For those not in the know, my husband is a Disney cast member. He’s an Imagineer. Anyway, this means he sometimes has to travel to Disney World to work on projects. And, I often tag along. Who wouldn’t want to spend 6 days touring the Disney World theme parks? Each visit we try to stay somewhere new. And this trip, we scored a week long stay at Fort Wilderness Cabins!
So full disclosure, the accommodation and park entry was totally free for me. I just paid for air fare and food. Yes, I know how lucky I am. But did you know there is a huge camping resort in Disney World? Whether you want to rough it in a tent at the campgrounds, life the RV life (with full hook-ups and laundry facilities) or opt for a cabin, then Fort Wilderness has you covered. For those wanting something a little less rural then the Wilderness Lodge (a deluxe resort) is just a few miles away.
Fort Wilderness Cabins
Fort Wilderness is classed as a moderate resort, compared to the deluxe resorts. However, bear in mind that prices can differ a lot from resort to resort and you get what you pay for. Meaning that the Fort Wilderness Cabins aren’t cheap. But, they sleep 6, and have a kitchen, lounge and dining area. Plus parking is right outside your door!
The convenience of having a kitchen cannot be overstated. Especially if anyone in your party has dietary restriction. The Fort Wildnerness Cabins are perfect for families. Because, if you’ve eaten at a Disney park or resort you’ll know for a family of 4+ that gets spendy really quick. There’s a reason they have the option for dining plan in their vacation budgeting. Having a car and being able to shop at a Walmart a 10 minute drive away means you can do Disney dining on a budget.
Reasons Why Fort Wilderness Cabins rock
The cabins at Fort Wilderness have a LOT of pros.
- Convenient Parking. You Park right outside your cabin. Great for those going outside of the resort to eat or shop.
- The cabins are secluded. No adjoining walls to hear the baby crying next door, or toilets flushing. This makes it great for night owls or early birds.
- It’s quiet! Most people staying here are here for the peace and quiet the resort offers. It is a nice contrast to the loud and crowd filled theme parks.
- Large living space with pull out sofa bed. Phone, big TV, cable and wi-fi all here too. So you can spend a day at the park, or just chill out at the resort. There are a lot of activities on resort.
- Dining area that seats 6, convenient as it sleeps 6. Having all the extra space felt luxurious. Plus I had somewhere to do yoga!
- There is a kitchen! It has a large fridge and freezer, a 2 burner stover and a combination microwave/oven. If you have food allergies then a Fort Wilderness Cabin is a great option to cook at “home”. Note: there is also a grill outside, and outdoor picnic area. We never used it, but for those that love to BBQ grab some charcoal and get grilling!
- The bathroom is spacious and well stocked with towels. The toiletries are in full size bottles with dispensers which is much better for the environment. Hair Dryer included.
- The bedroom sleeps 4 with a queen bed, and bunk beds. I am not a fan of beds up against a wall but for the two of us this worked. And, you know I tried both both bunk beds! The mattresses on the bunk beds were MUCH firmer Than the queen, and at 5’4″ it was a squeeze but comfortable. Another TV here as well as a closet, drawers, mirror, iron and ironing board, and safe
I know that some won’t consider a cabin as a vacation because you have to “cook and clean”. Well cooking is optional, and so is cleaning. The cabins have maid service daily! Yes, you read that right. Each day the place gets a makeover from the resort staff.
Know before you go
All in all everything you need for a great vacation. Whether you eat in, or eat out, or just simply prefer more space. However, the cabins aren’t without their faults either and I would be remiss not to include a couple of things we discovered you may want to prepare for!
- The kitchen has some basic equipment: cutlery, kettle, coffeemaker, toaster, plates, dishes etc. However, no cooking utensils. Yeah, we were slightly puzzled by that one. So either bring your own, prepare to pay inflated prices at the onsite store or drive to the dollarstore/walmart.
- For a family of 6 you’re gonna have to stagger showers because there is only one bathroom. I suggest switching am/pm otherwise add and extra hour to your morning.
Fort Wilderness Resort
As a whole the resort was great. If you love the outdoors, self catering and wildlife this place is for you! It has all the same facilities as a regular Disney World Resort, just spread out a little more. Honestly, I think it had the most stuff to do than any resort I’ve been to so far. With multiple pools, children’s play equipment, volleyball, basketball, tennis, campfire sing-a-longs, horse riding, running route and more. Heck it even has a dog park!
For those wanting to chill out like many of the resorts there is a beach with loungers. In fact, the beach, and the rocking chairs at the tavern, are great places to watch the Magic Kingdom fireworks just across the lagoon. Update: On our last trip we also used the laundry rooms. AMAZING. We vowed that trip to only take carry on luggage moving forward and just do laundry every few days. The laundry rooms are all hooked up to an app, so you can get alerts when your laundry is done. Highly recommend!
Wilderness & Nature
As I mentioned, this is the resort for nature lovers. It has a stables on site with lots of horses, ponies and a donkey. The American wilderness is the big attraction. We saw so many critters. Wild deer roam around all over, and the squirrels are super friendly.
There are also lots of birds, including peacocks, and other critters. This includes caution warnings about snakes and gators. Personally, we’ve not seen either in the few trips we’ve had. Also, many of the RV campers can be seen walking their dogs.
If the thought of being a large resort is a little daunting remember that there are buses circling the resort all day, everyday. So, getting to stores, restaurants and parks is super easy. Transport to Magic Kingdom is super easy as there is a boat leaving at the dock approximately every 15 minutes. There are also golf carts to rent.
For getting to the other parks, buses are available from the main outpost. Departure times are available to view on the My Disney Experience app. There is also a bus running all day from Fort Wilderness to the campground so more facilities and activities are just a bus ride away. Plus, the boat is also a great way to go the nearby Contemporary resorts
In all, we had a great trip. Staying at the Fort Wilderness cabins was a great experience. Highly recommend it. And yes, we’d stay there again for sure. Update: We have! January 2020 we stayed at Fort Wilderness again and loved it! For the convenience of having a kitchen this resort is our favorite so far!
- Have you stayed at a Disney Resort before?
- Do you prefer self-catering or hotels for your vacation?
- Would you sleep in a bunk bed as an adult?
Laura | Tales of a Natural Spoonie
Both my son and husband have ASD and so find theme parks overwhelming, so having an option to camp off-site would be perfect for them.
These are great for anyone with issues in crowded places. You can go to the parks, but once you’ve had enough off to the wilderness!
This sounds amazing and I love the idea of staying in the cabins. Like you said a great idea for families who want the Disney experience but want to try and save a little cash! The cabins look super cosy and it sounds like it is still pretty easy to get around to everything too!
Yes, they are amazing. Perfect for families IMO
We’ve actually never been to any Disney land resort of any kind but it really does look lovely and you look like you had a great stay
Oh you need to go once in your life (to either park). Great experience!
I’ve only ever stayed in hotels at Disney. This is such a fun option! I had no idea these accommodations were available.
Same Christa! At DisneyWorld we’ve stayed at the Polynesian and Grand Caribbean. Love the Polynesian, but once we tried the cabins we were hooked!
Oh my goodness, this looks absolutely incredible. I really like the idea of having access to a kitchen as I like to be able to have the option if we like. And it seems like a great way to keep costs down too.
100% the kitchen and living area are the best things about this. Even just reducing the costs by making your own breakfasts saves a lot of $$ at Disney!
What a wonderful getaway. It looks like just the perfect place for a family vacation and some R&R.
Definitely is. I love just staying at the resort, theme parks were a bonus!
What a lovely review this is, will definitely consider staying at Fort Wilderness Cabins if we head there especially since it is perfect for families and comes with a number of rooms. kitchen and dining area. So glad you had a great experience.
Great for families as it has a lot of space, which many families need to stay sane!
Kristine Nicole Alessandra
I would rather stay here than in the crowded theme park. I need a vacation to relax and unwind, not to fall in line for rides and food. If we have the chance to visit Disney World, we’d pick Fort Wilderness Cabins. Looks like it will give us the relaxation we are so craving for right now.
Oh I hear ya, I’d love to be there right now! Definitely a great place to get away from the crowds at the parks!
The Fort Wilderness Resort looks like a lovely place to stay – the cabin looks like a perfect place to chill and sleep and as you mention, perfect to have a kitchen to be able to cook in!
Yes, love having the kitchen!
That’s so awesome that your husband gets to go to Disney World every so often, I’d so tag along too if it was my husband. This place looks amazing x
I missed out on one trip and regretted it after. Love Disney!
This sounds like such a great set up (notwithstanding the lack of utensils – that is a weird one!). As someone who finds things like themeparks a bit full on this sounds like a great escape when things in the park get overwhelming, and I love the tip about viewing the fireworks!
Yep, I reach my ‘crowd quota’ easily at theme parks. Great to have a place to rest and relax.
We used to go camping at Fort Wilderness a lot when I was growing up. Perks of living in Florida. A lot of times we would go just to camp and wouldn’t even be going to the parks. My Girl Scout troop also camped there many times and we did visit the parks. Our family camping group got in trouble a time or two for being too loud around our campfire as it got late, and we had the “Mickey Police” coming to warn us to quiet down! I’ve tent-camped with Girl Scouts and RV-camped with the family, but I’ve never stayed in the cabins there.
Wow this would be an amazing place to camp as a girl scout! I would have loved that!
Firstly can I say your Husband has just become an absolute hero in my eyes!! I’ve just watched the Imagineering story on Disney plus and I am in awe!
Secondly this place looks incredible. We have been to Disneyland Paris several times and the hotels are amazing but I do love the idea of keeping costs down with your own kitchen and a little peace and quiet after a day at Disney.
We also watched that program and yes it’s amazing! He’s so lucky!
SARAH L FLANAGAN
We have never stayed at that one but it looks very rustic and pretty. It almost looks like staying at a state park
Yes, it really does have that state park feel. Lots of trees and wilderness.