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Old 11-17-2009, 11:31 PM   #15
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Sorry to being chiming in a little late, but I have been away from the airforums for a while.

There is a loop that I would recommend avoiding if possible. That is the 1200 and 1300 loops. They back up to the intersection at the first 4-way stop sign. The buses run on both of those streets and, consequentially, stop and start at the 4-way. You get twice the bus noise.

We like loops 300 (directly adjacent to the largest playground and off-leash dog park), 1400 (there is a direct walk way to the Chip-n-Dale camp fire sing-along/outdoor movie theater and easy walk to the pool (just renovated and has a new water slide and tots' water park) and Meadows Store), 500 (close to marina/water craft to MK) and 400 (same as 500 and across the street from major playground and off-leash dog park).

The pool has just been upgraded with new children's/tot water slide and water playground. My kids loved the new water slide at the main pool when we were there last month for Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party. Most of the sites have been upgraded to "Premium" sites that include a larger parking pad and patio with all of the coarse sand being removed. Supposedly, the newly renovated sites are large enough for up to 45' motor homes. The sites are a little easier to get into now than they were before. Also, they are in the process of making all loops pet friendly.

Also, if you have a golf cart and it will fit in your truck, take it. They make getting around the camp ground soooo much easier. The rental units from Disney are $49 or $50 per day and approximately $250+ per 7 day week. We have been to Fort Wilderness 16 or 17 times since we bought our Airstream in 2006 and love it. The first time we went we didn't have a golf cart nor did we rent one. Within three weeks of returning home we had a golf cart! Over the many trips we have stayed at Fort Wilderness we have more than paid for the golf cart and the upgrades we added to it.
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Old 11-18-2009, 12:56 AM   #16
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...we have more than paid for the golf cart and the upgrades we added to it.
is this it?


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LOTs of highLY modified carts at FW...

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Old 11-18-2009, 09:49 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Minnie's Mate View Post

We like loops 300 (directly adjacent to the largest playground and off-leash dog park), 1400 (there is a direct walk way to the Chip-n-Dale camp fire sing-along/outdoor movie theater and easy walk to the pool (just renovated and has a new water slide and tots' water park) and Meadows Store), 500 (close to marina/water craft to MK) and 400 (same as 500 and across the street from major playground and off-leash dog park).

The pool has just been upgraded with new children's/tot water slide and water playground. My kids loved the new water slide at the main pool when we were there last month for Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party. Most of the sites have been upgraded to "Premium" sites that include a larger parking pad and patio with all of the coarse sand being removed. Supposedly, the newly renovated sites are large enough for up to 45' motor homes. The sites are a little easier to get into now than they were before. Also, they are in the process of making all loops pet friendly.

Also, if you have a golf cart and it will fit in your truck, take it. They make getting around the camp ground soooo much easier. The rental units from Disney are $49 or $50 per day and approximately $250+ per 7 day week. We have been to Fort Wilderness 16 or 17 times since we bought our Airstream in 2006 and love it. The first time we went we didn't have a golf cart nor did we rent one. Within three weeks of returning home we had a golf cart! Over the many trips we have stayed at Fort Wilderness we have more than paid for the golf cart and the upgrades we added to it.
Can you be more specific as to what you need the golf cart for? Is it just to be used in the campground? Where exactly do you ride in it to?
Where do you store it when you are away from it?
Is there a loading (unloading) platform at the campground to offload the carts or must you bring ramps?
Any fees or special rules for bringing your own cart?

Are Chip & Dale the only Dis-characters to be found at the campground ever?
Are reservations close-ended or can you always stay extra days if you choose? If you can, do you have to move to another site?

thanks
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Old 11-18-2009, 01:36 PM   #18
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not having stayed there yet but having visited it a few times there are places to go like a camp restaurant and swimming that have no parking area for cars so either you walk, and its a long walk, or you rent a cart. I know that as far a staying longer than your reservation, that probably cannot happen as these sites are booked up to 6 months in advance.
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Old 11-18-2009, 02:00 PM   #19
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I have never stayed at Fort Wilderness mainly because of the cost. However right down rt192 behind camping world I think it is considered Old Town. is an Airstream Park. I havent been there in a few years, but the saveings is significant, and you pull right out of the CG onto the B-line, and are 7 min from Disney. I paid for 10 days with full hookups and a family of 6, $127.00 total. Last time I stayed there was in 03?.
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Old 11-18-2009, 02:19 PM   #20
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We're planing an Airstream trip over there soon. We have not camped there before. We would appreciate recommendations on campsites or sections to ask for. Thanx, Brian
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If you have not already gone may I suggest. Loops 1,2,3 and 400 are premium loops, a bit more expensive and smaller sites do to age, but will worth the difference. You can walk to the ferries and hope to the Kingdom and several of the hotels for dinning. The buses are not what they used to be and you can lose an hour each way to the other parks. The last 2 times there I drove everywhere other than where the ferry would take me.

If you are not traveling with kids I strongly suggest booking the Underground tour. It is an all day deal with top of the line lunch and dropped off in the Kingdom just in time for the parade at a choice spot for viewing and your are in the Kingdom for the night with at admission. 3 years ago it was $195.00 per head but the best time I have ever had there.

Another advantage of these loops is depending on what park you are in Epcot, the Kingdom, or at one of the three hotels on the Monorail you can easily get back to the trailer for a mid afternoon nap and then back in the evening when most of the day traffic has gone home. Ah yes you can walk to the beach in the evening for the light show, or better yet schedule to be on the ferry and mid lake as the light show goes by. That is upfront and personnel.

If you are interested in dinning at a given restaurant you want to make your reservation as soon as possible. Maybe even before you get there. The better ones tend to fill.

Try and get there as close to check in as possible because you will spend the afternoon just figuring out the system.
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Old 11-20-2009, 06:10 AM   #21
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Here are some pics of our Arogosy's first big girl trip to Disney from October. Ellie is half stripped of paint when we made the voyage, with the front and rear cowls sprayed silver.

Camping at Ft Wilderness 10-09 - a set on Flickr
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Old 11-21-2009, 03:07 PM   #22
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is this it?


Attachment 91243



LOTs of highLY modified carts at FW...

cheers
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Boy don't I wish!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Distantdrummer View Post
Can you be more specific as to what you need the golf cart for? Is it just to be used in the campground? Where exactly do you ride in it to?
Where do you store it when you are away from it?
Is there a loading (unloading) platform at the campground to offload the carts or must you bring ramps?
Any fees or special rules for bringing your own cart?

Are Chip & Dale the only Dis-characters to be found at the campground ever?
Are reservations close-ended or can you always stay extra days if you choose? If you can, do you have to move to another site?

thanks
There are three bus routes in Ft. Wilderness; each is separate from the others and each runs to the bus station and marina. They are used to get from the bus stop at the entrance to your loop to the bus station or to the restaurant (Crockett's Tavern) and Tri-Circle D Ranch (basically a petting zoo with pony rides available at cost) and to the Marina. The restaurant, petting zoo and marina are all at the same location, just spread out a little. The buses in Ft. Wilderness only run in the campground and you have to change buses to go to Epcot, Disney Studios, and Animal Kingdom and take the ferry to the Magic Kingdom's front gate.

The issue is that you have to walk from your camp site to the entrance to your loop (really not far) and you have to wait on their schedule. Also, if you want to go to the swimming pool, you have to go by bus to the loop nearest to the Meadows pool and walk the rest of the way. If you need to run to the Meadows Trading Post or want to go to the nightly outdoor theater, you have to do the same thing (Meadows pool, outdoor theater and Meadows Trading Post are side-by-side). There are really wide sidewalks throughout the camp ground, but with more than 700 camp sites, you would have to do a lot of walking; good exercise, but you may not want to spend that much time walking. You can also take your bicycle and ride to all of these locations and use your bike chain to secure them to the bike racks in these locations.

The golf cart is just more time efficient. There are golf cart parking lot at the Meadows Trading Post, Meadows Pool, large playground at the entrance to loop 300 and adjacent off-leash dog park. There are also parking lots at the marina and adjacent small store and a separate golf cart parking lot at Crockett's Tavern. There is also a golf cart parking lot at the bus station.

It really isn't too big of a deal to take the internal buses, but you have more freedom with a golf cart. There are no unloading platforms for golf carts, you have to bring your own ramps. What I do is to remove the truck's tailgate and secure the golf cart with a come-along and additional cargo straps attached to the back of the golf cart frame and the tie down hooks located at the bottom of the rear of the truck bed. I store my ramps beside the golf cart. I have a short truck bed, but if you have an 8 foot truck bed you wouldn't need to remove the tailgate and wouldn't have as much to secure the golf cart. When I get to Ft. Wilderness and get the Airstream backed into the site, I pull forward and back in diagonally and use my ramps to unload the golf cart at our site. If you try to unload in the loop road, you run the risk of having someone need to get by with their tow vehicle or with their entire rig and making them wait. People can get impatient.

There are no fees for bring your own cart. We've never had anyone bother our cart when we've parked them away from the camp site for the day, but our cart does have a uniquely keyed switch. All of the Disney carts use the same key and have a number on the side to keep someone from taking the wrong cart.

Chip and Dale are the only characters at Ft. Wilderness and are only there during the nightly camp fire sing-a-long just before the beginning of the movie...kind of a pre-show. Each night a different movie is shown. You can get a movie calendar when you check in.

Since 9/11 Ft. Wilderness has become very popular. Prior to that, I'm told, Disney would leave a note with your bill on your windshield on the last morning of your stay inviting you to stay longer. Now, you have to make advanced reservations months ahead of time and during the holidays (Christmas, New Year's, spring break, Memorial Day weekend, July 4th, Labor Day weekend) you have to make your reservations up to a year in advance. For Christmas this year, I made my reservation in January of this year and was unable to get New Year's Eve. I also made my reservation for Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party in May and was unable to get the Friday night of the weekend, but was able to get Sunday night. This was to coincide with our county's long school weekend in October. This is also during the Epcot's Food and Wine Festival. This is not to say that you can't add a day at the beginning or end of your trip, it really depends on the time of year and if they have a vacancy. Often, people will make a reservation in advance and have to cancel at the last minute or have to shorten their stay because of being unable to get the full time off from work. You might have to move to another site if the only vacancy for the night is at another location...a pain, but people do it. My suggestion is to call ahead and ask if there is vacancy.

I am more than happy to answer any questions you have, if I can. We have stayed at Ft. Wilderness an average of 4 times per year since we got our Airstream in 2006. Prior to that we were staying at Disney Resort Hotels. I would also recommend www.disboards.com as a good source of information on all of Walt Disney World. If you scroll down the list of forums you will find a forum that is specifically for camping at Ft. Wilderness. You will find that there are Ft. Wilderness regulars that post about everything. You will also find that some of them organize FW rallies on the board.

Ft. Wilderness is one of the original Walt Disney World Resorts. It was laid out when it was extremely rare to see a travel trailer longer than 25' so getting into some of the sites can be tricky if you have a longer trailer, but I was able to get our 30' Airstream into one of the tighter sites on our first trip to Ft. Wilderness and that was my first time backing into a camp site. This was our third trip with the Airstream and the first time we didn't have a pull-through site.

One last thing, being a Walt Disney World Resort you will be entitle to all the benefits of staying on Disney property. You will be given a key card to use to enter the bath houses. It is referred to as being "your room key" and you will be able to charge purchases and meals to this room key and it will identify you as an on property guest so you can take advantage of the Extra Magic Hours reserved for resort guests. By staying at one of the WDW resorts, you are guaranteed admission to a park. It may not be the park you had planned for Christmas Day, for example, but will be able to enter one of the four parks that day. This is particularly handy if you are a late sleeper on your vacation. On Holidays, we have known of the Magic Kingdom filling to capacity by 10:00 AM! If we had not been in the park before reaching capacity we would have been able to get into one of the other parks that day. If we weren't resort guest we would have been told "sorry, try tomorrow". Also, there is the convenience of not having to park in the parking lot for every visit. As was said earlier, you can have purchases sent to the Meadows Trading Post for pick up instead of carrying them around all day. See, that golf cart is handy after all!

Sorry to have rambled and been so long in my reply, but I hope I have been of some help.
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Old 11-21-2009, 03:13 PM   #23
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BTW, this is the only photo I have of our golf cart. We also have a Mickey Mouse "hood' ornament on the front.
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Old 11-21-2009, 06:59 PM   #24
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As I told you earlier - MM is the "MAN" for Disney info.

On staying extra nights, remember - there are no reserved sites so if there are other camp sites in the same pay band then they will let you stay in your site for an extra day or two. The new arrivals will never know, they are just guaranteed a site in the cost range they selected.

We have twice stayed longer and once got there a day early - now mind you, never during a holiday or special event - they were very happy to have us stay longer.

BTW - the kennels are the best - I know I already said that but it's worth saying again. NO NEED to keep your big dog in the trailer all day, they want you to keep your pet safe.
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Old 11-21-2009, 07:58 PM   #25
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Good site to use when going to Ft wilderness or any where else.
Disney's Fort Wilderness Campground Photos
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Old 11-21-2009, 09:06 PM   #26
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I have been attending the parks since 1976 and have never not been admitted due to capacity issues, let alone been told sorry, come back tomorrow.

The sites have also been upgraded to handle all size units. I don't believe that there is a single pull through, but everything is managable for entrance.

There are also two places to disconnect a tow car or take your golf cart out of a pick-up. They are both on the main road in, just down from the bus stops, so no need to block a loop road to do this.

As for the Magic Kingdom underground tour, we paid $80 each in October (and got a 20% discount on top of that for using the Chase Disney card). Great if you don' know a lot about Disney but I felt like I knew more than the tour guide!

Ft Wilderness has changed over the years since my first stay in the 70's, but the changes are really subtle. Aside from River Country being closed (:-( it still looks the same. Which, by the way, is a good thing!
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Old 11-27-2009, 02:11 PM   #27
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Can you be more specific as to what you need the golf cart for? Is it just to be used in the campground? Where exactly do you ride in it to?
Where do you store it when you are away from it?
Is there a loading (unloading) platform at the campground to offload the carts or must you bring ramps?
Any fees or special rules for bringing your own cart?

Are Chip & Dale the only Dis-characters to be found at the campground ever?
Are reservations close-ended or can you always stay extra days if you choose? If you can, do you have to move to another site?

thanks
I was just at Fort Wilderness from Nov 9th till 23rd, 2009. I was in the 2100 loop, which is pretty central.

On the issue of golf carts; unless mobility is an issue for you, they aren't really necessary. From where I was, the boat dock was a 10 minute walk, and the main bus terminal (where you catch a ride to the parks) was also a ten minute walk.

Even doing a relatively short 30 minute run required me to retrace my steps on the paths/trails just to put distance on my run.

My wife doesn't work out, and she had no issue with the walking, even though between the two of us we were dealing with my five month old and my 3 year old and only one stroller between them. ;-)

I actually enjoy exercise, but short of having a physical disability, nothing about the park REQUIRES you to have a golf cart to get around and enjoy it. If you want to explore at a quicker pace than walking affords, bring or rent a bicycle.

As for reservations, they can be extended provided that there are openings. When we got there, my wife wanted to extend our stay by a few days so she enquired about it. There would have been no issue with us doing so. However, after 5 days of Disney we decided that 10 days of Disney was going to be more than enough for us on this trip.

Chip and Dale are the only characters that you will find at the free events. We did the Mickey's Backyard BBQ, and my daughter got to dance with Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, etc. Unless you want to line up for pictures with the characters in the parks, the best way to see them is to book a meal at one of the restaurants that features a character meet and greet. We booked these in advance, but I heard from a few other people that they were able to make reservations on the day of, due to other cancellations.
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Old 11-28-2009, 08:16 AM   #28
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IMHO, the best character dinner and overall food experience is Chef Mickey's at the Contemporary Resort. We were there in early October and called for reservations while there. It was booked for the entire trip. We went over one evening and did a walkup and were seated in about 20 minutes (kids are long grown!).

Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Pluto, Goofy all come around to the tables in about a 5 minute rotation (every 5 a character comes out). Perfect for us big kids. The Monorail passes overhead (the restaurant is one floor down in the hotel).

When the kids were young, there was a fabulous waiter there who would entertain by writing stories upside down with the kids. We asked for him every year;sadly, he passed away about 10 years ago.

Here are some pics from our October visit there:

Camping at Ft Wilderness 10-09 - a set on Flickr
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