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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: 31 - 35 )
5.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.0   11/3/02 through 11/12/02
Reviewer: LisaM Harrisburg, PA     November 26, 2002
We absolutely loved the Wilderness Lodge! Everything was perfect. We had a room with the bunk beds which worked out well for our two sons 8 and 4. Our room was spotless and everyone was extremely helpful and friendly. We were on the 4th floor right above the Whispering Canyons Restaurant. (The definately don't whisper there) It was no problem but I would probably request a room on the other side of the lodge next time. When we go back, there is no doubt that we will be staying in the Wilderness Lodge again. The bus service was very prompt and the boats to the Magic Kingdom/Fort Wilderness/Contemporary were prompt as well. The kids loved the pool with the water slide. They also stayed at "The Cubs Den" one evening and they really enjoyed that too! All in all it was a wonderful vacation and when your paying that much, you want it to be perfect.
 
6 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   December 2002
Reviewer: andrelaplume PA     September 13, 2002

First let me say we are a middle class family (two kids 6 and 2) who enjoys visiting WDW whenever we can. No matter how you look at it, it is an expensive trip so we always make choices carefully. We thought the cost ($200+ off season) was hard to justify compared to CB/DL ($115 via off season via Disney Club rates) When they closed DL (following Sept 11 last year) we were offered WL for $146 a night including taxes. Figuring we'd never see a rate like that again we took it! The hotel exterior and lobby are awesome surpassing that of CB/DL. You could spend some time here just admiring the scenery, shopping, letting the kids play at the small Lincoln Logs table, admiring the waterfall that runs from the lobby out to the pool etc. Our check in was quick as was our baghandling. (something that never quite works out at CB/DL) The room itself was a standard view. You could get a more expensive room that opens to the inner lobby, the pool or courtyard. Ours, I guess, was considered a parking/courtyard standard room. We had a decent view actually (except for a few dumpsters in the distance) We overlooked a pond that attracted much wild life.(ducks, turtles, and otters) Thru the trees we could also see the Contemporary and further off part of the MK. We even a saw part of the fireworks at MK each night. If you get a standard room you will likely be one of the wings. Ask for the wing that faces MK. Other than the pleasant surprise with our view the rest of the room was disappointing. The rooms are no bigger than a CB room (which are a bit bigger than DL). You do get queen beds here instead full (the only choice at CB/DL) but their increased size coupled with the bulky wooden furniture makes the room even smaller. Our room, as requested, had one queen and a bunk bed from which you were not able to see the puny 20" TV from the bottom bunk. The room offered nothing really special; you immediately got the feeling that the lobby is where all the extravagance went.

The pool is much smaller than the DL/CB and there are no quiet pools. I assume this is because there only 768 rooms. The waterslide paled by comparison to CB/DL too though the kids being only 6 and 1.5 did not notice. They did miss the DL playground which blows WL's away. Food was our only MAJOR letdown. CB/DL each has a food court with a huge variety of food and daily specials($5.95+) with an abundance of seating. We live for the food courts were you have a good variety of inexpensive food that can be shared in a a less formal atmosphere. WL does not really have a food court. They have a very small cook-to-order room offering about a half dozen fast food type items(5.95+) plus some ready made sandwiches, fruit plates etc. There were about 15 tables at which you could sit--very small. There were two other restaurants. Artist Point was EXPENSIVE starting at $25+. The other restaurant located in the lobby featured lively CMs that interacted with you as you ate..fun for the kids and designed to attract them (and your $$$) but disturbing after a tiresome day. The meals here started at $19+...also EXPENSIVE...at least to us. I guess the assumption is that if you can afford the $200 a night rate, you can afford the food. Outside, close by, there was a neat geyser that went off by the pool hourly, a beach, watercraft rental and playground. You may view the nightly water pagent from here too. The boat transportation to MK was quick and efficient---especially for those with a stroller...just roll it right on! You can boat to MK and pick up a Monorail to Epcot or boat to the Contemporary and pick up a Monorail from there. The Contemporary is VERY close, as stated we could see it from our room. I am surprised there is no walking path between the hotels. A boat operator said it was designed this way since a monorail would distract from the woodsy great outdoors atmosphere. How do they explain the fact that it goes right thru the Polynesian then? Still, being able to roll on/off boats and monorails for 2 of the 4 parks is a major convenience for those with kids or bus claustrophobia over CB/DL. One important note, we boated to the Contemporary then monorailed to EPCOT one day. The only problem was when we stayed at Epcot until 10pm(great fireworks) and took the Monorail back to the Contemporary...the last boat from the Contemporary leaves at 10pm so we had to take a bus back to WL...a 35 minute fiasco that starts by passing WL and procedes to stop some 7 times at Fort Wilderness before returning to WL. Furthermore you'd think a pricey hotel like thos would have it's own bus. Nope! Busses to parks depart WL then stop at Polynesian and Grand Floridian. There appears to be busses dedicated to WL on return trips to WL except from EPCOT where you get the FOrt Wilderness tour!

In short, if I could get the $146 rate again I'd likely stay here again. Being smaller it certainly is a bit more convenient than CB/DL with regards to closeness of pools, food them parks etc. I really missed those CB/DL food courts though. Perhaps it is more romantic for adults without kids as well. If forced to pay full price I think CB/DL are a much better value though. Still, if I were a rich man I would likely stay here over Polynesian, Contemporary and the Grand Floridian.
 
24 out of 32 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   11/29/01 - 12/2/01
Reviewer: atmoure Florida     August 20, 2002
I couldn't agree more with the first two reviews. The most reasonable of deluxe resorts. The atmosphere is unparalleled. It's the perfect resort to visit during Christmas. The boat ride to the Magic Kingdom is ideal, though bus transportation is also quite effective. If you have dinner reservations in other resorts, it might be worth driving, as bus transportation between resorts can take very long. We've already stayed here twice, and visit for a meal when we stay elsewhere.
 
6 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   4/23-28/02
Reviewer: Andy123 Charlotte, NC     June 19, 2002
This was our 5th stay at the Wilderness Lodge and certainly not the last. We arrived around 11AM and walked right up to the check-in desk and were registered in 5 minutes - and suprise! Our room was ready! We stayed in a Standard View Room ($143.20/night!) on the 4th floor overlooking the lobby. We had 2 queen beds, and our balcony overlooked the roof. We have stayed in Woods View and Courtyard View rooms in past visits, but couldn't pass up the price.
The Wilderness Lodge is one of the most breathtaking hotels anywhere. The theming is perfect in almost every detail - from the fireplaces to the lodge-pole pine trees! This is the least expensive of the deluxe resorts, but the only place that shows is in the room size. It's much smaller than the rooms at the Polynesian but bigger than the rooms at Port Orleans. Aside from this being our first visit to the Lodge in over 3 years, it was also our first visit NOT in December. While the Christmas decorations and the Lodge itself are perfect for the Christmas spirit, I was suprised to find that the resort was equally inviting in the springtime! The pool can be crowded at times, as can Roaring Forks.
Hopefully it wil change, but on this trip we found that the bus transportation just about always (seemingly with no rhyme or reason) went to Fort Wilderness on both the trip TO and FROM the desired destination. This got extremely annoying. With that being said, we hardly ever waited for a bus. The boat transportation was wonderful!
So, all in all, a wonderful experience. If the bus transportation gets better, I would not hesitate to give the Wilderness Lodge an "Outstanding" instead of the "recommended" I gave it this trip. We're headed back in August for almost 2 weeks at the Wilderness Lodge!
 
29 out of 29 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   Oct 5-13, 2001
Reviewer: kennyhues San Jose CA     June 17, 2002
The hotel itself is beautiful, and because of its muted decor, all woodsy and whatnot, it provides a welcome come-down from all the loud sights and sounds of the parks. Music aficionados, take note: The music loop that plays throughout the resort features some Aaron Copland compositions - pieces from Rodeo and Billy The Kid. The standard room is maybe a little small for the money, but it's nicely appointed and plenty of space for a couple. For a family of four it might be a little tight - a complaint that seems to go for all Disney hotels.

The pool is large, but even in the off-season and right after 9/11, when crowds were small, it was hard to find free deck chairs. Housekeeping was prompt, thorough, and friendly. We came back to towel sculptures and a note each night. Bell services and the front desk staff were a pleasure to interact with and quite prompt. A very pleasant young man named Fadi from Cyprus checked us in and, (I assume) upon seeing the "It's their 5th anniversary and the honeymoon they never had" note in our reservation file left by an attentive CRO CM, upgraded us from a wooded view to a lake view room without a word - it made for a lovely surprise when we entered and saw the view.

Roaring Forks served us great quickie breakfasts - greasy and disgusting and wonderful if you like that kind of thing, or you can cobble together a Continental brekkie if you prefer. Coffee at WDW is abysmal, of the instant variety, and at the Lodge it's no different. Develop a taste for tea as a wake-up beverage. Purchase the free-refill mug. It's worth it. The Roaring Forks manager replaced mine for free when I tried to buy a second one after losing the original one somewhere between Typhoon Lagoon and the Lodge.

Artist point is a great place for a nice dinner. We're from California, and appreciated the good-even-by-local-standards selection of Cali wines. The service was a little slow, but attentive and friendly.

Whispering Canyon Cafe didn't do anything for us. The theatrics of the wait staff are a bit much, and the food is about the same as at RF, just in bigger portions for lots more money.

Transportation was for the most part easy and quick from the Lodge. It's close enough to the Monorail tracks, though, that it could have had its own mono stop. Insyead, it makes do with buses, which run frequently enough. We never had to wait more than 15 minutes for a bus. There was a helpful CM posted at the bus stop to answer questions and radio the dispatcher about current needs. Resort-hopping by bus is not easy or convenient. We had dinner at the Animal Kingdom Lodge one evening and it took a really long time to get back to the WL.

It's the least expensive of the Deluxe resorts, but for my money it's THE place, offering a deluxe experience at a rate that's reasonable compared to other Disney resorts.
 
66 out of 66 people found this review helpful
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