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My 1980's dream of Camping at the Fort, Fall 2012: Pop . BWV . Next up: THE FORT!

Discussion in 'Disney Trip Reports' started by WalkingintheFog, Jan 8, 2012.

  1. WalkingintheFog

    WalkingintheFog DIS Veteran

    Nov 1, 2008

    So, I've never subscribed to the bucket list theory, nor things to do before I'm fifty:scared1:..................til now.

    And all of a sudden, I realize: I always did have a bucket list.... I just called it "someday":

    Ever since my first semester at University in 1980 when we dreamed over travel brochures & contiki tours, I thought how perfect could it be to camp at Disney.
    But, until recently, Disney was a low priority in life (I know, I know, I'm a late bloomer). I've had 3 WDW trips in the last 4 years in fall, stayed at POR each time (and YC once). Nobody seemed interested in camping with me.:confused3


    So gosh darn it, I'm gonna go tentcamping at Disney this October. If I'm solo, I'm solo, so be it! One's never really at alone at Disney anyway!:grouphug:

    I'm flying down, I'm not getting a rental, but darn it, if others can manage so can I!

    So this will be my Q&A thread, a pseudo-pre-trippie, and just for Born2Fish--because of all the piggies in his siggy-- maybe even a post-trip report w/ photos and all! :dance3:


    Table of Contents! (will update w/ each new segment!)

    Post 3: The Pre-Trip Planning Adventure!: the beginning of the plan
    Post 19: The Pre-Trip Planning Adventure!: Safety & Security while Tent Camping: Lightning, Snakes, even Evil persons!
    Post 34: The Pre-Trip Planning Adventure!: Park tickets: check!
    Post 36: The Pre-Trip Planning Adventure!: A live pre-trippie! From inside the Tent!

    Post 57: The Pre-Trip Planning Adventure!: More Tent options!

    Post 38: The Pre-Trip Planning Adventure: My Original Plan and the Eureka Moment!
    Post 64: The Pre-Trip Planning Adventure!: More Tents me oh my!

    Post 74: The Pre-Trip Planning Adventure!: The Tentative WDW Touring Plan!

    Post 78: The Pre-Trip Planning Adventure!: Mickey Pancakes at home!
    Post 99: The Pre-Trip Planning Adventure!: Camping Equipment Suitcase all packed!
    Post 106: The Pre-Trip Planning Adventure!: Bike rental info.
    Post 110: The Pre-Trip Planning Adventure!: Rent-a-car arranged!

    Post 117: I'm here at Disney!!!! Live at BoardWalk Villas! Crash BOOM BANG!

    Post 121: I'm home, but here's a picture from the Fort to tide you over!

    Trip Report begins!!!!

    Post 128: Sep 25: The Pop Century Adventure: When do YOU feel that your vacation has started?
    Post 129: Sep 25: The Pop Century Adventure: DTD & a nighttime snack
    Post 133: Sep 26: The Pop Century Adventure: Rental car pick up!

    Post 136: Sep 26: The Pop Century Adventure: Animal Kingdom: Shady nooks, and close quarters on Safari!
    Post 139: Sep 27: The Pop Century Adventure: Sight seeing around POP Century!

    Post 141: Sep 27: The Boardwalk Adventure: Soft Opening of Food & Wine at EPCOT
    Post 146: Sep 27: The Boardwalk Adventure: Room view, a road trip to Wally World, and a quick supper at Epcot!
    Post 147: Sep 28: The Boardwalk Adventure: DHS, and the Tower of Terror Sports Expo, and back to DHS again!
    Post 149: Sep 29: The Boardwalk Adventure: The Breakfast of Champions! Blizzard Beach, and the 2012 inaugural Tower of Terror Ten Miler!
    Post 150: Sep 30: The Boardwalk Adventure: It's always a lazy day after a big run! But still gotta go to Epcot! Which Table Service restaurant will it be?
    Post 153 Oct 1: The Boardwalk Adventure: Change of rooms, Epcot's 30th + more Food & Wine for me! And a spur of the moment trip to MK.
    Post 154 Oct 1: continued
    Post 155 Oct 2: The Boardwalk Adventure: Blizzard Beach, and another road trip!: We have REAL icebergs here!
    Post 156 Oct 2: continued
    ...................last updated Jun 3
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  3. WalkingintheFog

    WalkingintheFog DIS Veteran

    Nov 1, 2008
    I read the post by Cierese about no availability online, so that "forced" me to get off the fence and make my own reservation! As of this afternoon, I am camping Oct 4-10, 6 nights!
    (I'm at BW for the week prior, doing the inaugural Tower of Terror 10miler!)

    I'll be perusing the other tenting-at-the-fort-newbie threads, to pull out what's going to be applicable for me! (Mommy2paris, I've pulled several thoughts from your thread/replies already! Thanks!)

    (See how sneakily I've saved the next post after my initial in case I need it for Post Trip report purposes! I've learned!)
  4. WalkingintheFog

    WalkingintheFog DIS Veteran

    Nov 1, 2008
    The plan is going to be:
    • Fly down business class if I can swing it with my points
    • Bring down the smallest tent I think I can still have a quality vacation in .....so, I'll be camping weekends this summer once it gets warm & dry enough.....okay, once it's warm enough...ie early-mid July.
    • I'll be travelling with kettle/toaster/pillow/compact fan/hardsided suitcase regardless, so that's some of my necessities there
    • I'm a walker & a runner, but I might see about renting a ladies bike w/ basket & lock
    • Plan to buy the bulkiest & cheapest of my supplies down there, unless I somehow find a swap for those dates (things like Tarps, broom to sweep out tent, mallet, hardsided or styrofoam cooler, exterior use extension cords, folding camp chair)
    • There's over 8 months between then & now, but I'll only be able to start Tentcamping in mid July, so that leaves plenty of time to start obsessively planning a quality, yet minimalist, camping experience!
  5. bama_ed

    bama_ed New Software Calls For A New Avatar...

    Sep 23, 2004
    You might want to look at the vendor mentioned in post #2 of this thread:


    They have a tent package (which includes them setting up and taking down) for $43+tax per day and they include a lot of other stuff. Given the fact you are flying, you could save some valuable luggage space and bag fees for only a few dollars more.

    At least it's an option you can consider.

    Bama ED
  6. chartle

    chartle DIS Veteran

    Jul 10, 2008
    There was someone here that asked if it was possible to get to a Walmart or Camping Store on a bike from FW to get some Coleman fuel because they would only have bikes that they were flying down with and tent camping . Well of course they couldn't.

    Well they posted again and not only did they fly with two folding bikes but a fairly large tent and a screen room for the table!

    So it can be done.
  7. WalkingintheFog

    WalkingintheFog DIS Veteran

    Nov 1, 2008
    yes, I believe I read that thread a while back, how they fit the folding bikes into their luggage! Where there's a will, there's usually a way!

    My big difference is, expecting to go solo, so no shared baggage.

    I must go check out this tent package you mention, bama_ed.:surfweb:
    What I would like to avoid is for those 6 nights to ending up costing more than a Value Resort!
    If I get a business class flight on Points, there's no baggage fee, else I'm looking at something like $60 for 2 bags, +$35 :teacher:for a third for each of the 3 parts of my journey (I stop over in Toronto for a Half Marathon on way home....at least that's the plan). The points are there to be used, and I don't expect any great seat sales to be offered!

    Thinking on minimal meal-making: A cooler with Ice from Hess or wherever (I'm thinking I'll hit a superwalmart or supermarket for some supplies & get a cab back). My kettle is a hot pot, so that opens up a few more options. Breakfast generally tea, toast, fruit. Evenings, I don't know, Beer:drinking1 comes to mind! I'd prob eat out & bring something back from parks (DTD Earl of Sandwich! yum yum!).

    When I tent camp here/home, I bring so many odds & ends for convenience, things that I could do without, but don't!:rolleyes1
  8. chartle

    chartle DIS Veteran

    Jul 10, 2008
    You should be able to get a 2 person tent for around one day of tent rental, because adding in that tent rental with the cost of a site is going to be more than value room. Where you get your own bathroom, heat AC and a TV. :thumbsup2

    I think you should be able to get everything at Hess without the cast of a cab to walmart.

    They have Styrofoam coolers and enough food to get you through the week.

    If people can get everything they need for a week in a backpack that they carry on your back I think you could get everything in one suitcase as long as you don't carry a lot of heavy stuff like cans. Ramen is pretty light. :thumbsup2

    You should be able to cook a lot of food in one pot one on a hot plate and with your hot pot you can make hot beverages.
  9. Disney Bunny

    Disney Bunny DIS Veteran

    Jan 14, 2010
    Really recommend you consider using the hard sided cooler vice the styrofoam one. Still very warm in Florida in October. Styrofoam will not keep your ice as well as a hard sided cooler and you will be spending a lot for ice at the comfort station. If you have a durable hard sided cooler already, you might consider using it for one of your "bags" and pack your clothing and lighter weight camping items inside for the trip.
  10. WalkingintheFog

    WalkingintheFog DIS Veteran

    Nov 1, 2008
    Wow, that's a lot of stuff in that tent package! Given it's just me, it's too much stuff & the price brings it up to a value resort. But for a party of 4-6 wanting to camp, I think it's an EXCELLENT! deal. No picture of the tents, supplies on her site, but perhaps it's a work in progress.

    What you said in RED, is my thought exactly! Granted, I don't plan to be totally roughing it, but still!
    Even tho' I don't planning a shopping per se, I'd be checking out Walmart/SuperSupermarket anyway (especially if I leave out lots of relative ly cheap stuff to make room for tried & tested camp gear and shoes......Walking sneakers/running sneakers/water sandals/water shoes/room shoes/backup sneakers for when the walking sneakers get soaked, etc!) For the most part, things are just cheaper in Fla than in Nfld

    Good point re hard sided more "thermal" than styrofoam.
    So, how does one know if one's hardsided cooler is airline "durable"? :confused3 I have this 48 quart Coleman Chest cooler

    I have a few tents (3... 1 dome 4 person, that I know leaks, 1 big 2 room tent from sister, haven't set it up, but maybe too big to bring, 1 big screen house, that one is too bulky to bring) AND! I just found my sister has a 10x12 hex Dome Tent/fly that weighs 19lbs, which seems promising (It's in MY basement...that means I "can" "borrow" it!:rolleyes1). Now, do I wait til mid Jul ie Summer, or do I clear the biggest space I can in my basement to set up the tent?......
  11. tci1212

    tci1212 DIS Veteran

    Oct 15, 1999
    Have fun! I have always wanted to Camp there, we rent a cabin or stay at the Beach club, I keep mentioning it to my Kids, but they look at me like i'm :eek:
  12. donac

    donac <font color=black>BL6 Black Team Captain<br><font

    Aug 22, 2002
    You can also use a back packing tent. They are light weight. If you get one for 2 it should be good for one person to have some room. Look for backpacking things. You can pack them and bring them down with you without renting or buying.

    My dh packed everything for a 10 day camping trip in a back pack and checked the bag. He also took a small backpacking stove and some pots and pans. Maybe someone can loan them to you.
  13. WalkingintheFog

    WalkingintheFog DIS Veteran

    Nov 1, 2008
    We've got snow snow and more snow. So it's time for a hot cup of tea & some Dis dreaming and Dis Surfing.:surfweb:

    Can anyone tell me, besides Target/Walmart and their supersize versions, are there any non-RV campsupply stores in the vicinity?
    How about the local goodwill/thrift shops in the vicinity?

    (No car, but I'll be at WDW at least 1 week before I head to The Fort, and quite comfortable doing some quality reading while I take various combinations of public transit/WDW transit/taxi/walking!).

    A few "big items" that I'm thinking of buying down there instead of bringing with me includes
    -- Some tarps & rope.
    -- Campcot or airmattress
    -- Cooler
    Someone suggested to me that some stuff (like cheap bike, coolers, camp chairs might be found pretty cheaply at thrift shops in the area, although I'd not count on it (and how the heck would I get a bike back to The Fort!))
    These things I'd plan on passing on to the next lucky camper instead of bringing back with me!

    Any thoughts on sleeping on an airmattress vs a campcot in early October?
  14. chartle

    chartle DIS Veteran

    Jul 10, 2008
    I don't think you need to buy anything in FL.

    1. how big a tarp and how much rope do you need?

    2. Get a Thermarest they roll up real tight. or at most a single person air mattress.

    3. This you probably should buy there since unless you get a collapsible one takes up a lot of space. You can buy styrofoam coolers at the Hess stations on site in fact you can by any food you need there also.
  15. WalkingintheFog

    WalkingintheFog DIS Veteran

    Nov 1, 2008
    One can never have too many tarps, nor too much rope while camping!
    I figure until I see the site I won't know exactly how to place things.
    The general plan is tarp under tent footprint (plus thin painters sheet in & out), big tarp extending over tent on all sides esp front for rain porch, and potentially one over picnic table (may or may not have a dining tent..... besides lovebugs, how are the flies at the Fort?)
    Amount of rope depends on the trees!
    Clotheline and rigging the tarp(s) is what I need for. Trees are better than poles, but you can never count on trees being where you want.
    I'm thinking this summer as I camp, I'll work out diff logistics... esp as I'll need to narrow down which tent to take.. then I'll figure tarp sizes.them!:laughing:
    lol, I'm too old to not need a decent bed substitute! I was planning on bringing my Thermarest to put on top of cot or airmattress! (that works well for me).

    I'm thinking that thru, I've got a collapsible one, but figure not a lot of good insulation there. Don't know that I'd feel my hardside Coleman cooler would stand up to the airtravel nor baggage handlers!

    I've never been in a Hess, but I know there's one just outside the parking lot at Boardwalk, I figure I'd check it out. I do try to choose healthier versions of most food: lo/no fat milk, yogurt, cheese, lo/no alcohol beer, lots of fruit, raw veggies. :angel:
    I did walk to/from a Winn Dixie from Downtown Disney, about 3km (~1.7miles) last Sept, toting my wheeled totebag....lol, I went a bit too fast with the loaded cart coming back: I burned rubber! Wore one of the wheels down!:scared1:
  16. glennbo123

    glennbo123 DIS Veteran

    May 10, 2008
    WalkingInTheFog! You're doing a PTR! Or a psuedo-PTR, Q&A thread, but that's great....I'm in! :banana:

    I read that you're thinking about an air mattress for your camping trip. I recently bought a couple of cots pretty inexpensively on woot.com. I thought they might come in handy if James camps some more with Christian Service Brigade (kind of like scouts). And shhh, I'll probably even take one to Vero Beach if the kids' cousin wants to sleep over.
  17. tinah159

    tinah159 DIS Veteran

    Feb 28, 2005
    Your tent camping gear has been taken care of! I hope you have a great trip!
  18. tinah159

    tinah159 DIS Veteran

    Feb 28, 2005
    Your tent camping gear has been taken care of. I hope you have a great vacation!
  19. WalkingintheFog

    WalkingintheFog DIS Veteran

    Nov 1, 2008
    Woo Hoo! Thanks Tina!:thumbsup2

    And I've just booked my flights this AM! Couldn't get exactly what I wanted, but close enough:
    I had to shave a few days off my stay at Pop, but then I've a week at Boardwalk, 6 nights at THE FORT!!!!:banana::banana: and then 5 days in the big T O (Toronto) for a Half Marathon!

    I've got a HUGE Exam in April, so I've had to put a lot of my trip planning on the back burner for a bit (yes, like any good Disser, I've got my itinerary formulated & my ADRs ready to call in).
  20. WalkingintheFog

    WalkingintheFog DIS Veteran

    Nov 1, 2008
    LIGHTNING!!!!!!! :scared1:
    We don't get a lot of lightning here, but I know tents are no protection, get inside a structure that's always permanently enclosed (eg hard side/hardtop trailer or car or building), be low & have a small footprint, and get the metals/electronics off yourself.

    How is the first half of October for Lightning? For vicious lightning?
    (I expect rain, and probably heavy rain, even for a full day or 2... that's why tarps, board games, beer & snacks were invented) :thumbsup2

    SNAKES!!!!! SPIDERS!!!!!:eek:
    I know WDW is built on a swamp. There are snakes & spiders: small/big, harmless/harmful.
    I've read various threads, and even tho I've only seen one spider (and didn't stop as we were rushing to the ME for the airport), I know lots of people have seen snakes, spiders, & small alligators at The Fort, various resorts, DTD, and even the parks. yes, and there have been people bitten as well (I think because of reaching into vegetation or taking short cuts thru shrubs or low vegetation)

    BUt there aren't any of these here on the Rock (aka Newfoundland)--- I have no idea what their habits are.
    So, as relates to a tent campsite:
    - Do I need to be concerned about snakes/spiders under a tent floor?
    - Are they attracted to anything?
    - Does the dope WDW spray around discourage them?
    - Are there precautions I need to take on my campsite?
    I expect there will be Lovebugs, given they don't bite or fly up your nose, they're just a small nuisance if numerous ​

    SECURITY (from EVIL PERSONS!):mad:
    I've read:
    - don't be obvious about the "valuables" at your site (if you're a thief and reading this: this is an old etch-a sketch painted black & silver--not a laptop. I'm American--no passport. And that camera is a $10 disposable....move along!)
    - you should keep your valuables with you at all times (not always feasible, eg laundry day or while in the pool. And even tho' parks have lockers available at a cost, one doesn't alway want to have to lug a knapsack to/from a park))
    - you can lock them in your suitcase (don't steal my suitcase)
    - you can get a lockable bin or plastic trunk to leave in your tent
    - you can get a lock for your tent (assuming they try the door instead of slicing the tent open w/ sharp knife)
    - there's a safe at the Outpost reception area
    - you should have a car to lock them in while you're away.
    (While WDW is known to be relatively safe, things can still happen)

    1) Where can you buy locks for tents?
    2) Has anyone used the fabled safe at the Outpost? Or is it just that they hold your item(s) in the back room? Do you get a receipt?
    .....I'm thinking here about Passport/Cdn $$/full memory cards until departure, and laptop during days when I'm away from site. What can you tell me about this?
    3) If one locks valuables in a car, even in early October, doesn't it get awfully hot in the car? Like, realllly hot?
    What do you do? Leave the windows open a crack?
    (I'm thinking electronics: Laptops. Even Camera if you've gone swimming.)
    (I'm not planning on a car, WDW busses will take me where I want to go, although a car would also be a comfort in case of lightning storm, massive rainfall)​
  21. Ashley Kees

    Ashley Kees DIS Veteran

    Nov 9, 2005
    Don't know if you're still in need of camping equipment, but if you contact a local girl scout or boy scout troop, I can guarantee they will rent you their camping gear if they have it for a VERY low rate. If you are attached to the troop in some way (family member in the troop) they will probably just let you borrow it for free.

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