Cabins And Detached Lodgings In Florida
By Georgina Cruz
In times of pandemic, the popularity of rustic cabins, cottages, bungalows and other detached lodgings is on the rise. And, of course, detached lodgings with their own air conditioning, kitchen and bathroom are very attractive to many travelers as because of their relative isolation, they are considered healthier and more private than lodgings in hotels and motels.
A good option for this type of lodging for families planning a spring break vacation is Fort Wilderness, the camping and cabins area at Walt Disney World in Orlando. This resort has a 700-acre pine and cypress forest with a lake and canals for fishing, and trails for hiking and horseback riding. Nearby is the excitement of the Disney theme parks and water parks, the commercial hub of Disney Springs, and other attractions. Free launches take from Fort Wilderness to the Magic Kingdom and free buses take to the other parks and attractions.
Families may opt to rent a rustic cabin at Fort Wilderness that sleeps up to six and has all the comforts of home including televisions, full kitchen, bathroom with tub/shower, living room, bedroom and patio with picnic table and grill. Fort Wilderness also offers sites for camping and hook ups for recreational vehicles.
Resort amenities include swimming pools (one with a slide), stores selling groceries and souvenirs, restaurants, boat and bicycle rental and tennis and basketball courts.
My husband and I have rented a cabin at Fort Wilderness on several occasions through the years and we have found it to be attractive, with rustic décor. It has a living room with sofa, comfortable chairs, table, televisión and a double bed that hides in the wall when not in use. Its kitchen has a dishwasher, microwave, full-size refrigerator, range and pots, pans, coffeemaker, toaster, utensils, etc.
The cabin’s bedroom has another television, double bed, bunk beds, closet, wash basin and mirror. The bathroom is equipped with a toilet, wash basin, mirror, linen closet and tub/shower. On two occasions we have rented a golf cart to get around the resort at the Meadows Trading Post, one of two stores on the property stocked with groceries and souvenirs. Here too, guests can rent canoes, bicycles, etc. The resort’s panoramas have a storybook quality –like a forest where one might come across Winnie the Pooh. “All the Disney Resorts allow guests to escape urban settings,” said Wing Chao, a Disney Imagineer and executive. And without a doubt, at Fort Wilderness one feels in touch with nature.
We always buy groceries at the Meadows Trading Post to have breakfasts and other meals at our cabin –thus saving time and money. And we patronize the Trails’ End, a rustic restaurant that serves fried chicken, barbecued ribs and other American fare at the resort.
Fort Wilderness also features a free “campfire” program with Disney movies and marshmallow roasting at two fire pits to delight the children and the young at heart, but at present it has been temporarily postponed due to the pandemic.
In Fort Wilderness the stables for horses used at the Magic Kingdom are kept and there are also stables to house horses for guests who wish to go on a trail ride in the resort.
Other detached lodgings at Disney World to consider include:
- The Bora Bora Bungalows at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort – Perfect for a South Seas fantasy, without leaving Florida, these bungalows built over a lake, are minutes away from the Magic Kingdom via complimentary boats or monorail and sleep up to eight adults. They have two bedrooms, living room, dining room, full kitchen, washer/dryer, two bathrooms and patio/deck with a private pool.
- Disney’s Copper Creek Villas & Cabins – This resort on the shores of Bay Lake, minutes from the Magic Kingdom via complimentary launches, is rustic and at the same time, elegant. Its Cascade Cabins sleep up to eight adults and have a living room, dining room, two bedrooms, washer/dryer, two baths, full kitchen, and private patio with hot tub.
Info on detached lodgings at Walt Disney World: www.disneyworld.com.
Detached lodgings to consider in other parts of Florida include the following:
- Florida Keys – Little Palm Island Resort & Spa offers bungalows reminiscent of a Balinese escape. Thatched roof bungalow suites are luxurious with four-poster beds with butterfly netting, large deck, outdoor soaking tub, outdoor shower and private fire pit. Info: www.littlepalmisland.com.
- Vero Beach – Disney’s Vero Beach Resort & Spa has a half dozen three-bedroom two-story beach cottages with balconies that open up to the Atlantic Ocean. They have full kitchens, washer/dryer and other comforts of home and sleep 12. Info: 772-234-2000.