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Old 02-02-2009, 12:11 PM   #1
elizablake
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Short Fort Review-photos included

I'm just now getting around to writing a quick review of our time a the Fort. We've been suffering from some sort of post-Disney depression and haven't been motivated to do anything.

We got back Saturday 1/17 from our first trip to Fort Wilderness and Disney World. We were lucky enough to stay for 9 nights from January 8th - 17th. We had such a great time. Fort Wilderness is the best campground I have ever stayed in. The staff was so kind, the grounds were kept perfectly clean and we loved being a short boat ride away from MK.

My husband and I are 30 years old and my DD is 4. Oops, I mean 4 and a half. She would correct me for sure. My daughter is a girly-girl and loves anything to do with the princesses. My husband went to Disneyland when he was a kid but the only thing he remembers are the words to It's a Small World. I have wanted to go to Disney World since the day my daughter was born.

Here's a summary of our first day at the Fort and other comments about our trip:

We live west of Atlanta and left when by husband got off work early Thursday morning. Actually, it was really, really early…2:00 AM to be exact. My husband drove till 4:00 and then went to sleep leaving me behind the wheel. I should mention that I am a very nervous RV driver. I can't parallel park my Corolla so driving a 31ft vehicle is pretty scary to me. Of course, to top it off there was tons of road work on I-75 so the lanes seemed tiny and the big trucks were everywhere.

I survived though and about 7:00AM my husband and daughter woke up just as we passed the Florida state line. I was exhausted from my death grip on the steering wheel and not blinking for several hours but I drove till 8:00 while my husband and daughter ate breakfast.

We made great time and arrived at Fort Wilderness about 10:15. We pulled up to the empty gate and met John who I'm sure is the happiest person to ever live. He seemed more excited about our trip than we were. It was a great way to start the trip. He gave us all of our paperwork, answered all our silly questions and informed us that our site was not ready but directed us to the overflow parking lot.



My husband really wanted a nap so my daughter and I decided to explore. We made it about 10 steps out of the RV before we turned around to change into t-shirts and shorts. Man, it was hot for January. It had to be close to 80 degrees.

We walked to the building next to the gate only to learn that it was a front desk/check-in area and a bus stop to go to the airport. Not very interesting.

We turned around walked to the other side of the parking lot and found the kennel. Would be more interesting if we had a dog.



We walked along the path past the stable and found the bus stop.





Hmmm..where should we go? Downtown Disney came to mind but we didn't want to venture to far. Then a bus pulls up that says "yellow". I ask the driver, "Is this the bus that goes to the other side of the campground?". He responds, "That's what it says on the front of the bus" Well, I guess all Disney employees can't be as happy as John at the gate.

So we hop on the bus. We check out the Settlement trading post (bought an autograph book), the marina, and the playground. My DD rode a pony ($5). The ponies were really sweet and all named after Disney characters.



















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Old 02-02-2009, 12:37 PM   #2
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We avoided the yellow bus and the grumpy driver going back. We ate lunch at the RV, and woke up my husband and because our site was finally ready. We had site 352. It thought it was in a great location. Not a bad walk to the marina. You could see the road from our "back yard" but it was still private.



We set up camp and rested. After dinner we went to the Chip and Dale campfire sing-a-long. The marshmallow roasting starts about 6:00 but the sing-a-long begins at 6:30. I think the host's name is Cowboy Alex but of course Chip and Dale are the stars of the show. The come around to all the kids and sign autographs/take photos. Then the kids do the hokey pokey and some other dances. The movie starts at 7:30 but we took off to see the fire works from the beach.









Wishes was nice because the music plays at the beach during the fireworks so you almost get the full Wishes experience. My daughter oohed and aahed the whole time. And then told us that this was the "best day of her life". She hadn't even been to a park yet! "You ain't seen nothing yet kid".

We all wanted to get to bed early and just as I was drifting off, I hear these loud trumpets announcing the beginning of something. Of course, I couldn't miss a thing. So I hopped on my bike and rode toward the beach (yes, I was in my pajamas). The electrical water pageant was just starting so I sat and enjoyed it. Even though we didn't get to see it again the whole week, we got to hear the music blaring every night as we tried to fall asleep.
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Old 02-02-2009, 12:52 PM   #3
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Great start....My DS had a blast too before we even hit a park. That is the best part about FW. There is so much to do right there. Can't wait to read the rest.
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Old 02-02-2009, 12:55 PM   #4
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A few random observations:

Half way into our trip we did some laundry. It cost $2 for the washer and $2 for the dryer. So $4 a load not counting detergent. The washer took about 35 minutes and the dryer took a little less than an hour.



A bag of ice costs $2 at the comfort station. You might want to bring a clean trash bag to put the ice in. The bags Disney provides are too small.

The first boat to the Magic Kingdom does not come until 8:30 but we made it to see the welcome show every time. Everyone waiting fit on the first boat but I might get there early during the busy season. If you are desperate to get to the MK as early as possible, you might want to take the earlier boat to the Contemporary and take the monorail from there.



We got trails end takeout one night after Wishes. We were starving and willing to eat anything we didn’t have to cook. We got a cheese pizza ($14) and honey barbeque wings($9). Both were OK but we didn’t have very high expectations. The cheese pizza was large enough to feed 4 people so $14 is reasonable.





Bikes are the way to go if you are like us and too cheap to rent a golf cart. We took the bikes to the marina most days. It was about 1/3 of a mile from the 300 loop. Too short to take a bus but a long way to walk at the end of a long day at MK. We also used them to go to the Meadows area which was about the same distance. We took the bus to the outpost.
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Old 02-02-2009, 01:11 PM   #5
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What a great TR! I can't wait to read more! Thank you for sharing!
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Old 02-02-2009, 01:27 PM   #6
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Wow, great pics and a great report.
So glad ya'll had the best time ! Addicting, ain't it ?




You can tell us about the fishing later.




Kidding, don't expect first timers to have time to fish,,,,,
but your next trip,,,,,,,
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Old 02-02-2009, 01:54 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Born 2 Fish View Post



Kidding, don't expect first timers to have time to fish,,,,,
but your next trip,,,,,,,
We DID!!
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Old 02-02-2009, 03:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyw View Post
Great start....My DS had a blast too before we even hit a park. That is the best part about FW. There is so much to do right there. Can't wait to read the rest.
I agree. We could have spent a week just at the Campground.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheFlame View Post
What a great TR! I can't wait to read more! Thank you for sharing!
Thank you. I'm not sure what else to write since this is the camping board. I don't want to fill it up with a trip report about the parks. The first day was our only full day at the campground.

Don't get me wrong. I could talk/write all day about our trip. My co-workers are getting sick of it. They see me coming with my 10 photo albums and run.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Born 2 Fish View Post
Wow, great pics and a great report.
So glad ya'll had the best time ! Addicting, ain't it ?




You can tell us about the fishing later.




Kidding, don't expect first timers to have time to fish,,,,,
but your next trip,,,,,,,
We had planned to fish. Brought everything we needed. Time flew by though and we couldn't get enough of the parks.

Yes, it's addictive! We are ruined now. No other campground compares!
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Old 02-02-2009, 03:17 PM   #9
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Forgot to add...

Our site was on the 300 loop. We wanted to be close to the Marina so originally I was going to request the 100 loop. But instead, I took the advise of a poster and simply asked for a loop near the Marina. Glad I did because the CM who assigned our site knew what we wanted, not just a loop number.

Also, at first I was concerned about being assigned a pet loop. I thought we would be surrounded in puppy poop and barking dogs. Not the case, the loop was clean and peaceful.
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Old 02-02-2009, 04:40 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elizablake View Post
Forgot to add...

Our site was on the 300 loop. We wanted to be close to the Marina so originally I was going to request the 100 loop. But instead, I took the advise of a poster and simply asked for a loop near the Marina. Glad I did because the CM who assigned our site knew what we wanted, not just a loop number.

Also, at first I was concerned about being assigned a pet loop. I thought we would be surrounded in puppy poop and barking dogs. Not the case, the loop was clean and peaceful.
Everyone has a favorite loop,,our favorite loop is 300. For our needs, it's a great location.
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Old 02-02-2009, 04:49 PM   #11
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Great report! Thank you for sharing. The best part so far.....This was the best day of my life. I never get tired of watching the little ones and the pure joy they show.
Keep it coming.
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Old 02-02-2009, 05:10 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by FlaFortCampster View Post
Great report! Thank you for sharing. The best part so far.....This was the best day of my life. I never get tired of watching the little ones and the pure joy they show.
Keep it coming.

Thank you.

Her excitement was the best part of the trip. Here's her facial expressions while watching the parade.







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Old 02-02-2009, 05:18 PM   #13
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Your daughter is so pretty!

We love reading trip reports that include the whole trip, parks and all, not just the Fort!

Please, give us more!

BTW- We live in Ga. too!
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Old 02-02-2009, 05:19 PM   #14
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Excellent FW trip report and great job with the photos/info! So glad your family had such a great first FW trip, and thanks so much for sharing!

btw - 300 is our favorite loop too.
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Old 02-02-2009, 05:37 PM   #15
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I really enjoyed reading your trip report! Your daughter is beautiful... and those pics of her expressions are priceless! I had to chuckle when I read the "nervous driver" part. Then my chuckle became a gut-wrenching laugh when I discovered that your 31 ft. Minnie Winnie is IDENTICAL to ours. I can relate to the white knuckles when driving. Too funny!
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