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Old 02-10-2014, 09:00 PM   #1
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Disney Fort Wilderness camprgounds..any gotchas

I have a premium RV slot and don't know if these slots allow fires. I don't see any fire pits in their pictures. Do they allow campfires. Do they require/allow those enclosed fire boxes. Do they sell wood?

Also, my mother is in a wheelchair/powerchair. Are the comfort stations in each RV loop equiped with large showers for persons with mobility issues. Bathroom stalls for handicapped.

Any info appreciated.

I am going to call Disney very soon. But, still would like to hear from those that have used the premium RV slots.

Heck, any tips on anything would be welcome.
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Old 02-10-2014, 09:08 PM   #2
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As I remember, fires are not allowed. They have a big bonfire associated with a program they do there on a nightly(?) basis. I don't recall exactly about the comfort stations, but I would imagine that they have some that would be accessible. I do remember the comfort stations being the nicest ones I have ever been in in a campground. Disney tends to do things well.

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Old 02-10-2014, 09:56 PM   #3
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Disney allows campfires in an approved fire pits only.
They also sell firewood and will deliver to your site. The hard part is finding the correct person at the front desk that knows firewood is available. At the beginning of January is was $25 for a bundle delivered.
Comfort stations are ADA compliant and very clean.
Here's a link for additional information on fire pits: Approved Fire Pits for Fort Wilderness - Miscellaneous - Fort Fiends - Articles - Fort Fiends
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Old 02-10-2014, 10:34 PM   #4
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Ok, looks like I will be finding a firepit with full metal cover. It's good to hear the comfort stations are ADA complaint. I hope these stations have suitable showers for her.

Really needing to get out of this cold weather for a few. Also, not too much longer before it's spring breaking...
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Old 02-11-2014, 08:15 AM   #5
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When you call Disney, explain your circumstances and ask to be put on a site near one of the comfort stations. I think they may even have some sites designated for the disabled. Some sites are some distance away from the comfort stations, however. The 800 loop does not have one, as example, you have to cross the main road to get to one - not ideal for you.

I'd double check on the fires when you call. They are very specific, and strict, on what commercial fire pits they will allow. There are no fire pits at any of the sites, unless you want to count the small charcoal grills.

They do indeed have a campfire program every night, accompanied by a sing along with Chip & Dale, roasting marshmallows and making s'mores, followed by the showing of a Disney movie on an outdoor screen.

Lastly, this site has a forum for those going to Disney with disabilities, The DIS. If you can't find what you need there, you can start your own thread and ask. Someone will know.
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Old 02-12-2014, 06:52 AM   #6
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When I made my October reservations last week Disney will not guarantee your loop or site you just put in a request.
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Old 02-12-2014, 10:52 AM   #7
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Stayed there for a week last summer and it was a very pleasant stay. If you don't have your own golf cart or a dinghy, you will need to rent a golf cart to get around.

Some of the back-in sites are a little tight. I was able to get our 42' Mandalay backed in OK, but it's clear that they designed the place very tightly for maximum capacity, with very little extra maneuvering room. With everything in the right spot for backing in, we cleared the various obstacles (trees, mailbox on the other side of the road, etc.) by a few inches, not feet. It worked out OK, but you have to be absolutely spot on with your back-in maneuver.
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Old 02-12-2014, 05:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich-n-Linda View Post
... If you don't have your own golf cart or a dinghy, you will need to rent a golf cart to get around...
I'd disagree. Disney has an excellent internal transportation system. You can get to anywhere on any of the Disney properties starting from the bus stop at the entrance to every loop. Just be careful not to get run over by one of the golf carts! Getting anywhere outside of the Disney universe is a different story.

What are now the "premium" sites were first developed back in 1971. No one then anticipated the behemoths we now travel in. They have undertaken a massive updating over the last decade. The sites have been widened and many were lengthened. That said, there were limits to what they could do, they are unable to widen the interior roads, and the back in angles for many sites are not ideal, as examples. These are the same challenges faced by any long established campground.

At the time of our last visit we were assigned a site it would have been impossible to get our 43' motor home into. The site was big enough, but the access was non-existent. The site was 90 degrees to one of the more narrow parts of the interior road, had very large trees and other vegetation coming right up to the road, tight to the site pad and all this was exacerbated by the across the street neighbor leaving his car partially in the road. Not to worry, either call the front desk, or in our case the "garbage man" was right there, making his rounds. He asked if he could help, I explained the problem and asked about the site on the corner I could back right into that was unoccupied at the time. A quick call on his radio and we were all set. Moral of the story, if you're not happy with the site assigned, ask for another.
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Old 02-12-2014, 09:40 PM   #9
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I bought this fireplace. I'm going to bring some chicken wire and cutters in case an inspector does not like the small open areas at the top. If they say I have to attach the additional wire, so be it. I want fire!!

I am trying to figure out if we should try to be placed closer to the ferry to Magic Kingdom or the main bus stop out of the campgrounds. If we ferry to Magic Kingdom, we can hit a bus to any of the parks and avoid the intermediate bus stop to the bus stop that hits all the parks.

Question is how often the ferry's run. I am doing this for the sake of my mother loading and unloading buses to get to where we're going. One less bus embark/debark is good with me. I also think the ferry ride is kind of neat, too

Do those comfort stations have laundry facilities. this will make a difference in how much clothing is packed:

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Old 02-13-2014, 08:50 PM   #10
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We have been to FW 3 times last year, and just reupped our annual passes so are in line to do it 3 more times this year beginning in a month. The Fort is like most everything Disney- done right. But also like all things Disney, the Mouse will get his money. But in my opinion it is worth every penny.

Yes, the comfort stations have clean laundry rooms. The ferries operate almost every 10-15 minutes to Magic Kingdom, and the ride itself is very pleasant.

Also, we have also carried a brand new Disney compliant fire pit to FW every time. With all the activities and energy expended by our two little ones, as well as take your pick of which fireworks show you would like to see that night, and all the time the kids spent at the pool at FW getting tired there, there was no energy/desire to ever use the fire pit. Still in the cardboard box....
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Old 02-13-2014, 09:44 PM   #11
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I like your fire pit. The idea of the solid top is to keep sparks from flying out of the fire pit. So you may be correct in that Disney will want you to cover over the open areas.

The comfort stations have handicapped toilet stalls and handicapped shower stalls. The shower stall has a pull down seat so you can sit and shower. They are also heated/cooled and kept extremely clean. In between the men’s and women’s sides you will find the laundry area. Each laundry typically has 6 washers and dryers. It is $2/load to wash and $2/load to dry. Washing takes about 30 minutes and dryers run about 45 minutes. There is a machine to give change, but sometimes run out on busy weekends. At the end of the comfort station is an ice machine, $2 per bag.

Concerning the rest of your questions, keep in mind it is about 3/4 mile from the Fort Wilderness (FW) entrance to the beginning of the camping loops (cabin loops are closer to the front entrance). It is about 1.5 miles from FW entrance to the marina where you get the boat to Magic Kingdom. The bus stop for taking external Disney buses out of FW is located near the entrance to FW.

When you call Disney about your reservation you can “request” a specific loop/site but there are no guarantees. The are no sites specifically designated "handicapped" or "disabled" in FW. Again, if you don’t like your assigned site given at check in, Disney front desk cast members will work with you to find a site that fits your needs. Arriving during busy spring breaks, holiday seasons or if FW is “sold out” will make it much more difficult to get that perfect site.

As you have a Premium site reserved, the closest Premium loops to the marina are 700 and 400 and both loops allow pets. Maneuvering into a site can be very site specific and may also depend on where your neighbors have parked their vehicles. (The Preferred sites in the 300 loop are probably the worst.) If you get to your assigned site and find it won’t work contact the Fort Wilderness front desk at 407-824-2727 and ask to be reassigned. If there is an empty site you like, ask for that specific site.

Every loop does not have it’s own bus stop or comfort station. The 700 and 400 loops do not have their own bus stop. Depending on your location in the loop you will have to walk to the Pioneer Hall bus stop, the stop by the 300 loop entrance or by the 800 loop entrance to get the internal FW bus to take you to the front so that you can transfer to an external Disney bus. The 700 and 400 loops also share comfort stations with other loops. In the 700 loop ask for the highest numbered sites to be closest to the marina and the Pioneer Hall bus stop. But you will be a little further from the comfort station. In the 400 loop if you ask for the very lowest or very highest numbered sites you can walk to the Pioneer Hall bus stop, the marina for the boat to Magic Kingdom and across the street to the comfort station at the entrance to the 100/200 loop.

FW has a good internal bus system and they come about every 15 to 20 minutes. Powerchairs are loaded through the rear door by driving up a short ramp. The chair is tied down and the occupant can stay in the chair or move to a seat. Reverse procedure for getting off the bus. To go to Epcot, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Downtown Disney, Typhoon Lagoon, Blizzard Beach or the Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC) you take an internal FW bus to the front of FW and transfer to an external Disney bus for your desired destination. You can also take your car and park it at the front check in area and walk across the street to get an external Disney bus eliminating the internal FW bus.

Sometimes it’s easier with powerchairs and scooters to take your car to any Disney attraction and park for free by showing the parking pass you receive at check in. If you have a disabled tag you will be directed to a reserved parking section nearer the front entrance of the park.

Because of the powerchair you can only take the larger boat (the green flagged one) from FW marina. It goes directly to the Magic Kingdom. Boat runs about every 20 minutes. From the Magic Kingdom dock you walk over to the bus stops and take a bus to your desired location. Bus may also stop at other resorts for pick ups while heading to your final destination. Also from Magic Kingdom you can take the express monorail to the TTC, transfer to the Epcot monorail and go directly to Epcot. The monorails have metal loading ramps they put down and you drive the powerchair directly inside the monorail car (there are no tie downs on the monorail). You can take the large Ferry from the Magic Kingdom dock to the TTC and then monorail to Epcot.

A golf cart is not a necessity at FW. However, besides driving in and out there are few places to go in FW with a car. Meadows Trading Post (in the middle of FW) has about 6 car parking spots which are limited to 15 minutes parking only. Many people bring their bikes. Disney rents golf carts or you can bring in a golf cart for your personal use.

My family has a powerchair user. Bottom line is, we find it easier to take the boat to Magic Kingdom when we visit that park. For other parks we go in our car and park in the disabled parking areas. We find it’s faster and less hassle than waiting for a bus and then transferring to another bus. We also have our own golf cart for running around Fort Wilderness. I do not think you will find much difference timewise between taking internal/external buses or going boat/bus to other parks. Also, the bus service starts earlier than boat service to Magic Kingdom.
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Old 02-16-2014, 07:05 AM   #12
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Was any of this helpful?
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Old 02-17-2014, 09:00 AM   #13
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Was any of this helpful?
Oh yes, very very helpful. Thanks for all the info. I am going to email my sister your post so she can read it and decide how we want to try and place ourselves in the campground when we arrive.

You certainly know your way around FW. I spent this weekend loading up all the storage bays with everything including a new spare tire.

I will take the coach to a local truck stop scale and get a loaded weight reading and see if I need to reduce/redistribute any load. My mother wants to bring her backup powerchair just in case. We are also bringing about 6 cases of water to avoid the silly water prices at the parks. Worked very well in 2012. I know I am at max carry capacity and really need to get a scale to make sure this trip does not have any incidents that could have been avoided.

We're leaving Friday morning!!

Prepping a new/used coach for it's first voyage is like equipping a new home....massive amount of things to buy and prepare for. Part of the fun of it all...
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Old 02-17-2014, 10:00 AM   #14
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If her powerchair should take the occasion of your Disney trip to break down, you can rent one at the entrance to any of the Disney parks. You'd not have it in the campground, but perhaps this knowledge will be enough to save you the weight of bringing two.
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