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SATURDAY SIX: 6 Reasons We LOVE Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground

first_imgShare This!This week’s SATURDAY SIX takes a look at Six Reasons We LOVE Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground. With 26 on-site resorts at Walt Disney World, there is a wide variety of choices for families coming down. We’ve covered many here on the SATURDAY SIX including Value Resorts (Art of Animation and Pop Century), Moderates (Port Orleans Riverside and Coronado Springs), and Deluxe (Contemporary and Animal Kingdom Lodge). We also can’t forget the Disney Vacation Club resorts such as Old Key West. Today we are going to take a look at one of WDW’s original resorts, Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground.Fort Wilderness. (photo by Julia Mascardo)Overlooked by many Disney guests because it is not a traditional hotel, Fort Wilderness is one of the oldest resorts at WDW opening about a month after the Magic Kingdom all the way back in 1971. Since that time, the entire area has gone through a lot of changes and is really one of the most special places on property. Today we’re going to take a look at some of our favorite parts of Fort Wilderness, and let’s kickoff the countdown with…# 6 – Tri-Circle-D RanchTalk about a “hidden gem” at Walt Disney World, and one that is hidden in plain sight. Located directly next to Pioneer Hall – and Disney’s legendary Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue (we’ll get to that later) – is Tri-Circle-D Ranch, home to all the horses at WDW. That’s right, from the horses you’ll see pulling the trolley on Main Street USA to the Headless Horseman’s steed at MNSSHP, they all spend their off time here at the Ranch. Aside from just walking around and admiring their beautiful animals, the Ranch also offers pony rides for children and horseback rides for those aged 9 and up (while walking around the Ranch is free, there is a charge for rides.)At the back of the Ranch there is a giant barn, and inside you’ll find a wonderful tribute to the history of horses and the Walt Disney Company (including some fantastic pictures of Walt himself with horses.) Here you can also see many horses hanging out in their stalls, and outside of each there is a placard giving some information about each horse. I highly recommend taking a trip to the Tri-Circle-D Ranch on your next WDW visit. There are so many types of breeds that call the Ranch home including Arabian, Clydesdale, Belgian, and Shetland ponies.Tri-Circle-D Ranch. (photo by Brandon Glover)Tri-Circle-D Ranch. (photo by Brandon Glover)Tri-Circle-D Ranch. (photo by Morgan Crutchfield)When the weather dips to 50 or below, the horses get to wear their winter coats (for readers such as @TheDCLBlog the coats come out at 78 degrees) – photo by Morgan CrutchfieldThe history of Walt Disney and horses. (photo by Brandon Glover)Walt Disney. (photo by Brandon Glover)The Dragon Calliope: “the horse-drawn musical instrument that Walt Disney purchased for the Mickey Mouse Club Circus Parade at Disneyland Park in the 1950s.” (photo by Brandon Glover)Tri Circle D barn. (photo by Brandon Glover)Horse LinkedIn. (photo by Brandon Glover)Blacksmith. (photo by Brandon Glover)–# 5 – The Chuck Wagon and Chip ‘N Dale’s Campfire Sing-A-LongWhile Disney was certainly late to the Food Truck craze (although we are huge fans of the Food Truck Park at Disney Springs) they came up with an E-Ticket food truck at Fort Wilderness with The Chuck Wagon. Themed like an RV, the food truck fits in perfectly at the Meadows part of Fort Wilderness and is located directly next to the area for Chip ‘n Dale’s Campfire Sing-A-Long. There are a bunch of awesome Disney stickers all over the RV that are worth checking out, especially for fans of Old School Disney. I personally loved the newer stickers representing areas at Fort Wilderness and Wilderness Lodge.The Chuck Wagon offers a limited menu of sandwiches, salads, and hot dogs. There is alcohol available along with the usual assortment of soft drinks. Because the camper is parked next to the Chip ‘n Dale’s Campfire area, it’s also your go to place to pick up snacks for that, including S’mores kits (you’ll also find cotton candy, pretzels, popcorn, ice cream and more.)The Chuck Wagon, notice the original logo for WDW underneath the USA map. (photo by Brandon Glover)Stickers. (photo by Brandon Glover)This is the original logo of Walt Disney World. Great touch. (photo by Brandon Glover)Condiments. (photo by Julia Mascardo)Pioneer Berry Salad. (photo by Julia Mascardo)Roasted Portobello and Vegetable wrap. (photo by Julia Mascardo)Beef and Blue Sandwich. (photo by Julia Mascardo)–Wait, you’ve never heard of Chip ‘n Dale’s Campfire Sing-A-Long? Talk about another underrated gem on property, this is one of the only meet and greets outside of the parks that you don’t need a reservation for and is FREE. There is a ton of seating, and two fire pits at the front to roast your marshmallows. For our family, roasting marshmallows is right up on the kids’ favorite things to do along with pool swimming and trying to get us to buy them every toy they see. A cowboy takes the stage, and after he introduces Chip ‘n Dale a small sing-a-long show takes place (don’t expect any tunes from The Little Mermaid or Moana, this is mostly nursery rhyme stuff.) Chip n’ Dale will walk around to take pictures and sign autographs for everyone. When the show is over, a Disney movie will be shown on a giant screen in the area so you can really make a night of this. Again, everything is absolutely free and no ADRs are required (although if you don’t bring your own S’mores kit expect to buy one from the Chuck Wagon because you don’t want to be That Guy.)Chip and Dale’s Campfire Sing A Long. (photo by Brandon Glover)Seating. These benches make the concrete at Rivers of Light shows seem comfortable, so bring a “parade cushion” if you got one. (photo by Brandon Glover)Chip ‘n Dale. (photo by Daisy Lauren)Campfire. (photo by Daisy Lauren)Movie screen. (photo by Daisy Lauren)–# 4 – The CabinsMore power to anyone who actually spend a Disney vacation with their family in an RV or tent at the Fort Wilderness Campgrounds. My family tried that and to this day half of us still won’t talk to each other. Thankfully there’s another alternative for those of us who consider “roughing it” to be going to a Value Resort: The Fort Wilderness Cabins. To quote Len Testa, “think of log cabins at any resort mountain town around the country, except have them sanitized by Disney and insert 4 world-class theme parks, that’s the Fort Wilderness experience. It’s perfect if you want to give your vacation a rustic-but-not-too-rustic feeling.”The cabins are equipped with HDTV, air-conditioning, Wi-Fi, and a fully equipped kitchen, just like the pioneers had. There is a queen size bed, bunk beds, and double-size sleeper sofa. With Mousekeeping and H2O branded bathroom products, you have all the amenities of a Disney hotel room but they are nothing like the rooms you’ll find at equivalently priced accommodations on property. The sticking point for us is just one bathroom per cabin (we love the Art of Animation suites that have two,) but there are several “convenience stations” across Fort Wilderness which offer bathrooms which have showers and next level bonkers art on the walls.Cabin.Outdoor cooking area. (photo by Steve Bloom)Bunk beds leave so much extra room for ACTIVITIES! (photo by Steve Bloom)How great are those chairs and that lighting fixture?! (photo by Steve Bloom)This is the closest we here at the SATURDAY SIX get to “roughing it” on vacation. (photo by Steve Bloom)–# 3 – Trail’s EndWhen it comes to dining at Disney, you had us at “all you care to eat.” From ‘Ohana to Tusker House to Whispering Canyon and pretty  much everywhere in between, if there’s a buffet or buffet-style restaurant, we love eating there. Trail’s End at Fort Wilderness is up there with the best of them. The amount of quality food items available is just incredible, and we go crazy for their signature fried chicken and pork ribs. There is something for literally everyone, including pizza and fish dishes. You want dessert? How about strawberry shortcake, ice cream, cake, apple cobbler, bread pudding and more. Oh, and don’t forget to get a piece of cornbread too (or if you’re like us, ten pieces.)One major plus at Trails End is how accommodating they are for vegan diners. The buffet itself is a carnivores dream, but vegans can take solace that they can be prepared items off menu. In fact, one of the chefs at Trail’s End is basically a superstar to many guests with dietary restrictions: Chef TJ. We’ve seen some truly fantastic meals made by Chef TJ that have made the vegan in our party feel very special. Chef TJ always goes above and beyond and makes every meal magical.Check out this review of Trail’s End by noted theme park foodie Tom Bricker and make your ADR ASAP!The Trail’s End “Greatest Hits” plate. (photo by Tom Bricker)It took all of our will to not just pull up our chair her and set up shop. (photo by Daisy Lauren)Trail’s End. (photo by Daisy Lauren)Trails End. (photo by Daisy Lauren)Mmmmmm, corbread. (photo by Megan Stump)Trails End brunch. (photo by Julia Mascardo)Vegan Nachos at Trail’s End, prepared by Chef TJ. (photo by Cheryl Perlmutter)Portobello Mushroom with tofu, rice and vegetables, prepared by Chef TJ. (photo by Cheryl Perlmutter)Apple Cobler. (photo by Julia Mascardo)–# 2 – All the ActivitiesSome resorts at WDW have more to offer than others. For instance, if you had to spend an entire week at the All-Star Resorts without leaving the area, you might – in fact – lose your mind. At Fort Wilderness, you could spend an entire week at the resort and not even feel the need to to go the theme parks because there is so much to do and see. Like all other WDW resorts, Fort Wilderness has a pool to swim in, and similar to resorts near a large body of water (like the Grand Flo) it features a marina with many options. While other Disney resorts offer bicycle riding as an activity, Fort Wilderness is the only one with the amount of room – and view – to really enjoy yourself. Guests can fish or get a canoe and go out into the water for some relaxation. Aside from just visiting Tri-Circle-D Ranch, you can also get private carriage rides or a group wagon ride through the trails.Fort Wilderness.Bicycle.A canoe going upstream.Nature at Fort Wilderness.Fort Wilderness. (photo by Brandon Glover)Fishing available. (photo by Brandon Glover)At the Marina, transportation to the Magic Kingdom and other resorts is available.Wagon Ride. (photo by Brandon Glover)(photo by Brandon Glover)(photo by Brandon Glover) # 1 – Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical RevueFor us here at the SATURDAY SIX, the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue is not just the best thing at Fort Wilderness, it is the best thing in all of Walt Disney World. It is the longest running show at WDW and is a family favorite for many generations of guests. Hoop-Dee-Doo is a dinner show featuring an Old Timey vaudeville act whose corny jokes and interaction with the audience work just as well in 2017 as they did 30 years ago. The food is served all you care to eat (music to our ears) and features several of the Must Get items at Trail’s End, including fried chicken, ribs, and cornbread. The drinks are all bottomless as well, including alcohol. The finale of the show is based around the strawberry shortcake and the dessert delivers in the main event spot it gets. There is no ifs, ands, or buts, if Hoop-Dee-Doo is sitting there on your Disney Bucket List you need to check it off immediately.Pioneer Hall. (photo by Brandon Glover)The best plates on Disney property. (photo by Brandon Glover)Try not to drool on your keyboard. (photo by Brandon Glover)Bud Light and Yeungling served as all you can drink and we can assure it was challenge accepted. (photo by Brandon Glover)The Pioneer Hall Players. (photo by Brandon Glover)(photo by Brandon Glover)Audience participation. (photo by Brandon Glover)Servers. (photo by Brandon Glover)E-Ticket dessert. (photo by Brandon Glover)–HONORABLE MENTION  – The Merch!This is almost impossible to believe, but Fort Wilderness has hands-down the best selection of resort specific merchandise at WDW. Who’da thunk it?! The shirts are great, the pins are unique, and even the “resort art” is cool. There are two Trading Posts at Fort Wilderness, and keep your eyes open for the pressed penny designs too!(photo by Brandon Glover)Fort Wilderness RV Keychain/Flashlight, in the resort-specific merchandise Hall of Fame.These shirts are great. (photo by Brandon Glover)Back of the “Happy Camper” shirt.(photo by Brandon Glover)Never understood why people would buy prints sold in other resort gift shops (such as Old Key West or Caribbean Beach) but the art at Fort Wilderness is excellent. (photo by Brandon Glover)Pins. (photo by Brandon Glover)Mickey wearing a coonskin hat.–So there you have it: Six Reasons We LOVE Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground! See you next weekend for the latest installment of the SATURDAY SIX, where we’ll look at something fun from the world of Disney and Universal. If you enjoyed yourself, be sure to check out The Magic, The Memories, and Merch! articles, or, for your listening pleasure, check out the E-Ticket Report podcast. You can also follow Your Humble Author on Twitter (@derekburgan).If you enjoyed this article, you will surely like the following:Six Reasons We Love Disney’s BOARDWALK ResortSix Reasons We Love Disney’s POP CENTURY ResortSix Reasons We Love Disney’s Animal Kingdom LodgeSix Reasons We Love Disney’s OLD KEY WEST ResortSix Reasons We Love Disney’s CORONADO SPRINGS ResortSix Amazing CARS Details at Disney’s ART OF ANIMATION ResortHidden Gems of Disney: Chip ‘n Dale’s Campfire Sing-A-LongSpecial Thanks to crack staff photographer Brandon Glover, Outlet Intern Jammin’ Julia Mascardo, World Traveler Daisy Lauren, DVC Central magnate Morgan Crutchfield, and blogger to the stars Megan Stump for their invaluable assistance with this article. Be sure to also check out Brandon on The Park Blogger podcast with co-hosts Aengus Mackenzie, while fellow Potterheads may enjoy Meg’s work on the Central Florida Slug Club.FINAL PLUG! Did you know The 2017 Unofficial Guide to Universal Orlando has a special edition of the SATURDAY SIX in it? Finally, someone came up with an actual reason to read a book. ORDER this baby now!See ya soon Mick. See ya REAL SOON! (photo by Brandon Glover)last_img read more

SA hockey teams in action in London

first_img9 July 2014 South Africa’s men’s and women’s hockey teams will be aiming to build on successful endings to the recent World Cup when they take part in the Investec Cup in London from Wednesday. On Wednesday, the women open their challenge against Scotland, while the men’s first outing will be against Ireland. With the Commonwealth Games starting in Glasgow on 23 July, the competition is an excellent opportunity for the South African teams to fine-tune their games in London. The Investec Cup will also celebrate the opening of the new London Olympics 2012 legacy venue, the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre, which has now become England hockey’s national stadium.Line-ups England, Scotland, Ireland and South Africa, all Commonwealth Games contestants, make up the men’s line-up in London, while the women’s teams are also Commonwealth Games sides, namely England, Scotland, Wales and South Africa. “We will only have one training here before the Scotland match so we be looking at getting our processes right in that game,” South African women’s captain Marsha Cox said on the bus to the venue on Tuesday afternoon. World number 11 South Africa beat Japan, the world’s ninth-ranked team 2-0 to finish ninth at the World Cup and if they get can back into the groove quickly it will stand them in good stead. They also scored an impressive 4-1 win over England, who went into the tournament ranked third in the world. Double Olympian defender Lenise Marais, so cruelly denied a World Cup experience after serious injury forced her out at the eleventh hour, returns to the women’s team.Tough Irish challenge Looking ahead to his side’s opener, South African men’s captain Austin Smith said after arriving at the team’s accommodation at East London University (ELU) that the Irish punch above their weight. “The last time we met, before the Olympics in 2012, they beat us, and we will only have had one training session (Wednesday night), so we will be focusing more on getting ourselves familiar with the game plan and carrying on where we left off during the 6-2 win over Malaysia at the World Cup in June,” said Smith. He also said former South African men’s assistant coach Craig Fulton, who is now the head of the Ireland coaching staff, will be familiar with the South African style of play.South African Investec Cup fixtures (SA time) 9 JulySA women vs Scotland 12:00SA men vs Ireland 18:15 10 JulySA women vs England 14:15SA men vs England 20:30 12 JulySA men vs Scotland 10.45SA women vs Wales 18:15 13 JulyPlayoffs for final placings SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

IATA calls on Europe’s ‘Green Deal’ to embrace biofuels

first_imgPhoto: Brisbane Airport The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is seeking support for sustainable aviation fuel as part of the European Union’s “Green Deal” push to reduce carbon emissions and build a new energy economy.The airline industry sees biofuels as a longer-term answer to reducing carbon emissions but has had limited success in persuading governments to provide meaningful support for the technology.The fuels have been tested in more than 215,000 commercial flights and have the potential to cut carbon emissions by 80 percent on a life-cycle basis.But making sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs) available on an economically viable basis has proved tricky and they currently supply just 0.1 percent of aviation’s energy needs a decade after the first test flight.READ: A350 boosts SAS sustainability in flight-shaming battle.More recently, there has been a flurry of research into electric and hybrid electric planes but these are likely to be some way off and are aimed at short-haul operations.Long-haul aircraft will still need liquid fuel for the foreseeable future and SAF’s are a major component of its plan to cut emissions to half 2005 levels by 2050.There is some hope on the horizon: The International Air Transport Association says there are currently 14 SAF production facilities operating, under construction or in the final stages of financing and planning.These will take the industry some way to a goal of having 2 percent of aviation fuel from non-fossil sources by 2025, a point it sees as a tipping point in terms of viability.But IATA says more progress is needed.IATA director general Alexandre de Juniac told the Sustainable Innovation Forum in Madrid on Tuesday that the industry had high hopes for the Green Deal.The Green Deal wants to overhaul the European economy by, among other things, supporting research and innovation in low-carbon and clean technologies and encouraging more green investment.“We want to be part of Europe’s building of a new energy economy and we will do everything we can to make sustainable aviation fuels a priority for aviation in Europe and around the world,’’ he said in a call for carefully considered policy measures.”Aviation is committed to carbon-neutral growth from 2020 and has an industry-leading global carbon offset plan for international airlines called CORSIA to help it achieve that.The IATA boss said this would cover most of the anticipated growth in aviation emissions but there was a need for more states, including several big travel markets, to join from day one.He also cautioned against states introducing taxes that could undermine the scheme.“Taxes are a politician’s way out. They are easy to put in place and make it look like action is being taken.“But in aviation, they rarely have the desired environmental benefit, and simply cut off travel options from lower-income consumers.“It takes more time and more effort to put in place a package of measures that can actually reduce emissions in the long-term. But that approach is a hundred times more beneficial than a blunt tax.”CORSIA, however, is seen as an interim measure while other technologies are developed.De Juniac said the role of governments in energy transition had been mapped in the successful development of solar and wind solutions for power generation.He called for aviation to be the priority when it came to sustainable liquid fuels.“Electrification of road vehicles is tried, tested, scalable and on the market today,’’ he said.“Aviation should be a policy priority because it does not have a near-term electrification option.”Traditional energy suppliers also need to prioritize investment in SAF, the IATA boss said.“The major oil companies have the expertise, the distribution networks and – importantly – the financial power to make a real difference,’’ he said.“I call on them to make this an absolute priority, helping to underpin global connectivity for future generations by making sustainable aviation fuels a commercial reality.”last_img read more

A Look to the Future of IT

first_imgManaging the Changing IT Landscape: Future of IT We know that IT is changing, but do we know by how much? CIO Insight recently looked ahead to 2020 with data collected from A.T. Kearney from more than 150 CIOs. Not surprisingly, there are huge changes on the horizon.According to the research, “85 percent of CIOs are seeing IT requirements increase significantly, with more support needed for apps that enable multiple channels, including mobile.” Here are just a few key insights from the research findings that could affect IT projects and spending in future years:Data analytics will become a top priority.More than two-thirds of companies plan to invest in customer relations tools.Companies will need to balance advanced solutions with standardized packages.Nearly 75 percent of respondents indicated that time-to-market is a key performance indicator.Accelerating the paceWhen I moderated the Intel IT Center Webinar on mobility, the need to customize, simplify, and standardize became clear as objectives to accelerate the pace of innovation. In the midst of these challenges, the Intel IT team articulated a responsibility and a new approach to enable both personal productivity (solution choice) and business productivity (enterprise standards) across an expanding set of devices and operating systems.Cloud is keyAnd to enable this flexibility, cloud computing investments are equally important—cloud technologies are evolving as fast as devices are. By 2015, Intel expects more than 3 billion connected users and 15 billion connected devices  will be driving more than 1,500 exabytes of cloud traffic. To succeed in this new future of IT, CIOs must move quickly to adopt flexible cloud solutions and SaaS-based models for even greater standardization and customization.The success of any organization going forward will depend on the use of innovative technologies to meet business needs in less time. And from my perspective, meeting business needs starts with true collaboration. It’s even listed as the first of five qualities of an effective CIO in a recent blog from CIO Insight.Do you agree that collaboration is key to business success? What planning tips do you have for preparing for the future of IT?Chris Peters @chris_p_intel #ITCenter #FutureofITlast_img read more