This is how it should be done. A HUGE HUGE credit to all of the team involved. Much ❤️. After a 14yr trip out to the beautiful locations that orlando has to offer this has to be one of the best examples of the Walt Disney brand.
We stayed for five nights, this was our fourth disney property so we know what to expect. Disney post COVID felt very different-light housekeeping every second day was nonsense (we moved to a competitor for the second half of the trip who supplied daily housekeeping AND turndown service)! The room was fine, as was the ample bathroom. The bed was extremely comfortable and the temperature of the room was good. The room had a nice balcony which also helped to shade the room. The restaurant was fine, although very few staff had the disney sparkle-we felt disney is very much all take and no give now to both staff and guests. We enjoyed the stay but will we rush back for our sixth disney stay? Maybe not!
I recently spent four nights at Wilderness Lodge with my wife and several family members, and we had a very nice stay. My wife’s family has stayed at this hotel many times over the years and has a sentimental attachment, which I’ve adopted as well. I love the grand, yet cozy feel of the lodge, where there are many great nooks and crannies to rest and relax after long days in the theme parks, along with a lakefront location and easy access to the Magic Kingdom on the boat. While our stay wasn’t perfect, and no stay at a Disney resort is, we definitely enjoyed ourselves here, particularly due to upgrading to the club level. As background, we travel to Walt Disney World about once a year, and it’s a favorite and familiar common spot for our family trips. We’ve stayed at Disney resorts in every price category, and have had both good and bad experiences. We generally stay at true luxury hotels on other trips, and we recognize that Disney resorts are overpriced for what they actually offer. However, we keep coming back because we enjoy the benefits of the Disney resorts, such as interestingly themed hotels in close proximity to the theme parks, theme park transportation, and extra hours in the parks (the extra evening hours in the Magic Kingdom for Deluxe resort guests were particularly helpful this time). Pre-Arrival Experience: Prior to our stay, I completed online check-in using the My Disney Experience mobile app, which I highly recommend doing so that you can get a notification as soon as your room is ready. You can then go to your room without stopping at the front desk (the app can be used as a mobile room key). I also received a generic email about a month before our stay to welcome us to the club level, and let us know of its benefits. The main appeal is that you’re on a special floor with access to a club lounge with an array of food and drink offerings throughout the day, along with a private concierge staff that is available to you (although they don’t really provide any services you can’t easily handle yourself). I responded to that first email to request early check-in, express our desire for a quiet room that didn’t have a connecting door (a request that was met), and to mention a special occasion. I received a response that was incredibly generic, to the point of being disappointing. However, about two weeks before our stay, I received a more personalized email welcoming us to the club level and asking for the same type of information. I provided the information again, and the response was more personal this time. However, I found it odd that in both email exchanges, they just ignored my mention of a special occasion altogether. Any true luxury hotel would care and note it, but that was not the case here, which was especially odd since they were the ones who asked us about it in the first place. Finally, two days before our arrival, I got a phone call from the Old Faithful Club, yet again welcoming us and again asking for the exact same information I had already given. It was getting exhausting at this point to have to provide the same information so many times. The welcome process was friendly, but disorganized. When we arrived at Orlando Airport on the morning of our check-in day, I immediately got a text letting us know that the room was not yet ready, which was not surprising. We then arrived at Wilderness Lodge a little before noon, and the staff members at the entrance were very nice in welcoming us in. The room ultimately ended up being ready around 2:00 pm, which wasn’t too bad. Hotel Room: We booked a standard room on the club level, which comes with two queen beds on the top (7th) floor. Unlike regular rooms, you can’t book a specific view within the club level, so we knew our room could either face the inner courtyard or the woods/Magic Kingdom. When we entered our room (7046), I was generally happy with what I saw. It’s nice that the rooms at Wilderness Lodge have been recently renovated, debuting just last year. The new design is very similar to what Disney has done when renovating other Deluxe resorts over the past few years, but with a wilderness focus. I thought the room felt slightly worn out for how new it is, and it also felt a little small, but an intelligent design still made it functional and comfortable for us. The wilderness theme comes through in small touches, such as the wallpaper behind the bed, the light fixtures, and the style of the furniture. I also really liked the light in the wall between the bathroom and bedroom, which added visual interest. I wasn’t blown away by the redesigned room, which didn’t really feel all that modern or luxurious, but also wasn’t fully committed on a kitschy wilderness/camping theme either, so it fell a little flat. The bathroom was well appointed, though, with nice tilework and a vanity with granite counters, double sinks, and a good amount of shelving and storage space. The tub/shower combo and toilet were in a separate room with a heavy sliding door, and the shower featured a nice rainforest-style showerhead that had good water pressure but a little trouble getting hot water. The room was also very well designed for storage. The dresser had six large drawers, the beds had storage space underneath for suitcases, and there were two closets with both shelf and hanging space. Other things were designed in an intelligent manner too, such as having lots of outlets with both USB and standard plugs, and convenient little shelves on both sides of each bed. The mini-fridge was helpful to have, but very small, perfect for us to just chill water bottles. I’m not a fan of the bedding in any Disney resort, where there’s not much more than a sheet on the bed and pretty low-quality pillows. The mattresses aren’t the plushest either. For the price point, more substantial and upscale bedding should be offered, although I always sleep fine since we’re always really tired after days at Disney World. Probably the top things I loved about our room were the balcony and view. We were on the side of the resort facing toward the Magic Kingdom, and had a view of the woods and then Cinderella Castle and the Contemporary Resort in the distance, including an excellent view of the Magic Kingdom fireworks in the evening. The view looking straight down was not nearly as nice, since that’s also the side of the hotel containing loading docks and service areas. However, the balconies on the top floor are almost fully enclosed with pretty high walls, unlike those on lower floors, so it’s harder to see the bad part of the view. I wasn’t sure I’d like that style of balcony, and it did seem to make the room a bit darker, but it actually gave us a larger outdoor space than the more open balconies on lower floors, and it felt very private. Being on the club level gave us some small extras, including robes and a personal greeting from a cast member shortly after we checked in, offering us Wilderness Lodge-themed chocolate bars. They also provided a phone number that we could use anytime to text or call the club level staff directly, which we used a couple times, receiving quick responses to our texts each time. Housekeeping: Disney has done a very poor job of bringing back housekeeping since they reopened, and for a long time, they simply weren’t providing it at all, even though most non-Disney hotels had brought it back. However, I read before our stay that light housekeeping was back on an every-other-day basis at Deluxe resorts (which was confirmed by a family member staying in a non-club level room), and that club level rooms were back to having full cleaning every day. A cast member at check-in confirmed that our room would be cleaned daily. Unfortunately, the housekeeping itself left a lot to be desired. First, the housekeeping team would come marching down the hall with all of their carts around 9:00 each morning, and immediately start aggressively knocking on doors to clean. They were loud and would just enter rooms before giving guests even 10 seconds to respond to a knock. After cleaning was completed, they would leave stacks of black trash bags everywhere down the hall, along with loose piles of dirty and wet towels, often for hours on end. It looked horrible and was ridiculous to have to dart around piles of dirty towels and trash all day. One day, we left our room a bit later than usual, and I noticed that the housekeepers were already gone from our floor. Worried we’d be skipped, I texted the club level staff to make sure housekeeping would still come to clean. This was still several hours before housekeepers leave for the day, and the cast member assured me that our room would be cleaned. When we returned late that night, our room had not been cleaned, which was totally frustrating. I complained to the club level staff, and they apologized, saying it wouldn’t happen again. The next day, we left the room very early, but returned that afternoon to find that our room was again skipped. Drew in the club lounge was very nice and apologetic about this, and offered to immediately call housekeeping to inquire. Housekeeping claimed they hadn’t cleaned because our ‘do not disturb’ sign was up, but it absolutely was not. I was really irritated at this point. Housekeeping said they would send someone up, which did happen quickly. After again expressing my dissatisfaction with the whole thing, Drew offered us a $200 credit on our room bill to make up for the housekeeping issues. I thought this was very nice and adequate compensation. After our room was finally cleaned later that afternoon, we realized that the large container of body wash in the shower was empty and had not been refilled, a basic thing that the housekeeper had still skipped. They did offer to bring more up shortly after that, but it felt like there was just one issue after another with housekeeping. Hotel Pools: The main hotel amenities are the pools, and the Copper Creek Pool is the focal point of the courtyard outside of the lobby overlooking Bay Lake. There is also a second pool closer to the Boulder Ridge Villas, and guests of either set of DVC villas on the property or the main hotel have access to both pools. We visited the main Copper Creek Pool on a couple occasions and enjoyed it, although it was very crowded, and difficult to find a single empty chair to put down our things before going in the pool. Unless you get there very early to get a chair, it’s not the kind of pool where you can expect to have a lot of space to relax, and there are very few chairs with shade. However, the pool itself is quite nice, with refreshing water (colder than we expected in May, but nice on hot days). The main pool slide is a little on the small side, but still fun. They also offer poolside recreation activities each day, such as games like Disney trivia and water games in the pool for kids. The kids that were there seemed to love it, but it does come with loud music playing and a good amount of noise from microphones they use. It’s not the calmest experience at the pool in the afternoons, but we didn’t mind. Dining: Wilderness Lodge has two table service restaurants (Artist Point and Whispering Canyon Café), two bars (Geyser Point Bar & Grill and Territory Lounge), and one quick service cafeteria-style location (Roaring Fork). Most of these are located in the main lodge building off of the lobby, except in the case of Geyser Point, which is outside in an open-air covered building by the lake. We had dinner at Artist Point this trip, which is a character dinner featuring Snow White and other characters from that movie. We had a good time there, and I was impressed with the décor, which did a great job of making the restaurant look like an “enchanted forest”. The food was just ok, with the shared appetizers and desserts for the table being nothing special, although our individually selected entrées were better. I would definitely go there for the character experience more so than the food. We didn’t eat at Whispering Canyon this time, but we’ve been there many times before and enjoy it. It’s a loud, boisterous place with good BBQ food and lots of antics and attitude from the servers. Geyser Point is sort of a hybrid between a restaurant and a bar, since it does have a food menu, but is set up more like a lounge and doesn’t take reservations. It’s a really attractive open-air space overlooking the lake with a modern wilderness feel. We stopped in for drinks on the afternoon we arrived, and it was very nice. Our server was very friendly, and drinks were fine. The only thing I didn’t like was that the drinks were served in plastic cups even when dining in. We also had drinks at Territory Lounge once. We liked the very strong wilderness theme of the décor, and service was prompt and friendly. However, the wine options weren’t great and the old fashioned we tried was not made well, so I can only endorse the ambiance, rather than the drinks. Roaring Fork offers quick service food court food, and we like it. I particularly enjoyed the pulled pork and mac and cheese plate for lunch. To save time, I recommend doing mobile ordering from the Disney app, and then hitting the button to indicate you’ve “arrived” even if you’re not there yet, since that’s what prompts them to start making your food. As mentioned previously, we also had access to the club lounge, which we used frequently and really enjoyed. The offerings start with breakfast at 7:00 (coffee is available at 6:30), which featured pastries, yogurt, fruit, oatmeal, a scrambled egg dish, and either bacon or sausage each day. It switches to snacks from the late morning to mid-afternoon, which includes things like potato chips, cookies, goldfish crackers, and trail mix. The evening offering started at 5:00, and included a rotating selection of hors d’oeuvres and hot food that was enough to serve as a dinner some days. The offerings included some selections from the hotel restaurants, such as ribs from Whispering Canyon Café, as well as cheeses, charcuterie, cold salads, mac and cheese, kids’ pasta, etc. A variety of wines and beers were always out in the evening, but were also available upon request earlier in the day. The night finished with desserts from 8:00-10:00, which we only made it to once, but included a very good warm cobbler, as well as small cupcakes and other mini desserts. Overall, I thought the food in the lounge was very good, and the friendly club lounge staff was great, always around to replenish food items and clear plates from tables. The only changes I would suggest are a little more variety (while the evening food changed daily, but breakfast and the midday snacks were a bit too identical from day to day). I also think they could extend the hours a little bit. For example, since the parks often open very early, offering some sort of breakfast items before 7:00 am, even just the cold options, would be ideal. Similarly, ending all food service at 10:00 pm seems a little early based on park hours. Just a slight extension on the dessert offering would be really nice to grab a drink/dessert on the way in after nighttime shows. However, we really loved the Old Faithful Club, and it was a major factor in enjoying our stay. Transportation: We used Disney transportation to get to the theme parks, and had good experiences. We mostly took the boat to get to Magic Kingdom (although there is also a bus), and used the buses to get to/from the other parks. The boat was definitely hit or miss and could take a while, especially if we had just missed one. However, it’s a calm and scenic ride if you have the time. The buses were efficient for the parks, and the app lists when the next buses will arrive at the resort. We were glad to see that the app seemed a bit more accurate on this trip than it had in the past. We never had crazy waits for buses, and the bus is generally a quick non-stop ride to the parks at peak times in the morning, but it may be shared with another resort when going at off-peak times. We seemed to share with the Contemporary for all parks other than Magic Kingdom, and the Magic Kingdom bus was shared with Fort Wilderness. However, anytime the bus was shared, Wilderness Lodge was always the first stop coming back from the park, which was convenient. We mostly chose to use Uber or Lyft anytime we needed to get to another Disney resort or the airport, which works well as long as it doesn’t get too late, when Ubers start to be harder to come by. Mobile Technology: For the past few years, Magic Bands were the standard item used by Disney hotel guests to do everything on property (park tickets, room key, room charging), but they’re no longer complimentary for resort guests (old ones from previous trips still work). A new option called MagicMobile was recently introduced as an alternative to integrate most of the same technology with your cell phone and/or Apple Watch. We decided to set-up the new MagicMobile option on this trip in lieu of Magic Bands, and found it was only somewhat successful. It worked great for getting into the parks and scanning into rides using Genie+, where I could just hold my locked phone or Apple Watch up to the reader without opening or touching anything. However, it was a mess for making room charges, and generally didn’t work. Without having a Magic Band, I found that paying for most things in the park was easiest using Apple Pay and skipping room charges altogether. For opening the hotel room door, it’s disappointing that MagicMobile doesn’t work easily like it does for entering the park. Instead of just being able to hold your phone directly up to the room door and have it immediately open, you have to go into the My Disney Experience app and click through several screens to find the mobile room key. After getting fed up with that, I ended up asking for a regular room key at the front desk instead. In the end, it felt like we were using something totally different depending on what we were trying to do (standard room key for the hotel room, MagicMobile for park admission, and Apple Pay for other charges). Trying to use the newest Disney technology was a bit chaotic, so I’d probably just keep using a Magic Band for now to avoid confusion. Service: One of the key things that I struggle with at Disney resorts is the staff service. Disney cast members at the resorts are generally friendly and perky, and want to be helpful. However, they simply aren’t trained to provide service anywhere near the level of what you’d get at a true luxury hotel. The staff members up on the club level were definitely better, which helped a bit. The staff at Disney resorts will generally not anticipate your needs or provide any personalized service that goes above and beyond. Lack of recognition of special occasions is a great example of this. I stated multiple times that our whole family group was staying at Wilderness Lodge as a special trip to celebrate the legacy of my late mother-in-law, exactly 10 years after she passed away, and Wilderness Lodge was her favorite place to stay. Every time I mentioned it before our stay (which Disney had asked about), the staff just ignored it completely and did nothing during the trip to recognize it. It seems that the most Disney will ever do is give out a pin to wear if you’re celebrating something, which is a bit pathetic. In contrast, it’s quite standard for non-Disney hotels at a similar price point to do things like providing a handwritten card, mentioning the occasion in person, or leaving a food item and/or bottle of wine in the room when there’s something special going on. Overall: Overall, we had a very nice stay at Wilderness Lodge on our recent trip, which has been a favorite hotel of our family for years. It was nice to have an updated room, and our decision to stay on the club level significantly enhanced the experience. I’m sure we’ll be back, even if some aspects of the experience could improve.…
We were happy to score a two bedroom vacation home for 3 nights at this DVC resort. The rooms were spotless and the food options were great. We loved the boat transportation to the magic kingdom. 1 bad thing is the boat transportation was down to contemporary resort for our 2 eating reservations.
We loved this resort. the room was great with a mini fridge. We loved the nature feel of the entire resort. the pool area was fun when we needed a break from parks. Food was fine, we actually ordered food from Amazon Prime and made our own breakfast and lunch. This worked great. There was a boat ride to Magic Kingdom, the buses were easy too. We would definitely stay here again!
Omg first time staying in a nature view room at Wilderness lodge. Such a gorgeous resort, the smell in the lobby is so nice. The lobby is magnificent. Great facilities for myself & my family. Kids loved the pools. Food options are also very good. Boat to Magic Kingdom was very handy. Bus service was also good
We went to Disney World to celebrate a big Birthday in the family, and stayed a week at the WL. This was my second time staying at the WL, and I liked the newly refurbished Hotel rooms. I realize with Covid everything in the hospitality industry has changed, but at these prices you really should get cleaning services daily. Overall the hotel is lovely, staff is delightful, and we enjoyed our stay.
We originally booked Widerness Lodge because our reservation at Contempory did not work out and Disney Services was scrambling to get us placed somehwere with CLUB LEVEL Service. I was pleasantly surprised at the lodge. The resort has a rustic, northern feel to it yet the rooms were fairly modern and up-to-date. We were able to take a boat to Magic Kingdom. A bus for the rest of the parks. The pools were very good and my daughter had a blast in both of them. There was also a kid activity centre for her as well as an arcade that I think, at times, she loved more than the parks. CLUB LEVEL-We've been to Disney World before but this was our first time in CLUB LEVEL. All I can say is I never going to stay at A Disney Resort unless it is CLUB LEVEL. Every morning Breakfast was available long with lunch and evening dinner. The rest of the time there were a varity of wine and beer, juice, water, coffee, tea, light snacks and desserts. But what makes CLUB LEVEL really work is the Concierge Services. Not only would they bring you an extra drink from time to time and check in on you as you relax in the Lounge, they were invaluable when it came to reserving restaurants to getting us on "SOLD OUT" Lightening Pass. One morning when we tried to book ourselves on one of Disney's most popular rides, ROTR, our App would suddenly not accept our payment and crashed. By the time we got it up and running the Ride was already "SOLD OUT" for the day. I explained this to our Concierge what happened with the crash and see if there is anything they can do. Sure enough, they made a couple of called, verified that the App did indeed crash briefly and ensured our Time Slot for the ride. The Conceirge even was able to get us reservation in some of Disney more difficult restaurants. Disney is Massively Expensive now but the one value item that was worth every penny was upgrading to CLUB LEVEL. If you are not in CLUB LEVEL at one of the top 8 Resorts you are diffently missing out.…
This was our first time staying at Disney's Wilderness Lodge and we were happy with our choice. We booked a Nature View standard room (2 queen beds) for our family of three. We were happy to see when we arrived in our room that we had a view of the Magic Kingdom, and therefore, we would be able to see the nightly fireworks show from our balcony! The room was well appointed and had clearly been renovated recently. We loved our little balcony which overlooked a pond and the Cascade Cabins, with Cinderella's castle in the distance. We arrived early and checked in via the phone app. When our room was not yet ready we left our luggage with the valet and caught a bus to Epcot for the day. Disney let me know by text when our room was ready (around 3pm) but we didn't return until 9pm. The app enabled us to go directly to our room (once requesting our luggage be sent up) and enter with my phone. My daughter's magic band also worked to unlock the door. Our luggage was promptly brought up by a bellman. Our room was right outside the elevator and I was concerned about noise levels, but it was overall a quiet stay. Eventually visited the front desk for help with transportation - they were efficient and helpful. We enjoyed the pool area and hot tub. The Roaring Fork was convenient for grabbing a quick breakfast and snacks, although the fruit quality was poor, and the prepared food was not very good. One exception: the campfire cupcake we enjoyed while watching the fireworks was delicious! We did not try the other dining options. We loved taking the boat service back and forth to the Magic Kingdom! Much better than the bus experience. Check out was extremely easy and convenient - did not have to visit the front desk. Overall would recommend this hotel, especially if you are spending lots of time at MK. Looking forward to staying at WL again someday!…
The Wilderness Lodge exceeded all expectations! The room was clean and housekeeping was great with our special requests, thank you Maria! The grounds were well kept & beautiful. Great location to stay if visiting the theme parks.