It is hard for me to pick a favorite resort at Walt Disney World, they each have so many good points and depending on the type of vacation you are going for each one has its place and time. But, Wilderness Lodge definitely ranks high on my list. I love the tranquil grounds, the beautiful setting, the theme, and the feeling that you are somewhere very far away from busy theme parks (even though you are just a quick boat ride away). Here are my 10 favorite things about Wilderness Lodge Resort:
10. The rooms
At Wilderness Lodge you have a ton of room categories and options to choose from. Among the “standard” hotel rooms I love those that have bunkbeds—perfect if you have two children who don’t do well sleeping together plus how much fun are bunkbeds??? Within the Lodge rooms you can also book deluxe rooms and Club Level rooms. And the Club Lounge at the Wilderness Lodge is really gorgeous overlooking the lobby and offering great snacks. There are also villa options at the Lodge that work really well for larger families. You can rent these Disney Vacation Club accommodations just like any other Disney hotel room through your Travel Agent or the Disney reservation center. Studios, One Bedroom, Two Bedroom and 3 Bedroom Grand Villas are available options. The two “villa” sections of Wilderness Lodge are known as Boulder Ridge and Copper Creek.
9. Hidden Mickeys
The Wilderness Lodge is filled with Hidden Mickeys—and it is so much fun to hunt for them. On one of our stays we even had a Hidden Mickey on the log pole on our balcony, our own private little Hidden Mickey. If you want to do a hunt around the resort (a great way to explore) stop by the concierge desk in the lobby and ask about a paper they have with clues to finding many of them.
There are many things to do around the Wilderness Lodge you could really spend your vacation here without going to the theme parks. You can rent a boat to take out on Bay Lake and Seven Seas Lagoon—the Sea Raycers are super fun and fast, but the pontoon boats are great for the whole family to go out on the water together. The Wilderness Lodge also serves as one of the starting points if you wanted to charter a fishing excursion. Another fun activity on a not-so-hot day is a bicycle rental. Wilderness Lodge has the perfect outdoor area to enjoy a bike ride through the natural surroundings—there is a great path to Fort Wilderness Campground. And speaking of the Campground, if there isn’t enough fun at the Lodge it is just a short distance away by boat or foot and offers tons of great activities like Archery Lessons and Horseback Riding.
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7. Copper Creek Cabins
One of the newest additions to the Disney Vacation Club line up is the Copper Creek Cabins at Wilderness Lodge. Like the Bungalows at the Polynesian, these are free standing structures along Bay Lake that can accommodate 8 guests with 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms (along with the full kitchen and living area). There are 26 of these beautiful cabins that line the lake just beside the Lodge itself. My favorite feature? The screened in porch with hot tub. And the double sided fireplace. The gorgeous natural surroundings and the panoramic views of Bay Lake really bring the outdoors inside in the Copper Creek Cabins. I’m pretty sure if I was staying in one of these cabins I would never leave the resort!
6. Table Service Restaurants
Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort is home to two fantastic table service restaurants, each with its own flair & flavor (literally). These restaurants are worth visiting the Lodge just to dine, but if you are staying here you should definitely take advantage of having them right at your fingertips. Whispering Canyon Café is the more casual eatery known for its down home cooking and wild west style antics. If you dine here be sure to ask for ketchup . . .and be ready for a pony race! The other option is the signature dining location, Artist Point. This more sophisticated restaurant has a more upscale feel and décor reflecting the artistic inspiration found as America expanded into the natural beauty of the West. Dishes here reflect the Pacific Northwest theme of the Lodge and include cedar planked salmon, steaks, wild boar, and fish. There is also a “Taste of the Pacific” 5 Course Meal as an option.
5. Boat Transportation
One of my favorite things about the Wilderness Lodge is its location on the shores of Bay Lake. That makes boat transportation to the Magic Kingdom possible. In the mornings it is so fun to approach your day in the theme park from the water and see the Magic Kingdom appear before your eyes. And when you leave the park it is a relaxing ride back to the resort. At sunset is particularly spectacular. You can also access the Contemporary Resort and Fort Wilderness by boat if you are going to either one for dining or recreation.
4. The Pools
Wilderness Lodge has really stepped up its swimming pool game recently. The main feature pool at the resort, Copper Creek Springs Pool, has always been fantastic. It starts in the lobby as a bubbling feature, then flows out through a Creek and into the actual pool that features a 67 foot waterslide built into the rocks. It is beautiful and fun! Boulder Ridge Cove Pool, the quieter pool over by the Boulder Ridge Villas, recently got a bit of a refurbishment with a zero entry added along with shaded seating areas. Little ones will love the splash pad and play area adjacent to the Copper Creek Springs Pool.
3. Geyser Point Bar & Grill
Another dining establishment at Wilderness Lodge that is worth the trip to the resort is Geyser Point Bar & Grill. This open air (but covered) lounge and quick service dining location is between the two resort pools and nestled right along Bay Lake. It is a beautiful and relaxing spot to enjoy some drinks or get a lunch or dinner away from the park. Both the quick service eats that feature a bison burger, and the lounge food that has salmon rillettes, barbecue brisket, and fried oysters. And don’t forget the drinks: beers & wines from the Pacific Northwest along with specialty cocktails like Huckleberry Punch.
2. The Iron Spike Room
Over at the Boulder Ridge Villas there is a “mini-lobby” that is the perfect place to kick back and relax by a small fireplace and unwind from the day. The Iron Spike room also holds some treasures: actual trains from Walt Disney’s Carolwood Pacific Railroad. If you are a Disney geek or Disney history fan, you owe it to yourself to go over and take a look if you are staying at Wilderness Lodge or even if you are just there for a meal.
1. The Lobby
The Wilderness Lodge lobby is one of those that takes your breath away. Built to resemble the national park lodges of the 20th century, as you walk in the two sets of doors and open up into the massive towering lobby your jaw drops and you just stare up in awe. You will see the open balconies to the 6 stories of guest rooms. The towering lodge poles, the hand carved totem poles and, of course, the massive fireplace. The really incredible thing about the lobby is that everything symbolizes something. If it is being offered while you are there sign up for the tour of the Lodge that will tell you all of the design elements of the resort. From the designs on the floor that reflect a Native American lore, to the choices in the totem poles everything is intentional. The rock work on the fireplace represents the layers of the Grand Canyon. Take some time to walk around the lobby and see the artifacts on display from Native American tribes and from the settlement of the western states. If you have the opportunity to visit the Wilderness Lodge you will want to spend time in the lobby—whether it is exploring or sitting in a rocking chair by the massive fireplace.
Do you love the Wilderness Lodge?