One of Disney’s Deluxe Resort Hotels with a fun wilderness theme
Tasteful western-themed rooms with Native American-inspired decor
Two beautiful pools and a kids' splash zone
Four restaurants and a lounge, including the upscale Artist Point
Modern fitness center with LifeFitness cardio and weight equipment
Game room with arcade games and a photo booth
Disney gift shop sells souvenirs and sundries
Multiple outdoor grilling and picnic areas
Bike and boat rentals available, plus free parking
Disney boat transportation to Magic Kingdom (plus buses to other parks)
Magical Express and Extra Magic Hours benefits
Free Wi-Fi throughout
Themed hotel won’t appeal to everyone
Adults may find the atmosphere too kid-centric
Can be crowded during summer months and school holidays
Long lines in the lobby around check-in and check-out times
The magic of Disney and the beauty of the Great American West come together at the Wilderness Lodge, a stunning four-pearl property near the Magic Kingdom. Its 727 rooms have tasteful cabin-inspired decor with lots of Native American-inspired design elements throughout. Two beautiful pools (one with a kids' splash zone), four restaurants, and boat-transportation to the Magic Kingdom are top-notch amenities that appeal to families, but adults and romantics may find the place a bit too kid-centric. The JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes might appeal more to couples, but it’s a 25-minute drive from most Disney attractions.
A beautiful lodge-style property with an outdoorsy theme
The Wilderness Lodge does its best to channel an atmosphere that's far from its Florida surroundings -- the massive timber-sided green-roof lodge looks more like it was plucked from the plains of Wyoming. Log cabin doors lead inside to the stunning lobby, where Disney impresses with wow factor in spades. Massive Native American-inspired totems rise toward vaulted wood beam ceilings, where teepee-shaped wrought-iron chandeliers have etchings of bison, horses, and men throwing spears. Craftsman furniture is arranged around Navajo-print rugs, and a massive stacked-stone fireplace brings additional drama. Headdresses and replicas of Gold Rush-era mining tools add historical substance, but there’s still plenty of Disney playfulness throughout -- there are loads of hidden Mickeys to find, for one. It’s a good thing the lobby is nice to look at, long lines are the norm around check-in and check-out (common at all Disney properties).
The majority of guests at the Wilderness Lodge are families with kids. Like at any Disney property, kids are welcomed and catered to here. Adults and romantics may find the atmosphere a bit too child-centric, but Disney buffs of any age will appreciate the hotel’s magical spirit and well executed theme.
The Wilderness Lodge is located in Disney World, about a five-minute drive or 10-minute boat ride from the Magic Kingdom. Nearby Disney hotels include the Contemporary, the Polynesian, and the Grand Floridian. All of the other Disney parks, water parks, and Disney Springs are within a 15-minute drive, though times vary if guests are using Disney shuttle transportation. Universal Studios is a 25-minute drive from the property, while Orlando International Airport is a 32-minute drive.
Cabin-inspired rooms with Native American accents and a few hints of Disney whimsy
Rooms at the Wilderness Lodge feature elegant cabin-inspired decor, with lots of natural wood accents, cozy furnishings, and mountain-themed artwork. Engraved wood headboards serve as a focal point, and Navajo-print pillows and bed runners bring warmth and vibrant color to each space. In-room amenities include flat-screen TVs, iHome docks, mini-fridges, single-cup coffeemakers, and closets stocked with ironing facilities and electronic safes. Bathrooms aren’t anything special with granite counters, shower/tub combos, and Disney brand toiletries, but shower tilework featuring Disney forrest friends like Chip & Dale, Bambi, and Meeko (the raccoon from "Pochahontas") provide a fun focal point. Rooms have outdoor balconies or patios, but, in typical Disney fashion, they’re pretty tiny.
There are 727 rooms in the Wilderness Lodge, but there aren’t too many room types. Standard Rooms have one king or two queen-size beds and offer a variety of view types. The most affordable standard rooms overlook the parking lot, while more expensive rooms offer views of the pools and Bay Lake. The hotel also has Standard Rooms with one queen bed and a set of bunkbeds -- a novelty for families with kids. The Wilderness Lodge has club-level rooms that offer access to its top-floor club level lounge, which has cozy seating areas, a few TVs, and communal computers. The club level has its own concierge and serves light breakfast, snacks, and drinks throughout the day.
Excellent amenities, plus free parking, Wi-Fi, and Disney perks
The Wilderness Lodge has excellent on-site amenities, including boat transportation to the Magic Kingdom, a gift shop with Disney souvenirs and sundries, outdoor grilling and picnic areas, and a signature Disney arcade-style game room. Wi-Fi and standard parking are free, and guests are entitled to Disney hotel benefits, like Extra Magic Hours and the Magical Express luggage transportation service. No trip to the property is complete without visiting the on-site geyser. Inspired by Yellowstone’s Old Faithful, the Wilderness Lodge’s geyser spouts every hour, and will undoubtedly soak those unlucky enough to be passing by.
Like any upscale Orlando hotel worth its salt, The Wilderness Lodge has some fantastic pools -- Copper Creek Springs and Boulder Ridge Cove. The Copper Creek Springs pool is the property’s family-filled spot, where the joyous shrieks of vacationing children provide the all-day soundtrack. Adults may find this pool a bit too kid-centric, especially since the kids splash zone is adjacent. Copper Creek Springs also has a small water slide and two separate hot tubs. The Boulder Ridge Cove pool tends to be quieter than Copper Creek Springs, so it might be better suited for adults. A large replica of 19th-century copper-mining equipment acts as the pool’s focal point, and fake boulders surround the pool for privacy. There’s a zero-entry point, as well as deeper sections for swimming. Boulder Ridge Cove is surrounded by padded lounge chairs and private shaded cabanas.
The Wilderness Lodge has four varied dining options and a separate bar/lounge. Artist Point is the hotel’s signature upscale dining venue, with a sophisticated menu inspired by the Pacific Northwest. Expect items like freshwater mussels, smoked mushroom bisque, and cedar-plank wild salmon. The wine list features 90 bottles from PNW vineyards. The restaurant itself is a stunning space, with high ceilings, timber columns, and massive wrought-iron chandeliers. The dining room’s piece-de-resistance is the magnificent Yellowstone-inspired watercolor mural that spans two walls and reaches the top of the room’s vaulted ceilings. Artist Point, a famous lookout in Yellowstone National Park, is the inspiration behind the restaurant’s name.
Whispering Canyon Cafe has the kind of hokey atmosphere that only Disney can get away with. This casual eatery serves family-style breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but dining here is more about the experience than the food. Disney describes the Whispering Canyon Cafe as a “rowdy, rootin’ tootin’ good time,” where servers crack corny jokes and diners are coerced ( or joyfully nudged?) into sing-alongs and hobby-horse races. Only Disney buffs and kids will appreciate this one.
Geyser Point is a tamer breakfast, lunch, and dinner spot, with a gorgeous open-air setting that overlooks Bay Lake. The lunch and dinner menu features casual bar fare, like crab cake sandwiches and bison burgers with Tillamook cheddar. Geyser Point has a full bar with a dozen signature cocktails, domestic and foreign beer, wine, and sangria.
Every Disney Hotel has a quick-service restaurant that serves grab-and-go meals around the clock. This quick-service concept is incredibly popular across the Disney brand, and is known for its varied options, tasty food, and unbelievable cleanliness. The Wilderness Lodge’s version, the Roaring Fork, doesn’t disappoint. In the mornings, guests can swing by for coffee, bacon and eggs, and Mickey waffles, while lunch and dinner hours feature American favorites like burgers, grilled cheese, and flatbreads. It also sells snacks and desserts like chips, doughnuts, and ice cream bars. The Roaring Fork has indoor and outdoor seating.
The Territory Lounge is the hotel’s only standalone bar. It opens in the evenings and is a popular spot for pre- and post-dinner drinks. The Territory Lounge has an old Americana feel, with lots of Western-inspired decor.
Modern fitness center, outdoor sports court, and bike rentals
The fitness center is located in the Boulder Ridge Villas building (the adjacent Disney Vacation Club resort), but like the rest of the hotel’s amenities, it can be accessed by guests of both hotels. The fitness center is modern, and quite large by Disney standards. It is far superior to the dinky gyms at the Grand Floridian and the Animal Kingdom Lodge, and features LifeFitness cardio and weight-lifting machines, along with a decent selection of free weights. Guests who’d prefer to exercise outdoors can take advantage of the hotel’s sports court and bike rental program.
Travelers who have visited the Wilderness Lodge in the past will notice that the property no longer has a “beach” (essentially a manmade plot of sand in front of Bay Lake lined with lounge chairs and kids playground equipment). After a horrific alligator incident that resulted in the death of a two-year old in 2016, Disney hotels no longer have these once popular beaches. Now the area is roped off, and guests can only access the water if they rent a pontoon-style boat from the hotel.
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