We loved our time at The Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort

Sher and I loved our time with our family members who had converged on Disney World recently. While our kids and grand-kids stayed at Disney hotel resorts, we were able to get a campsite at Disney’s RV/Cabin/Tent park, named The Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness.

Our site was a “full hook-up” accommodation. It had a large paved pad that would have held a large motor home. Our 24′ rig fit with plenty of room. Backing in was very easy, but I could see that parking a large class A or a fiver could be a challenge. There was a large area behind the pavement designed for a large tent. Many of the sites in our “loop” had both a motor home/trailer and a tent.

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Our campsite, #1705, was close to the bus stop.

Fort Wilderness is huge, to say the least. There are designated areas for tent camping, primitive camping and hundreds of cabins as well. The Settlement area houses four eateries, including a special Mickey’s BBQ and a musical review dinner show. There is also large gift shop and store.

There are docks where you can rent both pontoon and fast watercraft. Horseback riding, archery and kayaking is also available for a fee. Many folks bring their own golf cart, and carts are also available for rent at the park. Free things? Of course! There are long hiking/running/bike trails. There is a movie each night with a campfire so you can make s’mores as well as a sing along with Chip and Dale.

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We had three wild turkeys visit our site. They were just wandering through, and could have cared less that I was standing in the door of the RV taking their pictures.

Disney is famous for its internal bus system. Fort Wilderness is served by buses that run from The Settlement to the Outpost, with convenient stops along the way. We only had about a 3 minute walk to our bus stop. Buses run every 20 minutes (or so it is said). The Outpost is where you catch a bus to the theme parks.

We were at Fort Wilderness during Halloween. Let’s say that we did not know you could decorate both a campsite and golf cart to the extent that we saw! It was so much fun seeing all the decorated sites and golf carts. We also really enjoyed taking the boats from the dock. We road the boats to the Contemporary Resort and to Magic Kingdom.

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This boat runs the same times as the buses, and goes from Ft. Wilderness to the Magic Kingdom about every 15 minutes

While of course the parks are fun, we also found that you can really enjoy your time hanging around the Fort Wilderness Resort and enjoying the many activities offered. Make reservations early: It can be hard to book the times you need.

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Zephry Palms RV Park

IMG_1983_resizedSher and I needed a campground for a one night stay near Zephryhills, Florida. I found a special rate listed for Zephyr Palms RV park, gave them a call, and booked the reservation.The park staff was very nice when we pulled in at noon. Our site was still occupied, even though check out is supposed to be 11. We waited a bit until the other unit moved, and went to our site. I just hooked up the electric to start.

With the laundry a ways away, we drove the rig and parked next to the very nice laundry. No problem to disconnect the shore power. Three loads of clohes later, we were back at our pull through site. The sewer connection was on the off side from the shore power and water both of which were at the far end of the site. Gladly our electric cable was long enought to allow connection and still be able to drain the black and grey tanks without having to move the rig.

 

Nice roads, level sites, friendly residents

Nice roads, level sites, friendly residents

This is a very clean campground, with pool and community room, and like I said the laundry has been recently remodeled. The special rate was for $18. We stayed just the one night. It is also a member of several associations including Good Sam and PassPort America. Call ahead for availability. This is the park website.

We used the laundry facilities.

We used the laundry facilities.

Our only problem with this 55+ campground is one that plagues most RV parks these days. Free WiFi is advertised, however when we connected to the WiFi we got the dreaded “Limited Connection” which is the same as no WiFi.

This is a friendly, safe, clean and tidy RV park mid way between Tampa and the Gulf and the amusement parks in Orlando. There are plenty of golf courses nearby for those of you that like chasing a little white ball around. Weekly and seasonal rates are offered.

 

Arrived at Florida Flywheeler show grounds today

Today started early! We moved from our parking spot at the cafe and got in line at the Florida Flywheelers at 4:00 am! We did not reserve our spot after the January show, and we wanted to get the same spot which was one with electric and on the end of a row. (This was important so we could drive in and out of the grounds at will. If we had a space in a line of vendors we would be trapped.)

We got in the grounds at 8:00. We did get the spot we needed. Paid the $65 for our vendor spot and what will be 11 days of camping! That is only $5.90 a day for a spot with electric. The show runs Feb. 18 to the 21st but the grounds opened today.

I got our table boards and frames set outside and got the electric hooked up. (Had to use the extension cord this time to reach the shore service pole.) With the TV antennae up we could get several local broadcast channels. We will start to unload our things to sell tomorrow, and may set up the tent then.

The rest of the day was relaxed, with some online work and even a nice nap. The grounds were really wet when we got here, but the sunshine today really began to dry things out. We will be set up here for 11 days, with at least one trip to a nearby town for supplies before the show opens next Wednesday.

 

Orange Box Cafe in Frostproof, Florida has RV parking

L to R: Nicole, cook Robert, and Libby in front of the salad bar with the Antique store in background

L to R: Nicole, cook Robert, and Libby in front of the salad bar with the Antique store in background

During our travels this winter in Florida we have been blessed to know a couple of couples who we met last year in Ohio during festivals. We have been in contact with them at some of the flea markets we have attended. They told us about a small local cafe near our next event.

The Orange Box Cafe is a favorite of the local residents, and our friends have been here before. The cafe is not only a restaurant, but also a produce store and antique store as well. There is live music on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturday nights.

All six of us had supper there last night. The salad bar is small, but has fresh ingredients including marvelous home made cole slaw. The soup of the day was potato and it was delicious.

Sher and our friends ready to enjoy supper

Sher and our friends ready to enjoy supper

Sher enjoyed the soup and salad bar and I had the same plus the evening special: meatloaf and mashed potatoes. The serving of meatloaf was huge and very tasty. The slice was about 2 inches thick and covered half of the plate, smothered in gravy. One of our party made a special request on the preparation of a Reuben sandwich. No problem with that, the cook will prepare about anything you want.

The service was excellent and we had fun talking with the waitresses. We enjoyed the meal and the company. In addition, this place has a large parking lot for truckers, and they also had six sites suitable for RV’s. So we stayed there overnight and were able to plug into the electric service at the picnic shelter for no charge. This is one of those interesting places you find when you are on the road.

Nice parking spot at the Orange Box Cafe. No charge but be courteous and patronize the cafe.

Nice parking spot at the Orange Box Cafe. No charge but be courteous and patronize the cafe.

Red Oaks Carefree RV Resort is a top RV stop in Florida

Te 10 o'clock shuffleboard games in full swing

The 10 o’clock shuffleboard games in full swing

Steam coming off the heated pool at the main office complex

Steam coming off the heated pool at the main office complex

Several friends of ours who are traveling in Florida recommended Red Oaks RV park in Bushnell, Florida. Both a Good Sam Club and Passport America park, it has exceeded our expectations. This park is part of the Carefree Resorts chain.

A feathered friend strolling down the street

A feathered friend strolling down the street

Starting with the exceptionally friendly office staff and including the escort to our site we knew that we were in good hands at this RV park. Our site is close to the main office, one of the heated pools, laundry and the largest community building. Full hook-ups including a great line up of cable TV stations and a level site made our parking and setup a breeze.

This morning it is rather chilly, but the sun is out and temps are on the rise. I took a stroll to the shuffleboards court where the 10 o’clock games were in full swing. Sher and I are going back for the 2 o’clock games. Horseshoe pits and bocce ball are available and I spotted some corn hole games near the pool. There are some fishing ponds

This park has over 1000 full hook-up sites. The park is one of the cleanest that we have ever seen, and the seasonal residents have been very friendly to us. Any RVer looking for an RV park in central Florida should consider a stay at Red Oaks. Unlike most Florida RV parks, Red Oaks will give the Passport America discount during the “peak season” months. This is one of the few PA member parks that we have found that will honor the discount rate in the winter months.

Our site

Our site

We like and would recommend this RV park for a short or a long term stay. Our only complaint is the slow and sometimes intermittent WiFi through the paid Tango Internet service offered at the park. We might just take a break from blogging and go to the karaoke tonight.

1952 Ford truck on an '87 Ranger frame with a 302 with a C4 tranny: parked across from our site

1952 Ford truck on an ’87 Ranger frame with a 302 with a C4 tranny: parked across from our site

This guy was about 3 feet away from me

This guy was about 3 feet away from me

Main Office complex

Main Office complex

 

 

This Walmart lot looked like an RV park

That's our Four Winds on the right.

That’s our Four Winds on the right.

Ever pull into a Walmart parking lot for an overnight stay and it looks like a paved RV park? This happened to Sher and I tonight when we pulled into the Walmart at Chiefland, Florida. We had just been through the Chiefland Flea Market grounds and did not see a good place to park for the night. (We are either going to set up tomorrow for the weekend or just shop the market and maybe set up Saturday and Sunday.) So off to the Walmart we went.

There is also a nice diesel pusher behind the other coaches

There is also a nice diesel pusher behind the other coaches

We spotted the Walmart on Highway 19, aka North Young Blvd. and saw several RV’s already in the far side of the lot. I backed in a few spots away from a nice Itasca coach. As soon as we parked a sweet diesl pusher came in, followed by another nice C.

This rig is a monster from Ontario. Never seen anything like this before

This rig is a monster from Ontario. Never seen anything like this before

There was also a high riding rig of some type with a pair of spare tires mounted on the front. It looked like some kind of military comand vehicle. I had to walk around it and noticed Ontario plates. What a rig! Maybe I’ll get a chance to talk to those folks in the morning.

All RVers should thank the Walmart managers who allow overnight parking in their lots. And remember, it is a simple overnight stop, not a camping spot. Don’t set out the chairs, run out the awning and fire up the grill. Don’t ruin it for others!

The Pilot truck stop at Haines City, Florida is RV friendly

Our home spot for the night

Our home spot for the night

We stopped at the Pilot truck stop in Haines City, Florida last night. This Pilot is great for RV travelors, and is truly RV friendly. It has a Denny’s for a meal, or of course the full range of hot and cold foods in the Pilot store.

This Pilot has two RV islands for fueling and an RV dump station. The dump station is not in the same island as the fueling pumps and is also about 15 feet past the pumps, which does require you to pump fuel and then reposition for the dump station, Not a big deal, but I have seen Pilot stations with the dump station(s) in the fuel islands.

The dump station at the end of the propane filling pad

The dump station at the end of the propane filling pad

The car lot worked for us for parking. With our 24 foot long Four Winds we usually find a spot near the outside edge, as you can see in the photo. Another bonus at this location was the strong “Cable WiFi” connection. Sher and I both were able to work online with no slowdowns. Sher tried the Pilot WiFi but (as is unfortunately usually the case) it was intermittent and slow.

Gas was $1.95 but we paid $1.92 with the Good Sam Club discount. This gas under two bucks is something we all can get used to!

This Pilot address is 35647 US Highway 27, Haines City, Florida, 33844. If you are in the area check it out.

 

 

 

Heading South

Calhoun, GA grocery stop

Calhoun, GA grocery stop

Sher and I decided to head south on the day after New Year’s Day. We have a couple of shows that we are considering down in central Florida in a week or so. We loaded up some of our goods to sell and off we went.

The first day of our trip took us from central Indiana to Williamsburg, Kentucky. There off I-75 we stopped at a Pilot Flying J truck stop for fuel and the night. This Pilot had designated RV parking, well lit and not next to the big rigs. This morning we headed out about 8 or so.We really didn’t watch the clock at all today. We stopped at some antique stores and at one huge flea market.

A quick stop at a grocery in Calhoun, Georgia and we got set for a few days on the road.