When you combine the words “extinct” and “Fort Wilderness” together, you’ll get a lot of memories that immediately pop to people’s minds. First and foremost would be the Fort Wilderness Railroad, followed there after by River Country, Discovery Island, and maybe even a few people who recall the Marshmallow Marsh. Rarely you might find someone who remembers the food delivery truck that passed through the campground loops, but those are guests who go quite a ways back with Fort Wilderness.
Known as the Peddler’s Truck, it wound its way through the campground selling foodstuffs and sundries to guests who were roughing it and needed provisions to survive the wilderness. Or marshmallows to roast at the campfire… The truck was modeled after the old-fashioned peddler trucks that serviced rural areas of the country. Onboard guests could find fresh fruit and vegetables, including corn, potatoes, and melons, chips, sodas, and even charcoal for cooking.
The truck was a convenience to guests who didn’t want to slog up to a trading post or, worse yet, have to leave property for camping goods, but there was also an element of story here as well. The truck announced its presence on a loop with a clanging cowbell. Think of it as an ice cream truck, but instead of children chasing it for an ice cream cone it was likely a dad clamoring after it to grab the corn he forgot to buy at the store and pack in with the family’s camping gear. The truck may have looked old, but Disney had given it the magical touch with sound effects that made it seem as if it were barely chugging along and would occasionally backfire.
The Peddler’s Truck was a throwback to the bygone days that personified Fort Wilderness’ early identity. These days, of course, just a mention of the Peddler’s Truck is a throwback to the bygone days of Fort Wilderness itself. Although one could do worse than to venture down memory lane in a rickety sounding truck delivering fresh food to campers!