Disney's Wilderness Lodge -
Disney World's Most Beautiful Hotel
The Wilderness Lodge is one of the most beautiful resorts at Disney World. The grounds are inspired by the Pacific Northwest’s National Park Services lodges. The grounds of the resort include a hot spring, a geyser, a 55-foot tall totem pole and even a waterfall. In the spectacular 7-story lobby there is an 82-foot tall, yep 82 foot, stone fireplace.
The Wilderness Lodge is one of Dad's favorite Disney hotels. In fact, we've named it as one of Dad's Picks, meaning Dad highly recommends it.
When you pull up to Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort, you don’t get a feel for the beauty of the hotel. The entrance is big and impressive, but the real show is behind the resort. It all starts inside the lobby where a hot spring (no it’s not a real hot spring, but it is hot water) comes out of the ground and flows through the lobby, outside, down over a waterfall, ending in the swimming pool area.
There is a geyser that sprays 120 feet in the air. Spoiler Alert: this is Disney magic, not a real geyser. Its just water shot into the sky by compressed air.
The Wilderness Lodge is considered a Disney Deluxe Resort when it comes to pricing. But it is a beautiful resort that both kids and adults can’t get enough of.
What to Expect
The lobby of the Wilderness Lodge is the hub of all activities. Inside you’ll find restaurants, shops, front desks for the hotel and the villas, a huge fireplace, and just a warm inviting open area. So what does a Disney hotel do with a warm inviting area? They put down couches and chairs for guests to rest in while they wait for… (just about everything)
The lobby atrium is 8 stories tall (which makes for a great place for a really big Christmas tree). Over to one side is the huge fire pit. It’s more than a fireplace. It’s an 82-foot tall behemoth complete with raging infernos and rocking chairs.
In the middle are two 50+ foot tall totem poles. One is called Eagle and the other Raven after the animals that top the poles. The poles were created by Native American Totem Pole artists and took over a year to complete. In front of the Mercantile you’ll see a Disney totem complete with Mickey, Donald, Goofy, and Humphrey Bear.
All around the lobby you’ll see intricate carvings, Native American Art, and lots of detail - the kind that Disney’s famous for. Most of the furnishings are wood or leather, which gives a real forestry feeling to the area.
The guest rooms at the Wilderness Lodge are smaller than the other Deluxe resorts. For example, one of the standard guest rooms is about 340 square feet. The standard guest room in the Polynesian Village Resort is about 450 square feet.
The rooms at the Wilderness Lodge don’t have day beds and only sleep 4, but they are some of the nicest looking on property. There are even some that have bunk beds that active kids love.
There are 3 basic room types and the difference revolves around the bed options. There are rooms with 1 king bed (which only sleeps 2), 2 queen beds, or one queen bed and a set of bunk beds. The rooms have different views. There are standard views, woods views, and courtyard views. There are also some special rooms on the club level.
If you are looking for larger accommodations, check out the DVC Villas side of the resort. The Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge are part of the Disney Vacation Club. The Villas are pretty special. Take this great resort and add a kitchen, a spare bedroom, and lots more. It’s an amazing place to call home.
The accommodations at the Wilderness Lodge are equipped with everything most travelers need for a great Disney World vacation. Below is a list of the furnishings in the rooms:
Two queen beds or
One queen bed and a set of bunk beds, or
One king bed, which can be requested at least 5 days before arrival (a request is not a guarantee)
A flat screen cable TV
One table and 2 chairs
An alarm clock
Iron and ironing board
An electronic safe
Bathroom with a shower tub, or a walk in shower in the handicapped rooms
Refrigerator and coffee maker
AND A HAIR DRYER
All Disney rooms include some nice extras, Disney soap, shampoo, and hand lotion. Sometimes Mousekeeping even makes towel animals to amuse children.
Located in or near the lobby are the resorts’ 3 eating locations. They are:
Artist Point, an upscale dining experience in the resort. It serves Northwestern inspired dishes in a serene, beautiful setting. Seafood has a major presence on the menu. If you like wine, you will enjoy an impressive selection from Pacific Northwest wineries.
Artist Point is a Signature Dining experience. This means if you use the it would “cost” two table service credits. There is also a dress code (khakis, nice jeans, dress shorts, skirts, dresses…you get the gist).
Whispering Canyon Cafeis a full service restaurant located to the left as you come in the main doors. The name Whispering Canyon is anything but true. This is one of the loudest restaurants anywhere. There’s a lot of fun to be had along with some tasty food. Be sure to ask for ketchup.
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner can be rustled up here and they are part of the Disney Dining Plan.
Roaring Forks is the fast food joint similar to what all Deluxe resorts have. It has both quick meals and grocery items for your enjoyment.
Trout Pass Pool Bar has a variety of beverages to whet your whistle while you relax pool side.
Territory Lounge is reminiscent of a Northwestern lodge where you can sidle up to the bar and warm up with a specialty cocktail. There are also a variety of snacks to enjoy.
Room Service is available from 6:30am until 11:30am and 4:00pm until Midnight.
If you think swimming in a pool surrounded by trees and nature sounds great, you’re in luck.
Silver Creek Springs Pool is as cool as the name sounds. The pool is “created” by a spring that actually starts in the lobby of the Wilderness Lodge! The picturesque waterfall provides a pretty impressive background. There’s even a waterslide that snakes through the boulders!
Smaller kids will love their own kiddie pool area. Hidden Springs Pool, located near the Villas, is a little more relaxed and much quieter than the main pool. Note: This pool will be closed for refurbishment through 2017.
Disney’s Wilderness Lodge has the standard Disney Deluxe resort amenities. Here’s a sampling of what you can do:
Rent Sea Raycers and explore Seven Seas Lagoon
Go fishing on Bay Lake
Rent a bike or surrey
Go jogging (in case your feet don’t hurt enough)
Sing around a campfire
Cub’s Den Children’s Activity Center is a great place for kids 3-12 (as long as they are potty trained) to have their own fun night out while mom and dad have a date night at Artist Point. Note: Cub’s Den is closed for refurbishment until Summer 2017
Watch a Movie Under the Stars (Due to refurbishments, this may be temporarily held inside. See the front desk for details.)
Check out the playground on the beach!
Buttons and Bells Arcade (a great spot for a rainy day!)
The Wilderness Lodge is one of the Magic Kingdom area resorts. Unlike the other Magic Kingdom resorts, it’s not on the monorail. It’s located on Bay Lake, Behind the Contemporary Resort.
If you are a hotel guest at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, you can park right at the resort free of charge! This is actually true of any Disney Resort Hotel. You can also splurge and enjoy valet parking. The choice is up to you.
View Disney Wilderness Lodge in a larger map
The official address is:
Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort
901 Timberline Drive
Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830-8426
Didn’t drive to Florida? There are many transportation options other than your own car. These include:
Disney’s Magical Express is available if you are coming from MCO, Orlando’s airport. You can take the Magical Express right to your hotel. This is a free, yes FREE, service! Just make reservations for Disney’s Magical Express and let Disney do the driving.
Use Disney luxury motor coaches (aka buses) to get to the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney Springs, and the water parks.
If you want a relaxing ride, you can even sail across Bay Lake from the marina to the Magic Kingdom.
A separate water launch sails to Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground and Disney’s Contemporary Resort.
To get to a restaurant at another hotel, take a bus (or boat) to the Magic Kingdom where you would then change buses to the Animal Kingdom Lodge.
Dad recommends having a car at Disney World if you want to conveniently explore other resort areas. (PS. Disney has now institued a parking fee for resort guests.)
Sturdy Branches Health Club is a fitness center, sauna, and spa all in one. Pamper yourself with a massage after a refreshing workout.
If getting a massage isn’t for you, check out Wilderness Back Trail Adventure Segway Tour. Shuttle around Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground and get a look at it from a different perspective (additional cost involved).
Looking for a FREE adventure? Enjoy an hour-long tour of the Wilderness Lodge through Wonders of the Lodge Art and Architecture Tour. This tour is on select days so stop by the front desk or check out your resort recreation and activity guide!
Every hour on the hour (through morning until around 10pm) you can see the Fire Rock Geyser shoot 120 feet into the air! It’s as close as you’ll get to Old Faithful on the east coast.
Head to the beach and witness the spectacular Electrical Water Pageant each evening!
Make a Reservation for your Wilderness Lodge Adventure
Want to book a room at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge today? (Honestly, who wouldn’t want to?) Dad and his partners at Destinations to Travel are pretty much experts on helping you choose the perfect accommodations for your next Walt Disney World vacation. Give us a ring and see…
Dad's Bottom Line
Rooms at the Lodge aren’t very big. Still, this resort has a big following of people that love staying here. It’s a beautiful place and you can usually find reasonable (a relative term when you are talking about Disney) rates.
Even if you don’t stay here, take a few minutes and look around. For a real treat, take the boat over from the Magic Kingdom and walk up to the lobby. It’s prettier that way.