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“Transported As Soon As You Walk Through The Door” 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 #21 of 328 hotels in Orlando
Thomaston, Connecticut
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Transported As Soon As You Walk Through The Door”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 26, 2013

We have probably stayed at this hotel 15 times. It is amazing! As soon as you walk into the lobby you are transported to the Pacific Northwest. The architecture is AMAZING!!! It is a great place to stay as far as transportation around Disney World goes as there is both boats and buses. The hotel staff is very friendly and helpful. There are 3 restaurants -- less expensive/fast food type, moderate sit down and high end. All are excellent. Even the less expensive offers healthy options like salads. There are movies on the beach every night with a fire and marshmallows. The electric light parade goes by every night as well. There is a beautiful spa and gym. Definitely go here. You will love it!!!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (426)
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Staten Island, NY
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 26, 2013

We visited in August 2012, my children's (7 & 10) first full week visit at Disney, as we had stayed one night years before at the Pop Century for a quick day trip to Magic Kingdom. As soon as we pulled up on the bus from the airport someone approached us and welcomed us. She brought us right to the counter area and we only waited 3 to 4 minutes at best. Our vacation package, woods view was upgraded to pool view, which was nice, it was further back from the pool but still a nice view, we could even see the night water parade from the balcony. One night a little frog actually came in our room from the balcony when I opened the door, we did get him out easily enough. The hotel is comfortable, never had to wait long for the quick service food, and always got a table in the small dining area. We did not eat at the 2 main restaurants as that was difficult without reservations, they would give you a later time, and it was usually available, but normally a little too late for us. The balconies were full size and you could leave your wet clothes and shoes outside to dry overnight. It did rain a couple of days when we were there, so I recommend 1 pair of water shoes for doing the parks just in case. Never heard much noise from the rooms near by and never had to wait for the elevator though I think only 1 was running. We were able to have park purchases delivered to the giftshop so that was nice. The location allowed us to also take buses and/or the boat to Magic Kingdom but you could also go to Chief Mickey's at the Contemporary by boat, an early breakfast, it was a good location for getting around, and we were park hoppers so it worked out very well. The other parks were reachable by bus and this went smooth, I think one night we waited from the studio 25 minutes to go back to the resort at the end of the night, but that was it. We are planning to go again this August, and are planning to try another Disney Hotel to see that experience, but I have a feeling it will never live up to the Wilderness Lodge, it was awesome and a good price at that.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Hamden, Connecticut
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 25, 2013

We stayed at the Wilderness Lodge in April 2013 as part of a vacation with extended family to Disney. The rest of the family stayed at the Villas at the Wilderness Lodge while we stayed in the hotel part (no way I was getting packed into that villa with the rest of the family!). The Villas and actual lodge are near each other, though depending upon where the specific rooms are they could be a 10 minute walk apart.
 
As you might expect the theme of the hotel is a cheesy wilderness lodge, which for better or worse it pulls off quite well.
Overall I would say our room was basic, like something you would get at a Marriot Courtyard or equivalent. Only it costs twice as much because it’s in Disney. It was clean and about average sized. There was a flat-screen TV (that showed every Disney channel imaginable), a mini-fridge and a coffee maker. All basic but worked just fine.
 
The bathroom was one of these deals where the toilet and shower are in separate room and the vanity, mirror, sink, etc. are in the main hotel room.
Not sure I’m a big fan of this setup but it’s fairly common in U.S. hotels these days.  It works.
 
The king-sized bed was very comfortable. The AC was a bit noisy but kept the room at a comfortable temperature. I could hear when other people used the water for something but I could not hear voices from other rooms so no big deal. My room overlooked the pool so in the afternoon you could hear the music from the DJ and at night you would hear the whistle from the lifeguards pretty clearly. And you could hear screaming kids at the pool all the time. Luckily pool noise was pretty much done by 10pm or so, so again no big deal.
 
There are a couple restaurants in the hotel. One is a sit-down BBQ place that’s ok nothing special other than being plenty noisy. The other is a self-serve place that’s good for breakfast, sandwiches, snacks, soft drinks, etc. There also is a bar though I only walked through it once and didn’t spend any time there. Looked nice though. There is also a store in the hotel where you can but souvenirs (duh) and some limited food items.
 
As noted there is a nice pool with a slide though sometimes it’s tough to get a chair. Also not surprisingly its always got a million kids in it. There is a small bar at the pool but it seems to close early.
 
Since the Wilderness is not located within any park you will need to use Disney transportation to get anywhere. You can take a short boat ride from the dock to Magic Kingdom. From there you can take the monorail or a bus pretty much anywhere. There’s a bus stop at the Wilderness where you can catch a bus that will take you almost everywhere around the park. Busses run every 20 minutes or so but be advised they may stop at other Disney hotels along the way to your destination so the bus ride to your actual destination might be longer than you think it should be. Something to keep in mind if you have a reservation in another park or Downtown Disney.
 
One annoyance was the luggage situation. If you fly into Orlando and arrange transportation through Disney. Then Disney will pick up your luggage for you and deliver it to your room. So you check your bags when you leave your home airport and it magically appears in your hotel room. At least that’s how it works in theory. We landed at 5.30pm and they tell you it takes up to 3 hours to get your bags delivered to your room. After getting the Disney bus from the airport we did some exploring and had dinner and got back to the room about 9.30pm but our bags weren’t there. We made some calls and were told that it was raining at the airport and they weren’t able to load the bags on a bus to get them to the lodge. We wouldn’t have them until sometime after 11pm. Really? This is Florida, right? Rain halts Disney bag activity at the airport? Sounded fishy to me. After much whining and complaining they said they would try to hurry them up as really everything we needed and brought were in those bags. The rest of my family staying at the villa were basically told the same thing about their bags. So about 10.40pm our bags arrived at our room, though the rest of my family didn’t get theirs until about 11:20pm. Had I known better I would have avoided using the Disney baggage deal and just claimed my own bags at MCO and taken them with me on the bus. Not a huge deal but somewhat annoying. They did send up a spread of fruit, cookies and  snacks which helped a little.
 
Overall I was pretty happy with the Wilderness Lodge. This was my first trip to Disney (I successfully avoided it up until now) so I can’t compare I to other hotels on the Disney campus but I would likely consider staying here again should I return to Disney.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Top Contributor
110 reviews 110 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 2013

We went with family to Disney and stayed at Wilderness Lodge for 4 nights. The lobby is impressive as you arrive but you quickly are disappointed by the room. They are well-worn and in need of a renovation.turn the air conditioner to a low setting to rid the room of the mildew odor. Generally the layout and what is there is fine but you are paying a stiff price for the Disney name and not for the room.
The grounds are nicely kept but the pool is small for the number of guests. Chairs are hard to come by and the pool is very crowded. Their "beach" is a sand platform with chairs. You cannot go into the water. It is probably the only quite area available. Thank goodness for the nice folks at the pool/beach bar to take the edge off.
Access to the various parks on the Disney complex is spotty. You usually are forced onto the massive bus system. Allow plenty of time to see a bus and then expect a long ride to Epcot and to the studios with some stops at other hotels. The Magic Kingdom does have a short boat ride that is generally good but has some delays during peak times.

Room Tip: Avoid rooms on the lobby. They could be noisy. Woods view from the 4 th or 5 th floor are better
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Pasadena, California
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 2013

Just got back from a wonderful week at Disney World, and I can't imagine staying anywhere else when we return. Disney has always been good with the details, and they got every one right at Wilderness Lodge. The enchantment starts as you drive through the gates, you fall in love at your first sight of the lodge, and by the time you step into the breathtaking 8-story lobby you're hooked. The rooms themselves aren't all that exciting, especially at the rates you pay to stay inside WDW, but people tend not to spend many waking hours in their rooms at WDW anyway. If you get a courtyard room keep in mind that they do tend to blast music at the pool in the afternoon. But the rest of the hotel - wow.

The lakefront setting is beautiful and peaceful. As long as you don't peek over toward the Contemporary you can actually imagine that you are truly in the wilderness. Sitting on the beach early in the morning or at sunset is heavenly, and taking the boat to the Magic Kingdom is a special experience. There is also a boat parade every night, but it's one of the few Disney entertainments that I've found to be a complete let-down. If you happen to be at the lodge when the boats swing by, check it out once, but definitely don't go out of your way to see it.

Food at the lodge was surprisingly good, though with limited choices in the low and mid-range restaurants. We went to Artist Point once. It's pricey, but very good. I tried the signature salmon dish - fantastic. My wife tried the seafood "hot pot", which was also very good, though I have no idea why they call it hot pot. It's really more like a Thai green curry dish. Regardless, it's very good. But we ended up eating at the quick-service restaurant, Roaring Fork, more than anywhere else during our stay. Again, the food was surprisingly tasty, and reasonably priced by WDW standards. They have a small but tasty selection of salads, sandwiches, and flatbread pizzas. The only disappointment was the burger, which was a typically bland fast-food-type burger. But the fries were good.

The hotel pool is beautiful, and the water temperature was always perfect. If you're an early riser it's usually empty first thing in the morning and at night (pool hours 7am-11pm). We also loved having boat & bike rentals on the property and a decent health club. We rented bikes a few times and road over to the campgrounds. That was actually a highlight of the trip, though I wish bike trails at WDW were more extensive. Bike rental rates are decent, but the surreys are absolutely scandalous. Some friends with a 3-year-old came to visit us and we rented one. $22 for a half hour?

Erm, but back to the hotel... other than the magical boat ride to magic kingdom, all other theme parks and areas are a bus ride. Not bad though. The buses come frequently, and most journeys don't last that long.

Though I wouldn't rank this as my all-time favorite vacation ever, I can honestly say that this was the first time I've been sad to leave the hotel itself. If we ever go back to WDW, there's no question of staying anywhere else.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami, Florida
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2013 via mobile

As you enter the massive lobby you are greeted by towering columns of timber. The feel is Pacific Northwest and themed after the Old Faithful Inn in Yellowstone National Park. Rooms are nice and new. Lodge's main restaurant is worth a try, and is pretty good by Disney standards. The pool area has something for everyone - water slide for the kids and a poolside bar for the grown-ups. There's even a geyser that erupts every so often to everyone's delight. Everything is done in typical Disney fashion with no detail forgotten. The staff is accommodating and always willing to help you make dinner/show reservations or suggest things to do. Because this is one of the Disney resorts on the water, the boats will take you to and from the Magic Kingdom and to other resorts. This is probably one of my family's favorite features. We've stayed at every Disney property Resort except The Grand Floridian and this is our favorite.

Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kingwood, Texas, United States
2 reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2013

My wife and I have been going to Disney World in December for our anniversary for 5 years now. This last December we stayed at the Wilderness Lodge.

Location:
The boat service to the Magic Kingdom was a relaxing way to get to our favorite park. Once there via boat it's simple enough to board the monorail for Epcot as well. It was the bus for everything else. Only drawback to the boat is if it is raining and you get one of the small schooners to pick you up. Expect to be soaked and miserable by the time you get to your destination.

Food:
We only ate at the Whispering Canyon Cafe, one dinner service, and a few breakfasts. The dinner was much better than the breakfasts, but the breakfasts weren't bad. The service there was great. Just don't ask for ketchup. It's an ordeal.

Room:
The room was spacious and clean, and on par with the other deluxe hotels. We had, technically, a "Woods View" room, but our view was technically of the pool. A bit of a hike from the elevator to our room, but after walking in a park all day can feel longer than it actually is.

Resort:
The rustic mountain ski resort feel is engrossing, so much so you forget you're in the middle of swampy Florida. It's vaulted ceilings and amazing columns are spectacular.

Summary:
We've stayed in a number of hotels, all of them fantastic. So far we consider the Contemporary, Grand Floridian, Animal Kingdom Lodge, and Wilderness Lodge to all be equally great resorts, each with their own advantages and perks.

If you like the Magic Kingdom and visit it the most, and you like a bit of a rustic look and feel, the Wilderness Lodge is a great choice. It is also the cheapest of the deluxe resorts, something not to overlook.

Room Tip: Woods or Pool View.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
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:
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Orlando
#6 Luxury Hotel in Orlando
#12 Romantic Hotel in Orlando
#23 Family Hotel in Orlando
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Disney's Wilderness Lodge 4*
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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