What do you do when you want to go to Disney World, but you don’t want to shell out the big bucks to stay at Disney’s Fort Wilderness? Well you could pick one of the many “resort” style parks in the area. You know the kind where your neighbor’s slide is two inches from your bedroom window and the population of tiny, furry yapper dogs is higher than some small countries? Or you could find yourself a nice little city park where the sites are only $19/day and you get access to several walking/biking paths, two disc golf courses, and a lake for fishing. Hmmm…which do you think we chose?
If you guessed the city park then you know us well. I will admit that we did briefly look into staying at Fort Wilderness. I mean it does seem convenient, and everyone raves about how nice it is. But since we were only planning to spend one day at Disney, but the whole week in Orlando there was no way we could justify the $130/night price tag. Also, the park is most definitely family oriented with several pools, playgrounds, pony and wagon rides, campfire sing a-longs with Chip n’ Dale, and more. In other words, great for families with kids, not so great for full-time travelers who work during the week. On the other hand, Bill Frederick Park at Turkey Lake (could they have picked a longer name?) was perfect for us. Only a 30 minute drive to Disney, easy access to grocery stores or any other kind of shopping you could desire, lots of trees, quiet at night, and very affordable.
There are only 36 sites at Bill Frederick. Fourteen with full hook-ups that cost $24/night, and 22 with electric and water only that cost $19/night. There are no weekly or monthly rates, but they do allow you to stay at the park for up to 6 months at a time, which means the park is almost always full. When I called two months ahead of our stay to make a reservation I was sure they would be full. Somehow we go lucky and snagged a partial hook-up site for the week.
The site itself was pretty big in size, but it was an interior site, which offered us zero privacy. That meant anything we did outside the Airstream (including me doing my exercise videos) was on full view of the other sites around us. It also meant that we got to enjoy the colored rope lights stung up in the trees next to the RV behind us. All night long…from our bedroom window. We also got an up close and personal show of the three older men in the sites surrounding us preforming their hourly leaf blowing duties. So yeah…not what we would consider a perfect campground, but all in all not a bad place to spend one week. We even ran into another full-time RV family whose blog we have followed for years now. They were at the tail end of their stay in the park and we’re so happy that we got a chance to hang out for one evening.
Outside of the campground the park was huge with a paved bike path, tons of picnic shelters, a pool (that was full of clean water, but not open) horse stables, several playgrounds, cabins for rent, tent sites, a fishing pier, and two disc golf courses.
Way back in August we bought ourselves some disc golf discs with the best intention of learning how to play. Well it only took eight months, but I am happy to report that this week we finally put those discs to good use.
On the plus side the park closed to the public at 5 pm which meant we had the course to ourselves. On the negative side, both the courses had holes that went over the water. The alligator infested water. Whose idea was that? As beginners we chose the course with only one over water hole and hoped for the best. We played this course twice and predictably Tim made it over both times, but I did not. The first time my disc landed close enough to the shore that Tim was able to fish it out with a stick. The second time it landed about ten feet into a muddy area and I had to go back to the RV for my Bog mud boots so I could retrieve it. I knew I kept those boots around for a reason!
So we’re not quite experts yet, but we did have fun, and hopefully now that we’ve broken the ice with our first game we can find more places to practice (preferably away from the water).
Overall Bill Frederick park was a nice place and if we ever come back to Orlando we wouldn’t hesitate to stay there again. But one week in central Florida was more than enough. By the end of the week we were ready to head back to the coast. More on that coming soon…
Oh those leaf-blowing men!
But I understand them too..those danged live oak leaves got *everywhere* – I had to keep cleaning them out of underhood areas of my truck and from the sounds of our air conditioner now I think one or two made it in.
But yea – glad you guys found us. Next time I’ll even hike up my pants for the photo…;)
Yup, between those leaves and the yellow pollen we’ll be carrying around memories of that park for awhile. Hope to see you again next winter in the southwest.
The park looks beautiful, but I have to admit I have never encountered or thought about leaf blowers in a campground. Interesting
Spend enough time in Florida and you’ll see everything :)
What a great alternative to the $130 a night Disney Park. Sounds like it might be a bit of a challenge to get a spot, though. Amazing that they allow people to stay for six months!!
We were really surprised that they allowed long stays in such a small park. I talked to one couple who said they had been wintering in the park for the past 9 years!
Just getting caught up on your blog! Nice report on another Florida park that’s more our style also.
If a gator eats your disc how do your score that hole? ; )
Well, I don’t know what the official rules are, but I personally think it should count as a hole in one :)
If you are in the Orlando area again I would suggest the Orange County parks. We stayed at Magnolia Park last week. Small but lovely. Well maintained. Right by Lake Apopka. Water and electric hookups with a dump station. The senior non-county resident rate was $17.50. Campers there also recommended the other Orange County parks: Moss Park, Trimble Park, and Kelly Park. Meanwhile I really enjoy your blog! You cover everything so thoroughly and keep it interesting!
Thanks for the recommendation! Those sound like nice parks. I’ll mark them on the map for the next time we come through Orlando.