My Favorite Places at Disney World: The Fort Wilderness Trading Posts

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Every Walt Disney World resort has at least one shop where you can buy souvenirs, snacks, and basic toiletries. The resorts that include Disney Vacation Club units have slightly larger stores, with a wider variety of food items to accommodate guests who might want to make a meal in their villa kitchen. The expanded offerings include things like eggs, packaged deli meats, and frozen pizza. While the offerings at the hotels are sufficient for most vacation needs, I have a special place in my heart for the best Disney World resort gift shops, the Fort Wilderness Trading Posts.

The gift shops here are called Trading Posts. The Settlement Post is located near the boat dock, across from Pioneer Hall. The Meadow Trading Post is located in the center of the property, adjacent to the Meadow pool, tennis courts, and bike rental barn.

Fort Wilderness, located just a ten minute boat ride from the Magic Kingdom, is home to cabins and campsites. Many of the guests here stay for an extended period of time and prepare a significant percentage of their meals on site, giving them a unique set of needs.

©GoogleMaps
Settlement Trading Post
Meadow Trading Post

Most of the offerings at the trading posts are similar to the items you’ll find at every other WDW store: t-shirts, plush toys, sundries like toothpaste and Tylenol, as well as food items like soda and snacks.

Personal care items at the Meadow trading post, similar to those at every Disney hotel.
Snack items at Settlement Trading Post, similar to those at all WDW hotel shops

That’s all fine, but my fondness for the trading posts stems from the fact that they sell a selection of items that can’t be found anywhere else on Disney property. Some unique trading post items include foods to make real, healthful meals. With chicken, lettuce, tomatoes, potatoes, and broccoli available, you could make a dinner akin to something you’d prepare at home. That may not be your intent on vacation, but you never know what circumstances might arise.

The only place I’ve seen raw potatoes, onions, and tomatoes sold at WDW is at the FW trading posts.
Raw chicken is only sold at WDW at Fort Wilderness.
While frozen prepared meals are at many hotels, frozen plain vegetables are most readily available at Fort Wilderness.
Cheese, yogurt, and eggs are at many resorts, lettuce is rarely anywhere other than Fort Wilderness.
Bags of flour are rarely found at any resort other than Fort Wilderness.
If you need dog food or a frying pan (Rapunzel cosplay?), the trading posts have you covered.

In addition to an expanded array of food items, hoses, clamps, and tools are stocked at Fort Wilderness, which makes sense at a place that hosts lots of campers. The average vacationer is unlikely to need these, but many of the other specialty items related to camping could be useful in any number of travel situations. A tablecloth could be a used as a playmat for a baby sitting on sand or grass at any resort. WD-40 could be used to unstick a zipper on your luggage. Extension cords could help you better manage using your laptop in your room. And duct tape has infinite utility.

A full roll of duct tape!

Of course, if you have access to a car, none of this is particularly special. Any supermarket will have a vastly superior selection of fresh foods. Or you could get these items via an Amazon or GardenGrocer.com order. But many Disney visitors have neither a vehicle nor the time to wait for a delivery.

I’ve never stayed at Fort Wilderness, but I have taken a quick boat trip there from my hotel room at the nearby Wilderness Lodge several times, just to shop at the trading posts. My oddball purchases have included an extension cord and several tomatoes, both of which were useful in fending off sibling squabbles among my kids (don’t ask).

You don’t always need a potato on vacation, but when do, it’s nice to know there’s a place to find it. Seriously.

Some of my other favorite places include the Iron Spike Room and the Storybook Circus rest area.

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Erin Foster

Erin Foster is an original member of the Walt Disney World Moms Panel (now PlanDisney), a regular contributor to TouringPlans.com, and co-author of The Unofficial Guide to Disney Cruise Line. She's been to WDW, DL, DL Paris, Hong Kong Disneyland, Aulani, DVC Vero Beach, and DVC Hilton Head. She's a Platinum DCL cruiser and veteran of 10 Adventures by Disney trips. Erin lives near New York City, where she can often be found indulging in her other obsession - Broadway theater.

2 thoughts on “My Favorite Places at Disney World: The Fort Wilderness Trading Posts

  • May 11, 2021 at 5:56 pm
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    question: My son is staying at Fort Wilderness, but we are staying at Shades of Green from June 22 thru June 28th. Because Shades of Green is not a Disney World hotel, is it possible for us to purchase wrist bands at Fort Wilderness Gift Shop, ahead of time, a day early. We already have our tickets but we want to attach are wrist bands to our gate tickets. Shades of Green does not offer that.

    Reply
    • May 11, 2021 at 6:06 pm
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      Yes, that’s definitely possible. In fact, you can buy the MagicBands online now, and link them to your MyDisneyExperience account before you even get to Orlando.

      Reply

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