Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Running Around the World: The Wildest Run in the Wilderness!

Running at Disney's Wilderness Lodge Resort and the Fort Wilderness Campgrounds has been my absolute favorite run at Walt Disney World. Even now since moving home, running "in the Wilderness" has been one of the parts of Disney that I miss the most. That and literal Starbucks runs to Magic Kingdom. And Dream Along with Mickey. And CANDLELIGHT PROCESSIONAL. I'll be writing some posts about Candlelight Processional. Correction. I'll probably be writing TOO many posts about Candlelight Processional, so I'll will save my thoughts for those.

I thought about doing 2 separate posts for Wilderness Lodge and Ft Wilderness, but... I did them both in one day because I was so excited about the run! It's also so easy to run from Wilderness Lodge to Ft Wilderness, that it is almost difficult not to do it.

Usually I would start this run by parking at the Wilderness Lodge. The day of this run I decided to be adventurous, so I ran/walked to Magic Kingdom and took a bus to the Lodge.

The final part was a boat ride back to the Contemporary, where the boat driver said there are otters in Bay Lake. Did you hear that? There are otters in Bay Lake! She said she has seen 3 at one time, so we know there are at least three out there. I have seen at least one of them on the boat dock at the Contemporary. It was the most exciting thing ever!
Run-ability: 4.8/5
This is actually the MOST run-able of all of the Walt Disney World Resort runs in my opinion. Big parts of this run are on wooded paths which is a nice relief for your knees, especially compared to the sidewalks and boardwalks we've been running around in the Kingdom. This run also has the most shade of any of the runs. That is a fact. It's actual. And everything about this run is satisfactual.

Ease of Access: 4.8/5
Easiest parking will be at Disney's Wilderness Lodge when available. Also accessible by a boat from Magic Kingdom or a resort bus from a theme park. You can park at Ft Wilderness campgrounds, BUT then you will have a long walk/run or bus ride back to Pioneer Hall or whatever area you want to run. Personally I did not run through the campgrounds themselves very often because I would get turned around and inevitably lost. I stuck with Pioneer Hall and the Wilderness trail found just behind the outpost and then back to the Lodge.

Scenery: 5/5*I almost want to give this an 11

This run made me forget that I was only a mile away from the Magic Kingdom. When you are on the nature trail on your way to the campgrounds, you are just immersed in nature. It just an amazing feeling. I know most people come to Disney for the parks, but what always keeps me wanting to come back is the completely immersive atmosphere you find in an attraction or a restaurant, but especially at a Disney resort. While all of those are man made Disney things, it's really nice to be reminded that nature is the best attraction of all. Just a short walk on your next Disney vacation can really mellow you out before the craziness of the parks to come.

Facilities: 3.5/5
In the interest of being completely honest and giving you an accurate ranking for each of the resorts' running trails, I do have to give the Wilderness run a lower score for facilities. There is a restroom to use at the entrance of the Wilderness Lodge, just beside Whispering Canyon, and then the next set of restrooms to use are at Pioneer Hall at the Ft Wilderness Campgrounds. There also aren't any easy to access showers that I know of besides at the Ft Wilderness Pool, and I can't actually confirm if that shower is easy to access, since I have not used it.
There is, however, 2 gift shops on your running tour.
Distance: 5/5
This running trail is definitely a 5 when it comes to distance. You have so many choices when it comes to this run. If you want to keep it to a mile, you can keep it to the loop around the lodge or a loop just at the campgrounds. If you're looking for real mileage running from the lodge to the campgrounds and back is a really easy course. And if that mileage still isn't long enough, there is a whole campground just waiting to be explored.

Overall Score & Thoughts: 4.62/5
When you go through all of my Running Around the World posts, one thing will be certain. This is my favorite run in the Kingdom. If you have never run or even explored Wilderness Lodge or the Ft Wilderness Campgrounds, you should really consider adding it to your next Disney trip. The area is just a boat ride away from the Magic Kingdom. Trail's End is my favorite breakfast buffet. And there are ponies! Visiting the stables is a fun, FREE thing to include on your next visit.
Have you ever completed one of the Wildest runs in the Wilderness?
Let me know in the comments. And let me know where you run at the Walt Disney World Resort! 


  1. I love stopping for a beer at the Ft Wilderness pool after making this run to the campground and back.

  2. I love stopping for a beer at the Ft Wilderness pool after making this run to the campground and back.