Camping at Walt Disney World- Everything You Need to Know

If you're a Disney fan and lover of the great outdoors, you can enjoy both your passions on your next trip to Walt Disney World. Walt Disney World has camping on site, conveniently located at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort.  This extraordinary 750-acre wooded venue, located near Wilderness Lodge just southeast a few miles from Magic Kingdom, provides all the essentials for a magical experience of camping at Walt Disney World.

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Camping at Walt Disney World Resort

Tent camping site option at Fort Wilderness Campground

Tent Camping Site at Fort Wilderness Campground. Photo via Touring Plans.

Although there are a few other camping locations outside resort property, the campgrounds at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort offer everything you would want in a Disney vacation

Whether you have a jumbo-size RV that sleeps 8 or a pop-up tent for two, Disney has you covered.  There are four campsite options from which to choose, each with picnic table and barbecue grill for use.

Premium

This campsite location is the largest available with a concrete slab space of 18′ x 60′ with sewer hook-up.  The site is best for the oversized RVs and can host up to 10 people.

Full Hook-Up

A bit smaller than the premium, this campsite is perfect for an RV and accompanying tent for the 10′ x 50′ slab.  This option also offers the sewer hook-up.

Tent/Pop Up

For travelers with tents and pop-up campers, this is the best option.  The slab size 10′ x 25′ is can accommodate a camper or pop-up plus up to two tents.

Preferred

This selection which measures 10′ x 45′, can sleep up to 10 people with an RV and small tent on site.  This location also offers the sewer hook-up as well as boasting the closest locations to the nearby marina.

How to Make Reservations

When making reservations for any location at Walt Disney World, plan out up to 499 days in advance!   For specific Fort Wilderness Campground site reservations, go online to the Disney website, or call 407-939-1936 to speak directly to a cast member.

Amenities at Fort Wilderness Campgrounds

You'll feel right at home at Fort Wilderness Campgrounds when camping at Walt Disney World. Enjoy free parking, high-speed internet, and transportation services to all theme parks including water transportation, buses/shuttles, and Disney Magical Express. Self-service laundry facilities and a dry-cleaning service are also available. For parents who want a few hours to themselves, a childcare location is on site. Although parking is free, driving private vehicles is prohibited throughout the campsites, but golf carts are available for rental.

Golf carts are easy rentals when staying at Fort Wilderness Campground. Photo courtesy of disneyeveryday.com.

Recreation at Fort Wilderness Campgrounds

In addition to the two pools on locations, guests looking for some extra curricular activities can work out on the volleyball, tennis, and basketball courts available. Runners and bikers can challenge themselves on the several miles of biking/hiking trails. Bicycles are available for rental as are kayaks, canoes, and motorized boats. Guests can take aim at an archery range to channel their inner Hawkeye or Robin Hood. Families with younger kids can enjoy pony rides, horse drawn excursions, or even spend a day at the Tri-Circle-D Ranch. For recreational reservations, call 407-WDW-PLAY.

For a nighttime delight, sing along by the campfire as you roast marshmallows with Chip ‘N Dale then sit back under the stars to view a favorite Disney animation. weather permitting.

Guests can enjoy a fun evening singing along with their favorite chipmunks at Fort Wilderness Campground. Photo courtesy of onlywdw.com.

Bring Your Pets

Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground welcomes doggies to stay with owners at the campground. Only certain site loops allow pets so when making a reservation, notate you have a pet with you. There are a few rules to follow to ensure your pet and other guests enjoy the great outdoors together.

  • Pets must be kept on leash no longer than 8′ in length.
  • Owners must pick up and dispose of waste.
  • Is pet is disruptive, owners may need to take pet to the kennel or leave premises.
  • There is a $5 fee per night per pet.
  • Up to two pets per spot.

Puppies are welcome to meet more Plutos at the Waggin' Trails Dog Park on site and enjoy the walking trails.

Dining Options at Fort Wilderness Campgrounds

Hoop Dee Doo musical group at Walt Disney World

The popular Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue dinner show requires reservations.

The best part about any camp out is the s'mores, right? But if you've exhausted your cookouts, Fort Wilderness does has some terrific dining options available including The Chuck Wagon which is a quick service food truck complete with s'mores kit. For a sit-down options, try Trail End's Restaurant which serves entrees all day long and even a weekend brunch. Or spend quality time with the family at one of the Walt Disney World's best dinner shows—the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Review. Like hotel reservations, you can make reservations for this show, and any dining, as early as 180 days in advance, but do so ASAP because these spaces go quickly.

If you do run out of any food or camping supplies in general during your duration, the Meadow Trading Post located in the heart of Fort Wilderness Resort, has all the provision you may need for camping at Walt Disney World. You can even rent movies!

Transportation to Disney World

disney world water launch boat

Launch Boats at Walt Disney World

The closest theme park to Fort Wilderness Resort and Campgrounds is Magic Kingdom either by watercraft or bus.  Dependent on where you are staying within the campground, one might be faster than the other.

Launch Boats

Bay Lake separates Fort Wilderness camping area from Magic Kingdom and the grandeur hotels—Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, Disney's Contemporary Resort, Disney's Polynesian Village Resort.  There are several launch boats you can catch at Fort Wilderness area that will take you directly or indirectly to the theme park.  The red launch will take you directly from Fort Wilderness to Magic Kingdom.  The blue launch stops at Fort Wilderness, Wilderness Lodge, and Contemporary Resort where you can get off then take the monorail over to the theme park.  This is a fun alternative with younger guests.  Once at Magic Kingdom, the transit system can get you to the other theme parks.

Buses 

The actual size of Fort Wilderness Resort and Campgrounds is quite large—roughly a mile long and half-mile wide.  That's a lot of walking.  However, the complimentary camp bus can pick you up at your site and take you to Outpost Depot to catch a theme park bus there (or the water taxi).  Note however that if you plan on getting to a resort early for rope drop, you'll need to know that it can take up to 30 minutes to get to any of the theme parks via bus.

Camping Options Outside the Resort

koa campgrounds orlando

The Kissimmee/Orlando area has a few alternative RV/campgrounds if you are unable to snag a site at Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground.  All are within a 10-12 miles radius of the Disney theme parks as well as Universal Orlando, SeaWorld Orlando, and various sports venues and city attractions.

Sherwood Forest RV Park

This RV park is about 10 southeast of Walt Disney World Resort, roughly a 20-30 minute drive depending on traffic.  Guests can enjoy a myriad of amenities including laundry facilities, showers, heated pool and even a hair salon.  Rates are dependent on the season; check the website to reserve a spot for your Orlando vacation.

KOA Campgrounds

The Orlando area KOA Campgrounds is a perfect location for families wanting to camp while exploring the Orlando area. Also just southeast of the Walt Disney World Resort, this KOA venue boasts a heated pool, hot tub, playground for kids and even a doggie camp for visiting Plutos. Guests can relax in a home-away-from-home with wi-fi, cable, and a fitness center.  If planning to visit a Disney theme park, check for the discounted tickets offered by KOA.

Tropical Palms Encore RV Park

Set on 69 acres close to theme parks and within walking distance of Old Town, Tropical Palms Encore RV is another option for camping at Walt Disney World Resort. The RV sites rentals include cable TV hook-up, water, and electricity. Amenities include laundry facilities, golf and mini golf, swimming pool, volleyball, and a fitness center.  And, Plutos are welcomed here as well.

What to Bring for Camping at Walt Disney World

Mickey Minnie and Goofy camping at Walt Disney World

If camping is on your list when visiting Walt Disney World, you'll need a few secondary lists. Aside from your personal packing list, a Disney packing list and the camping essentials guide might be helpful as well. Unless you're a novice, most campers are repeat adventurers and have an idea of what to bring but in case you may need a list or two, here are some suggestions for you and your group.

Plan Your Camping at Walt Disney World List

Everyone has a routine including when packing for vacation. I don't follow a list while my husband prints one out a week prior to a trip.  I write out a small list for each of my kids so they can personalize their own trip. The basics for any vacation are clothing, toiletries, outwear, shoes/socks, pajamas, and swimwear. I'd suggest layers depending on what time of year you decide to visit Orlando; evenings could be cooler  Oh, and don't forget to add in any Disney or Mickey-themed accessories or clothing. Many families will even create matching t-shirts for the group.  Etsy has several vendors who can personalize Disney orders. Valuables such as money, travelers' checks, ATM cards, and theme park tickets should be with one designated person to avoid confusion.

Plan for the Parks

Visiting any theme park can be magical and memorable but even more so when you are prepared. Make sure you have what you need before you enter any of the theme parks. If you do forget any sundries, several of the merchandise locations carry the extras.

PACKING LIST 101: Sunscreen, rain ponchos (a must for Florida), water bottles, hats, lip balm, camera/phone, camera batteries/phone charger, hand sanitizer, lotion, first aid supplies such as bandaids and pain reliever, snacks, and even an extra pair of socks/shoes.  For more information, MickeyVisit has a detailed list to help you plan.

Campsite Packing List

Ah, the joys of camping but sometimes that necessity which didn't get packed can turn your relaxing vacation into a stressful one. Everyone has a different camping style whether bare-bones and in a tent or hooked-up to wi-fi and chilling in an air-conditioned RV. Either way, there are some essentials every camper needs.

CAMPING LIST 101: Flashlight/headlamp (+ batteries), lantern, bug repellent, ropes, charcoal, trashbags, rags/paper towels, matches, camping stove (+ fuel), pots/pans/utensils, bins for washing eating ware, dish soap, extra batteries, hand sanitizer, toilet paper/Kleenex, and of course- s'mores supplies! Again, dependent on how your camping style is, the list can be altered to your liking.

Ready to Start Camping at Walt Disney World?

Camping at Walt Disney World Resort is two-fold—a practically perfect Disney vacation and fun family time under the stars.  Planning ahead is key for all vacations; especially for a Disney trip. Sign up for our free MickeyVisit newsletter for tips and guides for your best vacation yet.  Enjoy your Disney camping experience, and don't forget those s'mores!

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