We stayed at Disney's Wilderness Lodge from December 3rd through the 17th. Great time to stay, as the Christmas celebrations around Disney World are in full swing, but without the tremendous crowds. We had booked the hotel in January of 2011, in order to lock in a good price and to guarantee our room. We completed on-line check-in ten days before we arrived, which made check-in a breeze. The cast members working the front desk were extremely pleasant, and answered all of our questions regarding transportation and room availability (we arrived at the Lodge at 7AM, well ahead of the 4PM check-in time). We were assigned a room on the fifth floor, overlooking the swimming pool by the Villas. I would recommend the fourth or fifth floors in either of the wings, as the sounds from the lobby and the Whispering Canyon Cafe will not carry that far. Food at the Roaring Fork, which is their quick service restaurant, was very good. Breakfast platters were always tasty. Hamburgers were pretty good. I wouldn't recommend the pizza, as they were just so-so. Service was excellent. Room service is very expensive, but the delivery and presentation was fantastic - food was still hot, and the ice cream was still frozen. We ate at Artist Point, which has fork-tender Filet Mignon and excellent Bison steaks. The drinks are not watered down, and with a full-service bar they can mix any drink you desire. Artist Point is very expensive, and I wouldn't recommend it for families with small children, but I highly recommend it for couples looking for a romantic evening.
Housekeeping was fantastic! Mimi, our housekeeper, always kept our room neat and tidy. On our second day onward, we would always leave a note listing what we needed restocked, be it soap or toilet paper, plus a couple of dollars as a way of saying thank you for all the hard work. Every day we came "home" from the parks to find a different kind of towel animal, plus little chocolates, plus all the toiletries restocked in a nice and neat fashion. The few times we ran into Mimi in the halls, we always thanked her for all her hard work. I cannot stress enough how far a little kindness and a few dollars can go to ensure a clean room with little special surprises like the towel animals.
We tried out the pool. Cold, but not too cold. Because it was a relatively quiet time in the resort, there were only a handful of other people in the pool, which made it very pleasant. The hot tubs were oh so nice! Warm without being hot, and they offer a great view of the artificial geyser the hotel has, which goes off every hour on the hour during the day.
Boat transportation to the Magic Kingdom, Fort Wilderness, and the Contemporary Resort were pleasant and quick, with boats arriving every ten minutes or so. Bus transportation, on the other hand, does leave a lot to be desired. I agree with other reviewers in this regard - you often have to wait 30 minutes or more for the bus to arrive, and then have to travel to other resort hotels to pick up other passengers before finally arriving at your destination. Plan accordingly!
The Christmas decorations were gorgeous, as well as subtle. You had to get up close to the main tree to really see the detail of the ornaments, which reflect the hotel's theme of a National Park Lodge. If you have the time, I would recommend the free guided tour of the hotel that is offered at 9AM from Wednesday through Sunday. Ask for Ranger Jack; he's very knowledgeable about the construction of the hotel, as well as the hotels that the Wilderness Lodge is based on.
I would recommend this hotel to anyone planning a trip to Disney World, but be prepared: it is quite expensive - but well worth every penny!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Disney's Wilderness Lodge—inspired by the Great American Northwest National Park lodges from the turn of the 20th century—is an architecturally grand Disney Deluxe Resort hotel honoring American craftsmanship and artistry, and celebrating the majesty of the unspoiled wilderness. ... 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