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“could not have been better!”

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Disney's Wilderness Lodge
Ranked #26 of 339 Hotels in Orlando
Certificate of Excellence
Baltimore, MD
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“could not have been better!”
Reviewed February 9, 2009

This was everything I had hoped it would be. I am surprised to read some of the disappointing reviews, because my stay at the lodge was wonderful. The rooms are not 'luxury' as others complain, but if you've stayed at Disney hotels before you'll know that this is standard. The only way to get a truly 'luxury' room is to book a villa. After staying at Coronado Springs, which was very disappointing room-wise, this place seemed like a mansion. Sure the rooms are dark - it goes with the cozy wilderness lodge theme. Like bright rooms? Try the contemporary. If you've ever been to some of the older, more historic lodges in upstate NY or PA, this will be very much like them. The details to this building are incredible.

The pool is nice, good outside bar with friendly staff, and the hottubs were pretty good too. We went here the week before Christmas and the lobby was beautiful with the huge tree in the center. Location is great with the boat service as an added travel option. If you want to find those 'secluded' nooks, find the two small fireplaces on the second and third floors above the front doors. Other than that, there really isn't too many other private areas - remember this is Disney - made for families primarily.

The only complaint that I have is about the Roaring Fork. The fast food there is ok, not anything to write home about though. The menu was reduced beyond what was listed the hour before closing. The staff seemingly wanted to clean up faster to be able to close up faster. The food at the other restaurants at the lodge was good. Also want to mention Jikos - great food! Make your dinner reservations at any Disney restaurant EARLY! It might sound funny to have to plan your meals out a few days in advance, but it'll enable you to get reservations at reasonable hours - unless you like eating dinner at 9pm.

It seems like a lot of complaints come from people who haven't been to Disney resorts before and don't know what to expect. Go to your library and get a few Disney travel books before you go. There are a few 'tricks' to making your visit better. And although most of the staff is pretty good at catering to your needs, you're going to find a few bad apples every now and then. Get their names and let a supervisor know. But this has been rare in my Disney experiences. Keep your expectations reasonable and enjoy the ride!

  • Liked — The overall ambiance.
  • Disliked — The Roaring Fork.
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank lyonmane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Bothell, WA
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed February 7, 2009

We went 2 years ago and stayed at the Disney wilderness lodge villas. Lots of space for my family of 4. The washer and dryer in the 1 bedroom unit was great. Last week we stayed in the wilderness lodge and we all loved it. We upgraded our room to a bunk bed room and the kids loved that. The room is pretty small, but not too small. The decor was nice and everything looked/smelled clean. I loved the little balcony to sit out and read (too bad it was cold!). The balcony chairs aren't those uncomfy plastic chairs either. The kids favorite part was the chocolates on the pillows when we got back from the park. The only reason I gave it a 4 instead of a 5 is because it is expensive.

Also we did the magical express to and from the airport and I don't think we will ever go to disney any other way. It was so easy and the morning we left our boarding passes for our flight were already slipped under our door. All we had to do was pack and call bell service and check the bags outside the hotel, we never had to carry a thing!

  • Liked — Ease of getting to the attractions at disney.
  • Disliked — Leaving!
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
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Helpful?
1 Thank aceandj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed February 4, 2009

We had a great time at the Lodge, although I wouldn't necessarily stay there the next time we go to Disney. My husband and I were traveling with our 1- and 3-year old children, and we never once had to worry that our kids were being too rambunctious or active because there were kids everywhere. The lobby is really wonderful, and the pool and beach areas are nice. (The lifeguards are pretty crabby, though--stay out of their way.) Our kids loved finding the "animal tracks" (bear, deer, buffalo, raccoon) in the concrete sidewalks. Check-in went well, and the bell-hop was helpful. We had reserved a standard room (and requested a crib) but were given a room with a queen bed and bunk beds (no crib) for some reason. We ended up with a much better view (courtyard, overlooking the little "stream") than we paid for, I believe. When we called the front desk to ask for the crib, it arrived in about five minutes. I do have a complaint about Disney's Magical Express (the luggage tags never arrived in the mail, so we had to pick up the bags from baggage claim ourselves), but that's not the hotel's fault. The room was like everyone says: dated and dark. Some of the decor was attractive (cool pseudo-kitschy wildlife scene light covers, carved animal wooden bedposts, new marble countertops and double sinks with nice fixtures), but the curtains on the balcony door were pretty dusty, and the bathroom was old and unattractive. The rooms are also quite cramped. And my number one pet peeve: disgusting unwashed bedspreads on the beds! Ours had a gross white stain on it, and it clearly hadn't been washed before we moved in. We also found some little toys in our room left by other kids, and housekeeping wasn't very diligent during our stay. The restaurants on site were good, although drinks (wine, beer, mixed drinks) were unusually expensive. We used the boats and buses to get around and had good experiences with all of them.

  • Stayed January 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank kluttel71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Indianapolis, IN.
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed February 4, 2009

we were very disappointed in our room. They were much like any standard hotel room, nothing outstanding. The queen size bed was average, nothing luxarious, plus we had a set of bunkbeds. Cheap standard bed coverings. I have slept in nicer beds in a Hampton Inn. I wish we had asked to be upgraded. It is nice that you have the boat as transportation to the Contemporary Resort , Wilderness Campground, and Magic Kingdom. The Artist Point Restaurant was outstanding. We were on the Deluxe Disney dining plan and of all the upscale restaurants that we ate dinner at, this restaurant was the best. If you plan on having dinner at the nicer restaurants, I highly recommend the Deluxe Dining Plan. I totaled up our dollars compared to points and we got more than our monies worth. I don't understand why they tell you there are no openings when you call for reservations but we were able to just walk into most. The Whispering Canyon Cafe was a lot of fun & the food was good. Just don't ask for Ketchup! The smaller cafe was always busy, but had a great variety of foods and snacks. The build your own yogurt with fresh fruit was yummy and the coffee was very good.
I picked this resort because it was listed as "ROMANTIC" with lots of little secluded spots. It was far from romantic because it was all families and lots of kids. The lobby was always bustling and we did enjoy just sitting in it and people watching. We never did find the secluded spots outside. I hoped to use the spa hot tub but could not get near it as it was full of kids every time we tried. WHEN is Disney going to build an ADULT ONLY nice resort, or at least an adult only spa and pool?
I don't plan on staying there again, and to be honest I think all Dsiney properties are highly over priced and over rated. We have visited all of them and stayed at three, all of which I feel are over priced.

  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank cookyo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Solvang California
Level 4 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed February 2, 2009

My husband and I just stayed here and we loved the Wilderness. Great location. It has a boat option so you do not have to be dependent on the Disney bus system. Our only complaint is we could hear everyone's toliets flushing. There toliets have the turbo flushing and you can hear it all morning starting at 5:00 am. I don't know if it was because our room was on the first floor. Also I would probably reguest a room not next to a family with kids. We could hear screaming kids in the morning getting ready. But other than that I would definitly stay here again. We loved this hotel. Our room was clean and we had a view of the pool. But the location is what this hotel is all about. Right across from Magic Kingdom and Boat access to MK and from there to Monarail to Epcot so you don't have to be cramned in a bus. Not much dining options there but we did not eat at this hotel except for one breakfast and it was ok nothing special.

  • Liked — location
  • Disliked — noisey toliets
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank puppychi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Louis,MO
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed February 2, 2009

I am currently staying at the Wilderness Lodge on an 8 day vacation. The Wilderness Lodge is far from what we expected and overall is disappointing. Let me give you a few positives and then the negatives about this resort. 1. The lobby of the hotel is very nice and entertaining for small children. Our two year old has really enjoyed the small bridges and streams. 2. The other common areas are very large and you can find plenty of areas to sit with your group without feeling like you are being crowded by the other guests

The negatives to this resort are as follows: 1. The rooms are not a quality hotel. For example, we didn't even have hot water in the shower of one of our rooms. 2. The rooms are extremely small, the size of most NYC hotel rooms. 3. The rooms are furnished very poorly and lack the finishes of luxury hotels. The bathrooms are dingy and is really showing its age. I am confident this is all consistent with most of the rooms because I do have two rooms and they are both the same. 4. The LCDs TVs in the room have closed captioning on at all times on the HD channels and it can not be turned off. We found this out after calling the front desk during the Superbowl. 5. I paid for an upgrade on both rooms to be a "Courtyard View" and they are both on the second floor looking directly at the woods. I have been told that when I look to my right I see the Wilderness Villas and it has a "Courtyard" of which I am viewing. Not exactly what I had in mind considering the Wilderness Lodge does have a beautiful "Courtyard" overlooking the pool. I asked nicely to be moved and the front desk could not accomodate my request. 6. The valet parking does not answer the phone on a regular occassion and you have to call the bell hops to find the valet. A little disappointing especially considering the hotel and park have very light volumes.
With all these issues we decided to try and just cut our losses and move to the Grand Floridian. My wife has stayed at the Flordian and had a wonderful experience.

Overall, the Wilderness Lodge is not in the luxury class. I do understand that it was cheaper than some of the other Disney hotels. With this in mind, I asked to be change my reservation for the remaining 6 days to the Grand Floridian and I would pay the difference. I was told this could be done if I paid an additional 4 thousand dollars for 6 nights. This seemed a little ridiculous since when I booked the trip through Disney.com and we originally booked the Grand Floridian. The Disney travel consultant convinced us that the Wilderness is better for children and still of great quality. It was only $1200 more for both rooms for all 8 days and I was wanting to change after 6. I was told that I need to pay the "rack rate" difference which is insane when rooms are available.

Overall, my experience has been far from "Magical". Forget the fact that I did not get the rooms that I paid and upgrade for, I did not have hot water in one of the showers, the rooms are on par with a Holiday Inn, I did expect a little of assistance from Disney. In no way has Disney tried to make my stay what I expected. I have no problem paying even $2500 more just to make it right, but the attitude of $4000 or take it or leave it seems to be a little crazy.

If I had to do it all over again, either stay at the Floridian if you want a luxury hotel or just save yourself a lot of money with the other options.

They did send my kids a picture Mickey and Cinderella worth about $5 because we were not happy with our "Courtyard View Room"

Look at the other reviews like I did before I left. The reviews have been getting poorer and poorer over the past few weeks and I am not sure why. It seems that the Wilderness is going down hill in quality and service. At least that is my opinion.

Stayed February 2009
Helpful?
4 Thank brmSt_Louis_MO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed January 31, 2009

My husband and I just returned from a 6 night stay at Disney's Wilderness Lodge. We booked using miles through a travel agent and were worried when we saw our room. It was a standard room that was in the corner of the hotel, dark, depressing, with a terrible view of the garbage dumpsters and a side parking lot. We went back to the front desk and immediately requested another room. We were unaware that a standard room is equipped with 2 double beds. In order to get a king bed, you have to move up a room class. Luckily, the front desk staff was very very nice and upgraded us with no charge and gave us a much better room. The view was ok. Still a parking lot but we could see the fireworks over the Magic Kingdom each night.

The rooms are basic. Nothing special and a bit dark because of the color scheme. They have a refrigerator, which is nice. The bathroom was not very nice. The ceiling had rust on it but no mold. Overall pretty clean. The beds are comfortable and there was a ceiling fan which was nice. The room had a small balcony with a table and chairs, which we did not use, given there wasn't really anything to look at. It's also very very close to the balcony of the neighboring room. The room temperature was good and the AC was quiet. We could occasionally hear kids outside in the hall but overall it was pretty quiet.

The concierge desk staff were very helpful. Being our first time at Disney, we didn't know it would be difficult to get dinner reservations at the Disney signature restaurants. We ate at Artist Point at the Wilderness Lodge, which was very good, and did not have difficulty with reservations there. However, when we made reservations at Jiko at Animal Kingdom Lodge and Narcoosie's at the Grand Floridian, we could not get reservations before 9pm. We booked the day before or day of, so likely we were booking too late. Both Jiko and Narcoosie's were wonderful. Staff were terrific as was the food.

The dining options at Wilderness Lodge included Artist Point, fancy sit down with pacific northwest theme, Roaring Fork, cafeteria take out with sandwiches, soup, chili, chips, fresh fruit, baked goods, pizza, and hamburgers, and the Whispering Canyon Cafe that serves a sit down breakfast every morning. It's pretty loud and mostly for kids, but we found it pleasant enough as a couple. They serve BBQ for lunch and dinner but we didn't eat there except for breakfast.

The fitness center was very nice. Plenty of cardio equipment including elliptical machines, treadmills, stationary bikes, as well as free weights, weight machines, and stability balls. The fitness center is always staffed and there are towels and cups for water from the water fountain (not the best tasting water... it seems to be an Orlando thing). The fitness center is in the Villas at Wilderness Lodge, a very short covered walk from the main hotel. We, in fact, had thought we'd booked a room at the Villas, which have kitchenettes, but found out after we arrived that our reservation was actually at the main hotel. Be careful, because it can be confusing.

All in all, we enjoyed our stay at Disney's Wilderness Lodge. We would stay there again but would probably try Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge next time, which is right on the Animal Kingdom property with a view of the Savannah. The ambiance was of a smaller version of the Wilderness Lodge and not as loud. Beware of the standard rooms. The one we almost ended up in was pretty depressing.

  • Liked — Cool theme, convenient to the WDW parks
  • Disliked — prciey for basic rooms, some rooms are really terrible
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank kitties
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:
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Orlando
#6 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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