June 15, 2024

New Rules for RV Rentals & Golf Cart Liability at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Campground


Walt Disney World is instituting rule changes at Fort Wilderness Campground to ban third party golf cart rents and require insurance of owners, while also limiting RV rental providers. This lists the official new rules

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Walt Disney World is instituting rule changes at Fort Wilderness Campground to ban third party golf cart rents and require insurance of owners, while also limiting RV rental providers. This lists the official new rules & regulations for vehicles, carts, RVs and recreation devices, along with our commentary about the potentially polarizing policies.

These changes come against the backdrop of Walt Disney World introducing New DVC Cabins to Fort Wilderness Campground, which will undoubtedly alter the demographics and average ‘guest profile’ of the resort. With this, more than 350 new cabins are replacing the existing cabins at the resort, turning the resort side of the campground into a Disney Vacation Club property.

To prepare for the influx of DVC guests, Walt Disney World reimagined the restaurants in Pioneer Hall. That work is now finished, and both Crockett’s Tavern and Trail’s End have reopened. Along with this, Walt Disney World has announced a “collection of improvement projects” at Fort Wilderness aimed at improving the guest experience, covering everything from pools to walking trail improvements. I don’t know if the new Disney Vacation Club cabins have anything to do with the RV and golf cart rule changes, but it kinda makes sense that Walt Disney World wouldn’t want its newest DVC resort to be the wild west.

Regardless, Walt Disney World has just made some adjustments to its policies for RVs and golf carts at Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground. Here’s what you need to know before you go…

Renting an RV?

Several Disney-featured providers allow guests to rent an RV at Fort Wilderness. RVs can be rented by contacting a Walt Disney World Featured Provider, including:

  • Meacham’s RV Rental – (941) 224-4939
  • Escape RV Rental – (407) 374-3657
  • Kissimmee Orlando RV Rental – (407) 368-7899
  • Ohana Camper Rental – (386) 748-9328

When renting through one of these providers, you do not need to be present when the equipment is delivered to Fort Wilderness Resort. The provider will work with Cast Members at Fort Wilderness to manage deliveries, set-up and returns of the rented RVs.

Bringing an RV?

RVs are welcome and must be brought in by registered guests.

Renting a golf cart from Disney?

Golf carts can be easily rented right from Fort Wilderness. Guests can make reservations in advance by calling 407-824-2724, based on availability. After arriving, guests can visit the Outpost to pick up the golf cart right at the resort.

Bringing your own golf cart?

Golf carts are welcome, but beginning June 1, 2024, for the safety of everyone at the resort, guests bringing golf carts must be prepared to present proof of insurance and sign an agreement and waiver.

Renting a golf cart from a third party?

There are no authorized third party golf cart rentals or featured providers.

As a reminder, third-party companies may not conduct unauthorized business on Walt Disney World property. Disney rules prohibit unauthorized commercial activity at Walt Disney World. This includes unauthorized rentals brought onto the property by non-resort guests, such as RVs and golf carts.

Editor’s note: This means that the “loophole” of renting a golf cart via a third party and bringing it to Fort Wilderness is officially dead. Disney makes it clear from the above, and it’s also the case that you would not have liability insurance for a golf cart that you rented. So renting golf carts is no longer possible, period, and Disney will no longer be turning a blind eye to it.

Here’s a look at the refreshed rules courtesy of Walt Disney World:

Turning to commentary, I’m going to start with my potentially unpopular opinion that I might come to regret sharing: GOOD!

I will spare you a long rant, but I have had some near-misses with golf carts driven by children (against the rules in the first place) or irresponsible adults (guessing drunk driving was involved one of those times) on a few occasions. We’re not at Fort Wilderness that often, so I know if this has happened to me, I cannot be the only one.

My hope is that this isn’t even an unpopular opinion. That enough other guests have experienced this firsthand to know it’s a problem, and that Walt Disney World isn’t just making random rule changes out of left field. Like the hugely controversial oversized stroller and loose ice ban a few years back, there’s a very valid basis for this change–it’s overdue and occurring for good reason. Also, that enough campers have experienced a rule like this in the real world that they are familiar with and accepting of it.

Requiring liability insurance of $100k/$300k and requiring guests to sign an agreement and waiver should give some guests pause about irresponsible use/misuse of golf carts, while also weeding out some golf cart drivers. Again, at least that’s my hope.

Honestly, I don’t understand why there need to be so many golf carts at Fort Wilderness in the first place. Yes, it’s a sprawling resort. But isn’t that part of the appeal? I’ve heard so many complaints from Fort Fiends in the last year who lament the character of the campground irreparably changing and it no longer being peaceful and calm as a result of construction or other assorted changes.

A lot is changing, but there also never used to be so many golf carts at Fort Wilderness back in the 1990s or earlier. When I think about tranquil places, golf carts zipping around everywhere is certainly not the first thing that comes to mind. Back when I was a kid, we walked around Fort Wilderness, rode bikes, or (heaven forbid) took the internal buses. Okay okay, I promised that I’d spare you from a long rant, and I now realize I’m fully in old man yells at cloud mode.

I’m not trying to be a hater. The vast majority of golf cart drivers at Fort Wilderness are perfectly fine and safe, and I know that for some guests, this is a huge part of the experience and adds to the fun. I can fully understand and respect that! I also know there are plenty of guests with mobility needs who are well-served by golf carts who couldn’t get around Fort Wilderness as well any other way. All of that is true.

It can also be true that it’s time to clamp down on some of the irresponsible minority of reckless golf drivers. Roving gangs of unaccompanied kids should not be zooming around a campground, like it’s Mario Kart IRL. I also think that the vibe of Fort Wilderness (something so many of us care a lot about) would be better with fewer golf carts on the road. To some extent, these ideas are conflicting; but like the evolution of Fort Wilderness itself, it’s about finding the right balance.

Planning a Walt Disney World trip? Learn about hotels on our Walt Disney World Hotels Reviews page. For where to eat, read our Walt Disney World Restaurant Reviews. To save money on tickets or determine which type to buy, read our Tips for Saving Money on Walt Disney World Tickets post. Our What to Pack for Disney Trips post takes a unique look at clever items to take. For what to do and when to do it, our Walt Disney World Ride Guides will help. For comprehensive advice, the best place to start is our Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide for everything you need to know!

Your Thoughts

Have you rented an RV or used a golf cart at Fort Wilderness? What did you think of the experience? What do you think of these rule changes? Had any issues with reckless drivers on the roads of the Fort? Anything else to add that we didn’t cover? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!

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