Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground is a wonderful resort option when vacationing at Walt Disney World, but it is also simply a fun place to visit. There are so many fun things to do at Fort Wilderness, and you don’t have to be a guest there to enjoy them!
Things to do at Fort Wilderness
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With four theme parks, two water parks, and the Disney Springs shopping district just a quick boat or bus ride away you wouldn’t think you’d need more to keep you occupied. Disney’s Fort Wilderness still delivers a number of fun activities though to keep guests entertained for days on end without even stepping foot off the campground!
Campfire Sing-A-Long and Nightly Movie
After a day at the parks it’s nice to kick back and spend some relaxing family time in the evenings. Disney has you covered with fun resort events and that’s especially true with these nightly activities at Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground.
Chip ‘N’ Dale’s Campfire Sing-A-Long
Whether you’re staying in a cabin, trailer, or just a tent making s’mores is almost a requirement of camping. The best way to do it is with everyone’s favorite chipmunks Chip and Dale!
This fun event takes place nightly behind the bike barn in the Meadow recreation area. There are two different fire pits that are lit at 7:30 to allow guests to cook hot dogs and marshmallows. The fire pits stay lit during the event so families will have time to get their goodies cooked.
While the event itself is free, guests do need to supply their own food supplies and roasting sticks. Guests can purchase food items from the Chuckwagon Snack Bar on site, but it’s much more cost effective to bring your own.
At 8:00 Chip and Dale come to join in on the fun event. An entertainer comes with them to help lead the sing-a-long. During this time Chip and Dale usually make their way through the crowd to see the guests, so make sure to have your autograph books and cameras ready!
Movie Under the Stars
Once the sing-a-long fun is wrapped up it’s time to finish off the evening with a nightly movie. The movie is shown on a giant outdoor screen in the same location as the campfire. The movie typically starts at 8:40.
There are benches you can sit on to watch the movie, but if you have camping chairs you might want to bring them with you. You also might want to bring some blankets for relaxing on. Plus the blankets are great to have on hand if your little ones fall asleep during the movie.
The Fort Wilderness movie schedule changes nightly so you can go and see a different movie every night of your vacation if you’d like. To find the up to date schedule you can check at the Fort Wilderness front desk or you can call (407) 939-2273.
Please be aware that with both the campfire and movie showing that they are subject to change and can be canceled due to weather. It’s always a good idea to check with the Front Desk to verify starting times because they do sometimes change during different seasons.
Fort Wilderness Beach
At the back of Fort Wilderness in the Settlement area guests will find a large beach area for their enjoyment. Please note that for safety reasons guests are advised to not swim or even enter the water at the edge of the beach.
The Fort Wilderness beach is actually fairly large as it stretches a ways down. It’s normally a fairly quite area. This makes it a wonderful spot to lounge on a chair while reading a good book or to simply rest your eyes for a moment while the kids play in the sand.
Farther down the beach from the marina there is also a volleyball area set up. While the nets are up for anyone to use, a valid Walt Disney World resort id is require to check a volleyball out. There is a small fee for the ball rental as well. The fee is waved for Disney Vacation Club members.
Fort Wilderness Carriage Rides
A wonderful way to view the natural beauty of Fort Wilderness is with a carriage ride. Guests can have a chance of spotting deer, rabbits, ducks, and even armadillo while riding through the pine and cypress forested areas.
Carriage rides at Fort Wilderness start across from the entrance of Crockett’s Tavern back in the Settlement area. The carriages are able to hold up to 4 adults, or 2 adults and up to 3 small children.
Each horse-drawn carriage ride lasts for 25-minutes and costs $55. Reservations are highly recommended and can be made up to 60 days in advance. Disney World Resort hotel guests can make reservations 60 days in advance plus the length of their stay (up to 10 days). Reservations can be made by calling (407) 939-6690.
Fort Wilderness Horseback Riding
One of the things to do at Fort Wilderness that can’t be done anywhere else at Walt Disney World is horseback riding. This is another wonderful way to explore the natural beauty of Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground.
These 45-minute rides are perfect for beginning and intermediate riders. The trail rides cost $55 per person and can be booked by calling (407) WDW-PLAY. While reservations are recommended guests can also check for availability on the day of at front barn.
Important information about Fort Wilderness horseback riding:
- Guests must be at least 9 years old and 48 inches tall
- Gusts must weigh less than 250 pounds
- Closed-toe shoes are required
- Check-in is at Tri-Circle-D Ranch located at the front of the resort
Fort Wilderness Marina
Of course if you have a beach that means the water is close at hand. The marina offers many fun Fort Wilderness activities to be had on Bay Lake and the Seven Seas Lagoon.
Fort Wilderness Fishing
If you have party members that are fans of fishing you might want to add that to their list for things to do at Fort Wilderness.
There are different boat options for these guided catch-and-release fishing excursions depending on group sizes. One or two people can book an excursion in a tournament-style NITRO® bass fishing boat (solo anglers can check on getting an afternoon excursion at a reduced rate) while groups of up to 5 people can book an excursion in a 21-foot Sun Tracker pontoon boat.
Fishing excursions can be booked for either 2 or 4 hours. Usually guests are able to add an additional hour when they check in at the marina though.
Here is what is included in the guided fishing excursions at Fort Wilderness:
- An experienced guide
- Rod and reel for all guests
- Artificial and/or live bait (live bait is not an option on the NITRO boats)
- Non-alcoholic beverages (please note guests are not permitted to bring alcoholic beverages on board)
- Life jackets will be provided and guests ages 13 and under are required to wear them at all times and those 14 and older are encouraged to wear them at all times as well
Advanced reservations for these Fort Wilderness fishing excursions are highly encouraged. They can be made up to days in advance. Disney World Resort hotel guests can make reservations 60 days in advance plus the length of their stay (up to 10 days). Reservations can be made by calling (407) 939-BASS or (407) 939-2277.
Motorized Boat Rentals
For those that enjoy boating time on the water there are several different types of boats that can rented for fun adventures. Rental options include:
- Sea Raycer by Sea Ray® – These fun little speedboats cost $32 per half-hour to rent. Drivers must be at least 12 years old and 5 feet tall (a parent signature is required for all drivers aged 12-18). These boats can seat up to 2 people with a maximum weight limit of 320 pounds.
- Boston Whaler® Montauk – These roomier boats allow for a small group to have some fun on the water together and cost $45 per half-hour to rent. Drivers must be 18 years old to drive and these boats are restricted to the water way in which they were rented. The boats hold up to 6 people with a maximum weight limit of 1,650 pounds.
- Sun Tracker® Pontoon Boats – A pontoon boat is the perfect choice for larger groups and cost $45 for half-hour to rent. Drivers must be 18 years old to drive these boats. The boats hold up to 10 people with a maximum weight limit of 1,900 pounds.
Some important things to note about motorized boat rentals. All of the rentals are based on a first come first serve basis. To rent a boat guests must be at least 18 years old and they need to show a valid Resort ID plus a valid driver’s license, state-issued ID, or military ID. Smoking is not allowed on any of the boats and passengers must wear the life jackets that are included in the boat rentals.
Fort Wilderness Playground
There are actually multiple Fort Wilderness playgrounds for kids to play on. These are the perfect spots to let kids get the wiggles out.
There are two main playground locations, but there are also a few others scattered about. The resort maps placed around the resort will show you playground locations. The playgrounds are gated areas, but you do not need any sort of key to access them.
One of the playgrounds, and the one that I would consider the main playground, is located at the back of Fort Wilderness in the Settlement area. The playground itself is steps away from the beach and marina area. It is also right next to the Trail’s End restaurant making it a perfect spot for kids to play while you wait for a table.
The Settlement playground is geared for ages 2-12. It consists of a couple of play structures perfect for climbing and sliding. This playground also contains a few swings which is something that most Disney resort playgrounds do not have. We have always considered this one of the best Disney resort playgrounds, and my son has loved playing on it for years.
Another fun playground at Fort Wilderness is located in the center of the resort in the Meadow recreation area. This is also where you’ll find the main pool and the kid’s splash zone.
The meadow playground is actually geared toward slightly older kids than the Settlement one as this playground says it’s for kids ages 5-12. It has one nice sized play structure that kids can climb up, slide down, and run across a hanging bridge. It also has a set of monkey bars.
Fort Wilderness Rentals
As I mentioned above some of the fun things to do at Fort Wilderness is taking advantage of the boat rentals at the marina, but there are other fun rentals available at Fort Wilderness as well.
There is nothing like a bike ride for some wonderful family time and nature exploration. Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground is one of eight bike rental locations located around the Walt Disney World Resort.
Bike rentals are perfect for the entire family since rental options include adult and children’s bike. Some of the children’s bikes even have training wheels attached. For the littlest family members complimentary bike seats are also available.
The cost of renting a bike is $20 per bike. At Fort Wilderness bikes can be rented from the bike barn which is located in the Meadow recreation area. The bikes must remain within the Fort Wilderness resort area.
All bike rentals include a complimentary bike helmet. Florida law requires that all bicyclists under 16 years old must wear a helmet, so if you don’t want your child wearing a helmet worn by others than be sure to bring your own.
If a motorized boat isn’t quite your style maybe you’d prefer paddling in a canoe instead! A canoe is a great way to view Fort Wilderness by water.
Unlike the motorized boats which you can get at he marina you’ll pick up your canoe rental at the bike barn which is located in the Meadow recreation area. Canoes can be rented daily between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM and each rental costs $13.00 per hour per person (ages 11 and up). Rentals are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Some important information about canoe rentals:
- Guests must be at least 18 years old to rent a canoe and they must present a valid Resort ID and a driver’s license, state-issued ID, or military ID
- Maximum capacity per canoe is 3 guests
- Smoking is not permitted onboard the canoes
- Life jackets will be provided and must be worn
For those that have children under 11 in their party that can’t take part in the canoe rentals a kayak rental might be a better option. Just like with the canoes the kayaks rental location is the bike barn in the Meadow recreation area. They also are available on a first-come, first-serve basis daily between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM. Rentals cost $13.00 per hour per person.
Some important information about kayak rentals:
- Guests must be at least 18 years old to rent a kayak and they must present a valid Resort ID and a driver’s license, state-issued ID, or military ID
- Maximum capacity per kayak is 2 guests
- Smoking is not permitted onboard they kayaks
- Life jackets will be provided and must be worn
Fort Wilderness Trails
One of the wonderful things about staying at Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground is being able to simply enjoy the natural beauty of nature that you can see all around you. There are many ways to do this, but for those that love to walk and jog they need to add spending some time on the woodland paths to their list of things to do at Fort Wilderness.
Joggers and walkers alike can enjoy the 3.1 mile pathway that winds through shaded and scenic areas of Fort Wilderness. The path is also an option for those that would like to walk to Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort to enjoy some of the fun restaurants and amenities offered there. Maps of the jogging trail is available at the Concierge desk.
Fort Wilderness Wagon Rides
Among the fun things to do at Fort Wilderness is taking a good old-fashioned horse-drawn wagon ride. The Fort Wilderness wagon rides travel along scenic paths making it a great way to see more of the resort and the nature that it offers.
Weather permitting the wagon rides happen every night at 6:00 PM and again at 8:30 PM. They depart back in the settlement area right across from Pioneer Hall and last 25-minutes.
The cost of the wagon rides is $12 for guests age 10 years old and up, $8 for guests ages 3-9, and children under 3 years old ride for free.
On Monday – Thursday rides are based on a first-come, first-serve basis. Advanced reservations are available for rides on Friday – Sunday. Reservations can be made by calling (407) WDW-PLAY or (407) 939-7529.
Large groups of 30-35 people can book private wagon rides lasting 45-minutes for $300. Reservations for private rides need to be made at least 24 hours in advance. Group rides can be booked by calling (407) 824-2832.
More Fort Wilderness Activities
While it might seem that I have listed a ton of Fort Wilderness activities above they are certainly not all of the things to do at Fort Wilderness. There is simply so much fun to be had all around the resort including these Fort Wilderness Resort restaurants.
Be sure to check out the Sports & Recreation tab on the Walt Disney World site to see what’s happening there during your visit.
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