One of the most amazing creatures I have ever met? He was short and kind, somewhere in his late 70’s to early 80’s and someone to whom my husband and I refer to as our youngest daughter’s guardian angel. We were hiking in a park in Indiana and she was in my arms,on my right hip. We had climbed the trail to a look-out point and we stopped to look over the side. Our daughter,who was only a year old, decided to lunge forward and was out of my arms and over the side so suddenly. Then in a flash,she was back on my hip and in my arms. I was terrified,shocked,amazed, and thanking the Lord as I hugged her close. When I looked at my husband, I knew he had seen the whole scene because his face looked like how I felt. We stood for a few moments and talked to this amazing being. He mentioned our daughter,so we turned to loving look at her ,but when we looked back to him, he was gone. He had vanished! We like to tell this story ever so often and finish it off with this, so we pause, we smile, and say, there was no place to hide and the trail was long and clearly visible! So unless he jumped over the side, he was her angel and he had saved her life that day! He was dressed in dress pants, a sport coat and a fedora. My daughter just moved out last week, all of a sudden, because, she had a great opportunity to have her own place. But I do wonder? Why does he keep coming into my thoughts? Why do I keep seeing him in my mind? Why do I sense him? Her angel is close by me. So, I thank him, each time he is here. He is near right now to comfort her Momma and to protect our little girl. I love to hear stories of our loved ones escaping harm by angels or amazing heroic people! Have you saved someone’s life or been saved from certain harm? Please share! It warms our hearts and makes us thankful for each day with those we love.
Nestled peacefully on the south eastern banks of Bay Lake is the rustic Walt Disney World Fort Wilderness Campground. Originally opened on November 19, 1971, this relaxing paradise has endured for over forty years providing wonderful memories for families from generation to generation. My family was introduced to this incredible resort back in 1998, and have been blessed to have spent time and build fantastic memories of trips with our parents, children, friends and now grandchildren!!
The campground is laid out in a large “somewhat” circular design with paved “loops” that have campsites and cabins (see the attached Fort Wilderness Campground map from Walt Disney World) at various locations. The loops contain clean and spacious Comfort Stations with women’s and men’s bathrooms and showers, a laundry area and an ice vending machine. Campsites are available in three ranges from primitive to premium increasing in size and amenities based upon your needs. There are over eight hundred campsites and four hundred cabins. Some of the most incredible times spent have been touring the loops and viewing the decorations that campers, from both tent camping, to large motor homes, have set up to celebrate their time at Fort Wilderness. The most incredible displays are around Halloween and Christmas time!
There are three areas of development at the campground, the Outpost, the Meadows, and the Settlement. The Outpost includes check-in and registration, the horse riding barn, and the Walt Disney World bus stop for complimentary bus service for both inside the FWC resort and buses heading to the four Walt Disney World theme parks and other Disney resorts including Downtown Disney. The Meadows area can be found in the middle of the resort and includes the main themed pool with an excellent slide and a fun kiddie splash area, tennis courts, sand volleyball pit, playground, shuffleboard, bike and canoe rentals, and the Chip and Dale sing along and outdoor movie area. We have spent many days with all of our children and grandchildren enjoying all the activities in this area! The Meadows also includes a Trading Post which provides opportunities for purchasing foods, drinks, and various retail items with many things not found elsewhere (and yes of course with Disney branding).
We have always been drawn to the long trails, the winding canals,ALL the fun outdoor activities, and ease with which everyone could get to all the different Walt Disney World fun! There are so many opportunities to see wildlife, and experience special times together in ways you will never experience anywhere else. Some of my wife and my best conversations have been sitting in rocking chairs at the Trading Post and at Trail’s End watching our family play.
At the upper part of the Fort Wilderness Campground resort, located along Bay Lake, is the Settlement area. This area includes Pioneer Hall with the Hoop-De-Doo Musical dinner show and the Trails End buffet restaurant, horse carriage rides, a themed character backyard Bar-B-Que, a great playground, another Trading Post, and the Marina. Complimentary boat transportation is provided to and from Magic Kingdom and the other two Bay Lake resorts, the Fort Wilderness Lodge and the Contemporary Resort. Also found at the Settlement is what used to be the petting farm/ranch and is now a pony riding area with the main horse barn for the large Belgians and other breeds that pull the wagons at the Walt Disney World theme parks.
There is so much to see and do while you are at the resort, it is easy to forget that there are theme parks nearby. Utilize the boats, and trails to connect to the other resorts and leave your vehicle behind. If you have not been to the other Walt Disney World resorts, take the time to explore and experience the special foods and shopping. Each one is so uniquely themed.
If you are unfamiliar with the Fort Wilderness Campground Resort, take the time to check it out online. There is much information available to help determine costs and activities and of course, book your first visit! Online reservations can be made at www.disneyworld.disney.go.com or by calling 407-939-5277 to speak with a Walt Disney World reservations specialist.
An excellent resource to help with EVERYTHING is the wonderful people at www.FortFiends.net (we ourselves are FortFiends). If you are new to camping or have no equipment currently, check out how easy it is to use their website and forums to find rental equipment and helpful FWC recommendations.
We hope that soon you may come to discover this hidden Magic on the shores of Bay Lake. Have you any special memories of Fort Wilderness Campground Resort? Please share a magical time or favorite place or activity.
If you are looking for that special place to ring in the new year that has restaurants, entertainment, shopping, and lots of people watching, there is no better place than Downtown Disney for 2013! What is currently known as Downtown Disney, originally opened on March 22, 1975 as Lake Buena Vista Shopping Village. Through the years changes and renovations occurred with the opening of Downtown Disney’s West Side in 1997, and the closing of Pleasure Island in 2008. Construction renovations are in progress with a completion date of 2016 for what will be called Disney Springs. There are over forty restaurants, shops, and entertainment venues for all likes and tastes. One will find a special added feature for the New Years Eve celebration at various outdoor locations the addition of DJ dance parties and live music!
There are several area hotels and resorts, plus the opportunity to stay onsite at Walt Disney World at one of their fantastic resorts. This option provides you with the benefit of not only being in the most magical place on earth, but Walt Disney World transportation to and from Downtown Disney. Please note though that with the increased attendance at the New Year’s Eve celebration there will be longer wait times and heavier traffic. Whether you are looking to enjoys some of the unique and fabulous food and drinks, or just enjoy being outside for such an occasion, there is no place that will provide you with a more complete entertainment value. Reservations should be made as far in advance as possible as many places will see full occupancy. Consider your transportation needs carefully, especially if your plans include partaking in alcoholic beverages.
Activities are scheduled to commence around 8:00 pm and will wrap up at 1:00 am on New Year’s Day. Don’t hesitate to come early though, as there are always lots to do and enjoy when you are at Downtown Disney. Have you or your family enjoyed New Year’s Eve celebrations at Downtown Disney? Please share with us an experience or your favorite thing to do!
For many, the desire to enjoy a well deserved vacation at Walt Disneyworld is just beyond their reach due to costs. One area that Disneyworld has helped in the past few years is the policy change to allow outside food and drinks into their four Theme Parks. There is probably no area within a budget that is more difficult to control than that of food expense. Providing meals and drinks that will please everyone’s palate, and satisfy those cravings when and where they occur is just not easy. With some pre-trip planning and purchasing, anyone can keep those costs in line and still enjoy that special Disneyworld cuisine.
One way to begin the planning is to consider what your family enjoys most. Maybe everyone appreciates a good breakfast, or the idea of enjoying a Lighthouse sandwich at a Columbia Harbour House in Liberty Square, or everyone just loves those Dole whips found at Aloha Isle in Adventureland (both can only be found in Magic Kingdom, check the Disneyworld park map for directions). Whatever is special should be planned for and money set aside. For all those other meals, snack and drinks consider bringing into the theme park inexpensive and simple items that will satisfy everyone and still keep your costs down. There are several grocery stores in the surrounding area adjacent to Walt Disneyworld, with some open 24 hours, or within a walking distance to Downtown Disney, so pre-purchasing before your arrival is not required. There are limitations to the size of gear used to carry in those goodies, a bag no larger than 24″ x 15″ x 18″ is allowed, and you are not allowed to bring in glass bottles (with limited exception of baby food) and no alcoholic beverages. Take the time to visit www.disneyworld.disney.go for the specific policies and regulations.
With just a little planning and preparation, your family can enjoy some incredible food and drinks that Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Epcot, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios has to offer. Have you or your family any special ways to reduce your food costs while enjoying Walt Disneyworld? Please tell us your secrets and planning tips.