Tuesday, July 1, 2014

I Want to Be Like Katniss! - Disney’s Fort Wilderness Archery Experience Review

In recent years, archery has gained tremendous popularity.  Between Disney/Pixar’s Brave and The Hunger Games, young girls around the world have dreamed of being as cool as Merida and Katniss wielding a bow and arrow.  I happen to be one of those relatively young girls who want to be Katniss.  When I heard about the archery experience at Disney’s Fort Wilderness, I knew I had to sign up!  I also managed to drag my husband along for the fun.

Make sure that you leave yourself plenty of time to get to Fort Wilderness for your session.  If you are driving there, you will have to park your car at the main entrance and then either take the internal buses or walk to the Bike Barn to check in.  A friendly warning…Fort Wilderness is a big resort.  My husband and I decided to walk from the main entrance to the Bike Barn and it was much longer than we expected.  It was also very hot so by the time we arrived, we were already sweating and we hadn’t even started yet!

Once you arrive at the Bike Barn, you will check in, sign a waiver, and then given a pair of safety glasses.  You can then head over to the archery area and the real Robin Hood experience begins!  Our two instructors began the session with some safety instructions and then we went on to learn the Archery Drum Commands and the 11 Steps to Archery Success.  The amount of beats indicated what step we would do next.  I was worried I might not remember the commands but the instructors made sure to also announce each step to help all of us beginners out.

All of us in the class were paired up to share a target with another person.  Everyone was given 3 arrows in their quiver to shoot.  After everyone was done shooting their arrows, the drum would beat 3 times and we would take turns with our partner to retrieve the arrows.  We began 15 feet away from the target.  You would think that being that close should be easy but it is definitely harder than it looks.  Katniss made it look so easy!  After everyone got the hang of being 15 feet away, we moved back to around 20 feet away and then finally ended 30 feet away from the target.

The instructors were really helpful and would walk around to each person to give tips and pointers on how to improve.  I am proud to say that I only missed hitting the target twice during the whole session!  I even managed to hit the bullseye a couple of times!

Make sure to wear sunscreen for this experience!  Although there are many trees around the archery area, some sections are still in the sun and as you know, the Florida sun can be brutal. 

For all of you photography buffs out there, know that you won’t be able to keep your DSLR out during the experience if you are participating.  You will have to place your camera and any other belongings off to the side.  At the end of the experience, you can pose for pictures with the bow. 

The Archery Experience is held on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 2:45pm.  The cost is $45 per person plus tax.  Each Archery Experience is limited to 10 guests, so make sure you sign up early!  You can make reservations 180 days in advance by calling 407-WDW-PLAY.  You need to be over 7 years old to participate so you will have to leave the little kiddies at home or you can bring them along as a spectator.

My husband and I are always looking for new experiences to try at Walt Disney World and we were really impressed with the Archery Experience at Fort Wilderness.  If you want to be like Katniss or Robin Hood, this is your chance!  Don’t pass it up!

Ashley

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