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“Christmas Magic for the Kids” 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
Kitchener, Canada
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Christmas Magic for the Kids”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2013

My family just returned from an excellent trip to Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. We have been to Disney many times, but haven’t stayed on property or during the Christmas season. Everything was perfect and the kids now have memories they’ll never forget.

The hotel itself is amazing, 5 story+ Christmas tree in the lobby, super friendly staff at check-in, and plenty of things to see and do at the hotel. The pool was fantastic and the kids loved the water slide. It was nice to see not one, but 3-4 lifeguards on while the pool was open as well.

We ate the Roaring Forks for some quick breakfasts and a late quick dinner and all our meals were better than your average takeout food. We also had a sit down meal at the Whispering Canyon Café that was really fun. The wait staff makes it a quirky time that the kids loved. Food also was very good and it is highly recommended.

Our room was very comfortable for the 4 of us and had a great view of the pool and lake. Washrooms were clean and it had all the amenities that we needed.

The best part was being able to just take a quick boat ride to Magic Kingdom and avoiding the parking lots!

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 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
  • 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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (490)
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Brick, New Jersey
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 10, 2013

First off, I have written many reviews on the Wilderness Lodge as this is my 8th time going and 7th staying Club Level-first time at Christmas as we usually travel the first week of May. We arrived on the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend so we thought it would be very crowded but it wasn't too bad and we were brought right up to the 7th floor club level and greeted by the wonderful cast member Lindsay. We were staying 6 of us so had two rooms booked and were extremely happy that we received both requests-adjoining rooms and early check in! We arrived at 11 am so the early check in was great! We were in rooms 7052 and 7054 which actually have Magic Kingdom views - first time ever we were able to sit on our balcony and watch the fireworks while having a nice drink at nice. The cast members at the Old Faithful Club are amazing. Mike and Lindsay and Jenn are just awesome! We would not stay at any other club level hotel because we don't want to leave them! They really go above and beyond. It was my birthday and they had balloons and special treats in my room. We book through Small World Vacations - Deanna and she is the BEST. She got us all our reservations at our 6 month window and was able to get us our bounceback special with 30% off. It is really worth it to book with a travel agent. They do all the work for you! This hotel was beautiful at Christmas time and we did go to the Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party which was great as well. Lots of fun for the kids -age 6 and 4. We will definitely be back in May as that trip is already booked - WL and Club Level. Cannot say enough great things about this hotel and Disney!

Room Tip: Club Level - 7000 side has Magic Kingdom views!
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 10, 2013

My husband and I booked a stay at Disney's All-Star Music this past February. Upon arrival, we were told that we had been upgraded to the Fort Wilderness Lodge. While we both were skeptical, we took them up on the offer after they told us it was a free upgrade. We did NOT regret it!

Fort Wilderness is spacious, clean, and the theme was great for both families and couples alike. The atmosphere really did feel like a home away from home. We found it very relaxing, especially after a long day in the parks. Although my husband and I took this trip before our honeymoon, we consider it more of a Honeymoon than our real one that we recently returned from. We felt genuinely taken care of and pampered.

In a nutshell, While we would not pay full price for this resort (we typically do not go for upgraded accommodations), we would definitely recommend Fort Wilderness Lodge to anyone wanting to spend in that price bracket.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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.
Raleigh, North Carolina
Top Contributor
90 reviews 90 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 8, 2013

I would stay here again at the right price. The small geyser in the lobby that fed the stream that lead to the pool were impressive, but the pool itself is pretty fundamental. The rooms are adequate and clean. The staff are friendly and professional. The Christmas decorations are nice, they are not jaw dropping, and jaw dropping was what I expected. The Lodge is well served by both bus and boat transportation. From my personal experience, I would avoid both the top and bottom end of Disney hotels. Port Orleans, the Wilderness Lodge (at the right price), Dixie-River Landing, and possibly the Animal Kingdom, are possibly your best bets for a comfortable stay at a reasonable price.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
owensboro, ky
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 7, 2013

This place was great and the decorations are fantastic. I can't give it excellent because of the bus service definitely needs to be fixed,updated or something. Been to 6 Disney resorts and this one was the worst with the buses. However the boat to magic kingdom was great. I do highly recommend thus resort just please fix the buses.

  • Stayed November 2013, 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
    • 4 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.
washington d.c.
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 5, 2013

Loved the hotel - felt like I was both in the middle of Yosemite and Disney at the same time. Stayed with 2 boys, aged 6 and 9 and they were in heaven. Definitely the best "Disney" hotel of the Big 4 if you have kids. Toured the other ones and while nice, they felt more like just a hotel. Transportation to the Magic Kingdom was a snap - travel by boat service and avoided the buses. Never waited more than 5 minutes. Boat captains were entertaining.

Stayed in Room 5150 - this is a Woods View. Used the Unofficial Guide Book to Disney which recommended rooms on floors 4-6. Made my room request through online check-in confirmation and it was granted. You MUST check-in through online check-in at least 24 before arriving to avoid the lines when large groups arrive all at once to the hotels. My line was 2 deep. Easy as pie. Room was semi small but adequate for 4 if you keep it neat. Fridge was included. I would not recommend paying more for a lake view or higher because you cannot see the Magic Kingdom from the resort due to the foliage. I was under the impression that you could see the nightly fireworks show from Cinderella's castle from some of the rooms and/or the beach area - not true. So, unless you want to pay more to look at the pretty lake - don't spend your $ there. My room looked out over the trees and the pool area servicing the Vacation Club villas. Quiet at this time of the year.

Had dinner at Artist Pointe, which was lovely, the first night. Otherwise, tried once to get into Whispering Canyons for breakfast - hour wait - so went around the corner to the "take out" shop they had and got the same nice breakfast for $4.99 in 5 minutes. There is ample sitting room and you are on your way quickly. My elderly mother and I both ate "kids" breakfast portions each day - more than enough for an average adult.

The service was fantastic in the hotel. Will definitely return. Extra blankets were delivered promptly and I must compliment the Mercantile shop for making me examine my purchases delivered to the hotel from Ye Ole Christmas Shop in the Magic Kingdom. Upon examination, we found a broken ornament (this was around 10pm) and in less than an hour, Marianne had called that shop and had another one delivered to the hotel for me.

Finally, you can check-in your luggage just like you were at the airport upon departure and travel bag free back to the airport - OMG....this was an AWESOME perk traveling with 2 small children. Returned my rental car and breezed into the airport with just a tiny backpack on my back. Very pleased with the experience.

Room Tip: Choose the better rooms on floors 4-6 toward the hotel V's open end. Avoid room on those floors...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lincolnshire, UK
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 5, 2013

We stayed here from the 6th to the 20th November. It was our 5th trip together to Walt Disney World, and our third stay on Disney property (previous trips were to Animal Kingdom Lodge and the Grand Floridian). My partner would have preferred to go back to the Grand Floridian as he loves it so much but the rates were just too high for us. We still prefer the GF, but it's a bit unfair to compare Disney's flagship resort against any other.
Wilderness Lodge is wonderfully themed along the lines of turn of the last century Pacific North West National Park lodges. having never stayed in one, I can't say how authentic it was (!) but we loved the theming. The stunning lobby with the totem poles, rocking chairs and bubbling spring is relaxing and atmospheric. The courtyard area with pool is beautifully landscaped and well maintained. The resort has its own boat dock for boats to Magic Kingdom and the Contemporary, and a marina/beach area. There are running/walking trails too which sadly we didn't have time to explore.
We had a courtyard view room which was quite close to the top of the 'n' shape so our view was largely of other rooms, although we could easily see the whole outside area and lake from the balcony. Unsurprisingly, we were too busy in the parks to spend much time gazing at the view...The room was well maintained and clean, with some nice themed touches such as the 'carved' headboards and character insert tiles in the bathroom. Beds and pillows were comfortable. Air con worked when we needed it too. We got towel animals left in the room on a regular basis by 'Mousekeeping'!
We ate regularly at the Roaring Fork quick service café as we were on the Disney Dining Plan (it was included for 'free' in our package). There was plenty of choice for us here. Breakfasts could either be a snack such as a bagel, fruit or pastry, or more substantial such as a platter cooked breakfast or Mickey waffles with fruit or chocolate (my personal favourite). We didn't have lunch but food was available all day, and we did have supper once and the flatbreads were tasty. If you're on the Dining Plan you get your refillable mug here too, and it covers all of the 'vending' soft and hot drinks.
We had one table service breakfast at the Whispering Canyon Café. Our server was lovely, as was the food, but the raucous atmosphere wasn't for us shy, retiring types! Looked like fun for those who got into the spirit though.
We had one meal at the resort's signature restaurant, Artist Point. We'd eaten here on previous trips and knew we liked it. The food was very good indeed and service excellent. It's expensive but we used two credits on our Plan to eat at several of the WDW signature restaurants during our stay. We probably would have had just one signature meal had we been paying!
We didn't use the pool so can't comment on it, but there were families using it from early morning until late at night so it must be good! Concierge were helpful, and extra staff do come over when there's a long queue there. Initial registration/check-in was fine too, not too long. We were part of the testing for the new Magic Bands. The Band is your hotel room key, charging key for meals/drinks/merchandise, and also holds your FastPass+ bookings and Dining Plan credits if you have that. It now holds your Disney PhotoPass images too. We had almost no issues with them during testing. (Just a blip with a restaurant's system, not our bands, and a couple of times at the turnstiles we used the wrong finger and had to be reset!)
Our first morning the boat broke down so we had a long wait for another, but after that, there were no issues with either boats or buses. We also had a car; parking isn't too far, and valet is available.
I'm not certain why I'm giving it four stars and not five. There were no real gripes or problems. The fact is: it's very Disney, and therefore difficult to compare to other luxury hotels. I guess it is slightly less luxurious than the Grand Floridian, and still very expensive, but would I stay there again? Yes, if we got the Dining package again. For us, staying on property is the best way to get the most out of Disney as we love the Mouse, but that might not be the case for those on a tight family budget or who don't want Mickey in their faces 24/7! Do your homework first.
Summary: a beautifully themed, well maintained resort with good facilities, good service, and food to suit most tastes and pockets.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
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
#22 Family Hotel in Orlando
#102 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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