Julie and Mike's camping trip report

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Julie and Mike's camping trip report

The participants were Mike, Julie, dd Remlee (16) dd Riley (13) and Rileys df Maggie (12). We got to Ft. Wilderness at check-in about 1:30. Long line of many HUGE big rig motor homes and 5th wheels, then there's us, in 2 cars, with a tent! The campgrounds is of course very nice, it's Disney. I couldn't wait to check out the bathrooms, I just knew they would be beautiful, in true Disney style, and they were. Super clean and modern, and the showers were HOT! This came in handy at 1 am, but I'll get to that!
So we start unloading and get the tent out to set up - it sets up real easy and is a good size w lots of room. Big problem though, no stakes. So I go to the Trading Post and by 10 stakes, made of gold since they cost $30. When I got back to the site, Mike said never mind, take them back, he had to drive all the way back home , the roof for the tent wasn't in the box either, and we couldn't buy one of them! So off he went, home to Tampa for the stakes and the roof! Oh well. The girls and I explored and finished setting up the roofless tent. When Mike got back we made dinner on the fire - chicken packets we made at home and packed. Its diced chicken, potatoes, veggies, butter and lots of different seasonings, wrapped in foil. Then we put them in the fire and they cook...so good! Banana boats (bananas cut down the middle w chocolate and marshmallows, wrapped in foil and cooked in the fire til the marshmallows melt...yummmmmmy!

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Vettelover's picture
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Julie I was just wondering, in the first photo, is that one of the cabins in the background or were you that close to the outpost stores?

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So we're all set up and fed and cleaned up, now to fulfill the plan to use the emh for MK from 12-3am. It was about 7 so we headed to MK. We split up and all did our fave things, starting in Tomorrowland - Space Mtn. Grand Prix racing (Remlee has her permit but was a horrible driver!) and People Mover. By now it was the 10:00 parade so Rem and I headed to Buzz Light Year and rode it twice with next to no line! Rem hit something big and her score was 370,000...badly beating me, I stink at that ride but love it anyway!
Ok now, it was cold, and getting late, and everyone was getting tired, so so much for emh, no way we'd make it to midnight, much less 3am! Good intentions but didn't happen!
Headed back to the campsite, did I mention it was getting cold? It was about 12:30, the girls dressed in layers and layers and climbed into the tent for bed. I went to the "comfort station" and enjoyed a very nice, HOT shower at 1 am! Of course it made me even colder in the tent with wet hair...but who has a blow dryer camping??? not me! Yes, it was cold, Mike kept saying "use another comforter" but even layers of clothes, sleeping bag and comforter, we slept but not comfortably. The worse was climbing out of the tent at 6am to walk to the bathroom...cold and not fun. Yep, climbed back into the sleeping bag but couldn't go back to sleep, and the sun was up with me now.
Eventually everyone got up and had breakfast - pop tarts and cereal. I drove the girls over to MK and they met some friends and hung out. Mike and I explored Ft Wilderness and figured out the bus system. It is not a car friendly resort, so there are buses that run continuously from area to area so you don't have to drive. And most people have golf carts to get from place to place. We took a bus to the settlement which is where Pioneer Hall is and the Hoop Dee Doo, Trails End restaurant, a tavern, and some other cool things. They have horse drawn carriage rides at night like PORS, and wagon rides, and the boat dock. We took a cold and windy boat ride from Ft. Wilderness to MK. It was so crowded, rides were not an option for us, there wasn't much with less than an hr line. We just wandered around and people watched and marveled at the crowds. It didn't bother us since we really had no agenda or plan and it was just the 2 of us. We tried to meet up w the girls but they were doing their thing. It was cold (did I mention that?) and windy and oh so crowded, so we just headed back to the campsite, another cold boat ride, thank goodness it was an inside boat. The girls were back at the campsite by now.
We took a break and as it got colder I talked Mike into going to Walmart to buy a heater! OMG, it was a Disney Walmart! Everyone there had Disney apparel (Mickey sweatshirts and jackets ). It was like a giant Disney giftshop, but it was a Walmart! They had so much Disney merchandise, I've never seen a Walmart like that! Anyway, we got the electric heater, now I could relax and know that I would be warm.
I forgot to mention earlier that we had taken a crock pot and roast and canned potatoes and carrots. Mike put the roast in in the morning then we added the potatoes and carrots to cook. Mike, Riley and I went to EPCOT while Remlee and Maggie stayed at the campsite and relaxed/read.
EPCOT seems to handle crowds the best in my opinion. The sun was still not out, it was a cold dreary windy day. We caught Off Kilter LOVE THEM! Been watching them for 12 yrs now and they are still great! It was dark by now, and colder, so we headed to Germany for a Hot mulled spice wine...YUM!!!! Timing was perfect for British Invasion in England, love them too! Then we headed back to the campsite to eat our yummy pot roast!

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Vettelover wrote:
Julie I was just wondering, in the first photo, is that one of the cabins in the background or were you that close to the outpost stores?

Yes, there was a row of cabins on the other side of the creek. The outpost was a little far, you had to take a bus or drive, or it was a long walk. The cabins looked very nice from the outside, and I'm sure they had heat/air unlike our tent! Maybe someday we'll try a cabin.

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Had to laugh at the heater. I was watching Extreme Campsites on The Travel Channel yesterday. They were showing people tent camping somewhere in Florida (can't remember where but it was near a beach) and these people had an air conditional set up in their tent.

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We went tent camping last summer, first week in June. It was still 90 at midnight...record breaking heat. We had a fan in the tent but it just blew the hot air around. We ended up sitting in the car off and on to cool down, it was extraordinarily record-breaking heat that did not cool down even at night. We planned on staying 2 nights but went home to ac after 1 night.

It was cold for me last week, but the actual temp was 50 at night, which is cold to sleep in even with sleeping bags and comforters. What got me was that it did not warm up like usual, Monday the high hit 57 during the day with no sun, which is unseasonalbly cool for here this time of year. It's in the 70s and sunny as usual now. I am cold below 80. I know I am a baby, but there is a reason (besides Disney) I live in Florida and will never leave.

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When we stayed in the cabins at Christmas time in '06, we had to turn on the heater for a few nights. We rented a party boat to watch the MK fireworks on my son's birthday. It was about 50 degrees (F) out on the water. We were bundled up in hoodies and blankets.

Keep the report coming, Julie.

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ok, so the pot roast in the crock pot was SO yummy, we ate about 7:30 in the cold and dark, but it was fun! Then we packed up and headed to HS for EMH from 9-12. One of the things we miss out on as a local pass holder is the emh since we never stay on property. So we got to HS around 9. We had to show our room key (KTTK?) to get in and to get on any rides. It was still very crowded which we didn't expect since MK was also still open til midnight so HS was not the only park open, but the only one w emh. We hit Star Tours with a 20 min wait, but all the other big rides - R&R, ToT, TSM, all had lines of more than an hour. We walked back to the Osbourne family lights to kill some time and hope the lines would go down a little since it was almost 11 by now. Usually it is so jam packed you can't even stop to take pics as you have to move with the crowd. This was really nice, not a whole lot of people at all, lots of room to walk, and we love finding all the hidden Mickeys in the lights. The dancing lights are awesome, I love the music and the atmosphere. We spent a while there enjoying the lights etc. and lack of crowd. We figured by now the lines would be down for the biggies, but NO, still at 11:15 the lines were all over 60 minutes! We were disappointed as we talked R&R up all day for Maggie, she was going to be brave and ride it for the first time! We were tired by now so we headed back to the campsite to the nice warm heated tent!
The rest is pretty uneventful, nice sleeping with the heat on, the place is so quiet and peaceful at night. We got up and of course the sun is shining and it's warming up nicely, as we have to leave! We planned on packing up and hitting a park before heading home, but we were all tired and ready to get home. We checked out about 10:00 and headed home to unpack and re pack for Thanksgiving at my parents in Ft. Myers.
We are not huge campers, we have a lot of stuff and like to go once in a while. This was a cool experience as it mixed camping with Disney which we all enjoyed. There was lots to do at the campground that we didn't really take advantage of. We expected the campground to be empty during the day with everyone at the parks, but no, there was lots of activity all day, lots of families with younger kids. I would like to stay in a cabin next time, but if we do that financially I might look into a value resort instead.
Camping is a lot of work and a lot of planning, and you all know I hate the cold, and raining is just as bad when everything gets all wet. I prefer a hotel but this was a fun experience and we did a lot of parks. The transportation worked great for us, but it's so close to MK it was just as easy to drive. I hate waiting for a bus/boat when I am tired and cold.
I guess that's it, it was a fun and busy 2 days, and it's warmer now, probably wouldn't need the heater!
Thanks for the comments and listening (reading) with me!
Time for bed, back to work tomorrow yuck

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I have not had a banana boat in YEARS

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I've never heard of banana boats but I'm so going to make one!
banana banana banana banana banana banana banana

Thanks for sharing your trip!

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How fun! If a little frosty laugh

We camped there all the time when I was a kid, but I haven't been able to stay there with my kids yet. I would love to camp there again. At least in my head I would. In reality I think the Wilderness Lodge might be as rustic as I get these days!

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yeah, I'd recommend the Wilderness Lodge over tent camping at Ft. Wilderness. Ft. Wilderness is an awesome resort/campgrounds and I am glad we went. We did have a good time, and I love the camp food once a year or so! Maybe it would be more comfortable in March or April? I am amazed at all the people who have childhood memories from Ft. Wilderness. Now my kids will too!

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I love the campground. My best memory as a kid was camping for two weeks at Ft. Wilderness during the July 4th holiday. There is so much to do! We stayed in a camper and it def. saved money not eating in the parks. This was before they introduced the DDP of course! Great trip report. At least you live close so you can go back pretty easily!

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Julie wrote:
I am amazed at all the people who have childhood memories from Ft. Wilderness.

laugh LoL... well, there were only 3 choices back then. Contemporary, Polynesian or Fort Wilderness!

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This is wonderful, Julie. Sounds like Ft. Wilderness is the way to camp!

Thank you for sharing!

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ok so I need to clarify some things. My dh LuvDuffy (who lurks but never posts) said my trip report was "whiny and inaccurate". The nerve! I told him if he does not agree, then he should do his OWN trip report! Anyway, yes I was whining, because I was cold the whole time! It was a rare FL day that just did not warm up. I apologize if I was whiny.
As for the inaccurate part, apparently I was the only one who was cold while sleeping the first night. Yes, the dds threw me under the bus and said that I was the only reason we had to go buy a heater, that I was whining...imagine. They certainly seemed happy to have a nice warm tent when it was in the 40s that night!
This all came about as we looked at our holiday schedule and dh discovered that we are off the whole first week of Jan. and, imagine, there are sites available at Fort Wilderness, and at a lower rate than we paid, which was off season and reasonable. So camping may be on the agenda again...ugh. The youngest dd is so excited and even promised not to be a brat again (her words). It's a big tent, but it may be just be dh and dd if it's cold! We decided to hold off on making reservations until a week or so out, to check the weather. January can be very cold here...and I am not sleeping in a tent, not even w a heater, if it's freezing! That's the week of the marathon, and one year Mike ran it and there was ice on the puddles. We had to pull out our PA hats gloves and scarves when we went to watch him. I'm not camping in THAT weather! So we shall see what the weather brings our way the beginning of Jan. waiting

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JULIE! I did not think you were whiny. I have camped in FT Wilderness too, though admittedly not in a tent (in that campground anyway), and the 50s qualify as cold in my book too. biggrin

I have also hung around with "grousy" teens...you were spot on. mickey

Can't wait to hear about Ft Wildernerness in January! Oh my. It was a shock to me during Thanksgiving week to find the 50s temps...I somehow thought Orlando never really got cold. I have been in the 80s over New Years in FLA before...but that was further south.

I enjoyed walking around Ft Wildnerness during my recent trip...folks really go all out on Christmas decorations now! I did a lot of walking through the campground, and walked the route from the front checkin to the boat launch for old time's sake. I kinda missed River Country....we used to ride our bikes to the park when camping at Ft. Wilderness.

Alas, I think I have become a deluxe resort kinda girl...getting a bit rotten in my older age.... mickey

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Julie what do they know. I give you props for even camping in the 40s. My idea of camping would be in WL and not at FW. Let dh and dd go themselves without benefit of a heater. HAHAHA!

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Nice report, Julie!

I like camping out and always think it is an adventure, but IMHO, you are brave to mix Disney with camping out!! I'd have a melt down if I tried to do both!!!

AND - Gotta echo Dee, here. . . I have become a deluxe Disney resort traveler as I've gotten older!!!

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Great trip report and I don't think you were whiny at all....Ask Mase...I don't camp very often and when we do it's during the summer where it gets down into the 60's at night and i'm complaining that it's cold...So i think your 40's and 50's were justified....The only thing I would of liked to see in your trip report were pics of the Disneyfied Walmart....I hate Walmart with a passion but if I could go to a Disney Walmart it might make it magical and tolerable

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Jess, now that I know where the Disneyfied Walmart is, we will make a special trip there and take pics. It was crazy, definitely geared to Disney tourists. Walmart is very sales-oriented, you won't find the same thing in all Walmarts, only if it sells well do they carry it.

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Julie wrote:
Jess, now that I know where the Disneyfied Walmart is, we will make a special trip there and take pics. It was crazy, definitely geared to Disney tourists. Walmart is very sales-oriented, you won't find the same thing in all Walmarts, only if it sells well do they carry it.

Well unfortunately the Walmarts around me only carry the merchandise that appeals to the "People of Walmart" LOL

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lol, I know what you mean! Our Walmart is new and pretty tame, but my mom's Walmart in Fort Myers is like another world, oh my, I think this is where the POW site started (I know, everyone thinks that). I refuse to go when we are down there, it's just nasty.
I have a good friend who is a cake decorator for Walmart, and she is fabulous. People drive from far away to her store to have her decorate their cakes. She will do anything you want, she is super creative and talented. She owned her own bakery years ago, she's older and just likes to work part time and decorate cakes. Her Walmart bakery always leads the state in sales because of her. She has lots of crazy POW stories. The things people do is unbelievable! She likes working there though, and I get the inside scoop on how Walmart operates. I'll have to ask her about the Disney Walmart!

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Dang it, Julie! I thought Donna and I had decided our next WDW Adventure was going to be at a value resort. Now...after reading your TR...we're thinking camping might be the way to go (maybe a night at a resort at the end). We are both avid campers and do it 3 or 4 times a year...but have never been Disney Camping. Oh, the decisions!

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I think this is the first camping report I have read and makes me think we need to try it sometime too.