Saturday, 31 December 2011

A Very Trailer Camp Christmas - Disney's Fort Wilderness

In Australia, the caravan park traditionally scored the best piece of holiday real estate. Usually absolute beach front, with a large grassy park adjacent and just a skip from the wharf where the freshest prawns were offered, to be eaten whilst dodging pelicans and seagulls.

Parks Beach, Coffs Harbour: I can smell the fish and chips of my childhood
But in more recent times when discussing holidays in my household, mention anything to do with caravans, campervans, Britzvans or motor homes and I usually get a response somewhat like Niles Crane:

Niles: "I'm sorry, Frasier. I am not a Winnebago person. Whenever I see one on the highway, I look into the driver's eyes, hoping to see something that would explain why in God's name they would ever want to do something like this. All I see is a death stare under the brim of a hat made out of Miller Lite cans."
And perhaps in my own dotage I am tending to view campervans in rather the same light as this chap (NSFW):

Yet, some people in this world are still enamoured with the dream of the open road and the freedom to call anywhere home ..... until they drive that behemeth to WDW.

Like snowbirds escaping the northern winter, Winnebagos flockulate in Central Florida around the prime territory that is Disney's Fort Wilderness  and there the Winnebago will be stationary for several months over the holiday season. Like all Disney resorts Fort Wilderness is kept in great condition and there are plenty of diversions for all the family. swimming pools, bikes, kayaks, playgrounds, campfires with toasty marshmellows and chipmonk singalongs, boats, horses, restaurants and shops all with that rustic, wooden, campground setting.

In many ways it is a half decent lifestyle: pleasant weather, happy friendly surrounds, plenty of entertainment to access  .....or even become the entertainment.

Over the holiday season (Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year) Disney decorates all the resorts in traditional decorations, but at Fort Wilderness Disney cannot compete with the motorhome occupants in decorating the camp. So being inventive they sell viewing "sleigh" rides instead!

This photo does not show the wheels
When I visited Fort Wilderness all the guests/residents were still transitioning out of Halloween and setting up for Christmas. So in order for you to see the full glory of an FW Christmas, I'll let you have a look at a couple of other websites with more thorough coverage.

First up, FW devotees run their own discussion board: Fort Fiends. Here you can see their own photos of their holiday displays.
Yes - that's a motor home - not a tour bus
And Jeff Lange has some beautiful shots on his website including 2 nice day and night videos of displays

Merry Inflatable Christmas!

If you are tempted to stay at Fort Wilderness but are not the proud owner of a Winnebago, you can stay in one of their "rustic" cabins. These standalone cabins can sleep up to 6, are self-contained - including a little BBQ and outdoor picnic table. gives all the details


  1. Thanks for the mention of

  2. Hi, I'm doodlebug and I'm a Fort Fiend. Thanks, it is pretty awesome to get international recognition !!

  3. Another Fort Fiend™ here! Love your article and thanks for mentioning our site. We've got an awesome, friendly and knowledgeable community of WDW, Fort Wilderness and general camping fans and always welcome new members!

  4. Also another Fort Fiend, great article and thanks for mentioning our site. If anyone one at all loves camping and or loves Disney come vist us.

  5. Ooohhh - Fort Fiends galore!
    I did my first visit to FW and was mightly impressed at how nice (and big) is the park. And the self-decorations are pretty mindblowing.
    If you can guess from my blog FW would be very different to what Australians are used to in a caravan/camping park - but hopefully I can convince some to go to WDW and perhaps even stay at Fort!

  6. Oh - and BTW - those large motorhomes seen in FW don't exist in Australia. Pretty awesome

  7. Another Fiend here - happy to find your blog - thanks for the nod!

  8. Another Fort Fiend™ here...

    Wonderful blog. Thanks for the mention!

    I'm glad that enjoyed your visit to the Fort! :)

  9. Hi there. I'm so glad you had a fantantic trip to Disney especially Ft Wilderness. It's a great place to vacation. Just wanted to let you know about a TERRIFIC forum called the Disboards ( There are alot of knowledgeable, friendly people who post on their site. Some of them have been around this Disney community for as long as 15 years. This site has probably 35-40 different forums so there is always a place for you to converse with other Disney Lovers about any topic. I believe their site is the largest on-line unofficial site for all things Disney; you can even book trips through Dreams Unlimited. The most important aspect of their site is that it is professional in every way.
    I have no affiliation with this company but I sure do love their site and like to spread the word about them.