What's on YOUR Disney Bucket List?

Posts tagged ‘WDW Campgrounds’

85: Rent a Canoe at Fort Wilderness

Well, as it turned out, this one required a bit of improvisation… the original item on my Disney Bucket List was “Rent a Kayak at Lago Dorado.” (Lago Dorado is the beautiful lake in the center of Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort.)

Just recently, there was a change in the Marinas on Disney property. The Marinas at Coronado Springs, Caribbean Beach, and Port Orleans — Riverside Resorts have been closed. However, Marinas are still available at Disney’s Contemporary, Grand Floridian, and Polynesian Resorts, the Yacht & Beach Club Resorts, and Fort Wilderness Campgrounds.

Fort Wilderness Recreation Rentals

Fort Wilderness Recreation Rentals

Fort Wilderness Marina Canoe (1)
So, back to Fort Wilderness we went! Which is not at all bad since Fort Wilderness happens to be one of my absolute favorite places, not just in “the World,” but also… the world ;) .

There was one more bit of improv here, as well… when my husband and I asked the Cast Member at the Marina which was better for beginners (us!) – a kayak or a canoe – she said a canoe would be our best bet.

Fort Wilderness Marina Canoe (17)

Fort Wilderness Canoe Number 8

Fort Wilderness Canoe Number 8

So, that’s how “Rent a kayak at Lago Dorado” became “Rent a canoe at Fort Wilderness!

Fort Wilderness Recreation Rental Prices

Fort Wilderness Recreation Rental Prices — click to enlarge for prices as of this writing

Fort Wilderness, by the way, is the only place where you can still rent either one of those.

Canoes

Canoes

Kayaks

Kayaks

At the Monorail Resorts mentioned above, larger boats, pontoons, and Sea Raycers are among the choices.

Sea Raycers at the Polynesian Marina

Sea Raycers at the Polynesian Marina

Mickey!

Mickey!

Celebration Boat at Polynesian -- can you find the Hidden Mickey? (Click to enlarge)

Celebration Boat at Polynesian — can you find the Hidden Mickey? (Click to enlarge)

But for us, the peace and natural scenery at Fort Wilderness was just the right pace…

Fort Wilderness Marina Canoe (3)
Fort Wilderness Marina Canoe (2)
Fort Wilderness Marina Canoe (4)
Fort Wilderness Marina Canoe (5)
Fort Wilderness Marina Canoe (6)
Fort Wilderness Marina Canoe (7)
Fort Wilderness Marina Canoe (8)
Fort Wilderness Marina Canoe (9)
Fort Wilderness Marina Canoe (10)
Fort Wilderness Marina Canoe (11)
Fort Wilderness Marina Canoe (12)

Fort Wilderness Marina Canoe (13)

Sea Turtle!

Fort Wilderness Marina Canoe (14)

You do get quite close to nature at Fort Wilderness, by the way… as evidenced by this passenger who found his way to my backpack ;).

Fort Wilderness Marina Canoe (15)
Experiencing this activity at Fort Wilderness reminded me once again of what a truly special place it is. You rarely realize that you are right next door to the most popular theme park in the world, it’s just so peaceful and serene. And I love that they offer experiences like this that allow everyone to have an opportunity to enjoy the grounds.

Oh, and next time for us, it’s the kayak… since we won’t be beginners anymore :).

41: Visit Fort Wilderness at Christmas to see the decorated RVs

Though Christmas is over, I still have one more holiday item on my Disney Bucket List to share. And, hey, we’re still  in the holiday season, aren’t we :) ? The merriment’s not over yet… so, here we go!

Fort Wilderness – the Walt Disney World Campground — is not unlike the rest of the Walt Disney World Resorts in that it gets all dressed up for the holidays.

Fort Wilderness Christmas Disney (6)
Fort Wilderness Christmas Disney (29)
Fort Wilderness Christmas Disney (21)
However, this is the ONLY place in Disney World where guests take a primary role in the decorating! And it really is like nothing else – at Disney World or anywhere else. Just take a look… and remember, these are campsites :).

Fort Wilderness Christmas Disney (1)
Fort Wilderness Christmas Disney (30)
Christmas Fort Wilderness Disney (3)
Christmas Fort Wilderness Disney (4)
Christmas Fort Wilderness Disney (5)
Christmas Fort Wilderness Disney (6)
Fort Wilderness Christmas Disney (31)
Fort Wilderness Christmas Disney (33)
Fort Wilderness Christmas Disney (34)
Fort Wilderness Christmas Disney (35)
Fort Wilderness Christmas Disney (36)
Fort Wilderness Christmas Disney (38)
Fort Wilderness Christmas Disney (39)
Fort Wilderness Christmas Disney (40)
Fort Wilderness Christmas Disney (41)
Fort Wilderness Christmas Disney (2)
Fort Wilderness Christmas Disney (3)
Fort Wilderness Christmas Disney (4)
Fort Wilderness Christmas Disney (5)
Fort Wilderness Christmas Disney (7)
Fort Wilderness Christmas Disney (9)
Fort Wilderness Christmas Disney (10)
Fort Wilderness Christmas Disney (11)
Fort Wilderness Christmas Disney (13)
Fort Wilderness Christmas Disney (15)
Fort Wilderness Christmas Disney (16)
Of all the amazing Christmas displays all over Disney World, the ones at Fort Wilderness are my very favorite. Here is our humble little contribution to the celebration!

Fort Wilderness Disney Christmas tent
Happy New Year from a bunch of Happy Campers :) !

Bucket List Bonus! See the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue!

Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue (6)
Pioneer Hall!

Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue (14)
Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue (27)
Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue (39)
All-you-can-eat fried chicken, ribs, mashed potatoes, corn bread, baked beans, corn, and salad… brought to you by the bucketful!

Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue (37)
Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue (38)
Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue (69)
Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue (71)
(Okay, this is a little embarrassing… the fried chicken smelled so good that I took a bite before grabbing my picture. Whoops!)

Did I mention the Strawberry Shortcake?

Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue (81)
Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue (83)
Or the all-you-can-drink soda, beer, and sangria (for those of age, of course)? (Read that again. Then again. Yep. It’s true.)

Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue (51)
Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue (53)
Amazing musicians and hilarious actors in a “Wild West”, vaudeville-style show!

Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue (65)
Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue (78)
Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue (75)
More fun than you can shake a stick at!

Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue (64)
Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue (84)
Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue (61)
It’s the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Campgrounds! And once you go, you’ll understand why families return year after year on their Disney vacations. This dinner show (one of the longest-running in the U.S. at 40 years and counting) is a quintessential Disney experience… great entertainment, yummy food (in buckets!), and oodles of fun and laughter with family and friends. I can’t believe we waited so long to do this, and I have a feeling it’s going to become one of our traditions, too.

Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue (45)
You can learn more about pricing, seating options, and how to make your Advanced Dining Reservation here.

92: Watch “Wishes” from the Polynesian Resort Beach

There is nothing quite like standing on Main Street U.S.A. facing Cinderella Castle, capping off a wonderful day at the Magic Kingdom by watching Wishes, the nighttime firework spectacular!

Magic Kingdom Wishes Fireworks (4)

Magic Kingdom Wishes Fireworks (6)
Magic Kingdom Wishes Fireworks (2)
But did you know there are a few other terrific places to view this beautiful show without even entering the Park?

I put the Polynesian Resort as my spot to watch on my Disney Bucket List. It has a perfect straight-on view of Cinderella Castle, and offers the closest view to what you see in the Magic Kingdom. (My picture here shows the Castle in the daytime—the view in the evening really is great, but my camera just couldn’t catch it!).

Polynesian Resort

Best of all, you get to relax on one of these babies!

Polynesian Resort Beach Chairs (1)

The Contemporary Resort also offers a fantastic view. You can find these AWESOME seats on the overlook jutting out of the fourth floor (the floor with the shops, Contempo Café, and Chef Mickey’s ). But take it from me, you’ve got to arrive EARLY to score these seats. I’d suggest grabbing a spot on the bench about an hour before showtime.

Contemporary Resort Wishes Fireworks (9)
It’s worth it—if you can get those first two seats, it’s like having your own front seat for Wishes :).

Contemporary Resort Wishes Fireworks (20)
Contemporary Resort Wishes Fireworks (42)

The magical music of Wishes is piped into all of these locations, but the Contemporary Resort gets my award for the best sound! This is also an interesting view because you can really get a feel for where these Fireworks are firing from, and how large a production Wishes truly is!

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort has a beautiful viewing area overlooking Bay Lake, and you can enjoy the lights around the Grand Floridian at the same time.

Grand Floridian (4)
Grand Floridian (7)

Grand Floridian (8)

You can also enjoy Wishes from the beach at Fort Wilderness Campgrounds (YAY, more beach chairs!). While you can’t see Cinderella Castle from here (and thereby miss a few of the lower fireworks), the beautiful reflection of the fireworks on Bay Lake gives this view its own special touch.

Fort Wilderness Wishes Fireworks

So relax, pull up a chair, and enjoy Wishes from a new point of view!

54: Meet the Walt Disney World Horses

You may have seen them on Main Street, U.S.A., pulling an old-fashioned street car or maybe even Cinderella’s coach during an evening parade.

SWW 006
They are the Walt Disney World Horses, and I was so excited to visit them at their home… the stables of Tri-Circle-D Ranch at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Campgrounds!

Disney World Horses Tri Circle D Ranch (1)
Disney World Horses Tri Circle D Ranch Stables(117)
From the Walt Disney World website:

“Stroll through the stables to see Cinderella’s Ponies and the majestic horses of Main Street, U.S.A.. You can watch the blacksmith make horseshoes and affix them to horses’ hooves, and discover the Dragon Calliope—the horse-drawn musical instrument that Walt Disney purchased for the Mickey Mouse Club Circus Parade at Disneyland Park in the 1950s.

Animal lovers of all ages will delight in the variety of breeds that live at Tri-Circle-D Ranch, including Appaloosas, Arabians, Belgians, Clydesdales, paint horses, Percherons and quarter horses, plus Shetland ponies.”

Upon entering the stables you’ll see a small room to the right, dedicated to Walt Disney’s love of horses and a pictorial history of horses in Disneyland and Walt Disney World.

Disney World Horses Tri Circle D Ranch (41)
Disney World Horses Tri Circle D Ranch Walt Disney (50)
Disney World Horses Tri Circle D Ranch Walt Disney (142)
Disney World Horses Tri Circle D Ranch Walt Disney (141)
Disney World Horses Tri Circle D Ranch Walt Disney (145)
And if you caught that mention of the Calliope in the quote above… here ya go!

Disney World Horses Tri Circle D Ranch Calliope (73)
Disney World Horses Tri Circle D Ranch Calliope (72)
Disney World Horses Tri Circle D Ranch Calliope (71)
I’m happy to introduce you to a few of my new friends :)! You’ll find their names in the caption boxes for each picture. How did I learn their names? Well, since these horses are official Cast Members, they receive the iconic Cast Member name badge!

Cast Member Name Badge for Beau

Cast Member Name Badge for Beau!

JAKE

JAKE

JOHN

JOHN

BEAU

BEAU

RALPH

RALPH

SULLY (and Jake) :)

SULLY (and Jake!)

BLAZE

BLAZE

TOM

TOM

You can learn a bit about the horses from some facts included with their Name Badges.

Disney World Horses Tri Circle D Ranch (151)
Disney World Horses Tri Circle D Ranch (39)
Disney World Horses Tri Circle D Ranch John (164)
Just outside the main building, you’ll find the home for these pretty ponies who pull Cinderella’s coach in parades and Disney Weddings.

Disney World Horses Tri Circle D Ranch Cinderella Ponies (67)
Disney World Horses Tri Circle D Ranch Cinderella Ponies (105)
Like so many other things at Fort Wilderness, visiting the horses provides a very peaceful change of pace from the bustling Parks. Boat and bus service for Fort Wilderness is offered to and from the Magic Kingdom (bus service is available to and from Downtown Disney), and you do not need to be staying at the Campgrounds to visit this special place.

Tri Circle D Ranch
What other ways can you get to know these beautiful animals? (Pricing/height & age requirements for these experiences is available via the links below)

  • Ride a Horse-drawn Carriage! In addition to Fort Wilderness, you can also enjoy a picturesque ride along the Sassagoula River from Port Orleans – Riverside. (During the Holiday season, carriages at Fort Wilderness are converted to festive “Sleighs”!)Disney Horsedrawn Carriage Ride
  • See Fort Wilderness on horseback! Horseback Trail Rides at Fort Wilderness are welcoming to beginners.
  • “Pint-sized cowpokes” can enjoy Pony Rides at Fort Wilderness. (Cute saying borrowed directly from the Disney website ;) )Tri Circle D Ranch Pony Rides (106)
  • Wagon rides at Fort Wilderness are available for families as well as large groups.

Saddle up :)!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 90 other followers