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8 Secrets Most People Don’t Know About Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge celebrates America’s Great Northwest. You will feel like you’re visiting the great outdoors, even when you’re inside this Deluxe Resort. If you’ve never stopped by, plan on making it part of your next Walt Disney World vacation, even if you’re staying elsewhere. Here are eight things that you might not know about this magnificent property.

Note: Disney’s Wilderness Lodge is currently undergoing refurbishment. While the property is open, some aspects may not be available. The refurbishment is scheduled to be complete in 2017.

8. Dining

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge has diverse dining options. Two deserve special mention here. Artist Point is a signature restaurant that features the tastes of the Pacific Northwest. There is an award winning wine list and a dress code. Artist Point is perfect for a romantic adult meal. Whispering Canyon Cafe, on the other hand, is loud and active. There’s lots of horsing around, and plenty of food. The staff has as great a time as the diners do. One warning, don’t ask for ketchup unless you really like ketchup.

7. Lobby

The lobby of Disney’s Wilderness Resort is spectacular. It’s eight stories high. The non-weight bearing wood is mostly lodgepole pine from a standing dead forest in Oregon. Parts of the floors are hardwood as well, and celebrate the Native American story of creation. You also won’t be able to miss the fireplace. It’s 82 feet high, and features a stone hearth that mimics the rock formations of the Grand Canyon.

6. Totem Poles

Worth special mention in the lobby are the totem poles. There are two of them, and they are each 55 feet high. They took over a year to complete, and they were commissioned by Native American historians. One pole is referred to as Eagle and the other as Raven, they’re called these names because of the animals on top. There are dozens of other animals carved into the two poles, and there are meanings behind the carvings.

5. Hidden Mickey Hunt

If you love Hidden Mickeys, you’ll love Disney’s Wilderness Lodge! Ask at the front desk about the Hidden Mickey Hunt. You’ll be given a sheet with clues on where you can find a dozen Hidden Mickeys.

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4. Silver Creek

The water on property is called Silver Creek, and the headwater is the hot spring at the back of the lobby. Follow it to see Silver Creek Falls, into Silver Creek Springs Pool, and eventually into Bay Lake. Along the way you’ll see Firerock Geyser, which erupts approximately once every half hour. It is not all one system of water, there are three different systems. According to Disney legend, Silver Creek Springs was discovered by Colonel Ezekiel Moreland in the early 19th century. There is more to the back story, ask a Cast Member to learn the “history” of the property.

3. Blessing of the Four Directions

If you visit during November, you might be able to witness something that you wouldn’t expect to find at Walt Disney World. Blessing of the Four Directions is a ceremony that is meant to drive out negative energy and bless the resort for the coming year. November is Native American Heritage Month, and two visiting interpreters will perform the ceremony. Blessing of the Four Directions is a short ceremony, so ask a Cast Member what time it will be performed so you don’t miss out.

2. Flag Family

Each morning a family is asked to help raise the flag over Disney’s Fort Wilderness Lodge. If you’re chosen as the Flag Family, a ranger will take you to the roof for the honors. The view is something that you will never forget. If interested, ask about it when you check in. The longer you’re planning on staying at the resort, the higher the chance that you’ll be chosen.

1. Resort Tour Offered

If you’d like to find out more about Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, a free tour is offered. The tour lasts about an hour, and you’ll learn about everything from the architecture to the stories behind the lodge. Ask plenty of questions, there’s little chance that you’ll be able to stump your ranger/guide.

About PaulaK

I grew up in Western Massachusetts. When I was nine my family went to Disneyland and I was hooked. I grew up, attended New England College in Henniker, NH and eventually moved to Virginia. I worked as a disc jockey, married and became a full time mom when our daughter was born. Fast forward several years. In 2010 we moved to Central Florida and my Disney obsession grew. I now work as a freelance writer and spend my spare time in the parks. Under the name Paula Brown I penned the novels Dream Wanderers and The Coffee Cruiser. I also am a co-author of Dining at Walt Disney World: The Definitive Guide. I'm obsessed with Star Wars, so this is a good time to live in Central Florida. I've been a vegetarian for well over a decade, a choice that my daughter eventually made as well. While my husband still hasn't joined us fully he has given up most meats except for seafood. I was relieved to find that vegetarian dining is not difficult at Walt Disney World.