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View Full Version : Tent camping at Ft. Wilderness


3smithboys
09-26-2012, 03:18 PM
We are thinking about booking a ressie at Ft. Wilderness for Spring Break. We are not new to Disney, but we've never camped before Ft. Wilderness. We have camped before as a family but not a lot.... My boys have been asking to go camping, and my husband really enjoys it too...I figured if anyone can do it right, it would be Disney and March in FL wouldn't be too bad weather wise. This is the first time we haven't booked the dining plan too... we can still add it, of course but is it necessary if we are staying at the campground?

We have requested Loop 1500. Does anyone have any tips or suggestions for tent camping at Ft. Wilderness? What is it like? I'm hoping it will be a blast! :thumbsup2

retired and happy
09-26-2012, 03:25 PM
We've never used the DP, but it depends on how much you want to cook, or how much you want to free-lance your meals. We prefer to eat wherever we are at mealtime, cook at the Motorhome, or get take out at TE.

ArielRae
09-26-2012, 05:39 PM
We tent camp at fort wilderness for the first time in may. We stayed in the 1500 loop and loved it. Make sure you get to the comfort station before 7:30am or you will wait in a line.

We had the dining plan but wished we didn't cause it made more sense to have things back at the tent and it isn't as convenent to get the refillable drink. Also they don't have a quick service at the fort. So we ending up taking the boat to the wilderness lodge to use a quick service.

We plan to bring our bikes next time cause waiting for the internal buses can be a bit of a long wait. I can see why people rent the carts but we couldn't see spending the money for a short trip.

Here is a link to my trip report. It has video of the 1500 loop, it's comfort station and trails end breakfast buffet.
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2930691

3smithboys
09-26-2012, 05:54 PM
Thanks for both of your replies and for the link to your trip report. I will make sure to get to the comfort station early; that is good advice! I would not want to wait in line!

AuntBJ
09-26-2012, 07:57 PM
I would think the temperature would average about 20 degrees warmer than the weather you will be leaving so pack accordingly.

If the bathhouse is crowded, try one in a full hook-up or premium loop if there is one nearby. It is seldom very crowded in the bathhouses in the premium loops we have stayed in. I guess most people shower in their RV but I prefer to use the bathhouse.

Whether the dining plan will be useful or not really depends on your camping/touring style. How much do you plan on eating at your site vs. in the parks/other resorts? We come and go and eat a lot of our meals at our site. A lot of that back and forth is due to our needing to check on our dog though.

The park hours will be really long if you are there over Spring break so that is a consideration also.

arielmomma
09-26-2012, 08:47 PM
We've tent camped at FW many times and will be going back in 6 weeks - Yay! We are big tent campers and FW is our favorite campground. We have been in a few different loops, but the 2000 loop is hands down our favorite. The pads are bigger, the loop tends to be quieter, and we have never had to wait for the shower at the comfort station. We have never used the dining plan while camping. We find it more convenient to eat when we are hungry or go offsite. We have a mini fridge, a microwave, a toaster oven, and a crock pot (we tent camp, but certainly don't rough it :)) so I prepare most of our meals at the tent with minimal effort. We like to bring bikes or walk places rather than rent a golf cart. My kids love to have the chance to ride around when it's snowing back here in Michigan. We love tent camping at FW. It's such a relaxing environment after a busy day.

Chynasmom
09-27-2012, 09:14 AM
May I ask what kind of tents you tent-campers have? DH and I are looking to get into camping and are a little overwhelmed by the decisions to be made! There's just 3 of us (DD is 4), but my foggy memories of camping in high school (30 years ago) tell me that we should be looking at a 6-8 person tent to allow room for stuff. I also think I want a screen room/tent for over the picnic table, but DH gives me the What A Princess Eyeroll at that.

ArielRae
09-27-2012, 11:09 AM
May I ask what kind of tents you tent-campers have?

Ok just went and looked at what tent we have and it is a Coleman Red Canyon 8 tent (http://www.amazon.com/Coleman-17-Foot-10-Foot-8-Person-Modified/dp/B000W7BHJY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1348758694&sr=8-1&keywords=Coleman+Red+Canyon+8+tent), 3 room, 8 person tent. It measures 10ftx17ft. This is a really great tent as we were able to fit a queen size air bed for us plus have room for our Rubbermaid drawers which had our clothes and still plenty of room to stand up in the middle and get dressed in the morning. Also a HUGE plus was one night it downpoured most of the night and we had no problems with any leaking. When I went to the comfort station that morning all I heard was about people fighting with leaks and having to run out to get tarps to put over their tents. We slept right thru with no problems.This tent would defiantly have plenty of room for your family. It even has curtains to separate the rooms.

Some tips -

You'll need someone inside the tent once you start raising it up to help keep it up and straight until it is secured. (Easy job for me while DH set the tent up)

We bought ours from amazon for a really great price. Whatever you buy I recommend checking there.

Chynasmom
09-27-2012, 11:53 AM
Ok just went and looked at what tent we have and it is a Coleman Red Canyon 8 tent (http://www.amazon.com/Coleman-17-Foot-10-Foot-8-Person-Modified/dp/B000W7BHJY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1348758694&sr=8-1&keywords=Coleman+Red+Canyon+8+tent), 3 room, 8 person tent. It measures 10ftx17ft. This is a really great tent as we were able to fit a queen size air bed for us plus have room for our Rubbermaid drawers which had our clothes and still plenty of room to stand up in the middle and get dressed in the morning. Also a HUGE plus was one night it downpoured most of the night and we had no problems with any leaking. When I went to the comfort station that morning all I heard was about people fighting with leaks and having to run out to get tarps to put over their tents. We slept right thru with no problems.This tent would defiantly have plenty of room for your family. It even has curtains to separate the rooms.

Some tips -

You'll need someone inside the tent once you start raising it up to help keep it up and straight until it is secured. (Easy job for me while DH set the tent up)

We bought ours from amazon for a really great price. Whatever you buy I recommend checking there.

Thanks!

Maleficent53
09-27-2012, 12:15 PM
We are thinking of tenting but I have a question about security. If you are in a tent, what do you do with valuables? Obviously you do not have a wall safe, so do you just carry everything with you all the time? Does anyone know if there is any problem with theft?

StarWarts
09-27-2012, 01:38 PM
May I ask what kind of tents you tent-campers have? DH and I are looking to get into camping and are a little overwhelmed by the decisions to be made! There's just 3 of us (DD is 4), but my foggy memories of camping in high school (30 years ago) tell me that we should be looking at a 6-8 person tent to allow room for stuff. I also think I want a screen room/tent for over the picnic table, but DH gives me the What A:confused3 Princess Eyeroll at that.

Check out your local Dicks Sporting Goods. I just got a Eureka Copper Canyon 8 person cabin tent for $250. This tent cost $380 at our local REI store. Also, this tent has lifetime warranty.

ArielRae
09-27-2012, 02:25 PM
We are thinking of tenting but I have a question about security. If you are in a tent, what do you do with valuables? Obviously you do not have a wall safe, so do you just carry everything with you all the time? Does anyone know if there is any problem with theft?

We drove down so anything that we considered quite valuable we locked in the car out of sight. We also brought a small luggage lock to lock the door flap to our tent. Of course if someone really wanted to get into the tent they can easily with a small knife but the luggage lock as my DH likes to say is to keep honest people honest. They can't easily slip in, it would take a little more effort with the lock on and that might make them move on to the next tent.

3smithboys
09-27-2012, 03:57 PM
We are thinking of tenting but I have a question about security. If you are in a tent, what do you do with valuables? Obviously you do not have a wall safe, so do you just carry everything with you all the time? Does anyone know if there is any problem with theft?

We have always locked everything in the car that was of value...

3smithboys
09-27-2012, 07:29 PM
I guess my next question is how far of a walk is 1500 from transportation? Will we need to bike or rent a golf cart? I would rather avoid taking the internal transportation, if possible... I'm assuming that it is time consuming? Is that true? If we rent a golf cart, do people use that to ride to the main transportation area and then leave it to go to the parks or do they just use it to go around Ft. Wilderness? If they leave it while at the parks, where are the golf carts left?

Thanks!!!

ArielRae
09-27-2012, 07:39 PM
The 1500 loop is pretty far from the park buses. I wouldn't walk to them tho you can walk to them along the sidewalks. We plan on bringing our bikes next time. The plus side of 1500 is that it is a smaller loop and it is nice and close to the pool and the store.

The carts are used to get to bus transportation and to other areas of the campground. They have special parking areas where you can park them and plug them in to charge while your gone enjoying the parks. They are both in the front of the campground and over at the settlement when you catch the boat to MK.

3smithboys
09-27-2012, 07:45 PM
The 1500 loop is pretty far from the park buses. I wouldn't walk to them tho you can walk to them along the sidewalks. We plan on bringing our bikes next time. The plus side of 1500 is that it is a smaller loop and it is nice and close to the pool and the store.

The carts are used to get to bus transportation and to other areas of the campground. They have special parking areas where you can park them and plug them in to charge while your gone enjoying the parks. They are both in the front of the campground and over at the settlement when you catch the boat to MK.

Thank you! That is exactly what we needed to know. DH wasn't sure what happened to the cart while we were at the parks and since they are not cheap to rent we wanted to make sure that we could used it how we wanted to...

cddskj
09-28-2012, 05:09 PM
We've tent camped at FW many times and will be going back in 6 weeks - Yay! We are big tent campers and FW is our favorite campground. We have been in a few different loops, but the 2000 loop is hands down our favorite. The pads are bigger, the loop tends to be quieter, and we have never had to wait for the shower at the comfort station. We have never used the dining plan while camping. We find it more convenient to eat when we are hungry or go offsite. We have a mini fridge, a microwave, a toaster oven, and a crock pot (we tent camp, but certainly don't rough it :)) so I prepare most of our meals at the tent with minimal effort. We like to bring bikes or walk places rather than rent a golf cart. My kids love to have the chance to ride around when it's snowing back here in Michigan. We love tent camping at FW. It's such a relaxing environment after a busy day.

Hi,
My little family of 3 will be tent camping at Fort Wilderness for 2 weeks this December. We do camp quite a bit and have the needed gear but have not done any winter camping or for more than a week..much less after a long day at Disney! Just wondered if you had any useful tips for us since you guys were there last year. thanks so much! Excited to hear back from you.

cddskj
09-28-2012, 05:11 PM
The 1500 loop is pretty far from the park buses. I wouldn't walk to them tho you can walk to them along the sidewalks. We plan on bringing our bikes next time. The plus side of 1500 is that it is a smaller loop and it is nice and close to the pool and the store.

The carts are used to get to bus transportation and to other areas of the campground. They have special parking areas where you can park them and plug them in to charge while your gone enjoying the parks. They are both in the front of the campground and over at the settlement when you catch the boat to MK.

Is there also a safe place to park/lock bikes while at the parks?

ArielRae
09-28-2012, 05:19 PM
Is there also a safe place to park/lock bikes while at the parks?

Yes I saw small bike racks for you to lock your bikes at the boat dock area to the MK. Didn't look for them at the front bus area but I do think they would have it there too. We plan to bring our bikes next time. :thumbsup2


I have a question for the experts tho..

Will they let you bring your bikes in the buses on the internal bus route if it is pouring rain when you get back from the parks to get back to your site? Never seen the buses packed that they wouldn't fit a few bikes too. My guess would be to leave the bikes and come back for them later but I figured I'd ask.

2goofycampers
09-29-2012, 09:38 AM
Will they let you bring your bikes in the buses on the internal bus route if it is pouring rain when you get back from the parks to get back to your site? Never seen the buses packed that they wouldn't fit a few bikes too. My guess would be to leave the bikes and come back for them later but I figured I'd ask.

Good question.:scratchin I've never seen bikes on a bus. Can't be any worse than some of the super strollers I've seen on them. It may depend upon how many people on the bus.