Resort Rundown: Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Overview

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In the middle of sunny Central Florida is a themed resort that brilliantly captures the rugged spirit of the Northwest. Disney’s Wilderness Lodge is like your wildest dreams while you were playing with Lincoln Logs have come true. This deluxe resort is beloved by many for its details and countless areas to relax and explore.

Wilderness Lodge Location

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge is nestled on the shores of Bay Lake, which neighbors Magic Kingdom. Although not on the monorail loop, this resort is close enough for a daily dose of pixie dust. Listen as the Walt Disney World railroad choo-choos, as the fireworks boom at night, and as the Electrical Water Pageant charms. Its lakeside location provides a touch of peace and tranquility as Florida woods hug the resort’s grounds. 

It should be noted, since we mentioned the Walt Disney World Railroad, it is currently closed for refurbishment. There is no re-opening date scheduled, but we anticipate it should re-open soon after construction on TRON coaster is complete. Finally, Disney is building a new Disney Vacation Club resort in the area and though no immediate disruptions are expected, it may impact the overall atmosphere in the area for the time being.

Wilderness Lodge

Rooms

Warm, rustic, and oh-so comfortable, the rooms at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge are some of  the most well themed on property. It has been some time since the main building’s regular rooms have been refurbished, and should a renovation for these rooms come in the near future, there is some fear that the theming may be reduced to give way for the cleaner, crisper, and simplistic look that we’ve seen implemented at the vast majority of Disney World resorts.

There are a lot of room types at this resort, so it can be hard to corral them all up. For clarity’s sake, let’s review the regular room types and hold our horses on the Deluxe Villa rooms and bungalows for the next section. The regular rooms have three view types: standard, nature, and courtyard. There are a few that have a partial fireworks view. 

Speaking of views, you can use the awesome Touring Plans Room Finder to help you narrow down the exact room location you would like. You can plug in your preferences and find rooms that match your needs. Then, when you make your reservations and check in, you can request your desired rooms. This tool is free to use.

Two queen beds are standard, however, Wilderness Lodge offers king beds for a higher rate, as well as bunk beds! The bunk beds are a rare offering and certainly a fun option for families to consider. 

Club Level

The Club Level at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge is on par with other deluxe resorts. The Club Level lounge itself is slightly more casual in feel and appearance, but full of rustic charm and cozy relaxation. There are other Club Level lounges at Disney resorts that feel more lavish, especially since it has been a while since this lounge went through a refurbishment. Club Level rooms include evening turndown, secured key access to the club-level lounge (serving refreshments 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM daily), complimentary newspapers in Club Level lounge, and health club access. 

Club Level rooms can be either standard rooms or deluxe rooms, which are larger and have an additional queen sleeper sofa. 

Disney Vacation Club

The presence of Disney Vacation Club can be seen at every Deluxe resort. Wilderness Lodge was part of the second generation of resorts to get a Disney Vacation Club “wing” in 2000. These original villas offer a wonderful and relaxing mini-lobby with a fireplace, inviting front porch, and the Carolwood Pacific Room. This inviting room beckons guests to relax by a small fireplace, play a round of checkers at the tables and chairs, or escape into a book while sitting in the bay window. Most of all, guests can gaze at an actual set of train cars from Walt Disney’s miniature train set and railroad from his backyard, the Carolwood Pacific. This original building with its deluxe villas (Studios, One Bedrooms, and Two Bedrooms), fitness center, and common areas is called the Boulder Ridge Villas.

In 2016 Disney Vacation Club’s presence at Wilderness Lodge branched out to include the Copper Creek Villas and Cabins. This expansion brought waterside bungalow cabins to the resort, some of the most luxurious accommodations in the Deluxe Villas category of rooms at Walt Disney World. These standalone two-bedroom villas can sleep up to 8 guests and offer a full kitchen, plenty of space, plus a private screened in porch with a hot tub. 

Copper Creek Villas also added the entire spectrum of Deluxe Villas to Wilderness Lodge from studios all the way up to three bedroom grand villas. These villas are part of the Wilderness Lodge’s main building. 

The Carolwood Pacific room at the Boulder Ridge Villas

Dining

Exploring the wilderness and the wilds of Walt Disney World makes for hungry guests. At Wilderness Lodge you can get some vittles from two quick and casual locations as well as three full-service locations, plus in-room dining. Wet your whistle at the resort’s Territory Lounge, a favorite among frequent Disney guests. Be sure to take note of all the details in this lounge, including the ceiling. A variety of cocktails, wine, and craft beer can quench your thirst, plus there are small plates and sweets for pairing.

Geyser Point Bar and Grill sprang into life when the Cooper Creek expansion took place. This lakeside casual eatery offers three ways to dine: full-service dining, bar service, and a quick-service option. There is also Roaring Fork, the resort’s original quick counter service location open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Whispering Canyon Cafe, a full-service restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, has had its rowdiness turned down in recent years, but it is still a fun full-service location, great for families. 

Finally, the signature dining restaurant, Artist Point recently transitioned to a Snow White character dining experience, leaving many Disney fans scratching their heads. However, many guests are reporting positive feedback about the experience. Securing dining reservations at popular full-service restaurants like Whispering Canyon Cafe and Artist Point can be frustrating and time consuming. You can use the TouringPlans Reservation Finder to help you secure dining reservations and save time. Simply select your desired restaurant, then plug in your desired date and time or meal period, then select to be notified either via email or text message and viola! This incredible tool is available with or without a TouringPlans paid subscription, but you do need to create, or have, a TouringPlans login. 

TouringPlans Reservation Finder Tool

Pools

There are two pools at this Deluxe resort thanks to the Disney Vacation Club villas. One of the intriguing features of the main pool is how water is carried from the lobby all the way to the shore of Bay Lake, incorporating a steady flow of water. A bubbling geyser begins at the back of the lobby and a stream of water continues outside, then gives way to a roaring waterfall, which settles once again and appears to stream into the main pool at which the edge of the pool seems to connect with one final stream that seemingly leads to the lake. 

The Copper Creek pool is the main feature pool and offers a waterslide. There is also a little tykes water playground, which is perfect for little ones who can’t yet swim. It is fenced in making it possible for parents to breathe a little easier here too. The Boulder Ridge pool is more subdued and offers zero-entry, and a few shady spots.

Recreation

What would a lakeside resort be without lots of recreation options? The fun spirit of this resort is exemplified with the geyser at the lake’s edge that bursts every hour. The on-site marina enables guests to explore Bay Lake and the connected Seven Seas Lagoon from a variety of rentable watercraft. A video game arcade, movies under the stars, and jogging trails all add up to some great recreational offerings. There are normally bicycle rentals as well, however, these are temporarily unavailable due to construction nearby.

photo by T.J. Van Fechtmann


Transportation

Heading to the Magic Kingdom is all the more magical from Wilderness Lodge thanks to the charming boat transportation. The boat transportation to Magic Kingdom is direct and adds to the loveliness of this resort. You can also cruise over to Disney’s Fort Wilderness Campground and Disney’s Contemporary Resort, giving you plenty of nearby options. 

The other theme parks, water parks, and Disney Springs are accessed via bus transportation. There is one central bus station for this resort. It is worth noting that this resort’s buses are often shared with nearby Fort Wilderness Campground.

More Information

Would you like to see more? Check out our Resort Overview view: 

 

You can also tour a Standard Room: 

 

Or ve blown away by the Copper Creek Villas and Cabins:

 

We sure ran through a lot of information about Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, so here’s a handy-dandy infographic that sums it all up:

Dani

Born and raised in the land of sunshine and dreams come true, Dani is a proud Orlando Native who loves sharing her hometown with others. She's worked in nearly all of Orlando's theme parks, on board Disney Cruise Line, and in hotel management. Follow her adventures on Twitter and Instagram @thisfloridalife

5 thoughts on “Resort Rundown: Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Overview

  • October 30, 2019 at 1:15 pm
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    Great article! Really getting excited to stay at the Wilderness Lodge next year.

    Reply
  • October 30, 2019 at 3:16 pm
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    Wilderness Lodge is one of our absolute favorites! All of the little details of the resort just make it a magical place to stay. I can’t wait to go back!

    Reply
  • October 30, 2019 at 6:18 pm
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    Wilderness Lodge is the most beautiful hotel on property in my opinion. It is just so lovely and relaxing. Love it!

    Reply
  • October 30, 2019 at 6:37 pm
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    I love the look and feel of the resort. However, this past trip I stayed at the Contemporary for the same $, mostly because we were a party of five and Contemporary offered the day bed for the fifth person. Too bad WL didn’t have a drop down day bed thing.

    Reply
  • November 2, 2019 at 5:37 pm
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    We booked a last minute trip a year ago as our passes were about to expire. The cheapest room was at Wilderness Lodge. This was our first Deluxe experience and I was actually concerned it would spoil us for our normal value resorts. No worries. The room was small and felt smaller than our normal Pop room. The bunk beds were a nice touch, but the other bed was a double. Never expected a full bed in a Deluxe resort. The extra square footage must have been all in the bathroom and closet. The room was not even close to worth the over $300 a night. The quick service restaurant was terrible. IT took 4-5 X longer to get food there than at the cheaper resorts. Dining area was tiny and it was hard to get drinks because the tables were so close. I would be tempted to skip this hotel if they gave it to me for free. This is most definitely a no return hotel for us.

    Reply

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