Over the past month we’ve taken many laps biking around Disney’s Wilderness Lodge and Fort Wilderness Resort.
If you’re staying at or visiting either Wilderness Lodge or Ft. Wilderness, you are able to rent bikes on property ($18/day). Since we live so close and now have our own bikes (yay!), we load them up on the car and go explore for a hour or so.
We’ve started each ride from the Wilderness Lodge parking lot (but you can start from either) and we take one of two trails that connect between the lodge and the campground.
If you leave the parking lot and go toward the right (near the bus loop), you can take the paved trail all the way to the campground.
But, if you’re up for even more adventure, head toward the left of the parking lot (by the lake) and you will find the bike rental area and an unpaved trail.
This unpaved trail leads to one of my favorite spots on Disney property.
What a view!
The unpaved trail comes to a fork. Head towards the right where you will meet up with the paved trail.
If you see this sign…you’re going the wrong way…
Both of these paths are great and I forget I’m even on Disney property.
Well, that is until I see the Contemporary or Disney busses passing us 🙂
You enter the campground area going by Tri-Circle-D Farm and you can visit with the ponies, head towards the hall where Hoop Dee Doo Review is held, grab lunch at a quick service restaurant, view the lake or not stop at all and make a couple of laps around the campground.
Don’t worry about getting lost. It’s quite a big area, but we’ve always found our way back to Tri-Circle-D Farm area. While the campground can be kind of busy depending what time of year you visit, there is always plenty of room to bike.
If you have kids with you, there are a couple of playgrounds along the route that they can play on while you catch your breath!
Once you feel like you’ve had enough, you can take one of the two trails back to the lodge.
Oh and you never know what you’re gonna see! We’ve seen so many bunnies along the path and even a deer once!
Please be sure to stay hydrated when you’re biking around the resort. I’ve seen a water fountain at the trading post, but I’d almost bet that there would be some around the comfort stations as well.
The last souvenirs you’re going to want to take away from Disney World are bug bites, take some big spray with you!
So, go explore!
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If you are like me, and you are finding yourself at Walt Disney World over Thanksgiving and don’t have set plans yet, don’t fret. There are great dining options across property in both the parks and resorts. Some are even still available for dinner reservations at this point in time (11pm Wednesday, 11/14) (subject to change of course). Even if you don’t want to make a reservation for some of the restaurants for a Thanksgiving lunch or dinner, there are counter service locations that can still fill your craving for a traditional Thanksgiving meal.
Character Thanksgiving Meals
Some of the character meals across the parks and resorts are getting special treatment just for Thanksgiving. They offer holiday menus with many having traditional meals, with others focusing more on their own twist on the holiday fare. At the Contemporary Resort, Chef Mickey’s buffet is offering a Thanksgiving dinner. Across Bay Lake at Fort Wilderness, Mickey’s Backyard BBQ becomes Mickey’s Backyard Thanksgiving feast featuring turkey, ham, mashed potatoes and many of your favorites. In the parks, Tusker House, at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, is having Donald’s Dining Safari Thanksgiving Lunch and then a non-character Thanksgiving meal for dinner. Walt Disney World Swan’s Garden Grove is having a character buffet dinner as well.
Table Service Thanksgiving Meals
Many of the restaurants in the parks are also providing meal options for the holiday. In the Magic Kingdom, Liberty Tree Tavern has both family style lunch and dinners. Also, the Diamond Horseshoe is hosting a table service dinner. At Epcot, the Biergarten in Germany has both Thanksgiving lunch and dinner options. Hollywood Studios has their buffet open for lunch and dinner as well as the Fantasmic dinner package. And, as already mentioned, in the Animal Kingdom, Tusker House is offering their dinner buffet.
At the resorts is where you will find most of the special holiday menus being offered. Artist Point at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge has a special prix fixe menu. Cape May Cafe at the Beach Club has a dinner buffet and the Captain’s Grille at the Yacht Club is serving both lunch and dinner buffets. At the Grand Floridian, Citrico’s has a prix fixe dinner menu. Also with a prix fixe menu is Flying Fish Cafe at the Boardwalk. For some a la carte menu options you could try lunch or dinner at the Grand Floridian Cafe. Still at that resort for dinner you can have a Thanksgiving dinner at Narcoossee’s. Trail’s End at Fort Wilderness is having a lunch and dinner buffet. At the Polynesian you have lunch or dinner at Kona Cafe, Olivia’s at Old Key West is also serving both meals, as are Sanaa at Kidani Village, the Wave at the Contemporary and the Turf Club at Saratoga Springs. For more family style meals, check out either Whispering Canyon Cafe at the Wilderness Lodge for lunch or dinner, or dinner at the Yachtsman Steakhouse at the Yacht Club.
Are you staying at the Walt Disney World Swan or Dolphin? If so, don’t worry, they have great options too! Fresh Mediterranean Market at the Dolphin is having a lunch buffet. The Swan’s Il Mulino is serving Thanksgiving dinner a la carte as is the Dolphin’s Todd English’s bluezoo. Downtown Disney even has some options for you at the House of Blues for dinner and Planet Hollywood for both lunch and dinner.
Counter Service Thanksgiving Meals
So, what if you, like me, have waited til the last minute and maybe there aren’t reservations available for your party of five? Don’t worry, Disney has that covered too. In Epcot, Sunshine Seasons, one of my favorite counter service options already, is supposed to be offering a special holiday menu too. Don’t want to go to a park, there’s a resort that has your name written all over it. At Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort, the End Zone Food Court is even getting into the holiday meal spirit with a Thanksgiving dinner from noon until 10pm with turkey, mashed potatoes, candied yams, vegetables, cranberry sauce, rolls and your choice of either apple or pumpkin pie for only $10.99 for guests 10 and up and $5.99 for children 3 to 9 (prices, times and menu items subject to change without notice).
All in all, it looks like Walt Disney World has some pretty great options of many varieties of cuisine and location for just about any appetite. Many of these options are on the Disney Dining Plan and as I mentioned, a few are even still available at this time. If you find yourself at WDW over the holiday, have a Happy Thanksgiving and happy eating!Follow us for more updates:
Patriotic fireworks displays, a rock ‘n’ roll concert, traditional outdoor activities, or your favorite characters in Patriotic Costumes, there’s a way for any and everyone in the family to celebrate the Fourth of July at Walt Disney World.
I will apologize now for the utter and total lack of pictures!!! Last year was our first Fourth here, and we stuck close to Celebration for the Fourth of July!!! But this year we are going to fix that since there are soooo many ways to celebrate at Walt Disney World!!!
Magic Kingdom Park – Disney’s Celebrate America! – A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky. This special pyrotechnic show, taking the place of Wishes on both July 3rd AND 4th, will light up the sky above Cindarella’s Castle. These fireworks are AMAZING!!!!! Last year we chose to view them from a different perspective! We had an early dinner at Kona on July 3rd, and then headed out to the Polynesian Beach to enjoy them. It’s important to know that both the Polynesian and Contemporary Resorts strictly enforce entrance to guests staying there or with dining reservations! Also, if you are thinking of watching from the beach you may consider bringing your own beach towel or blanket since towels are strictly for resort guests!
Disney’s Hollywood Studios – What do you get when you mix traditional fireworks with the all-new Rockin’ 4th of July Celebration? A Fourth of July that is a cut above the rest! (Sorry for the bad landscaping pun…) Get your groove on at the Sorcerer Hat, aka BAH, with a DJ starting at 6 p.m. Then at 8:30 and 9:30 p.m. Mulch, Sweat & Shears take Guests on a musical road trip through America. Rock ‘n’ Roll hits from Memphis to Motor City will all lead up to a special fireworks presentation at 9:45 p.m. I am always a fan of Morris and the Boys taking the stage near the BAH and Fireworks in the Studios!!!! My best advice is that if you love the band, make sure you get there super early to get a great spot near the stage. However if you want a good view of both the band and fireworks, I really suggest grabbing a spot towards the center to back of the BAH area between the two lighting towers. This is an amazing spot, because you will really get to take in the spectacle that is the Fourth of July at Hollywood Studios!!! Don’t worry if you are lining up a little late, make sure you head over near the American Idol Experience jumbo screen since they typically will put video of what’s going on up there!
Epcot – Discovery Experiences at American Adventure present a bit of American history and heritage. From 11:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Guests may meet with Benjamin Franklin, Betsy Ross and Disney characters adorned in patriotic dress. An afternoon of live entertainment kicks off at 12:30 p.m. in the America Gardens Theater with the Voices of Liberty 4th of July Concert. This holiday special is a harmonizing partnership of the 8-part a capella Voices of Liberty, Spirit of America Fife and Drum Corps, and Disney characters. In the evening, the Sounds Like Summer Concert Series takes the stage with four performances from Slippery When Wet – The Ultimate Bon Jovi Tribute. The grand finale to these classic beats is The Heartbeat of Freedom, a special tribute in the sky following Illuminations: Reflections of Earth at 10 p.m. We’ll be spending our Fourth of July in Epcot this year, and I am beyond excited to catch all of these great experiences…especially the Voices of Liberty Fourth of July Concert!!!!
It’s also important to note that both Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Downtown Disney will not feature fireworks.
Two resorts that really get into the spirit of celebrating the Fourth of July are Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground and Disney’s Fort Wilderness Lodge! If you are a guest staying at these resorts, you may want to consider joining in the fun while you are there!!!
The schedule for activities at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground on July 3rd is as follows:
- 10:15-11 a.m.: Patriotic Craft
Show off your creativity with this fun Independence themed craft. Meet at Pavilion at Meadow Swimming Pool.
- 11 a.m.-noon: Acorn Toss Dodge ball
Join us in the field by Meadow Swimming Pool for our fun twist on Dodge ball.
- 1:15-2 p.m.: What’s in your beach bag?
Bring your beach bags and get ready for an exciting poolside game!
- 2-3 p.m.: Giant Board Games
Oversized games mean twice the fun! At Meadow Swimming Pool.
- 3-4 p.m.: Pool Party
Our daily poolside party! Games, dancing, fun and prizes!
- 4-5 p.m.: Splash Ball
All the fun of baseball with a soaking twist!
- 6-9 p.m. Independence Eve Beach Party at Clementine Beach:
- 6-7 p.m.: Sandcastle Building Contest – You provide the tools and creativity and we’ll provide cool prizes!
- 7-8 p.m.: Dance Party – Celebrate America’s Birthday by dancing the night away!
- 8-9 p.m.: BINGO – Free BINGO on the beach!
- 9 p.m.: Disney Celebrate America! – A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky!
A special Independence Day fireworks celebration at the Magic Kingdom Park visible from Clementine Beach
- 7 p.m.: Red Light, Green Light
- 7:30 p.m.: Campfire Lighting
- 8 p.m.: Chip and Dale Campfire Sing-a-Long
- 8:40 p.m. Movie – National Treasure at the Chip and Dale Campfire Sing-a-long
The schedule for activities at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground on July 4th is as follows:
- 11 a.m.-noon: Red and Blue Noodle Races
Join us at the Meadow Swimming Pool for fun relay races in the water!
- 1-2 p.m.: Design your own Kites ($5)
Create your own cool kite then fly them in the field nearby. Meet at the Bike Barn.
- 2-3 p.m.: Goofy Bingo
Can you match the all the Disney characters? Get five in a row for a chance to win fun prizes.
- 3-4 p.m.: Pool Party
Our daily poolside party. Games, dancing, fun and prizes!
- 4-4:30 p.m. Chalk Art
Meet at Meadow Swimming Pool to create a red, white and blue display.
- 4:30-5:30 p.m.: Make Your Ice Cream ($4)
Shake your way to a super delicious dessert! Meet at the Bike Barn.
- 7 p.m.: Corn Toss
Meet at the Campfire theatre for this fun tailgating game.
- 7:30 p.m.: Campfire Lighting
- 8 p.m.: Chip and Dale Campfire Sing-a-Long
- 8:40 p.m.: Movie – Homeward Bound
- 9 p.m.: Golf Cart Parade
Register at the Bike Barn by 7 p.m. Parade will travel down Fort Wilderness Trail toward Pioneer Hall.
The Fourth of July activities at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge look super fun!!!
- 1 p.m. Patriotic Craft – Come on over to the party cart by the pool, and make a patriotic memory to take home.
- 2 p.m. Red White and Blue Pitchburst – Join us for our very favorite hot weather game. Hit the target to break a giant water balloon over a volunteer’s head.
- 3 p.m. Big Blast Pool Party – Join us by the party cart for lots of fast paced poolside holiday fun and a treasure box prize.
- 4 p.m. Big Beach Party Begins!!!
- 4 – 4:45 p.m.: Sand Castle Contest (awards from 4:45-5:00).Bring your team (or join one on the spot) and show us your creativity and construction skills and maybe even win a prize!
- 5 – 6:30 p.m.: Make Your Own Ice Cream. Join us on the beach for this super sweet deal! We will show you how to make your own ice cream. In a matter of minutes you can mix, shake and eat!
- 6:30 – 7 p.m. Splash and Score This is another fun hot weather game. Come show us your skills!
- 7:30 – 8:45 p.m. Campfire Fourth of July tradition means a campfire on the beach! Come on down and join us for campfire fun, followed by fireworks and a patriotic movie on the beach.
- 9 p.m. – Fireworks Enjoy the movie, “National Treasure”, immediately following the fireworks.
However you decide to spend the Fourth of July, we hope that you have a very safe and fun holiday full of food, fireworks, and great memories!