Posted in Disney Budget, Disney with kids, Glamping, Kid Reviews, Travel Plans, WDW Resorts

2017 Trip Report: Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground with Meacham’s RV (Part One)

We are so excited to share our 2017 Walt Disney World trip report with you! This part of the trip report will include our first 4 days of travel including our stay at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort sponsored by Meacham’s RV.  Make sure to check out Part Two of our trip report to catch our reviews of the Animal Kingdom Lodge and a host of new restaurant reviews!

Day One

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Courtesy of Meacham’s RV

 

We kept this whole trip a surprise from our kids. It was really fun to do it this way, but rather difficult to hide all my packing and planning the weeks before! We gave the kids a little hint and told them a box would be arriving for them to open after school. Walt Disney World allows you to link all of your reservations to your Magic Bands and you can customize the color of your band. They send these to you about a month before your trip. I hid the box until our surprise reveal.

As soon as the kids came home from school we sat them down and told them to close their eyes. They were SO excited! They opened the box and saw the bands. Our 9 year old son  asked “we’re going to Disney World?”

“Yep!” I let it hang for a second. “Right…..NOW!” I yelled…likely more excited than my kids at that moment!

Their eyes got big and they began to squeal and run around the house (so did mom & dad)! We told them to get their backpacks and fill them with what they wanted in their beds at night and then we drove to the airport! It was SO fun to surprise them that way!

Because of the kids’ school schedule, we decided to take a late night flight. This has pros and cons. The flight was a bit cheaper, the airport wasn’t crowded either place, the kids slept through the whole flight, it was quiet and we arrived without issue. The downside is that mom and dad have trouble sleeping on the plane and are rather tired most of the following day. If you schedule your trip to have downtime on the first day then this is a good option especially when traveling with younger children who do better on flights when they’re asleep.

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Kid Review: Our 9 year old says that he does not like “having” to sleep on the plane. He would much rather fly during the day so he can look outside, people watch, and enjoy the thrill of flying above the clouds! 

 

Day Two

Fort Wilderness Resort

Because we flew red-eye, it was already “the next day” when we arrived in Orlando (which is 2 hours ahead of us). It was around 5:30 in the morning in Orlando. Again, pros and cons. The airport was NOT busy, we got right onto the Magical Express bus, and it took us directly to Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort. The bus ride from the airport to the resort was less than 30 minutes. The bus has soft, comfy chairs, and a Disney insider video plays while you’re traveling.

The cons of arriving this early is that you cannot check in to most Disney resorts before 4pm!  (Fort Wilderness allows you to check in to the campsites at 1pm).  We arrived before 7 am and nothing was open at that time. The buses begin running around 7 am and then you can easily get around the resort. We hopped the internal bus system to the restaurant for some breakfast.

There are 2 options for breakfast at Fort Wilderness. P & J’s Southern Takeout and Trail’s End Restaurant. P & J’s is just the carryout side of Trail’s End. Same food (see menu), same place, you just take it back to your campsite, eat at the picnic tables outside, or along the beach!

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Trail’s End Restaurant

 

 

After breakfast the kids played at the park, we visited the stables where Cinderella’s horses live, toured the resort and took a boat ride over to the Wilderness Lodge. On warm mornings, you can swim or take a nap on the hammocks by the beach while you wait for check in (make sure to have swim suits and a change of clothes handy in your carry on).

As the Passporter guidebook says: “much more than tents and hookups, Fort Wilderness is a resort in every sense of the word…enveloped by pine, cypress, and oak, this 700 acre campground is a relaxing haven after the noise and excitement of a long day at the parks.”

When you use Meacham’s RV to rent a camper, you must coordinate with them on check in. The Meacham family really does go above and beyond to make sure everything runs smoothly (check out our original post for more info)!  They had the camper, outside mat, camping chairs, and golf cart set up and ready for us in 45 minutes.

Camping at Fort Wilderness is such a fun adventure and Meacham’s RV takes care of everything for you! Check out all the amazing details they include in your camper rental. (Click HERE to view a complete list of everything included in your camper).

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Meacham’s RV Kid Review:

downloadOur 5 year old loved the bunkbeds, the “magic TV that turned into a mirror and went all the way around,”  the couches in the bunkbed section, and the fact that baby gates were included under the mattresses so she could sleep up high and not fall out of bed each night!

 

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Our 9 year old loved everything about the camper, especially the couches that turned into beds… but his favorite part of the whole trip was the golf cart!

 

 

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Meacham’s RV Camper 39

We had camper rental 39 and it was brand new at the time of publishing. As you can see, the camper is quite beautiful and fully stocked with everything we could possibly need during our trip! As our son said, the best part of the whole trip was adding the golf cart to our camping experience! We zipped around in that and toured the entire grounds of the resort. Our favorite thing was to drive up to the Bay Lake beach at night to watch the fireworks which you can see from the Magic Kingdom. Make sure to select Fort Wilderness® Adventure Option on Meacham’s RV website to add a golf cart to your package. Absolutely worth it and adds SO much fun to your trip! You can drive your golf cart right up close to Disney’s boat or bus transportation when you’re ready to head to the parks. This cuts down on lots of extra walking and I’m happy to report I did NOT get blisters this trip!

 

We pre-ordered groceries to have during our trip from Orlando Grocery Express. We selected our delivery date and time and the groceries were waiting for us at bell services before we checked in.  Everything came in perfect condition and we used the golf cart to go and retrieve them from bell services at the front of the resort. Settlement Trading Post and Meadow Trading Post are the gift shops onsite and they do have lots and lots of groceries. They are expensive, however. If you’re only staying for a few short days, getting your groceries there will be fine. But we recommend Orlando Grocery Express or going to a local supermarket for your groceries if staying for a whole week.

The outside kitchen included in our camper was awesome! We used it each morning and cooking outside kept the camper from smelling like bacon. What a delight to have breakfast out in the open air at Fort Wilderness in relative privacy! Each site is nestled in trees and bushes of all kinds, making you feel like you are on your own private resort. For that reason alone, we recommend trying out Disney’s Fort Wilderness resort. You won’t get this kind of privacy and extra space at any other resort on Disney property.

We ate lunch and dinner at our amazing camper. After dinner we drove our golf cart over to the Meadow Trading Post area where the nightly campfire and Chip N Dale Sing-a-long takes place! It is super fun! The Chuck Wagon is open every night and serves hot dogs, snacks and S’mores kits. The S’mores kits were actually a pretty good deal.  It was $9.99 for a bag of marshmallows, a package of graham crackers, 2 Hershey bars and 2 roasting sticks. We had plenty left over.

Chip and Dale come out to greet everyone individually and take pictures during the sing along. Afterwards, a Disney movie is shown on the big screen under the stars. Be sure and bring your mosquito repellant!! 

 

We slept really well in our camper! Meacham’s supplies fantastic bedding, pillows, and towels. The king size bed was very comfortable and Meacham’s let me know that they always swap out the original “camper mattress” for a more comfortable option in each camper.

The bathroom in the camper is a nice size compared to most campers and has its own shower. Because the comfort station was directly across from our camper, we did most of our showering there. The bathrooms at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort are immaculate, comfortable and almost spa-like with designer tile.

Day Three

 

We ate breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the camper. A crockpot is even included in the camper so we had fun planning ahead for our meals at the camper.

The kids were anxious to get into the pools at The Fort. But it was COLD! A cold front had come in over the weekend and it was chillier than we anticipated. But that didn’t stop our polar bears! The lifeguards told us that as long as the wind chill is 50 degrees, they open the pool. And exactly 50 degrees it was! The hot tub was quite comfortable but the kids really wanted to go down the water slide….so in they went. And they had a blast! We almost had the place to ourselves. The pool water is kept pretty warm so everyone had fun.

 

Saturday evening we drove our golf cart over to the boat dock and headed to the Magic Kingdom! The boat generally makes 1 stop before heading to the Magic Kingdom and it takes maybe 15 minutes to get there once the boat starts moving. It is a fun ride across Bay Lake and we enjoyed the boat transportation immensely!

Day Four

Our last meal at the camper was a yummy breakfast outside using the outdoor kitchen attached right to the side of the camper.  The outdoor kitchen included a fridge, griddle, a pull out gas burner, grilling utensils, and an outdoor sink. It really was SO cool! 20170129_064555

 

Check out time at Fort Wilderness is 11am so Meacham’s RV comes to collect their camper around 10am. We cleaned up and had everything ready to go for Andrew to come and shut things down. The Meacham’s are great people! We enjoyed meeting them and they are fantastic to work with. You will not be disappointed when you choose to rent your camper from Meacham’s RV! Check out their site and say Hi on their social media sites.

There are bus stops at the end of every “camping loop” and it is not a far walk to reach them no matter where your campsite is.  We took our luggage to the bus stop and headed back to the front to deposit our bags with bell services. The next leg of our journey was Animal Kingdom Lodge and it was no hassle at all for Bell Services to transfer our luggage over to our next resort.

Check out our little YouTube video for a short look inside camper 39.

Stay tuned for Part Two of our trip report….

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Glamping, Kid Reviews, Travel Plans, WDW Resorts

Meacham’s RV at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground

Our time at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground was nothing short of magical thanks to Meacham’s RV! In the coming weeks we’re writing ebooks, social media posts, and putting together videos and pictures to show you just how amazing our trip was. Of course, our kids have lots to say about it, too!

Meacham’s RV is a fantastic company to work with and their brand-new camper was beautiful inside and out. They did ALL of the work…we simply showed up and enjoyed our stay!

Here is just a sneak peek at all the fun posts and pics coming soon…

Posted in Disney with kids, Kid Reviews

Favorite Walt Disney World Things to Do for Preschoolers

20151105_010708If you’ve got preschoolers in the house, these are must-do events when traveling to Walt Disney World recommended by our resident 5 year old!

  1. Splash Mountain-“I love that it’s so fast and that there is a big splash at the end.”
  2. Buzz Light Year-“I like the superheroes and stuff.”
  3. “A cool thing to see is the water slide at the Yacht Club right before you go eat the Kitchen Sink at Beaches & Cream”.
  4. “I LOVE the dinner at Cinderella’s castle.”
  5. “I loved Beauty and the Beast Story time. I got to dress up in the play and Belle held my hand!”
  6. “The giant chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwiches at the Magic Kingdom are the best!”
  7. Fireworks in the Magic Kingdom: “Tinkerbell flying overhead starting the fireworks over Cinderella’s castle is awesome!”

A tip from Mom:

Preschoolers want nearly everything they see at Disney World! A great idea that totally worked immediately for our preschoolers was to  tell them we would take a picture of each souvenir they loved so we could look at them at the end of the week and decide which souvenir was their favorite. They had fun taking the pictures and then looking through them at the end of the week! We gave them a budget and allowed them to pick one or two of their favorites to take home within their budget!

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Post by Lady Love (age 5)
Posted in Disney with kids, giveaway, Kid Reviews, Travel Plans

Warmest WDW Welcome

cropped-img_0152.jpgWelcome!!

We are so excited that you are here! We are a Disney-loving family with a mission to help families with young children find affordable ways to plan their Walt Disney World Resort Vacation in Orlando, Florida!

When we write our articles we will refer to ourselves as:

download-2Disney Dad

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Magical Mom

vector-star-wars-character-chewbacca-vske1v-clipartChewieBomb (our 9 year old son)

downloadLady Love (our 5 year old daughter)

We’re so glad you found us! Stay tuned for regular new content as we share our thoughts and tips on all things Disney World! Please check out our eBook Little Known WDW Tips: For families with young children and our full size paperback planner for other insider information!

Posted in Kid Reviews, Reviews, WDW Dining

The Kitchen Sink

712860a9-c6e1-4206-8611-7fb49d121f25_zpsd9cevmz61This Dessert deserves a post of its very own! We’ve gone to Disney for over 30 years and this past year is the first time we had ever heard of–and tried–The Kitchen Sink!

You will only find this dessert at the Beaches and Cream Soda Shop at Disney’s Beach Club Resort close to the Boardwalk in the Epcot area.

We had a blast just getting to the Soda Shop! It is right behind Stormalong Bay at the Beach Club Resort. It was fun to see a resort we’ve never been to before. The theming is quite spectacular. Inside Beaches & Cream, the atmosphere is 50’s style and super duper small. It is hard to get an advance reservation here because this place is so popular but its necessary if you want a place to sit inside. Next time, we plan to get a Mini Mickey Sink Sundae to go and just sit outside by the water. But even getting it to go, the trip to the shop and the surrounding atmosphere is worth it to us to go back!

The Kitchen Sink Sundae is exactly like you’d imagine it to be….every topping imaginable and placed in a Giant Kitchen Sink replica bowl. There were 8 large scoops of ice cream in our sundae, a full can of whip cream, toppings galore (including snickers bars, brownies and pieces of cake!) and TON of cherries on top. It was a thing to behold! But trying to hold the kids back so I could take a quick non-blurry picture was futile, as you can see. They dug in with a vengeance. It was a magical experience for them and it was so memorable because we planned this as the first destination on our trip.

There is a fantastic review of this tiny Soda Shop along with great pictures of everything over on the Disney Food Blog. Make sure to check it out!

If your kids want in on the planning, here’s what our 9 year old has to say (it may be a bit graphic, sorry folks… but these are his honest-to-goodness thoughts):

Itvector-star-wars-character-chewbacca-vske1v-clipart was……………………AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But do not try to get to the bottom in a half an hour or else… HHUUUAAAARRRRRHHHHHHGGGGGGG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (that was me getting sick)… other than that enjoy. oh!! And one more thing: I can eat SO much I only need to share with 2 PEOPLE!!!!!!!! (Interruption by mom: Actually there were 4 of us eating and we didn’t get close to the bottom.)   I really liked the whole can of whipped cream and cake…. now dig in!

Sincerely Chewybomb.