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This Deluxe resort is inspired by national-park lodges of the early 20th century. The Wilderness Lodge & Villas ranks with Animal Kingdom Lodge as one of the most impressively themed and meticulously detailed Disney resorts. Situated on the shore of Bay Lake, the lodge consists of an eight-story central building augmented by two seven-story guest wings and a wing of studio and one- and two- bedroom condominiums. The hotel features exposed timber columns, log cabin– style facades, and dormer windows. The grounds are landscaped with evergreen pines and pampas grass. The lobby boasts an 82-foot-tall stone fireplace and two 55-foot Pacific Northwest totem poles. Timber pillars, giant tepee chandeliers, and stone-, wood-, and marble-inlaid floors accentuate the lobby’s rustic luxury. Although the resort isn’t on vast acreage, it does have a beach and a delightful pool modeled on a mountain stream.
The lodge’s 727 guest rooms, refurbished in 2012, have darkly stained Mission-style furniture accented by soft goods done in blueand- red American Indian patterns. Carved-wood headboards, roughhewn armoires, and rustic light fixtures create a log-cabin coziness. Typical rooms have two queen-size beds; some have one queen bed and bunk beds. All rooms have a table and chairs and a vanity outside the bathroom. Most rooms have balconies.
Service at Wilderness Lodge & Villas is excellent. There are two full-service restaurants, with several more a boat ride away. The resort is connected to the Magic Kingdom by boat and to other Disney parks by bus. Boat service may be suspended during thunderstorms, so if it’s raining or looks like it’s about to, Disney will provide buses. Walking time to bus- and boat-loading areas from the most remote rooms is about 5–8 minutes.
A Westminster, Maryland, family is high on the Wilderness Lodge:
The Wilderness Lodge is one of the best resorts we have stayed at EVER. The hotel is gorgeous, and the theming is beautiful and realistic without being overdone.
Two adult couples from Fort Smith, Arkansas, think the Wilderness Lodge is great, with one reservation (pardon the pun):
The ambience of the lodge makes up for a lot of the transportation problems, but there has been a real downturn in my opinion in the efficacy of the bus transportation.
Blog Posts About Wilderness Lodge
|Hotel||Definitely (+/- since last year)|
|Disney's Wilderness Lodge||79% (+8%)|
|Average for WDW hotels||76% (+0%)|
|Average for off-site hotels||57% (+0%)|
|Hotel||Definitely (+/- since last year)|
|Disney's Wilderness Lodge||100% (+11%)|
|Average for WDW hotels||92% (+2%)|
|Average for off-site hotels||79% (-7%)|
Good (and Not-So-Good) Rooms at Disney's Wilderness Lodge
The lodge is shaped like a very blocky V. The main entrance and lobby are at the closed end of the V. Next are middle wings that connect the lobby to the parallel end sections, which extend to the open part of the V. The V’s open end flanks pools and gardens and overlooks Bay Lake directly or obliquely. Avoid rooms on the fourth, fifth, and sixth floors numbered 70–99; these overlook the main lobby and pick up every whoop, holler, and shout from the boisterous Whispering Canyon Cafe downstairs. The noise makes it difficult to get to sleep before Whispering Canyon closes, usually at 10 p.m.
The better rooms are on floors 4, 5, and 6, toward the V’s open end. On the very end of the V, rooms 4000–4003, 4166–4169, 5000–5003, 5166–5169, 6000–6003, and 6166–6169 offer a direct frontal view of the lake. Toward the end of the V on the parallel wings, but facing inward, odd-numbered rooms 4005–4023, 4147–4165, 5005–5023, 5147–5165, 6005–6023, and 6147–6165 face the courtyard, but with excellent oblique lake views. Even-numbered rooms 5004–5030 and 6004–6030 front a woodland northwest of the lodge, and beyond the woodland, the Magic Kingdom. Odd-numbered rooms 5035–5041, 5123–5129, 6035–6041, and 6123–6129, on the lake end of the parallel middle wings, offer a direct but distant view of the lake, with pools and gardens in the foreground. Rooms looking southeast face the Wilderness Lodge Villas, a garden area, and woods. The map suggests that these rooms offer a lake view, but the trees block the line of sight.
Only a handful of rooms at the lodge overlook parking lots, service areas, and such. The rooms listed on the previous page afford the most desirable views, but if you can’t score one of them, you’re pretty much assured of a woodland view or a room fronting the faux rocks and creek in the V’s inner courtyard. Concierge rooms on the seventh floor aren’t recommended. Only those facing the Magic Kingdom have nice views, and even those have a service area in the foreground. Almost all rooms at the lodge have balconies.
|Magnificently rendered theme||No character meals|
|The favorite resort of children||Must take boat or bus to get to off-site dining options|
|Romantic setting, architecture||Among the smallest Deluxe rooms|
|Good on-site dining|
|Great views from guest rooms|
|Extensive recreational options|
|Elaborate swimming complex|
|Health and fitness center|
|On-site child care|
Disney's Wilderness Lodge Dining
- Artist Point (Table Service)
- Miss Jenny's In-Room Dining (Table Service)
- Roaring Fork (Counter Service)
- Territory Lounge (Bar or Lounge)
- Whispering Canyon Cafe (Table Service)
|Magic Kingdom||20 minutes|
|Disney's Hollywood Studios||27 minutes|
|Disney's Animal Kingdom||30 minutes|
|Quietness of Room||B|
|Shuttle to Parks||Yes|