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Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney's Wilderness Lodge
Ranked #83 of 337 Hotels in Orlando
Certificate of Excellence
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
139 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
“Terrific Stay”
Reviewed September 18, 2009

Just returned from a 6 day stay with my husband, 4 year old, and in-laws. We stayed in a two bedroom villa which was perfect for us. Travel from the airport to the lodge was a breeze. We took the magical express from the airport. There was no wait and our bags arrived shortly after we did to the hotel. Return to the airport was even easier. We had a late 8PM flight on the day of check out and it was so nice to be able to check our bags for our flight that morning and get our boarding passes right in the hotel lobby. They held our carry-ons for us while we enjoyed our last day in the magic kingdom.

Villa: The villa itself was very comfortable with a great layout for our family. Each bedroom was spacious and clean (one with king, second with two full beds) with large closets and baths. The kitchen/combined living room was well stocked. There was laundry detergent, paper towels, coffee maker etc... It was great after a long day at the parks to have the living area to relax. Our son loved it. Housekeeping came daily. The only drawback to the villa was that we were on the 5th floor and VERY far from the elevator. I'm a fit person but after walking in the parks all day then walking up and down that hallway all week , it got old fast. We ordered groceries ahead of time at gardengrocer.com. They were waiting for us when we checked in and were delivered to our room when we checked in.

Wilderness Lodge in General: A wonderful place. We researched for a while and after stopping at many of the other hotels to compare during our stay we were so happy that we went with the Villas at Wilderness Lodge. The grounds were beautiful. My son loved seeing the rabbits, ducks, the geyser, the lobby is breathtaking. It was great to take the boat over to the magic kingdom or contemporay and hop on the monorail. The bus service to the other parks was also great. The pools were very nice. The main pool was very crowded at times. Liked the pool at the villas better ...smaller/quiet.

Cubs Den: We also made a reservation one night for our son to have dinner on his own at the cubs den while my husband and I had a date. He absolutely loved it. The space itself is small but they have many toys, computers, sand pit for the kids and they eat dinner there as well. He was very content here and we had a wonderful time off on our own for a few hours. We found the price of $12/hour to be very reasonable.

Dining: We were pleasantly surprised by the dining choices at Disney. We didn't go with very high expectations. Whispering Canyon in the lobby was an excellent choice for dinner our 1st night. Several of us got the all you can eat BBQ and it was great. We had a wonderful meal at the California Grill our last night. The fireworks were amazing with the most spectacular view. We also had a very nice lunch one day at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. The food in the parks was ok. Chef Mickey's for breakfast also just ok. Our son LOVED getting to see all of the characters here. So glad we got him an autograph book. In the parks you have to wait in line to see them but at Chef Mickey's all the characters come right up to the table. It was great; lots of good pics. The Roaring Fork at the Wilderness had great quick options. We tried to do a quick service at the Polynesian one day and left when nothing looked good to us. Territory lounge at night was also a great place in the lobby for a drink. Wished we could've bought beer at a reasonable price to keep in the fridge in the villa ($5 for one can) steep in the lobby shop. Wine was reasonably priced but limited selection.

Gym: The gym was great and modern and on the 1st floor off the lobby in the villas building. All the cardio, wts etc. You could access it 24 hrs/d. My husband worked out just about everyday at 5AM.

My husband and I enjoyed some wine in the lobby at the Grand Floridian one night while listening to a jazz band. Beautiful lobby. It seemed less geared towards children but really was pretty. Might be a better place for families with little girls. Lots of little girls dressed up taking pictures in the lobby while we were there. Loved the white lobby and they had a great selection of wine. Couldn't be any closer to the magic kingdom here either. We also loved seeing all of the animals at the Animal Kingdom Lodge while we enjoyed lunch. We debated booking here at first but after visiting I'm glad we didn't only because it really is so far away from everything else at Disney.

All in all: wonderful stay! This was our sons 1st trip to Disney so we wanted to do it right and do everything we thought he would enjoy the most. I highly recommend the Villas at Wilderness Lodge. We had a wonderful family vacation!

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank ropqsr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (124)
Date | Rating
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English first
Boca Raton, Florida
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed September 1, 2009

this review is a little late.. but better late than never! my husband and i are huge fans of the wilderness lodge and it's ambiance. we decided to stay in the villas in december because we read that the holiday decorations at the lodge are spectacular. they definitely are a site to see!! not only was the grounds and lobby of the main lodge beautifully decorated, but they carried the theme on nicely through to the villas. since we were staying 4 nights with our two young children (2 and 1) we decided to book a 1 bedroom villa for the space and kitchen. the carpets had just been replaced throughout the entire villas so they were all nice and clean.. it was great! the villa itself was clean and comfortably furnished. i was a little worried that they wouldn't come clean up everyday because i had heard that if it was a villa housekeeping only comes every few days.. this isn't the case if you booked the room without being a vacation club member. housekeeping still came to clean up the room every morning. we had a ground floor villa and the back patio was AMAZING! it was quiet and the kids sat on the grass and colored while hubby and i enjoyed a drink! we've stayed at the wilderness lodge 4 times and staying in the villas for the first time we could definitely see a difference. it's much quieter and relaxed. you can manage to find a seat next to the fireplace to enjoy a book. they also have a great room with chess and checkers which we imagined that we would enjoy once our kids are old enough. my husband and i definitely said staying at the wilderness lodge villas should be a yearly holiday tradition!

  • Stayed December 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank WeLoveDisney123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
white plains
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed September 1, 2009

We are steady travelers to Disney World and love staying at the Villas at Wilderness Lodge. My 2 children and husband all look forward to walking in and hearing "Welcome Home" from the greeter. The 2 bedroom villas are spacious and clean. The restaraunts are all fun, especially the whispering canyon, the kids love all the action there. We love the location which is accessible to all the attractions via boat or bus.

  • Stayed December 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank familyof4wp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed July 8, 2009

We took out first trip to Walt Disney World with our two children, ages 8 and 5. I wanted to be sure we "did it right", as it was our first time there as a family, and I didn't know if we'd ever return someday or not. Several friends recommended not only the Wilderness Lodge, but the Villas, and we were not disappointed with any aspect of our stay. We had a separate bedroom with a king-sized bed (hubby is quite tall), a separate bathroom area with vanity and whirlpool tub, a full kitchen (complete with dishes, cooking equipment and silverware), another bathroom with the toilet and large shower and a large living room with a table and two chairs, as well as a bar and two chairs. We were in Room 3353 on the bottom floor, so we had a patio with a greenbelt-type of view, where we could venture out and see cute brown bunnies roaming the property freely.

First, we have learned that, when traveling with our younger children, my husband and I like to have a room to ourselves, so the kids can go to bed earlier and we can stay up later, watch TV, plan the next day, check email, etc. The one-bedroom villa was a perfect arrangement for this. The kids had a nice queen-sized bed in the living room's couch, with their own tv as well, so they could turn on the Disney cartoons when they woke up earlier than us. Believe me, it was well worth any extra money to have this extra space, and it was so incredibly quiet there, we all got lots of much-needed sleep each night!

The kitchen was a great convenience. I ordered in groceries from GardenGrocer.com the week before, and since they were delivered earlier the day we arrived, they stored them until we got there, and then delivered them all to our room. We were able to make fresh coffee and have breakfast in the room each morning. We could also take our own bottled water and snacks to the parks or pool each day, in and of itself a huge savings and convenience for us.

Since these are timeshare villas, we thought the room would only be cleaned once that week; however, I guess since we were "renting" a villa, the housekeeper came each day. She thoroughly cleaned the unit, replaced all the toiletries each day, made the beds, put away the dishes, vacuumed and left us with a different little "washcloth" animal that she created. We were so thrilled with the service that we left her a small tip each day.

The property itself is one of the highest quality timeshare properties I've been to, right in line with the best Hyatt timeshares. The landscaping is beautiful and so appropriate for the winderness lodge theme. The pools are fabulous; there is a large pool with a waterslide in the large lodge courtyard area, complete with waterfalls and a "geyser", and a smaller and quieter pool located close to the villas. There were a couple of afternoon that we came back from a park around 3 pm and just swam at the pool the rest of the day. The kids loved it.

We had counter-service meals from The Roaring Fork which we could eat poolside, and we also ate at The Whispering Canyon restaurant and had a table-service meal. The food was all delicious and the staff was very friendly and helpful. The lodge also has a fun arcade for the kids and a rather large gift shop which is well-stocked with basic groceries and Disney stuff.

We watched the "water pageant" from the property's "beach" area, and it was quite pleasant to be so close to the water and have a great view. In the mornings, we took the boat over to the Magic Kingdom or to The Contemporary for Chef Mickey's breakfast (a great buffet!), and there is convenient bus service to Epcot and the other parks.

For our first big family trip to Disney, I am so glad we booked the Villas at Wilderness Lodge. Granted, it is not the least expensive place you will stay, and it could very well be the most expensive, but it is worth every penny to ensure an effortless and enjoyable time by all!

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank TexasTravelMom1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Northern California
Level Contributor
9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank labeckley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
dighton
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
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
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • 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
64 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Dagney1
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:
#19 Spa Hotel in Orlando
#28 Family Hotel in Orlando
#30 Romantic Hotel in Orlando
#32 Luxury 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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