Set amid the 750 wooded acres of the resort, each cabin is a peaceful retreat that can accommodate up to six guests at a time. The cabins share the resort with the Fort Wilderness campground, and guests can enjoy all of the great outdoor activities and wilderness spirit of the grounds before settling down for the night in a private cabin. It’s like camping, but without the “roughing it” part.
The Cabin Design
Inside and out, the cabins continue the rustic, wilderness feel of the rest of the resort. However, rustic ambiance does not translate into crude accommodations, so rest assured that each cabin it outfitted with all the comforts you might require.
Each cabin comes with a bedroom, a living and dining area, a full-equipped kitchen, and a bathroom. In the bedroom can be found a double bed and a set of bunk beds, capable of sleeping four people. In the living area, a pull-down double bed comes out of the wall to accommodate two more guests.
The kitchen has everything you would require to settle in and feel at home. It has a large refrigerator, capable of holding groceries to feed an entire family. It has an oven, stove, microwave, and coffee maker, and also a dishwasher for added convenience. No one wants to spend vacation time washing dishes by hand! There is also a picnic table and charcoal grill on the patio perfect for a summer barbeque.
The living area has a television and DVD/VCR player, and movies can be rented from stores around the resort. The television also has the Disney Channel and ESPN programming. For younger kids, each cabin is provided with a Pack ‘n’ Play set.
When it comes to activities, the Fort Wilderness Resort truly shines. There are tons of ways to entertain yourself at this extensive resort, particularly if you enjoy being in the great outdoors. There are two recreation areas at Fort Wilderness, and also the Tri-Circle-D Ranch where guests can enjoy a range of equestrian activities.
Settlement Recreation Area, on the shore of the lake, is a great place for water sports and is the home of the Tri-Circle-D Ranch, where trail rides, carriage rides, and pony rides for small children are available. Guests can rent boats, and it is possible to do some catch-and-release fishing at the marina.
The Meadow Recreation Area is the home of the Bike Barn, from which guests can rent bikes and explore the resort trails. It is also possible to rent small boats to use on the resort waterways. The area also has courts and equipment for other sports such as volleyball, basketball, tennis, shuffleboard, and tetherball.
Places to Go Swimming
The Fort Wilderness Resort backs onto Bay Lake, and also has two heated pools for resort guests. At the marina and the beach on Bay Lake, guests can swim, fish, boat, or even water ski. The white sand beaches are lovely, and the calm water of the lake is suitable for all ages.
The Wilderness Swimmin’ Hole pool, the smaller of the two, is tucked into the edge of the trees in the cabin area of the resort. The larger Meadow Swimmin’ Hole pool is located in Meadow Recreation Area and has a large water slide as well as a hot tub to add to the fun.
Places to Shop
To serve cabin guests and campers, the Fort Wilderness Resort has two trading posts that sell a solid range of groceries. The Settlement Trading Post is located close to Bay Lake in the Settlement Recreation Area, while the Meadow Trading Post is a bit closer to most of the cabins in the Meadow Recreation Area. Both stores carry groceries, sundries, and beverages, and the Meadow Trading Post also has a deli attached to it.
Places to Eat
Just because your cabin is equipped with a full kitchen doesn’t mean you want to be cooking for three meals a day on your vacation. Fortunately, Fort Wilderness has a few family dining options for guests to enjoy, including a couple of rousing dinner shows.
The Trail’s End Restaurant, with its rustic but cozy ambiance, serves hearty food for three meals a day. Crockett’s Tavern has a full service bar and also serves dinner or snack foods such as pizza and fried chicken.
The two dinner shows are at Mickey’s Backyard BBQ and the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue. Mickey’s Backyard BBQ is an all-you-can-eat affair with ribs, burgers, hot dogs, and chicken served up with lively music from a country western band. Diners can enjoy line dancing with Disney characters or watch crazy rope tricks.
The Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue is actually the longest running musical stage show in the entire country. It’s truly a classic Disney experience in the style of a vaudeville show, with a combination of comedy skits, singing, and dancing. The food is all-you-can-eat country cooking, from pork ribs to corn bread to baked beans.
Both of these dinner show experiences are very popular, so reservations and pre-payment is required.
Guests can hop on a bus to the Magic Kingdom, or take a water taxi across Bay Lake. For other theme parks or resorts, bus service is the way to go, although it is possible to take a water taxi to the monorail station at the Contemporary Resort, and take the monorail trail to Epcot.
Pros and Cons
The Cabins are a great family alternative to the villas at the deluxe resorts. They are one of the cheaper ways for a larger family to have space all to themselves and still stay on Disney property. Fort Wilderness has more activities to offer than any other Disney World resort, and the location in the Magic Kingdom Resort Area is also great for families with that theme park at the top of their list.
You do pay a price for the extra amenities and the activities at the resort, so past guests have noted that the Cabins may not be the best option for short stays or visitors who plan to spend very little time at their resort.
Fort Wilderness is also very large – about one mile as the crow flies from the entrance to the shore of the lake, and longer on foot since the roads curve and wind. This is frustrating to some guests since it can take a long time to get from one part of the resort to another. There is an inter-resort bus service, but even with this relatively efficient system it can take a while to get from place to place. This is another reason why guests who want to spend every possible minute at the theme parks should consider a different resort. You also can’t just effectively drive your car around the resort. There are almost no parking spaces for cars so that most traffic is either on foot or via golf carts, which you can rent.
A Family Resort for Longer Stays
The Cabins at Fort Wilderness are a great option for families looking to settle into a home-away-from-home during their stay at Disney World. In order for guests to take full advantage of the cabin amenities and the extensive resort activities, they should choose this resort for a longer and more relaxed vacation rather than a packed one or two night stay.