The Wilderness Lodge is a deluxe category hotel
Situated in the Magic Kingdom resort area on the shores of Bay Lake the Wilderness Lodge is an homage to the National Park Lodges popular at the turn of the century. If you want an away from it all experience, with immaculate theming which will make you question if you are indeed still in Disney World in central Florida, this is the resort that delivers.
Wilderness lodge is based around a central building and vast lobby. The 8 storey main building is flanked by 2 seven storey wings. The lobby of this hotel is stunning, a huge atrium greets guests arriving at the hotel. This vast space features two 55ft. high totem poles, a huge stone fireplace, comfy chairs and artisan rugs. Even in the height of a Floridian summer you feel transported to the Pacific North West, and just wait till you see this place at Christmas. In the seasonal period an enormous Christmas tree graces the atrium, decorated with carved ornaments, the attention to detail here is second to none. Crackling fires and cosy nooks add to the Holiday atmosphere (hey, its America that’s what they call it).
Wilderness lodge has amongst the cheapest of room rates for a deluxe category, that and its proximity to the Magic Kingdom make it an excellent value for money choice. Of course the payback for the cheaper room rate, it’s cheaper for a deluxe category, it’s not cheap, is a smaller room size and a more restricted transport offer. This resort isn’t on the monorail, guests can take a boat to the Magic Kingdom or the Contemporary Resort or buses to other Disney Parks. The transport to and from Wilderness Lodge gets mixed reviews, some guests experience lengthy waits for buses and boats and longer travel time others seem to find the transport less problematic. It’s never going to be as speedy getting to MK by boat as it is by monorail but allowing a bit of extra time to get to and from the parks may be a good compromise considering the price.
If during part of your holiday you like to spend some time out of the parks, relaxing, this is a great resort. It has walking, jogging and bike trails which take you to Disney’s Fort Wilderness Campground. There’s even a geyser based on Old Faithful which erupts every hour. The main pool, Silver Creeks Spring, is really lovely, with water cascading all the way down from the hotel lobby via a realistic rock formation, ending in a small waterfall which cascades into the pool. It also has a themed waterslide, hot tub and kids play area. A quiet pool is also available at the resort for those wanting to chill out.
Dining here is catered for in all the categories. The signature restaurant Artist Point is a celebration of Pacific North West dining and has a comprehensive all American wine list to reflect the theming. Artist Point doesn’t feature on the top dining review lists but many consider it a hidden gem, if you’re staying at the resort it is definitely worth trying. However given the effort to get there I am not sure it would win out over other signature offers at Disney World. If you’ve been to Disney World a few times and are looking to try somewhere new it’s got to be worth a try.
The table service restaurant here is Whispering Canyon Cafe, clearly an Imagineer, the name for Disney’s attraction designers, had a wry sense of humour when naming this place. Located off the main lobby it’s definitely not the place to enjoy a quiet dinner. It’s a lively dining room with guests encouraged to be rowdy by enthusiastic, if a little irreverent, waiting staff dressed Old West style. It’s the place for in jokes and pony races, they’re not real ponies, and asking for ketchup crates a holler from your waiter which culminates in a table full of ketchup bottles. It’s a great, fun experience but not for shrinking violets! At breakfast try the all you can eat skillet.
Counter service here is at Roaring Forks and the bar is Territory Lounge.
Amenities are also good at this resort with the usual shopping and a better than average arcade. WIlderness Lodge has a kids club, Cub’s den, and a fitness centre amusingly named Sturdy Branches.
There are 727 guests rooms and whilst these are a smaller square footage than at some of the other deluxe resorts they do offer bunk beds in some of the rooms.
Wilderness lodge is a great choice for families, it’s value for money for a deluxe and has huge charm. After the Polynesian this resort would probably be my second choice in the MK resort, we are not the biggest fans of Epcot and Hollywood Studios (at least till Star Wars land arrives) so we would always choose a MK hotel, the value that Wilderness Lodge provides makes it a winner over the other Monorail hotels in this area.
Pixiesuesi Top Tips;
Catch the direct boat to the Contemporary Resort from the hotel and watch Wishes fireworks from the 4th Floor viewing area.
Grab a seat on the beach for the Electric Water Pageant which passes by on Bay Lake, it’s been a tradition since Magic Kingdom opened in 1971.
Enjoy a ‘bottomless’ milkshake at Whispering Canyon Cafe.