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“Wilderness Lodge - The Truth” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Disney's Wilderness Lodge

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Disney's Wilderness Lodge
4.0 of 5 Resort   |   901 Timberline Drive, Lake Buena Vista, Orlando, FL 32830   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #29 of 329 Hotels in Orlando
Birmingham, Alabama
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
86 helpful votes 86 helpful votes
“Wilderness Lodge - The Truth”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2011

Well folks i'm back with another Disney resort review...(check out my other reviews on AKL,SSR,Beach Club,Poly and Pop Century)....once again this is a review from a regular person just like yourselves and not some lady complaining that she has been waiting for a bus for 21 minutes and "they said 20".........if there is one word i could use to describe WL it's RELAXING.....even with a lot of families,the place just soaks up the noise and gives off an air of serenity. Beautiful and clean and reminds one (of couse) of the AKL. The cast was friendly and very helpful(since we have been to Disney many times,we didn't need a lot of help but i'm sure if we did this staff would have been all over it with a smile..lol)....i dont just throw out 5 stars on every resort i review but i think the WL justified the rating. We loved it. ......you may have read some negative reviews on Artist Point....throw them out the window....elegant place,delicious food,first class service.....but very expensive....very much worth 2 DP credits. This resort is ideal for a romantic getaway as well as a family vacation. Boat to MK is very convenient. The pool can get a little crowded but if you pick your spots and times you can get it almost to yourselves. This is the truth people you will love the Wilderness Lodge.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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Denver, Colorado
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2011

The Wilderness Lodge mimics a quaint Vail or Aspen mountain retreat.. and being from Colorado I finally felt relaxed and at home coming here after a hot and crowded day at the parks.. it was just the retreat and peace I needed with my 2 and 4 year old sons and husband.
From the second you come into view one of the hostess/ front desk employee greets you and walks you to the front desk to make sure you know where you are going.
The architecture and design might go unnoticed by some but they really took the time with handcarved totem poles, a frame windows -- a 100 foot tall fireplace.
The geyser that starts in the lobby and trickles down into the waterfall and then the pool is awesome!
We had a balcony overlooking the smaller pool and even during crowded times of the day my kids could nap because it's a very quiet resort. The Roaring Forks restaurant had much better food than most quick dining restaurants offer and they will pack it up to go for you if you want to eat in your room.
My kids really had fun at the real sand beach making castles and playing on the playground equipment. Transportation to Magic Kingdom is a breeze.. just a short boat ride away and buses are ample that go to the other parks.

I was hoping that they would have better coffee than the value resorts which is just awful.. Nescafe syrup style coffee.. but we at least had an in room coffee maker that was a bit better.

There's a parade and movie nightly for the kids and a waterslide in the big pool... so much to do at just the resort it was hard to make it to the parks :-)

If you want your stay to be a peaceful retreat where you can relax and have quiet after the parks this resort is for you!

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cleveland, Ohio
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2011

This is my favorite resort, hands down! I get teary-eyed when I get to the guard house and the guy says, "Welcome Home" and get a great big grin on my face when the Lodge comes in sight after rounding the corner. As always, the standards here are high and I've never stayed here when the place is less than spotless, but the front desk staff always seems to be "training" someone and the check in process this time, once again, took over an hour. Do check your room keys and make sure to ask if they are coded with the proper kind of park ticket, as they are often wrong and you don't discover it until you get to the park gate! February is a nice time to visit WDW because not all of the schools in the country are off, so it's not crowded, and by that time, I really need a break from the snow, ice and cold!
Ask for a room with a Wood's View in the North Wing if you like a more peaceful vista. On the higher floors- 5&6- you might get a glimpse of the fireworks in the Magic Kingdom- but I love the ground floor rooms in the center of the hallway; easy access to the lobby on one side and the end door the pool and the dock on the other end. The best part is that you can watch the otters play in the pond outside your patio window!
Mousekeeping was great, as usual, and it's always fun to see if any towel animals are waiting somewhere in your room when you get back from the parks! Don't forget to tip them EACH day, because you may not get the same person every time.
While the waters in Bay Lake can impact the ferry runs to the MK, but it was running and is the fastest way to get to the MK. In the colder months, it's nice to grab a lounge chair and sit on the narrow white beach ,listening to the waves lapping on the shore while the kids rent bikes and head over to Fort Wilderness! Then go back inside and curl up with a book in front of the huge fireplace or in the second floor window seat overlooking the Lake.
The Wilderness Lodge is considered a "Deluxe" Resort, and the rooms here (and at the Animal Kingdom Lodge) are a little smaller than at the other Deluxes, but there are often some really good deals to be had if you ask when making your reservation. Personally, I really don't like palm trees and the whole "tropical" thing, so staying at the WL affords me a little bit of the NW while in Florida! Although I look at other resorts and price out the trip each time, I always return to the WL and wouldn't stay anywhere else!

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hopewell Junction, New York
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2011

We prefer to stay on the grounds of Disney to take advantage of the magic hours. We go about twice a year and have stayed at many locations. We tend to stay at either deluxe hotels or value depending on what we expect from our trip. We're not a big fan of the moderate hotels because you still need to take the bus and they aren't all that much nicer than a Pop Century type hotel.

As for the Wilderness Lodge, it was excellent. We enjoyed the overall rustic feeling of the hotel and that it never felt crowded. It had an easy-going feel to it and yet you knew you were at one of the more upscale hotels on the grounds. The pool was nice and the kids liked the slide. We enjoyed the little things that made it fun like the nightly campfire with marshmallows and the movies under the stars. It was easy to rent bikes and boats. The water launch to the Magic Kingdom was a welcome relief from the bus. It was so relaxing on the water at night going back to the hotel.

We didn't go to the Artist's restaurant, but did eat at Whispering Canyon. The food was delicious and the family atmosphere was fun. The counter service restaurant was fine, but didn't have nearly as big a selection as the value hotels. This is expected since the value hotels only have counter-service.

The rooms were spacious and comfy. The sinks were outside the bathroom which made it easier for everyone to get ready faster. The kids liked the bunk bed option. The room also had a refrigerator which was convenient for the Whispering Canyon left-overs! We were able to use the microwave in the counter-service restaurant to re-heat things.

The front staff, including the concierge were terrific. They want out of their way to make sure we had the best stay possible.

We had a great time.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2011

After reading many reviews for the Wilderness Lodge, I was really afraid to stay there...once again I let the reviews about Disney resorts scare me...I visited the Lodge on my previous trip, but only saw the lobby and some of the grounds-that is why I booked the Lodge to begin with. Well the lobby and grounds are amazingly beautiful and cozy (even in 95 degree August heat!) IF you like that theme then it is the resort for you. At first my husband was not sold on the theme....he thought too much wood and trees and too dark, but after a couple of days (we stayed for 8) he really loved the atmosphere.

I stresses so much over view. We booked a standard view to keep some to the cost down and when we checked in we were upgraded to woods view-nice! The view was not of anything special but trees and the walkway to the bus and the villas, but much better than looking at a roof or service area like I read in some reviews.

The room WAS a little dark, but again that is the overall theme. The bedspreads MUST be rethought because they totally dated the room and the room was not old by any means. We removed the bedspread from the first day and put them out of sight and it brightened the room up a little. The bathroom lighting was so dark at first but then we realized that as the lights were on it got brighter. Not a huge issue like some reviewers say however the area where the toilet and shower is is a little dark because the light is over the shower only.

The room was immaculate and Mousekeeping was wonderful! The room was always made up when we weren't there, We would go to the parks or breakfast in the morning and the afternoon when we returned it was already cleaned and made up. Even had towel animals made for my son twice!

Roaring Forks was average for quick meals..very small menu. Do NOT expect a food court like a moderate resort, but I liked it for that reason, it was not a mod resort and everything was under one roof-easy to walk around and refill my resort mug and so easy to get from one place to another all inside! Loved that about it sooo much.

The pool was so great, we were there for hours every day! Since we went at a time that was not very crowded it was pleasant to be at the pool, we always got a seat and bar was not crowded or slide for my son. And again everything is in close walking distance to the room, pool, beach, geyser, restaurants, lobby.

The only warning I would have about this resort is-do not go during peak season because of the small size of the pool and pool area and the small size of the quick service restaurant. It was great when we went (Aug 20-28) because it was not crowded and we were able to get a seat easily at pool and restaurant. If it was peak season it might have actually ruined the experience of the Lodge because it is not very large.

Overall I would probably go back to the Wilderness Lodge-the only reason I say probably is because after seeing the Polynesian and the convenience of the monorail compared to the boat, we really have our hearts set on the Polynesian next trip to Disney! But I highly recommend the Wilderness Lodge-Enjoy! (and don't let negative reviews scare you like they did me)

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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New York
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2011

I have stayed at many of the Disney hotels over the years and have steadly found them to be going downhill. You would think at the price they charge you for the rooms they would at least throw in free internet ,maybe a microwave just to heat a pastry or a single cup of water for tea (instead of using the coffee maker). I still love the overall theming of the hotels but you can get more bang for your buck staying at one of their good neighbor hotels

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mass.
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2011

Stayed here in August of 2010. Went down to Disney on a whim with nowhere to stay. Used a time share that we have and lucked out to have stayed on Disney's property esp. this place. After calling our time share we arrived from Mass. Less than 2 hours from the property and were able to book these accommodations. Stayed in a 1 BR Villa nice and close to the transportation stops and Lobby/Dining hall. Extremely clean grounds. Clean pools. Very convenient having Laundry in the rooms and nice to have a full kitchen to do quick breakfasts at. You can take the bus's to the park or take the boat over to the Magic Kingdom which we did often if the lines where tong for the buses. Your right outside the Magic Kingdom so the ride is Ultra short, which was nice traveling with a 11 month old. I have been to disney many many times but once you have a child you look at things in the park a different way. Never realized how many things a small child can do here at the park. She'll never remember it but she still had fun. Very cool Train display in the "Train Room" in the lobby of our Villa's. The train that was used at Walt home is on display with stories and pictures. Would def. stay here again once I try the rest of the resort hotels.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Disney's Wilderness Lodge

Address: 901 Timberline Drive, Lake Buena Vista, Orlando, FL 32830
Location: United States > Florida > Central Florida > Orlando
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Orlando
#9 Luxury Hotel in Orlando
#14 Romantic Hotel in Orlando
#22 Family Hotel in Orlando
#116 Business Hotel in Orlando
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Disney's Wilderness Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 727
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Escape to the rustic majesty of America's Great Northwest. Inspired by turn-of-the-century National Park lodges, Disney's Wilderness Lodge celebrates American craftsmanship and honors the beauty of the untamed wilderness. Soak in the splendor of the great outdoors, from nature trails through pine forests to rocking chairs that overlook a murmuring creek. Inside, discover towering totem poles, headdresses and more, and sink into a plush leather armchair in front of the roaring fireplace. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Disney Wilderness Hotel
Disney Wilderness Lodge
Disneys Wilderness Hotel
Walt Disney World Wilderness Lodge
Wilderness Lodge Orlando
Wilderness Lodge Resort
Wilderness Lodge Disney World
Disney Wilderness Resort
Disneys Wilderness Lodge

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