As much fun as it is to visit the parks, taking a day to rest and recharge at your WDW resort can be equally as rewarding. While the global pandemic has made any public excursion a bit more challenging, you’ll still find plenty to keep you occupied on your “off” day. Here are a few ideas of how to spend the day at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge during the phased reopening.
1. Breakfast at Whispering Canyon Cafe
Even before the pandemic forced public dining establishments to implement strict health and safety protocols, changes were already put into effect at Whispering Canyon that allowed guests to opt out of the antics for which this beloved eatery is famous. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, some of the restaurant’s longstanding traditions have seemingly been forced to take a more permanent hiatus (sorry, ketchup lovers). That’s not to say the dining experience here is any less enjoyable. The waitstaff is still as ornery as ever, serving up biscuits and gravy with a side of sass, and the food is still scrumptious. Whispering Canyon is the perfect way to start any day at Disney, only now you’ll be seated at least six feet from fellow guests.
2. Laze Around the Copper Creek Springs Pool
After polishing off your morning meal, follow the babbling brook from the lobby out to the Copper Creek Springs Pool. Here, you can bask in the Florida sun while the kids splash about in the main pool or explore the children’s activity area. Without having to worry about catching a bus to the parks, you’re free to take as much time as you’d like to relax and enjoy your buffer zone, with lounge chairs blocked off to help maintain social distancing while you enjoy your self-imposed breather and count the minutes until the next eruption from Fire Rock Geyser.
3. Lunch at Geyser Point Bar & Grill
Speaking of geysers, this relatively new lakeside nosh pit is located mere steps from the pool, making it the perfect dining spot to grab lunch before heading back to the room. The open-air eatery is the ideal setting for these unsettling times, pairing panoramic views of Bay Lake with a rustic menu that offers such staples as bison burgers and cheesy barbecue brisket. Be sure to check out the campfire brownie, a close cousin to the campfire cupcake that can be found at Roaring Forks.
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4. Nap Time
What would a resort day be without time for a quick siesta? Whether you spend the time sleeping or simply curling up with a book while the kids watch cartoons, these are the moments you come to appreciate more after spending a few days waiting in ride lines under the scorching sun. Better yet, why not draw yourself a warm bubble bath, lay a wet rag over your eyes, and soak your bones before tackling the back half of your trip to the happiest place on Earth?
5. Take a Boat Over to Fort Wilderness
One of the great things about the Bay Lake resorts is that you never feel isolated. Boat service will ferry guests from one resort to another and, in keeping with the wilderness theme, you don’t have to stray too far to escape to WDW’s quaint campground. All of the activities you’ll want to explore are located just offshore, from the brand new barn at Tri-Circle-D Ranch to the Settlement Trading Post, where you’ll find resort-exclusive souvenirs and snacks. There’s even a playground and beach volleyball courts located nearby if the young’uns haven’t tired themselves out already.
6. Dinner From P&J’s Southern Takeout
Before heading back to the Lodge, we recommend ordering takeout from P&J’s, which operates out of Trail’s End Restaurant (currently closed due to the pandemic). As its name would suggest, P&J’s serves up southern-style meals and offers family packages that pile on the barbecued ribs and/or fried chicken, in addition to standard options such as burgers and pizza. You can make a picnic out of it and enjoy your meal at one of the outdoor tables or take it on down to the beach and watch the sunset.
7. Enjoy a Movie Under the Stars and The Electrical Water Pageant
Two unfortunate early casualties of the pandemic were the Movies Under the Stars and Electrical Water Pageant, a lighted boat parade featuring musical accompaniment that passes by the resorts on Seven Seas Lagoon and Bay Lake. Thankfully, both of these fan favorites have since returned. Starting at 8:00pm on select nights, guests can catch a complimentary showing of one its classic family-friendly films on the beach in front of the Teton Boat & Bike Rentals. At roughly 9:30pm, the Electrical Water Pageant will glide past the shores of the Lodge, making it ideal timing to catch the show as the movie wraps up and before heading up to your room for the night.