A Walking Tour of Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

| October 7, 2014 | 13 Replies

In between the rain drops the other day I decided it was time for a visit to my favorite deluxe resort at Walt Disney World. Disney’s Wilderness Lodge is my good for the soul resort. It is the closest I will ever get to camping in the woods.  Just driving onto this property I can feel myself starting to relax.

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This beautiful resort opened in May 1994. The resort was designed to remind you of Yellowstone’s 1904 Old Faithful Inn. When you walk into the lobby it takes your breath away.  You will see an 82-foot fireplace, 8 floors of Lodgepole Pine that was imported from Oregon. There are two beautiful 55-foot totem poles.  Don’t forget to look up at the 4 chandeliers. They look like tepees. They are slightly larger than 9 feet in diameter and over 12 feet in height. There is real rawhide stretched over them. Don’t forget to look down at the floor also. The design of the 4 different types of wood are meant to show the unity among the four seasons, wildlife, man and the cosmos. If you are interested in all the artifacts and the architecture of this resort there is a tour of the lobby that is conducted several times a week.

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There are quite a few room choices at this resort.  You can stay in a standard view, woods and courtyard view, woods and courtyard view with bunk beds.  What kid wouldn’t want to sleep in the bunk beds? There are also several choices on the concierge level and there also several suites if your budget allows it.

Of course there is a gift shop right off the lobby.  The good news is there is a fair number of items that are resort specific.  If you have been longing to buy yourself a shirt from your WDW resort you can do that at Wilderness Lodge.  There is also a children’s activity center, the Cubs Den, where they will watch your children for a fee while you go off and enjoy a wonderful dinner at Artist’s Point.

The beautiful Territory Lounge.

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If you are looking for a unique restaurant be sure to make a reservation at Artist’s Point. Their menu changes often so you might want to ask your server if you don’t see your favorite on the menu.

DSC_7973 DSC_8057In the lobby you can see the beginnings of Silver Creek. It flows outside and eventually ends in a waterfall that drops into the main swimming pool. At this time the Silver Creek pool is closed for refurbishment. I was surprised to see the old pool is gone and they are creating a totally new pool. It was quite noisy outside with the jackhammers and the saws but inside you couldn’t hear the noise.

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There are lots of construction walls outside which takes away from the beauty but the construction will be done by the end of November. You can view the WDW rehabs here.

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The walk to the boat that will take you to Fort Wilderness or Magic Kingdom.

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When the Fire Rock Geyser is working it will shoot a water plume up to 120 feet high several times a day. At this time you can’t get near the geyser because of the construction.

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If you are hungry and would like to grab a sandwich you would want to head to Roaring Forks.  They offer a number of delicious sandwiches and flatbreads. They also offer breakfast. There are tables inside and outside to enjoy your meal.  If you are looking for a fun sit down meal with the family you will enjoy Whispering Canyon Cafe.

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If you have a chance take a short elevator ride up to the fourth floor. The view out the window at the small sitting area is breathtaking. You sure don’t feel like you are in the middle of Central Florida. There are also some small areas where you can sit and read a book in front of the fire.  I will leave it up to you to find them.  These are some of my favorite areas at this resort. This is as close as I will ever get at being one with nature.

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If you are looking for a great resort to stay at when you vacation at Walt Disney World, I highly recommend this resort!  It doesn’t have the main pool but that will change by the end of November. If you are looking for a quiet, beautiful resort this resort is for you. If you would like some help planning your vacation the Travel Specialists at Dreams Unlimited Travel would be happy to help you.  See you in the parks!



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Category: Disney World

  • Alice West

    Wilderness lodge is one of my favorite resorts. LOL it’s actually tied with Beach club for number one. You captured it perfectly Kathy, no matter how many times I go it never gets old.

  • Annette

    Great review and photos. I sure hope to stay there soon. :)

  • mickey79

    Love the resort…that’s why we bought a resale for the Villas at Wilderness Lodge earlier this year..so nice to call it home! Great review…looking forward to our visit in three weeks.

  • Skye Peters

    This time next year we will be looking at these exact views and I cannot wait!!!

  • Ben From KY

    I just got back from there and the resort was still charming even with construction. if you ask front desk for a water park pass they will give it to you no questions asked since there is no main pool for the moment.

  • Beth

    Thanks for this Kathy! We have been fortunate to stay here 4 times starting when our boys were 9 and 11. They found the bunk beds so cool but finally had to give them up on our most recent trip because at 14 and 17 they had grown too tall! We all love this resort. The draw of AKL has always been strong but when it comes down to making the final decision, we are always hesitant to give up WL and, in particular, that fabulous boat ride to MK.

  • Sam Phappalapa

    Great tour – many things I did not know, thank you.

    (also thanks for allowing these Comments to use Disqus instead of just Facebook, Yahoo, etc. in which some DIS-loving people do not have accounts and thus get shut out of the discussion :-) )

  • CJKberk

    Thanks, Kathy. I really enjoy your resort reports.

  • spiritwings

    Im originally from Seattle and when im feeling a little homesick I come to this beautiful resort and hang out for a little while. Its all that you described and the reasons I love it so much. I love taking pictures all over Disney property too. I make my own greeting cards with some of them. I loved all the pictures you included in this awesome review. Ty Kathy :-)

  • Poppy44

    The Wilderness Lodge Villas are our DVC home resort. We’ll be visiting the second week of November with some old friends who will be seeing the Wilderness Lodge for the first time. I was disappointed to learn that the main pool is being redone and that the area is surrounded by walls. Our friends won’t see the resort at its gorgeous best, but on the other hand, I’m sure the new pool will be even better, with much to be enjoyed on future visits!

  • Lindsey

    I love the resort reports! :)

  • madeline

    going to DWL for the first time and unfortunately it will be during the construction and I have 2 small kids that needs afternoon naps. I had booked a courtyard bunk bed room but am worried about the construction noise during the day. I also want to be close to the ferry and lobby but away from noise. I can’t tell from the pictures exactly where construction in the courtyard starts and end. can you provide any further details? should I request a courtyard villa view or try to downgrade to a woods view? thanks.

  • Karen M Cowan

    Great article and photos , Kathy !