If you love Disney so much that you want to live in that world, we’ve found the next-best thing. Welcome to Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground, a picturesque backcountry retreat a stone’s throw from the Happiest Place on Earth.
Most visitors to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, probably don’t realise one of Disney’s best-kept secrets lies in the 750 acres of pine forest that sits between Epcot Centre and Magic Kingdom. Fort Wilderness is like a summer camp for grown-ups — which is fitting, given they’re visiting a place where kidults abound – with excellent camping facilities, movies under the stars, campfire sing-a-longs, and fireworks every single night.
Fort Wilderness prides itself on showcasing the best of America’s wild frontier, with deer, rabbits, ducks, and armadillos roaming the resort’s pine and cypress forests. With fully-equipped campsites, a pool with a waterslide and spa, as well as activities like archery, horseback riding, canoeing and fishing on offer, the hardest part of going is living with the knowledge that you have to leave eventually.
On top of all that, staff offer wilderness tours through the surrounding park area. Guests can hop on an all-terrain Segway and fly through the woods on a two-hour guided tour of the Wilderness lodge, the Tri-Circle-D ranch and Bay Lake. Like the Jungle Tour at Animal Kingdom, you’ll hear trivia about the park and get up and personal with the local wildlife.
Possibly the coolest part about staying at Fort Wilderness is the access you have to Disney World. Forget waiting in line after line get into the park; guests of Fort Wilderness can hop aboard a motorised boat across Bay Lake and the Seven Seas Lagoon and arrive at Magic Kingdom’s doorstep.
Bookings start at $70 (USD$55) per night. BYO RV.
How To Get There
- Fly into Orlando International Airport
- Drive 30km (about 20 minutes) via FL-528 W
- Walt Disney World Resort, Orlando