Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Sunday in Disney World

Sunday January 17, 2016                                                               Most Recent Posts:
Fort Wilderness Campground                                                          The View From the River
Walt Disney World, Buena Vista, Florida                                         Tampa RV Supershow



One of the last things we see, down the road from our site at Hillsborough River before we leave, is this rig. Looks like it’s been on the road quite a while.  Notice the em’ “hood ornament”. 





We have time to notice these things becasue check out time is 1pm at Hillsborough River and we’re only going 66 miles up the road.  It’s an easy trip up I-4.  One O’clock is also check in time at Disney World and we are there right on time.  Check in is easy of course in this service oriented place. 

Once we have lunch and get set up it is after 3:00.  We take the path right in front of our site in the 300 loop to the Fort Wilderness dock where we’ll take the boat over to the catch the Monorail.  We are going to visit some of the great Disney hotels before dinner.  There are thirty hotels owned by Disney and 6 owned by private hotel companies within the more than 25000 acre park.  We have no plan to visit them all.

I really love being able to walk so easily over to the lake, the Settlement and the dock from our campsite.



The wildlife starts right away.  We see an armadillo who probably doesn’t see us since they have terrible eyesight and he’s got his head down constantly looking for insects.  They aren’t native to Florida but are pretty common in forested or semi-open areas of loose soil.


Along the shore is an anhinga drying his wings and a pair of coots.






Further along we see a reddish egret.  I think we’ve seen more reddish egrets this year than ever before.







At the dock we are greeted by a female starling.  I don’t find the males very attractive.  They look oily but I think she’s very pretty although they are non natives and I do wish they’d go back home.   Not much of a chance at this point unfortunately.



We are meeting Nancy and Bill at the dock.  We both scheduled Hillsborough River campsites because of the RV Show and for us because of David’s doctor.  We both scheduled Disney the week after because we were so close to it.  It’s amazing how folks with similar interests end up in the same places.




The boat takes us just outside the Magic Kingdom but that’s not our destination on this holiday week-end.  We’re going to buy our passes and then take the monorail over the the Contemporary Resort.




The Monorail lets us off at the doors to the second floor entrance where we look over the balcony at the central floor of the hotel.  It has a Polynesian theme and feel. 

Bill and Nancy have been coming regularly to Disney World for a very long time.   They have lots of stories to tell about what they’ve learned over the years.  They know a lot about the history of the park and the building of the hotels.  They have stories about previous visits both with and without their children.  They know Disney World very well.  We’re just learning.













Back on the Monorail our next stop is my favorite, The Grand Floridian.  Again we walk in on the second floor.  Down below I see Mary Poppins and a 1929 Cadillac.  We will have to go down and get a closer look at it before heading on.





Inside, the hotel is definitely Grand.  It gives me the Great Gatsby feeling of the elegant roaring twenties.


Love the elevator.


The chandelier hangs from here.



We move down the grand staircase to visit the Cadillac.  At the bottom I stop to take a picture looking back up.  The last time we were here, a wedding party was having pictures taken on the staircase.  What a wonderful backdrop.


The car is definitely a beauty.  I wonder how many vintage cars Disney owns?  I suppose the answer is as many as they like.



Interesting that the side view mirror on the poassenger’s side is attached to the spare tire.






We take a bit of time to look around the grand entry way but it’s mighty chilly. 
Tonight’s low is predicted to be 39 and sunset is approaching.





David and Nancy snuggle up to the outdoor heater. 
David has moved into the usual woodstove lover’s position for warming up.
You may have noticed thought that all of us are in long sleeves and long pants and fleece but Bill is still in shorts.
You’d think he was from Minnesota although you’ll notice he’s the first one back inside.
That’s probably due to the fact that it is time for dinner and we have one more place to go first rather than that he’s cold like the rest of us.








The sun is setting as we pull away from the dock headed for our last stop, the Wilderness Lodge.




As we depart the boat, two Limpkins are busily poking their beaks into the sand.



They are coming up with something but it is too dark to tell what. 
Even in the picture, I’m not sure. 
Is it a snail? What do Limpkins eat?





Wilderness Lodge is fashioned after the grand lodges of the early western national parks.  Although from this entrance it doesn’t look a lot like them, it definitely does inside.








The decor is largely Native American.  There are giant totem poles and a Disneyesque totem pole.



A number of Native Drums adorn the walls.




The enormous fireplace screen is gorgeous brass work of art and the fire draws Nancy and I like a magnet.



The lamp shades remind me of Yellowstone Lodge.






The support poles have other poles strapped to them and many are carved.






Heading back to Fort Wilderness Campground, we catch the last of the color in the sky.  Tomorrow is Martin Luther King Monday and we figure many families will be here for the long holiday week-end.  So the crowds in the park will be up.  Tomorrow we’re going to try our luck at Epcot which is not as child centered as the Magic Kingdom or Animal Kingdom.  But we’ll get to them all this week you can bet.   Come along and join the fun!




  1. I had no idea about the Disney hotels. Maybe we should see Disneyworld sometime..

  2. Looking forward to your Disney adventures I think I would love to see

  3. Wilderness Lodge So what ears are you buying. Not just plain ears any more. !!!! Looking forward to your lively week

  4. So great that you guys are there with Nancy and Bill! Lots of fun times ahead for you. Those hotels are certainly opulent! I've never seen such an enormous fireplace - it must have felt great on that chilly evening. You even got a beautiful technicolor sunset (was that provided by Disney, too?) :-)

  5. The buildings are over the top...didn't know that.

  6. It looks like you are having good weather for your Disney visit. Enjoy.

  7. Great pics, we spent an afternoon with friends last year, doing the hotel loop. They did not have tickets, yet wanted a peek inside and were blown away. We even watched the fireworks from the big boat, just a fun place to be even if not going inside a park. Nice cool weather this week, but hard rain today. Hope you enjoyed your stay, will be watching for posts.

  8. Always a fun time at Disney...even if it is just hotel hopping;o)) So much to see and do!! Just found out another fun fact... when Walt Disney bought the huge track of land to create Disney World, the campground was already here. Although I am sure it didn't look like the Fort Wilderness of today, I guess it really was the first resort on the Disney properties;o)) Disney World just keeps evolving and it is fun to watch the process!!!

  9. Oh, I am loving this. Believe it or not, I've never been to Disney World. I asked Hayley if I could go with them if they ever take the kids, and she said no because I never would take her! :-) (I don't think she's joking.) I knew that there were a lot of hotels, but had no idea about the different themes. Thanks so much for showing them.

    Wishing I was in sunny Florida today. It's still snowing this AM. I have almost a foot at my house and am encouraged that we will miss the two-feet mark if it stops today as forecasted. If we can hold it to 15 inches or so, I'll feel lucky. Stay warm. :-)

  10. I guess maybe it's time to put this back on our bucket list for a revisit.

  11. Those hotels are impressive! I think the lodge one fits you best. Limpkins: sounds like a creature from Alice in Wonderland. Have fun! XXXOOO

  12. What a fun urban-art bus, although the hood ornament isn't very inviting :-) Coot get a bad rap, but I find them beautiful. Someday I'm going to get to DW! The Floridian was my favorite before, and it is still spectacular. But the lodge is at the top now. I could spend a long time just enjoying the drums. And that fireplace - just give me a huge swing-arm cast iron pot to go in it and I'd be a happy girl :-)))) Thanks again for sharing these lovely places.

  13. What a great time you're going to have. The happiest place on earth and being there with Nancy and Bill! Reminds me that we are overdue for a WDW visit, we've been about 15 times over the years and the 300 loop is our favorite at FW. Hoping to take some granddaughters that have never been to WDW in 2016. Can't wait to see their faces when the meet Mickey in person for the first time.

    Alas, it's so hard to wait, so we're taking a 7d ay Disney Cruise next week to tide us over. :c)

  14. The old classic car is a real stand out, as is that armadillo!

  15. Another beautiful spot:) I've never seen an armadillo in the wild...very cool!

    Haven't been to Disney since the kids were little. Enjoy being a kid again:)

  16. Neat hotels and beautiful Wildnerness Lodge - how fun to be there with Nancy and Bill! I remember seeing what was probably my first armadillo at Disney with Emma all those years ago :)

  17. Thank you for showing us what I probably will never see. Those hotel lobbies are magnificent and stunning. The Wilderness Lodge sure did looked like Yellowstone Lodge.
    A few days back we just watch a show about Disneyworld and the city beneath its ground where the workers are going about their work from one site to another.
    It was a fascinating story of Walt Disney's vision of his Florida Project that is now Disneyworld.

  18. The splendor of the hotels reminds me of a Disney quote I saw in one of the parks which I can only approximate now, but was something like "I don't want people to see the world they live in when they come here, I want them to feel like they are in another world".

  19. Hotel-hopping is great fun, and you hit some of my favorites.

  20. Having knowledgeable guides at Disney has to make the experience even more special. Been too long since I was there camping with a friend living in FL. So looking forward to more. Fun to catch up.


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