View Full Version : We may just have a trip on our hands... Lots of questions!
03-05-2008, 03:59 PM
So... We had annual passes last year and went to WDW 4 times in the year span. It was really cool. I thought we wouldn't be back until next year, but it might be a little sooner after all.
DH and I were discussing last night the possibility of going to Fort Wilderness for a week in the Fall. With his job it's better to have him work through the summer when it's more busy- so when to take the week's paid vacation? And where to go? You guessed it!
We're in the early stages of planning, since we just came up with this brilliant idea last night, so I thought I would start to troubleshoot here. Hope some campers can help us out!
We have a tent. We've gone camping 3 times since being grown ups and doing it all ourselves (we went when we were kids numerous times) so we're not the most experienced campers but we do plan to camp a lot over the weekends that DH has off during the summer. One of our big fears is rain though. I know our tent is durable enough not to leak (at least that's what it said on the packaging when we bought it...) but we don't know what we would do if it rained and then we had to bring the tent home wet. We live in an apartment so we're at a loss as to where we would dry the tent so it wouldn't stay wet and grow mildew. I guess it's a silly fear but still... There must be some experienced campers who can chime in on what to do in that situation, right?
As to when the trip could take place... Currently we are looking at late October, but would November be a better choice? We're looking to just take in the resort and other non park stuff since we'll be heading back in 2009 with park tickets and want to really relax this time around. In 2006 we went on a spur of the moment trip in October and the weather was the best we have experienced in WDW so that's one of the reasons we were thinking of going then.
What do you think? Have I written a run on sentence of a novel yet? Thanks in advance for any advice you can offer! :cap:
03-05-2008, 04:17 PM
That sounds like fun!
I have some questions for you:
Are you driving or flying?
Do you plan to cook at the campsite, or will you still do all your meals in restaurants?
If you are not going into the parks, there is still plenty to do (including relaxing! :thumbsup:), so that's not a concern, DH and I have always wondered if we could ever do a non-park trip to the World. Haven't done it yet, but maybe some day. I think it would be fun.
I have tent camped with our Boy Scouts on 2 trips- both in hot and rainy June.
One thing you could do on your last morning (or whenever it is needed) is bring your tent (no poles ;)) to the laundry and dry it in the dryers for a short time. That should keep the mildew away. (Just check the label - some tents may not be able to go in a hot dryer)
But October/November are relatively dry months, so rain is not as much of a concern as June/July can be.
If you are planning to cook- you need a whole lot more gear for your trip. If you can do the restaurant thing, this will be an easier trip.
If you are driving, you will have a secure place to keep valuables locked up when you are away from the site. If not, think more carefully about what you bring. FW is a safe place, but you still have to be cautious.
With our scouts- we flew down. So we shipped large quantities of gear ahead that we could not take on the plane. (there were 35 of us on the first trip and close to 50 on this last one) It's easy to do and worth the cost (in my opinion)- especially now that the airlines are charging for extra bags and overweight bags.
Those are just a couple of things to consider.
Have fun planning. :mickey:
03-05-2008, 04:43 PM
I know the first couple of weeks of November can be very busy due to "Jersey weeks". We've been there several times the last week of October and the crowds have been mild, and the weather has been perfect. You will probably see lots of people from Great Britian that can increase the crowds a little, but they are very friendly and polite, and that is probably my favorite time of year to go. Enjoy. Mark
03-05-2008, 05:13 PM
Thanks so much for the quick responses!!!
We are driving down. Last September we were able to get all the way to Palm Coast FL in one day, and that was leaving a little later than anticipated, plus we stopped around 9PM so we are planning to make it all the way to the World in one driving day. Planning to stop just offsite that first night and then set up camp the next day.
We got a minivan yesterday so that's what sort of sparked this rush of enthusiasm for a new trip to plan. We can bring so much more stuff now! I'm really going to push to bring our bicycles, and DH has already talked about how we should practice cooking on our camper stove and over charcoal and what not, so I think we are going to eat most of our meals at the campsite. (Oh yeah, did I mention that neither one of us has ever cooked with or have any experience with charcoal? We always do the firepit thing while camping but I know that's not allowed at the Fort so we're going to practice with charcoal once it's warmer...) I know we are going to have dinner at 'Ohana one night and at least one lunch at Trail's End.
Oh, and in regards to the no park trip, I think we'll sneak in once for a Halloween party if we end up going in October. Especially since we could get in at 4PM and stay till midnight for the price of the hard ticket. Then we'll go to the parks again full swing in 2009. I am really looking forward to not having to stress over all the details of planned days and reservations. We would wait to book, but whenever we think, let's go this weekend, next month, whatever, the place is booked solid, so we're going to hopefully go ahead and book as soon as DH gets the ok from his work.
I never thought of putting the tent in a dryer. I'm not sure it would fit because it's huge, made so that it can be 3 rooms (we bought big so we wouldn't have to get another one when we have a family) but maybe it would! I'll have to ask DH to dig it out and look on the packaging to see if it says anything in regards to withstanding the heat. I knew I could count on some positive suggestions! Thanks so much!
So I've been writing a list all day of things to do other than in the parks and I've come up with 36 things, so I'm excited. Summers = lots of hard work for DH so I am so looking forward to a truly relaxing vacation. Not that nonstop park hopping isn't amazingly fun, it's just not exactly what we're looking to do this year.
Any others camped without the parks being the focus? Any other great suggestions for us to mull over for the next 7 months? Thanks!! :mickey:
03-05-2008, 06:16 PM
I know the first couple of weeks of November can be very busy due to "Jersey weeks".
Well, the parks definitely get very busy at the end of the first full week of November (Jersey Week). But that's the effect of Food & Wine, SuperSoap Weekend and the Jersey crowds- PLUS locals coming for those weekend events.
I can assure you that Jersey week will have little to NO impact on Fort Wilderness!
DH has already talked about how we should practice cooking on our camper stove and over charcoal and what not, so I think we are going to eat most of our meals at the campsite. (Oh yeah, did I mention that neither one of us has ever cooked with or have any experience with charcoal?
Good plan to start using your stove over the summer. :thumbsup: It's not that hard, but it does take some getting used to.
Same with grilling over charcoal.
I wouldn't plan anything too fancy- grill burgers and hot dogs maybe. Boil water for pasta and other quick meals, make eggs, pancakes, etc.
But practice first.
I know we are going to have dinner at 'Ohana one night and at least one lunch at Trail's End.
Trail's End is so good- and it's right there. I'll bet you have more than one meal there!
Don't forget the counter service places in the resorts too. If you don;t want to do big TS meals, you can still grab a sandwich and a Dole Whip at Captain Cook's at the Poly and watch Wishes from the beach!
I never thought of putting the tent in a dryer. I'm not sure it would fit because it's huge, made so that it can be 3 rooms (we bought big so we wouldn't have to get another one when we have a family) but maybe it would!
Now that you mention a huge 3 room tent, I doubt the dryer plan would work. Many of them have a plastic (waterproof) bottom and are not (dryer) heat resistant. You don't want to start a fire in the FW laundry room! :secret:
I am more used to smaller 2-4 man tents- backpacking types with nylon sides and bottoms. We use a separate ground cloth. Those tents can be in the dryer for a short period of time, but I highly doubt you can do that with yours.
Another idea is to go out to a park as soon as you get home and put it up for several hours on a sunny day.
You will only need this option if it pours on your last night. Otherwise, it will have dried out already from any other rain events during your stay.
So I've been writing a list all day of things to do other than in the parks and I've come up with 36 things
I am not surprised! There is much to do at WDW that does not involve being in the parks.
I do suggest getting your FW reservations in as quickly as possible. They do book up in the fall.
03-05-2008, 09:15 PM
There are many food options you could bring a crockpot and slow cook a meal while you relax there is DTD which has many options also there is alot of choices off property a short distance10 - 20 min from McDonalds to steak and seafood places
there is lots to do in the camp depending on what you like horse back riding,biking,fishing,boating,movies,and many more then there is always just kicking up your feet and relaxing
If you do forget anything there is always someone to help campers usually are very friendly and willing to help if you do need there is a Sam's club ,walmart and Camping world not far away
If you have more ?'s post them and we will do our best to help
remember to relax and enjoy the magic
03-06-2008, 11:02 AM
We have an all canvas tent and it does require being set up to dry if it comes home wet. In the days we lived in an apartment, we would bring it to a relative's house and set it in their yard until it was dry.
Do you have a friend or relative nearby that would allow you to do this?
03-06-2008, 04:17 PM
Thanks so much everyone!! This advice is all golden and I am so greatful for your help. :mickey:
So in terms of weather for tent camping and the ability to go swimming, which would you suggest more than the other-- late October or mid to late November? I think we're leaning more towards October right now but I'm open to suggestion since we haven't spent all that much time in WDW in this time period. Of course October would be great because then we could go to a Halloween party (bonus!) but if we time it right maybe we could catch an early Christmas party in November? Last September was so completely hot and miserable I don't ever want to return at that time, so I just have to keep telling myself, even if they do announce free dining again, just say no... When we went in October in 2006 the weather was gorgeous but we were only there for 3 nights. We wanted to stay at Fort Wilderness but it was sold out so we stayed at Pop Century instead. Then since we bought APs we upgraded our Honeymoon from the Fort to Pop Century because we got such a great rate ($59 a night) so it's like deja-vous asking all these camping questions.... But we'll still be first timers there.
During our recent trips we've gone to Trail's End twice, the Hoop Dee Doo once, visited the petting farm, watched a movie at the campfire movie program, taken a boat from the Magic Kingdom there, driven there, looked around at the Meadows Trading Post area where the pool is and everything... just not actually stayed there yet. But we always talk about it.
We're hoping to book within the next week. I've read threads that say there's no more 1-800 number, is that still the case?
Oh, and I had to laugh about burning down the laundry room, no, that would not make a good impression on the nice folks at Disney! And yes, Captain Cook's being open 24 hours a day for Dole Whips, that is a huge selling point to DH because the Fort is so close to the Polynesian! We went there twice in September for that very reason! And setting up the tent in somebody's yard after the trip, I'm not sure if that would be an option or not, you know crazy HOA rules and all... But who knows? It's a great suggestion! Keep 'em coming! :thumbsup:
03-06-2008, 11:05 PM
We were just there in nov this past yearit was the middle of the month andthe weather was nice swiming shouldn't be a problem which ever date you choose pools are heated we saw people swiming one day in dec 06 when we were wearing pants and sweatshirts so water must be warm sure you will have fun which ever dates christmas parades are great if you go during that time never saw halloween one yet maybe this year we are going to try to book oct also goodluck and enjoy :mickey:
03-07-2008, 03:35 PM
This is just a general camping tip... Before we got the RV, we always used our tent. Since we like to camp frequently, we invested in a couple of big plastic containers to pack stuff in. We kept things like an air mattress, linens, towels, the tent, tent poles and extra stakes, mallett, screws (you never know...), and anything else that you might possibly need that would travel everytime with you. Then, we just stored in the closet at home and were ready to go each time. Just a tip that worked out for me and DH, plus my parents did the same trick:mickey:
03-07-2008, 06:48 PM
We tent camp quite a bit and up here summer storms bring a lot of rain. Here are some rain pointers:
- Buy a couple of plastic tarps to cover your tent for extra protection in case of a rain forecast.
- Put your chairs and other gear under a canopy, back in the tent or under a tarp when you're not using them. This way if it rains while you're away from the site, they stay dry.
- Move gear, clothes, etc away from the edges of the tent and store unused stuff in rubbermaid containers or heavy-duty garbage bags. This way if your tent does leak, you're not left with wet clothes, etc.
03-07-2008, 10:47 PM
Rubber maid containers would be great idea and the tarps very good also just remember some ropes or bungee cords to try to put it over your tent to make a rain flyjust remember to angle it so water can run off perferably the direction you want probably toward the back of the tent depending on the ground so it runs away from your stuff good luck and have fun
03-08-2008, 12:11 PM
Thanks for all the tips!! They're really going to come in handy, not just for Fort Wilderness, but over the summer as well as we plan to spend lots of weekends camping! I'm glad we're going to get in a lot of practice close to home before heading all the way to Florida just to learn we don't know how to cook over charcoal or something equally silly (or true) like that. The rubbermaid bins sound like a good idea for easy packing, as we'd be so much less likely to forget something if it's already packed all together.
Keep the ideas coming, one can never be too prepared! :mickey:
03-08-2008, 12:35 PM
Is there many good spots in Maryland
We mostly camp in Pa or south NJ we have also been to NY,CT,Va,Nc and a few places in Fla
We are looking to try going west a little also maybe mid west or north central US hope you have good luck with your trip we started out tenting then bought a travel trailer then about 2 years ago traded in on a new TT we love it and try to go as much as we can hope your trips are fun and you get all your gear figured out our first trip we usually forget something
good luck :mickey:
03-10-2008, 08:26 PM
Well, just to update, we took the plunge and booked the trip today. We would have hated to have waited too long while thinking about it and missed out on the site, so we did it! And boy are we thrilled with the price! The CM on the phone was shocked how cheap we were able to stay. We'll be there for 5 nights/6 days towards the end of October and we used our AAA discount and the total was $189! What a steal. With the savings from AAA on the site we saved the equivalent of one of our Halloween party tickets. Life is good. Just wanted to share. :mickey:
03-12-2008, 10:18 AM
Congratulations! I'm sure you will love FW. Another suggestion for an activity outside the parks is the miniature golf at Fantasia Gardens and Summer/Winterplace. FW also has hammocks on the beach. You can spend some relaxing time there as well. Have a great time!:):):)
03-22-2008, 10:35 PM
Sounds soooo relaxing...to just kick back and not have to worry about which park to go into each day. The idea to go into the park for the Halloween Party and leave late sounds like a great idea. The rest of the time can just be relaxing....
Have I mentioned it sounds relaxing??? Am I sounding just a bit jealous????
03-22-2008, 11:36 PM
Sounds great, I hope you have a wonderful trip. You have many great tips in the above posts, but I would add that might want to take a fan. While it might be fall, the temps can still be on the warm side. Have you thought about getting a cart? If so, you might want to call the bike barn now to reserve one. Hope you have a great trip:thumbsup:
04-03-2008, 07:41 PM
One of our big fears is rain though. I know our tent is durable enough not to leak (at least that's what it said on the packaging when we bought it...) but we don't know what we would do if it rained and then we had to bring the tent home wet. We live in an apartment so we're at a loss as to where we would dry the tent so it wouldn't stay wet and grow mildew. I guess it's a silly fear but still... There must be some experienced campers who can chime in on what to do in that situation, right?
Hi there...whenever we take down our tent after it has rained ..we just let the tent down.. take out the poles.. then dry it with a towel as we are rolling it back up into the shape that we can never get back into the tent bag.:blush:
04-14-2008, 05:52 PM
Thanks for the additional tips everybody! DH and I have decided to use our one day tickets we have left over from last September to go to the Magic Kingdom for one full regular day instead of going to the Halloween Party. We already have the tickets and then we get a full regular day, including more daylight. So now which day... We're getting close to ADR time, we're so excited. Thanks for helping me plan!! :mickey:
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