Once you park your car you have to board a bus to access the rest of Fort Wilderness Campground. Only golf carts and cars driven by people staying at the campsites are allowed to be driven past the main parking lot. That was fine with Alyssa because she really enjoyed the bus ride. The bus route we were on took us past the cabins (which you can stay in if you don't have a tent or camper) and around the perimeter of Fort Wilderness.
The bus ride to the back of the campground takes about ten minutes (give or take a little depending on how often the bus has to stop). We got off the bus at Settlement Depot, which is where many of the recreation activities for day guests are. Alyssa saw the horse stables and immediately headed over to investigate.
This area of the campground is home of Tri-Circle D Ranch, so there are plenty of horses and ponies to see. We started out by saying hello to the horses roaming around in their fenced-in pens and then went to visit the horses in the stables. The horses in the stables are the same ones you often see pulling the streetcars on Main Street at Magic Kingdom in the mornings. Inside the stable there is also a small room that has a lot of pictures and some displays and artifacts telling about the history of the horses at Disney World. There is also usually a friendly Cast Member or two wandering about taking care of the horses that is happy to answer any questions you might have. Sometimes you might even see a blacksmith at work. In the evenings these horses also often lead wagon or carriage rides around Fort Wilderness. The themed ones for the holidays such as the headless horseman carriage/hay ride they have at Halloween are extremely popular.
Once our hands were washed we set out to explore some more. We decided to walk down the path that runs along the back side of Pioneer Hall. This path goes right past the location where Mickey's Backyard BBQ is held, which is a fun, seasonal, picnic style character meal. Alyssa had a great time collecting rocks and sticks as she walked along. There are also a few nature trails scattered around this area, one of which leads you all the way to Wilderness Lodge Resort and is a nice trip on a bicycle.
We were getting hungry so we headed up towards Pioneer Hall to eat. You can pack a picnic to save money and there are plenty of shaded picnic tables on the porch to eat it at but we decided to have a meal in the Trail's End Restaurant today. (There is also a more budget friendly take-out window that serves awesome fried chicken but it was not open this early in the day.)
The boat dock has many options for boat rentals available at different prices but we decided to go the free route today and just take the boat across the lake to the Magic Kingdom and back. When Alyssa is a little bit older we will rent one of the sea raycers and take her for a ride in that but for now she is content with just being on a boat piloted by someone else on a predetermined route.
We sat out on the back of the boat and had a wonderful ride across the lake to the Magic Kingdom. Alyssa enjoyed seeing the castle and the train station even if it was from afar. We debated getting off and taking a ride on the monorail around the loop before heading back to Fort Wilderness but Alyssa was starting to get sleepy so we decided to just stay on the boat and head back to the campground.
Once we docked back at Fort Wilderness we walked up the path and checked out the nearby store, the Settlement Trading Post. Settlement Trading Post sells Disney souvenirs but because it is a campground they also sell basic groceries and general necessities you might need during your stay. I bought Alyssa a cookie and let her enjoy it as I looked around the store a bit. This is one of two stores at Fort Wilderness. The other store, the Meadow Trading Post, offers a lot of similar stuff and is located right by the recreation area but because Alyssa was getting sleepy we did not make it over to the recreation area this trip.