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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 #33 of 333 Hotels in Orlando
Middletown, Delaware
Level Contributor
130 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 199 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

I've been going to Disney World since I was a kid (early 70's) and have stayed at almost all of their resorts. The Wilderness Lodge Resort was one that I avoided in the past because so many of the other Disney resorts looked more interesting.

We took a chance in early May 2014 and included a stay there during one of our trips to WDW. To my surprise it turned out to be much better than I expected. The grounds are gorgeous with a mountain lodge feel, though the pool is a little undersized for this resort, it's very unique with water rapids running from the resort lobby down large rocks to the pool area. There is a "quiet pool" close by also which can be more relaxing.

Food options are limited between, a quick service, a café and a steak house. The Wilderness Cafe is pretty tasty, moderately priced (for Disney!) and the servers are a hoot! Loud and informal they make it easy to relax and have some fun.

Overall it is one of their nicest resorts with decent sized clean rooms that have a rustic lodge decor. We were located on a top floor and our balcony was good sized, but because of the building design we had to stand if we wanted to see the gorgeous view of the lake, pool and rapids down below.

As for convenience, the Magic Kingdom is a short boat ride away and or course buses to take you there and to the other parks as well. MK fireworks can be seen easily from your pool side balcony or the grounds. I would definitely stay here again!

As for cost, well it's Disney. If you're looking to find a deal they can be had with some early planning and flexible time frame. I've never paid full price saving 30% - 50% on Resort room cost. Check around, there are deals to be had except for the most popular dates.

Example if you want to experience the Food Festival or Halloween Party, try going earlier in the season say late September or early October, it's cheaper, less crowded and all those seasonal activities are available. The same goes for Christmas unless you absolutely want to be there Christmas Eve, you'll have a much better visit earlier in the month of December and save a fair sum in the process.

Room Tip: Ask for a room with a balcony over looking the pool!
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  • Stayed November 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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2,907 reviews from our community

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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 (632)
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Atlanta, GA
Level Contributor
21 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

Our stay was okay. For a deluxe resort, rooms were not impressive at all. Lobby was what you pay for....it was very impressive. I guess we got spoiled in Mexico. Disney is Disney. Crowded, hot, screaming kids AND parents...the usual. The payoff was seeing the look on my five year olds face. It'll be a while before we return. BTW...we ate well during our stay. You have to plan ahead, and visit other resorts. Staff at the hotel were very friendly. At the parks....not so much. I heard a few staffers complain about pay and hours. Overall...we had fun.

Stayed September 2015, traveled with family
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6 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

This our families favorite place to stay at Disney. Great location especially if you are visiting the Magic Kingdom. The boat ride to Magic Kingdom is a great way to.start the day. The lobby is amazing.

Stayed June 2015, traveled with family
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Charleston, South Carolina
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago NEW

The Wilderness lodge is a wonderful property. The views are great from the rooms we had. Our children loved the hotel and the Whispering Canyon Restaurant in the lobby. The rooms are nicely appointed on the 6th floor. We did have an issue in our first room (6139)and they had to move us on the other side of resort (6005). There was a water main break and our room smelled musty and moldy. The manager accommodated our needs and sprinkled a bit of pixie dust, but we had to ask for something to be done. From 6005 you can hear the boat horns and all the pool party action if you have a young one that naps maybe mention the concern at check in. The pools are great, we enjoyed the children's area, and the beach and movie one night. Service is a little slower then in comparison to the Grand Floridian. Overall enjoyed our stay, the kids loved it but will save more for a monorail resort next time.

Stayed September 2015, traveled with family
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Norwich, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
93 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

We walked through to the lobby and my partner was impressed by the attention to detail and clever theming choices that Wilderness Lodge has to offer. I last visited WL about 10+ years ago. It was the first resort my family and I stayed at on Disney and it's where we fell in love with Disney resorts.

We had two separate rooms. One was booked with a woods views and two queen beds and the other booked with a woods view with a queen bed and a bunk bed. As 5 grown adults would be sleeping in the rooms we asked whether we could change the categories of the room. There was a lot of faffing around due to my partner being a continuous guest (having one reservation after the other) but the Lovely Gloria at reception went to great lengths to ensure that we got side by side rooms, two queen beds in both rooms and that my partner and I wouldn't have to change rooms when we checked in for the next stay.

The lodge itself is beautiful. The pool area at times very crowded and again the annoying youth activities lady was persisting with children entertainment despite there often being no participants. Is it me or is the woman with the microphone always irritatingly loud?

My parents ate at artist point which had long been one of the favourite restaurants for many years. However this time around my father was thoroughly dissatisfied stating that the service and food was below average. (For artist point he would give it a one star out of five)

The room was spacious enough for us. Everything from the bathroom tiles to the bed posts to the coverings on the bed were themed. It really is a magical hotel.

Gloria and Ryan at reception were truly the bees knees!

Stayed September 2015, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hampton, Georgia, United States
Level Contributor
60 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

We stayed at the Wilderness Lodge for the first time in September. We had a great experience. The front desk staff was attentive and caring. The bell staff was excellent and very timely. The housekeeping staff did a good job cleaning our room but was disappointing when compared with previous Disney experiences. We left several minimal requests (an extra towel, etc), and had to follow up almost daily if we wanted them met. The resort itself is beautiful. The theme of the hotel is excellent and there are many amenities included with the stay. The health club is very nice, the pool is wonderful, and the movies under the stars are a lot of fun. The lodge has a beach where it's possible to view the Electric Water Pageant nightly at 9:35. It was wonderful fun. The only downside to the beach was that my family got a lot of bug bites in the sand. Carry bug spray! The staff is wonderful at the Roaring Fork restaurant, the food is good. We were able to share a bounty platter for our entire family to eat breakfast many of the mornings we ate there. We had a room on the 6th floor and had a lovely view of the Villas pool. We would probably stay at the Wilderness Lodge again, but have some other family favorite resorts that are higher on our list. The arcade is great (but a little pricey), and the resort gift shop has a great selection of park souvenirs as well as necessities that may have been left at home. Our room had a refrigerator and coffee maker. The rooms at the Wilderness Lodge are noticeably smaller than other Deluxe resorts which is one of the things that would push us away. We also had a very squeaky (but comfortable) bed. The Wilderness Lodge was part of a wonderful Disney experience and if well prepared would be an excellent choice to stay on property. The transportation options are good with buses to all parks and additional boat transportation to the Magic Kingdom. The Whispering Canyon Cafe is also a go-to restaurant right in the hotel.

Room Tip: Woods view rooms are quieter. Rooms on lower floors are more convenient for transportation but will...
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  • Stayed September 2015, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
Level Contributor
14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

This was our first trip to Disney World with our five year old daughter. My parents also joined us on the trip and we spent 9 nights at the Wilderness Lodge September 19th to 28th. Although we had received a letter warning us in advance ,there was no construction during our stay other than some minor scaffolding located near the front of the hotel.

The Room
We had requested a room on a high floor located near my parent's room and the requests were honored. We had sixth floor woods view rooms located on the beach side of the resort. I really enjoyed this location as we were as far as possible from the dock and the horns of the boats arriving until late in the evening. Although we were still able to hear the horns and the Magic Kingdom fireworks, I think these are likely the quietest rooms at the resort. The one drawback to being on the sixth floor is there is no view from the balconies while sitting out. This wasn't a big deal because we didn't spend much time in the room outside of sleeping. There was nothing special about the room itself. It is quite small but we were able to manage with the three of us. It would be tight for a family of four, particularly since there is limited storage for clothes, etc. The rooms were cleaned thoroughly early in the day every day.

We ate at all of the restaurants at the hotel multiple times and also enjoyed meals at the parks and other resorts.

We really enjoyed Whispering Canyon and the antics of the wait staff, although it must be exhausting to work there. We only ate one dinner there and we had the all you can eat skillet which we really enjoyed. We also had breakfast there a few times but found the menu to be a bit repetitive and the coffee was awful. The kids love the ketchup routine and it is fun, but after 10 days even my 5 year old had enough.

We had two dinners at Artist Point. The first dinner was fantastic. The waiter was very knowledgeable about all of the items on the menu. We enjoyed everything from cedar plank salmon to bison. The desserts were to die for, especially the fresh donuts served warm, filled with berries and accompanied by a chocolate dip on the side. The French pressed coffee was a nice touch. The second dinner was not good. Two of us had to send back Cornish hen which was raw on the inside - not appetizing at all!

Roaring Fork
This is the quick service restaurant at the resort which served its purpose. We were there in September during the low season and some days all of the tables were taken inside, although there were usually some available outside. The desserts there were delicious and it was a nice option for a light breakfast like a bagel or cereal. The waffles with strawberries looked really good although I didn't have one. The only nut-fee treats available here were brownies and chocolate chip cookies located in a basket on top of the display case.

Territory Lounge
One great tip is they make delicious flavored lattes here (hot or cold) and you can use a snack credit to pay for them.

Food Allergies
One overall statement about the restaurants at Disney is they are very vigilant about food allergies which we appreciated having a daughter with a nut allergy. That being said, one morning at Whispering Canyon our daughter was provided with a container of granola which contained almonds and she proceeded to eat the entire thing! Her meal was delivered by a separate server, and was marked as an allergy meal so we trusted that it was carefully prepared. We didn't realize the mistake until a couple of days later when it occurred again and the waiter was very upset because he told us the granola contained nuts. We ended up getting a visit from the chef and a manager who were clearly very nervous. It was all unsettling, but I guess our daughter either isn't allergic to almonds or we were very lucky...twice! A similar incident occurred at Cinderella's Royal Table at Magic Kingdom where I had ordered a nut-free meal for our daughter, including a raspberry sorbet for dessert. The waiter showed up at our table at the end of the meal, lit a candle on a cupcake with a flourish and tried to serve her that and a peanut butter smores dessert before I intercepted it. Very concerning to say the least.

We didn't have any issues with the transportation. We loved taking the boat to Magic Kingdom and one evening we took the boat to the Contemporary for dinner. One evening service was suspended due to a thunder storm but the boats had started running again by the time we finished dinner. Otherwise we took buses to: Epcot, Downtown Disney, Blizzard Beach, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom. The only time we waited for longer than 10 minutes was returning to the resort after Fantasmic and also from Blizzard Beach. The final word is we did not have any complaints about the transportation.

We were underwhelmed by the pool area when we visited the Contemporary and it truly made the beauty of the Wilderness Lodge stand out. We spent a lot of time in the pool and the kids really enjoyed the water slide. There is also a nice splash pad area which was busy day and night. There are many lifeguards on duty at all times who are very vigilant. We were able to sit on the beach and watch the Magic Kingdom fireworks at night which we loved. The view isn't perfect but good enough. The electrical parade also goes by every night. They showed a movie on the beach every night which were too busy to enjoy and it never seemed like there were many people down there but it is a nice option. There us a store onsite which has some souvenirs, snacks, and pretty much any basic medical supply one might need.

Overall Impression
We would consider staying at this resort again. The theme is beautiful and the lobby and grounds are quite breathtaking. We loved the convenience and pleasant experience of travelling by boat, especially at night returning from the Magic Kingdom. As our daughter gets older or if we had a larger family I would consider staying in a villa or maybe another resort because the rooms are not very spacious.

  • Stayed September 2015, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
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
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:
#6 Top resorts Hotel in Orlando
#14 Luxury Hotel in Orlando
#14 Romantic Hotel in Orlando
#27 Family Hotel in Orlando
#125 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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