by Phyllis P
Next year will be my first year RV camping at Ft Wilderness. Everything I have read leaves me very confused on the internal transportation within the campground. Can you explain the bus system (colors?) and whether or not I should rent a golf cart? Any tips on life in the campground would be appreciated. Thanks.
Now this looks relaxing – Photo by WDW Shutterbug
Dad’s On the Go Answer
Phyllis, Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground is a hidden gem at WDW, and we really don’t talk about it enough. It’s got camping for those on a budget, cabins for folks who want more space, lots of activities for outdoorsy families, and the best salad ever. That’s a lot to fit in one resort – which means it’s HUGE. So how do you get around? Dad can help!
The first thing to know about transportation at Fort Wilderness is that there are two types – transportation to get you around Fort Wilderness, and transportation to get you everywhere else in WDW.
To get from Fort Wilderness to the Magic Kingdom, you can take a ferry boat from the Settlement Depot. There’s also a boat there that will take you directly to Wilderness Lodge or the Contemporary Resort, which are very nearby on bay Lake. To all other parks, plus the water parks and Disney Springs, you can take a bus from the Outpost Depot. Of course, having a car at WDW is always an option too.
Within the resort, you’ll find that everything is much bigger and further away than it looks. This property is truly massive. You may find yourself quite a distance from the pools, dining, or other amenities you want to experience. That’s where the resort transportation system comes in.
The only place you are allowed to park (if you have your own car) at Fort Wilderness is in your own campsite or cabin, or at the Outpost when you’re checking in or just visiting (say, for dinner at the Hoop Dee Doo Revue). You can park for up to 15 minutes at the Meadows Trading Post if you are picking up supplies there.
So how do you get around?
You can walk, bike, rent a golf cart, or take the resort transportation via the internal bus loops! We’ll get to that other stuff in a minute, but if you’re going to take the buses, you’ll notice there are 3 loops – orange, yellow, and purple. These won’t take you right to the front door (or so to speak) or your campsite, but they’ll get you real close so you can walk. Depending on where you’re headed, you might need to take more than one loop to get from point A to point B.
Take a look at this map:
The orange bus line runs through the 600-700 and 1000-12000 campsites, and will take you to the Meadows area which includes most of the major amenities of the resort, including a pool, snack bar, recreational activities, Chip and Dale’s Campfire Singalong and Movies Under the Stars.
The yellow bus line also takes you to the Meadoes, but it runs through the 100-500 and 1400-1900 campsites.
The purple bus line runs through the 2000-2800 campsites and the quite pools and sports areas at that end of the resort.
All of the lines make a stop at the Outpost Depot (transportatoon to Epcot, Animal Kingdom, Disney Springs and Disney’s Hollywood Studios) and the Settlement Depot (transportation to the Magic Kingdom, restaurants, and other amenities).
If all of that sounds like a hassle, you’ve got a couple of options to consider. You could walk everywhere, and get in the best shape ever! You could rent bikes (regular and surrey bikes are available), or bring your own, to get from place to place during a day of exploring the resort. If you rent bikes from the Fort Wilderness Bike Barn, they must be returned by 5pm each day, and if you bring your own, you’ll only be allowed to ride after dark if they are fitted with lights.
You can also consider renting a golf cart for the length of your stay (or bring one with you, if you have that sort of thing!). You can rent them right from Fort Wilderness and parking is available around the resort, but drivers must be 16 years or older, with a driver’s licence. If you go this route, reserve in advance by calling 407-824-2742 up to a year before your stay.
Dad’s Bottom Line
Phyllis, I sure hope this helps you figure out your way around Fort Wilderness. I know it sounds complicated, but after a day or two you’ll get the hang of it. Plus, folks at Disney are really friendly and they’ll help you find your way!