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 lobbyâ€™s rustic luxury. Although the resort isnâ€™t on vast acreage, it does have a beach and a delightful pool modeled on a mountain stream.
The lodgeâ€™s 727 rooms have darkly stained Mission-style furniture accented by earth tones in the soft goods. The Native Americanâ€“ patterned bedspreads, rough-hewn armoires, and faux-calfskin fixtures create a sort of log-cabin coziness. Typical rooms have two queen-size beds, and 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. Guest rooms were refurbished in 2006 with new wall coverings, carpeting, and fixtures.
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 itâ€™s raining or looks like itâ€™s about to, Disney will provide buses. Walking time to bus- and boat-loading areas from the most remote rooms is about 5â€“8 minutes.
A three-generation family from Clifton, Virginia, is high on the Wilderness Lodge, writing:
I LOVE going to the Wilderness Lodge and canâ€™t recommend it enough to guests. The theming is fabulous, and theyâ€™re really welcoming to kids. While others might go to Disney for other reasons, if youâ€™re looking to go with little kids or because youâ€™re a kid at heart, itâ€™s worth a visit!
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.
An Atlanta mom also comments on transportation:
The only complaint we had was that the Wilderness Lodge bus is shared by the Fort Wilderness Campground. Stopping at both resorts made some of our bus rides extremely long.
Blog Posts About Wilderness Lodge
|Hotel||Definitely (+/- since 2010)|
|Disney's Wilderness Lodge||79% + (8%)|
|Average for WDW hotels||74% (+3%)|
|Average for off-site hotels||79% (+10%)|
|Average for vacation homes & condos||95% (N/A)|
|Hotel||Definitely (+/- since 2010)|
|Disney's Wilderness Lodge||100% + (11%)|
|Average for WDW hotels||90% (+1%)|
|Average for off-site hotels||94% (+5%)|
|Average for vacation homes & condos||100% (N/A)|
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 Vâ€™s open end flanks pools and gardens and overlooks Bay Lake directly or obliquely. Avoid rooms on the fourth, fifth, and sixth floors numbered 70â€“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 Vâ€™s open end. On the very end of the V, odd- and even-numbered rooms 4000â€“ 4003, 4166â€“4169, 5000â€“5003, 5166â€“5169, 6000â€“6003, and 6166â€“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 4005â€“ 4023, 4147â€“4165, 5005â€“5023, 5147â€“5165, 6005â€“6023, and 6147â€“6165 face the courtyard, but with excellent oblique lake views. Even-numbered rooms 5004â€“5030 and 6004â€“6030 front a woodland northwest of the lodge, and beyond the woodland, the Magic Kingdom. Oddnumbered rooms 5035â€“5041, 5123â€“5129, 6035â€“6041, and 6123â€“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 above afford the most desirable views, but if you canâ€™t score one of them, youâ€™re pretty much assured of a woodland view or a room fronting the faux rocks and creek in the Vâ€™s inner courtyard. Concierge rooms on the seventh floor arenâ€™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.
Except for a few rooms overlooking the pool, rooms at Wilderness Villas offer woodland views. The best are odd-numbered rooms 2531â€“ 2563 and 3531â€“3563, which open to the northeast, or lakeside, of the resort (though you canâ€™t see the lake). Rooms on the opposite side of the same wing offer similar views, but with some roads and parking lots visible, and with traffic noise.
|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|
|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)
|Animal Kingdom||15 minutes|
|Disney's Hollywood Studios||14 minutes|
|Quietness of Room||B|
|Shuttle to Parks||Yes|