Trip Report
(Use links above to view photos & videos from our trip)

Preview: This ended up being a "quick trip" in the sense that we only decided to go 1 month prior...so, some of our "favorites" and/or "musts" had already been booked solid. In fact, that's how we ended up at FW Cabins... all other accommodations for a family of six in WDW were booked! We also had trouble booking some of our favorite dining spots. I was getting nervous that we had made a mistake with our timing...

Weather: Going in late June was our first summer attempt at a WDW vacation. We know our next trip will be in the peak of hotness (spanning late July to early August in 2009), so we thought this would be a good test run. As it turns out, the temps barely broke 90 each day, and the humidity wasn't too bad! We endured daily afternoon thunderstorms...however, we usually "missed" them with our planned activities keeping indoors during the storms! (In other words...we lucked out!) I would say our two October trips were hotter/more humid than this trip.

Crowds: We pulled the kids a little early from school in order to avoid the post-school rush. When I had a hard time booking any other resort (that could take 6 of us in a room), and some of our dining choices were booked...I got a little nervous about crowds. HOWEVER, with careful planning & timing, we managed to avoid the majority of crowds! (Not nearly as bad as last October's trip!) All-in-all, the levels were quite good! Again, our two October (Columbus Day week) trips were much worse than this time period.

Dining: Again, we decided to use the Disney Dining Plan...although, it wasn't quite as good a deal as the "prior-to-2008" version, we still find that it's a decent discount. Despite not getting all of our usual favorites, it was a good opportunity to try out new places! For the most part...we were particularly pleased with all of our meals! The one exception, which we were kind of prepared for, was San Angel Inn in Epcot's Mexico pavilion. The food was mediocre Mexican...but, the ambience is great! (Which is why we decided we needed to try it out.) The shining star of this trip was Spoodles! One of the best meals we've had in WDW! Go there.

Resort: The Fort Wilderness Cabins (and campgrounds) is such a fun place! The kids loved the freedom of being able to walk out the door and play! As recommended, we rented the golf cart to get around the grounds rather than using the internal bus system. I, too, would recommend this...most of the time. You see, as it turns out, we were lucky enough to be placed in one of the two cabins in the VIP area. This meant, unlike all the other cabins, our cabin was actually 100 feet away from Settlement Trading post. For those who don't know what this means...it means we're really close to most of the places we'd want to get to on the grounds. So, while the golf cart was unnecessary in our situation, we still used it a bit and the family enjoyed it. Chances are, if you go, you would benefit from having one...and you need to reserve it ahead of time!
About the cabin itself...it was fantastic!* We all loved it! Highly recommended for larger families! (And you don't have to be quiet, because you're not in a hotel room!)
*A Final note about the cabins: At the time we booked, the cabins were listed as "Deluxe" category. Disney recently reduced the cabins to the "Moderate" category. Having stayed at both before, I would definitely qualify the Cabins as closer to the "Deluxe" than the "Moderate" category resorts. I would liken it similar to the Wilderness Lodge's Villas (DVC) suites. While the cabins are made to "look" rustic, don't let that fool you!

Family: I'm happy to report that this time around, everyone stayed healthy. (No outbreak like last Oct.!) Our only real mistake was that we kept Molly up from her nap on leaving home, with the hopes that she would nap on the plane ride. NOPE. Instead, she was miserable all the way until we sat down to dinner...at which point she promptly switched-off the crankiness and was happy as a lark for the rest of the trip! Daniel finally realized he wasn't dreaming by the 3rd or 4th day of the trip. Hannah was happy that she had her cell phone to text her friends since we made her miss her last day of 6th grade (poor thing!) And Nathan was so well behaved...we've finally made it back to "happy family" vacationing!  :-)

Trip Conclusion: Ironically it turns out that this spontaneously planned, last minute, thrown together surprise of a trip was one of our best whole-family trips yet to WDW! This is one of those trips where everything seemed to "fall in place" for us. We thoroughly enjoyed it!

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