February 20, 2024

Banos Online

Traveling Around the World

I Stayed in Cheap and Expensive Places at Disney World, Which Is Best

Last November, I stayed at a campsite at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort for $92 a night.

Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground is located near Wilderness Lodge.

Jenna Clark


Although many Disney World resorts are expensive, there are some budget-friendly options, and the Campsites at Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground is at the top of the list. 

I camped at one of the standard campsites for $92 a night (tent and camping supplies were not included). My two-night stay came to about $207 after taxes and fees, but campsite prices can fluctuate throughout the year depending on the date and day of the week. 

Camping is a more affordable option for those looking to experience Disney World, but Fort Wilderness is still located in the Magic Kingdom resort area and is home to some delicious restaurants including Trail’s End and Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue.

In February, I spent a night at Disney World’s most expensive resort, the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa.

entrance to the grand floridian resort at disney world

The Grand Floridian Resort is in the Magic Kingdom area.

Jenna Clark


I spent one night at the Grand Floridian in a standard room that costs about $900. Like with the campsites, the room rates vary throughout the year. 

The sophisticated hotel is known for its Victorian design elements, dining experiences, and proximity to Magic Kingdom. 

I’ve stayed at several other deluxe resorts at Disney World, including the Polynesian Village Resort, Contemporary Resort, and BoardWalk Inn. But my stay at the Grand Floridian surpassed my expectations.

The campsite at Fort Wilderness was spacious and had the necessary hookups, but it required a lot of packing.

empty campsite at disney's fort wilderness campground

I had to purchase and bring all my own camping supplies to Disney World.

Jenna Clark


In addition to packing my clothes, there were many supplies I needed to purchase and pack as a first-time camper. I ended up bringing a tent, lamps, an air mattress, mosquito-repellent wristbands, a first-aid kit, towels, and a power bank to charge my phone. 

Although my campsite was very spacious and equipped with a table, grill, hose, and outlets, it took a lot of energy to unpack and set everything up.

My standard room at the Grand Floridian was the most spacious one I’ve seen at Disney World.

wide view of a standard 2 queen room at the grand floridian resort at disney world

The standard room had two queen-sized beds as well as an extra living area.

Jenna Clark


My standard room with two queen-sized beds was equipped with everything I needed for a comfortable stay. All I had to do was pack clothes and toiletries.

I only stayed in the room with one other person, but I think it could’ve comfortably fit at least four.

The living area in the back had a second television and made for a pleasant place to relax and chat. 

In addition to the essentials, our room also had a stocked coffee bar, complimentary slippers, and free bathroom products.

I had to walk to the comfort station to use the bathroom at Fort Wilderness.

jenna posing for a mirror selfie in the public bathrooms at disney's fort wilderness campgrounds

I had to walk to the bathroom at the campground.

Jenna Clark


Since I was camping in a tent, the comfort station in our campsite’s loop had a communal bathroom.

It was cleaner than I expected and contained stalls, full-size sinks, changing areas, and showers.

My hotel room had a beautiful bathroom with separate shower and vanity areas.

jenna taking a mirror selfie in the big double vanity in the bathroom inside a room at the grand floridian

Our bathroom had two sinks, which made getting ready easy.

Jenna Clark


I was impressed by the size of the bathroom’s double sink and vanity area. It provided just the right amount of space for two people to get ready without feeling cramped.

I found the transportation at Fort Wilderness to be confusing.

internal bus stop at disney's fort wilderness campgrounds

There were both internal buses to get around the campground and transportation to the theme parks.

Jenna Clark


The internal bus system at Fort Wilderness was very confusing, especially for a first-time camper. There are multiple buses with colored labels indicating their route.

The bus to Magic Kingdom, the closest park, can be found at the Settlement Trading Post store. But the buses to the other theme parks and water parks are located near the parking lot at the front of the resort.

If you don’t have a golf cart, getting around the resort can be tiresome because it’s large and the internal buses can be tricky. Luckily, I had a golf cart for a large portion of my stay.

I didn’t have issues with the various modes of transportation at the Grand Floridian.

view of the monorail passing by the grand floridian resort taken from the resort's pool area

You can take the monorail, boats, and buses from the Grand Floridian.

Jenna Clark


One of the biggest pros of staying at the Grand Floridian was the convenient transportation options, especially when heading to Magic Kingdom. 

I took the monorail to Magic Kingdom from the resort. It was only about a three-minute ride to the park since it’s one stop away. 

I decided to try out the resort boat on the way back. There was no line, and it took less than 10 minutes to get across the Seven Seas Lagoon. 

As for transportation around the resort, it was easily walkable. But there were still some employees driving club cars to transport guests and their luggage.

Chip and Dale made an appearance at the Campfire Sing-A-Long.

Jenna posing with chip and dale at disney's fort wilderness campground

There’s special character entertainment at the Fort Wilderness Campground.

Jenna Clark


I attended Chip ‘n’ Dale’s Campfire Sing-A-Long during my camping trip.

For some reason, no other families had arrived at the campfire yet, and we were able to spend 30 minutes playing a game with the characters. I’ve never experienced anything like that before.

I didn’t see any characters while staying at the Grand Floridian.

a motif of chip from beauty and the beast on the flooring at the grand floridian in disney world

I spotted Mickey, Minnie, Donald Duck, Chip, Mrs. Potts, Cinderella, and Prince Charming on the floor.

Jenna Clark


I know that sometimes characters randomly meet guests at resorts, so I was hoping to see some during my stay. 

But I did see a lot of characters on the tile floor throughout the resort, including Cinderella and Prince Charming, Mickey Mouse, and Mrs. Potts.

The main pool at Fort Wilderness was quieter, but there were other amenities nearby.

swimming pool area at disney's fort wilderness campground

There were plenty of amenities at the campground.

Jenna Clark


I liked the Meadow Swimmin’ Pool area because it was close to many additional activities. There was archery and fishing available for an extra cost.

The pool also had a waterslide, which isn’t always the case at Disney World’s budget-friendly resorts. It was a nice touch.

The main pool at the Grand Floridian had beautiful monorail views and comfortable seating options.

shot of the main pool area at the grand floridian resort

The Grand Floridian had two pools.

Jenna Clark


Grand Floridian has two pool areas. But I mainly spent time at the main pool because I liked listening to the Disney Channel throwback songs played there.

I also enjoyed relaxing in the beds by the pools. I preferred them to the chairs that are commonplace at most resorts. 

When I had enough sun and took a dip in the pool, it was cool to see the monorails pass by every couple of minutes overhead. 

The workers at Grand Floridian were personable and readily available to answer questions.

disney cast memeber randy posing for a photo under the grand floridian entrance sign at the front door of the resort

An employee named Randy met us right outside of Grand Floridian.

Jenna Clark


From the moment I walked up to the resort, I was instantly greeted by employees who were happy to answer any questions, share fun facts, and point me in the right direction.

The number of employees I saw surprised me considering the resort is smaller. 

I enjoyed the quick-service dining options at Wilderness Lodge, which is only a short bus ride from the campground.

burger and fries from geyser point at disney's wilderness lodge

There are sit-down restaurants closer to the campground, but we found quick food nearby.

Jenna Clark


Since my party decided to keep it casual during our stay at Fort Wilderness, we mostly ate at quick-service dining locations. We also didn’t bring food with us because we didn’t want to risk wildlife getting a hold of it.

We went to Geyser Point Bar & Grill at Wilderness Lodge, which is a bus ride away from the campground. There’s a seated portion of the restaurant, but we ordered at the widow and took our food to-go.

Geyser Point has what I consider to be one of the best burgers on the property, so I always try to get one when I visit.

Fort Wilderness is also home to Trail’s End Restaurant, which is a sit-down spot offering breakfast and dinner, and Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue, which is a dinner theater. 

Grand Floridian also had plenty of dining options.

jenna posing wiht a plate of chicken and waffles at grand floridian cafe

I had breakfast at the Grand Floridian Cafe during my stay.

Jenna Clark


I ate at three of the Grand Floridian’s eateries, and my favorites were Enchanted Rose and Grand Floridian Cafe. 

I tried the chicken and waffles from Grand Floridian Cafe and thought the chicken was delicious. I also liked that the dish was served with a Mickey-shaped waffle instead of a regular one. 

At Enchanted Rose, I tried three small plates and enjoyed the seasonal flatbread the most. Although the lounge was a bit expensive, it was worth it for the delicious food and “Beauty and the Beast” theming.

Fort Wilderness was pet-friendly, and it even had a dog park.

dog part at fort wilderness campgrounds

There was a dog park at the campground.

Jenna Clark


Since Fort Wilderness is more casual, I thought it was nice that people could bring their pets along with them. 

It was also fun getting to see the dogs interacting with each other at the Waggin’ Trails Dog Park. 

Overall, I preferred my more luxurious stay at the Grand Floridian.

jenna posing for a photo under the sign for disney's grand floridian resort at the main entrance

I think the price of the room was worth it at Grand Floridian.

Jenna Clark


After staying in cheap and expensive accommodations at Dinsey World, Grand Floridian provided me with more of a vacation-style stay.

Despite the fact that a standard room is much more expensive than a standard campsite at Fort Wilderness, I found it to be worth it as someone who enjoys luxurious accommodations once in a while. 

It is also important to reiterate that I was a first-time camper when I stayed at Fort Wilderness. I thought the resort’s amenities were beautiful, but I’m the type of vacationer who doesn’t like to lift a finger.

I think Fort Wilderness is better suited for seasoned campers or those looking for more of a DIY, budget-friendly vacation.

Insider paid a media rate of $480 for the Grand Floridian hotel stay. The full rate was about $900.