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Old 09-23-2012, 05:43 PM   #1
DentalDana2
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DH and I are in the process of buying a popup camper. He was an avid camper (tent and popup) as a child, me not so much. Ever since our last trip to the World in Dec 2009, we knew we'd be taking the boys back in Summer 2008. With our upcoming popup purchase, we decided to camp at Fort Wilderness! I'm nervous and excited. We are booked for 8/8-8/17 and yes, AC will be in the camper well before then! I'm super excited about all of the activities that FW offers. I'm thinking we'll need a resort only day (or two).

Last trip we stayed at ASSp and were on the dining plan. For the way my family eats, the dining plan makes little sense. My boys can only eat the same (mostly junky) offerings they'd be obligated to pick from on the dining plan and DH never eats dessert, let alone twice a day for 8 days straight. I'm thinking we'll make ressies at 'Ohana (dinner), Donald's Safari lunch @Tusker house and Mickey's Backyard BBQ (I'd welcome reviews of the BBQ). So, that leaves 5-6 dinners. I'm thinking of trying to cook at least 3-4 at our campsite, maybe do the bucket of chicken I've heard so much about, and we are even willing to venture offsite if need be. My kids fill up quickly and we can get away with a pb&j, fruit and a snack if they have a big lunch. Breakfast will probably be cereal, egg sandwiches, eggos and the like in the camper.

We are planing on bringing bike with us. How necessary is a golf cart? I'm hoping it's only a must have on our resort only days.

I'm sure I'll have a million and one questions for you guys over the next 10 months!

Thanks!

Edited due to date changes (we couldn't resist adding a day).
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Last edited by DentalDana2; 09-28-2012 at 08:00 PM.
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Old 09-23-2012, 07:31 PM   #2
jeffrey66
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My son and I have camped there three times and we both love the Fort. We are not as experienced as some but we are learning. When we camped there we were in loop 100 or 200 and that location worked very well for us. I wouldn't say that a golf cart is a must but it sure is nice. On your stay at the Fort day you could rent one and make the most of the rental and cover a lot of ground. One of the greatest things about the Fort IMO is being able to take the boat to and from the MK which is where we spend a lot of time. From loop 100 and 200 we were able to walk from our site to the marina in about 5 minutes. If I was camping a long distance from the marina I would have wanted a golf cart after returning from the park late at night.
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Old 09-23-2012, 08:14 PM   #3
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Weclome to the camping board !

I'd say a golf cart for Fort days would be enough.
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Old 09-23-2012, 08:41 PM   #4
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I love having my golfcart.
Looping at night is the best.
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Old 09-24-2012, 07:34 AM   #5
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You say you're bringing your bikes. If you are avid bikers you may not need a cart at all, use the bikes.
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Old 09-24-2012, 07:57 AM   #6
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Never wanted, or needed a cart, but to each their own. We enjoy walking or catching the bus when we need to. Have been going to the Fort many years (in fact since year 2 after opening) and you *see* so much more when you walk. Our kids loved it, as you can take the time to "stop and smell the roses"!

An added benefit to walking is the needed exercise. We've noticed a large proportion of cart riders have weight issues, and riding instead of walking becomes a habit (not just at Disney). Anyway, just our take. Enjoy
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Old 09-24-2012, 10:37 AM   #7
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The BBQ is very fun for younger kids....yours are probably the perfect age and will have a blast. They'll get to dance with Mickey and Minnie, and I'm sure you'll all have a good time. We've never had a golf cart, even on Fort days. DD has been a strong bike rider since she was 3, so we just ride our bikes everywhere (or walk.)
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Old 09-24-2012, 12:42 PM   #8
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Another vote for just bikes. We've been 3 times now and haven't needed a cart. Our first visit was when DS was about 5, and at that time we used a gizmo called the Trail Gator that allows you to hook their bike up to a pole thing that makes it into a trail a bike. The cool thing with that as opposed to a true trail a bike is that it uses their own bike and is easy to unhook to let them ride on their own when they want.

And yes, do plan a non-park day or two at the Fort if you can. Take along fishing poles, you can pick up worms at the Bike Barn. Rent a canoe and tool around the waterways. And definitely plan to go to the campfire sing along! You can take along your own smores fixings rather than pay for the kits there. I also saw folks roasting hotdogs as well - simple and fun camping meal!

We've also done the dining plan in the past and find that it just doesn't suit us either. That's the beauty of staying in your own camper with your own food and kitchen! The nice thing is that it makes the dining out more special - we usually plan for one or two nights out during a trip.

A few thoughts for dinners (we keep it pretty basic, easy, and quick):
- Tacos/taco salad (make the meat at home and freeze it for travel) or grilled nachos (same with your meat, just layer your bean/meat/cheese/onion toppings face down on non-stick foil then top with chips, layer and seal your foil and throw it on the grill...then flip it over for serving and open up and add any extras like lettuce, tomatoes, salsa, sour cream/yogurt, etc.)
- Burgers on the grill
- Pasta and sauce
- Crock Pot pulled pork (a bottle of rootbeer and a tenderloin all day, shred with a fork and add your favorite BBQ sauce)
- Grilled chicken, throw some green beans in a foil pouch on next to it
- Wraps or sandwiches
- Snacky dinner: cheese and crackers and assorted raw veggies
- Pasta salad, you could also pre make the salad and just add your mayo/oil/dressing/yogurt when you're ready to serve.
- Mini pizzas on the grill: use pitas, premade crusts, or ready-made dough. If you use the dough, the key is to grill one side, flip it over then add your toppings, then continue to cook.
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Old 09-24-2012, 05:06 PM   #9
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Another vote for the bikes. We saved a lot of time by riding to the top to catch the boat or the bottom to catch the bus. Great for looping or rides to the store too.

We always ate a big meal in the morning then went to the parks until around 2 or so and came back for linner. I prepared meals ahead and froze them so i only had to heat things up. Saved lots of time there too. I like to use my crock pot too.

You'll have 10 months of fun planning!
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Old 09-24-2012, 05:25 PM   #10
DentalDana2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KristinU
Another vote for just bikes. We've been 3 times now and haven't needed a cart. Our first visit was when DS was about 5, and at that time we used a gizmo called the Trail Gator that allows you to hook their bike up to a pole thing that makes it into a trail a bike. The cool thing with that as opposed to a true trail a bike is that it uses their own bike and is easy to unhook to let them ride on their own when they want.

And yes, do plan a non-park day or two at the Fort if you can. Take along fishing poles, you can pick up worms at the Bike Barn. Rent a canoe and tool around the waterways. And definitely plan to go to the campfire sing along! You can take along your own smores fixings rather than pay for the kits there. I also saw folks roasting hotdogs as well - simple and fun camping meal!

We've also done the dining plan in the past and find that it just doesn't suit us either. That's the beauty of staying in your own camper with your own food and kitchen! The nice thing is that it makes the dining out more special - we usually plan for one or two nights out during a trip.

A few thoughts for dinners (we keep it pretty basic, easy, and quick):
- Tacos/taco salad (make the meat at home and freeze it for travel) or grilled nachos (same with your meat, just layer your bean/meat/cheese/onion toppings face down on non-stick foil then top with chips, layer and seal your foil and throw it on the grill...then flip it over for serving and open up and add any extras like lettuce, tomatoes, salsa, sour cream/yogurt, etc.)
- Burgers on the grill
- Pasta and sauce
- Crock Pot pulled pork (a bottle of rootbeer and a tenderloin all day, shred with a fork and add your favorite BBQ sauce)
- Grilled chicken, throw some green beans in a foil pouch on next to it
- Wraps or sandwiches
- Snacky dinner: cheese and crackers and assorted raw veggies
- Pasta salad, you could also pre make the salad and just add your mayo/oil/dressing/yogurt when you're ready to serve.
- Mini pizzas on the grill: use pitas, premade crusts, or ready-made dough. If you use the dough, the key is to grill one side, flip it over then add your toppings, then continue to cook.
Thanks for all of the great tips. I'm going to look into that trail gator for DS3, I just don't think his little legs will be ready to keep up!
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1982 - offsite
1992 - offsite
2000 - ASMo
2002 - CBR
2009 - ASSp
2013 - Fort Wilderness
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Old 09-24-2012, 06:28 PM   #11
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Dana,

I will pile on and say if you bring bikes you don't need a golf cart. The only caveat is if you plan to ride at night you should have some sort of light or blinking light on your bike to alert walkers and cars of your presence. Golf carts have headlights. As much as I love riding at night when the temps are cool, I do tend to ride up behind walkers and weave around cars so truthfully I do want everyone in your family to be safe.

The Backyard BBQ would probably be a great choice for your family and kids. It's an extended character interaction time (plus the meal) and while other character meals have brief one-on-one time with the kids, the BBQ has the characters out there for a longer time with everyone on the dance floor.

And btw, we always get the chicken takeout dinner from Trails End (the Giddyup And Go or GAG as we lovingly refer to it) on our arrival night. You get 10 pieces of fried chicken, 2 sides (slaw, mac/cheese, beans, fries), and corn bread for about $25.

Have fun!

Bama ED
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Old 09-28-2012, 04:59 PM   #12
cddskj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kmccain View Post
Another vote for the bikes. We saved a lot of time by riding to the top to catch the boat or the bottom to catch the bus. Great for looping or rides to the store too.

We always ate a big meal in the morning then went to the parks until around 2 or so and came back for linner. I prepared meals ahead and froze them so i only had to heat things up. Saved lots of time there too. I like to use my crock pot too.

You'll have 10 months of fun planning!
Hi...should we bring a bike lock of some sort if we plan to use our bikes to boat or bus...keep it safe while we are enjoying the parks? Are there bike racks?
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Old 09-28-2012, 05:10 PM   #13
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Yes there are bike racks, yes you should bring a lock. Disney isn't a high crime area, but you know the saying to "keep honest people honest."
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Old 09-28-2012, 06:17 PM   #14
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My first trip to Disney i left my towel on a chair at River Country. I must have asked some one about leaving it there and they said "you are at Disney, you don't have to worry about people taking things" Well that was a few years ago and we have always locked our bikes. We had a big cable that went through them all with loops at both ends so we could put the lock through.
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