Staying at any Walt Disney World resort brings so much more magic to your vacation than just checking out the parks alone. Aside from visiting the parks, the magic continues on to your resort property where the Disney spirit is evident no matter where you go or what you do. One of the greatest resorts to indulge in has to be Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, a deluxe property that will immerse you in the rustic grandeur of America’s Northwest regions. At the Wilderness Lodge, you will be surrounded by tall pine trees, cozy, woodsy interiors, picturesque nature trails, and one of kind pools and views. Here are ten reasons why this resort will knock your socks off!
10. Restaurants on Property
There are some really fantastic dining options at the Wilderness Lodge. While most of the resorts have restaurants, the Wilderness Lodge offers an array of choices from lounges and quick service to fine dining. The lounge is a great place for adults to relax and unwind. There are two quick service restaurants that also offer a variety of breakfast, lunch, and dinner options, and Artist Point, a guest favorite and popular fine dining restaurant, is an unbelievable experience where you can’t go wrong with ordering a Buffalo Strip Loin or a grilled Filet Mignon. The food is absolutely delectable at Artist Point, but the most popular place to grub has to be the Whispering Canyon Café. Whether you are dining for breakfast or dinner, you will feast in a family style buffet of some of the tastiest food I have ever had on Disney property. The reason this restaurant is popular isn’t because of the tasty food though, it’s because of the service and interaction of the waiters/waitresses. The waiters/waitresses are rowdy, loud, and super fun with their interactions with guests. There is a whole lotta hootin’ and tootin’ going on and even stick horse races with the kids (and some outgoing adults) take place throughout the whole restaurant (Make sure to ask for ketchup on your next visit!). This restaurant is so much fun, you may want to go for both breakfast and dinner, and you really can’t go wrong because as previously stated, the food is delicious! Advanced reservations are highly recommended for these restuarants.
9. Convenient Location and Transportation to Magic Kingdom
The Wilderness Lodge is conveniently located in the Magic Kingdom resort area along with four other deluxe resorts including the Grand Floridian, Polynesian, Contemporary and Bay Lake Tower. These resorts offer incredible dining options and views, so it’s nice to be nearby to experience those. Simply take a complimentary bus ride over to the Magic Kingdom and hop on the monorail, which will take you to all of these resorts. In addition to taking the complimentary buses to any of the Disney parks, you also have the option of taking a boat ride over to the Magic Kingdom. This is a nice substitute to solely taking the bus because the views from the Seven Seas Lagoon and Bay Lake are beautiful, especially in the evening when the fireworks are blasting into the sky from the Magic Kingdom. Buses and boats arrive every 15 minutes or so (give or take a few minutes) making it easy and convenient to travel to and from the Magic Kingdom and neighboring resorts.
8. Movies On The Beach
All Disney World resorts offer nightly Disney movies under the stars, but one of the perks of watching them at the Wilderness Lodge is the calming beach area that hosts the nightly flicks. Towards the east end of the resort you will find an area with soft, white sand next to the Seven Seas Lagoon. While this isn’t an actual beach, it is very similar since the lake is so grand. There are several beach chairs lined up for the movie along the sandy area, so make sure to bring blankets, drinks, and snacks and get cozy. The tall trees hover over the area making it a really beautiful sight. The beach area is also next to the pool, so you can go for a dip before or after your movie watching experience. Be sure to ask for a calendar upon arrival to see which movies will be playing during the length of your stay. Being able to have a movie night outdoors is an incredible experience for you and your family!
7. Deluxe Décor
When staying at the Wilderness Lodge, you will truly feel like you’re in a place where nature meets rustic elegance. The lobby is the first jaw dropping experience you will have as you walk in. This eight-story resort is furnished with larger than life sofas and leather armchairs all throughout the grand woodsy lobby with chandeliers that include silhouettes of various wild animals, and you will smell hints of pine all throughout the property. The lobby also includes a cozy fireplace, totem poles, unique gift shop, restaurants, and even a geyser connected to a gorgeous creek that travels directly into the pool outside! Speaking of outside, guests can enjoy lush nature trails through pine forests, waterfalls in the courtyard, critters and animals such as deer (these furry friends can be spotted throughout the property, they are not just roaming freely), two great pools and hot tubs, a water slide and a splash and play area for the little ones. This grand resort has some of the most beautiful décor, so you can’t go wrong with staying here!
6. Recreational Activities
There are plenty of outdoor and indoor activities for everyone to participate in at the Wilderness Lodge. Spend the day riding bicycles, or rent a sailboat or motorized to cruise on the Bay Lake and Seven Seas Lagoon with. There are also playgrounds, fishing areas, jogging trails, and campfire activities (to roast marshmallows and make some yummy s’mores)! My favorite kind of bicycle to ride here has to be the Surrey bike, which holds up to five people. It is so fun to go through the trails together on the Surrey bike! This property also has a 24-hour fitness center and spa, making it easy to relax without having to travel far to do so. Cub’s Den, the child care club, is a great way for your little ones to mix and mingle with other kids and it gives parents a break to relax and have a nice dinner together or simply enjoy quality time enjoying the outdoors. Aside from recreational activities, there are a few indoor activities that are a must-do as well. Magic Cookie Corner, located at Roaring Fork Quick Service Restaurant, allows kids to turn a plain sugar cookie into their own masterpiece with sprinkles and icing. Best of all, it’s totally free! The Carolwood Pacific Room, located inside the Villas, offers games like chess and a relaxation area to watch television or read a book by the fireplace. There is also a lot of Disney history located here. My favorite has to be the two train cars that are on display which were donated by his daughter. There is a lot of train memorabilia here since Walt loved trains, which gives it a very rustic feel as well. You can’t go wrong with finding activities to do around this property!
5. Just A Walk Away From The Cabins
The Fort Wilderness Cabins are directly next to the Wilderness Lodge. There are a plethora of activities to enjoy at the cabins including an array of outdoor activities and unique dining experiences. Some of the recreational activities include themed swimming pools, archery, wagon rides, pony rides, boat rentals, biking, hiking, fishing, waterskiing, and so much more. One of the more popular activities is Chip & Dale’s Campfire Sing -A-Long, where guests roast marshmallows and make s’mores while they sing and dance with Chip and Dale and guests while a live band plays songs. After this you can head over to the pool for their movies under the stars too! There are great restaurants to dine at as well, one of which is the ever-popular dinner show, The Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue. This family style dining restaurant comes with southern comfort food and a hilarious show that is sure to have you clapping and stomping your feet to every tune. Some other great places to dine at include Mickey’s Backyard BBQ (also a dinner show), and Trail’s End (a delicious buffet of southern comfort as well). Advanced reservations are highly recommended for these restaurants. The cabins are a great way to stay amidst the wilderness without having to travel too far.
4. Electrical Water Pageant
Since the Wilderness Lodge is within the Magic Kingdom Resort area, guests here can relax on the sandy beach and enjoy the Electrical Water Pageant, a nightly parade that takes place in the Bay Lake at the beach of the Wilderness Lodge. This fifteen-minute parade travels all throughout the resorts in this area, so be sure to ask the front desk for the times. While this isn’t as grand as some of the parades in the parks, guests of all ages can enjoy tunes that are infused to the various images that seem to float above the lake. It is a charming little parade that just adds a little more magic to your visit.
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There are two great pools at the Wilderness Lodge. The most popular one, the Silver Creek Springs Pool, is nestled in the courtyard of the resort and is surrounded by pine trees, boulders, a hot and cold whirlpool spa, and a lounge and bar. There is also a 67-foot slide that plunges directly into the pool. Little ones will also enjoy a nice sized splash pad for some extra fun. Looking to swim in the late evening or early morning hours? Head on over to Hidden Springs Pool, the lodge’s 24-hour pool located in the villas! This pool also includes a hot whirlpool spa, and is usually less crowded.
2. Resort Rooms & Views
Disney hits the nail on the head when they decorate the rooms of each resort to match the theming of its entirety, and the Wilderness Lodge is no exception. The resort rooms are furnished with wooden pieces and have some of the most stunning views from the windows and balconies. The courtyard is one of the more popular room options since they are all equipped with a cozy balcony and offer views of the waterfalls, pools, and Bay Lake. Courtyard rooms are a great way to relax from the comfort of your own room. I also love how the critters from several Disney movies are evident in the room décor with pillows, headboards, and shower tiles that include Meeko, Chip & Dale, and Bambi. It gives it the perfect hint of Disney magic that everyone loves!
1. Great For Adults
While there are many kid friendly activities at the Wilderness Lodge, I feel the elegance and rustic décor is perfect for couples that want to enjoy time at the parks but are looking for a more adult feel to their stay. Its maturity is evident throughout the entire resort and there are plenty of opportunities for romantic dining and relaxation. The dim lighting, romantic restaurants, warm ambiance, cocktail bars, spa, and sandy beach, and boat rides are all ways to enjoy adult activities.
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