Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground

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Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground
Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground logo.svg
LocationMagic Kingdom Resort Area
OpenedNovember 19, 1971; 47 years ago (1971-11-19)
ThemeRustic Woods Camping
Rooms800 campsites, 409 cabins

Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground is a themed camping resort located in the Magic Kingdom Resort Area at the Walt Disney World Resort. It officially opened on November 19, 1971. The resort is adjacent to Bay Lake and Disney's River Country, a now-defunct water park. The resort is also located near Disney's Wilderness Lodge.


Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground sign
Cabin at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground

Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground has a rustic theme and is located on 750 acres of Pine and Cypress forest. Tree-lined winding roads loop around to the various regions of the resort. Part of the resort is occupied by campsites where visitors with tents or recreational vehicles can stay. The remainder of the lodging area is occupied by permanent trailers, designed to resemble log cabins.


The resort hosts a dinner show, the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue. A buffet called Trail's End and an RV-themed food truck are among the resort's other dining options.[1]


The resort features playgrounds and two heated swimming pools. One of the pools, the Meadow Swimmin' Pool, features a winding water slide that includes the water tower from the now-closed River Country water park. Other activities include fishing and horseback riding. A 2.3-mile (3.7 km) paved and sand exercise trail extends from the pony farm to Disney's Wilderness Lodge Resort. They also provide canoes, kayaks, bikes, and tennis rackets to rent at the bike barn. Guests can make reservations to learn archery and go horseback riding. At the marina, pontoon boats and other watercraft are available for rent to travel the waterways of Bay Lake and the Seven Seas Lagoon.


Located next to the Beach, guests can visit the Tri Circle D ranch, where the horses that work at Magic Kingdom live. Trail rides, carriage, and hay rides, are also available for an additional cost. Each night, the campground features the Campfire Sing-Along with Chip 'n' Dale presented by Pop Secret.[2] A Disney cast member leads songs in an outdoor amphitheater, while the characters Chip 'n' Dale approach seated audience members, signing autographs and posing for photos. Two firepits are available for roasting marshmallows and making s'mores. Following the sing-along, a Disney movie is shown on an outdoor screen. Here is where the food truck stands selling lunch and dinner, as well as s'more's kits for a nominal cost. Also at night, the Electrical Water Pageant and the Magic Kingdom's Happily Ever After Fireworks Spectacular can be seen from Clementine's beach.

Fort Wilderness Railroad[edit]

Fort Wilderness Railroad
Fort Wilderness Resort - FWRR Logo.jpg
The logo for the FWRR
Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground
Opening dateJanuary 1, 1974
Closing dateFebruary 1980
General statistics
Attraction typeRailroad
DesignerWED Enterprises
Vehicle typeSteam locomotive
Riders per vehicle50

The Fort Wilderness Railroad (FWRR) was a 3.5-mile (5.6 km), 2 ft 6 in (762 mm) narrow-gauge[3] heritage railroad located in Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground. The railroad provided transportation to the resort's various campsites, as well as to the nearby River Country water park. After an operational trial period in late 1973, the railroad officially opened on January 1, 1974.[4] Due to issues with track maintenance, pedestrian safety, noise concerns, and the locomotives' low fuel capacity, the railroad only operated occasionally after 1977, and closed permanently in February 1980.[5][6] Some sections of the track ties remain in place along the outer areas of the campground.

The FWRR utilized four 2-4-2T replica steam locomotives and twenty coaches built in 1972 by WED Enterprises in Glendale, California.[7] After the railroad was closed, the locomotives and coaches were stored and forgotten for several years until they were rediscovered by Carolwood Pacific Historical Society co-founder Michael Broggie.[8] The locomotives and twelve of the surviving coaches were acquired by Carolwood Pacific Historical Society members Jim Zordich of Boring, Oregon (Locomotive No. 1 and one coach); Bill Dundas of Camarillo, California (Locomotive No. 2, Locomotive No. 3, and ten coaches); and Michael Campbell of Livermore, California (Locomotive No. 4 and one coach).[9][10] Jim Zordich later sold his locomotive and coach to Justi Creek Railway owner John Lasseter of Glen Ellen, California, who had them converted to 3 ft (914 mm) gauge.[7] While Locomotive No. 1 and Locomotive No. 4 are static displays, the locomotives owned by Bill Dundas can be found on his private Santa Rosa Valley Railroad, which consists of 2 ft 6 in (762 mm) narrow gauge track as well as 7 12 in (190.5 mm) gauge track for the miniature trains he also owns.[11] None of the FWRR locomotives are operational. In addition, a few of the coaches were previously on public display within the Walt Disney World property. Two were located at the central entrance to Downtown Disney and used as ticket booths prior to its transition into its current form as Disney Springs.[6] They have since been sold at auction to private individuals.[12] Another was previously used as a prop in the Typhoon Lagoon parking lot before it was removed and scrapped.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bashor 2016, p. 5.
  2. ^ Bashor 2016, p. 2.
  3. ^ "The Disney Drawing Board - Fort Wilderness Railroad". disneydrawingboard.com.
  4. ^ Leaphart (2014a), p. 61.
  5. ^ Leaphart (2014a), p. 88
  6. ^ a b Fickley-Baker, Jennifer (July 6, 2011). "All Aboard Fort Wilderness Railroad for a Trip Down Memory Lane at Walt Disney World". Disney Parks Blog. Archived from the original on August 3, 2017. Retrieved March 25, 2018. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  7. ^ a b Korkis, Jim (April 7, 2015). "WDW Chronicles: Fort Wilderness Railroad". AllEars.Net. Archived from the original on July 9, 2017. Retrieved September 4, 2017. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  8. ^ "The Fort Wilderness R.R. story". bigfloridacountry.com.
  9. ^ "Fort Wilderness Railroad R.R. at Walt Disney World". bigfloridacountry.com.
  10. ^ "Surviving Steam Locomotive Search". steamlocomotive.com.
  11. ^ "Discover Live Steam Riding Scale Railroads". discoverlivesteam.com.
  12. ^ Broggie (2014), p. 342.


Further reading[edit]

  • Leaphart, David (2014b). Walt Disney World Railroads Part 1 Fort Wilderness Railroad Photo Galleries (1st ed.). Steel Wheel on Steel Rail Studio. ISBN 978-1-5007-0974-7.
  • Leaphart, David (2014c). Walt Disney World Railroads Part 1 Fort Wilderness Railroad Art Galleries (1st ed.). Steel Wheel on Steel Rail Studio. ISBN 978-1-5007-1104-7.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 28°24′27″N 81°33′31″W / 28.407431°N 81.558563°W / 28.407431; -81.558563