Back To Nature! ~ Fort Wilderness, June 27-30, 2009


#1

I haven’t done a TR in forever!! I hope I remember how this works… :laugh:

[B]The “Back To Nature!” Fort Wilderness Camping Trip[/B]
[B]Cast:[/B]
[B]me, PJ
my brother, Tim
my mom, Mom
my dad, Dad
our new trailer, Shep Deux[/B]

My family used to camp in Fort Wilderness ALL THE TIME when my brother and I were younger and Disney was cheaper. We had a pop-up (named Shep, for the way it followed our truck down the highway) which was loyal and sturdy, but it took hours to set up and exhausted my dad before he ever set foot in the parks. The pop-up got old, we all got busy, and our camping trips gradually ended. :crying:

Recently, we decided that we all miss camping way too much and we need to go “back to nature”! So we upgraded to a Trailmanor, which still folds down to pull easily behind our truck, but expands MUCH bigger and is MUCH easier to set up. Our longest set-up time to date, from unhitching the trailer to having it bedtime-ready, is 4 minutes. (!!! … 4 minutes!!!) So now after set-up Dad is ready for park-hopping rather than a nap. :happy:

We decided to break in our new trailer (named Shep Deux) at Fort Wilderness, since we knew the bathhouses would be clean, the sites would be decent, and the trading posts would have any emergency items we might need. (This turned out to be paper towels and charcoal. :laugh:)

So, without further preamble, let us begin Day 1!
(warning: I took lots of pictures!!!)

[B][U]Day 1 - Thursday, June 27[/U][/B]

After missing a turn and ending up at the gates of the Magic Kingdom, we took some backroads and arrived at Fort Wilderness around 1pm.

We’re here!! :happy::happy::happy:

We were in the 500 loop, which is on the left and towards the top on this hard-to-see map.

We did a little sight-seeing as we made our way back to our loop…

This is a little path by the bus stop at the front of Fort Wilderness. Pioneer Hall is off to the right, and you can almost see the stables there on the left.

We passed the new Meadow Swimmin’ Pool on the way to our loop. It was kind of hard to see from the road…

Here we are! 500 loop, Buffalo Bend. Let’s go check out our site…


#2

We pulled into our loop and got almost to our site… but there was some kind of road block going on with a trailer that couldn’t get into its site, because someone else was in their site, and those people were parked in THAT site because some was parked in THEIR site… :blink: Eventually we found the person at the front and kindly asked them to inch up a bit… everyone else in line followed suit, and we managed to pull in to our site! yay! :happy:

This is a picture of the empty site next to ours, just to show what the sites look like before they’re occupied. Nice little charcoal grill and picnic table (made out of recyclable materials :happy:). The sites have been widened and lengthened since our last stay 10+ years ago.

This was taken standing on our own site and looking behind us - our site backed up to the canoeing river! Canoes came by less frequently than we expected… maybe because it was so hot.

The river continuing along its way, to the left of our site…

Wildlife sighting!! Over the trip, we collected a pretty good list of wildlife sightings…

  • woodpeckers
  • cardinals
  • a roadrunner-type bird… it ran instead of hopped… we have yet to identify this one
  • bunnies
  • cranes
  • herons
  • this duck

#3

How wonderful! Thank you for sharing!
My Mom, 2 kids, and I did Fort Wilderness back in 1997…rented a motorhome with a lock that didn’t work, a roll out awning that never rolled out, and a shower that only trickled. Despite all that, we had a marvelous time…my kids, now 22 and 19, still talk about that trip. We’ve been back 10 times since that trip and have always stayed in one of the WDW resorts…locks and showers work, but those trips just haven’t been quite the same.
Looking forward to more pics!


#4

[QUOTE=diofthesouth;975917]How wonderful! Thank you for sharing!
My Mom, 2 kids, and I did Fort Wilderness back in 1997…rented a motorhome with a lock that didn’t work, a roll out awning that never rolled out, and a shower that only trickled. Despite all that, we had a marvelous time…my kids, now 22 and 19, still talk about that trip. We’ve been back 10 times since that trip and have always stayed in one of the WDW resorts…locks and showers work, but those trips just haven’t been quite the same.
Looking forward to more pics![/QUOTE]

:laugh: I couldn’t help laughing at your description of that motorhome… I’m glad you had a good time anyway! I agree, there’s just something different about a FW stay. :heart:

oh don’t worry, I’ve got plenty of pictures… :laugh:


#5

Welcome Home! Cant wait to hear all about FW as I plan to try it out when we get a camper.


#6

OooOoO, YAY!!! A Fort Wilderness TR, these are so rare! I can’t wait!


#7

[QUOTE=PrincessJill;975907]

My family used to camp in Fort Wilderness ALL THE TIME when my brother and I were younger and Disney was cheaper. [/QUOTE]

It kinda makes me wonder if we ever crossed paths or did any activities together at Fort Wilderness back then? I know you are probably several years younger than me (I’m 30) but I did go to Fort Wilderness several times a year from ages 5-15.

Did I tell you that a friend I made at Fort Wilderness, his family stayed there in the same loop as us TWICE found me on Facebook recently. So cool. My Grandma & his Mom were really friendly.


#8

Yeah!! A FW trip reort!! Keep it coming!! FW is MY Home away from Home!!


#9

Love, love, love a FW TR. We haven’t been able to stay there in recent years, I can’t wait to see all your pics.


#10

I can’t wait to see more. I hope you got pictures of the trailor. I am curious to see what it looks like.


#11

Fort Wilderness is one of my favorite places in all of WDW. All my childhood memories of WDW are staying in my parents RV at FW at least once a year. Before my DH and I were married we were able to tag along on a trip with my parents there and to this day he makes fun of me for calling that camping.

I can’t wait to see the rest of your pics as they are bringing back a lot of good memories.


#12

Oh, so exciting! I have never read a FW TR, I can’t wait!


#13

Wow! We are all so excited for your TR PrincessJill!! You’re off to a great start!


#14

Thanks for all the nice comments already!!! :happy: I’m so excited to work on this TR… I’m reliving the trip all over again. :wub: But of course as soon as I sat down to start it, a thousand other “family time” obligations came up… I’m hoping I can get some time tonight to add a little more!

[QUOTE=WishUponAStar;975963]It kinda makes me wonder if we ever crossed paths or did any activities together at Fort Wilderness back then? I know you are probably several years younger than me (I’m 30) but I did go to Fort Wilderness several times a year from ages 5-15.

Did I tell you that a friend I made at Fort Wilderness, his family stayed there in the same loop as us TWICE found me on Facebook recently. So cool. My Grandma & his Mom were really friendly.[/QUOTE]

I wonder if we did?? I remember going to a lot of campfire nights, where they played the Chip & Dale cartoons, and quite a few hayrides. I’m 23 and when I was younger I was super intimidated of older kids, so I don’t know if I would have been brave enough to approach you… :blush::laugh: That’s so awesome that your FW friend found you on facebook! I still remember I made friends with a girl named Aislinn when we were camping in North Carolina one year… camping folks are the best. :heart:

I certainly did, inside and out! Including the bathroom… so you may be seeing more than you want to see… :ph34r::laugh:

It’s camping!! Fluffy, comfortable camping… but camping nonetheless. :heart:


#15

Oooh. I don’t think I have ever read a FW TR either. I can’t wait to hear all about it.


#16

I successfully skirted my duties!! :laugh: Back to the TR!

(Um… :huh: … forgive the image of my dad in this one. It was hot. And this is the ONLY picture we have of the trailer opened up.)
Here’s Shep Deux, in all his glory! Both sides fold down and in towards the center and the door breaks apart to make one little compact, tow-able bundle.

That awning was small, but it REALLY helped with the heat. We had some issues with the awning at first, because you have to set it up on an angle to get the rainwater to roll off… Of course when you WANT something straight across you can’t get it to save your life, but when we were trying to set the awning up crooked, it some how came out completely level every time… :laugh:

Ready for the tour of the interior? :happy:

This is looking towards the back end of the trailer. There is a king-size bed (Mom and Dad’s) back there behind the bathroom, which has walls that fold down to allow the trailer ends to come in on top of it. The big cabinet on the left near the bed also swings out and down to rest on the floor. The two closer cabinets lift off their posts and can be set on the floor too. A pretty ingenious set up!

And that thing on the ceiling? Air conditioning. :cool: We thought it wouldn’t be able to keep up with the heat, but it did! We all made plenty of excuses to retrieve things from the trailer at the hottest part of the day…:laugh:

This is looking towards the front of the trailer. The bed here is queen-size. Tim claimed that one. :glare: My bed is where the blue pillow is - the couch pulls out to I believe a twin bed? It was small but comfy. I had no complaints. Our little fridge is down at the bottom left corner. We weren’t sure if he would be able to handle the demands of the trip so we brought a big cooler too. The fridge worked fine but we decided the cooler will come with us from now on too because it cuts down on the number of times we have to open and close the fridge when we want water and sodas (and beer :ph34r:).

Here is the bathroom! Tiny but manageable. There is a little strip of counter on the left wall that you can’t see from here, just wide enough for me to set out my soaps, lotions, etc in a long row. There is some storage space under the counter to hide bathroom totes, makeup bags, etc. The window, thankfully, is frosted. :laugh:

The shower. SMALL. I didn’t use it, because the ones in the bathhouse were so much roomier - and they’ve been redone since our last stay with nice stone tile and a little storage shelf cut into the wall. Also, the hot water had to be used sparingly in the trailer. Not so in the bathhouse… :tongue:

While we’re talking about the bathroom… this is kind of gross, but I have to share. It’s one of those camping stories. And if I’m going to make this a complete FW TR, I need to include this. :laugh:

My dad got talked into using some kind of “bio” toilet chemicals for our new trailer, rather than the ones that were meant for it. (I don’t really understand the chemical thing… I’m just going on what he said.) The chemicals are supposed to break everything down so there’s no smell.

Well. These chemicals did NOT do their job. :nuke::ph34r::nuke:

It smelled TERRIBLE in there, and that was at the very beginning of our trip, so there was really no reason for it. We concluded the smell must be the little bio animals doing their job and putting off a noxious odor in the process. Whatever it was, it was awful… we had to hold our breath while we brushed our teeth. :laugh:

ok, no more nasty stories, I promise! On to pleasant things! Who’s up for a boat ride across Bay Lake?


#17

We were getting a little stir crazy (already??) and we needed to trade in our vouchers for our 1-day passes for tomorrow anyway. So we hopped on the boat to Magic Kingdom at the FW dock.

None of us look fantastic, because it was too hot to care.

I love this picture of my parents. :heart:

I didn’t take any still pictures of our boat trip, because I bought myself a new video camera recently and I’ve been going crazy video taping things. So these are some stills taken off the video of the boat trip. The quality is eh, and the size is weird, but you can see what the trip is like - very scenic and relaxing.

Looking back at the FW dock.

Another pretty little part of FW, I think. It was quite a ways away from the FW beach. Maybe this is part of the nature trail?

River Country!! :happy:

I hate to leave you in the midde of the boat ride, but I’m being called away… More to follow tomorrow!


#18

Yay! New TR!! Great job! Can’t wait to read more.


#19

I love your pop-up. Looks like plenty of room for all. If you ever want any questions about chemicals or any other thing, I’d be happy to answer. We used some great stuff in out black tanks and only rarely have very little odor.

I’m glad you got to get back to FW, it is one of my favorite places in “the world.”


#20

How wonderful to see this TR of FW. How it brings back memories! I have stayed twice in FW. Once in 1976 and then again in 1980. (Geez I’m dating myself!) It’s so great to see it again. I can’t wait for more pics. I hope you have more of the grounds. Great TR!