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Has anyone ever just "showed up" and try to get a site? Of course I ask because I can't get the times I want. Also the last stay I had full hookup site reserved due to no premium available and asked when I got there if any premium where available? There was no problem upgrading and gave me numerous sites to choose from. Just a thought.

Dave 

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I am sure some have and been turned away. As far as I know those that do get in are handed a phone to talk to reservations anyway so you might as well call for availability even on arrival day to see if you can get in.

All depends on when you want to go really. What dates are you looking for/to try this on? Do you have a backup plan if it doesnt work?

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I understand. My backup plan was to go back home. Only an hour and a half. I will keep looking. As it gets closer I am sure there will be cancelations. Thank you.

 

Dave

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Once upon a time you could just "show up" without much trouble - we called on the way down a couple of times to get in a night early - but that's been pretty rare for a long time now.

If you're close anyway and you're not trying to get in on a busy weekend/holiday it might be worth a shot, you never know.

We have been able to change site categories at check-in.  Last fall we had 11 separate reservations (long story) in Preferred and Premium categories.  We were prepared to have to move around but put on our best sad eyes at checkin and were superduper nice when pleading our case to the CM. Took a supervisor, a call to the magical "back office" and probably 30 minutes, but in the end they got us in one site for the entire time.  We wanted Preferred all along and only booked the Premiums because that's all we could get.  They not only kept us in Preferred the whole time, they even refunded us the difference for the Premium nights.

 

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57 minutes ago, BradyBzLyn...Mo said:

Once upon a time you could just "show up" without much trouble - we called on the way down a couple of times to get in a night early - but that's been pretty rare for a long time now.

If you're close anyway and you're not trying to get in on a busy weekend/holiday it might be worth a shot, you never know.

We have been able to change site categories at check-in.  Last fall we had 11 separate reservations (long story) in Preferred and Premium categories.  We were prepared to have to move around but put on our best sad eyes at checkin and were superduper nice when pleading our case to the CM. Took a supervisor, a call to the magical "back office" and probably 30 minutes, but in the end they got us in one site for the entire time.  We wanted Preferred all along and only booked the Premiums because that's all we could get.  They not only kept us in Preferred the whole time, they even refunded us the difference for the Premium nights.

 

Back in the late 70's and early 80' there used to be a sign at the main toll plaza that said camp sites were or were not available for the night, like the No Vacancy/Vacancy signs at motels.

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I think it really depends on when you arrive. We have extended stays for up to 4 days the week before Christmas. We had friends call at the last minute and got a few days early in October. There have always been empty sites whenever we have stayed. That being said, I think the best bet to getting a last minute campsite is to only plan for a 2 or 3 day stay during the week. 

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We already have reservations for December. My wife has the opportunity to take a trip and rather than sit home I thought I'd grab the dog and go to the Fort. So it's not a big deal if I don't get to go. As time gets closer I am sure something will open as it has in the past. Thanks for all the replies.

Dave

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2 hours ago, safedave said:

We already have reservations for December. My wife has the opportunity to take a trip and rather than sit home I thought I'd grab the dog and go to the Fort. So it's not a big deal if I don't get to go. As time gets closer I am sure something will open as it has in the past. Thanks for all the replies.

Dave

Sounds like a good plan to me.  Good luck!!  🙂

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I’m done booking a year out for reservations only to pay close to $180 a night for a premium site at prime times.  We gave up camping at the fort about a year ago and the family talked me into buying another camper.  This was a mistake and they now agree. The next reservation we have is for spring break and I had to pull the trip down to 4 days vs our normal 7 day stay due to the cost.  The last time we were at the fort was Memorial Day weekend and had a crappy time due to overcrowding at the fort and the parks.  The camper is now for sale and will probably be the last one for a while.  It’s a shame that the CEO’s have pushed people out of the parks due to pricing and now it’s pushing people out of the fort.  They could build more sites but never will due to Them not being full 24/7 yet you cant get a reservation.  They let people book ghost sites and the rules are not enforced more and more.  Then they try to look like good guys by adding some sort of mining for gem stone activity but charge up to $30 a bag for tiny rocks.   I’m done. 

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13 hours ago, Starbuc71 said:

I’m done booking a year out for reservations only to pay close to $180 a night for a premium site at prime times.  We gave up camping at the fort about a year ago and the family talked me into buying another camper.  This was a mistake and they now agree. The next reservation we have is for spring break and I had to pull the trip down to 4 days vs our normal 7 day stay due to the cost.  The last time we were at the fort was Memorial Day weekend and had a crappy time due to overcrowding at the fort and the parks.  The camper is now for sale and will probably be the last one for a while.  It’s a shame that the CEO’s have pushed people out of the parks due to pricing and now it’s pushing people out of the fort.  They could build more sites but never will due to Them not being full 24/7 yet you cant get a reservation.  They let people book ghost sites and the rules are not enforced more and more.  Then they try to look like good guys by adding some sort of mining for gem stone activity but charge up to $30 a bag for tiny rocks.   I’m done. 

Friends of our were in a similar situation a few years ago. They now rent an airbnb just off property for much cheaper than any Disney resort. 5 themed  bedrooms, pool and hot tub. They miss being on property but couldn't afford it anymore. This was their solution. 

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On 9/28/2018 at 10:05 PM, Starbuc71 said:

I’m done booking a year out for reservations only to pay close to $180 a night for a premium site at prime times.  We gave up camping at the fort about a year ago and the family talked me into buying another camper.  This was a mistake and they now agree. The next reservation we have is for spring break and I had to pull the trip down to 4 days vs our normal 7 day stay due to the cost.  The last time we were at the fort was Memorial Day weekend and had a crappy time due to overcrowding at the fort and the parks.  The camper is now for sale and will probably be the last one for a while.  It’s a shame that the CEO’s have pushed people out of the parks due to pricing and now it’s pushing people out of the fort.  They could build more sites but never will due to Them not being full 24/7 yet you cant get a reservation.  They let people book ghost sites and the rules are not enforced more and more.  Then they try to look like good guys by adding some sort of mining for gem stone activity but charge up to $30 a bag for tiny rocks.   I’m done. 

Sorry to hear that , I know you were really excited about that camper. But I know how you feel. Our camper got totalled and I am back and forth on getting another one. I want one really bad but I don't want one just as much.  I know I will get another one I just don't know when.

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On 9/30/2018 at 11:26 AM, LONE-STAR said:

Sorry to hear that , I know you were really excited about that camper. But I know how you feel. Our camper got totalled and I am back and forth on getting another one. I want one really bad but I don't want one just as much.  I know I will get another one I just don't know when.

 

On 9/30/2018 at 11:26 AM, LONE-STAR said:

Sorry to hear that , I know you were really excited about that camper. But I know how you feel. Our camper got totalled and I am back and forth on getting another one. I want one really bad but I don't want one just as much.  I know I will get another one I just don't know when.

Wow, how did the camper get totaled?  So sorry to hear that. Yeah I’m bummed about the fort.  I just can’t do it anymore.  I’m so glad we got a good 10 year run of having some great family times there.  I know there are more campgrounds than just the fort, but the kids are spoiled and so are we.  I’ve had the camper advertised for 2 months now and not a bite.  I guess since it’s small and paid for it can sit and be a portable base camp during hurricanes...lol

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On 9/28/2018 at 11:05 PM, Starbuc71 said:

I’m done booking a year out for reservations only to pay close to $180 a night for a premium site at prime times.  We gave up camping at the fort about a year ago and the family talked me into buying another camper.  This was a mistake and they now agree. The next reservation we have is for spring break and I had to pull the trip down to 4 days vs our normal 7 day stay due to the cost.  The last time we were at the fort was Memorial Day weekend and had a crappy time due to overcrowding at the fort and the parks.  The camper is now for sale and will probably be the last one for a while.  It’s a shame that the CEO’s have pushed people out of the parks due to pricing and now it’s pushing people out of the fort.  They could build more sites but never will due to Them not being full 24/7 yet you cant get a reservation.  They let people book ghost sites and the rules are not enforced more and more.  Then they try to look like good guys by adding some sort of mining for gem stone activity but charge up to $30 a bag for tiny rocks.   I’m done. 

It is tough (the cost), no question at all.  Next year, will be the first year in a long time that we don't have an AP.  I'm hoping to do one short visit, but just to the Fort (no parks).  

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I know that hotels are not camping, and depending on the amount of people a hotel may not fit everyone.

Also some die-hards are dead set against staying off property, but sometimes you just got to bite the bullet.

We stayed at the Grand Villas a couple of weekends ago.  It's close to the parks by the Winn Dixie on Apopka Vineland just past where 535 turns.

We got a 1 bedroom suite with a kitchen for $77 a night including a resort fee.  My inlaws got a 2 bedroom with a huge living room, screened balcony and big kitchen for a little over $300 total for 3 days. They had 4 adults and 2 kids in there.

There are a lot of deals like this if you look.

You are not getting early admissions, but hey most of us have seen everything at the parks numerous times. 

You don't have the Disney ambiance, but for the amount of $$$$ you can save, you can blow it on tons of souvenirs at the Character Warehouse and have Mickeys coming out of every nook and cranny of the suite!

You have to decide if your situations will benefit by staying at a hotel or camping.

Savings on gas, wear and tear on your TV.  Just check in unload and go to the parks or relax instead of leveling, setting up screen rooms, kitchens, etc.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Travisma said:

I know that hotels are not camping, and depending on the amount of people a hotel may not fit everyone.

Also some die-hards are dead set against staying off property, but sometimes you just got to bite the bullet.

We stayed at the Grand Villas a couple of weekends ago.  It's close to the parks by the Winn Dixie on Apopka Vineland just past where 535 turns.

We got a 1 bedroom suite with a kitchen for $77 a night including a resort fee.  My inlaws got a 2 bedroom with a huge living room, screened balcony and big kitchen for a little over $300 total for 3 days. They had 4 adults and 2 kids in there.

There are a lot of deals like this if you look.

You are not getting early admissions, but hey most of us have seen everything at the parks numerous times. 

You don't have the Disney ambiance, but for the amount of $$$$ you can save, you can blow it on tons of souvenirs at the Character Warehouse and have Mickeys coming out of every nook and cranny of the suite!

You have to decide if your situations will benefit by staying at a hotel or camping.

Savings on gas, wear and tear on your TV.  Just check in unload and go to the parks or relax instead of leveling, setting up screen rooms, kitchens, etc.

 

 

Totally agree.  For many years camping was a great alternative for cheaper prices while being able to experience all the amenities. I’m sure a lot of you can go all the way back to the 70’s talking about pricing, but in the early 2000’s the $90-$100 per night was a good fair price.  Fast forward and incorporate the high ticket prices with high nightly site prices and it’s just not a “true” bargain as it once was. Also the fort is no longer a “hidden Gem”.  The RV industry has seen a huge boom also. The RV you could once buy for $20K is now at least $30K.   The quality has declined in the units as the prices rose like everything else.   I agree staying off property is not even close to the magic you get staying at a Disney resort or campground but reality is reality. We will never be able to stay at any Disney resort besides the 3-4 value resorts due to prices.  I think the off site hotels and resorts are just over saturated and they have to run deals to compete. Disney does not have to do that. If you don’t pay, someone else will. Hence why we never see Disney discounts. I guess my parents felt the same way heading into the 80’s...lol

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3 hours ago, Starbuc71 said:

Totally agree.  For many years camping was a great alternative for cheaper prices while being able to experience all the amenities. I’m sure a lot of you can go all the way back to the 70’s talking about pricing, but in the early 2000’s the $90-$100 per night was a good fair price. 

I have a reservation for a tent/pop up site for weekday nights next October for $69 + taxes per night.  Planning to sleep in my tent (or my minivan if there's a thunderstorm) if it all works out.   So I'll argue it's still a good deal for camping like God intended it to be.   (LOL --  if I could afford the Poly and still go to parks and eat where I wanted you know I'd be staying there! ) 

We don't live close and I've always opted for stay onsite and go less often rather than stay off site and go more often. 

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We did PORS last month it was less then we paid for spring break at the Fort. But it was nowhere near as much fun to us. It was easier but honestly it didn't feel like it was worth the money, and I have never felt that way about the Fort.  If we can hold out we don't plan to go back to Disney until 2020 but will see. If we were to get a new camper I could  see a December 2019 trip if I could get a site. But our AP's expire next month and since we were just there last month I think it's time to take a break.

 

Oh Starbuck we had a blowout on the way to Disney back in June and the tire broke through the floor damaged the plumbing, heater, and knocked some interior walls loose. The insurance company was afraid if they started working on it they would find structural damage. So totalled.

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The problem with hotels, is it's a hotel. Unless you spring for the big suites, with a balcony, there is no "lounging around" There is nothing better than stepping out under your awning and relaxing in the big gravity recliner in the morning. Or sitting around with a bunch of Fiends in the evening. Looping, checking out the decorations, etc. We no longer spend more than a couple hours a day at most in the parks. Hanging out at a hotel is not the same. Offsite is even worse. We have that stupid, heavy ECV to contend with. Loading it in the truck a couple of times a day is no fun.

Having said all that, some friends of ours now rent a house off 192. Private pool, pool table, 3 bedrooms, full kitchen, and for less than a site at the Fort. They also use an ECV. At least there, they can leave the ECV in the truck and run an extension cord through the window and charge it overnight without unloading it.

We tried to go cheap a couple of years ago at New Years and stayed in a flea trap hotel on 192. OMG!!!! Never again!!!

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It’s all in how you want to spend your money.  

For us Disney’s Resort prices are to high.    So we mainly stay in a condo at Wyndham bonnet creek.   I can watch the Epcot and HS fireworks from our balcony.   5 pools, 4 poolside bars. 6+ restaurants. Several fire pits, etc, etc.   and we absolutely love it there. And we can get a 2 bedroom condo, at Christmas for $1200 a week.   

all that being said we do miss the onsite properties. So we do a split stay.   This Christmas we will do 8 nights at bonnet creek and then we rented DVC points for an additional 2 nights at copper creek, 2 nights at the Poly, and 1 night at Saratoga Springs.   It’s a splurge but we do love the perks of  staying onsite. 

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23 hours ago, mouseketab.....Carol said:

The problem with hotels, is it's a hotel. Unless you spring for the big suites, with a balcony, there is no "lounging around" There is nothing better than stepping out under your awning and relaxing in the big gravity recliner in the morning. Or sitting around with a bunch of Fiends in the evening. Looping, checking out the decorations, etc. We no longer spend more than a couple hours a day at most in the parks. Hanging out at a hotel is not the same. Offsite is even worse. We have that stupid, heavy ECV to contend with. Loading it in the truck a couple of times a day is no fun.

Having said all that, some friends of ours now rent a house off 192. Private pool, pool table, 3 bedrooms, full kitchen, and for less than a site at the Fort. They also use an ECV. At least there, they can leave the ECV in the truck and run an extension cord through the window and charge it overnight without unloading it.

We tried to go cheap a couple of years ago at New Years and stayed in a flea trap hotel on 192. OMG!!!! Never again!!!

 

20 hours ago, h2odivers...Ray said:

It’s all in how you want to spend your money.  

For us Disney’s Resort prices are to high.    So we mainly stay in a condo at Wyndham bonnet creek.   I can watch the Epcot and HS fireworks from our balcony.   5 pools, 4 poolside bars. 6+ restaurants. Several fire pits, etc, etc.   and we absolutely love it there. And we can get a 2 bedroom condo, at Christmas for $1200 a week.   

all that being said we do miss the onsite properties. So we do a split stay.   This Christmas we will do 8 nights at bonnet creek and then we rented DVC points for an additional 2 nights at copper creek, 2 nights at the Poly, and 1 night at Saratoga Springs.   It’s a splurge but we do love the perks of  staying onsite. 

I agree with both of you.  To each their own but the fort is not what it was.  As someone else stated, if you can get a tent site for $69 and you enjoy tent camping, that a win win.   But for $180, I can’t justify it. I know there are true Disney freaks out there that live and sleep Disney, but I’m not one of them. To me after 10 years of camping at the fort, the looping is now not exciting as it used to be. And to be honest, as you all know, camping is a lot of work. With as much time as I spend at work these days, the nights swinging in my hammock does not make up for the tow, the set up and the breakdown.  It’s not as enjoyable as it once was. For the price camping at the fort, tickets and food for 7 days, I can do it in Dollywood for the same amount of time for almost 1/2 the price.  Again, I’m not that goo goo Gaga for Disney anymore

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To me, driving to, and staying at WDW is completely different than staying around / close to WDW. Neither is right or wrong, but Disney spend brings me a smile. There are a great hotels much closer if that's what I want.

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Agree.   We love staying on property, and all the perks that comes with an on-site stay.   I know it’s going to sound cheesy but there’s something magical about staying on property.  

 

But we also love bonnet creek. It’s like our second home now.   We know several members of the staff.   Mainly a few of the bartenders out by one of the pool bars.  Lol  

We each have our favorite pool, restaurant, and things to do. 

Luckily we can still afford to both.  But as prices keep going up we will be spending more time at Bonnet Creek

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1 hour ago, caveat lector said:

To me, driving to, and staying at WDW is completely different than staying around / close to WDW. Neither is right or wrong, but Disney spend brings me a smile. There are a great hotels much closer if that's what I want.

“but Disney spend brings me a smile.”  

😂 😂 😂 

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On ‎10‎/‎10‎/‎2018 at 10:18 PM, mouseketab.....Carol said:

The problem with hotels, is it's a hotel. Unless you spring for the big suites, with a balcony, there is no "lounging around" There is nothing better than stepping out under your awning and relaxing in the big gravity recliner in the morning. Or sitting around with a bunch of Fiends in the evening. Looping, checking out the decorations, etc. We no longer spend more than a couple hours a day at most in the parks. Hanging out at a hotel is not the same. Offsite is even worse. We have that stupid, heavy ECV to contend with. Loading it in the truck a couple of times a day is no fun. 

Having said all that, some friends of ours now rent a house off 192. Private pool, pool table, 3 bedrooms, full kitchen, and for less than a site at the Fort. They also use an ECV. At least there, they can leave the ECV in the truck and run an extension cord through the window and charge it overnight without unloading it.

We tried to go cheap a couple of years ago at New Years and stayed in a flea trap hotel on 192. OMG!!!! Never again!!!

With the deals on airfare from Philly or Newark camping at the fort is a hard sell to my wife compared to resorts especially with the 8mpg motorhome.

But your reasons are the same for me. It's just so much more relaxing at the beginning and end of each day when your sipping some moonshine under your own awning.

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