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What is the difference between Fort Wilderness and Wilderness Lodge?

What is the difference between Fort Wilderness and Wilderness Lodge?

Even though these two Disney Resort Hotels have similar names they could not be more different. Unfortunately, people get the names or think they are one and the same. Let’s break down the differences and find out which resort is right for you.

Magic Kingdom Resorts and Transportation

Credit: Monica

Both of these resorts are Magic Kingdom area resorts. This means they are close proximity to Magic Kingdom. Many love this area because it puts them close to the magic!

Two modes of transportations are offered. You can travel by bus or boat. Sometimes the two resorts even share transportation. However, the bus is the primary transportation to getting to most of the Disney theme parks. When you venture to Magic Kingdom you can take a boat or bus.

The boat is a scenic ride that I like taking when I leave the park or if I visit later in the day. Fun fact: the boat goes over a road! There aren’t many other places where you can do that! Depending on the boat that arrives, you may not even have to fold up the stroller!

Pirate tip: If I am rope dropping Magic Kingdom then I prefer to take the bus. It is usually the faster than the boat.

Wilderness Lodge

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Credit: KtP writer Susan

At Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, the clock turns back to turn-of-the-century National Park northwest lodges. Here, guests soak in the craftsman details and the wilderness. Whether you take in the outdoors or enjoy the indoor amenities, there’s something for everyone at this resort.

Be sure to check out Susan’s complete guide to staying at this beautiful resort right HERE.

Fort Wilderness

Credit: Donna

Feel close to the magic by camping near the magic! Guests will take in the American frontier with all different types of wildlife including deer, rabbits, ducks and armadillos that will roam the resort. Can you believe that this resort takes up 750 acres? You can relax in the great outdoors with only being minutes from Magic Kingdom!

It is also important to note that Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground is also called Fort Wilderness or The Fort for short. Check out my complete resort guide to Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground HERE.

Booking Categories

Photo Credit: Heather

Even though these resorts have similar theming and can share transportation, there is one thing that really sets these two resorts apart. This would be the booking category.

Wilderness Lodge is a deluxe resort and is also home to two DVC resorts, Boulder Ridge and Copper Creek. With deluxe resorts you get benefits to the Extended Evening Hours.

Fort Wilderness Campground is in a category all of its own. The campground section is listed as just that a campground. There is another option at the campground, however, and that is the Cabins. The Fort Wilderness Cabins are listed as a moderate resort.


Credit: Monica

Wilderness Lodge offers several different styles of accommodations with basically three hotels in one. You can book a standard hotel room, a club level room, a DVC studio, DVC one bedroom, DVC two bedroom and even a DVC cabin! There are so many options for you to choose from.

When you head over to The Fort, you have five different types of campsites to choose from. Those include:

  • Tent or Pop-Up Campsite: Room for a pop-up camper or a camper van-type vehicle, and up to 2 tents. This will accommodate equipment on a concrete pad up to 10 feet by 25 feet.
  • Full Hook-Up Campsite: Room for an RV plus a tent. This will accommodate equipment on a concrete pad up to 10 feet by 50 feet. You will also have sewage hook-up.
  • Premium Campsite: Room for larger style RV. This will accommodate equipment on a concrete pad up to 18 feet by 60 feet. You will also have sewage hook-up.
  • Premium Meadow Campsite: Room for larger sty RV. This will accommodate equipment on a concrete pad up to 18 feet by 60 feet. You will have sewage hoop-up. This campsite is located with proximity to the Meadow Trading Post, Meadow Recreation area, Bike Barn and Campfire Area. The Meadows is located in the center of the campground.
  • Preferred Campsite: Room for an RV plus a small tent. This will accommodate equipment on a concrete pad up to 10 feet by 45 feet. You will have sewage hook-up. This campsite will be close to the Marina. The Marina is located at the back of the campground which is how you access a boat or bus to Magic Kingdom.
Photo Credit: Heather

A cabin is another way to experience the campground if you don’t want to rough it too much. Check out my review of the cabins HERE. Disney recently shared a new DVC proposal of these cabins being transformed into the newest DVC resort. Read about more about this HERE. With this DVC addition both resorts will have Disney Vacation Club accommodations.

At The Fort, you can have up to ten guests on one campsite and six adults plus one infant in a cabin! I love to stay at The Fort, but it can also be a great way to bring everyone along for a great price. Staying in your own camper, tent or cabin and preparing your own meals can also save some money!

Did you know that you could also rent a camper? You sure can! There are companies that will deliver and set up your camper for you. All you have to do is sit back and relax and enjoy the magic of Disney!


Credit: KtP writer Susan

There are two pools at each resort, and they are all great. However, I personally prefer the pools at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. They are bigger, and I just like them better.

Each resort has a feature pool and a quiet pool. My family always tends to favor the quiet pools as we are usually looking for a quiet place to cool down after the parks.

Photo Credit: Heather

If you are sticking to a resort day, both pools offer great activities for the family at the feature pools! Both resort’s feature pools have splash pad/water play areas for the little ones and fun water slides for the bigger kids or kids at heart.

It is also important to note that even though these resorts have similar names they are not the same, and you cannot use the other resorts amenities. For example, if you are staying at Fort Wilderness you cannot pool hop over to Wilderness Lodge and use their pool.

People sometimes get this confused because the quiet pool at The Fort is called the “Wilderness Pool.”


Credit: Susan

As much as these resorts have similar names and somewhat similar theming they are still very different. One is luxurious bringing you an upscale wilderness feel whereas the other brings you closer to nature and the outdoors.

It really depends on what you are looking for with your Disney vacation. It is very relaxing at the campground and a vacation all in itself, so you truly never have to leave.

With the addition of the DVC cabins they might be a little more comparable, but for now they continue to be in very different Disney booking categories. I hope this comparison cleared up any confusion on which resort is which, or which one will be right for your family’s next vacation!

Do you see people confuse these two resorts? Which resort do you prefer? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to share this post with a friend you would want to stay at one of these resorts with!

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