Fort Wilderness has a long a storied history, filled with more tales than a campground nestled on the shores of Bay Lake should have. It’s filled with swimmin’ holes and steam trains, lawnmower trees, campfire sing-a-longs, and musical revues, romantic ideals of a time gone by and the untamed nature of the land and people who first ventured west. It has all the comforts one could ever hope to find in a campground, and some that are just plain modern, such as movies under the stars, golf carts, and electrically lit sea serpents. The trading posts, however, have always been a bastion for the western ways, and you have to look no further than the postings on their exterior walls to see it.
Many of the postings on the Meadow and Settlement Trading Posts are identical, with only a slight variation here and there. Some are enamel advertisements for goods, such as Butterfly Brand Golden Pumpkin, but the majority of the posters are tied to Wells Fargo and other staples of safety and travel in the west or notices of rewards for wanted men.
While looking back through history you could find a name or two that pops up, typically it isn’t in the same context as the posters here. In fact, unlike the faithful poster reproductions from the now defunct western scene of the Great Movie Ride, many of the names plastered on the walls of the two trading posts are fabricated, although I’m willing to bet they may have real-world counterparts tied to the Disney name in the 1970s.
Fort Wilderness is a great place to meander through, to slow down and enjoy the quiet solitude of nature. Getting from one point to another in the campground is not always fast, even with internal buses and golf carts, and that is entirely on purpose. With that in mind, let’s take a leisurely stroll through the postings from the Settlement Trading Post.