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Experiencing Disney Magic on the Cheap: Camping at Walt Disney World!

Disney Camping

My family LOVES Walt Disney World. We would get passes for the parks and go all the time if we could. But unfortunately, our budget doesn’t share the same affinity for Disney. Thanks to some awesome friends of ours though, a few years ago we discovered a way to experience Disney magic without the high expense of visiting the parks… camping at Walt Disney World’s Fort Wilderness Resort!

To be honest, usually when I hear the word “camping” I’m not all too eager to participate. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy being outdoors. I just also enjoy showers and toilets, as well as sleeping in some form of comfort. So if you don’t already know, let me tell you that it’s all possible when you camp at Walt Disney World. After all, it is the happiest place on earth! Even when you’re sleeping outside!

A Magical Weekend Getaway with Friends

Let me first start out by saying that although Disney is amazing, one of the most magical parts of our trip was just getting away and really spending quality time with friends. Unplugging from technology, sitting around a campfire with good friends and a glass of sangria, watching the kids make lifelong memories with their friends, making lifelong memories of your own, being out in the fresh air, getting away from the usual demands of everyday life… it’s all truly magical.

You know what else is magical, though? Being able to take a shower and brush your teeth after spending all day and night outside, and before spending another day with people you don’t want to scare away. Oh, the joy a simple shower brings to this momma!

disney camping camp wilderness orlando

A Bit of the Disney Magic… INCLUDED at No Extra Cost!

There is SO much included in the campgrounds that you really don’t need to spend extra money to have an amazing time. Here are just some of the included activities that we have enjoyed while camping:

  • Magic Kingdom fireworks (beautiful view from a beach area, with the fireworks music from MK brought in over a speaker system!)
  • Electrical water parade
  • Campfire sing-along with Chip and Dale
  • Disney movie under the stars
  • Sports/fitness areas (basketball, volleyball, tetherball, jogging trail)
  • Playgrounds
  • 2 swimming pools (1 with a water slide!)
  • Spray park area for little ones
  • Bus system for traveling around the property (which my kids think is awesome)

And because there are grills and electricity at the campsites, we bring all of our own food so there is no need for the expense of purchasing food on property. There are a couple of restaurants, as well as a little store on site if you want or need anything else though.

disney camping character dining orlando

Some of the EXTRA Disney Magic

You can absolutely have a great time without spending extra money. But if you’re up for more, there is a TON of additional stuff to choose from!

  • Watercraft rentals
  • Carriage rides
  • Horseback riding
  • Pony rides (and sometimes you can see Cinderella’s ponies!)
  • Bike rentals
  • Golf cart rentals for traveling around the property
  • Archery lessons
  • Fishing
  • Arcade
  • Dinner shows and character dining

We’ve been 3 times, and the only “extras” that we have spent money on were the pony rides (which were really inexpensive), and character breakfasts at a couple of Disney resorts (not so inexpensive, but a lot of fun). Aside from that, we are always more than entertained and pleased with the activities that are included. From spending time in the pool to playing sports with friends, to watching a movie under the stars, to riding the buses and watching the fireworks and the water parade on the beach… it is an amazing time, and the kids don’t even care that we don’t visit any parks when we go. They have just as great of a time as we do.

Whether you camp in a tent (like us), use a camper or RV, or decide to really splurge for a cabin with a kitchen and all kinds of additional perks, Fort Wilderness is a Disney getaway that is truly relaxing. (And as much as we love the parks, they really are more exhausting than relaxing.) It’s Disney magic in a whole new light!

This was just a glimpse into our experiences camping at Walt Disney World’s Fort Wilderness Resort. I highly recommend checking out their website here to get a closer look!

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