A Windy Day at Fort Wilderness

Sunday February 12th 2023

Today’s weather was dramatically different form yesterday. The sun was out this morning, but the temperature was in the low sixties. If never got near seventy all day. The temperature wasn’t the real issue. It was the wind. The wind speeds were very high all day. For a period of time this afternoon the Disney boats were all taken out of service. The only Disney transportation leaving the resort were the buses.

I spent the day at Fort Wilderness and the Wilderness Lodge. Many residents of the campground departed this morning. Several of the sites around me are still empty tonight. This seems to be a slow time at the Fort. I was able to make the reservation for this site last fall. Usually it is necessary to book closer to a year out. The fact that I could book this site and that there are others open tonight is even more remarkable when you consider that almost 100 sites in the campground are closed for maintenance. The 1400 loops and the 600 loop are all blocked off while new power and cable wires are run to each of the sites. The main Meadows pool is also closed for maintenance this month.

The people who camp at Fort Wilderness love to decorate their sites. For Halloween and Christmas just about every site is decorated. Some of the displays are very elaborate. Other holidays like St. Patrick Day and Independence Day get their share of decorating too, but I’m surprised to see a fair amount of decorating for Valentines Day. Blowup Mickey and Minnie Mouse figures exchanging hearts and flowers seem to be popular. I also spotted other slightly more generic Valentines displays.

After wandering around the campground checking out the sites, I stopped at the horse barn to visit the horses and ponies. All of the horses that pull various Disney wagons and carriages live in a barn. They can be seen pulling carriages around the campground or even in parades at the Magic Kingdom. There is also a small pony cart for the Shetland Ponies. Other ponies are used for kids rides in the corral behind the barn. Other horses, for adult trail rides, are at a different barn near the entrance to Fort Wilderness.

Calliope carriage on display at the horse barn.

After visiting the horses, I took the bus through the woods to the Wilderness Lodge. In the past, you could walk a mile long trail to the lodge, but the construction of a new resort on the shore of Bay Lake where River country used to reside put an end to the walk. The construction was in the site preparation phase when it was suspended at the start of the pandemic. A plan to resume construction has not been announced.

The Wilderness Lodge was very quiet in the middle of the afternoon. Everyone was probably off at one of the theme parks. There were a few people braving the temperature and wind to take a dip in the pool. Others were gathered at the bars watching the Super Bowl pregame activities.

This evening I bundled up and walked back to the beach on Bay Lake beyond the Settlement area. I tried to video the 8:15 showing of the Enchantment Fireworks from the Magic Kingdom. Unfortunately, the wind noise on the video completely drowned out the music and I didn’t have a long enough lens to capture them well. The fireworks were still enjoyable as usual.


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