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Old 05-03-2013, 10:30 AM   #1
boreas154
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Solo camping trip?

Hey there DISCampers! So DW approved a solo trip for me, in return for the ones I keep sending her on with her mother. Being the good DISer that I am... told her I'm headed for Disney. Now this trip won't be for a good while yet, but I thought I'd start gathering some feedback.

DW and I are both budget travelers. We tend to try and keep room costs, travel expenses, etc.. as low as we can so we can spend a bit more on food, beverages, and souvenirs. Since I'm going solo, and more of an all day park person, I started considering just grabbing a small campsite to park my car (driving from PA) and set up a tent. The tent we have is nothing special, not sure on size, but big enough to fit a queen-size air mattress with some room left for bags.

Since I've never camped at Disney before I'm not entirely sure this is the best route to go, but it seemed like it would be a ton of fun! I guess my current inquiries are as follows:

*Do you think it will be too much of a hassle trying to set-up a site solo and even worth it as I'll probably only be there to sleep?

*Do you still get the feel of being 'in' Disney like you do at the resorts?

*Are there months when campsite prices are lower yet not subject to hurricanes passing through ?

*Any general tips or tricks that someone who has never camped Disney before should be aware of?

Thanks in advance for any help/advice!
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Old 05-03-2013, 02:47 PM   #2
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I think you will enjoy it!

You do "still get the feel of being 'in' Disney like you do at the resorts".

I would go no later than the end of May, forget the summer months (too hot) and then consider going anywhere between late September through the end of the year for nicer temperatures.

Check this link out here at the DIS boards for the seasonal pricing :
http://www.wdwinfo.com/wdwinfo/disney-rates-2013.htm

For economy, camping at Ft Wilderness is great. You can bring an ice chest and eat your breakfast at your campsite before you go to the parks. Maybe eat lunch in the park (or bring your lunch in a shoulder bag ice chest like I do) and then come back to your campsite in the eve and make your dinner. There are a lot of ideas on the net for quick things to make if you have a camp stove. I always go to Disney on a budget and have the best time. You can always alter your plans and eat in the park or we have driven off site (I have a Garmin) to a fast food place for dinner. They are not far. Also there is the Trail's End Restaurant. You can get take out like fried chicken and pizza. They also have a breakfast and also a dinner buffet.
http://www.wdwinfo.com/wdwinfo/dinin...staurant.id=37

They have a country store also where you can purchase little things you may have forgotten (toothbrush...lol), small food items and cold drinks. Also outside all the comfort stations there is an ice machine to replenish your ice chest.

Fort Wilderness is beautiful. I highly recommend it!

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Old 05-03-2013, 08:12 PM   #3
Readerbug
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boreas154 View Post
*Do you think it will be too much of a hassle trying to set-up a site solo and even worth it as I'll probably only be there to sleep?

*Do you still get the feel of being 'in' Disney like you do at the resorts?
You don't indicate how much camping you do and whay type, or what you think of it in general, other than to save money... which it can, and also, can not. Depending. Knowing some of the above would help to tailor any advise!

We are leaving the Fort in the morning. We rented a pup, this time, for most of our stay. We tent alot. We usually 'set up' an extensive 'site'. But we wouldn't here. We would tent. Especially just DH and I. But not "set up" much.


I have noticed lots of tenters here in loop 1500, more than normal, I think, untill the unseasonably heavy thunderstorms started a few nights ago, when lots of pups and most tenters cleared out. I wanted to take pics of 'site setups' because I read questions about them on this board and am interested myself.

But I saw nothing elaborate. Simply a pop up style tent, maybe an ez up tarp pavillion over the table if planning to use that.... and that's all. Mostly one, sometimes two structures. Maybe a tied laundry line with some suits and towels. Nothing else. Simple, simple.

I do not think Disney camping is like tent camping in general. You don't need a 'site', and most partial loop folks are gone, like you, during the day, or out and about, here, there and busy. You tent camp differently at Disney, I think....using the general you.... and don't need as much 'stuff' as one might usually bring.

And I wanted to commont on the "feel like being in the resorts", well, I say, No. It does not feel like being in the other resorts. I like several of the other resorts a lot. But. It feels like being at the Fort. Different. Definately Disney, but Disney different than anywere else.

I think it feels better than the resorts...
more friendlier, more special, more 'yours', more 'magic kingdom', the way Walt designed it, more community, more peaceful, less busy, less stressed, less commercial, less hectic, but more separated from the masses, for good or not...
it all depends upon what you like the feel of, and what you think the Fort feels like, to you, depending on your collection of experiences and moments and interactions while there.

Why don't you try it, and see what you think? It could be, as our visit- the first one to the Fort where we also brought our kids- has been, the start of a new tradition
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Old 05-03-2013, 10:19 PM   #4
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Setting up a FW campsite solo, to me, isn't a hassle as I am much more familiar with how to set up the tent than my DW. One of the things that I do at FW with the tent set up is to stake the tent down on the sandpad with the door of the tent butting up against the concrete parking pad. This helps keep the sand in the tent to a minimum...and a door mat is a big help too.

The Fort is considered a resort and thus you have access to ALL the amenities and services as any other resort guest. As stated in the replies, the Fort is Disney without the feeling of crowding you may feel staying in another resort.

My DW and I prefer to go in the fall months when the temperatures are lower and some years have found there to be less rain...but don't count on the rain abating. The hurricane season runs until November, but if a hurricane does threaten Disney will move FW campers into one of the other resorts.

General tips: bring a flashlight to light your way at night and as the sites have electricity you might want to bring a string of christmas lights that is connected to a photocell (or normal) timer...this way there is a light turned on when you return to your campsite in the dark. The campground can be pretty dark. Electricity as means you don't have to be limited to a campstove and if you have the packing space in the car, can bring a coffee maker. The sites have a BBQ grill if you are inclined to fire up charcoal and grill a steak or burgers for dinner.

Got to go for now as dinner is ready...hope this helps and gets you started.
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Old 05-04-2013, 09:30 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Readerbug View Post
You don't indicate how much camping you do and what type, or what you think of it in general, other than to save money... which it can, and also, can not. Depending. Knowing some of the above would help to tailor any advise!
You're right, I did neglect to include that. DW and I usually take DS7 camping at least once per summer, plus the occasional camp-outs in the backyard. We're more 'bare-bones' campers, as we don't usually set-up anything more than the tent.

Discussing it with DW last night, see wants me to budget in money to get the QSDP. I'm still unsure myself. It would be great to have a couple meals settled in advance and really cut down on what I need to bring along, but I have a tendency to be a 'grazer" and eat small amounts all day long with maybe one full meal.

Your last paragraph is what I was really hoping to hear from someone. I realize there will be a huge difference between a themed resort and the campgrounds, but I was still hoping the feel of Walt's design would encompass it.

I suppose I should probably cross-post this to the Adult and Solo board, as I guess my only concerns are more in that regard. Camping alone in and of itself doesn't bother me at all as I've done solo hiking/camping a good bit. With all the walking through the parks, maybe I should just load up a frame pack

Thank you all for the feedback you've given so far. I'm about 99% sure this is the route I'm going unless some major hurdle pops up that I'm unaware of.
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Old 05-04-2013, 11:05 AM   #6
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Before you get the QSDP check the menus and pricing. You very well may come out ahead paying out of pocket.
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Old 05-04-2013, 11:12 AM   #7
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Readerbug I love this:

Quote:
I think it feels better than the resorts...
more friendlier, more special, more 'yours', more 'magic kingdom', the way Walt designed it, more community, more peaceful, less busy, less stressed, less commercial, less hectic, but more separated from the masses, for good or not...
EXACTLY!

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Old 05-04-2013, 11:51 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2goofycampers View Post
Before you get the QSDP check the menus and pricing. You very well may come out ahead paying out of pocket.
I did a quick and dirty analysis, and my out of pocket came out within a couple dollars of the QS plan. Still up for deabate as I keep looking through all the trip reports and would love to be able to do some different table services I've never done. That would up the trip cost quite a bit though...
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Old 06-04-2013, 09:05 PM   #9
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OP, I did a solo camping trip to the Fort in October.... trip report still in progress (multi-resort stay, still trip-reporting on the 1st part of trip).

It is awesome camping at the Fort. Way better than being at the Resorts, if you are a camper at heart!

Barebones is great, but I second most of the above comments, and include a few more:
  • have a mat outside the tent, and even abut the tent entrance up to the paved pad (to keep the crushed shell out of the tent)
  • bring your breakfast appliances (kettle or teapot, toast and/or electric skillet). I may have spent much of the days at the parks, but there was nothing sweeter than puttering around the site in the AM with the smell of my breakfast cooking!
  • definitely bring some form of outside lighting... the cheapest/most compact options being Christmas exterior minilights
  • A hardsided cooler is way better than styrofoam!
  • If you are going down in the rainy season, be sure tent fullywaterproofed and/or have tarps extending out from the tent AND angling downward (you don't want a pond on your tarp! That could be a recipe for disaster! There's no sweeter camping sound than the sound of rain on a tent or tarp!
  • Bring your bug spray! Benedryl and/or lotions to counter any fly/chigger bites.

Oh, I think the Trails End Breakfast buffet is one of the best breakfast deals at WDW!
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