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"Roughing It" in WDW

SpectroPhoenix

Active Member
Hi everyone, so after numerous trips to WDW, I'm finally planning on staying at Fort Wilderness in early November. I plan on going for a weekend trip with a bunch of my friends, spending the day in Epcot for Food and Wine and then spend the night in a tent at the campgrounds. Unfortunately, since I've never stayed there before, I figured I'd swing by the forums to see if anyone can offer their advice with the logistics.

My idea was to arrive early in the morning on Saturday to Fort Wilderness, leave all of our stuff there, take a bus to Epcot, spend the day there, take the bus back after the park closes, set up our tents, and go to sleep. Will it be too much of a hassle to set everything up after a day in the park or should we just pitch the tents before we leave for Epcot in the morning? How many, roughly, people are allowed per campsite? Or is it more of a size thing where we can have as many people as we can fit tents on the plot of land? Do we just park our cars in front of the campsite? And if so, since we're carpooling separately to Fort Wilderness, how many cars is too many to have there?

I know that I'm asking a bunch of questions, but I'd rather have everything planned ahead of time. If it comes to planning a day inside the parks, I'm pretty confident, but the second I walk outside the turnstiles, things get messy :p

Thanks!
 

dreamfinder

Well-Known Member
Haven't stayed there for years, but a few thoughts.

First, do you really want to be setting up your tent in the dark? Especially if you are spending the day at F&W fest, trying to set up tents in the dark after partaking in drinks around the world might be a little tough to do. Also, even though you may show up in sunshine, there is always a chance it will rain later on. My camping experience always tells me to setup camp where you want to stay at the first possible chance. If its dark you may miss a few rocks, and end up with one right under your sleeping bag. And setting up a tent in the rain just plain stinks.

According to the Fort Wilderness page on WDWMagic located here -> http://www.wdwmagic.com/Resorts/Disneys-Fort-Wilderness-Campground.htm each campsite is limited to 2 tents, and a maximum of 10 people. I believe there is a small charge for each adult over the first two. I also think you are limited to 1 (maybe 2 cars) at the site. Everyone else would need to park in the main lot by the entrance.
 
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ParentsOf4

Well-Known Member
I used to stay at the campgrounds with my brother & friends but that was decades ago when the campgrounds were actually priced like campgrounds. Today, even the least-expensive WDW campsite goes for over $50/night (with tax). You can get a decent hotel room nearby for that price.

Yeah, it might be on WDW property but it's still sleeping in a tent, including dealing with the annoying hygiene things associated with being in a tent.

The only reason to "rough it" and stay in a tent onsite is if you want Extra Magic Hours, and you want to do it as cheaply as possible. I'm not a big fan of EMH anymore. Parks with EMH (especially evening EMH) are much more crowded that on non-EMH nights. I now always take the contrarian touring plan; I visit parks the day after they've had evening EMH, much less crowded. And let's not forget that evening EMH will soon be cut from 3 to 2 hours.
 
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SpectroPhoenix

Active Member
Original Poster
Thanks for the replies!

dreamfinder, you make some great points. Setting up when we first get there early in the morning sounds like the smart choice. It's good to know that the rest of the cars can just stay in the main parking lot.
Personally, I enjoy camping a lot and, in late October/early November, the weather should be nice. We're not staying on-site for the EMH, although that's a plus, but because we'd have transportation in case we have a little too much to drink at the festival and because I doubt we can find a hotel room that fits 10 or so people and comes out to be around $8 per person.

If anyone has any tips and tricks for my trip or for the campgrounds in general, I'd love to hear them. Thanks again!
 
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pixiesteno

Well-Known Member
I would definately put your tent up before heading to the parks, there is some light around the sites but not really enough to put up a tent by. You can get two tents on a site with up to 10 guests as previously posted. One car at the site. Do not forget to bring something to pound the pegs into the ground with, and flashlights or a lantern. When you make your reservations be sure that you get a tent site because you won't be able to pound through the black top and I think WDW would frown upon that. When you are done at the parks there is a water parade that passes by the beach at around 9:45 pm. Enjoy your trip
 
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wiigirl

Well-Known Member
For the Price of a Campsite you can get a room at a value that time of year.

lol...thats my idea of "roughing it". :p

75.gif
 
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bord1niowa

New Member
The Fort is a great place, whether staying in an RV or tenting it, depending on time of year. You may want to consider renting a trailer or pop up and splitting the cost. It's nice to be off the ground....lol.
 
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HouCuseChickie

Well-Known Member
OK- never camped there, but we usually camp a couple of times a year in other places and our big thing...get the tent set up before the sun sets. Sure, we've put up the tent in the dark, but we also hate having to go that route. I guess some also depends on the type of tent you're using. We currently camp in an 8 man tent, so it's not nearly as easy in the dark. THings were much easier back in the days of smaller tents. :)
 
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dreamfinder

Well-Known Member
For the Price of a Campsite you can get a room at a value that time of year.

You can, but it sounds like the OP is trying to find accommodations for 10 people. And splitting $90 (or whatever the cost is when they go) is going to be cheaper split 10 ways, then splitting the cost for 3 rooms 10 ways.
 
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Joshua&CalebDad

Well-Known Member
Hi everyone, so after numerous trips to WDW, I'm finally planning on staying at Fort Wilderness in early November. I plan on going for a weekend trip with a bunch of my friends, spending the day in Epcot for Food and Wine and then spend the night in a tent at the campgrounds. Unfortunately, since I've never stayed there before, I figured I'd swing by the forums to see if anyone can offer their advice with the logistics.

My idea was to arrive early in the morning on Saturday to Fort Wilderness, leave all of our stuff there, take a bus to Epcot, spend the day there, take the bus back after the park closes, set up our tents, and go to sleep. Will it be too much of a hassle to set everything up after a day in the park or should we just pitch the tents before we leave for Epcot in the morning? How many, roughly, people are allowed per campsite? Or is it more of a size thing where we can have as many people as we can fit tents on the plot of land? Do we just park our cars in front of the campsite? And if so, since we're carpooling separately to Fort Wilderness, how many cars is too many to have there?

I know that I'm asking a bunch of questions, but I'd rather have everything planned ahead of time. If it comes to planning a day inside the parks, I'm pretty confident, but the second I walk outside the turnstiles, things get messy :p

Thanks!


Can I make a special request? Please videotape your attempt to put a tent in the middle night at Fort Wilderness while being inebriated. And please make sure to post it on this website. That would truly make my week. J/K.

In all seriousness, as everyone else has already said, you would be much better off setting up the campsite when you first arrive then doing it after a long day at Epcot.
 
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Funfy

Active Member
As stated, absolutely set up before you go out-sleeping bags, everything. Nothing will feel better than getting into camp with nothing to do but lie down and sleep. Because you know you are going to stay in the park until the last minute! ;)

We camped in a RV there, but, we also tent camp once in awhile back home. I would recommend a pad for sleeping bag or cot if possible. But, it should be fun. Also, the bathrooms there are actually unbelievable. Quite luxurious for a campground. The electrical parade is cool and taking the boats to MK are fun.
 
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neoshinok

Well-Known Member
I love camping at FW! Yes, it is super expensive for a campsite, yes you can get a hotel in the area for the same price (if not less), but I find camping at FW the most magical setting for a WDW trip. A few extra suggestions:
-Bring smores for an outdoor movie/campire sing-a-long at the campgrounds! Movie schedule can be found here http://www.themouseforless.com/tripplanning/resorts/fwcampfiremovie.shtml
-Take at least one trip back to the campgrounds using the boat launch in front of MK, it's a pleasant ride and a nice ending to an evening at the parks.
-If your schedule allows, watch Wishes from the beachfront next to the FW boat launch. Not a perfect view, but nice nonetheless.
-You can bring or rent bicycles and there is a nice trail between FW and Wilderness Lodge. Nice way to get to a dining reservation at one of their restaurants!
Early November is a great time to camp, you'll have a wonderful time!
 
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Skibum1970

Well-Known Member
Hi everyone, so after numerous trips to WDW, I'm finally planning on staying at Fort Wilderness in early November. I plan on going for a weekend trip with a bunch of my friends, spending the day in Epcot for Food and Wine and then spend the night in a tent at the campgrounds. Unfortunately, since I've never stayed there before, I figured I'd swing by the forums to see if anyone can offer their advice with the logistics.

My idea was to arrive early in the morning on Saturday to Fort Wilderness, leave all of our stuff there, take a bus to Epcot, spend the day there, take the bus back after the park closes, set up our tents, and go to sleep. Will it be too much of a hassle to set everything up after a day in the park or should we just pitch the tents before we leave for Epcot in the morning? How many, roughly, people are allowed per campsite? Or is it more of a size thing where we can have as many people as we can fit tents on the plot of land? Do we just park our cars in front of the campsite? And if so, since we're carpooling separately to Fort Wilderness, how many cars is too many to have there?

I know that I'm asking a bunch of questions, but I'd rather have everything planned ahead of time. If it comes to planning a day inside the parks, I'm pretty confident, but the second I walk outside the turnstiles, things get messy :p

Thanks!

When I did this very thing, I set up after the day was over but I had a pup tent which took less than ten minutes to set up. It was also easy enough to set it up even in the dark while using a flashlight for the tent pegs and support poles. I parked my car in my campsite and stowed all my gear there during the day. I felt a little better with everything locked up (not that anyone would bother to steal a $30 three-man tent). It really depends on easy the tent is to set up. Also, it was just myself and a friend which meant it was easier to get everything stored and accessed. I am a big fan of camping because the $40/day cost is so much lighter on the wallet. Plus, I love the campground with the nightly movies, the Electric Water Parade, and being able to take the boat to the other resorts and the Magic Kingdom.
 
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MousingAround

New Member
That sure seems like a lot of money to sleep on the ground. I agree that I don't use EMH.... I visit the parks the day after the park had EMH. But what do I know???

In the end you are going to WDW & that can't suck! :)
 
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SpectroPhoenix

Active Member
Original Poster
Thanks for all of the great feedback everyone!
Joshua&CalebDad, is that a dare? ;)

I think I'm going to go with the general consensus and set up the tents when we first get there in the morning. S'mores sounds like a fantastic idea as does watching Wishes. I guess it all depends on which weekend I end up going and the park hours of Epcot and Magic Kingdom. My next step is to start asking my friends to find out who has the largest tent so we can efficiently use our two tent limit. Theoretically, is there any reason why we wouldn't be allowed to just sleep in sleeping bags under the stars if the tents don't fit enough people?

As for breakfast the next morning, I hear Trail's End is delicious. Any opinions from my wdwmagic friends?
 
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