Friday, 4 January 2013

Silent Night .... not

By some bizarre curiosity it is the end of the year and I am once again driven to write about camping. When I was sub 10 yrs old, my family would have a 1 week annual holiday - usually at a small beach side town - the quintessential Aussie holiday.

As previously mentioned, the best real estate at Aussie beaches was usually occupied by the caravan park - so may be that's why during this holiday week I feel the deep primal urge to contemplate campgrounds. And once again I am drawn back to Disney's Fort Wilderness - where Christmas is very camp.

So from the Contemporary Resort I caught the little launch for 15 minutes across Bay Lake and headed up through the pine forest to the Trail's End Restaurant for dinner.

Motor launch and dock at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort
The beautiful, peaceful tranquility of  the short boat ride belied the trip that was before me. (Source:

This place is one of those rootin' tootin' ol' wild west themes, where you drink out of mason jars and eat off tin plates. It's all wooden beams and log walls and iron skillets - and pork ribs. Miles and miles of juicy, smokey, meaty, fall-off-the-bone tender BBQ pork ribs ...... mmmmm....

(oh there was some other stuff - chicken, baked potatoes, corn, salad, etc I wasn't really paying attention)

yep - you read correctly - fried corn kernels with BACON! Even the veges are meaty!

I said boy, I said boy, fetch me my rifle - we'z goin' huntin' (source:

Then it was out for a gentle wander among the cyprus and the pine to look at the bunnies and the bambis Fort Fiends' Christmas Creations!

Now you remember from last year's post how these guys LOVE halloween. Well - Christmas - what can I say? These guys REALLY love Christmas.

Some of the sites where subtle and graceful and made a gentle impression:
Another lived up to the time honored tradition of feeding the reindeer - under a sort of odd shrine to Santa.

I suspect some of the real deer had paid a visit at 4am
And then other sites looked like Santa's balls had exploded

This campground site competes with Clark Griswold!
As a youngster, at Christmas I loved driving around the neighbourhood and looking at the house decorations. Someone would have icicles lights on their gutters, maybe a lit tree in the front window. The occasional house would have reindeer lights on the roof.

Fort Fiends have reindeer lights up trees, lining driveways, across the lawn, draped off their trailers. These guys go all out!

To give you a better sense of the whole show here are a couple of videos - this first one finds me caught in a 'sleigh' ride / golf cart traffic jam.

I'm still gotta learn about editing but you get the picture.

In this video someone has bought every Disney play set available and built a model of the Magic Kingdom area, including the Grand Floridian, Polynesian, Contemporary, Wilderness Lodge resorts, Fort Wilderness, and Spaceship Earth.

Hang on! There's no ferris wheel at WDW.

Here is the one site that I felt was the most magnificent - yes - this is one site

I am sure they have camp ground curfews. Wouldn't you like to end up next to this chap?

I have to admit that wandering around the campground is kinda intoxicating - i wonder what it would be like to stay out among all the lights and blow ups and soundtrack music. Also, it is a testament to the large size of each site. Then I remember perks like concierge, valet parking and mousekeeping and think I'm too addicted to my creature comforts.

If you want to try the campground you can stay in the Disney onsite cabins or you can rent a camper from a vast selection of private companies who will deliver, with everything ready to go. As most hotel rooms max out at 4 people, these are great for larger families.  For June, make sure you get one with air conditioning!

So are you the camping type? Enjoy communing with the great outdoors and your fellow campers?

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