More Speakers on the Dock and Clementine Beach – This seems like an easy one, to me at least. Clementine Beach is a fantastic place to watch Wishes at night, I’ll be the first one to admit. If you get there early enough you can grab a lounge chair, lay down, and watch the night sky light up. Problem is, I never do it. I would love nothing more than to lay back, take a load off, and watch my favorite night time spectacular, but I always opt to stand up for the whole show near the boating office on the dock. The reason is that it is virtually the only location you can hear the Wishes soundtrack being piped in. Adding a few speakers, strategically placed as to maintain the theming, all along Clementine Beach would make for a much better experience, and probably relieve some of the congestion that happens on the dock by people with a similar mindset to my own. The music doesn’t have to blare from the speakers, which, of course, would cause an issue with the campsites in the 100 loop. With multiple speakers placed throughout the beach and dock it could be kept at a reasonable level so as not to disturb anyone not wanting to partake in the show.
Bathrooms Inside Trail’s End – Your dinner reservation is in twenty minutes, but it’s pouring down buckets upon buckets of rain outside of your camper. You decide the bountiful feast at Trail’s End is just too good to miss, so you grab an umbrella in one hand and child in the other and head out the door. Finally, you make it to the covered porch of Pioneer Hall. Wet and cold, you head inside where it’s nice and cozy. Your first plate of fried chicken, pulled pork, and ribs make you forget the monsoon you battled to get here. The monsoon that is still raging outside. It was all worth it you think as you sit down at your table, ready for that first bite. That’s when it happens. “Dad, I have to go to the bathroom.”
Oh yes, if you have kids, you’ve been there. Even if you don’t have kids, inevitably nature calls and, sadly, you will have to brave the elements once again because the closest bathroom to Trail’s End is outside, passed Hoop-Dee-Doo, near the Concierge desk. This is probably one of those things that is just wishful thinking, however, with the removal, or partial removal, of the small arcade in the back of Trail’s End there could be a little space to work with. Fingers—and legs—crossed.
Move The Speakers Along the Trail to the Waterfront – A lot of the reason I love Fort Wilderness, and Walt Disney World in general, is the immersiveness of it all. The attention to detail on even the smallest theming issue. One of my favorite areas to walk in Fort Wilderness is the tree canopied trail leading from the camping area to the waterfront. Part of the reason I enjoy it so much is the banjo music that is, ever so gently, piped in. It goes perfectly with the visual of the Spanish Moss covered trees, and rustic wood workings of the Trading Post and Pioneer Hall as they gradually come into view. One thing that Disney improved upon in this area recently was separating the walking area from the golf cart area. Before it was one path and everyone simply needed to share it which could cause significant backups and safety issues, especially late at night after the fireworks. Disney installed a new walking path beside the old one, which is now for carts only, and voila, problem solved. Sort of. The music that helps set the mood so well is still being piped in from speakers alongside what is now the path for carts only, opposite the new walking path. This means it is almost impossible to hear as golf carts go whizzing by. Again, it would need to be balanced as to not disturb the campers in the 100 loop, but if Disney could move the speakers to the opposite side of the cart path, nearest the walking path, the strumming banjo music could add to the ambiance of this area once again.
More Fort Wilderness Themed Merchandise in the Trading Post – Specifically a Fort Wilderness pint glass. Please, oh please. That was pretty much it, just the pint glass.
Better Wifi – This is an issue at any campground, and Fort Wilderness actually provides the best coverage of any that I’ve been to. But, if you can provide fairly consistent wifi coverage in an area as large as Magic Kingdom, why can’t you increase your coverage throughout the campground as well? Maybe add something in each loop to help with a signal. I understand that it’s camping, and most people are trying to get away from certain modern technologies and relax, however, when everything at Walt Disney World is streamlined to be available for booking or scheduling on My Disney Experience, then wifi coverage throughout Walt Disney World should be somewhat of a priority.
So there you have it. My wish list for Fort Wilderness. I’m sure you noticed a few things missing that you may have suspected might have made it to my list, or perhaps would have made it to yours. Transportation is usually a major issue with folks, but not so much for me. I don’t have an issue with the way things are spread out over the Fort. I don’t take the internal buses, so I can’t really speak to any issues there, and I love the boat service to the other hotels and to Magic Kingdom. If I had to nitpick, or hope for one improvement in this regard, it would be some type of shade or shelter at the end of the dock to provide some relief from the sun while waiting for a boat. That’s about it.
Another thing I’ve heard people clamoring for is a quick service restaurant/food court. Personally, I’m against it. There are so many dining options already at Fort Wilderness, with 3 table service options for dinner, to-go dining for breakfast and dinner, and limited quick service locations at the Meadow Pool and Sing-a-long. Not to mention the Contemporary and Wilderness Lodge are only short boat rides away and both offer quick service dining. Also, Fort Wilderness is a campground. Aside from Vacation Club offerings, it is one of the few places on property that allows you the option of bringing and preparing your own food. Now, if they wanted to add a few snack or drink carts in places throughout the campground I’d be fine with that, but a dedicated, sprawling quick service location, or food court like those found in an All-Star resort I think is unnecessary and a waste of space that could be better served by providing guests with other options. Like a Fort Wilderness pint glass store, for example.