Is the Wilderness Lodge a good choice for a first timer?
(Fort Worth, TX)
Hey Dad, I'm loving all the info you've collected for these pages. My only problem is, you seem to love everything!
I'm going to be a first time adult visitor to the parks sometime within the next couple of years. I've been a few times as a child, but obviously knew nothing about all the work that goes into deciding all of the little details! Ah youth....
Anyway, I think I've settled on the Wilderness Lodge as our home base but I'm still not sure. It doesn't seem very convenient since it's not on the monorail system. Also, a different site that's specifically targeted for first time visits to Walt Disney World doesn't seem to think it's the best option for those not completely in the know yet. Do you think any of that matters?
I know it's beautiful, all of the resorts are, but if it's going to be a pain in my patootie to get there and back, I may have to reassess my options. Also, I notice that the resorts have fun things going on all the time. Is there any restrictions that say guests only or can I, for instance, grab my fruity drink at the Polynesian, sit on the beach and watch fireworks, and then return to my Wilderness home?
Dad's sometimes you get too much information Answer
Hi Rebecca. How are you? I've got to agree and disagree a bit about loving everything. I do love Disney World, but there is a lot I don't care for. The Moderate Resorts, the Tea Cups, the bus system, crowds, the list is pretty long, but for the most part I do love Disney World.
Congratulations on your first trip to Walt Disney World. You will find it an amazing place. I think taking a first trip as an adult can be more special than if you start young. Like you said, you'll be able to appreciate all the little details that the little ones miss. (It's not just the youth that misses the details, sometimes it's the adults too.)
Now on to your questions. First the Wilderness Lodge. I've got to say, it's an amazing place. It's absolutely beautiful. There is actually a working geyser outside. Is it perfect? No, it's certainly not. The rooms are small. The bed situation sometimes leaves something to be desired and like you said, it's not as convenient as the monorail hotels.
But then it's also not nearly as expensive as a monorail hotel. Here's an example. A standard room at the Contemporary Resort (the cheapest of the monorail hotels) this week (January 13-17) is $330 per night. At the Wilderness Lodge it's $287 per night (in 2013). That's a significant savings. Yes, you can walk to the Magic Kingdom from the Contemporary (it's a long walk when it's hot). Yes you have the monorail (which will make 3 stops before you get there) to the Magic Kingdom and to Epcot but what's a little convenience worth?
Do I think the Wilderness Lodge is a good choice for a first time guest? I think it depends on the guest. If you have unlimited money send me some (just kidding) go to the Polynesian. It doesn't get any better than the Polynesian. If you are on a very limited budget, then go to a Value Resort.
But if you are looking for a great first time experience at a pretty good price, the Wilderness Lodge is a pretty good choice. It's a beautiful hotel. You are only a really nice boat ride from the Magic Kingdom. All the other parks you'll have to ride a bus to get to, but that's true of all the hotels except the monorail and Epcot hotels.
Make sure when the time comes, you check back in and let us help you finalize all the details. We can help you make your reservations and help you design a really great trip.
About sipping your favorite beverage at the Polynesian Resort and watching Wishes. That's one of my favorite things to do in the whole wide world. I've done that several times even when I wasn't staying in any of the Disney hotels. So, yes, even though you're not a guest of the Polynesian, you can watch Wishes from the beach. You'll love it.
Dad's Bottom Line
Rebecca, it's sometimes hard to sift through everything written on the internet. Yes, there are probably hotels that would be better for a first timer, but it's not a bad choice at all. Really it's a beautiful place.
I hope this answers your question. If not, just let me know. I'll be happy to help.