and SD/WY. Yellowstone, Badlands, Custer, Tetons are great vacations, but not a single campground even close to FW. It is by leaps and bounds nicer than any other place we stay, too bad so many florida crackers frequent the place...sorry BDD!!!:rotfl:

MandMLUVMMandDVC
06-27-2009, 09:53 PM
too bad so many florida crackers frequent the place...sorry BDD!!!:rotfl:

OUCH! I resemble that remark too.

JCJRSmith
06-28-2009, 12:15 PM
I just like the otters and the beer.

Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! The otters have BEER? Nobody tells me these things!!!

:woohoo:

AuburnJen92
06-28-2009, 12:42 PM
Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! The otters have BEER? Nobody tells me these things!!!

:woohoo:

(that's because they stole yours!:rotfl2:)

they are very sneaky

AuburnJen92
06-28-2009, 12:44 PM
OUCH! I resemble that remark too.

(psst: remember, we have to have people to giggle at that come from up north....let them have their fantasies....:rotfl2:)

CCIntrigue
06-30-2009, 08:24 PM
CCIntrigue...you've been around for a good while on the DIS...and I sure respect your opinions and value your input. Could you tell us about some of the campgrounds that are better than the fort, and what attractions make them more fun.....I would love to take my family somewhere that compares to the fort for less money, and now that we have finally gotten a camper...Im ready to roll!!!

BDR, It isn't that attractions make other campgrounds more fun ... nothing can compare to Disney! But as for the camp sites themselves ...

My absolute favorite is Outdoor Resorts St. Lucie West. Privately owned sites that are rented out by the owners who have spent tens of thousands on landscaping. No amenities except pools and a golf course, but such a nice, laid-back vacation. Across the street from the NY Mets training facility, 20 minutes to great beaches. Good bicycling. Restaurants and shopping nearby.

Another great campground is Outdoor Resorts Hilton Head. Not as nice as OR SLW, but still great. Nice pool, laid-back atmosphere. 1 mile to the beach, restaurants and shopping within walking distance. Hilton Head has bicycle trails all over the island.

Another of my favorite campgrounds is Ocean Lakes in Myrtle Beach. We go there several times a year. Yes, you're packed in like sardines with no shade. But you can reserve a specific site and you have the ocean at your doorstep. Constant activities, great security. Huge pool, mini golf, great campground store, the owners are wonderful. You could stay there for many days without leaving the campground. 100+ golf courses in the area, outlet shopping, more restaurants than you can imagine, lots of activities in the area.

Treasure Coast in Ft. Pierce, Fl, is also very nice.

Hope this helps!

Shan-man
06-30-2009, 09:26 PM
CCIntrigue... for the record, do either of these resorts allow pop-up campers? Or any kind of trailer for that matter? IIRC most OR are rather snooty about what class of camper they allow in. That in itself may be a selling feature for some, but very un-Fiend-ly, IMO.

:santa:

AuburnJen92
06-30-2009, 09:45 PM
BDR, It isn't that attractions make other campgrounds more fun ... nothing can compare to Disney! But as for the camp sites themselves ...

My absolute favorite is Outdoor Resorts St. Lucie West. Privately owned sites that are rented out by the owners who have spent tens of thousands on landscaping. No amenities except pools and a golf course, but such a nice, laid-back vacation. Across the street from the NY Mets training facility, 20 minutes to great beaches. Good bicycling. Restaurants and shopping nearby.

Another great campground is Outdoor Resorts Hilton Head. Not as nice as OR SLW, but still great. Nice pool, laid-back atmosphere. 1 mile to the beach, restaurants and shopping within walking distance. Hilton Head has bicycle trails all over the island.

Another of my favorite campgrounds is Ocean Lakes in Myrtle Beach. We go there several times a year. Yes, you're packed in like sardines with no shade. But you can reserve a specific site and you have the ocean at your doorstep. Constant activities, great security. Huge pool, mini golf, great campground store, the owners are wonderful. You could stay there for many days without leaving the campground. 100+ golf courses in the area, outlet shopping, more restaurants than you can imagine, lots of activities in the area.

Treasure Coast in Ft. Pierce, Fl, is also very nice.

Hope this helps!

I live down the street from the SLW one. I can second your opinion. (and don't forget that I live nearby and can take you where you want to go!)

Calway
07-01-2009, 08:37 AM
because we just bought a new 5th wheel!

This will be our first time staying at FW. We were at POR three years ago.

You know that sign of Musket Mickey many of you make tee-shirts from? Well, I printed one out and make a wooden sign for our campsite. I'd take a picture of it, but I'm can't seem to post one.

Maybe you can October campers can see it then.

auntie
07-01-2009, 08:41 AM
I live down the street from the SLW one. I can second your opinion. (and don't forget that I live nearby and can take you where you want to go!)



Hmm...:scratchin...I know, we could camp in Jen's driveway! :cool1:

AuburnJen92
07-01-2009, 08:53 AM
It's cheaper!;)

CCIntrigue
07-01-2009, 04:50 PM
CCIntrigue... for the record, do either of these resorts allow pop-up campers? Or any kind of trailer for that matter? IIRC most OR are rather snooty about what class of camper they allow in. That in itself may be a selling feature for some, but very un-Fiend-ly, IMO.

:santa:

OR SLW is Class A only. While the people who run the resort may be a little "snooty" about Class As, the people who stay at the resort are definitely very nice.

OR Hilton Head allows trailers -- not sure about pop-ups, but that info is probably on their web site.

Ocean Lakes allows anything. I've even seen people camping there in horse trailers!

AuburnJen92
07-01-2009, 05:25 PM
Rog, you can stay down here in SLW and I allow pop ups and at the very low cost of free.:thumbsup2

(I even have beer in the fridge)

4daubers
07-12-2009, 03:35 PM
IT'S A DISNEY THING..... we just don't need to explain :goodvibes

there are people we know that just don't get it and never will... i think all us fort fiends were born with ears. :earsboy:


No better explanation. Fort fiends also have "a look" when they talk about the fort. There's something that just keeps bringing us back.