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Author Topic: Looking for feedback on campgrounds in/near/around Disney at Orlando  (Read 3875 times)
Phil H / Chicago
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« on: February 20, 2008, 08:18:14 AM »

Hey guys,

My wife wants to collect some impute for a trip we are trying to put together in mid-May to Disney world in Orlando. We are planning to take the 45' coach and a honda civic tow. I would love to tell ya it's for the grandkids.....but then it's wrong to lie isn't it? Let's just say this is a learning experience so we will be better prepared when we take them next time.

Can you tell me about the on-site park and others around? All the good and bad?

Thanks,
Phil & Lin
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« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2008, 08:49:49 AM »

Camp Wilderness is one of the highest rated (and most expensive) parks.  The convenience factor and that you always have access to the parks even with private affairs makes it worth it in my book.  It will be where I stay when I go to Orlando for Disney World.  Good Luck, TomC
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« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2008, 10:15:40 AM »

I've stayed at Fort Wilderness, at the value resorts & off site. For me, the convenience of being so close out weighs the savings from off site (which are offset by parking fees & travel time).
Fort Wilderness is my top choice & is where we will be staying when we go in June (third week).

It is First Class all the way. The sites are separated by vegetation, so there is more privacy than you'd expect. The campground fills up quick, so make your reservations as early as possible.

Oh, if you stay on the property, you can take advantage of the 'extended hours', which means the park has fewer people & that means almost no waiting in line  Grin
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« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2008, 10:36:16 AM »

A few years ago, my wife heard that they were running discounted airfare/hotel deals for Disney trips. When she looked into it and found out the total cost for a family of five, she was very disappointed and scrapped the idea. I countered by suggesting we look at the cost of taking our bus.  She said that was fine, but hadn't suggested it before because she knew how many hours of driving I would have to do.  (She hasn't figured out yet that I actually ENJOY driving the bus for long stretches Grin )

Long story short, we ended up staying at Camp Wilderness for 5 days / 4 nights.  I give it high marks. and would also enjoy staying there even if we didn't set foot in the theme parks.  We would get up in the morning, eat breakfast in the bus (save big$) and walk 80 yards to catch a shuttle bus.  From there we would usually catch the boat over to the park.  Somedays we stayed in the park until late afternoon and came back to spend the evenings at the campsite. Other days we returned back to the campsite mid afternoon, took a swim and rested up to go back for a late evening at the parks.  Lunches and dinners were a nice mix of campsite meals and Disney restaurants. My kids especially enjoyed dinner at the Japanese restaurant one night.

Be especially careful concerning the 45' length of your coach however.  We had made our reservation weeks in advance telling them that we had a 35 foot coach.   When we checked in they sent us to a specific site number. In the heavily wooded area, there was absolutely no way anyone could have gotten a 35 footer into the site they gave us. With the strategically placed trees, the best of drivers would have struggled to get a 24 footer into the site. Fortunately there was a help phone number on the paperwork they gave us and a quick cell phone call got us moved to a nearby site that was accessible.  Disney must have some more wide open areas (and pull throughs) to accomodate larger rigs, but in the wooded area where we were I'm not sure you would have even been able to drive the camprground roads with a 45' + toad, let alone get into a site.

Overall, we had a great time saved a bundle compared to flying and hotels. My wife just remarked last week about planning another Disney trip.  I asked her "Flying or bus?" and she responded "The bus, of course!"
« Last Edit: February 20, 2008, 10:45:16 AM by WEC4104 » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2008, 11:50:58 AM »

Phil try this site it has a world of info. Click on OPEN ROADS FORUM and then scroll to campgrounds.

RV.NET
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« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2008, 12:56:08 PM »

http://www.busnut.com/bbs/messages/96/1539.html?1028828908

PLACES WE STAY
"BNO BBS"
Pretty good info there. Wink
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« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2008, 01:53:34 PM »

Hi Phil:
Glad you are enjoying the coach. I have heard from Todd several times and think he will be out to visit in the spring. We are in Florida now and just went to Disney a couple of weeks ago. Definitely stay at fort wilderness!!! There are spots you can fit in - saw several 45'ers there. We are still in the Eagle and no problem getting parked. The "pet" loop ( 700's) is close to the marina and the bus stop. They will NOT guarantee a site but DO look at your wants.
Have fun.
JimH
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« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2008, 02:06:16 PM »

I am going there in Sept.

This is a great web site:

http://www.disneycampers.com/
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« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2008, 05:15:33 PM »

Hi Phil,

We are at Ft Wilderness right now! have been all week. There are 7 Prevosts [45'] in the park and 3 Newells [45'] and me... the rest are S&S's and

campers... Stay away from Encore Property's [tropical Palms] and 3 others in the Disney area. They are over booking sites. I Know....They screwed me!

I booked over a month ago for a super site and when we arrived, they were full with no site for me.. Very lousy attitudes to go with that too...

We booked at Disney and the staff is Top Notch! the park is Huge, I think 3000 sites and we rented a golf cart too.. The nightly rates are $52.00 [full hookups]

and all the free transportation you get from Disney, the Fireworks, and free shows makes this resort the best value for your money in Orlando....

Stay out of the Magic Kingdom unless you like wall to wall crowds. You will get on 2 rides all day if you are lucky. Universal Studios is the best place to

go to maximumize your rides you can get on. Ebcot was also not so crowded.

Good Luck
Nick-
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« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2008, 06:41:49 PM »

my folks have stayed at Fort Winlernass....they give it good feedback
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Phil H / Chicago
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« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2008, 08:23:04 PM »

Thanks everyone. Sounds like FW will be the destination. I know it was the way my wife was leaning. Now I just need some warm weather to get some tires on the coach so we can go.

Phil
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« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2008, 07:22:07 AM »

Phil,
We are planning on going to Fort Wilderness at Christmas Time so let us know how the trip goes.  Everything I have seen and heard makes it sound like the ideal place to stay.
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« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2008, 08:01:42 AM »

Hi Phil,

We are at Ft Wilderness right now! have been all week.

>
Nick,
While you are there check out some "Behind the Scenes" Tours at Disney World

The Greenhouse Tour was pretty cool.
http://www.hiddenmickeys.org/WDW/Tours.html#WDWT_GH
Ed
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« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2008, 02:48:17 PM »

Thanks Ed,

That's cool....

Today we went to Disney's MGM Studios. Funny, Its not called MGM anymore.... It's now Disney's Hollywood Studios..

Michael Isiner is building a new Mega resort Hotel right next to the Contempory Hotel on some newly claimed land from Lake Vista...

It's a big secret that even all the Disney Employees don't know anything about it!

Geeze, I'm getting a little worn out from all the nightly Fireworks, Pete's Dragon boat light show's, the Wilderness lodge pool, Bananna Daquries,

tweeking my rental golf cart to do 30 mph, the Hoop Da Review, and all the food we are enjoying.... I need a vacation from all this... Grin

If I only remembered to bring my patch cord for my camra you guy's would have been flooded with Florida sunshine pics....

Nick-

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« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2008, 03:44:05 PM »

Parked the 40 ftr in CW, would stay there without the park hopper pass, plenty to do in the campground.  
Also,  get the mealplan!!  if you like to eat Wink  we ate dinners in epcot,  meal is paid including tip, beverages, appetizers and dezzert.  Hard to swallow the initial cost but ends up being the best deal in park. Our first meal was surf n turf in canada epcot,  steak and lobster,  for four bill was over 200 bucks, meal plan was 400 or so and we still had 2 more nights and 3 more lunches/breakfasts  plus snacks.  plus you would have spent more than 400 for 4 people to eat burgers in the park if you pay at time of purchase,  good way to travel light.  

We would go to early open park, pool in after noon,  change clothes at 4:00 charlie storm, then go eat early at epcot , then go to late park,  buses, Tram, and boats great and no parking worries.  

And if you stay on site you get the reserve time for rides.  you can reserve a time for one ride at a time and wait less than 10 min to ride.  worth it to stay at campwilderness.
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« Reply #15 on: February 21, 2008, 05:09:32 PM »

Hey Nick, we love to go to Ft. Wilderness and usually go at least 4 times a year (it's a bit easier when you live only 40 minutes away). Christmas is our favorite time to go...all the sites are decorated, it's awesome!!!
We have reservations for next week, but according to the rates they gave us, they went up on the 14th, and right now until the end of March is considered PEAK. We usually go each year this time for our son's birthday, and it's always a higher rate. Our reservation is for almost twice as much as you are paying. How in the world did you get that great rate?
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« Reply #16 on: February 21, 2008, 05:20:28 PM »

Parked the 40 ftr in CW, would stay there without the park hopper pass, plenty to do in the campground.  
Also,  get the mealplan!!  if you like to eat Wink  we ate dinners in epcot,  meal is paid including tip, beverages, appetizers and dezzert.  Hard to swallow the initial cost but ends up being the best deal in park. Our first meal was surf n turf in canada epcot,  steak and lobster,  for four bill was over 200 bucks, meal plan was 400 or so and we still had 2 more nights and 3 more lunches/breakfasts  plus snacks.  plus you would have spent more than 400 for 4 people to eat burgers in the park if you pay at time of purchase,  good way to travel light.  

We would go to early open park, pool in after noon,  change clothes at 4:00 charlie storm, then go eat early at epcot , then go to late park,  buses, Tram, and boats great and no parking worries.  

And if you stay on site you get the reserve time for rides.  you can reserve a time for one ride at a time and wait less than 10 min to ride.  worth it to stay at campwilderness.

Yea John,

It's called Magic Your Way!   or, as I call it, A Real Micky Mouse Credit Card! but you don't have to pay it back when you get home...

Get the one with 2 meals a day, unlimited park passes and you will have Breakfast at the Contempory with Micky complete with Momoses...
then the park of your choice, back to the pool till din din time, take a micky bus to Down Town Disney to have dinner at Fultons Crab House
where you will order Filet Migion & Stone Crab Claws complete with appitizer and desert, then hit Pleasure Island for a night of music of youe choice.
The next day, do it all over again.. but have dinner at the Froridian Hotel, then a Message, then rent a pontoon boat to see the Fireworks from the water... All on the Mickey Magic your way card.....
We did it all week!
Nick-
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« Reply #17 on: February 21, 2008, 05:28:26 PM »

Hey Nick, we love to go to Ft. Wilderness and usually go at least 4 times a year (it's a bit easier when you live only 40 minutes away). Christmas is our favorite time to go...all the sites are decorated, it's awesome!!!
We have reservations for next week, but according to the rates they gave us, they went up on the 14th, and right now until the end of March is considered PEAK. We usually go each year this time for our son's birthday, and it's always a higher rate. Our reservation is for almost twice as much as you are paying. How in the world did you get that great rate?

I called on the phone from Tropical Palms Fun Resort on Monday! I told the guy at 1-407-w-disney how Encore Resorts just screwed us and he told me
he will give me a package that will make me always come back to Fort Wilderness Camp!
I said to him, What a Mickey Mouse Operation! Thanks, I'll be there in 15 min's... I was just on 192 in kissimmi.. The guard at the gate allready had my
name on his rouster.
Nick-
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« Reply #18 on: February 21, 2008, 06:21:23 PM »

Wow, I'm really glad Disney did that for you, that is a GREAT rate! We've been camping at Ft. Wilderness for over 30 years, first in tents, then a pop-up, then a Class C, and this past year in our bus. We usually try to go during their lower-rate seasons, but we make an exception this time of year for our son's birthday. Too bad we couldn't be there with you now, there would be another bus on your list only we'd be adding an Eagle to the collection. 

You really should try to go some year during the Christmas Season. There is a 3-4 week span after Thanksgiving and before Christmas when the rates are very low. Everyone decks out their campsite and their RVs, even the Golf Carts are full of lights and decorations. It's awesome. Maybe sometime we'll hook up with you there. In the meantime, enjoy your stay and say hello to the mouse for us!

Oh, one more thing, if you are looking for at least one nice meal out, try Ohana's for dinner in the Polynesian Hotel. They sometimes take walk-ins, but it's better to make reservations. It is all you can eat, PLUS entertainment and also a wonderful view of the castle, but the best part is that you never have to leave your table, they bring all the food to you (over and over again). It runs about $27 per person,for adults, but it is REALLY worth the money. Go hungry. Price includes soft drinks, dessert, and I think your tip, too.
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« Reply #19 on: February 21, 2008, 07:01:08 PM »

Here are some Christmas pictures from Fort Wilderess.



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« Reply #20 on: February 21, 2008, 09:19:04 PM »

Hi Guy's,

We did Disney for Christmas last year but, we didn't get there until the 18th of December and the parks were jammed packed allready...

That was a weird expierence for us northerners, swimming on Christmas morning... It just placed us somewhere in August??

And of course, we then went to Arcadia.

Nick-
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« Reply #21 on: February 22, 2008, 08:49:49 AM »

Just got back from there yesterday, but we flew down, had too many FF miles not to.

Everyone's advice above sounds right on.  I would add that the Animal Kingdom Lodge has a restarant called Boma. It's an African themed buffet style place.  The food, even buffet food was better than most dinners and bfasts I've had at expensive places.  They're not cheap either, $25-30 per, but the food was all excellent and "all you can eat".  I got my money's worth.  We tried another resort's rest. and it paled in comparison.

We liked it so much we ate 5 meals there, in 3.5 days!  It helped that we were staing at the AK Lodge too.  Otherwise we ate at McDs and Rain Forest Cafe at Downtown Disney, the latter was nothing to write home about.  We also ate at the Brown Derby at Hollywood Studios, pretty good, but a little posh for us MidWesterners.

Magic Kingdom was absolutely packed wall to wall and not as enjoyable as hoped.  Having a 4 year old, I think we managed to skip most of the crowds, we took the park train a few times, and more tame type attractions.  Hollywood Studios was great, not at all crowded, great attractions and plenty of space to walk (for us agorophobics).

At the Studios you have to hit the Indiana Jones attractions, still as good as it was 10 years ago when it opened.  The Jedi Training center was fun, Lights Stunts Action was great as well as the one where you ride on the back of modified pup trucks, can't remember the name, but you get to see several special effects reenactments.

Regarding the Dining Plan, I'm still not sure if it's a good deal, I don't doubt it, just dont know.  For 3 of us for 3.5 days we probably spent about $400-450, but that was a lot of big fancy meals and only one visit to the Golden Arches.  The rest was sit-down style spoiling ourselves.  Since I usually only splurge for Quiznos at home :-)

Have fun and plan for some downtime, I'm taking today off to recover from my vacation, whew!!!

Todd
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« Reply #22 on: February 22, 2008, 01:42:51 PM »

Just curious, how much did it cost for the tickets to get in, I imagine each ride has a ticket you have to buy too, I didn't hide this thread so libby read it lol. Just trying to get an idea on what it might run to go for a couple of days and wander around inside.
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« Reply #23 on: February 22, 2008, 03:37:39 PM »

Just curious, how much did it cost for the tickets to get in, I imagine each ride has a ticket you have to buy too, I didn't hide this thread so libby read it lol. Just trying to get an idea on what it might run to go for a couple of days and wander around inside.

Disney hasn't charged for each ride since the very late 70s or 80s.  I remember going to Disneyland in the 70s and my parents buying a book of ride coupons for the rides.  We went to Disney World in 1986 and I'm thinking the coupon books were gone.  These days Disney just charges an outrageous fee at the gate, but rides are no extra charge.

The cost is something like $65 for a day now.
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« Reply #24 on: February 22, 2008, 04:39:17 PM »

Cool, if I understand this correctly, we pay the gate fee and can wander around and get into all sorts of mischief inside, I know that anything we need inside like food or soft drinks is extra but sounds like a fun day, each park has a gate fee then and all we would need is the patience to wait our turn in line.  I might even let libby keep reading this thread, now that I think of it, I should have stowed away in one of nicks bays, I'd be at disney right now lol.
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« Reply #25 on: February 22, 2008, 05:24:01 PM »

Thanks to all for the feedback. Lin just booked May 12-19 at camp wilderness. Guess I need to get my garden hose and fuel can out and start searching for buses with full tanks.

Thanks,
Phil
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« Reply #26 on: February 22, 2008, 05:34:06 PM »

Brian said..   The cost is something like $65 for a day now.

Maybe a couple years ago.... a 1 day pass for an adult is $86.00, it's cheaper to buy mutipal day passes all at once or shop the discount outlets

when you arrive. There is always a deal somewhere.

We just rolled out of the Disney camp and headding home.

Good Luck
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« Reply #27 on: February 22, 2008, 06:55:41 PM »

Brian said..   The cost is something like $65 for a day now.

Maybe a couple years ago.... a 1 day pass for an adult is $86.00, it's cheaper to buy mutipal day passes all at once or shop the discount outlets

I have zero desire to go to Disney World since I am not married and have no kids so I don't keep up on the cost.  I guess I missed the news articles announcing the last few increases.

Disey is a great palce, but man a trip there costs a bundle.  I was thinking about it earlier today and it could easily cost $200 a month to save for a family vacation to Disney or similiar places.
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« Reply #28 on: February 22, 2008, 09:10:52 PM »

I am taking the family down this fall and my sites are $52 a night for the works. I am planning for $5k for the whole trip (including bus fuel, etc). I hope not, but for eight people that might be the best I can do.

BusCrazyinFL, you will probably be hearing from me before too long.

Laryn
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« Reply #29 on: February 23, 2008, 12:51:23 AM »

<<<<<<<I would add that the Animal Kingdom Lodge has a restarant called Boma>>>>>>>

I ate at the original world famous BOMA in Victoria Zimbabwe - Now that was an interesting meal
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« Reply #30 on: February 23, 2008, 05:13:42 AM »

Phil,

Only advice I can add to the above is to find out when they are offering the Florida residents specials.

These are what are considered Disney slower periods.

Even though you wont get the same break on price, you will not have to deal with the crowds during the Peak times.

And remember, Disneys idea of "Its SLOW today" and mine are vastly different.

We went at the beginning of January and walked onto all but the most popular rides, get the 'Fast Pass" and come back in your time window with limited waiting.

Staying at Fort Wilderness is a good idea, If you don't leave the Disney property they have transportation to take you everywhere, and its included.

Enjoy your stay,

Cliff

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1975 GMC  P8M4905A-1160    North Central Florida

"There are basically two types of people. People who accomplish things, and people who claim to have accomplished things. The first group is less crowded."
Mark Twain
edroelle
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1998 Royale Prevost




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« Reply #31 on: February 23, 2008, 07:45:19 AM »

Fort Wilderness

We stayed there in December - BEFORE the rates went to $96 per night !!

I did struggle and was very careful maneuvering our 45' in the campground.  It is tight.

A trick for Epcot.  Start at the far end in the countries, and work back to minimize the crowds.

Ed Roelle
Flint, MI
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BusCrazyinFL
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« Reply #32 on: February 23, 2008, 09:58:35 AM »

That's great Barn Owl, we'll look forward to hearing from you.
We try to go the second weekend in Sept. They have a Christian Festival called Night of Joy we like to go to, and it seems after Labor Day Weekend, the rates are lower and it's not so crowded. What month are you thinking of going? As of right now, the only time for sure I'll be tied up is Oct. 8 - 12th.
Don't forget to reserve a Golf Cart for some of the time you'll be camping.
Bikes are great too, if you are able to bring some. And did you read earlier in this blog what I wrote about Ohana's Restaurant? It's awesome!!!

Hey, a few weeks ago we tried out a new place in Williston, near some family,
and we ended up being parked right next to a retired Feeder Driver from Indiana...what are the odds of that happening? And you know, whenever you hook up with a fellow UPSer, there are always stories to tell, ha ha.

Well, take care, and let us know when you are heading our way.
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