Sometimes the best things in life ARE free!
We like to pack our own food, including a s’mores kit, drinks, buns and vegetarian hot dogs to roast on the fire.
The campfires are lit around 6:30pm in the winter and 7:30pm after the time change. On the hour, the sing-a-long begins. The energetic guitar players chooses lots of children’s favorites. If you are celebrating a birthday during the month, you get to come to the stage for rousing rendition of Happy Birthday.
During the singing, Chip ‘n’ Dale come on stage to help out. Then, they go through the audience and interact with each guest. Those who know Chip ‘n’ Dale bring along their favorite–chocolate chip cookies–to hand to them when they come to visit. This provides the best, most intimate character interaction in all of Disney World!
Our Number One Daughter invited Brooke, her 17 year old second cousin who is mentally challenged. We packed hot dogs and s’more fixin’s, potato chips and drinks and made our way to the campfire. Doug and Amy, Booke’s parents, enjoyed roasting the food over the fire. Meanwhile, Brooke had the thrill of her life when Chip sat down beside her during the show. After the sing-a-long, the movie begins.
There is a different movie every night–on some evenings they show two movies. Usually the movie is preceded by a Chip ‘n’ Dale cartoon. You can search the internet for the movie schedule or call Disney and ask the person on the phone to look it up. Movies rang from the classic full length Disney cartoons to more modern PG movies such as “The Santa Clause” and “Beverly Hills Chihuahua”
Here’s how to get to the campfire show at Fort Wilderness:
1. Drive to the toll booth for the Magic Kingdome (stay to the far right)
2. Tell the attendant you are going to Fort Wildnerness (you won’t get charged the exorbitant parking fee)
3. Past the toll booth, take an immediate right
4. Go past the 1st entrance to Fort Wilderness (this is for guests checking in to the campground) then take a left at the second entrance (sign says “Pioneer Hall”)
5. Park your car and head to the bus stop, which will be to your left
6. Take the Orange or Yellow bus line to the Meadows Trading Post Stop–The campfire is just behind the trading post
There are benches, bleachers and plenty of room to lay out a blanket. There is a small stage designed to look like a chuck wagon and beside that a large, white movie screen. On either side are large metal cauldrons which contain the campfires. Behind the bleachers are an actual chuck wagon where you can purchase marshmallows, s’more kits and long sticks. Beyond that are nice, clean rest rooms.
If you want to enjoy Chip ‘n’ Dale but aren’t interested in the movie, after they visit you can always head down to the docks near Pioneer Hall and watch the fireworks over the Magic Kingdom castle. That’s what Amy and I did while Mrs. LanceAround stayed and watched the movie with Doug, Brooke and Number One Daughter. At the docks they pipe in the music and Jiminy Cricket narration from Magic Kingdom for the firework show.
Another fun activity you can enjoy for free at Fort Wilderness is the Electric Water Pageant. This whimsical boat parade travels every night from the Grand Floridian and Polynesian resorts to the Contemporary Resort, Wilderness Lodge and Fort Wilderness Resort. It also performs in front of the Magic Kingdom when guests are departing. You can view it from the docks at Fort Wilderness. The time varies by season and the resort can let you know what time it begins.
The campfire program at Fort Wilderness provides a nice and inexpensive respite from the otherwise crowded and frenetic pace within the theme parks.
If you have young children, then we highly recommend it. If you don’t have young children…well…go to it anyway and feed your child within…
…At least that’s what I tell myself when Mrs. LanceAround and I go there on a cool autumn’s eve just to enjoy the movie!