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“Wilderness Lodge the best!”

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Disney's Wilderness Lodge
Ranked #32 of 337 Hotels in Orlando
Certificate of Excellence
Davidsonville, Maryland
Level Contributor
62 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Wilderness Lodge the best!”
Reviewed May 2, 2014

We stayed at the Wilderness Lodge on our 1st trip to Disney World back in September 2009. The buses from their were perfect and on time everyday. We were there for 5 days and because it was September we never had to wait for a ride at Magic Kingdom or Epcot. We have been back a couple times and I will always go in September or October; less crowds same entertainment.

Room Tip: Window room of the pool on the 1st floor is the best.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank Paul J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed May 2, 2014

We stayed at the Lodge in July 2013 for two weeks. It was my first time to America and Disney and I did not know quite what to expect given that we were a couple travelling without children. I need not have worried. Any expectations that I did have were exceeded time over by the Lodge, Disney and Florida as a whole.

We arrived having flown with Virgin in their premium seats (this is a must if you fancy some comfort for a long flight). We arrived at around 5pm and were greeted by Kirk at check-in. Kirk offered to book us in to a restaurant for something to eat which was a nice touch given we had had a very long flight. I must say we never had any difficulties with the staff who always assisted us if we needed anything. The mousekeepers are just great, leaving us towel toys each day which made us smile.

We stayed in a Woods View room which was wonderful. Whilst the rooms are not massive, they are brilliantly themed and were plenty big enough for what we needed as a base. The hotel in general was amazing. The lobby is genuinely breathtaking and the pool is a pleasure to relax around. We ate at both the Roring Forks and Whispering Canyon. The food was always good and we never had any complaints about service. I think the Mickey Waffles are the best thing I have ever tasted for breakfast and I wish I could have brought them home! We did not get to Artist Point but would have liked to - we didnt have enough time there!

My experience at the Disney parks was just out of this world. It felt like I was living in a different world when we were there. Everything runs so very well, apart from a couple of rides at Animal Kingdom which had broken down when we were there. The boat ride from the Lodge to Magic Kingdom is very special and I would recommend viewing the fireworks at the park (we were there for the July celebrations so the fireworks were fantastic!). You really must ride the Hollywood Tower of Terror - my absolute favourite ride, rode it at least 3 times during our stay.

Wilderness Lodge is also in a very good location for exploring Florida generally with easy access to most other tourist attractions. I would avoid using the transport buses if possible (it did take us an extraordinary amount of time to get from the Lodge to Downtown Disney and they are not very frequent). We hired a Dodge and had the most fun driving it!

After two weeks of non-stop activity, we flew home with a heavy heart. I genuinely was upset to leave the Lodge and Amercia.

I am really not normally the sort of person who believes in going back to the same holiday destination more than once as there is so much to do in the world but we decided as soon as we got home that we would be going back and I am so excited that we have booked another two week stay at the Lodge this September. We are counting the days down and have planned most of our trip already.

Lots of people say that the Lodge is expensive and I appreciate that it is not exactly cheap but it is such a special place that I feel if you can stretch to it, you should as it certainly adds a great deal to the holiday. I hope to one day take my children there as it is just so magical.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
6 Thank 875Lau
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alpharetta, Georgia
Level Contributor
54 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed May 1, 2014

We had a 4 day trip to Disney and stayed at the Wilderness Lodge. We loved it. The main building has a distinct northwestern design and is situated into a spot that really gives you the feeling of being secluded out in the wilderness. The Magic Kingdom can be reached by either a short boat ride or a not as short bus. We found the rooms to be a little small but certainly usable. The pool was pretty cool. Inside the main building there's a simulated spring. It empties into what gives the illusion of a small river that flows over a large rock/falls and continues to form the main pool. The entire resort appears kid friendly with multiple lifeguards around the pool and a large selection of amenities to keep kids entertained. We found the restaurant off the lobby to be a little too kid friendly but the atmosphere is quite entertaining for breakfast. We ended up with a few irritating but easily solved issues with the Magical Express as well as the Magic bands but the concierge service quickly solved both. We found them to be very helpful and honest with advice. Even to the point of recommending a cab versus the Disney transportation during peak evening traffic times if reservation times were an issue. All in all this has turned out to be our favorite Disney resort experience to so far.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank M_J_explorers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alabama
Level Contributor
73 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed April 27, 2014

The massive lodge is big sky country at it's finest. Grand, bigger than life timber columns and beams. Made me want to look for Teddy Roosevelt. :) The restaurant near the lobby was kid friendly but the food was not good. The Artist's Point restaurant lived up to its highly acclaimed reviews. There is a small beach on a lake right along the hotel. You can take a bus or (preferably) take a ferry to the Disney Parks. This is my favorite resort!

Room Tip: Facing the pool area is best.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Smarty J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montgomery, Alabama
Level Contributor
141 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
Reviewed April 27, 2014

We stayed at the Wilderness Lodge in late March 2014. As was the case with the Grand Californian in 2013, maintenance was the principal problem, and it permeates the hotel. Further, the staff, while uniformly polite, acts as gatekeepers to the hotel management, who tends to remain blissfully ignorant of the condition of his or her hotel and seemingly seeks to avoid the guests. Upon arrival, half the elevators to our wing of the hotel were fully out of order. According to guests whose arrival preceded ours, this condition had already remained for several days before we got there. The remaining elevators were unreliable, randomly seeking floors on the way up, and not stopping at any floors on the way down. Several families with disabled persons, ours included, were lodged in this wing. The hotel management made no effort whatsoever to repair the condition, apologize, or compensate guests for the inconvenience; but rather lied to customers about the problem being taken care of quickly. It wasn't -- repairs were a week away. When checkout came and several customers, ourselves included, asked for slight departure delays due to the elevator problem, we were all denied. The bell staff, too limited to offer service on our arrival at 11:00 PM in the evening, was even less able to keep pace with a management-induced simultaneous checkout of nearly 1/4 of the hotel. Checkout waits at the front desk lasted 45 minutes, and several disabled customers with canes and wheel chairs were personally porting their own luggage, in some cases down stairwells at grave risks to themselves, as a result of this management-created fiasco. It's a wonder the hotel isn't being sued, and we considered doing so.

The interior of the lodge is spacious and inspiring. It is constructed in a manner reminiscent of the great lodges of the national park service. The pool is large and well heated. The Lodge offers boat transportation (approximately at 20-30 minute intervals) to the Magic Kingdom Park, and bus transportation (again generally every 20-30 minutes) to the other parks. Please note that the bus usually stops at the Grand Floridian on the way, so transit times to the parks can be around 30-40 minutes. This means one should plan to leave an hour or so prior to wanting to be inside a particular park.

The guest rooms are of average hotel size (we had a "woods view"). The "woods view" on the Magic Kingdom side is nothing special, as the "woods" are a thin line of trees easily seen through. On the down side, it's nothing more than a minor landscaping feature. On our side of the hotel, the plus side was we could clearly see the Magic Kingdom fireworks display through the trees, even from the 4th floor (of 7).

Housekeeping was exceptional on all nights other than our first. So much so, I took the time to track down our housekeeper on our last day to personally say thank you and offer a more tangible expression of our gratitude. Our daughter was frequently surprised to find hand-constructed animals (out of extra towels) left beside her stuffed animals on the bed in the evening, and the room was immaculately maintained.

The Lodge has a well-appointed gift shop, and has a fast-food breakfast and a sit-down breakfast restaurant inside. While full reviews will be separate, the fast food breakfast has a solid variety of things to eat and will get you through the line and to the park quickly. The sit-down breakfast is done with a "camp theme" and the wait staff are highly entertaining. This mode of starting your day will take you 45 minutes (if they are on-time with your reservation, which is dicey), and is pleasant.

If you have little kids, the front guest has a list of "hidden Mickeys" in the hotel, that can make for interesting hunting if you have some spare time, or have a rainy day. When you find them, you'll also find some amazing attention to detail in the construction of the hotel -- back in Disney's heyday.

The Lodge is a very costly hotel -- charging hundreds of dollars per night over the Waldorf Astoria nearby, and more than a typical 5-star hotel. For this, you do have use of the Disney Magic Band system, but because the engineering department is clearly resting on its laurels, you get a hotel maintained at a level of reliability below that of an average Comfort Inn -- and at a level where during our stay, the hotel was clearly in violation of all laws pertaining to access for persons with disabilities -- a condition the management was content to live with for nearly two weeks.

Letters to the Disney management, to include the Vice President of the Parks and Hotels division, have gone as unanswered as our attempts to speak to the hotel manager, which suggests that this level of service is endorsed by the Disney leadership as a way to improve profits. (We allowed 4 weeks for a response). If "endorsed" seems too strong a term, future guests should know that poor maintenance is, at minimum, tolerated with no sense of urgency in fixing major items for the guests.

I've been a fan of Disney for a long time (nearly half a century now), but in combination with our similar experience at the Grand Californian, this experience has turned me off of ever returning to a Disney-run hotel. You'll get better service for several hundred dollars less per night at the Hilton, Waldorf, or Embassy Suites nearby. Save your money and use them instead.

Room Tip: Select another hotel. Failing that, the woods views are marginally quieter than others...but are no...
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
7 Thank P0laris600
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Davie, Florida
Level Contributor
71 reviews
63 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 162 helpful votes
Reviewed April 27, 2014

I stayed with my family of 4 at Disney's Wilderness Lodge in April 2014 for 4 nights. We were able to book a good rate for Annual Passholders, otherwise I would say it is definitely overpriced.
The hotel itself and the surrounding grounds are beautiful, and you do get all conveniences given by Disney to its clients, such as transportation to all parks, movie night under the stars, pool, and many other amenities.
A few things that could be improved include the rooms, which are starting to look a little worn out, and I think it would help to have a small stepping stool for children in the bathroom sink area, so they do not need to be held while washing and brushing teeth. Also, food at the Roaring Fork and Whispering Canyon Cafe was average at best. We did not try Artist Point where food would have probably been best.
Overall a good to great experience, but I would only go back if you can find significantly discounted rates.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank frombaritomiami
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
uk
Level Contributor
24 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed April 27, 2014

General Overview- WOW fantastic hotel, facilities, service,rooms and pool areas.
We stayed October 2014 for two weeks. We had travelled to orlando many times before having our children but never stayed at a WDW property. We used the new magic bands which were mainly great (new technology so slight teething probs but nothing major and Disney always sort it immediately). The bands mean you dont need to carry a key, money etc as the band lets you into your room, allows you to make purchases and buy food. We had a room on the first floor which overlooked the atrium /interior of the hotel. We didnt have a view of anything but had a balcony. The rooms were well equipped with hairdryer, fridge, coffee maker and air con. As with most orlando hotels the air con does not switch off. The beds were very comfy- 2 x queen size. We are in the Roaring Forks restaurant a lot which is situated near the pool on the ground floor. Its a quick service outlet but good food. We ate in the Whispering Canyon restaurant too which was great and as always you must book well in advance to be sure of a reservation. the pool area was lovely, water temp always warm as disney heat their pools. There was a walk in area suitable for our children 7 and 6 yrs and a small slide which entertained them. The boat service runs from the hotels dock and takes you to magic kingdom which is very handy. Car parking was always ok for us to find a space in october though may be an issue at peak times. We were always asked for our magic bands/key cards as we entered the grounds of the hotel at the checkpoint - great for security. The staff were excellent throughout and always took time to speak to the children.
We would definitely return to the Wilderness Lodge in the future although we did have the free disney dining travelling in october which gave us a massive saving and was an excellent service.We were unsure how it worked before travelling but found it to be very easy. Pre book restauarantes you really want and then change them whilst there either by your mobile phone app and disney free wi fi in the hotels/parks or ask the hotel to do it for you. You can choose any main course off the menu and a dessert too and non alco beverage. Two of us are veggies and it wasnt a problem anywhere.
overall comment- Excellent, thanks Disney

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Deborah W
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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