Canoeing at Fort Wilderness

 During our stay at Disney's Wilderness Lodge, we decided that we were going to rent canoes at Fort Wilderness. 

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Now normally there would be a direct boat going from the dock at Wilderness Lodge to the Campgrounds at Fort Wilderness but those boats were not running during our stay. An alternative route to Fort Wilderness would be the walking trail but that too was unavailable due to construction. So our only option was to take a Disney bus. 

The bus to Fort Wilderness Campground stops at the regular bus stop where the park buses stop, right out in front of the Boulder Ridge building.  We were the only ones on the bus and it was a pretty short ride. 

Unlike Wilderness Lodge, there are lots of bus stops at Fort Wilderness so you will want to tell your driver where you are going ( or what it is you plan to do).  For canoeing, our driver suggested we get off at the Meadows stop.  This is the main recreation area.  It is also a short walk from the Settlement stop. 

Fort Wilderness Bike Barn and Recreation

To rent canoes or kayaks,  ( or any of the activities listed above) head to the Bike Barn located behind the main pool ( or in front of, depending on which direction you are coming from). 

Disney Fort Wilderness campground, recreation

Renting canoes is on a first come first serve basis, no prior reservation is needed.  However, I would suggest renting them earlier in the day if you can help it. It gets really hot out there in the water and you will have that extra coverage of  a life vest too!  The bike barn is open daily from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm.  Canoe rentals are $13.00 per hour.  To do the loop around Fort Wilderness should not take more than an hour but if you are leisurely just floating and checking out the nature scape, it may take you longer.  It took us about 45 minutes.  You pay for your rental when you return the gear. 

map of Fort Wilderness waterway

Once you sign your waiver, you will be given a map of the waterway ( which is hard to get lost on) and an air horn in case you flip over or need help.  I was hoping we weren't going to need that. 

Everyone must wear a life vest, so you can go over and pick out the one that fits you best.

Boating at Disney Fort Wilderness

Then grab your paddles. Each person in your boat should have one paddle. There are different paddles on the rack. There are canoe paddles and kayak paddles, so make sure you grab the right one for your particular boat.

The canoes fit two people. We rented two canoes for our party of four. These canoes did not have the bench seats, they actually had seats with backs on them similar to what you would find on a kayak. 

You can pick out which canoe you want and it is your responsibility to get it from the shore to the water.

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Once we got in and got going, it was pretty easy to navigate. Just a hint: I think the person that is sitting up front ends up doing most of the work. 

I thought the "loop" we were canoeing on was going to be a lot shorter in distance than it actually was, but I was happy with the distance we went because I really enjoyed being out on the boat.  It was like our own little "jungle cruise". We saw a sea turtle, and other wildlife along the way.

It was a nice way to tour the resort by water. We went by several walkways and some of the camping sites. We could smell some of the grilling! 

If you are staying at Fort Wilderness this is obviously a must do.  If you are staying at a resort that has easy access to Fort Wilderness like Wilderness Lodge or Contemporary, its worth coming over for the afternoon. By Disney standards, it's an inexpensive activity for your family and if you have a few "bloopers" like we did, it will be worth it just for the laughs. 

Have you ever canoed before?  

See you next time ~ M & L

1 comment:

  1. It's been a long time since I've canoed. We did a kayak tour on the Chicago River a few years ago and that was really fun. I also did a kayak tour on some river in Florida near Naples a few years ago.


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