If you spend any time RVing in Florida, you might eventually find yourself exploring the Walt Disney World theme parks. Maybe you think it’ll be fun to drop in and say hi to Mickey while you’re snowbirding in Florida. Or, maybe it’s a good way for you to take the kids, grandkids, or nieces and nephews RVing with you.
Either way, the first campground that comes to mind for your Disney visit is likely Walt Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort. Disney’s Fort Wilderness is a fantastic choice, however, it is pricier than your average campground and is often booked far in advance.
No worries! If you find yourself needing an alternative to Fort Wilderness there are state and county parks in the area that’ll have you driving-distance from Disney while still providing you with a roomy and relaxing campsite.
The following campgrounds are all at state or county parks where your campsite is nestled in Florida’s natural beauty. All four are within an hour’s drive to Disney and under $35 a night.
Lake Kissimmee State Park
Lake Kissimmee State Park provides a beautiful, natural Florida setting to camp in. The campsites are all surrounded by oak trees, providing shade and privacy for your RV. The campsites are arranged in two loops. Both loops have bathrooms and showers located in the center. Sandy trails lead from the loop road into the bathrooms.
The campsites at this state park can accommodate rigs up to 55 ft long, so it’s definitely big rig friendly. All developed campsites have water and electric hookups. If you’re planning on adding a little outdoor activity to your Disney trip, you can hike–there are 13 miles of hiking trails–or you can paddle any of the three lakes in the park.
Experienced paddlers can try the Buster Island Paddling Trail (10 miles). The park also offers a lookout tower with views of Lake Kissimmee. From October 1 to May 1, the park has an 1876 “cow camp” with living history demonstrations.
At 51 miles from Disney World, expect your commute into Disney to be about an hour. This makes Lake Kissimmee State Park most ideal if you’re looking to visit just one of the Disney Theme Parks for one day and enjoy Florida’s nature the rest of your stay.
Moss Park is conveniently located just 27 miles to Walt Disney World. You can reasonably expect to arrive on Disney property in just over 30 minutes. Moss Park also provides shady and private campsites. All campsites have water and electric hookups.
Moss Park is an Orange County Park. If you happen to be an Orange County resident your nightly campsite fee is discounted, however, pricing is very reasonable for non-Orange County resident campers. Moss Park is located between two lakes and has a swimming beach. Hiking, biking, and kayaking are also popular activities at Moss Park.
Moss Park is ideal if you’re looking to visit the Disney Theme Parks for just one day or multiple days due to its relatively close proximity. Keep in mind there is a gate code to drive in after hours, so you’ll want to be checked in before going to Disney.
Another thing to note is that Moss Park campsites are not dog-friendly. Some Orange County Parks are, but they ask that pets not be left inside RVs for more than 30 minutes, which doesn’t really work well with a Disney visit.
Wekiwa Springs State Park
Like Moss Park, Wekiwa Springs State Park is just a bit over 30 minutes away at 33 miles from the Walt Disney World resort. This park is well-known for swimming in it’s cool, crystal clear springs. You can also enjoy a paddle down the Wekiva River which is a designated National Wild & Scenic River.
Wekiwa Springs State Park also provides great hiking and birding. All campsites have water and electric hookups. Some sites also have sewer hookups available. The campground is dog-friendly. However, on the day (or days) you visit the theme parks, you’ll want to look into Disney’s on-site dog boarding. Bathrooms and showers are accessible from the campsites which are fairly shaded.
Wekiwa Springs State Park is ideal if you’re looking to spend a day or two exploring Disney’s theme parks, but also spending some time getting a taste of Florida’s natural springs.
Lake Louisa State Park
At just 15 miles away from Disney World, Lake Louisa is your closest Fort Wilderness alternative. You can drive to Disney in just under 30 minutes. Lake Louisa is Florida’s newest state park. It has a brand new feel and is big rig friendly. However, because it is new, the campsites are not very shaded.
The asphalt paved camp loops have bathroom and shower access, but not as much privacy as some of the other alternatives. Still, the campsites are roomy and there is sufficient space between campsites. All sites have water and electric hookups.
There’s plenty of paddling to be done since there are three lakes, one of the lakes even allows swimming. Canoe and kayak rentals are available. The paved roads and trails in this park are also ideal for biking.
If you’re planning on visiting all Disney theme parks, Lake Louisa is your best alternative campground with its close proximity to Disney.
Florida’s county and state parks provide great alternatives to Disney’s Fort Wilderness. Do you know any other good campgrounds in the area? Leave a comment below.