We were set to stay in an ASM suite on our January trip but with the new special for buy 4 get 3 free it is actually cheaper for us to stay in the cabins at Ft. Wilderness (which we've always wanted to try).
Any special tips on things to try/do there for a family with a 4 and 2 year old?
Also, we weren't going to rent a car and aren't overly concerned about a little extra time using the buses/trams to get where we're going. Feel free to throw any advice my way on that too...especially relative to which ones to request to be closer to the buses, etc.
With the young ones, be sure to plan around the parades. My son loved each parade. Also, plan in some nap times so everyone isn't fried. A good trick if you're coming from the West, keep them on your time zone so that your lunches, naps and sleep times don't coincide with most others.
Be sure to look for character signings, too. The characters are as important at that age as the rides. Ditto shows.
Ft. Wilderness is a great choice for kids. Boat rentals, Chip n' Dales sing along show, fishing, wading pools, trails, wagon rides. As much fun there (almost) as the parks.
Ft. Wilderness has a lot to offer! There is a campfire and sing-along with Chip & Dale each night, followed by a movie. There is an area with pony rides and the barn where the horses that work on Main Street USA stay that you can go visit. There's a blacksmith's barn, though I'm not sure when it is in operation. There are a couple of playgrounds that are good for blowing off some active toddler steam. And at night the Electrical Water Pageant can be seen from the beach around 9:45 p.m.
Trail's End Buffet is one of the best dinner deals on property - good home-style food for a very reasonable price.
There are carriage and wagon rides available, too.
Check out Fort Wilderness Fact Sheet for tons of Ft. Wilderness info!
To help a toddler over-come their fear of meeting those huge characters, one parent I spoke to let her little one watch videos that had children AND characters in them. Toddlers get to see the size of the character in relation to other children BEFORE being introduced to them. She said it helped avoid a meltdown meeting.
Golf Carts are great for getting around the Campground and kids usually LOVE them. They can be reserved in advance by calling 407.824.2742
Don't worry about the car. Living in Atlanta, we always drive down, so we have a car available to us if we need it, but honestly, I have yet to use the car during our stay. Now, I have to admit, there seems to have been bus cutbacks, so it takes a little longer to get to your destination. However, when you consider: getting to the parking lot, finding your car, getting the kids strapped in, getting out of the parking lot, and driving back to the resort, you are not really saving any time after it's all said and done. So, hey, take the bus, relax, and let someone else take care of the driving. You are also putting less polution in the air, so yay for being green! :yahoo:
Originally Posted by PlutoGirl
It has been several years since my last stay @ Ft. Wilderness (1984- I was 15), but I remember the campsites and comfort stations being superbly maintained and the whole resort having a nice quiet relaxed feel. It seemed like it was in a world unto itself until you rounded the corner at the boat dock and could see the water launches and busy waterways of bay lake.
We camped in a tent most years until my dad bought a used RV that we chugged along in and fixed on the side of the road every trip. Even though our vacations were not high dollar affairs, it didn't seem to matter. We had a great time during every stay at Ft. Wilderness.
I will agree with BethD about the golf cart. It will make a big difference in your travel and wait times especially if you are staying in one of the outer loops.
Don't forget to find the "lawnmower tree" near the beach. My wife, son and I went over for lunch last year. On a whim I looked for it thinking it would probably be gone but I was wrong, it is still there.
Enjoy your trip.
I couldn't agree more with doing some things around the campground. I think Ft. Wilderness is one of the best resorts in terms of activities to do. They have playgrounds, a petting farm, the horse stable and they do nightly movies and a campfire where you can roast marshmallows (weather permitting). There is also a riding stable (I think your kids might be too young to ride through) a beach and the nightly electrical water pageant. You'll get a schedule of the different campground activities when you check in.
We stayed at the cabins once and liked them very much.