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Over the past decade, glamping, or glamorous camping, had continued to gain popularity. Families all around the country are looking for new places where they can check out for a few days and connect with nature, while still being connected to WiFi and have access to a nice bathroom. One of my favorite places to glamp is at Walt Disney World in Orlando. You read that right; you can gather your family and go glamping just a few minutes away from the hustle and bustle of Main Street U.S.A. at The Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground.
From the moment my family and I checked in, we knew this resort was different from any of the other Disney resorts we’d stayed at throughout the years. Our first sign after getting our cabin assignment was that we saw rows and rows of pine trees and even a few live deer. Even though Walt Disney World is considered a nature reserve, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll see live deer just hanging out in the shady grass at any other Disney Resort.
After finding our cabin with a little help from our car’s navigation system, we jumped out and marveled at just how beautiful the outside of our home-away-from-home was. It looked like it had been plucked from a mountain lodge and transported to Orlando. The spacious outdoor patio had a picnic table that would become our morning coffee spot, and a small charcoal grill that was used to make dinner a few nights during our stay. But don’t worry if you didn’t pack groceries or charcoal; you can pop over to a nearby grocery store to get both and the Uber ride is just a few dollars if you didn’t drive yourself to Disney.
Once inside the cabin, we quickly realized we were in for an upscale camping experience like no other. The cabin was simply decorated with pictures of woodland creatures and Disney characters like Chip ’n’ Dale, along with trains—a nod to Walt Disney. It had a full kitchen that included a fridge, range, dishwasher, microwave, coffee pot, and toaster. Making meals here was a breeze, especially on nights that were rainy or the theme parks were too crowded. Some of our favorite cabin meals included hot dogs with tater tots, fried chicken from the local grocery store with macaroni and cheese, and foil-pack meals we could make on the outdoor grill.
Just off the kitchen there was a small dining room table that’s perfect for game nights, and a cozy living room with a pullout couch that could sleep two people and a rustic-chic chair that was perfect for lounging in while watching Magic Kingdom’s fireworks show Happily Ever After on TV. Down a small hallway was the main bedroom, which was a bit small seeing as it could sleep four people, but we had no issue since there were just four of us total. The bedroom had a set of bunk beds and one queen bed. One thing that was a little challenging was that there was only one bathroom. Even with four people we had to be diligent about semi-scheduling showers and getting people up early so everyone had a chance to get ready before heading out for the day.
Another thing we loved about staying at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground was the ability to rent a golf cart. All day long you’ll pass by other guests staying at the cabins or campgrounds zipping around in golf carts all over the property. Golf cart pick-ups from the front of the resort start at 1pm and return times are 11am at the end of your trip. We were lucky that the resort had some left when we checked in because golf carts can be reserved up to a year in advance and during particularly busy seasons like Halloween and Christmas, rentals are likely to be completely booked.
We drove our cart everywhere, from the pool and near the lake to watch the Electric Water Pageant. We were also about to meet some of the horses that call Disney home at Tri-Circle D Ranch. These are the same horses you’ll see escorting princesses down Main Street U.S.A. or toting a bride to her wedding at Disney’s Wedding Pavilion.
While staying at the cabin, we were way more relaxed than we usually are on a Disney vacation, where everything is all systems go and my first thoughts in the morning is usually, “I hope I get a boarding group for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance today.” The need to go to a theme park to be entertained melted away since there was so much to do at the resort. Yes, the cabins are expensive, but if you don’t leave the resort (we rarely did) it makes sense to pay for everything to be just a golf cart ride away.
Next time my family and I stay at the Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground, we hope to do it during Halloween or the holidays when other guests decorate their cabin patio and campsites. People go all out with lights and blow-up yard decorations, and part of the fun is taking a grand circle tour around to see them all. But no matter when we actually end up staying I know it will be just as serene and special as the first time.
Book The Cabins and Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground right here.
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