On The Edge

About the Column

K Martin Beaudry became a Disney fanatic when he found himself standing underneath a monorail track waiting for his parents to buy WDW ticket books in December of 1971. The anticipation of experiencing the Magic Kingdom, combined with the fantasy of seeing transportation and architecture unlike anything he has ever seen was enough to cause a Disney obsession that continues to this day.

Multiple hundreds of visits and many annual passes later, Martin still feels the same thrill when arriving at the main gate of any WDW park. As an adult, however, his enthusiasm has extended beyond the parks and into the resorts and on-property activities that many people have never experienced. He and his wife find adventure by checking out things they’ve not seen before – another restaurant, boat ride, resort, or show is always there waiting for them to enjoy.

In recent years, Martin has put his experience and knowledge to work by writing reviews and blogs for several websites related to theme parks in general – but mostly Disney parks. His corny humor and desire to cover unusual topics (an entire blog about a monorail?) provides a welcome relief from the hundreds of articles saying the same things repeatedly. His hope is that he can encourage Disney park visitors to go beyond the parks and into the undiscovered country that is Walt Disney World.

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FROM: On The Edge Published Regularly

Fort Wilderness

KMB follows up with another informative column - this time it's out to Disney's Fort Wilderness and some golf cart tips.



In our sincere effort to keep people informed regarding things to do "on
the edge" of Walt Disney World, my wife and I just got back from a few
days at Disney's Fort Wilderness campground. It was truly a rough
assignment but, as they say, someone has to do it. Schedule details
forced us to arrive at different times, so I pulled the 19' travel
trailer with my Jeep and my wife arrived later with our Smart Car. Yes -
those are certainly boring details, but you will soon see how they are
necessary for this post.

Fort Wilderness guests have a culture all their own to be sure. In most
campgrounds, guests feel a bit like family, but when you add the Disney
obsession, the family becomes more like... well.. family. This means, of
course, that like every family the Fort Wilderness clan has some true
weirdos. But, alas, that is a topic for another post.

Today I want to discuss golf cart rental. Yes - you heard that
correctly. Fort Wilderness is so large, that a golf cart is highly
recommended for getting around. I was told that there are non-stop
flights from one end of the campground to another, but I could not find
the airport. Instead, my wife and I packed a backpack for three days
worth of hiking and headed toward Bay Lake, insuring that we took
pictures of landmarks along the way in an effort to make it easier to
get back.

As we made our way to the lake, it quickly became evident that we were
the only insane campers without a golf cart. They were everywhere! But
more amazing than the sheer number of carts, were the eccentric designs
and styles. Before I attempt to describe these awe-inspiring motion
machines, it is important to note that the campground does rent them.
That's right. For a little less than a payment on the national debt per
day, any camper can have their own golf cart! There is a parking lot at
the front gate containing nothing but golf carts simply crying out to be
adopted for a day.

However, the carts we saw were far from the "stock" models seen on golf
courses throughout the country. Some of these carts were downright
bizarre. There were the decorations that adorned the roofs that
magically transformed the cart into a pumpkin coach for Cinderella, or a
giant cartoon character. On the other hand, there were the carts
themselves that had styles fashioned after everything from military
vehicles to ocean liners. Here's a good look at some in a parade from 2010:



So when my wife and I returned from our trek across distant lands we
decided to disguise our Smart Car as a golf cart. After all, there were
some carts larger than our smart car carrying families the size of
parliament. Why couldn't we take part? The next time we wanted to head
to the pool (which was approximately 2 time zones away) we packed up the
smart car, installed a little Cinderella antenna topper and rolled down
all the windows so that we could practice the "Fort Wilderness wave" - a
standard practice from golf carts. We arrived at the pool, parked our 3
cylinder golf cart, and made our way toward the lounge chairs. Suddenly,
a disaster siren went off, dozens of emergency vehicles appeared out of
nowhere - lights flashing and sirens blaring, and our Smart Car was
surrounded. Above a helicopter hovered with loud speakers exclaiming,
"Parking Violation Alert! Parking Violation Alert!"

OK - I exaggerated. But a cast member did ask us to move our "car", even
though I explained that it was a golf cart. (Evidently the tail pipe and
the air conditioner gave it away.) He was not amused.


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