By Georgina Cruz
North Palm Beach Life Contributor
To say that the last year has been challenging to a travel aficionado is a colossal understatement.
My husband Humberto and I, accustomed to taking several cruises and land trips each year, were desperate for a change of scenery. This spring we found the perfect solution: we rented a Wilderness Cabin for four nights at the Fort Wilderness Campground in Disney World in Orlando. We found we were not alone –with lots of neighbors in the cabins surrounding ours.
In times of pandemic, the popularity of rustic cabins, cottages, bungalows and other detached lodgings is on the rise. And, of course, these detached lodgings with their own air conditioning, kitchen and bathroom are very attractive to many travelers as because of their relative isolation, they may be considered healthier and more private than lodgings in hotels and motels.
Our Wilderness Cabin in Fort Wilderness was a good option for us. The resort is in a 700-acre pine and cypress forest with a lake and canals for fishing and trails for hiking and horseback riding. The cabins, with attractive rustic décor, sleep up to six and have the comforts of home including two televisions, full eat-in kitchen, bathroom with tub/shower, living room, bedroom and patio with picnic table and grill. Fort Wilderness also offers sites for camping and hook ups for recreational vehicles. Golf carts are available for rental to take in the resort’s panoramas that have a storybook quality (any minute you expect you will bump into Winnie the Pooh) and to quickly access the property’s amenities.
“All the Disney Resorts allow guests to escape urban settings,” Wing Chao, a Disney Imagineer and executive once observed. And without a doubt, at Fort Wilderness one feels in touch with nature.
The resort has swimming pools (one with a slide), stores selling groceries (we stocked up on cereal, juice, milk and fruit for breakfasts in our cabin) and picked up souvenirs. There is a restaurant, Trail’s End, offering dinner skillets and P&J’s for take-out orders of delicious ribs, fried chicken, pulled pork, salads and more. Also available on-site are boat and bicycle rental, tennis and basketball courts and free Disney movies in an open-air theater (appearances by Chip and Dale during complimentary campfire programs were temporarily suspended during our stay due to the pandemic).
The stables where the horses that are used in the Magic Kingdom Park are kept are in Fort Wilderness so we dropped in to say hello and watch youngsters going on pony rides. Horseback rides on the resort’s trails are also available. And for a relaxing respite we liked to sit at one of the tables by sandy Clementine’s Beach on Disney’s Bay Lake. A free boat ride away is Disney’s Magic Kingdom and complimentary buses take to other Disney parks and attractions.
For information, visit www.disneyworld.com.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Georgina Cruz is a freelance travel writer based in Vero Beach. She has taken more than 200 cruises to all seven continents and visited more than100 countries. Her work appears in regional, national and international publications.
Exploring what to see and do in North Palm Beach and the South Florida area. Your hosts are Pam and Gerry Barker.
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