Sunday, March 20, 2011

Resort Reviews - Disney's Wilderness Lodge

Disney's Wilderness Lodge Resort
The Wilderness Lodge Resort - this will cover both the villas and the standard I guess you would say part of the resort.
First here is a video, courtesy of  This is really well done and really gives you a feel for the resort.  (double click to make it bigger and it will redirect you to youtube.)

When you pull into the resort you will be in awe of the larger than life Lincoln Log Hotel, or as my daughter likes to call it "the green roof hotel."  You will be surrounded by wilderness and pull up under a great big green roof, where you will be greeted by wonderful Disney cast members.  If you have chosen to take Disney's Magical Express from the airport, you will pull up and be helped with your luggage (if you got it yourself) and then you will get to enter one of the most beautiful lobbies on Disney property!

Lobby of the Wilderness Lodge
The lobby at Disney's Wilderness Lodge is impressive to say the least and this is reason number 1 that it is one of my favorite places to stay.  You enter and just look up at the massiveness of it.  It goes up 7+ stories and makes you feel like you have just entered the coziest and nicest log cabin home ever.  And it will be your home, for the duration of your stay.  Off to the side there is a nice area for the kids to sit in rocking chairs and watch some Disney classics while you check in.  There are comfortable chairs everywhere to take a rest or read a book by the fireplace.  There is a small bridge and a little stream that runs out to the pool area.  My kids favorite spot!  (Tip: take a dollar up to the check in counter and ask for two rolls of pennies!  My two love throwing coins into the stream and this will save you a lot of aggravation!)  Also in the lobby area is one of the two restaurants that the hotel has - The Whispering Canyon Cafe.  You can also find the hotel store here as well, where you can get anything from souvenirs to some food and drinks for your room!

Ahhhhhh your room.....take the elevator on up to your room and be ready to relax and enjoy.  If you got a standard room, meaning you didn't pay any extra to upgrade you will probably have a view of a parking lot or some other not so great view.  But who really cares!  You have a balcony and I have been in a standard room that while it looked out and the cast member parking it also had a perfect view of the fireworks at the Magic Kingdom every night!!  Bonus!!  You may have chosen to upgrade to woods view or even courtyard view.  I have stayed in both.  And both are nice.  The woods view gives you a view of....yup the woods!  And the courtyard view looks out at the pool area or Bay Lake.  In the woods view and courtyard view rooms you can also upgrade to have a set of bunk beds instead of two queen size beds.  I have not done this yet, but I do plan too at some point!

Regardless of the view you get a balcony with your room.  Out here you will find two chairs and a small table.  I find this a great spot to sit and unwind after a long day while the kids go to sleep in the room.  Most rooms have two queen size beds, which is an upgrade from moderates and values that have full size beds.  Some rooms do have one king size bed, which they will not put you in if you have children, don't worry!  And then of course there is the upgrade that I mentioned with the set of twin bunk beds in lieu of the one queen bed.

Your bathroom is separated - you have the two sinks outside the actual bathroom where the toilet and tub/shower are.  This is nice and helpful when getting ready in the morning!  Your room will also have a small cube refrigerator, a closet with a safe in it, a pack in play is usually provided as well and you will have a flat screen TV.  Some rooms even have DVD players in them.  There is a small table and two chairs and this is where you can also plug into the Internet with a good old Ethernet cable - yes I know...where is the wireless???  Beware - the Internet comes with a NIGHTLY fee of $10/night!  So there you have it your room....nice huh?

Villas at the Wilderness Lodge
But wait there is more - at the Wilderness Lodge you can also stay over in the Villas at the Wilderness Lodge.  Here you will find Disney's Home Away from Home rooms.  These are Disney Vacation Club rooms, but can also be made available through Disney when booking a room.  Here you can have a studio, a one bedroom or a two bedroom villa.  I have stayed in all of them and they are very nice.  It is a bit darker at this end of the resort because it is set more into the woods.  You do not have view choices, so you get what you get and it is a bit of a walk to the boat that takes you to the Magic Kingdom and to the counter service restaurant.

In the studio you will have a queen size bed and a sleeper sofa.  These rooms are slightly larger than the standard rooms in the main building.  You will also have a small kitchenette.  No stove or anything, but you have sink. microwave, a "college" size fridge, larger coffee maker, some dishes and silverware, etc.  It is a nice little area.  Your closet is smaller and you get one sink at your vanity, but the bathroom area is still separate.  

In the one and two bedroom you definitely get a BIG upgrade.  The two bedroom is simply the one bedroom with a studio attached to it, although sometimes it is a dedicated two bedroom meaning that you will have basically a standard hotel room and not a studio attached.  So what do the one and two bedrooms have that's so great?  Well a full kitchen for one thing!  Think stove, large fridge, counters, the whole deal.  Now I don't like to cook on vacation, but this is a definite plus!  Comes in handy, just for space if nothing more.  You also get a large bedroom that has a king sized bed, tv, and enters into the LARGE bathroom with a jacuizzi tub with a sink.  The closet is here as well.  This connects to antoher part of the bathroom with a shower stall, another sink and then yet another door that leads to the toilet room!  Then you get a family room, with a sleeper sofa, table and chairs, tv and the entrance to the balcony.  Off of the main room is also a stackable washer and dryer - a definite plus!!

Those are the rooms you can stay in if you pick the Wilderness Lodge.  I have stayed in every level of room there and I have to say I haven't had a bad night sleep!  

The Pool @ Disney's Wilderness Lodge
The pool area is also to die for.  There is a pool bar here and you can walk back into the hotel to the Roaring Forks - the resort's quick service restauant.  There are a couple of hot tubs, a kiddie pool and a water slide.  You can look out at Bay Lake while you relax on a pool side chair.  Be sure to watch for Old Faithful - the geyser that goes off periodically thoughout the day.  Another fun tidbit if you chose to stay at the Wilderness Lodge - ask at check in if you can be the Flag Family.  It is a first come first serve extra that you can do and can only be booked when you arrive.  If you are able to do it, be sure to.  It is a site to see.  You will have to get up early and meet a Cast Member in the lobby.  Then you will be guided up to the roof, where you get to raise the flags on the top of the resort and see views that you can't get anywhere else!

I also love that the Wilderness Lodge has a boat that takes you to the Magic Kingdom.  This is a major plus in my mind if you have little ones!  If you get lucky and get the big boat, you don't have to fold up your stoller - hugely helpful if you have a sleeping child!!

All in all I love the Wilderness Lodge.  When I walk in there I feel like I am at home.  It is my all time favorite and while it is not as affordable as a value, I think it is a must do for at least a couple nights at least once!!

1 comment:

  1. We stayed at the Villas at Wilderness Lodge last year and loved it. Really fun place for kids and a great resort theme. My son was in love with trains at that time so he was thrilled with the train decor in lobby of the villas. He also loved playing with the Lincoln Logs while waiting for our table at The Whispering Canyon Cafe, as well as the fun and shenanigans that take place there.