Fort Wilderness vs. Art of Animation

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Are you considering Fort Wilderness vs. Art of Animation for your upcoming Disney vacation? You won’t want to miss the advice from a real mom who recently visited.

A young girl looks at the giant Nemo statue at the Art of Animation Resort in Walt Disney World.

Choosing the right Disney resort to stay at can be such a stressful decision, especially if you’ve narrowed it down to just two places.

If you’re currently debating whether to stay at Fort Wilderness vs. Art of Animation, it is a touch choice!

Real all the guide books and blog posts you want, the best way to get Disney advice is from a family who has recently experienced the Disney magic themselves.

I love interviewing people after they travel to Disney to hear the kind of real world, hands-on advice you can only get from a parent who has just been to Disney!

Every time I chat with a friend, they share golden nuggets that help shape our own future Disney trips.

Today, I’m sharing an interview from my friend Angie from Wisconsin who has amazing advice to share about how her family felt about their stay at Fort Wilderness, especially once they toured Art of Animation and saw it in person.

You can read about where her family stayed and their thoughts on the trip below.

Jump to:

How Many Times Have You Been to Disney World?

Real Moms of Disney: Angie from WI

I went to Disney World three times as a child, and this was my second time as an adult.

My Disney World memories are by far the highlight of my childhood. Therefore, I was so excited for my son, Benjamin, to experience Disney for the first time.

Benjamin is at the tender and perfect age of seven, where you’re old enough to remember life experiences, but young enough to still believe in magic.

Where Did You Stay?

We stayed in a cabin at Fort Wilderness, which was a new experience for me.

We chose to go that route due to the fact that everyone wanted their own bed, and for use of the full kitchen.

The number one sell, though, was the ferry access to the Magic Kingdom.

I liked the amount of space in the cabin, but I missed the energy and Disney immersion of the themed resorts.

We spent a couple of hours on the grounds of the Art of Animation Resort, and it made me regret our choice of Fort Wilderness. We probably belonged at the Cozy Cone Motel.

That being said, it’s also nice to have a retreat from the onslaught of stimuli you get in the parks. My son loved the fact that he was “camping”, and there was no problem with noisy neighbors.

I will forever cherish that my son’s first site of the Magic Kingdom was from that historic ferry ride.


You glide by the classic Disney sites of the monorail and the Contemporary Resort, followed by glimpses of Space Mountain and the castle. Everything slowly comes into view as you ferry towards the dock, and the anticipation is DELICIOUS.

What Was Your Favorite Dining Experience?

Real Moms of Disney: Angie from WI

My husband and I loved the cuisine at the France Pavilion in Epcot.

I still crave the little ham quiche item I ordered.  

We didn’t book any dining experiences, and did not have a meal plan.

What Advice Would You Give Another Mom Planning a Trip?

I think the best thing you can do is allow your child to take part in the planning process as much as possible.

Let them:

  • Help pick the resort you stay at
  • Read up on the different rides
  • Pick their top three “must” experiences

Ultimately, though, the best advice I can give is to bring another adult human

I conned my Dad into coming with us, and it was worth the price of his ticket to have him there.

Real Moms of Disney: Angie from WI

What Would You Do Differently Next Time?

This advice is for those staying on the grounds, and therefore taking part in the Magic+ experience.

I would have pre-booked my Fastpasses in a different fashion. I was unaware that we would be limited to only the three Fastpasses we scheduled ahead of time. It was my misunderstanding that we would be able to grab other Fastpasses after the initial ones expired.

Here’s my million-dollar advice: Pick your Fastpass times to be during the busiest time of the day. You are much better off standing in line early in the morning while your feet are fresh and the lines are shorter. You only have those precious three Fastpasses – choose wisely!

Note: I spoke to a Cast Member about this, and was told that the three-only limit might change in the future.

Real Moms of Disney: Angie from WI

What Was the Most Magical Moment from Your Trip?

The first ride we went on was Peter Pan’s Flight, because that’s my nostalgic favorite. I’ll never forget my son’s response: “Mom – that was like riding THROUGH a movie!”

– Angie from Wisconsin

Real Disney Advice from Real Moms

Looking to plan a Disney vacation for your family? Don’t miss this excellent advice from real parents just like you:

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Real Moms of Disney: Awesome advice from the ladies in the trenches of planning | Peanut Blossom

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