The most cost effective place to remain at Disney World is a tent — so I attempted it

A few of my favourite resort stays have been at Walt Disney World. I’ve slept in a princess-themed room with a magical headboard at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside, watched the Magic Kingdom fireworks from my balcony at Disney’s Modern Resort and stayed in a reproduction slice of Polynesian paradise at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort.

So how did I just lately discover myself sleeping in a tent that my household needed to arrange ourselves whereas visiting Disney World?

Welcome to The Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort.

All about tenting at Disney World

Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground is a hidden gem for out of doors fanatics. Set amongst 750 acres of secluded forest, this lodging choice may be discovered simply minutes from the Magic Kingdom, making it a great spot for nature-loving vacationers on the town for thrilling rides, character meet-and-greets and extra.

You’ll be able to watch fireworks gentle up the night time sky from the close by Magic Kingdom, however you too can watch deer, rabbits and turkeys meander by means of the forest. You’ll be able to go to the parks to experience your favourite high-speed curler coasters, however you too can take issues gradual on a motorcycle experience across the campground.

Associated: 19 Disney World secrets and techniques that may add ‘pixie mud’ to your trip

In the event you love the good outside as a lot as you’re keen on being at Disney, that is the one campground that gives all of the magic of a Disney trip plus the remaining and leisure of a peaceable tenting retreat.

Making ready for our journey

The hardest a part of tenting at Disney World was packing all of the gear we wanted to carry with us. I’m usually a “carry-on solely” type of lady, however that simply wasn’t potential if I needed to fly to Florida with all our tenting gear.

We one way or the other match all this gear in a single massive checked bag. TARAH CHIEFFI/THE POINTS GUY

We borrowed a big duffel bag from my mother and stuffed it with our tent, sleeping luggage, a soft-sided cooler, headlamps, pillows, a hammock and sleeping pads to place a little bit cushion between ourselves and the bottom.

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A lot to my aid, it was lower than the 50-pound restrict for checked baggage on Southwest, although it was nonetheless heavy sufficient that my solely choice as soon as on the airport was to pull it to the check-in counters. Hopefully, I at the least supplied some comedian aid for my fellow flyers.

The nicest campground I’ve ever visited

I’ve spent many nights within the woods. I’ve gone backcountry tenting in Nice Smoky Mountains Nationwide Park and camped amongst fellow live performance followers at weekendlong music festivals. On these journeys, I’ve gone with out showers (until scrubbing my physique with child wipes counts) and cooked bland freeze-dried meals over an open flame.

Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground blew these experiences out of the water. Every campsite was neat and tidy (I even noticed solid members energy washing the campsites throughout our go to), with a paved driveway and a easy rock-covered space able to accommodating as much as two tents.

Although primitive, the campsites are spacious and have facilities like electrical retailers, grills and picnic tables. The websites are additionally surrounded by bushes, which provide as a lot privateness as one can anticipate within the woods.

Campsites are organized in “loops” all through the campground. Every loop has a number of consolation stations with rest room and bathe services, a laundry room and an ice machine, in addition to a bus cease for simple transit across the campground and to Disney’s theme parks.

There have been 4 showers, together with one accessible bathe, in every consolation station, however there wasn’t a lot room to prepare in any other case. I discovered it simpler to brush my tooth and placed on my make-up on the campsite than in our consolation stations.

Daylight and a picnic desk are all that you must prepare within the morning when you find yourself tenting. TARAH CHIEFFI/THE POINTS GUY

Regardless of being near the parks, you will discover greater than sufficient to maintain you busy on the campground. You’ll be able to catch fish, go for a horseback path experience, pan for gems, roast marshmallows over a campfire and a lot extra.

The value is correct for budget-conscious vacationers

Discovering Disney World lodging for lower than $75 per night time is extraordinary. Nevertheless, in case you are prepared to forgo partitions, a mattress, a personal rest room and room service, that elusive double-digit nightly charge may be yours.

Associated: 5 over-the-top luxurious locations to remain at Disney World

Charges for tent websites begin at $69 plus tax per night time. Every campsite sleeps as much as 10 company and has room for 2 tents and a pop-up camper or camper van. There’s additionally loads of room for a cover tent, tenting chairs and the rest that you must make your keep comfy.

There’s a lot to do, you do not even have to go to the parks

I am unable to converse for anyone else, however I am unable to think about visiting Disney World and never stepping foot right into a theme park. That being stated, we selected to divide our time at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground by spending in the future exploring actions on the campground and in the future enjoying within the parks (you may examine that journey right here).

We awoke brilliant and early as a result of, properly, we did not have a alternative. If you find yourself tenting, it is onerous to not get up as soon as the solar begins rising. I did not thoughts, although, as a result of there was a scrumptious breakfast calling to us from the campground’s sit-down restaurant, Path’s Finish.

Path’s Finish serves all of its meals family-style. For dinner the night earlier than, we had skillet cornbread, salad, an enormous platter of brisket, pulled pork, smoked rooster, potatoes, inexperienced beans, corn on the cob and a trio of mason jar desserts to share.

At breakfast, we have been handled to freshly baked pastries, yogurt parfaits and a skillet virtually overflowing with breakfast meats, scrambled eggs, potatoes and Mickey-shaped waffles.

The restaurant resides within the Settlement part of the campground, the place you will additionally discover extra eating choices and a tavern, plus boat transportation to the Magic Kingdom, a basic retailer, the Tri-Circle D Ranch horse stables, an arcade and a big playground.

For many of the resort’s different facilities (suppose: the primary pool, bike trails, boat and fishing pole leases, a snack bar and Chip ‘N’ Dale’s Campfire Sing-A-Lengthy), head to the property’s Meadow part.

We made a number of visits to the playground, taught our children the right way to play tetherball, rented fishing poles for a half-hour, panned for gems and danced with Chip and Dale at their nightly campfire singalong. When the 2 chipmunks retired for the night, Disney confirmed “Automobiles” on the out of doors film display screen.

The Settlement and Meadow areas have been a reasonably lengthy trek from our campsite, so we rented a golf cart to get round for the day. It was faster and simpler than ready for a bus and made it straightforward to get to the varied actions and take a noon nap again on the tent.

It is 1 of the closest resorts to the Magic Kingdom

A lot of the Magic Kingdom’s different resorts are amongst Disney World’s nicest and costliest. These embody Disney’s Modern Resort, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort and Disney’s Wilderness Lodge.

Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground is the one Disney property that has worth pricing and shut proximity to the Magic Kingdom. If you’re staying on the campground, you may drive to Disney’s theme parks and park free of charge, however to go to the Magic Kingdom, you will must park on the Transportation and Ticket Middle and take a ferry or monorail to the Magic Kingdom’s important entrance.

In the event you as a substitute make the most of the campground’s complimentary boat transportation, you will be dropped off proper in entrance of the primary entrance to the Magic Kingdom, making it potential to get to the rides (and Mickey ice cream bars) even sooner.

You’ll be able to keep right here even if you happen to aren’t able to tough it

Although I selected to sleep in a tent, leisure car websites and family-friendly cabins are additionally obtainable. I noticed quite a lot of tenting setups throughout my keep. Some folks have been full-time RVers, and others had rented an RV particularly for this journey. I additionally noticed camper vans and pop-up campers. One website even had a van and two hammocks tied up between the bushes.

RV websites have full hookups for energy and sewage, and the websites are available in numerous sizes to accommodate various kinds of RVs.

Associated: I like luxurious lodges, however rented an RV and lived to inform the story

Charges for the RV websites begin at $105 per night time, or you may pay a bit extra for a website nearer to the campground facilities within the Settlement and Meadow sections.

The Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort are a far cry from the primitive tent website I stayed in however let you benefit from the campground with out giving up the consolation of a regular Disney resort. Every cabin sleeps as much as six company and has a big bed room with one queen-size mattress and two bunk beds, in addition to a toilet, a big residing space with a sleeper couch, a eating desk, a full kitchen and a entrance porch with a picnic desk and a grill.

Costs for the cabins begin at $468 plus tax per night time.

Ideas for tenting at Disney World

Backside line

Regardless of the shortage of sleep, privateness and a personal rest room, I might 100% camp at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort once more sooner or later. I am an enormous fan of tenting and Disney, and staying on the campground provided a pleasant change of tempo from the enterprise of the parks.

Subsequent time, I’ll in all probability keep on the campground for a few nights so I can take pleasure in all of the actions obtainable on-site earlier than shifting to a Disney resort for an excellent night time’s sleep … and a bathe … and air con after these lengthy days on the parks.

My entire household cherished our keep, and the cash we saved meant we had extra to spend on magical extras to reinforce our expertise, together with tasty treats, must-have souvenirs and Disney Genie+ skip-the-line entry within the parks.

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