RENDEZVOUS AT THE FORT - The Fort Wilderness DISMeet Trip Report October 2020

FtW Mike

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 4, 2016
Tiggerdad pulled out of the fort while we hooked up the car, but we got ahead of them. They passed us going north on 75 just as we pulled into the rest stop. Maddison’s bike is very notable. There was an accident on 75 just north of Ocala. Did not slow us down much. I was not fast enough to get the camera but it was a mail truck that dropped its mail.

mallory had some big fun these two weeks. She does not usually sleep while driving but here you go.

View attachment 532804
Of course she is sleeping. Don't you understand how exhausting it is to be the center of every ones attention This is the first time she has to herself all week
 
  • Stratman50th

    Loving all things Fort Wilderness!
    Joined
    Nov 17, 2019
    @bama_ed ,
    Did you get the Sleepy Hollow pin at the TCD? My wife wants to pick one up for our daughter. None in the trading posts and the CMs didn't think you could get pins at the barn. Asking the expert who actually got one.
     

    bama_ed

    It's kind of fun to do the impossible-Walt Disney
    Joined
    Sep 23, 2004
    Those of you who have gone recently, is there anyway you could answer a few questions about the refillable mugs: Is it worth it to get the refillable mugs right now at Ft. Wilderness? Where can we get refills with all of the changes, and what are the hours? D you think it is likely that the Christmas mugs will be available by November 11th? Can I get refillable coffee and/or hot cocoa anywhere at the Fort? We loved having our mugs on our last trip!
    I went and asked some questions at P&J's Southern Takeout this afternoon where the mugs are sold, OP. Here is what I learned.

    The mugs are sold at P&J's for $21.99 each.

    P&J's has sodas, water, coffee, tea, cocoa

    Meadow Trading Post has coffee, tea, and water.

    Meadow Pool Food Service has soda and water.

    (not sure if I missed a coffee here, a tea there).

    Hours are whenever these locations are open and serving (varies based on time of year).

    No knowledge of when Christmas mugs will arrive if any.

    IMPORTANT: When I say those place "have" soda/tea/coffee water, etc. what that means is:

    In these covid times the self-service soda/water dispensers aren't working. You have to ask the CM for a cup of the beverage you want and they will bring you a disposable cup for you to pour the contents into your mug. They will NOT fill your mug for you.

    Is it worth it? Not in my opinion. Even before covid, my answer would be the same. You don't mention if you are staying at the Fort in a cabin, tent, rv/trailer. You don't say if you'll have a fridge or portable cooler for drinks. Or how many days you might be there to use a mug. $22 per person will pay for a lot of beer, soda, and bottled water at the Winn Dixie just off property. And it's not real convenient to get refills unless you're in the area of those three locations anyway.

    That's my opinion: it's worth what you paid for it.

    Bama Ed
     
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    bama_ed

    It's kind of fun to do the impossible-Walt Disney
    Joined
    Sep 23, 2004
    @bama_ed ,
    Did you get the Sleepy Hollow pin at the TCD? My wife wants to pick one up for our daughter. None in the trading posts and the CMs didn't think you could get pins at the barn. Asking the expert who actually got one.
    Yes at the TCD barn. I bought it at the Pony Ride counter and it was $15.99 plus tax IIRC.

    When you walk in the barn they have a folding sign board at the hallway intersection that says the Sleepy Hollow event (normally held at the TCD barn at night as a Halloween $$$ event) is not being held this year due to covid but they have the pins for sale and "see a Cast Member to buy a pin".

    Hours of the barn is 10am-3pm to the public. It's a short walk from your loop.

    Go get DW one, Stratman50th!

    Ed

    PS - the Sleepy Hollow event the last few years has been the showing of the Disney Classic short movie "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" and features a photo opportunity with the Headless Horseman seated on a real live horse (from the barn). They offer a swag bag of various varietie$. Never been but some DISsers have been. Folks come from other resorts and it seemed pretty popular.
     
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    Sjm9911

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 11, 2019
    @bama_ed ,
    Did you get the Sleepy Hollow pin at the TCD? My wife wants to pick one up for our daughter. None in the trading posts and the CMs didn't think you could get pins at the barn. Asking the expert who actually got one.
    I know , that was one of the main reasons i went for halloween last year, and it was cancled for the construction. So, 2 years and no headless horseman, movie, pin, sad.......
     
  • bama_ed

    It's kind of fun to do the impossible-Walt Disney
    Joined
    Sep 23, 2004
    Well Atlanta blows. There was a car on fire

    View attachment 532854

    through the city a mess. Taking 285 around on the West side construction will add 25 minutes but still faster than 75 😩
    You're scaring me into not going through Atlanta tomorrow and going my alternate route through Dothan (and I could wave to @SwimSwamSwum as I drive around the circle highway there).

    Eeeesh. Atlanta is just a crap shoot when it comes to traffic any time these days.

    Ed
     

    himandher818

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Dec 7, 2017
    This was great trip and I'm glad I got got meet everyone. I am sad it's over, but one trip must end for the next trip to begin.

    .... and himandher818 pulled out this morning a little after 11am I think it was.
    Actually it was 10:58 when we rolled off the site.:p :)
    We have made into GA and stopped at Eagle's Roost at 2:40 for the night It's a nice place, but the pad we got is a bit thin.
    20201017_162657[1].jpg
    There is even less room on the other side.:crazy: At least they are pull thru sites, and I didn't have to back in to a site this thin.

    Last night we picked up some chicken and ribs from P&J for diner tonight. It's good even when reheated.
    20201017_154941[1].jpg

    No...I didn't reheat the slaw.

    Well Atlanta blows. There was a car on fire
    Wow. You guys made some good time. Oh, and just curious, where was the daily ladder in the road?


    When looping I got this pick one night. Sorry that it's blurry, but maybe it'll still help us find our way.
    20201014_214028[1].jpg

    Note the River Country and MGM and Downtown Disney signs, and Animal Kingdom is not there.
     
  • bama_ed

    It's kind of fun to do the impossible-Walt Disney
    Joined
    Sep 23, 2004
    Saturday afternoon update:

    All our Saturday departures are gone by now of course. New folks have taken the sites and of course it doesn't feel the same. :sad1: But let's press on.

    I went for a bike ride up to the front and stopped at the service road just past the Outpost bus depot. There is a little mound on the side of that road that 10-15 years ago folks used to roll their golf carts carried in a pickup bed off onto the grass especially if they had short ramps. Disney got wise to it and prevented folks by putting a pole fence around it at one time. But the fence is gone and it is again available if needed.



    There are other spots around the Fort to do that but this mound was a primary one because you had to drive past the service road anyway.

    At the Overflow gate the sidewalk on the left side was extended into the Golden Oaks/4 Seasons home community.



    I rolled over there and stopped to take a photo.



    Oddly enough, there are "No Trespassing Signs" for sidewalk traffic IN BOTH DIRECTIONS. Now I'm not the brightest bulb in the bunch but the sidewalk goes to an antenna or probe of some sort which is fenced. Why is the sidewalk even there from the Fort then? Why not just access it from the Golden Oaks entrance road?

    People often ask about getting a golf cart rental from Disney at the Fort. Where, when, return where, when. You get the cart from behind the Fort check-in building and in non-covid times there is a CM under the shade umbrella at the podium shown there. Carts are generally available by 1pm and possibly earlier if not so busy.



    In these current covid times, however, the podium has a sign directing you to get your key from the lobby.



    Carts are due back by 11am on the return day. You drive back to the Check-in area from the loops and follow the signs.





    The Key Box is posted in the landscape island about 20 feet away.



    Let's keep rolling.

    Ed
     

    DisneyDoesMyHair

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 26, 2016
    I went and asked some questions at P&J's Southern Takeout this afternoon where the mugs are sold, OP. Here is what I learned.

    The mugs are sold at P&J's for $21.99 each.

    P&J's has sodas, water, coffee, tea, cocoa

    Meadow Trading Post has coffee, tea, and water.

    Meadow Pool Food Service has soda and water.

    (not sure if I missed a coffee here, a tea there).

    Hours are whenever these locations are open and serving (varies based on time of year).

    No knowledge of when Christmas mugs will arrive if any.

    IMPORTANT: When I say those place "have" soda/tea/coffee water, etc. what that means is:

    In these covid times the self-service soda/water dispensers aren't working. You have to ask the CM for a cup of the beverage you want and they will bring you a disposable cup for you to pour the contents into your mug. They will NOT fill your mug for you.

    Is it worth it? Not in my opinion. Even before covid, my answer would be the same. You don't mention if you are staying at the Fort in a cabin, tent, rv/trailer. You don't say if you'll have a fridge or portable cooler for drinks. Or how many days you might be there to use a mug. $22 per person will pay for a lot of beer, soda, and bottled water at the Winn Dixie just off property. And it's not real convenient to get refills unless you're in the area of those three locations anyway.

    That's my opinion: it's worth what you paid for it.

    Bama Ed
    Thank you Bama Ed! Very detailed response, and much appreciated! We are staying in the cabins. On our last trip, we did a split stay at AKL, FW, and WL, and we were also on the dining plan. So, we had a lot more opportunity to use our mugs, and the purchase made more sense to us at that time. I don't think I like the new setup where it is no longer self-serve, and that I would be generating trash for no reason (the disposable cup the CM hands me) just to refill my mug. I guess we will pass this year. I think we will spend our $22/pp on our favorite coffee, beer and soda for the cabin fridge and maybe a mickey bar or two.
    I have been following along in this thread, and I have to say we would love to be a part of one of the future DIS Meets at the Fort. This resort was my family's favorite from our last trip, and I'm pretty sure it will be for years to come. We even considered buying an RV after our last visit! We caught the camping bug in a major way. You all seem like such a great group of people, and your responses have been so helpful in planning our trips. We received our magic bands today, so it won't be long now and we will back at the Fort! Thanks again!
     

    bama_ed

    It's kind of fun to do the impossible-Walt Disney
    Joined
    Sep 23, 2004
    All six check-in lanes were open this afternoon for new arrivals besides going into the lobby.



    The Security Guard Entrance was busy and the guard asked me what I was doing there. "Leaving, sir" I said.



    Another look at the check-in lanes and lobby building from the Security Shack.



    I stopped at one of the Full sides in 1700 as I was biking back to see the new gravel around the concrete pads that had replaced the coquina.



    Since I'm on a Premium (wide concrete) pad currently, I hadn't seen the new gravel. It looked good and is probably a change for the better.

    I passed the iconic Chip & Dale sign.



    Why not do a price check on some Meadow TP prices?

    First, a frozen 10# bag of ice with tax is $2.75 (pay inside, get outside from the coolers on the 900 side just like at any local convenience store). Not too bad.

    My DW likes a 20oz Coke from time to time. It's about twice what I normally pay.



    The beer prices are keeping up with inflation. Your basic building block domestic is here for 6-pack.



    Oh when I was down at P&J's I took a picture of the table spacing available to eat your P&J's food.



    There are also two picnic tables on the side porch.

    Lastly this afternoon, new folks started arriving and setting up in "our" sites. A Mississippi State fan (front truck license plate and t-shirt confirm) tried to back into tigger92662's site that he left this morning which is directly across from me and took out Teamubr's pumpkin I had adopted and the my light post.



    The lady of the truck was apologetic (I shrugged - I'm going home tomorrow) and called the Front Desk and fessed up and two repairman came within 15 minutes and reassembled everything. Yes it was my site's light post but I didn't do it.

    Then I started taking things down and packing up. Will post a current photo in a few minutes.

    Such a nice afternoon - low humidity, moderate temps for Florida, breezy, and the sun will be down in about an hour.

    Ed

    PS - gonna watch the Bama-Georgia game tonight under the stars. :happytv:
     
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    bama_ed

    It's kind of fun to do the impossible-Walt Disney
    Joined
    Sep 23, 2004
    Thank you Bama Ed!

    I have been following along in this thread, and I have to say we would love to be a part of one of the future DIS Meets at the Fort. This resort was my family's favorite from our last trip, and I'm pretty sure it will be for years to come. We even considered buying an RV after our last visit! We caught the camping bug in a major way. You all seem like such a great group of people, and your responses have been so helpful in planning our trips. We received our magic bands today, so it won't be long now and we will back at the Fort! Thanks again!
    Ha! I don't know that there will be future DISMeets at the Fort (unless it's coincidence that some of us are here at the same time). This was a one-and-done for me. I am now the "Retired Imperial Fort Wilderness DISMeet Chairman Emeritus". Unless someone else wants to organize another one.

    As we've mentioned in this thread, to reiterate, we are planning a DISMeet to camp together in the Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg area in early June 2021. Our poster @tiggerdad has been elevated to DISMeet Chairman and is already getting info together and the exact date range. Watch the Community Camping Board for his updates.

    Good luck with your stay in general coming up.

    Ed
     
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    bama_ed

    It's kind of fun to do the impossible-Walt Disney
    Joined
    Sep 23, 2004
    Yesterday late afternoon looked like a lot of campers arriving for their turn ... Hope for more reports & pics !
    DL1WDW2,

    One of our DIS members talked to a Fort Cast Member who said there were 170 sites checking out today (Saturday) and 230 checking in the same day (Saturday). And that the Fort this week was running 50-60% capacity on weekdays (felt a little higher honestly maybe +10%) and nearly 98% on the weekends.

    Lots of folks like to wait to leave as late as possible on their departure day and from 11am to 1130 the line running up past the Hook/Unhook turnouts up to the Outpost is solid and moves slowly (stop sign up there to allow Outpost buses to depart).

    Carts are looping at night especially on the weekends quite a bit looking for the decorations.

    Bama Ed
     

    garneska

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 4, 2003
    We got into our parking spot at 5:45. Managed one huge load in the wagon up to the condo. Still unpacking and need to checkout the bathroom in more detail. We got takeout for dinner and stopped to get the mail. I got a package. Check it out.

    837EF120-7F46-478F-8950-64A685F43DAB.jpeg

    DD7C5A08-9A51-48B1-BE93-DC91F6DFE47F.jpeg

    Now on to more unpacking. Mallory has been fed. She is not happy that she is not with her people.

    CBC25A9D-2605-44AC-9906-A572C5EF0DC6.jpeg
     

    bama_ed

    It's kind of fun to do the impossible-Walt Disney
    Joined
    Sep 23, 2004
    I am winding down tonight on my last night. DW has already turned in and left me to watch college football in the dark on my outside tv.

    Everthing that I could pack up today I did pack up today to make for an early getaway tomorrow morning.
    We got into our parking spot at 5:45. Managed one huge load in the wagon up to the condo. Still unpacking and need to checkout the bathroom in more detail. We got takeout for dinner and stopped to get the mail. I got a package. Check it out.

    View attachment 532899

    View attachment 532900

    Now on to more unpacking. Mallory has been fed. She is not happy that she is not with her people.

    View attachment 532898
    Congrats on being a Boston qualifier Kris. It's too bad this year's race didn't happen. Nice swag though. :rolleyes:

    As one of Mal's peeps, I miss her too.

    Sleep well tonight. 💤

    Ed
     

    bama_ed

    It's kind of fun to do the impossible-Walt Disney
    Joined
    Sep 23, 2004
    One more post ....

    I've packed up everything I can this afternoon in order to be an early departure tomorrow morning. This is what my site looked like this afternoon.



    I will watch a little college football tonight and then this DISMeet will be done for me in the morning (and over for good when @Bishoparc turns out the lights).

    As a final word, I'd like to say a huge thank you to the Disney Cast Member Aurelia who worked the 1100 loop during our stay: prepping sites, moving the recyclables, and always being friendly with us.



    She was always interested in our morning puzzle sessions and although she said she likes to work Sudoku, she liked that we were always working on Disney puzzles. She is one of those people that made our visit special with a kind word, a follow-up from a previous day's conversation, and being a generally good person.

    Aurelia is one of the reasons why the Fort is a special resort at WDW that I don't think the other resorts can match.

    Bama Ed

    PS - when PaHunter's big yellow truck backed in and unhitched on his arrival morning, Aurelia was in the loop working and hustled over next to it while Chris was in the back doing set-up and went and posed next to the truck. She handed me her phone and asked me to take a picture of her next to it. Chris' big yellow truck is not your usual tow vehicle so she wanted to memorialize the moment because she was THERE when that big rig arrived. I will miss her personality.
     
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    Sjm9911

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 11, 2019
    Thanks to all that posted so i could follow along at home. Made me felt like i tagged along for the trip even though i couldn't go. And , hats off to bama ed. Geat job with the hosting dutys and congrats on your sudo retirement. Tiggerdad will carry the torch well.
     







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