Weather – The season with arguably the most pleasant and consistent weather in Florida, the days of unbearable heat are mostly over by December 21. So, too, are the daily downpours you can set a watch too. That doesn’t mean swimming at the Meadow pool is totally out of the question, but there may not be many days a cool dip is needed. Be sure to pack some warm clothes, even if the highs still push 80 as at night, especially near the waterfront, can be cool. Also, those late night boat rides can get very chilly so have a jacket handy. Not really a lot to report here. From start to finish, this is the season with the most comfortable weather.
Crowds – Technically, Winter doesn’t begin until December 21, which means it kicks off with the heaviest crowds of the entire 3 month period. From about December 15th or so crowds will be at their peak until shortly after New Year’s Day. If you are really desperate to camp for Christmas make a reservation as soon as possible. A year out is not too early, and may not be early enough. The Fort will be busy during Christmas so also reserve any activities as far in advance as you can. At this moment, on December 3, looking at reservations for Christmas 2017, all Premium sites are currently booked. Book early. I would also reserve any Trail’s End or Hoop-Dee-Doo meals as quickly as possible, just in case.
After the New Year, things will wind down a bit and availability will be a bit more prevalent, but remember, as with the late fall, winter is prime camping season in Florida. Like any other campground, the Fort will book up quickly with people who enjoy camping, not just Disney.
There are also races and holidays to contend with, such as Presidents Day and Martin Luther King Jr. Day that will make reservations hard to come by. In short, Winter is the busiest time at the Fort on a week to week basis. Book as early as you can.
Activities – Winter has a variety of activities, mostly surrounding Christmas. Halloween has probably overtaken it, but taking in the Christmas lights and decorations at campsites is a fantastic activity to enjoy by leisurely stroll or a nice golf cart ride. The food cart outside of Pioneer Hall will also be open, making it easy to enjoy a snack and a drink as you stroll around.
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party will still be going strong until New Year’s, though I won’t discuss it much here as it was discussed in the Fall blog, but I will reiterate that it adds an additional firework show to watch from Clementine Beach.
Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve and Day will bring special activities to the Meadow area, so be sure to check your Welcome packet as you check-in for times and exact events.
If you’ve ever considered taking a carriage ride, now may be the time to do so as sleigh rides are offered as a variation. There is nothing like a nice, relaxing evening spent taking a sleigh ride through the woods, followed by a stroll through the neighboring loops, enjoying Christmas decorations.
Things will go back to normal as the New Year progresses, however, January and February are excellent times to partake in everything the Fort has to offer. The weather will be cool, making it perfect for outdoor activities.
Well, that’s it. All four seasons broken down to their simplest form. As I said, Winter is my favorite. There is nothing like Walt Disney World at Christmas time, nor is there anything better for a camper than Fort Wilderness in cooler weather. The beauty of the Fort is the near limitless options of entertainment, and not having to worry about being drenched in sweat means you can do more things with much more enjoyment.