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Wilderness Lodge Wilderness Lodge
 
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Description:
901 Timberline Drive, Lake Buena Vista
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Average Reviewer Rating: 4.4 out of 54.4 out of 54.4 out of 54.4 out of 54.4 out of 5
Number of Reviews: 35 ( Displaying Reviews: 11 - 20 )
5.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.0   June 3-8, 2007
Reviewer: tonyrr1 Olive Branch, MS     February 27, 2008
Room rate: $215 / nite (part of Magic Your Way package including dining plan), standard room w/ standard view of pool (2nd floor), 1 queen bed + 1 bunk bed. Travelers: 2 adults, 2 girls (ages 11 and 4)

This was our family's first trip to WDW and hence our first stay at the Wilderness Lodge. The property itself is gorgeous, well-themed, and conspicuously clean. I couldn't find a trace of dust anywhere. Staff were very friendly and helpful. When we checked in, we had reservations for a standard room with two queen beds, but upon asking, they comped us up to a room with a bunk bed which the girls loved (took turns each nite sleeping on top, then on bottom). Also, since it was our first visit and an early anniversary celebration, they gave us all buttons to wear whch were cool.

The room was very clean and quite nice. Though it was the standard room size, the four of us did not feel cramped at all. Beds were very comfortable and linens well maintained. Bathroom was great with plenty of consumables (shampoo, etc.), but the one problem we had was the shower head seemed to want to leak at first. When we notified the front desk, someone was at the room inside of 10 minutes making the repair; very impressive.

I can't stress enough how pleasant the house staff was. Since we were celebrating an anniversary, they left a cool photo of the castle signed by Mickey Mouse with a personal greeting and a balloon. Housekeeping staff were always pleasant and ready to give us whatever extras we needed. Every nite when we returned from the parks, there was a little surprise like towels in the shapes of Mickey or little chocolates. One nite, they took all the girs' stuffed animals and arranged them on the queen bed on and around a pillow, and Mickey had the TV remote, and the Disney Channel was on (the 4-year-old was amazed at this. "How did Mickey know where the puncher was Daddy?"... Puncher = remote at our house).

Again, the property was amazing. Wonderful theming throughout, pool was very nice w/ towels outside just for the pool. There was also a beach-ish area, but the girls were much more fond of the pool. Park access was via bus for distant parks or you could ride a water ferry on the lagoon to Magic Kingdom or Contemporary Resort. The dock was just a short walk past the pool area, and the ferry service was consistent; we didn't wait longer than 20 minutes at the longest (usually 5-10 minutes). We had made the drive down, so we had the use of our car for resorts other than the Magic Kingdom. One day, we rode the monorail to Epcot and took the bus back to the resort; it was very prompt and not terribly crowded, and the bus stop was very close to the main entrance to the hotel, which was nice.

As we were on the dining plan, we ate several meals at Roaring Fork in the resort, and this was a great self-service restaurant. Good food and good healthy choices (salads, fresh fruit, etc). Food quality was always very good, and all the fruit was marvelous (breakfast and lunch times can get a little busy, so plan for that). We actually used some of our left-over snack credits and had plenty to eat for the drive home. Had one dinner meal at Whispering Canyon Cafe, but DW and I weren't too impressed with it. The food was decent quality, but the wait staff, while keeping with the goofy having-fun kind of atmosphere, seemed a little too annoying for us, for a dinner meal at any rate.

The one thing we were not impressed with was the Cub's Den (babysitting service for a parents' nite out). The facility itself was rather small, and rather than some exciting theming and unique interactive things for the kids to do to stay in the Disney "mode", the facility just had the usual kinds of things that I would expect in any average daycare setting; perhaps I just expected a little more. Also, the two ladies running the facility that evening were nice enough but not too excited about having the kids, which left a concerned taste in my DW's mouth such that we only had dinner in the resort rather than going away to the parks away from the kids.

Overall though, a very impressive facility. Our next trip to WDW will likely be spent at this resort; the girls have asked on several occasions when we can go back.
 
13 out of 13 people found this review helpful
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5.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.0   June 2007
Reviewer: annebkpk California     July 11, 2007
This was my first time staying at the Wilderness Lodge and I was very impressed! I picked it because it reminded me of the Grand Californian at Disneyland which I had stayed at before. We arrived and had a quick check-in before an amusing dinner at the Whispering Canyon restaurant. It definately put us in the "disney" mood. We checked into our room which was upgraded to a courtyard view on the bottom floor. We opened our curtains to see 4 baby bunnies nibbling on the grass outside..so cute! Every day we received cute towel animals on the bed. Our room looked like it was recently renovated with a very comfortable king size bed. It was great having a refridgerator in the room to keep drinks cold. Since we rented a car we only used the transportation service once (the boat to Magic Kingdom). It was effecient and a great alternative. One of my favorite things was when we returned to the hotel gate in our car every day we were greeted with "welcome home". This hotel was a quiet respite from the busy, crowded parks. We took a day off from the parks just to hang out and read in the lobby and to swim. We loved the pool. Whenever I return to Florida I would DEFINATELY stay at this hotel!
 
25 out of 26 people found this review helpful
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5.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.0   4-28-2007 thru 4-29-2007
Reviewer: AndyMan Marietta, GA     May 23, 2007
We splurged on this one and decided to go club-level.

I could not have been happier, this is the way you are supposed to be treated! OK, the initial look out of the window wasn't the best (we overlooked the rear parking lot) ..BUT.. there in the distance, just over the treetops was the castle @ magic Kingdom! when it's time for the Magic Kingdom fireworks, we hade prime viewing... right from our room!

When we checked in, the concierge came to get us, gave us a brief but informative tour of the hotel and even though our room wasn't ready, she gave us a direct number so we could check status, she said the room would be ready by 2:30 and bang-on, it was ready!

Concierge service was outstanding, the room was clean and expansive. We managed to get ourselves a king bed, it was firm but very very comfortable especially after a long day of walking.

Transportation was easy to get to and was frequent to all the parks.

This one although relatively expensive is definitely a keeper!
 
14 out of 14 people found this review helpful
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5.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.0   July 7-14, 2005
Reviewer: mom22gls Jenkintown, PA     July 18, 2005
We had a wonderful time at the Wilderness Lodge. We booked through AAA, and got their discounted rate. I had booked woods-view rooms, but was upgraded to a Courtyard view with a connecting room for the family members who were traveling with us. The atmosphere was very relaxed there-the warm wood and stone was to my taste, and I really enjoyed walking through the lobby area. It really is themed well. The pool area was very nice, and my kids really loved the pool. I noticed that, unlike the Contemporary, where we stayed on our last trip, the arcade was located outside of the lobby and away from the snack bar areas, which kept the noise level down. Transportation by boat was fun, and the bus service ran quite regularly. We never had to wait overly long for transportation to/from parks and attractions. We ate as a family at Whispering Canyon, which is a loud, but fun experience. My DH and I also managed a quiet dinner at Artists Point, which we really enjoyed. The customer service was excellent. Late one night, I discovered that the toilet tank was leaking. We called the front desk, and maintenance was there within minutes. They left to get a new tank from the warehouse, and returned promptly, and the repair was complete within an hour of our calling (at 2AM)-they worked so quietly my kids did not wake up. There is not a business center, but the front desk allowed us to do a late-night check-in online for our flight home, so our party of 8 could be with the first group to board. I would definitely stay there again
 
103 out of 104 people found this review helpful
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5.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.0   2/2/05 - 2/9/05
Reviewer: Captain Electron Wasilla, Alaska     March 09, 2005
We checked in about 8 am after flying all night from Alaska. Our worries about not having a room were promptly dispelled as they had a room for us, plus an comp. upgrade. We had a wonderful view and the bunkbeds we requested. The room had a balcony and the queen was very comfortable; however, the bunks seem to be very firm.
The room was cleaned spotless everyday and one evening we even found three adorable towel critters just waiting for us.
We didn't have a car, but the buses run constantly and the boat can take you to FW, Cont. Resort and the MK. One morning we couldn't take the boat, because there was too much fogg, so we caught a bus and made it in plenty of time to our PS at Chef Mickey's.
The Pool here was wonderful and our two 13 year olds used it alot! The theme around the grounds and in the hotel is outstanding. Even though there is always alot of hustle and bustle at WDW, we found this hotel to have a very calming affect. Everyone was very nice and attentive. We loved our meals in the WC and really liked the convienance of the Roaring Forks self-service. The one thing we learned, is that you must get to this counter service early (before 9am) otherwise the line is huge and we went at a "slow" time of year.
We all loved this resort and are very happy we chose it. We loved the look, the feel and the service. Our 13 year old daughter said she really felt it was her home away from home.
 
37 out of 38 people found this review helpful
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3.0/5.03.0/5.03.0/5.03.0/5.03.0/5.0   12/12/04-12/17/04
Reviewer: foofoome Dallas, TX     December 20, 2004
We just got back from our 3rd trip to DW, and had decided to try a different lodge, since we had done AKL twice. BIG MISTAKE!! We arrived at Wilderness Lodge, and although it was beautiful, we were measuring it to the standards of AKL, and it failed miserably! Our room was not themed very heavily, with plain white tile in the bath (could have been a marriott room), plain painted walls with one picture and just a border around the top. The bathroom and vanity area reaked of urine, the faucet was missing a peice, and there were nicks in the walls and trim. Our blow dryer fell off the wall and the light bulb blew out within the first 12 hrs. NOT DISNEY LUXURY!! We did enjoy fine dining at Artist Point, and took advantage of the beach and speed boats, but by the 2nd night, we asked to transfer to AKL. I made sure to let more than one manager know at AKL that we appreciated the effort that went into making that Lodge true luxury. The upkeep, attention to detail, heavy theming and friendliness of the CMs is top notch. It's as if they just built the place! We will never stay anywhere else again. If you've never stayed anywhere but Wilderness Lodge, I'm sure you'd be impressed, but given another luxury resort to compare it too....it's in need of some upkeep.
 
29 out of 107 people found this review helpful
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5.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.0   June 2004
Reviewer: sphallx2 Tupelo, MS     November 27, 2004
We had a woods view room on the MK side. Could see fireworks at night! Rate is usually high but we feel that we get our money's worth. The theme is outstanding - Even the smells and music are within the theme. We found the boats to MK and Contemporary (catch the monorail) and the buses all to be readily assessible. Wait time was minimal. Restaurants - fun, sit-down, quick and elegent can all be found there. The pool area is great - plenty of room - Chairs can be hard to get during the mid-day period. We love this hotel!
 
5 out of 6 people found this review helpful
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4.0/5.04.0/5.04.0/5.04.0/5.04.0/5.0   6/21/2004 - 6/28/2004
Reviewer: BrianK Jefferson, MD     July 04, 2004
The was our 8th trip to WDW but our first stay at the Wilderness Lodge. My wife had always wanted to stay here and when I found a good rate on mousesavers.com ($149/night for a Woods View), I went ahead and booked it.

It did not disappoint us. We pulled up to the gate and were presented with our pre-printed parking pass. We then proceeded to the main entrance and were greeted by a very friendly bellhop who took care of us right away. The lobby is simply stunning with all the wooden beams and comfortable center area. Check-In was a breeze and our luggage came up within 10 mintues.

We have a family of three (2 adults and an 8 year old) and the room was a decent enough size for us but we did max it out. We filled up all the drawer space that was available and our empty luggage took up a lot of the open space. Again, for us it was fine but a family of four might have a tight fit for a week.

The queen beds were both very comfortable, the table was fine for our breakfast needs, the air conditioning worked well, and the balcony had a nice view of the woods and the villas next door. My only real complaint was that the door could have been more soundproof. We tended to go to bed early so we could get an early start to the next day and there seemed to be a lot of hallway noise creeping in as we were trying to sleep. However, I don't recall being woken up by that noise so I guess it couldn't have been too bad.

We were also pleased with the resort amenities. We liked the pool a lot (though getting a chair was tough sometimes), the Whispering Canyon Cafe was good, Roaring Forks was fine for what it is, we used the Mercantile quite a bit, and we also rented boats one day which we really enjoyed.

My one complaint (and the reason for a four and not a five rating) was the resort transportation. The boat and buses were fine but I did not like it that we had to share the service with Fort Wilderness. The resort is far enough away from Epot/MGM/AK that we did not need the extra 10 minute swing over to the campground. Nor did we need that extra 10-15 minute detour returning from the park. I would have been particularly annoyed if I was staying at Fort Wilderness and was waiting for a morning bus, only to see it pull up already 90% full, with only standing room left. I can understand this more limited service in the off-season, but this was at the end of June. I also noticed buses at MGM that the Grand Floridian, Polynesion, and Contemporary had to share. I have not stayed at any of these in the past 10 years so I don't know if that is standard practice or not but if you spent the money to stay at one of them, you definitely should not have to share service.

Even with the poor bus service, we will be back to the Lodge at some point. There's a couple of other resorts we'd like to try first but we would recommend the Wilderness Lodge, particularly if you have kids.
 
25 out of 25 people found this review helpful
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5.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.0   5/2/04 - 5/9/04
Reviewer: mrmbt Spokane, Washington     June 13, 2004
This was our third visit to Disney World and our first experience in a Disney hotel. This family of four will probably have a hard time not staying with Disney in the future. It has been our desire to try several of the Disney hotels, but after staying at the Wilderness Lodge, we are not sure we want to venture out for fear of disappointment. We stayed 8 nights from May 2nd to May 9th, 2004. We received a discount through our Disney Visa Card. We had hoped for the $135 per night for a standard room, but the cheapest available was $149 a night for a woods view. We did get an upgrade to a courtyard view for the same price which had a great view. Either way, we feel we got a great value for a deluxe Disney resort.

The hotel décor is beautiful and coming from the Pacific Northwest, we thought pretty authentic, although we have never seen a Disney character totem pole before! The lobby is big and majestic and we found it very easy to get around the entire resort. The cast members were always friendly and helpful.

The Roaring Forks cafeteria seemed a little small at peak times, but we definitely got our monies worth out of the $11.99 refillable mugs, since we are coffee and pop drinkers. Plus, we think they are great souvenirs. The food prices seemed like Disney, so we were not shocked. The hotels "Mercantile" had a good variety of reasonably priced dry and refrigerated food along with the typical Disney souvenirs. We never had the chance to experience the full service restaurant, Whispering Canyons, but it looked like a lot of fun. Hard to believe we couldn't find the time in 7 full days, but you know there is plenty to do everywhere.

We requested a room with bunk beds, which was great for our 7 year old son and 3 year old daughter. The room size was normal and with our 10 bags of luggage and a stroller, we managed well. There is some room underneath the beds that you can slide your empty luggage to store them out of the way. Our room was on the 6th floor and had a full front on the balcony, so you had to stand up to see over, but we were high enough not to be bothered by any of the pool noise. Actually, it seemed very quite even though it appeared that a lot of people were staying at the hotel. We did spend the extra $10 a night for the refrigerator. Great for keeping drinks and small perishables cold.

From the detailed lobby, the indoor fountain runs outside to the waterfall and then into the decent sized pool. This whole area is very beautiful and well maintained. The pool has a fun slide that even this big guy went down a few times. The pool got crowded in the afternoon, as the weather was very nice most of our stay, so the pool chairs can be hard to come by. There is a pool bar that has the typical pool bar selections and prices. Past the pool is the Geyser that either wasnt working well during our visit or needs a little more force behind it. It never really reached the advertised height of 120 feet. It was fun for the kids to see the ducks, ducklings, rabbits and even an armadillo while roaming around the resort. We even saw a deer when riding a Surrey bike between the Lodge and the campground.

The park transportation was good. Our room was the farthest away from the bus transportation, but it never took too long to get there. We never waited more than 20 minutes (probably just missed the bus or boat) for transportation and waiting time usually ran about 10 to 15 minutes. The boat route between the Magic Kingdom and the lodge was fairly short unless it made a stop at the Fort Wilderness campground. We never did figure out why it went to the campground some of the time and not others. The longest bus ride was to Downtown Disney, due to stops at other resorts.

Overall, we loved the resort and will definitely choose it again for one of our future stays!
 
17 out of 18 people found this review helpful
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4.0/5.04.0/5.04.0/5.04.0/5.04.0/5.0   Nov 1 - Nov 8 2002
Reviewer: cocoabeach Portland, Oregon     April 23, 2004
Beautiful hotel and extraordinary lobby. I like it even more than the Swan lobby. The pool was a ton of fun with the slide (they closed it to early in my opinion though). Service was nice and the maid did a great job. She even left little towels shaped like animals in our room which our kids loved.

We stayed for 1 week at $121 with tax which was spectacular to say the least. We booked our room only month ahead of time and had the annual pass discount which is why the super low rate... apparently they just weren't filling up the hotels at the time.

Definitely no complaints but the things that we thought were less than ideal were the tiny cafeteria where you eat breakfast and the fact that the slide closed so early since no lifeguard was on duty at night. Granted this was the off-season so I'm sure they have more lifeguards later in the evening during regular season (I hope so anyway). We don't stay at the hotels at concierge level since we rarely spend time at the hotel except in the evening for a swim. The tiny cafeteria was our only real option for meals and it was often completely full and we had to wait to find a seat. Honestly, we much preferred the "market" eating area in the Coronado Springs hotel.
 
2 out of 4 people found this review helpful
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