The Best Reasons to Visit Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort

in Disney, Hotel, Walt Disney World

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Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort is easily one of the most unique properties at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

There are over 20-some accommodations comprising the Walt Disney World Resort Collection, most of which are Disney-owned and operated. By now, you probably don’t even need to ask, “What is the benefit of staying at a Disney Resort?” since all the Guest-exclusive perks and onsite amenities speak loudly enough for themselves. While every Disney Resort has its own draws and featured callouts, Disney’s Wilderness Resort is the most diversified regarding recreational endeavors. There are just so many fun things to see and do here. In fact, anyone can easily exchange a day at Disney Parks entirely for a fulfilling and rewarding detour here instead.

No matter how hard we try, we at Inside the Magic can’t say enough great things about Disney’s Fort Wilderness. That’s why we recommend spending a whole day here to experience all the optimal offerings for yourselves. Now let’s take a look at some of the best things we love most about Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort.

Related: A Complete List of All the Recreation and Activities found at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground

A Little About Fort Wilderness

You don’t need to consult an official Disney Fort Wilderness map to confirm its massive size. Nestled along 750 acres of onsite forest, accommodations here are split into two designations—Campsites where you can set up tents and recreational vehicles (RVs) and a selection of furnished Cabin dwellings. It is the only Disney Resort with both Value and Moderate accommodations onsite. So, if you were wondering, “What is the cheapest Disney Resort to stay at?” this is it—so long as you stick to the campsites.

Another great thing is that you don’t have to book reservations at Fort Wilderness to enjoy the plentiful onsite offerings. Whether staying at one of many hotels close to Fort Wilderness or somewhere far removed, most activities and endeavors on-premises (excluding the two onsite swimming pools) are open to all visitors to come out and enjoy. But if you do decide to stay here, let it be known that this is one of only a select number of Disney World Resorts that allow dogs.

But dogs aren’t the only animals you will find on location. Fort Wilderness is also home to Disney’s renowned Tri-Circle-D Ranch, the permanent home to over 90 of the “happiest horses” in the world. But we’ll get into that more later. Before we do, however, let’s explore the other fun activities to be had.

Two examples of Ft. Wilderness accommodations

Guided Fishing Excursions 

The Marina at Fort Wilderness is one of several locations throughout Disney World that offers guided catch-and-release fishing excursions year-round. Whether you’re an experienced pro or novice to the sport, Disney’s Guided Bass Fishing Excursions can be custom-tailored to suit any Guest’s need. Whether you opt for a two- or four-hour outing on Bay Lake or the Seven Seas Lagoon, Disney’s experienced Guides make any endeavor optimal. They even provide the essentials—rod, reel, artificial/live bait, and tackle. Assorted beverages are also provided, but you may also bring your own.

The Sun Tracker pontoon boat can accommodate up to five Guests, while a tournament-style NITRO bass fishing boat can suit three Guests. Click here to learn more.

Fishing excursion at Disney World
Credit: Disney

Archery Lessons

Did you know that any Guest seven years of age or older may partake in an actual onsite archery lesson? For just $45 a person, your 75-minute lesson with a professional instructor will enlighten you on all the basics about how to hold and fire a compound bow. And yes, you get to do both with hands-on practice and set up targets! It truly is a one-of-a-kind experience and the only place at Disney World where such an endeavor is offered.

Girl drawing bow and arrow during an archery lesson
Credit: D23

Related: Things You May Not Know You Can Do in Disney World

Kayaking and Canoeing

You can rent motorized pontoon boats at many Disney Marina locations, but Fort Wilderness is the only place where you can actually go kayaking and canoeing throughout the property’s many scenic waterways. There is a $13 per-hour rental cost for both kayaks and canoes. Reservations are not required as rentals are on a first-come, first-served basis.

Mother and daughter kayaking at Disney World
Credit: Disney

Chip ‘n’ Dale Campfire Fun

Many Resorts have complimentary nightly campfire activities followed by Movies Under the Stars, but Fort Wilderness is the only one with those zany, lovable chipmunks Chip ‘n’ Dale in attendance. It’s an all-out sing-along celebration with cowboy pals also joining in. With all the fun comes all the usual palatable pastimes of roasting marshmallows and making s’mores.

Campfire activities with Chip and Dale
Credit: Disney

Related: Another Popular Amenity Returns to Disney World – And It’s FREE

An Excellent Fireworks Viewing Spot

Because Fort Wilderness is located within the Magic Kingdom Resort Area, its beach is a great spot for viewing the nighttime fireworks spectacular over at Cinderella Castle. Of course, you won’t have a “perfect” view of the event, per se. But with the music piping your way and the chance to see some of the happenings unfold in a relaxing and secluded spot, you can’t argue that it beats standing in a crowd at Magic Kingdom Park, being blocked out by parents with kids on their shoulders!

Stick around until 9:45 p.m., and you’ll also have premium viewing of the nightly Electrical Water Pageant as it makes its way across Seven Seas Lagoon.

Fireworks and Electrical Water Pageant as seen from Fort Wilderness beach

Related: All About the Long Legacy of Disney Fireworks

Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue

Fort Wilderness is even home to the well-loved, long-standing vaudeville-themed dinner show known as the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue. Offered three times nightly in two-hour increments (4 p.m., 6:15 p.m., and 8:30 p.m.) at the impressive Pioneer Hall, it’s an all-out western-themed affair with comedic skits and entertainment offerings all while you get to dive into an all-you-care-to-enjoy family-style spread of fried chicken and other comfort food vittles.

Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue
Credit: Disney

Horses Galore!

Remember when we said you could find the Tri-Circle-D Ranch on location here and that it provides residence to over 90 horses? Well, the ensemble includes Appaloosas, Arabians, Belgians, Clydesdales, Percherons, and Quarter Horses, in addition to Shetland Ponies. Some horses are active performers in Disney Parks, like those on Main Street, U.S.A. Others serve in onsite activities at Fort Wilderness, including horseback trail rides and scenic carriage rides. And for little ones, there’s even the option to saddle up for tamer pony rides! Where else can you “horse around” with such endeavors at Disney World?

A horse and Cast Member at Tri-Circle-D Ranch
Credit: D23

Related: All About the Horses of Walt Disney World Resort

Have we inspired you to take a daylong detour over this remarkable Disney Resort yet? What are some of your favorite reasons to visit Disney’s Fort Wilderness? Let us know in the comments.

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