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“Best family vacation” 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 #26 of 326 Hotels in Orlando
West Burlington, IA
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Best family vacation”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2013

We stayed at WL with my family (there were 11 of us in our group) and just had a blast. The hotel was very accommodating (my husband was disabled and my father needed extra help as well) and let us borrow two wheel chairs for free during our stay. The pool was lots of fun for the kids (who ranged in age from 5-15) and a little pool bar was great for the adults. The food was great. The hotel decor was fabulous and relaxing and getting to Magic Kingdom was the icing on the cake for us (the hotel provides a water taxi just for hotel guests to MK so after the shows at night, it's easy getting back to the hotel). It was my brothers second time staying there and we will be staying there again for our next trip :)

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,399 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    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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Maryland
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2013

The good part: Our December stay at the Wilderness lodge was generally quite satisfactory. Our rooms were comfortable and clean, if considerably more expensive than comparable rooms offsite would have been. We were pleasantly surprised at the very good food in all venues, again at not unreasonable – if resort-level – prices. Our meal at Artisan Point was first class, and although expensive, seemed to us to be worth it. And all the Disney “cast members” with whom we came in contact were appropriately personable and Disney-friendly.

The less good part: Several management hiccups had us wondering whether Mickey may have been put in charge of running the place. A few of them were (1) Our check-in involved three rooms; two went smoothly. The third didn't. The magnetic room key would not work, which meant some of us went the considerable distance back to the front desk where we were kept waiting the better part of 40 minutes without explanation while three generations of tired travelers (ages 2 to 70+) were left standing or sitting in the hallway outside the room. NotTheDonald learned from this that tired, cranky children are no easier to deal with in a Disney hallway than in any other hotel hallway. No Disney apology then or since. (2) Fog caused the cancellation of boat traffic between the resort and the Magic Kingdom, but not only were extra buses not added, one or more appears to have skipped its stop at the resort. The supposed 15-minute interval between runs became 40 minutes in our case as the line of fidgety children (of all ages) grew. Each telephone inquiry to the transportation center brought the news that the bus would be there “soon.” This struck NotTheDonald as a bigger issue than it might appear – One of the principal reasons for staying at the Wilderness Lodge is the easy access to the Magic Kingdom. One reason to pay Disney Resort lodging process is to get into the park as soon as it opens in the morning; it strikes NTD that if you don’t mind spend an hour plus getting to the Park in the morning you can save a lot of money staying at one of the many offsite properties all around Walt Disney World. In our case we left our rooms at about 8:30 in the morning and finally reached the Magic Kingdom at about 10:00 AM. Other TripAdvisor reviews indicate that the transportation system is generally fairly reliable. Nevertheless NotTheDonald knows that fog occurs in Central Florida now and again and would like to think that WDW management know it too. It didn’t seem that way. (3) Our party met for breakfast each morning in the restaurant. On the third morning of our stay the host refused to seat two of us until more of our party arrived. This silly policy would have been annoying on Day One, but was inexplicable when being announced for the first time on Day Three and in a nearly empty restaurant at that.

The bus service to and from the airport was similarly uneven. Some of our party described the ride as smooth, prompt, and comfortable; others reported the ride as so slow, hot, and overcrowded that chose to spend the considerable amount charged by a taxi rather than endure a similar ride back to the airport for the flight home.

As others have noted, the parks seemed least crowded in the late afternoon. We found we could get onto even the most popular rides with almost no waiting by going during the last few hours the park was open.

Walt Disney World is a wonderful place to visit and NotTheDonald looks forward to returning quite soon, and the Wilderness Lodge is a lovely facility, even more so when decorated for the holidays. Our party spent well over $1,200 per night on lodging, however, in an area overflowing with excellent hotel choices at every price point -- most a lot less than that -- and left The Wilderness Resort unconvinced that the premium was well spent.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
Augusta, Georgia
Top Contributor
69 reviews 69 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2013

Great hotel. Recommend getting the bunk bed rooms if staying with family with 2+ children - makes the room feel bigger than it is. Surpised at how peaceful the wooded view was - though you are at Disney, the rustic feel made for a relaxing relief from the business of the parks. The pools were very nice - especially like the more secluded pool at the DVC Villas. The exercise room was subpar for what I would have expected from Disney.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
YORKSHIRE
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2013

Our first impression when walking into the lobby was 'breathtaking'. The feel is very natural and there were very clever features everywhere with carvings, wood burning stoves and lots of comfy chairs. We were lucky to have free valet service and the porter who took our luggage to the room reminded us of a leprechaun and was lovely.

The rooms were quite plain but fit with the theme of just being comfortable with natural wood features. We had a balcony with not the best view but we could just see Magic Kingdom through the trees.

Our visit was during Halloween and a lovely added feature were a table of pumpkin carvings. The pool had a slide and again this was themed but as we were not staying for a long time we did not spend any time in this. There is also a geyser which erupts periodically.

You can take a boat directly to the Magic Kingdom from a jetty at the hotel and this was really handy, especially for Halloween night.

We did not eat at Whispering Canyon Cafe but had heard it was fun. We did have a breakfast croissant each morning from Roaring Fork on our balcony for which my son became addicted even recreating them at home.

We would love to visit again some day if we can afford it as its one of Disneys luxury resorts.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
Cincinnati, OH
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2013

Welcoming archway along the 'mountain' road and topiaries of flying geese & buffalo lead to the fantastic Wilderness Lodge. Towering timbers within the cavernous lobby, huge fireplace, alcoves on each level provide scenic overlooks of the forest & lake, a mountain stream & waterfall all say....... Central Florida?! Terrific get away, but like most Disney resorts, it's pricey. And like most Disney venues, staying at the Wilderness is worth the splurge. The only negative in my opinion is the boisterous, loud music, amplified camp counselor's voice kids' pool party all afternoon, every afternoon. Of course kids should have their special activities, but do they have to drown out all the peaceful atmosphere of the central grounds each day from 1 to 5? Keep your sliding doors closed, put in earplugs or go off on a boat ride across the lake!

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Long Island, NY
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2013

We were a family of four staying here along with my parents. We had two adjoining rooms on the fourth floor. Horrible roof top views of a building. We had a balcony but couldn't sit on it because there were people working on the roof top that was our view. Had to keep the blinds closed always. Not that we were in our room for long, but still. Rooms were too small to have the crib open and luggage at the same time. Annoying! Staff couldn't change our rooms as the hotel was filled to capacity. Part of the resort was closed for maintenance. Couldn't sit on lounge chairs at the hotel in certain areas because the geiser was broken and wouldn't stop spewing water! The place was drenched 24/7. On the plus, we liked the boat ride to Magic Kingdom. Something different and unique. But very hard with a stroller as you have to close it up which means lugging your kid in and out of it a million times. We did like the hotel a lot, we just thought it fell below Disney standards.
I did complain to Disney about the rooms and received some money back but nothing compared to what we spent. Will go back to Polynesian Village next time.

Room Tip: Spend more for a good view!
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2013

Me and my wife spent our honeymoon here this past spring break. We couldn't have asked for a better stay! The huge lodge is wonderful and all of the cast members were extremely friendly. We stayed at the concierge level and they constantly went above and beyond to make our stay extraordinary. This was my wife's first time to stay at a Disney resort and she definitely fell in love. The food on the concierge level was also very good and plentiful. Our room was great and could see the castle through the trees which was pretty neat. We can't wait to come back here.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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:
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Orlando
#8 Luxury Hotel in Orlando
#12 Romantic Hotel in Orlando
#25 Family Hotel in Orlando
#101 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):
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

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