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“Fabulous Hotel - Very worth the $$”

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Disney's Wilderness Lodge
Ranked #25 of 339 Hotels in Orlando
Certificate of Excellence
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
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8  Thank chartravel020
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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
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11  Thank SamLongBennington
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 4, 2013

Had an amazing stay recently at the Wilderness Lodge (11/9 - 11/15/13). We stayed at the Polynesian for our last 2 trips, but could not resist the 35% off Room offer that we had (Poly rooms were not included in the promotion). I was worried about not being on the monorail but the bus and boat transportation were awesome. We never waited more than 10 minutes for a boat to the MK. We had an issue one day trying to get a bus to Animal Kingdom but there was a CM at the bus stop who made a heroic effort to resolve the problem (It was chilly that morning and the water parks did not open so I think everyone went to AK instead) It was actually relaxing at the end of day coming back on the boat instead of being crammed into the monorail. We have 2 small children (9 & 6) and the bunk beds were a huge hit!! IMHO it has the best theming of any resort on property. The only slight drawback vs the Poly is that Roaring Forks closes at 11pm (Captain Cooks is open 24/7), however, you dont have to deal with that silly computer to place an order. You can actually talk to a real person ! . I also love the fact that , unlike the Poly, the resort is all under one roof. You dont have worry about that potential long walk from the long houses to the GCH. I think this is definately my new favorite WDW Resort !!! Cannot wait to go back !!

Room Tip: Courtyard View Bunk Bed view rooom if traveling with children
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  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled with family
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4  Thank emt9239
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 29, 2013

Our family just returned from an 8 night stay at Wilderness Lodge. I was a little skeptical of Wilderness Lodge compared to other deluxe Disney resorts mainly because of room size. At 340 sq ft these are a bit smaller than the other deluxe resorts. The price of Animal Kingdom Lodge and Wilderness are both less expensive then the other deluxe resorts. the resorts are essentially the same, just different theming.
This is a beautiful resort with an upscale lodge look. Even if you don't stay here it's worth a visit to see the lobby especially at Christmas.
Check in was simple taking us no more then 10 minutes, we didn't do the online check that is available at any Disney Resort.
We had a woods view bunk room located on third floor. It wasn't big at 340 sq ft but certainly worked for four of us, two teens and two adults. The first thing I noticed was cleanliness. Antonia was our housekeeper and did an amazing job for the duration of stay. If we wanted room cleaned a little later, no problem at all. Cute little towel creations and extra towels along with shampoo/conditioner & soap was left each day. The beds were quite comfortable. Room was a little brighter then I thought it would be. Wilderness Lodge was updated recently and now has white instead of the darker print bedspreads.
We found transportation to any of the resorts relatively easy. For Magic Kingdom we used the boat daily; about a 10 minute ride. For all other resorts we used the Disney buses. They averaged 20 minutes. Even though we stayed during a busy time of year (Nov 21-29) we always found busing to be efficient. Most days buses were shared with Fort Wilderness Campground or Grand Floridian but Wilderness Lodge is the first stop both directions so getting a seat was never a problem. Returning from the parks buses were crowded but they tend to be for all resorts.
We ate at both the quick service(QS) restaurant, Roaring Forks. For a QS we were really happy. Our boys loved the chicken nuggets(generous portions). My favorite were the flatbread pizzas. We were equally impressed with Whispering Canyon. We ate breakfast here two mornings.
Our family has absolutely no complaints with this resort. Service from the cast members, esthetics, cleanliness and transportation. We were impressed with it all.
Would we stay here again certainly, but we do like to change hotels up on our visits so will probably try another deluxe next time.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled with family
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9  Thank countdown6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 27, 2013

It had been almost 15 years since I last stayed here and I still love it. Yeah its expensive but makes for a great splurge vacation. The lobby is awesome and the pool is great for kids. Mostly 12 and under. The boat ride to the Magic Kingdom is relaxing and efficient. Limited food choices so look elsewhere. I love the wilderness vibe and the creek and the falls and the geyser.

Room Tip: Try a deluxe room as it can sleep up to six people with its three beds and it has more room than oth...
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  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled with family
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    • Cleanliness
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2  Thank BigLeprechaun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 25, 2013

We just returned from a 6 day trip to Disney, staying at Wilderness Lodge. I have to agree with the reviews, the lobby is awesome and the outside area is very nice as well. We got a room with bunk beds, we found the room to be small and the bathroom area was really small. Check in was easy, and we had to go request blankets and that was easy as well. The movies on the beach was great for the kids.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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3  Thank daleshrgirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 24, 2013

Let me start by saying I am not a "hotel' snob. I'm seriously happy at our worn out beach condo, I don't need marble floors and I don't need to be catered to in order to be happy.

We just returned from a 5 night stay at the Wilderness Lodge. I'm still having mixed feelings about the resort. I traveled with my Mom, my 10 year old, 6 month old and husband. We decided to book a last minute holiday vacation to Disney World and I booked the WL based on the fact that everyone said it was the best resort to stay at for Christmas. I also booked based on location and the short bus ride to Magic Kingdom. Just a note that this was our first time staying at a deluxe resort, last year we stayed at Art of Animation and loved it and our entire experience.

Just a warning that this review might be fairly long and a bit nit-picky. I'm not normally a person that complains about small things and in general I'm pretty easy to keep happy but I want to give a good solid pro's and con's review because I rely a lot on traveler reviews before booking trips!

When we first arrived I was a little disappointed the staff wasn't a bit friendlier. I guess I've been spoiled by Disney in the past with the excellent customer service. At the Art of Animation every time we stepped foot into the lobby we were greeted with a "Welcome Home!" or "Welcome back!" Not the case for us at the WL. Check in was simple, My son left his magic band at home and they gave us a new one without any questions. We were in our room within 20 minutes of arrival and there was only 1 person ahead of us when we arrived. The lobby area is really nice so I wouldn't mind if I had to wait a few minutes to get checked in. My first impression of the resort was that it was extremely nice and very well themed.

We were in room 3148. It took a little bit to get to our room from the main elevator in the lobby. We had a woods view room and our balcony backed right up to the "hidden" pool and the Villas. The view was alright, it was nice to have a balcony to sit out on. I expected to use it more but the fact is that when we came home from the parks we were exhausted and ready for bed so it didn't get much use. My son did like to stick his head out and watch glimpses of the Electrical parade that went past the resort every night.

As for the room itself, it was extremely clean (As every Disney resort hotel I've been too.) and very "themed" to the rest of the resort. When we first entered the room did have an odd musty odor but I'm not one to complain and didn't feel like switching rooms so I let it slide.. but the smell was pretty musty and even my husband (who could care less about things being really clean and would sleep on a park bench if he had to) mentioned the odor.

I was really surprised at how SMALL the room was, I read that these were the smallest rooms of all the deluxe resorts but I really didn't know just how small. It was pretty crammed and I couldn't fit our large suitcases in the closet so I just kind of pushed them back to corner. I was a little peeved because I do like to minimize the stuff that stays out in the hotel room to keep it looking more clean and less cluttered.

The beds were probably the hardest I have slept on at a Disney resort. My husband woke up complaining of his back several times.The bedding itself was nice, the sheets were soft and the pillows were okay.

There was plenty of storage in the dressers to keep our baby things and our clothes.

We did have a fridge which was nice because I bought some waters to take to the parks. It didn't really keep the waters as cold as I would have liked but it served the purpose.

Mousekeeping was good. They left us towel animals daily. My son loved it. At the Art of Animation though I remember them getting more creative and setting his stuffed toys up in funny situations etc. I didn't like that it took them until almost 3 to get to our room every day. We would sometimes come back from the parks for an afternoon break and they still had not been there.

As far as transportation, the boat ride to the MK is nice, it's fairly quick and more relaxing then a bus ride if you ask me. The bus ride to MK is quick though, and you don't stop at Fort Wilderness first. The bus ride to all of the other parks was long and it was irritating having to go to Fort Wilderness first. I feel like since I was paying a pretty penny to stay at a deluxe resort we shouldn't have to share buses with other resorts. The WL bus stop was pretty far away from the Disney Hollywood Studios entrance. I felt like I had to walk forever. We never waited longer then 10 minutes for a bus though.

The pool area was nice, and themed well with the resort. My son was less then thrilled with the small slide and the small pool. I guess we were spoiled with how large the pool at the Art of Animation was. The pool activities weren't as fun either. Although the cast members were very good about keeping the kids entertained. I remember at Art Of Animation my son would have been content staying at the pool all day every day and not even going to a park! My husband and I enjoyed some drinks by the pool bar and relaxed in the hot tub at night. I really feel like this area should be off limits to kids though, several times the hot tub was full of nothing but kids. I know we're at Disney..but that's what they have the pool for! ;)

Roaring Forks is the eating area and it's incredibly small and packed pretty much all the time. We tried some of the food and were less then impressed. The grilled chicken sandwich was like rubber and the cheese wasn't even melted, the sauce was pretty gross and I ended up throwing the whole thing away.

Overall, we had a good stay (is there such thing as a bad stay at Disney?!), but I don't plan on returning any time soon. We also got a discount on this room and I can't IMAGINE paying $500+ a night for this place!! I would have been HIGHLY disappointed. This hotel just seemed less "Disney" to me. I know some people aren't into the Disney theme but I love the big characters and friendly service we received at the Art of Animation. I loved the themed rooms, the pool area, the food court and the friendlier service at AOA. I liked that it seemed a bit more centrally located. I could see you benefiting from staying in the MK resort area if that is where you plan to spend all of your time. We like Epcot and Hollywood studios so I like to be near those parks. We already booked our return trip to AOA. I guess we are just suckers for the over the top "Disney" theme!

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
9  Thank blondie0088
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 32830-8426
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:
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Orlando
#5 Luxury Hotel in Orlando
#14 Romantic Hotel in Orlando
#27 Family Hotel in Orlando
#124 Business Hotel in Orlando
Price Range: $427 - $930 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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