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“Very Comfortable and Spacious” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney's Wilderness Lodge

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Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney's Wilderness Lodge
Ranked #70 of 335 Hotels in Orlando
Certificate of Excellence
Northern California
Level Contributor
9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Very Comfortable and Spacious”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 30, 2009

We stayed in a one bedroom suite at the Wilderness Lodge Villas as the second part of a split stay at the Port Orleans French Quarter. We were all excited to see how Disney deluxe accomodations would compare with those at a moderate. We were also looking forward to sleeping in larger beds (king with a queen sofa bed). And it was my husband's birthday, which I had let the reservationist know when she asked if we were celebrating anything. So I expected it to be fun at check-in, with my husband receiving and (undoubtedly be embarrassed) by a "happy birthday" and birthday button.

Rocky Start

However, though we loved the villas, our trip kind of got off on the wrong foot. I would not mention any of the following things but these villas, reserved through the Disney reservation system, are not inexpensive and my expectations were high. We had caught the boat from the French Quarter to downtown Disney, and had a wonderful lunch at Wolfgang Puck's. We decided we would have to return on our last day prior to departing for our late afternoon flight to get meals to bring on the plane.

We caught the bus from downtown Disney to the Wilderness Lodge, and soon realized the long bus ride meant we would not have time to return to do a last-day stop at Wolfgang's.. The bus stopped at Typhoon Lagoon, and there was also an at least ten minute stop at Pleasure Island -- there isn't much left open at Pleasure Island, but it seemed to take some time to do a driver change. This was probably the longest bus ride we were on during our stay at Disney World.

When we went to check-in at the Wilderness Lodge, there was no friendly greeting or mention of my husband's birthday or button (I know this may seem silly to mention, but I wanted him to get the full Disney treatment). We asked about our luggage transfer and the desk clerk checked and said it had not arrived and gave us a number to call to inquire further. My husband asked if she could check for us, and she did, only to find our luggage was not even en route -- it was still sitting at Port Orleans.

So we went up to our room and immediately rushed to our balcony to take in the view. It was a view of the rooftop and the bus stop. My husband called Port Orleans and spoke to a supervisor at the Bell Desk, who arranged for our luggage to be taken over to us. My daughter had been excited about going to the pool, and we were all anxious to get out and see the property, but the swim suits were packed in our luggage that was being transferred and we had to just wait around in the room for a couple of hours for the luggage to arrive. I had suggested to my husband previously that we just catch a taxi and move our luggage ourselves, but everyone at Disney had been so exceptional prior to all this so he thought it would be okay. But next time we would move it in a taxi.

I called the front desk to see if (1) they had any way of acknowledging birthdays and (2) if we could get a room with a better view.

The lady at the front desk said they could send him a Mickey Mouse birthday card if I wanted, but he would not get it until the next day. I said that was fine. She then switched me over to another person about changing our room. This lady was extremely gracious and helpful and said that, while there were no rooms with better views available that day, she could move us the next morning so that is what we did.

As it turned out, we did find the Mickey Mouse birthday card in our room when we returned from dinner at 1900 Park Fair that evening. It didn't have my husband's name on it, but it had arrived on his birthday. Our five year old immediately appropriated the card, saying that she thought Mickey had meant to leave it for her because she had met him the previous day and thought she must have made a good impression! We were very glad to receive the card.

Wound up being a Great Place to Stay!

Despite the intial disappointments, the one bedroom suite was really wonderful! As much as we loved the French Quarter, it felt so luxurious to be at the villas! The beds were large and comfortable, and there was a wonderful jacuzzi tub and shower and walk-in closet. There was a full kitchen where we could keep and reheat leftovers. The washer and dryer was SO convenient -- I was able to wash all of the dirty clothes we had accumulated in the first part of our stay. There were two television sets, a comfortable living room and a pleasant balcony amid the trees. We were really able to relax at this resort. I can certainly see why people would invest in these timeshares -- such a comfortable base when you're out doing the parks all day!

The cleaning staff at this resort were absolutely excellent. Our rooms were extremely clean and well-kept. We asked for extra hangers and someone came immediately. They were really great!

The grounds at the Wilderness Lodge are magnificent, among tall pine trees with a created waterfall, a white sand beach and playground, and a geyser that goes off in the background. We saw one very tame brown bunny that was allowing a little girl to get close enough to almost touch. There were two pools -- one smaller one by the villas and a larger one with waterslide in the main area. In the afternoons they host games at the pool.

The boat service to and from the Magic Kingdom is delightful. We didn't wait long for boats, and the trip was not long. One evening, quite by accident, we found ourselves returning on the boat during Wishes, and it was fun to watch the fireworks from that vantage point.

I was taken with how majestic the Wilderness Lodge looks at night. lanterns light the walkway from the boat dock among the Pines. The waterfall, pool and grounds look particularly spectacular amidst the night lighting.

All in all, after a rocky start, we enjoyed a comfortable and relaxing stay at the Wilderness Lodge Villas and would return.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank labeckley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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532 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (124)
Date | Rating
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English first
dighton
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 15, 2009

We stayed at the Wilderness Lodge from Auguest 22nd to the 29th. Overall we say its the best hotel weve been to. We stayed at the Villas but its the same thing but not staying in the main hotel itself.

When we arrived at the front door a member opened the doors for my wife and daughter and took our bags off for us which was pretty fast and amazing. It was hot outside on the 22nd but once you got inside it was air conditioned and all the different tiki poles and how huge it is was pretty breath taking also. Check-in was faster than we could say "Disney World". We had a room in the Villas part on the 3rd floor around the hexagon I believe. The view was not great but the room its self was huge. We had our own kitchen so we cooked for 3 of the night we stayed which was money -saving and extremely conveinient.There was our own washer and dryer so we could wash our clothes and that means less luggage. My daughter had her toe bleed because of the metal thingy (forgot the name). The bed was big and comfortable. The bath was huge and so was the shower. We had a double sink which had not madness to fight for it.

The walk to the pool was a short walk. Theres 2 different pools and both were great. But we used the Villas pool at about 8 o clock so the water was warm and we had it all to ourselves. It rained alot so we barely passed going to the hollywood studios because it was a raging storm. The walkway to the Wilderness Main Hotel was nice because you could see the flowers outside and a short walk to the Disney Buses was great. The indoor river was magnificent so we took alot of pictures. Theres 1 store for food or clothing and even games but I thought they shouldve had atleast 1 more store there. The Roaring Forks was good. We got the mugs so we dont have to pay like 15.00 for 4 sodas. (im just guessing). We went to Whispering Canyons one night and that was FUNNY. We had a waiter with funny glasses so my son loved that. He also needed Ketchup (for those who know what happens with that). So the waiter yells for ketchup and every single bottle of ketchup is brought to our table. 2 teenagers actually met there also while we were there.

Short boat ride to the Magic Kingdom and buses to the other parks and downtown disney. We went to the House of Blues for breakfast and there was many food and drinks to choose from. I couldnt choose!

Overall, this was one of the best hotels ive been to since Disney World opened in 1971. I reccommend this to every single person for vacation. :)

  • Stayed August 2008
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank turnbull2357
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ogden Dunes, IN
Level Contributor
63 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 21, 2009

I stayed at the Villas at Wilderness Lodge from 2/11/09 - 2/14/09. We had a two-bedroom suite. I shared the suite with my 3 children (7, 4, 1) and my parents. My husband could not come with due to work, but there would have been more than enough space for him as well. We had stayed in the Lodge about 3 years ago and loved the location and calmness of the Lodge. The Villa was nice - but one complaint was that it needed cleaned for the price of a $600+ night villa. It was fine per Comfort Inn standards - there were no outward dirt. But, we did find a teething ointment bottle folded up in the port-a-crib that came with the room. My father snores - and so my mom reported that the fold out sofa was comfortable. The villa was big enough that I didn't hear him, which is a good thing. The kitchen was clean, no spoons or bowls - which made breakfast interesting. Beware of the jets in the tub. I didn't notice that some were higher than others and ended up spraying my mother in the face with them when my daughter asked to see the bubbles. Again - not perfect, but funny. The kids loved the towels folded as animals.

The location is great. We had a 8AM breakfast scheduled with Cinderella and we were told to catch the 7:30 boat. Unfortunately, the 7:30 boat was training new boaters - so we were left somewhat stranded. Panic is not allowed on vacation, so we loaded ourselves on the ferry to the Contemporary Hotel and then the monorail to the Kingdom. We made it with 5 minutes to spare. What started out as a bit stressful time ended up as one of my favorite memories. They let us into the Park before the masses - and then my 4 year old daughter - afraid to miss her meeting with Cinderella, hiked up her Belle dress and sprinted down Main Street full speed ahead. I had my video camera out and caught a bit of the action. I couldn't stop laughing at the sight of a little Princess running to her castle with all of the Disney music playing in the background. But as far as the Lodge was concerned, a bit of coordination and heads-up would have been nice when we asked about early transportation to the Park at the desk the day before. Would this happen at the Ritz? no.

The Children's Activities were fun for my 7 and 4 year old. They gathered kids up and the pool and had games in the sand. The pool was busy and I did run into strict rules, which are a bit irritating. They have ducks in the pool - which is why I marked them down for cleanliness. My daughter wanted to swim with the ducks. So, I said gross, but okay and off she went. I sat near the edge of the pool with my diet Coke watching her. I was told that I couldn't have drinks in the pool. I wasn't in the pool, but said okay and put it behind my back. She told me that I had to have it 6 feet from the pool. Now, let me understand this - duck poop in the pool - okay - a diet coke 2 feet from the pool - not okay. It is just that you are paying lots of money and expect to be treated like you are home... not in kindergarten.

The view was great - 4th floor with partial lake view. The room was big and everything worked. I don't like the Disney bus service and we didn't use it. But the boats were great and one afternoon they even passed out swards and the kids led by the co-pilot stood at the front of the ship and took over other Ferry boats pirate style.

We would stay here again, but at the price that they are asking - they have some stiff competition.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Dagney1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Buffalo, NY
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 1, 2009

I stayed at the Villas at Wilderness Lodge from 1/27/09 - 1/31/09. We had a one-bedroom suite, and my in-laws had a studio which connected to ours through double doors that could be locked on either side. To say we were impressed is an understatement. First, the resort itself is very beautiful - from the moment you walk into the well-decorated lobby at the main resort - you hear quiet, relaxing music and the sound of a bubbling creek; there are tall totem polls and comfy chairs. Go through the lobby and turn right through double doors, and you are on the covered path to the Villas. I found the Villas building to be quiet and more mellow than the main lodge. The rooms are beautifully decorated and ours was clean and not worn at all - reading some of the previous reviews, maybe we got lucky, but everything was in great shape.

We traveled with our two boys, who are 4 and 1, and they both had a great experience. They adored the jacuzzi tub - it has never been easier to give them a bath! We asked for a crib rather than the standard pack-n-plays that come with the room, and it was delivered promptly. I was impressed with how large and comfortable it was. The mattress on our bed was soft for my taste, but basically okay. The outer room had a TV with a DVD player (nice when your kids want you up at 5:45 a.m. and you need a little time to relax and make coffee). There was a balcony with a woods view, and there were tall pine trees all around. A hawk landed right outside of our room on the last day; ducks swim in the main pool on a regular basis and we saw rabbits, too.

The pools are fantastic. There is a very quiet, kidney-shaped pool in the Villas area, along with a spa. Towels and poolside seating are convenient. If you walk along the path toward the main building, you can see a beach by the lake (no swimming in the lake but you don't miss it since the pools are right there) - my youngest one loved digging in the sand, which is clean and soft. The pool by the main building is much larger and it is busier, but it wasn't crazy crowded when we went. There is also a nice shallow wading pool for younger kids, which both the boys enjoyed.

One perk for parkgoers is the boat transportation to and from the Magic Kingdom. The buses are more conveniently located when you stay at the Villas, but if you care to take a walk to the other side of the resort, the boats can take you to Fort Wilderness or the Magic Kingdom. The ride itself is short (less than ten minutes) and so relaxing - you can see wading birds, as well as the other resorts. My boys loved the boat rides we took.

Bus transportation elsewhere is doable. I found that the buses came pretty frequently, and there are comfortable places to sit while you wait.

My husband and I cannot wait to go back to the Villas at Wilderness Lodge, especially when our boys are older and we can do a bit more. All in all, I highly recommend this place, especially for families with young children.

  • Liked — The pools, beach area and boat transportation
  • Disliked — The main lodge area can be crowded at times
  • Stayed January 2009
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank 2CrazyKids
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
massachusetts
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 20, 2009

We just stayed at the Villas at Wilderness Lodge for an escape weekend. Like other reviewers, we were met by a cranky clerk that did not give us the 'welcome home' experience that we have become accustomed to with Disney. Our welcome packet of resort materials was shoved across the counter with no explaination.

The studio room was worn and appeared to be less of a comfy lodge room and more of a 'hand-me-down' collection. The beautiful native american tiles in the bathroom were ruined with a green and white banana-leaf shower curtain that was clearly meant to be at the carribbean beach and not wilderness lodge.Corners were quite dusty and the slider to the 'balcony' was filthy.

Knowing that there was a 'kitchenette', on the way in from the airport we stopped and bought fruit, wine, cheese and some breakfast foods. The refrigerator immediately froze all of the fruit and hummus, the bottled water was a solid rock.
Daily clean-up service was really poor. There were spoons and knives but no forks in the room. I was disturbed to realize that the glasses and coffee cups were not replaced with clean dishware, rather they were rinsed out and left on a dishtowel to drain. GROSS! The coffee pot /basket had clearly never been washed.

We tried on several occassions to speak with someone without success.
We were shuffled around when trying to access the boarding pass service, as well. 4 attendants at the desk, but only one working while the other three chit-chatted about home in Puerto Rico. (After 30 minutes waiting for two boarding passes, I was NOT a happy Wilderness Lodge camper)

Overall, we felt that the Wilderness Lodge Villas were WAY overpriced. As a devoted Disney resort vacationer, this is the first time that we were truely disappointed. What a shame for such a beauiful setting.

The "B team" is definately employed at Wilderness Lodge.

  • Liked — Leaving for home
  • Disliked — The lack of cleanliness for the $$$
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank teacozyMassachusetts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Redding, CA
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 5, 2009

The Wilderness Villas was a refreshing finish to each day. The parks were so crazy and busy during the holiday period that the serene, quiet ambiance helped to calm your nerves (cricket sounds were a nice touch). Throughout the day, it was not uncommon to see deer, rabbits and ducks wandering around the resort. We had a one room villa and our daughter (9) liked having her own space and T.V. Kitchens had all the amenties but it was difficult to buy any real groceries. The small mercantile store had a limited supply. The washer/dryer was great...next time, I'll take less clothes ...they provide detergent but not dryer sheets. Great transportation to Magic Kingdom (boat or bus). Other areas took quite a bit longer and really only available by bus. Pool area was nice and my daughter enjoyed the pool games in the afternoon. Limited sun at times which can be a bit chilly during the winter months. Whispering Canyon restaurant is fun (once)...but loud (that's what they are known for) and the Raging Fork snack shack was O.K. -- It is very easy to get around the resort and nothing is more than 2 minutes...I loved that! We really enjoyed the resort and would most definitely stay there again...the housekeeping made animals out of towels and washclothes and that was a really "cute touch" that my daughter is STILL talking about!

  • Liked — The calm, serene ambiance
  • Disliked — Transportation to other theme parks (Magic Kingdom was great)
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank conkime
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Home
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 27, 2008

Our family has stayed at the Villas twice and are returning for another visit in two weeks. We would not stay anywhere else. The accomidations are lovely and the environment is serene. This is a wonderful place for all ages. We can't wait to return!!

Stayed February 2006
Helpful?
Thank acrum1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney's Wilderness Lodge

Property: Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney's Wilderness Lodge
Address: 901 Timberline Drive, Lake Buena Vista, Orlando, FL 32830-8426 (Formerly Villas at Disney's Wilderness Lodge)
Location: United States > Florida > Central Florida > Orlando
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#15 Spa Hotel in Orlando
#27 Luxury Hotel in Orlando
#28 Family Hotel in Orlando
#30 Romantic Hotel in Orlando
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney's Wilderness Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 181
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Recalling the 1860's railroad hotels of the American West, The Villas offer the comforts of home amid the rustic beauty of Disney's Wilderness Lodge. Relax on the white-sand beach, explore trails through lush meadows and delight in the enchanting Silver Creek Springs Pool. Just a breezy boat ride to Magic Kingdom park, The Villas at Disney's Wilderness Lodge celebrate American craftsmanship and the majesty of the great outdoors. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Villas At Disney`s Wilderness Hotel Orlando
Hotel At Disneys Wilderness
Hotel At Disney Wilderness
The Villas At Disneys Wilderness Lodge

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