Disney for the Outdoor Enthusiast
If you long to get “back to nature” during your Disney World vacation, there are places you can get away from the parks and enjoy some outdoorsy fun.
There are options nearby on property, or you can travel 15 miles south to visit the Disney Wilderness Preserve.
Fort Wilderness offers many recreational activities for its guests, and most are available to day guests, too.
If you’re longing for some good outdoorsy fun, there is a long list of activities at the Fort that will fit the bill.
- Take a 60 minute trail ride on horseback through the heavily wooded Fort Wilderness recreation area. Be sure to schedule reservations in advance, and wear closed toe shoes for your ride! Pony rides are available for younger guests, and everyone can visit the 2,200 Percheron horses that reside in the Stables at Fort Wilderness.
- In the woods between Wilderness Lodge and Fort Wilderness, there is a 2.5 mile marked trail which is joined by a network of smaller trails. These trails give you a shady, wooded place to hike or jog. Bike rentals are available at the Fort, and biking is also permitted on the trails.
- Canoes and Kayaks are available for rent from the boat barn. If fishing sounds better than paddling, cane fishing poles and bait are available from the Boat House next door. Just watch for the Fort’s resident alligators! You’ll find them hanging around the canals of Fort Wilderness, stalking your catch!
- You can play some tennis, volleyball or tetherball. If you’d like to try something new, you can book an archery lesson up 180 days before your trip.
Any activities that require reservations can be scheduled by calling (407)WDW-PLAY.
For more activities at Fort Wilderness, click here.
Enjoy a day of effortless fishing in the lakes of Walt Disney World.
Escape from the parks for a private, guided catch-and-release fishing excursion. All equipment is provided and the lakes of Walt Disney World Resort are well stocked. Odds are good that you will catch some largemouth bass!
Most trips are on a pontoon boat, which can accommodate up to five people.
Call (407) WDW-FISH (939-3474) to book.
Do you want to get in touch with the “real” Florida?
Visit the 12,000 acre Disney Wilderness Preserve. This preserve was created in the early 1990′s, when the Walt Disney Company purchased and donated 8,500 acres to offset the land they were using to develop the resort. Much of the preserve was a working cattle ranch until it was purchased by Disney. Since that time, the Nature Conservancy has been working to restore the land to its original state.
The preserve is home to more than 1,000 species of plants and animals. Click here for a slideshow of the wildlife that can be found at the preserve.
- Hike the one-mile trail to Lake Russell, or continue along a 2.5 mile loop for a longer hike.
- Do slow down and enjoy the wildlife! You’re likely to see many species of birds and and other animals, including the illustrious alligator and Florida Panther.
The Disney Wilderness Preserve is about a half hour away from the Disney Theme Parks, and it is not served by resort transportation. You should allow at least two hours to experience the trails. Admission is free, but donations are accepted.