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“Well worth it”

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Disney's Wilderness Lodge
Ranked #28 of 338 Hotels in Orlando
Certificate of Excellence
A TripAdvisor Member
“Well worth it”
Reviewed 12 April 2005

My wife and kids ages 9 and 11 and I arrived at Midnight on Sunday evening and we were helped out immediately with our rooms. The lobby service was excellent. The inside lobby is unbelievable. The woodwork and detailing is very cool. It is like being in a log cabin home.

Our room was very nice, we had a dresser for clothes. A courtyard view on the 3rd floor looked out over the pool area. It was very quiet in the evenings. We had a queen bed and bunkbeds for the kids. It was nice to not have them fight over who slept where, they alternated the top and bottom bunks each night. The kids also loved the fact that the pool was open until midnight so they could swim after spending all day in the sun at the parks.

We ate quite a bit at the Roaring Fork Cafe. The food is about the same price as any of your chain type restaraunts for pricing. The snacks are rather spendy, but what isn't spendy at Disney. I would recommend buying a water bottle and filling it rather than purchasing a new one for $2.00 every time you need water.

The transportation to the parks was pretty quick. No longer than 1/2 hour to get on the bus and make the one stop at the Wilderness Campground just a mile away on the way to the parks. The ferry ride to Magic Kingdom was a plus as it only takes about 20 minutes and you very rarely have to wait. You might be able to save some time by driving to the parks, but the busses drop you off right at the doors and you do not have to hunt for your vehicle late in the evenings when there are thousands of people leaving the park at the same time.

Our last day we ate at the Whispering Canyon restaurant and my kids thought it was the best day of food we had. We ordered the all you can eat breakfast skillet which includes scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, biscuts and gravy and homestyle waffles. All for only $10.00 per adult and $6.00 for the kids. It was a blast. Make sure to ask for the ketchup. You will be surprised at the service you get.

All in all it was a very positive stay at the Wilderness Lodge. I would recommend this hotel to those who are considering it.

  • Stayed April 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
37 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rochester, New York
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 133 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 April 2005

I'll forego the accolades and praise heaped upon Wilderness Lodge in lieu of some tips that could make your visit more enjoyable. Suffice to say, all of the reviews heralding or lamenting the lodge's feature are well deserved: It's a beautiful property with a wonderful theme, the pool, restaurants and amenities are first class and the well appointed rooms are spotless. On the down side: The rooms are small compared to other deluxe Disney resorts, it's not a particularly good value, transportation is confounding for a resort so centrally located and there isn't enough seating poolside.

Save tables, chairs and chaise loungers by the pool early in the morning because they're all taken by 10AM and there's not enough of them to go around for a resort that typically has over 2000 guests at a time registered. We went down at 8AM and left items of little importance on the furniture: several pool towels folded into a Disney Marketplace bag, a few soda bottles filled with tap water, the USA Today delivered outside our room and a couple of T-Shirts we travel with for just this purpose. So while everybody else was sitting three to a lounger and waiting to vulture abandoned chairs by 1PM; we sauntered up and made ourselves at home in the best location.

Watch out for the wooden bed frames. The queen beds are about a foot higher from the floor than typical home bedding and the sturdy frames are an appealing target for shins and feet. With confined quarters, dim lighting and oversided bedspreads camouflaging the frame corners; we banged against the frames at least four times a day.

Don't settle for the first room available or what the front desk wants to assign; it doesn't hurt to get picky and that pays off at Wilderness Lodge. My family made reservations and handled check-in; I said request the highest floor available with a room as far from the lobby as possible and was rewarded with a quiet room and spectacular view from the private balcony. The majority of rooms at the lodge are Courtyard view with very few Woods view and even fewer Standard view rooms. The north wing has Woods view rooms along it's left corridor; the right corridor and entire South wing are considered Courtyard view. Beware of the South wing lower floors close to or overlooking the lobby and Standard view rooms; they've got poor balconies and an uninspiring view.

The fourth and fifth floor public areas are a treasure chest of hidden delights: At the front of the lodge overlooking the lobby is a great lounge on the fourth floor with a fireplace, sofas and large card tables. Towards the parking lot above the main entrance is another small lounge and walkout to a rooftop patio. The fifth floor has an outdoor balcony with a commanding view of the lake and property just above the fourth floor card lounge. At the corner of the North wing near the elevators are big picture windows with a good view of the nightly Magic Kingdom fireworks. You can't walk around the entire lobby above the fourth floor, the sixth floor is concierge level and a special card is required to access the limited number of rooms on the seventh floor.

Take boat transportation whenever available. It's not only a relaxing, pleasant journey with some interesting sites; but the bus transportation takes a long time, the arrivals are frequently few and far between and there's other resorts involved. Getting to the Magic Kingdom by boat is direct and might even be a quicker transfer by monorail to the TTC and points beyond depending on the time of day. But the trip from Downtown Disney late at night is aggravating and there's no alternate route available from alot of Disney World locations.

  • Stayed March 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
65 Thank bertschkid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 April 2005

We booked the Wilderness Lodge three months prior to our trip. Close running hotels were the Polynesian and the Beach Club. Having never been to a Disney Resort, we paid the premium hoping this resort was comparable to higher priced lines.

Pro's- It is a beautiful lobby, ferry ride to Contemporary and Magic Kingdom are a plus. The buses were much better than expected. Key card that also serves as park hopper ticket was convenient. Hotel was clean.

Con's- the rugs, rooms need updating. The bathroom countertop is black, nothing fancy. The toilet is loud, public restroom style. The toiletries are cheap. No dressers to put clothes away. Restaurants way overpriced for cafeteria style grub food.

Upon our booking, we had asked for early check-in, and bunk beds with rails for our two small children. Not only was our room not available until late-late, we were given a room with two queen beds, no rails. The beds are higher than average which made it unsafe for the toddlers to sleep. When we complained at that late hour, the manager was not even remorseful and said our only choice was to change rooms the next day. She didnt even care that the Cookies and Milk I ordered for the children never arrived.

On day two, although we were promised our room to be ready, the front desk promised late checkout for the prior guests. At 4pm, our room was still not ready. It took two cleaning persons, with us standing in the room to get it right.

The only service friendly person I care to mention at this resort was our Housekeeper who was amazing understanding with our troubles, and charmed our children. She was quite personable and really enjoys making the guests feel welcome.

We did make it to the Spirit to Aloha dinner at the Polynesian. This hotel seems more our style as we'll plan accordingly next year.

  • Stayed March 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank needavacation2005
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Youngstown, Ohio
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 March 2005

We stayed at the Wilderness Lodge for a week with our kids (4 & 8) in September. As soon as you walk in to the Lodge you are taken back by the beauty.

We were assigned to a room and after dragging our luggage there realized it had not been cleaned yet. We were then were given an upgrade to a courtyard view room for no additional charge. We had a great view of the pool and courtyard. The room was roomy enough. My kids loved the bunk beds. However, you will have to ask for bedrails if you feel you will need them. We just pushed a chair to the side of the bed, but bed rails are available. There was a small fridge in the room which was great for cold milk for the kids.

We were there during the hurricanes in Fall, 2004 and the employees made every attempt possible to keep the kids busy since the parks were closed. They had games, crafts and coloring pages available. Mickey, Minnie and Chip & Dale came to greet and pose for pictures. The staff showed the kids how to make towel animals with Chip and/or Dale. Plus, the kids had a great time looking for hidden Mickey's in the Lodge.

The pool area is very clean and the hot tub is great before bedtime.

We never waited long for transportation. We loved the Ferry ride back from the Magic Kingdom at night. You can see the electric boat parade from the beach at night.

Artist Point was a nice restaurant, but a bit fancy for the kids who are excited to be at MK. We had two dinners at Whispering Canyon. The first night with server, BJ, was a blast. The last night wasn't as fun as our waitress wasn't as energetic as I would expect. Maybe the stress of another hurricane took it's tole.

I would recommend the Lodge and we will definitely stay there again on future visits.

  • Stayed September 2004
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
24 Thank jay002011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Annapolis, MD
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 March 2005

My husband , three-year old daughter and I spent 3 days at WL the week before Christmas. (the decorations were lovely- that week really IS the best time to visit!) The entrance lobby is spectacular, but we stayed in a room that faced the inner atrium. The aforementioned Whispering Canyon kept me awake at night and up early in the morning!! The sound rises up all 7 stories of the lobby atrium- plus on the other end of the room, the sounds of the transfer buses rattled continually thru the window. There are inner hallways that probably have less noise, be sure to inquire about room selection!

Otherwise, the ferry to Magic Kingdom was a great way to access that crowded park. I recommend WL for that reason alone! My daughter loved the pools- which I believe were heated at that time of year. We did not go to any of the restaurants- ended up eating at the parks mostly. Parking was pretty easy- but we were there at the low season......

  • Stayed December 2004
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
22 Thank great3pets
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed 22 March 2005

This is the best family resort on the Disney property. We didn't even go to the Disney parks this time but absolutely loved staying at the Wilderness Lodge. We were able to see the light parade and the fireworks from the resort. Everyone had fun. We are looking forward to returning. . . .soon!

  • Stayed March 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
11 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hershey, PA
Level 4 Contributor
35 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 March 2005

We had reservations at Disney's Coronado, but after reading some of the reviews, I decided to upgrade to Disney's wilderness Lodge. It was great.
We felt like we were in a lodge in Montana-even saw a bald eagle! One of the reasons I chose this hotel was the comments about the transportation. You can take a boat directly to Magic Kingdom (never waited more than 10 minutes), or over to the Contemporary, where you can get the monorail to just about anywhere. Or, there are buses outside.
Our room was nice, not the Ritz, but clean. I had asked about a refrigerator when I booked, and they said all of the rooms have them-not true, so be sure to ask again upon check in.
The food was good at the everyday restaurant. We did splurge one night at Artist Pointe, the more upscale restaurant and the food and service was FABULOUS. (Ask for Sylvia, she is just charming!)
The quick serve restaurant gets very bogged down 1/2 hour before the first boat leaves, so try to get there a little earlier. My mother had a sandwich there and said it was blah.
I also asked for a room that faced the fireworks at Magic Kingdom. Having a 3 year old in tow made it hard to attend at the park. So, we just sat on our balcony and watched from the 3rd floor!
We did not see the cute animals made from washcloths as other reviews stated, but so what! I would definitely go back.
The hotel was really the highlight of the trip.

  • Stayed March 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
27 Thank PITAGirl
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
Region: United States > Florida > Central Florida > Orlando
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre 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
#8 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
Disney's Wilderness Lodge Orlando, Florida

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