Disney World’s Fort Wilderness Campgrounds Review

Fort Wilderness Campgrounds at Disney Review

Christmas in Fort Wilderness Campgrounds at Disney World Christmas in Fort Wilderness Campgrounds at Disney World One of my favorite things to do is to go camping at Fort Wilderness at Disney World.  I have always loved to camp, however my dear husband has been dubious at best about it.

We have found the perfect happy place to make it work for all of us!  We can camp here and there are so many things to do, no one is ever bored!

Being there while the campgrounds were all decorated for Christmas was extra special.  It is so much fun just walk around the campsites and see how the campers decorate their sites.  This last visit we stayed in the 2000 loop.  At first I felt like it was too far from the pool, however we Christmas in Fort Wilderness Campgrounds at Disney Worlddiscovered that people had build little bridges across the canal and we could walk to the pool and the camp store in less than 5 min.  We had so much fun “trekking through the wild” to the store (where I could get coffee) and of course to the pool.

Make sure that you look over your schedule when you get there so you don’t miss any of the fun!

 

 

Pools
Fort Wilderness Campgrounds Pool at Disney World
There are two pools, one for adults (which truthfully, I have never been to) and one for everyone!  The pools are heated and there is almost always some sort of entertainment going on there.  There are crafts for the kids in the morning, and dance games, bingo and quiz games throughout the day.  Fort Wilderness Campgrounds Pool at Disney World Fort Wilderness Campgrounds Pool Craft at Disney WorldThe snack bar is pretty good and handy too. Fort Wilderness Campgrounds Pool at Disney World Fort Wilderness Campgrounds Pool at Disney WorldThis last trip was so cold, that we did not swim (well my hubby and daughter lasted about 10 minutes in the water).  However we spent a good bit of time hanging out by the pool, playing games and making crafts.

There is a fabulous kiddie pool as well as a splash slide for the little ones.  I love that the kiddie pool is shallow enough that the little ones can handle it without us parents getting too wet!

Of course there is the giant slide too!  We were lucky enough to arrive first in the morning on one of our trips.  The lifeguard asked my daughter if she would like to open the slide and gave her a train engineers hat and whistle.  She was so proud of herself, she got to announce loudly that the slide was open, blow her whistle and take the first slide down.  She still talks about it.  This is the magic of Disney, where something rather ordinary becomes something special that is never forgotten!

Don’t worry there is a hot tube too!

One of the things that I love the most about all the Disney Resorts and Fort Wilderness are the lifeguards.  As a former lifeguard myself, it is clear that they are all well trained and super alert.  They are professional and always have an ice pack at hand for the occasional bump or boo boo.  I know this because my daughter is adept at needing a ice pack!

WildlIfe
Wild Turkeys Fort Wilderness Campgrounds at Disney WorldIn our wanderings around the campgrounds we have seen loads of deer grazing, bunnies, all kinds of birds, a hawk, an oriole, and some turkeys.  Once a duck flew into the pool too, which the kids thought was hilarious.

 

 

Hidden Mickey in the bathroom Fort Wilderness Campgrounds  at Disney World
Hidden Mickey in the bathroom Fort Wilderness Campgrounds at Disney World

Facilities
Each camping loop has a couple of “Comfort Stations”.  The bathroom, the loo, the toilet, the privy, the throne…..you get the picture.  The bathrooms are always clean.  Seriously, I have camped here when the grounds were completely full and the bathrooms have never been gross!  Mind you I still wear my flip flops in the shower, but really they are pretty darn good.  All the showers have a disabled shower in them too, this is particularly handy for those of us with little girls, being able to pick up the shower head to rinse out little ones hair (especially long hair) makes things a lot less ratty (pun intended).

Smores Fort Wilderness Campgrounds at Disney World Our Camp Site Fort Wilderness Campgrounds at Disney World

Our Campsite Fort Wilderness Campgrounds at Disney WorldMost sites have water and electric, there are tent sites and also big rig sites. So it seems that they can accommodate just about any type of camper that comes their way.  I should not forget to mention that they have cabins for rent too.  We have never gone that route, but if a tent is a bit too much for you it is always an option.

Most of the sites are pretty secluded so there is some privacy.  Although, as a parent of an only child, I don’t mind that we can see all the kids playing in the center field of the loop.

Playgrounds
Fort Wilderness Campgrounds Playground at Disney World Fort Wilderness Campgrounds Playground at Disney WorldDisney did not forget that kids love playgrounds!  There are playgrounds tucked in here and there and everywhere and there always seems to be kids who want to play.  Which in our case is a very good thing! The playgrounds gave loads of shade and are almost always surrounded by picnic tables and benches.

 

 

 

 

 

Cinderella’s Horses
Tri Circle Farms Fort Wilderness Campgrounds at Disney WorldTri Circle Farms is housed on site near the beach and the Trails End Restaurant.  This is seriously cool!  The kids (as long as they are under 48 inches) can ride on one of Cinderella’s horses.  Yes, they are the very same horses that pull Cinderella’s Carriage.  This time my daughter got to ride Bandit.  As I was leading Bandit, I thought to myself How cool is this, I am leading one of Tri Circle Farms Fort Wilderness Campgrounds at Disney WorldCinderella’s horses. At that moment I looked back at my daughter and she was grinning ear to ear and she said “I am riding Cinderella’s horse!”  For $8.00, this is a memory that will be special for a long time!

Even if you are too big to ride, you can walk through the yard and visit with the horses.  Don’t forget to check out the barn and see the working Calliope, see the Clydesdale and learn a little about Walt’s love for horses!

Tri Circle Farms Fort Wilderness Campgrounds at Disney WorldYou can also take the family on a trail ride at Fort Wilderness, the horseback riding barn is at the front of the campgrounds near the reception.  I don’t know what the fees are, but I can’t wait to take my girl on ride soon.

Tri Circle Farms Fort Wilderness Campgrounds at Disney World

 

 

 

 

 

Campfire Sing Along, Bonfire and Movie
The campground hosts a Chip and Dale Sing Along and Bonfire that is included in your camping fees.  You can buy marshmallows and a stick (or just bring your own).  I prefer to do our smores at the campgrounds as it gets a bit much with tons of kids running around with sharp sticks and fiery marshmallows.

The Beach Fort Wilderness Campgrounds at Disney WorldFireworks and Electrical Water Pagent
Ask when you come into the campgrounds what time the fireworks and the Electric Boat Parade are.  You sit on the beach in the evening and watch the fireworks at Magic Kingdom. The kids love it and while maybe not quite as impressive at it is in the parks, it is still a great view and a great time!

Monorail and FerriesThe Beach Fort Wilderness Campgrounds at Disney World
Not going into the parks this trip?  No problem, you can still take a boat across to Magic Kingdom or the Wilderness Lodge.  From Magic Kingdom you can take the family on monorail ride.  The little ones love this and think it’s the best ever!

 

Christmas in Fort Wilderness Campgrounds at Disney WorldTrails End Restaurant
They do a sit down breakfast and dinner.  We prefere the breakfast, however it is a little expensive.  We don’t do it every time, but I love it.  The food is really good and of course they have my favorite, Mickey Waffles!

Trails End Breakfast Fort Wilderness Campgrounds at Disney World
Trails End Breakfast Fort Wilderness Campgrounds at Disney World

Did you forget the hamburgers or did it rain on your hotdogs?  Both of these have happened to us, the Trails End Restaurant is available to walk up order pizza or breakfast items, and i thought the prices were pretty reasonable.  They also have a bar with a walk up window which makes waiting on the beach for the fireworks a bit more fun for adults!

Camp store Fort Wilderness Campgrounds at Disney WorldThe Trading Post store (there are two on the campgrounds) should have most things you might need.  Everything from snacks to food, souvenirs and of course coffee!  I always come prepared to make coffee at my campsite, however you can never have enough coffee in my opinion.

Disney has not forgotten the extras.  Right outside the restaurant they keep a plastic horseshoe game and loads of hula hoops.  It was so much fun to sit on the patio there and watch all the kids playing in front of the Christmas Tree.

Bikes at Fort Wilderness Campgrounds at Disney World  Canoeing at Fort Wilderness Campgrounds at Disney World Canoeing at Fort Wilderness Campgrounds at Disney WorldCanoeing, Fishing, Archery, Wagon Rides, Boat Rentals, Fishing, Bike Rentals, Jogging Trails, Arcade, Walking Tours, Segway Tours, Bike Rentals, and Golf Cart Tours.
This last trip we took a canoe rental around the canals.  It was fun, and rather comical.  The young man who helped us get out the canoe indicated that we could not get lost, however that did not turn out to be the case.  Anyhow we made it back to the Bike Barn (where we started) and we had fun.  They have rental bikes for all sizes and even helmets too, so if you can’t get your bike to the campgrounds you are covered.  All of these things do have extra fees.  The Canoeing at Fort Wilderness Campgrounds at Disney Worldcanoeing was pretty reasonable, at around $6.50 for a half hour for all three of us including life jackets.

 

Grovelands Park in Winchmore Hill, London

Grovelands Park Winchmore Hill

Grovelands Park Winchmore HillWe headed out one chilly, wet Sunday morning to Grovelands Park.  While visiting the London area we always seek out parks.  I think parks (other than tea) are one of the things that the British do best!

Grovelands has the required cute cafe, with snacks, cold drinks and of course good coffee and tea!  The patio overlooks the kids playground and the lake.  It is a lovely place to enjoy a few quiet moments.  The patio also has a few plastic houses for the toddlers to play with while their parents catch their breath!

This park has two playgrounds, the one near the cafe is for younger kids and has all the Grovelands Park Winchmore Hillstandards plus it is wheelchair accessible.  The second playground is a natural climbing area for bigger kids.  I love this area, it is in the wooded area of the park and is a perfect place to practice those climbing skills.

We walked through the wooded area and climbed trees, crossed a dry creek bed, and enjoyed nature to the hilt!

Grovelands Park Winchmore HillThis park has a lovely wide path that parents and kids were busy running, biking and walking around the large lake.  There is huge field that seemed to be the best destination for dogs to run, kids to play ball and even picnics.  Don’t forget the outdoor workout station for the parents to use! Oh, I almost forgot there were kids fishing in the pond too!

We could easily spend an entire day here playing and picnicking and biking!

Click Here for the location and directions to Woodlands Grove Park.

Grovelands Park Winchmore Hill
Loved this sign, asking that you not feed birds bread, but cut up grapes and frozen peas instead.

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Trent County Park in London, UK

Trent Park

Trent ParkWe always have to visit Trent County Park whenever we are visiting London!  I love the country feel, the natural walkways and my daughter loves the playgrounds!  This park has over 400 acres of land.  We hike the area (at a very, very, very slow pace) in about an hour, and I love the views of rolling meadows, hay fields, small ponds, open fields for football (soccer) and large woodlands.

Younger Playground at Trent Park
There are 2 playgrounds, the one for kids under 8 is right by the Cafe.  I love this playground and it is clearly well thought out!  It is built with natural materials that blend into the wooded area around it.  It offers some great “ropes course” type challenges that are just right for younger kids.  It also has a climbing area perfect for toddlers and tiny tots.

Cafe at Trent Park
The younger playground is right next to the cafe!  This is one of the best things about parks in the UK!  You are almost always guaranteed a cup of tea at least!  The Cafe at Trent County Park did not let us down!  We got burgers and sandwiches that were fabulous!  The staff was great and there was even indoor seating that was very comfortable!

The older playground is much the same as the younger one, but much, much more 8 & up  Playground at Trent Parkchallenging!  Ropes courses, and high climbs built with wood and natural materials are aimed at kids 8 and up.

There is also a really neat ropes & zip line course on the property.  We didn’t get to try it because the minimum age is too old for my child yet.  It is called Go Ape and it looked really fun!  I can’t wait to try it on our next Trent Park Go Ape Entrancetrip when my daughter is old enough.  The views of Trent Park from the ground are stunning, so I can only imagine that from the tree tops they will be spectacular! I chatted with one Dad and his son who had just completed the course and he said that it was “challenging, but doable”.

According to signs in the area the park is part of Walk the Look Trent Parka Green Belt and you can hike 150 miles around London from this point.  .

Trent County Park is located near the Cockfusters & Oakwood Stations.  For more information and Directions Click Here.

Best Local Playground Boca Community Center Playground

Boca Community Center Playground

Boca Community Center PlaygroundBoca Community Center has a lovely shady playground with big, old mature tress.  It is usually not too busy, but it’s well kept and clean.  We love it!  It is right next to the Community Center (which we are coming to love too!) where residents can buy beach passes and take all kinds of classes.  My daughter took Yoga there, it was great fun! I love that this playground  is completely fenced in, this is so important for those with really little Littles.  The ground is mulch and soft rubber top, so no messy sand!  (That is always a plus).Boca Community Center Playground  It has plenty of seating, and the restrooms are not far away.  There are basketball courts behind for bigger kids too.

If you get tired on the playground you can walk next door and watch the kids on the skateboard park.  They are amazing, although I think they may be giving my girl idea about skating.  Skateboarding with no pads  looks pretty dangerous to me. The library is just around the corner as well as the Boca Children’s Museum.  So you shouldn’t run out of things to do nearby.   Anyway, Boca Community Center Playground is a great great little park for some shady fun!

Boca Community Center Playground Boca Community Center Playground Boca Community Center Playground

Best Playground Spanish River Sports Complex, Boca Raton

Spanish River Sports Complex in Boca Raton Boulevard
Spanish River Sports Complex Playground in Boca Raton
Spanish River Sports Complex and Playground in Boca Raton is beautiful!  We went out early last Sunday morning before the heat became too much.  This is a great little playground and my only complaint would be that there could be more shade if you ask me. There was a little shade around the benches.  No worries about your little runners at this playground, because it is completely fenced in!
Spanish River Sports Complex in Boca Raton
If you do have little runners then you need to hit the path.  I think the whole thing is over 2 miles, but we did just the portion around the lake.  Next time we are going to go to the other side in front of the library.There are picnic tables along the path so you can stop and have a break.
Spanish River Sports Complex in Boca Raton
The path goes under the road so you don’t have to cross Spanish River Boulevard.  It is great for biking, running, skating, or razoring. (Wait, is razoring a word?) Anyway, the point is, it is beautiful and fun!
Spanish River Sports Complex in Boca Raton
There are loads of picnic tables under a shelter with nice clean bathrooms and cold water fountains.  Yes, I said cold!
Spanish River Sports Complex
1000 NW Spanish River Boulevard
Boca Raton, FL 33431

Best Local Playground and Splash Pad at Patch Reef Park in Boca Raton

Playground at Patch Reef Park in Boca Raton

Playground at Patch Reef Park in Boca Raton

We headed up to Patch Reef Park Playground and Splash Pad in Boca Raton, on our last day off from school.  Wow!  That about sums it up! Oh and it is free.  That never hurts either! This park definitely deserves to be on our best list!

Pirates Cove Playground

The Pirate Ship
Let’s start with the playground, well play grounds really.  Pirates Cove Playground has several different sections that are sure to make the kids happy!  The giant climbing structure is a pirate ship. My daughter quickly made somPlayground at Patch Reef Park in Boca Ratone new friends and they played Jake and the Neverland Pirates.  It was really cute to see this whole group of kids singing the theme song as they played.

Splash Pad Playground at Patch Reef Park in Boca Raton
The Splash Pad
The pirate adventure is continued onto a splash pad with water spraying out of the fake palm trees and water cannons to spray at the “bad pirates” (because my daughter is always a good pirate, according to her).

 


The Electronic PlaygroundPlayground at Patch Reef Park in Boca Raton
If the kids get bored with these two areas (yeah, right) then there is the Electronic Playground.  Each piece of equipment is designed to challenge the kids strength, speed, climbing, and reflexes.  This section is very challenging and for slightly older kids in general.  I honestly didn’t really understand how the electronics worked, but the kids seemed to have a great time with them.

There are picnic tables and benches available, but they can not be reserved.  There is a fair amount of shade, in the summer it may be really a bit too much but in the winter it will be perfect!

Fitness Trail at Patch Reef Park in Boca RatonThe Fitness Trail

This is the nicest fitness trail I have ever seen!  We walked part of it, with me walking quickly and my daughter riding her razor. The equipment is brand new and you can scan the QR codes to see on your phone how to do each exercise.  I couldn’t figure out how long the fitness trail is, but I am guessing it is at least 2 miles.

All in all, this playground gets top marks!

2000 West Yamato Road (1/4 mile west of Military Trail)
Boca Raton, FL 33431

Princess Diana Memorial Playground at Kensington Gardens

Captain Hook's Ship Playground at Princess Diana Memorial Playground
Princess Diana Memorial Playground

This was probably my daughters favorite playground.  Please don’t make the mistake that we made and get there in the evening right before they close.  You and your child will want plenty of time to play here.  I have no way of knowing, but I can only image that Princess Diana would have been very proud to have her name to this absolute fantasy land of a playground that is free to all kids. There are many memorials to her name in London, but I can’t think of any that are more fitting and appropriate.

 Princess Diana Memorial Playground
Princess Diana Memorial Playground

The playground is in Kensington Gardens and if you are there in the summer you will see amazing flowers, gardens and of course roses on your walk through Kensington Gardens to the Playground.  The Playground has attendants available for first aid, bathrooms, is accessible to those with disabilities, and also a gate attendant.  One thing I really liked is that adults are not allowed in without a child, except for an hour in the morning before the Playground officially opens.

Lost Boys Cabins at  Princess Diana Memorial Playground
Princess Diana Memorial Playground

The Playground is really big and there are lots of beautiful oasis areas tucked away around the playground, so if you have very young children do not expect to be able to sit and let them run free while you drink your coffee, as you can’t see them everywhere they go.  The good news is, you will want to explore as much as they do so you can enjoy it right along with them.  There are plenty of benches and picnic tables available in each section as well.

Princess Diana Memorial Playground
Princess Diana Memorial Playground

The Playground itself has been developed with natural materials and lends itself to imaginative play in nature.  One section offers kids and their parents a chance to make music with chimes and different materials.  One area has a square metal pads laid into the ground and when you jump on them they sound beautiful chiming tones.  These are not sounds that parents are going to feel they want to get away from, but sounds that ring in the beauty of nature in the serene garden setting.

Teepee Play area at Princess Diana Memorial Playground
Princess Diana Memorial Playground

I find myself failing for words to describe this place.  I could have stayed there all day! Climbing structures, rocking boats, Teepees, carved animals, swings, a full sized pirate ship to climb in, green spaces to run and so much more all in a garden setting that lives up to the British ability to create gardens that will impress even those with the least interest in floral life.  I am sure this is what Never Never Land is really like. I found myself keeping an eye out the entire time in case Peter, Tink and the Lost Boys showed up.

Snack area at Princess Diana Memorial Playground
Princess Diana Memorial Playground

I also have to give a thumbs up to the British and their dedication to tea!  Many of the parks we visited had cafes open right on the playgrounds and this one is no exception.  Check out the pictures and video to get an idea.  I don’t think I can do it justice with words.

Princess Diana Memorial Playground
Princess Diana Memorial Playground

As far as I can tell the nearest Tube Station is Knightsbridge.  Opening times change throughout the year so be sure to check before you go.

We saw many wonderful places and had an amazing summer. We had the chance to see The Harry Potter Studio Tour ( we loved it) and The Princess Diana Memorial Playground which was the most amazing playground I have ever seen  We found the The Doctor’s Tardis and even visited Platform 9 3/4 at Kings Cross Station!  (Yes, we really did, you can read about it in my blog What Geek Families Must See in London!)  The Hedge Maze at Caple Manors Gardens and College in Enfield was one of our favorites!

Best local playground: Flamingo Gardens

Flamingo Gardens in Davie brings together a lush tropical
garden with a historic plantation and a wildlife sanctuary.  It is an easy drive of about 25 minutes from
Fort Lauderdale, and is well worth the trip.
The courtyard area is chock full of shopping things to do.  What is even better is that this area is
outside the actual park so it is free and could easily be a great morning trip
for families.
As guests enter the courtyard the eyes are drawn immediately
to the large aviary exhibits in the center.  Children and their parents will love to watch the Military Macaws, Cockatoos, and Blue and Gold Macaws play, some of them even talk a little.
The courtyard area has a great playground with mulch flooring a large climbing structure with a bridge and lots of slides.  This quiet playground is rarely busy allowing the kids to play while parents watch on from nearby benches.  The playground is fairly well shaded and located conveniently next to the restrooms.
When the children are good and tired from playing on the
playground head on over to the Tropical Marketplace snack bar for a cold drink,
a fruit smoothie or a hotdog.  There is lots of outdoor shaded seating next to the snack bar where guests can enjoy a fresh cold cup of  juice while listening to the
parrots.  Watch out though you may have to walk around one of the beautiful wild peacocks who like to hang out in the area.  Guests can also shop for gourmet
gifts and have fruit shipped to friends and family. The next shopping opportunity is the Garden Shop and Secret Garden, where guests can shop for fantastic garden items and browse through tropical plants that will perk up any South Florida back yard.
Flamingo Gardens is a great local destination inside and out
and is a must see Special Events and Exhibits for any family with kids.

Best local playground: Bayview Park

This hidden gem of a playground is located on Bayview Drive in Fort Lauderdale.  It is immaculate and
offers something for just about everyone.
The playground has several different partially shaded climbing and
sliding structures. Each structure is designed for different age levels and
abilities, there is one for toddlers and the others are for varying
abilities.  This playground is
particularly nice because it has rubber flooring which can give a nice cushion
to the inevitability of tumbling children.
The playground is partially fenced in along Bayview Drive and is blocked
only by bushes on the side street so children must be supervised carefully on
the parking lot side.
Bayview Park has one sheltered picnic area that is available
for parties; however it must be reserved well in advance and it is very popular.  There are additional picnic tables, benches,
basketball court, restrooms and tennis courts.
The park and playground are so well maintained that even the bathrooms
are clean.
The baseball fields are a fabulous place for kids to run off
some extra energy when they are not in use in use for organized games.   Parking can be difficult on peak hours like
weekends or when school is out.  All in
all this is a quiet, clean and beautiful park that is sure to be a favorite
place to get a little fresh air, exercise and sunshine.
Bayview Park
4401 Bayview Drive
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33308
Tel: 954-828-PARK
Hours: 8 am to 9 pm