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“Great Location and Setting”

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Disney's Wilderness Lodge
Ranked #31 of 340 Hotels in Orlando
Certificate of Excellence
A TripAdvisor Member
Salt Lake City, UT
19
Reviewed October 13, 2005

We loved the Wilderness Lodge! It had the out-of-this-world setting we were looking for, and we were pleasantly surprised by the room we were given. Without a call-ahead, we were given a room on the sixth floor with a pool view off of the balcony, and as far away from the lobby as you could ask for. I was a little worried that I had not called ahead, because of some previous reviews (i.e. Whispering Canyon Cafe's noise levels) but it was not a problem, because the restaurant was muted at best...we only heard it as we passed through the lobby. I guess if you are in a room adjacent to the lobby it could be an issue. The room was also large and clean, and the mini-fridge was delivered promptly with a quick call to housekeeping. Now only one complaint...housekeeping. We left a nice tip on our first and second days in hopes of receiving the famed "little creatures made out of handtowels" and got nada. Very disappointed about that, but otherwise, housekeeping was very conscientious of our "do not disturb" sign when it was up, amd even left a message telling us to call for a special cleaning if needed when we were ready. Nice.
Another favorite part of the Wilderness Lodge was the boat ride over to the Magic Kingdom or the Contemporary (depends on where you are going). It was very relaxing and a great touch. The kids loved it too.
I definitely would stay at the Wilderness Lodge again. It was not crowded (though we DID stay in the off season 10/1-10/6) and we had a great time!

9  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,382 - 3,388 of 3,668 reviews

A TripAdvisor Member
Long Island, NY
120
Reviewed September 20, 2005

We stayed at the Lodge in Feb, 2005. We've been visiting the WDW resort consecutively for the last 4 years and tried different resorts. The one thing that stands out of this hotel is that it's a HOTEL. Not a MOTEL. We've stayed at the Caribbean Beach and didn't like the walk to the main building just to get beverages, or go to the pool. At the Wilderness Lodge you are staying in a hotel. You take the elevator up & down to your room. The grounds are beautiful! We had a woods view room with a balcony which was very refreshing after a long day in the park. In the evening we could see the Castle from our room along with the fireworks which my daughter loved.

As far as tranportation we had no problems. There is the boat launch that can take you to the Magic Kingdom which is very relaxing and I believe the boats come every 20 minutes. There are buses that take you to Epcot, MGM and Downtown. Its not a far walk to the boat or to the buses.

Dining is great as well, especially for kids you have to visit the Whispering Canyon. The staff interacts with the kids which is quite amusing. My daughter really enjoyed it, its not over priced probably average. Artist point is more pricey and there is also a cafe for fast food.

Cleanliness: Our room was clean, no complaints whatsover.

Activites: Plenty of things to do. Boat rentals, bike rentals, arcade, walking trails, etc. We rented a bike and rode to the Ft. Wilderness Campground. We also rented a boat.

I would most definately recommend staying in this hotel especially if you want everything under one roof and not have to leave your "motel room" to go to the main building for something to eat. The other resorts are nice but don't compare to the Wilderness Lodge. Every other resort is similiar to a motel. We've enjoyed it so much that we are going agin in Feb. 2006.

I have high standards when it comes to lodging and am very picky. I would not think twice about staying here. Everyone has their own views, mine was great.

  • Stayed: February 2005
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20  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 14, 2005

Even my husband, who is no fan of Disney, loved this resort. It is pricey, but at off season times and with a AAA discount we could splurge for a night. Given the price you would expect something more upscale, but that is not found in Disney - resorts are pricey based on their convenience to the parks. So a "deluxe" resort is simply one with a few extras and easier ability to get to a park. If you want fancy/upscale check out the Ritz Carlton or Peabody outside of Disney. I have heard that the Dolphin and Swan are slightly nicer than the typical Disney resorts and are still on Disney property, but I don't think they're that upscale, either. Disney's focus is on families and children, so don't expect luxury. That said, the Wilderness Lodge is a nice place to stay regardless of whether or not you have kids. It is good for people who want to have the sense that they are staying inside the Magic Kingdom. Yes, it is a hokey Disney theme, but Disney is good at making fun, hokey themes. The rooms are solidly 3 star - beds are reasonably comfortable, and bathrooms well-maintained and conveniently set up (i.e., 2 sinks located outside the toilet/shower room so that several family members can get ready at one time), and rooms are not big but adequate for short stays. Despite overlooking the pool area, our room was quite quiet, and I believe that is due to the soundproofing used for the outside door (there was some outer hallway noise, so that door is not that soundproofed). One of the best features of this resort is that it is an easy and quick boat trip to the Magic Kingdom, which makes life so much less stressful if you intend to go to that park. There is also an electric light parade out on the water at night in front of the hotel. We took a (free) boat out to the Wilderness campground to check out the petting zoo and horses, which might be something fun to do with kids. There is a small beachfront on the lake, children's playground, and watersport rentals. The pool area looked nice, and included a children's pool separate from the main pool (but they were in close proximity), however it was smaller than I would have expected of a resort of this size. I did like that the resort was not as sprawling as some of the other resorts. Our room was pretty distant from the lobby, but it never took more than 5 minutes to get there, and other than the villas the rooms are all contained within one building - in some of the resorts the separate buildings are so spread out that it is either a 15-20 minute walk or a tram ride to get to the main lobby. There are a lot of nice public areas in which to hang out, and we spent some time lounging by a fireplace in a 3rd floor nook. We did not try the restaurants, but did go to the gift shop which had some reasonably (for Disney) priced provisions (cereal, snacks, sodas, etc.) if you need to stock up. Staff were universally friendly and helpful. Overall we highly recommend the lodge and intend to stay there again.

  • Stayed: August 2005
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20  Thank hliss
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
219
Reviewed September 8, 2005

We have just returned from a wonderful 7 night stay at the Wilderness Lodge with 3 kids(7 months, 3 and 5 years old). Where do I start?
Our room was great! It was very clean with a view of the courtyard. We had a room with bunkbed which was a huge hit with my kids. We had requested early maid service, so each day when we returned from the parks at 1pm, our room was clean.
The grounds and lobby are gorgeous and reminiscent of Old Faithful Inn at Yellowstone. We enjoyed the pool. The water was warm, but it is Florida in the summer. We all enjoyed the pool waterslide.
We ate at the Whispering Canyon Cafe at the Lodge. It was great fun. If planning on eating there, just remeber it is loud! Also, I highly recommend the meal plan. It definitely saved us hundreds of dollars and we were able to try new resturants.
After staying at monorail resorts on previous visits, I was a bit disappointed with the ferry service to MK. It was hit or miss. The travel time would be 10 minutes to 30 minutes depending on the time of day.
We will defintely return to Wilderness Lodge on our next Disney vacation.

  • Stayed: August 2005
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16  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
West Palm Beach, Florida
14
Reviewed September 6, 2005

As a seasoned traveler, I am very picky. I traveled to Orlando from West Palm Beach a trip we do very often. We arrived at this hotel and like all Disney hotels you are in awe of their scale. I was supposed to have a King bed and received 2 double beds (never resolved), we called for extra pillows several times (never came), the room was not as clean as I expect. The overall grounds and pool were beautiful as expected.

  • Stayed: July 2005
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4  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 26, 2005

We really like the Wilderness Lodge. OK, the decor is a rip-off from National Park Lodges and you know you're not really in a National Park Lodge, but this is Disneyworld. You have to just go with the show. You step in and there's western music playing in the background...from cowboy movies! Restaurants are great...one is for fine dining and other is for rip-roaring fun with your kids. We don't have children but always go to watch the little ones have so much fun. The only downside is we prefer to be closer to Epcot and you have to use the bus system to get to Epcot from this hotel.

  • Stayed: October 2004
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10  Thank wintersummer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 24, 2005

We just returned from a week at Disney's Wilderness Lodge Villas. I am writing the review about the Lodge itself, along with the Villas, since we mostly utilized the amenities of the main Lodge.

Surroundings:
First, to be fair, I knew going into this that Disney is pretty much a "manufactured" environment. In some cases, this can lend to the "magic" of the experience. But in the case of the Lodge, it was too much, and bordered on creepy. Everywhere you go at WL you are subjected to man-made and orchestrated environment. From the canned "adventurous" music playing continually poolside, to the recorded sounds of crickets at night. I suppose I am more of a naturalist..I grew up in upstate NY in the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains. I love nature, but not necessarily the manufactured kind. Everything from the "geyser" to the "spring" that feeds the pool is faux. And looks it. I can, however, see how young children could find the esthetics appealing. Our children, ages 14, 12 and 3 found it intriguing.
The lobby of the Lodge is beautiful with towering timber columns, totem poles and grand arts and crafts style chandeliers/seating. The Lodge was consistently cool and refreshing temperature wise.

Staff:
The staff at WL was essentially hit or miss. We found the valets to be friendly and very helpful. The concierge was unavailable on numerous occasions, so the desk clerks filled in. On one occasion, a female clerk looked at me like I was from Mars when I inquired if there was a place to shop like Kohls or Target nearby. (Off Disney property.) She finally begrudgingly tossed directions to an outlet mall my way. Perhaps she never ventures away from the Lodge? The other irritating moment was at the Whispering Canyon Cafe when at breakfast the staff shrieks at the top of their lungs "KETCHUUUP!!!!" if you should happen to ask for that particular condiment. They are attempting to rouse their captive audience in a down-home "YEE-HAWW!" manner, but it comes across as loud and obnoxious during times when the restaurant is nearly empty. Dinner was a whole other experience. Bring your valium. Now, don't get me wrong, I love to have fun...But after a long day in 96 degree heat and humidity at the parks, the last thing I wanted was to be subjected to loud, crass "shows" but the restauraunt staff that implored us to stand up and do the hokey pokey, form a train, etc. numerous times during our meal "or else." Add to that waiters who slam their tray tables on the ground as they walk by (to mimic horse's hooves?) and more shrieks of KETTCHUUPP!!, etc. (Annoying to the point where other diners were "sneaking" condiments to other tables in order to avoid the yelling.) and you have a recipe for a splitting headache. Heh. And bring your wallet. Entrees average about $20/pp.

Pool/Beach:
The pools were crowded, but nice. The water temp probably hovered around 90 or more. Not too refreshing. But there was an outdoor shower with cool water available. (It was a lifesaver.) The beach is a strip of sand with lounges, but there is no swimming allowed in the lake. Bacteria counts too high? I had no idea the lake would be off limits. Pity. The boat rides to the Magic Kingdom were slow enough to see the sights along shore (other resorts, etc.) but quick enough to get you to the MK in a timely fashion.

Villas:
We found the 2 bedroom villa to be spacious and quiet. However, there was a layer of dust on everything and the carpet was dingy/dirty. The tap water smells strongly of sulfur, and was even BROWN when I turned on the jacuzzi jets. ICK. Taking a shower, it was evident Disney resorts do not have soft water. Nor do they have decent water pressure. The water flow from the shower was little more than a drizzle.

The kitchen was well equipped with dishes, utensils, even a dishwasher. But bring your bottled water fro drinking/making coffee. There are also washer/dryer units in each 2 br Villa. Bathtowels are small, so consider bringing a beach towel or 2.

Adequate? Yes. Worth $500 a night? NO. I can't help but wonder if the economy and moderate resorts might present a better value. This is the gist of my review. Our experience was not "bad" per se..But I expected more from an alleged "high end" resort, and for the price we paid. I suppose being so close to the Magic Kingdom was our payoff.

If we ever go to Disney again, I'm thinking we'll check out one of the other resorts.

  • Stayed: August 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
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25  Thank mbkb1
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:
#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: $398 - $968 (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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