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
Location Magic Kingdom Resort Area
Opened November 19, 1971 (1971-11-19)
Theme Rustic Woods Camping
Rooms 800 campsites, 409 cabins

Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground is a themed camping resort located at the Walt Disney World Resort. It officially opened on November 19, 1971.

Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground is located in the Magic Kingdom Resort Area, adjacent to Bay Lake and Disney's River Country, a now-defunct water park. The resort is also located near Disney's Wilderness Lodge.

Resort[edit]

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

Fort Wilderness was designed with a rustic theme. 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 cabins, designed to resemble log cabins.

Dining[edit]

The resort hosts two dinner shows, the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue and Mickey's Backyard BBQ. A buffet called Trail's End And an RV themed food truck are also among the resort's dining options.

Recreation[edit]

The resort features playgrounds and two heated swimming pools. 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 the Wilderness Lodge. They also provide canoes, kayaks, bikes, and tennis rackets to rent at the bike barn. Guests can make reservations to be taught archery and go horseback riding.

Entertainment[edit]

Located next to the Beach, guests can visit the Tri Circle D ranch, where the horses used by the Disney company are kept. Trail rides, Carriage and Hay rides, and a petting zoo are also available. Each night, the campground features the Campfire Sing-Along with Chip 'n' Dale presented by Pop secret. 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 children's movie is shown on an outdoor screen. Here is where the fore mentioned food truck stands selling lunch and dinner. Also at night, the Electrical Water Pageant passes the beach and marina.

Fort Wilderness Railroad[edit]

Fort Wilderness Railroad
Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground
Status Closed
Opening date January 1, 1974
Closing date February 1980
General statistics
Attraction type Railroad
Designer WED Enterprises
Length 13,200 ft (4,000 m)
Vehicle type Steam locomotive
Riders per vehicle 50

The Fort Wilderness Railroad was a 2.5–3.5-mile (4.0–5.6 km) 2 ft 6 in (762 mm) narrow gauge[1] steam-powered railroad located in Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground. The railroad provided transportation for resort guests 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.[2] Because of issues with track maintenance, pedestrian safety, and noise concerns, the railroad only operated occasionally after 1977, and closed permanently in February 1980.[3] Some sections of track remain in place along the outer areas of the campground.

The Fort Wilderness Railroad utilized four replica steam locomotives and twenty coaches built by Walt Disney Imagineering. 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 chairman Michael Broggie.[4] Today, the locomotives and twelve of the surviving coaches are privately owned 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).[5][6] While Locomotive No. 1 and Locomotive No. 4 are static displays in their respective owner's backyards, 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.[7] None of the Fort Wilderness Railroad locomotives are operational. In addition, a few of the coaches are still located on 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. They have since been sold at auction to private individuals.[8] Another is currently used as a prop in the Typhoon Lagoon parking lot.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Disney Drawing Board - Fort Wilderness Railroad". disneydrawingboard.com. 
  2. ^ Leaphart 2014, p. 61.
  3. ^ Leaphart 2014, p. 88.
  4. ^ "The Fort Wilderness R.R. story.". bigfloridacountry.com. 
  5. ^ "Fort Wilderness Railroad R.R. at Walt Disney World". bigfloridacountry.com. 
  6. ^ "Surviving Steam Locomotive Search". steamlocomotive.com. 
  7. ^ "Discover Live Steam Riding Scale Railroads". discoverlivesteam.com. 
  8. ^ Broggie, Michael. Walt Disney's Railroad Story: The Small-Scale Fascination That Led to a Full-Scale Kingdom, 4th ed., p. 342, The Donning Company Publishers, 2014. ISBN 978-1-57864-914-3.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Leaphart, David (2014), Walt Disney World Railroads Part 1: Fort Wilderness Railroad (1st ed.), Steel Wheel on Steel Rail Studio, ISBN 978-1-5008-0522-7 

External links[edit]

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