05 May 2009

Fort Wilderness Railroad

Fort Wilderness has a long and storied history within Walt Disney World. It had meager beginnings that included nighttime raids for supplies during construction and has often been overlooked, due to the nature of its existence and its distant proximity, by a majority of guests. Yet, for guests seeking a bit of the Walt Disney World of yesterday, Fort Wilderness now offers a site that pays tribute to the resort’s history while improving it for the future.Currently, Fort Wilderness’ Meadow Swimmin’ Pool is undergoing a dramatic refurbishment. Through this process the once placid pool and surrounding facilities will be upgraded, including a new water slide and splash area. The splash area has yet to open (construction photos can be seen below), but the water slide has just recently debuted. The spiral slide wraps itself around a water tower that should be familiar to guests, as it served for the entrance to River Country, Walt Disney World’s first water park, for a number of years. For the past several years, it has stood at the entrance to Mickey’s Backyard BBQ and the Fort Wilderness Pavilion.Going back even further in the resort’s history is the emblem that now resides on the side of the water tower. For those unaware, that is the symbol of the Fort Wilderness Railroad, a short-lived railroad that meandered its way throughout the campground from 1974 until 1979. While neither River Country or the Fort Wilderness Railroad have been seen in or around the resort for many years, it is always nice to see that these pieces of our collected history are still being remembered and honored in some fashion.

Below are further photographs of the current splash area construction that is ongoing at the Meadow Swimmin’ Pool.


Princess Fee said...

Wow, that's a great catch! Thanks for sharing the pictures with us too - I may need to plan to stay at Fort Wilderness some time in the near future.

Anonymous said...

Hi...very nice article. In case you're interested, I recently completed a two volume book set on the Fort Wilderness Railroad. The web site www.steelwheelonsteelrail.com has more detail.....Thanks! David