After swimming and checking out of Pop Century, Day 1, we headed to the Fort Wilderness Cabins. This was a surprise for our children. They have always wanted to stay in the cabins and after receiving a last-minute PIN code from Walt Disney World we switched our reservation from All-Star Music to the Fort Wilderness Cabins.
Right from the moment we stopped at the gate to check-in we felt that this was going to be different from any hotel experience we have had at Walt Disney World. The “Ranger” joked with the kids about us dropping them off at 6:00 am while the parents went to the parks for the day. Work details would be assigned by age at that time. Both kids laughed but looked at us with the slightly worried look.
We headed to the reception Outpost to check-in. Despite it being fairly early our cabin was ready!
The kids were happy at the Welcome Center and were disappointed that they couldn’t finish their checkers game. When we let them know our cabin was ready they were happy to leave their game and we head out to our cabin.
As we pulled into the parking space (right next to the cabin!) I was too excited to speak. For those of us that drive to Disney World having a parking spot right next to where you are staying is a HUGE thrill. We decided to head inside and check out our cabin before beginning to unpack.
The porch had a great picnic table and two entrance doors. The one in the rear right of this picture enters into the bedroom and the other door enters into the kitchen. Next time we want to bring Christmas lights to hang on our porch and camp chairs for the nights we sit outside and relax.
The kitchen was small but it had everything we needed. A full-sized refrigerator, a dishwasher, stove top and oven. We were on the Dining Plan and did not intend on cooking much but the refrigerator was great for storing juices, water, breakfast foods and snacks. If you need to purchase grocery items there is a very extensive list of items available for delivery in your cabin or like us we went to the local grocery store for a stock up trip.
Our little living room. For our family of four this was heaven. You can see in the picture the Murphy Bed was not completely up. It pulls down from the wall and the wall becomes the base of the bed. It is low on the ground and very “squishy” but it worked for us.
There was a large table with four chairs and a bench to the right of this picture. We didn’t use it for meals but as staging for what we needed the next day. It helped to have the space to lay out our clothes, Magic Bands and bags each day.
The bunk beds are sturdy but small. This is my 5’9″ daughter on her bed. Thankfully she likes to sleep in enclosed spaces and didn’t mind the bed. There is also a full-sized bed in the room but my picture didn’t come out of that bed. It is again the wall so if you have two people sleeping in it and one has to get up in the middle of the night there is some shuffling around.
This is the bedroom area at the end of the beds. The television, closet and dressers are close together and there is not much extra storage space for luggage, etc… The kids were happy to have their own television at night, we don’t have television at home, while the parents could watch their television in the living room.
Overall, we really liked the Fort Wilderness Cabins. There were a few things that were inconvenient for us. All internal resort transportation has to be by bus, walking or golf carts. You can’t drive your car to the pools or to eat dinner. You can rent golf carts but we decided against that. As we were at the resort during February we decided that our swimming time would be minimal and there were no really good options for quick service dining so we wouldn’t be using the facilities to their fullest potential and wouldn’t need a golf cart.
The free refillable mugs we got with our meal plan pretty much went unused on this trip. There were two spots were we could refill our mugs but it seemed so difficult to get them filled with the limited hours of the food stand by the pool and the restaurant by the boat docks.
The only other big downside was the transportation to the parks if you did not have a car. There are no buses that run to Magic Kingdom so you must take a boat all the rest have buses. We were considering having our family reunion at Fort Wilderness Cabins next year but when we discovered this we decided against it. We have a member of our party in a wheelchair and getting them on the internal bus, off the internal bus, down to the dock, on the boat, off the boat and into Magic Kingdom seemed far too difficult for the family. Even if we used the bus system they would need to change buses from the internal transportation to the external transportation bus.
But, having pointed out the negatives the positives far outweighed the negatives.
The extra space for our family allowed us all to have a little breathing room away from one another if we needed it. When the kids needed space from each other they could get into their beds and forget the other was nearby or go into the other room. That alone brought a whole new level of peacefulness to our family vacation. It is difficult for a family to be together all day, every day for two weeks.
Plus the resort was QUIET! I mean like you really did not feel like you were in a Walt Disney World resort quiet. Having stayed at the All-Stars and Pop Century many times we loved getting into the resort after a hectic day and walking into our cabin hearing nothing but crickets chirping. There were no large groups screaming or cheering in the pool areas.
Overall, we were pleased with The Fort Wilderness Cabins and will be going back again for another stay in the cabins.
*Migrated from “Earning My Disney PhD” to this blog. First published March 12, 2014.