When we planned our first ever family trip to Disney World, I was afraid to fly so I told my husband that we would have to drive. As I started to do some research, I discovered that Disney World has their very own campground! That planted an idea in my head to tow our 27' travel trailer with us and experience Disney in a different way. I figured it was (slightly) cheaper than a hotel room, we could drive for the same price as airline tickets, we could be on our own schedule, and we could even save some money by cooking most of our own meals.
The campground was great. They have a bus system to get to the parks if you don't want to drive. They have swimming pools, horseback riding, tennis courts, arcades, a sand beach and so much more there. You could spend your entire vacation right there! They have a sing along campfire every night with Chip and Dale and they show Disney movies at the outdoor screen. There is a general store, and there are restaurants right on site, including the famous Trail's End Buffet, Mickey's Backyard BBQ, and Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue.
Driving to the parks was easy from there and it seemed more convenient than waiting for the buses. We did take the boat over to the Magic Kingdom a few times to experience it. We paid about $75 per night, which is a lot for camping, but, hey, this is Disney and they charge a lot for everything. You get a great experience for your money though. The best thing was that at the end of the day, we got to come home to something familiar. Our camper, our things. That was great for our son who was 4 at the time. I think it kept him (and us) from being so home sick. It was also so peaceful. Being able to come back and take a break in the middle of the day to nap and cook our own meal was great too. We can only eat out so many meals before getting sick of it.
Next time I have agreed to fly, as the 30 hour drive was too much for us, and I have to agree that 3 ½ hours in a plane beats 30 hours in a vehicle. But if you are looking to experience Disney World in a way that most people don't even know about, Fort Wilderness is worth a try, especially if you live closer than we do.