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“Bad Service, Great Resort, Good Room...”

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Disney's Wilderness Lodge
Ranked #32 of 336 Hotels in Orlando
Certificate of Excellence
Rockford, Michigan
Level Contributor
260 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 115 helpful votes
“Bad Service, Great Resort, Good Room...”
Reviewed March 7, 2013

This is my second stay at the awesome Wilderness Lodge. To sum it up the property is stellar, the room was great, and the service this time unfortunately had many missed opportunities which made me wonder what had changed since my last visit. What follows is a very detailed bit of whining from me but I’m in customer service, Disney is a gold standard, and they fell flat on their face with me this time. I love Wilderness Lodge, Love the room, the boats, the transportation, but there were too many missed opportunities to avoid discussing.

I’ll start with my disappointment at check-in. We arrived the same time we did last time, around noon. Our previous visit had 2 rooms, this visit we only had 1 – a bunk bed room.

As I walked in I was largely ignored (my spouse got our luggage from the Magical Express) as the party in front of me was whisked away by a cast member with an iPad. I assumed she would turn her attention to me – no such luck. I followed them in, she warm transferred them to a front desk agent and let me lurk around on my own. I stood at the queue line (which is the only bad part of the lobby – there’s a very loose line set-up and any time I was there I noticed multiple agents avoiding eye contact and working on PCs). Eventually I was called on by an agent. She handed me our guest packet without explanation, said the room wasn’t ready and told me to be sure to pick up my refillable resort mugs at Roaring Forks. I thanked her and asked when the room might be ready (there was a bit of a language barrier…I’m pretty sure I had the same agent two years ago and she was delightful, this time she just wasn’t very awe-inspiring). She picked up a phone, called someone and again said “Your room isn’t ready,” asked for a cell number and said they would text me when the room is ready (I was given the option of Text or Voicemail).

If you’ve ever had to wait for a room with a tired wife and a four year old and six year old, you’ll know how challenging that can be. So we got our mugs, had lunch and stalled for 2 more hours (prime park time on our best weather day). At 2 PM I got nervous - we had a reservation for a pirate makeover for 2:40 PM and it was 2 pm. Against my wife’s protests we changed into warmer attire in the bathroom – again delightful with a six and four year old.

Before leaving I went to the concierge – I was never really told if I had my park passes, and I wanted to check the status of the room. Another wait in the awkward line…when I was approached by a guy dressed as a park ranger. He offered assistance – and I told him I had 2 questions – the first was when will by room be available. His response “Did you give a notification number” to which I nodded I did. “Well if they have your number you will be notified at the exact moment we will be in the system.” It was clear that he didn’t understand my question or didn’t care. He confirmed that I had my park passes and I headed to the bell stand to check in my carry-on luggage. They redirected me outside where I dropped off my luggage and a $10 tip.

Long story short – to this day I have never been notified that my room was ready via my notification number. While checking in for dinner at 5 pm I called for a status “your room is ready – it’s 5004” I inquired if my key was activated and was told it had been. I also requested my checked luggage be delivered – I was told that could not be done unless I was there – yippee! More tip money.

After a long day at the park we headed back to the lodge at 9 PM. We stopped at the Bellman’s desk, dropped our ticket to request our bags, they confirmed our room and we headed upstairs to await their arrival. We were in the section closet to the water, so taking the main elevators made for a long walk – but no one told us where we were so we were none the wiser. Very tired at this point and relieved to finally get in the room, we promptly tried a key and surprise! None of them worked. Frosted, I called the front desk – which actually goes to a call center – they assured me that someone would be there immediately.

Luckily – while on the phone with the call center, a bellman came – and got us in the room (another $10 tip). He called down as well and told them we needed assistance. Our desire to leave to go get a beverage was squashed because now we would be locked out of the room. It took over 30 minutes to have new keys issued. I never received an apology – a comment, nothing from the property. I made sure that the call center, bellman, and front desk person knew that I was disappointed – but I was cordial about it…more flies with honey right?

My last bit of service whining is with housekeeping. When you look through trip advisor’s pictures you’ll see a bunch of cute towel designed animals. In five nights we had (1) 3 circles on our bed representing mickey and (2) a little bird made out of a wash cloth. Disappointing.

The good news is our bunk bed room was great, we could actually see MK’s fireworks, and transportation via boat and bus was simply stellar. We did the hidden Mickey’s worksheet and our kids received trading pins for completing it – the resort itself is just fantastic. I just regret the lack of personal attention and attention to detail that Disney normally delivers.

Lastly - more of a PS - the queen mattress was not good. I was so exhausted each night it didn't really matter - but I was surprised by how bad it was.

Room Tip: Bunk bed room is great if you have 2 kids!
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank Brian L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Orinda, California, United States
Level Contributor
160 reviews
49 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
Reviewed March 4, 2013

Enjoyed our stay at The Wilderness Lodge. Housekeeping was very attentive and prompt when we contacted them. The lodge is beautifully furnished, and well staffed, we never waited more than a minute or two for the front desk or concierge. We loved the Disney details, carved wild animals on the bed post, Mickey silhouettes for bolts on the light fixtures. There was a fridge in our room, so convenient for extra snacks. There was a major leak of some sort by the ice machine on our floor, but it seemed to be getting plenty of attention, although it was not resolved over the 3 days we were there. this was the only maintenance issue we saw. The pools were lovely and we enjoyed the beach. Boat ride to the Magic kingdom is a fun way to go! The Disney store in the hotel is large and has everything you might need and then some.
I am sure the hotel was full the weekend were there (I think it is most weekends) but it didn't feel "Jammed" I would recommend this Wilderness Lodge and Stay there Again.

Room Tip: Our room did not look out at the pool or lake, this was a cost savings and we still enjoyed our porc...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Virginia R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Millbrook, NY
Level Contributor
48 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed March 2, 2013

I have been a visitor to disney each year for at least 20 years. All of the disney properties are lovely but the Wilderness Lodge is by far my favorite. You have a variety of activities including the pools (one is the quiet pool and hot tub), bike rentals, boat rentals, the beach to lounge, walking paths, the spa, and other things too. We belong to the Disney vacation club so our rooms are always located the furthest but thats not terrible because its very quiet and peaceful. The property always has a nice breeze, is quiet but there are areas for the kids to have loud fun. At night you can grab a beach lounger and watch the lighted lake parade. There are two restaurants; one for fine dining (Artist Point) and the Canyon Cafe which is better for the kids as the staff makes it fun with the joking and the brief group activities and singing. A must.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Nicole T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ogden Dunes, IN
Level Contributor
64 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed March 1, 2013

This is our 4th trip to the Wilderness Lodge. I again was traveling on business with kids in tow. The rooms were clean and up to date. I didn't see that anything extra was added to our experience since our last stay. The mickey mouse soaps (the kids loved them - ages 11, 8, and 5) were eliminated as were the nightly towel animals. We had one towel animal upon our arrival and that was it.

The biggest pro of the Wilderness Lodge is its location. It is relaxing to be on the lake. We love arriving to and from the Magic Kingdom by boat. It is also very convenient to get to the other hotels on the lake and Ft. Wilderness. The pool is very nice for the kids - although my 11 year old is growing too old for the slide. They had great pool games for the kids and they all had a blast. We also enjoyed walking the trail to Ft. Wilderness and searching for lizards.

Negatives? Well, it is more of a journey to get to Epcot and Animal Kingdom. We are not big fans of the bus system at Disney. But, we had a car and we just traveled that way instead. The noise was a bit loud for me - I had to get up for business in Tampa. The boat parade and a young child who kept yelling "I'm going to kill you" while chasing his squeeling sibling around the pool was a bit much for me at 10PM. But, I'm at Disney and that should be expected. We were courtyard view adjacent the pool. The units closer to the main building would likely be quieter.

Overall, this is a great place to stay. We chose to return for our trips as the positives for us far outweigh any of the negatives.

Room Tip: Courtyard near the lobby would provide a great view and lessen random pool noise at night.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Dagney1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pardeeville, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
48 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed March 1, 2013

This was our first visit and I am really glad we picked the Wilderness Lodge as our place to stay. I felt very comfortable there with our family (children 7 and 3). The room was very quiet and the bed were comfortable - the kids slept wonderfully. There are a couple table service restaurants available and a quick service location. The pool and beach area was perfect - with a water slide. The boat transportation to Magic Kingdom and the Comtemporary worked out great to get us to all of the parks!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Jessica871
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Indianapolis, Indiana
Level Contributor
90 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 88 helpful votes
Reviewed February 26, 2013

After eating at Disney's Wilderness Lodge on our last Disney trip, we knew we wanted to stay there next time we visited. The decor and atmosphere of the lobby and grounds are amazing--like a lodge right in the heart of America's National Parks. There are so many alcoves and "secret" spots where you can curl up on a couch by a fireplace and read. We traveled Feb 1-6 so it was not a particularly busy time. We were the first hotel dropoff on the Magical Express and arrived at noon with our room ready (and a room upgrade!). Check-in was a breeze and the cast members were friendly and helpful. The room (courtyard view room with 2 Queen beds) was not the largest hotel room I have stayed in but was plenty of space for 2 people. All of the rooms received a facelift last year so all of the carpet, comforters, bathroom tiles are brand new. We had an amazing balcony that overlooked Bay Lake which was a nice place to enjoy our morning coffee on. The pool is not huge but there is a water slide, its heated and there is also a sand beach for beach activities. We loved taking the boat over to the Magic Kingdom and had pretty consistent service. Buses were hit or miss but I think that happens at every hotel. The best bus service was to Epcot and Magic Kingdom with longer trips with more pickups for Hollywood Studios and Downtown DIsney. As for dining, there is a "food court", bar, Artist Point (signature restaurant) and Whispering Canyon--a great variety. Overall, we more than our enjoyed our stay at Disney's Wilderness Lodge. It has a great location, atmosphere, updated rooms and boat service to MK!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Betsy S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sunny Cheshire
Level Contributor
29 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed February 26, 2013

Although its a while since we stayed here, I still miss it. As a true British Disney addict, we've stayed on site several times but wilderness lodge is far and away the family's favourite. Not only is it close to magic kingdom, it's close to the other mk resorts making it easy to travel to dine elsewhere. Rooms are excellent, some with a view of mk fireworks through the trees, very clean and spacious enough for a family of four. Pool is wonderful, swimming ith ducks is certainly an experience!! Lobby is amazing probably one if the best in wdw.

Whispering canyons is not for the faint hearted burst please do task for ketchup!! Roaring forks us great, friendly staff and one of the best salads I've ever tasted.

Transportation is good ith both buses and boats.

All in all we love this place and can't wait to o back

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Suzybabe
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

Property: Disney's Wilderness Lodge
Address: 901 Timberline Drive, Lake Buena Vista, Orlando, FL 32830-8426
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:
#5 Top resorts Hotel in Orlando
#10 Luxury Hotel in Orlando
#14 Romantic Hotel in Orlando
#27 Family Hotel in Orlando
#124 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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