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View Full Version : What do you like about VWL?


SueSue
02-19-2002, 07:03 PM
We are DVC members (home resort - OKW) We've stayed there many times, and love it. We've also been to BWV a few times, and love it as well. This summer we decided to branch out and try VWL. We are really looking forward to it, though we've never been there and don't know what to expect.

Please tell me everything you love about this DVC property. Can you use the main WL pool? How far a walk is it to the boat launch? Is there one section that is the best to stay in (for example - great view, easy access to certain places, etc.) What do you like to do when you stay here? Is it faster using the boat or bus going to MK?

Since we've never been before, I'd love to know EVERYTHING you can tell me.

Thanks for all your help. I always learn so much here on these boards, and know a big reason we always have such wonderful trips to WDW is because of all the help everyone offers!

loribell
02-19-2002, 07:11 PM
I can't help much since I have only visited, our first trip is this summer, but I'll tell you what I remember.

It is an absolutely beautiful property. It took mine and my mothers breath away when we walked in to the lobby. There is a spring that goes out of the lobby and down a fall into the main pool. Yes you are allowed to use any of the facilities at the WL. The Whispering Canyon looks like it is alot of fun but I have not eaten there yet.

I'm really not a good person to ask about how far a walk is. I guess my mind set is that I'm already walking a whole lot so I don't really notice a walk from the parking lot or a boat launch. I do believe that the bus area is closest to the villas.

I bet you Granny can give you lots of good info on this one.

Have fun!

Lori

DiznEeyore
02-19-2002, 07:20 PM
Everything! :D The highlights:

It's so cozy and relaxing there. It has such a peaceful feel, but it's only a few minutes away from the hustle and bustle of the MK. We love the decor and layout of the villas. The Iron Spike Room is so neat, with all of the Walt train memorabilia. I love all the cozy nooks around the main floor.

I love that the Lodge is only a quick walk away. I love that I feel comfortable just wandering around all by myself, talking to the cast members or other guests. I love walking down the hallway to Roaring Forks and feeling how cozy it is during "winter" and how cool it feels in the heat. I love going down and refilling my mug and just wandering around outside by the creek and the pool.

I loved that we had a view of the quiet pool and lake and could see much of the Electrical Water Pageant from our balcony.

And yes, you absolutely can use the main pool! :) It's just a short walk from the Villas, maybe 3 minutes? The boat launch dock to FW, the Contemporary or MK (we always took the boat to MK, so I can't comment on the bus, but it goes to the TTC and then you have to change to monorail or boat to get to the MK) is just a bit further. I love walking along the decking through the trees on our way there!

My ds loved all the kids' activities there. He did crafts, played on the beach, and raced rubber ducks!

The CMs are so friendly there. My dh has a recurring knee injury and was using a cane during Dec. Whenever we stopped into the Mercantile, they always wanted to know how he was doing that day.

We loved being Flag Family and getting to raise the WL flags with Ranger Stan -- definitely a highlight of our trip!

There's so much to love -- dh, ds & I can hardly wait to get back "home" in October!! :)

SueSue
02-19-2002, 07:45 PM
DiznEeyore - you mentioned some things of interest to me. How do you become "Flag Family" and what does that entail?

Also, what room were you in, because the view you had sounds fabulous!

Thanks for all your great comments. I'm sure we will love it!

PKS44
02-19-2002, 08:11 PM
No pictures or descriptions prepared me for the beauty of the WL/VWL resort complex...from the moment you drive past the security checkpoint under the gate you will be transported to the Pacific Northwest right there in Central Florida...the geyser, the spring, the pool, the lobby, the grounds, the hidden Mickeys, the chess and checker boards by the fireplace... we only visited the model rooms, but they too were so much cozier and nicer than any pictures I have seen, even the great pictures DaveH posted here on this site don't capture the feel of the place...WL/VWL is a take your breath away experience...Enjoy!

Paul

DVCinderella
02-19-2002, 08:33 PM
SueSue,

I would estimate the walk to the boat launch from the Villas is probably 3-5 minutes. The following link will take you to a picture of the resort map (including the Villas):

http://www.wdisneyw.co.uk/wlmap.html

The boat launch is #16. It would be more direct to exit the Villas by the Hidden Springs Pool (#22), and walk around the back of the resort.

I would definitely say that taking the boat to the MK will be faster than the bus. You would have to take the "Crockett" bus to the TTC, and then take either the ferry or the monorail to the MK. The WL boat is certainly more direct (10-15 minute ride).

I've stayed at the Lodge, but have yet to stay in the Villas, so I can't suggest a room view.

My DH and I really enjoyed the main pool. The resort is really breathtaking at night.

Granny
02-19-2002, 09:54 PM
You've received lots of good information on WL/VWL, but as Loribell said, I can hardly pass when someone asks about our "home".

PKS44 nailed it when he said you are instantly transported to the Great Northwest as soon as you clear the security guard shack. The sweeping drive up the hill to a huge entryway is great. Pine trees, and log & stone construction....every detail perfect. Look down at the sidewalks as you walk around the resort....animal tracks in the concrete!

The lobby of the WL....well, you'll see and you won't be disappointed. The six story fireplace made of slabs of stone. And the stone is colored to exactly represent the strata colors of the Grand Canyon.

Go up to the sixth floor and look down at the lobby. The giant totem. The teepee chandeliers. Then turn around and look out the back past Silver Springs, down to the pool, with Bay Lake as a perfect backdrop.

A fine dining restaurant at Artist Pointe. A rollicking good time at the Whispering Canyon "all you care to eat" bar-b-que restaurant with lots of fun for the kids (and adults who love to watch kids having fun).

And at the end of a long day in the parks, you return to the VWL accommodation of choice. Pure luxury, with the cozy feeling of being in the Northern woods. A nice, small quiet pool or walk over to the WL main pool with its slide coming down from the rocks.

I think if you can request a room on the upper floors, facing Bay Lake on the pool side...that's probably the best view. But, except for an apparent view of the garbage area someone described on these boards, I don't think you can get a disappointing view.

You will love VWL and WL. Enjoy. :)

DiznEeyore
02-20-2002, 08:40 AM
Originally posted by SueSue
DiznEeyore - you mentioned some things of interest to me. How do you become "Flag Family" and what does that entail?

Also, what room were you in, because the view you had sounds fabulous!

Thanks for all your great comments. I'm sure we will love it!
Definitely try to be Flag Family if you can! When you check in, ask if there is a morning during your stay when your family can raise the flags in the morning. If there is, they'll set it up for you. The night before you do it, they'll slip a little note under your door to remind you that "tomorrow's the day". It tells you to meet at the Guest Services desk and to bring your cameras. :)

We were met by the wonderful Ranger Stan (who mentioned to me that he is seriously considering retirement -- that made our experience all the more special to us, as Stan was so gracious and sweet) who handed us the five flags to be raised and took us (via all sorts of winding stairs -- really neat!) to the roof of the WL.

Up there, we had such an incredible view!! We each raised a flag (all except dh, who took photos) and then Stan took a couple group shots of us. He also gave us a beautiful commemorative certificate, which is in our scrapbook. :) We all agreed that it was one of the best parts of our trip!

As far as room views, Granny was right on with his suggestion to request a view of the Lake. Although sometimes they'll say there are no views of the lake. Granted, it's a little obstructed by trees, but you still see quite a bit! We had a dedicated two-bdrm villa on the fourth floor -- 4507. I would definitely request that villa again if we ever stay in a 2-brdm.

HTH! I can talk VWL forever (betcha knew that already!). :D

JonHM
02-20-2002, 08:51 AM
Here is a link to DaveH's wonderful VWL pictures:

http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=158339

spiceycat
02-20-2002, 09:02 AM
I had the horrible room - see the link - if you can't get the view of the lake or quiet pool - then make sure they put you near the elevators (this is quite close to the quiet pool views).

http://photos.yahoo.com/bc/spiceypj/lst?.dir=/Vacations&.view=t

JonHM
02-20-2002, 09:14 AM
to Bucky Larue's wonderful VWL gallery!

http://gatosinternational.com/disney/vwl/VWL.html

DiznEeyore
02-20-2002, 10:51 AM
Oh, spiceycat, I missed that thread with your photos somehow! I can't believe what a rotten view you had. :( Blech.

baileybrad
02-20-2002, 10:57 AM
The thing that I enjoyed about our stay at VWL in Feb.00 was the peaceful quietness of the area. You do not feel that you are in a busy place...you seem to in a remote area. It is a very nice respite from the parks each day. Very enjoyable stay was had by our family. HH is our home resort and we have stayed at all 3 on-site DVCs.

chicago641
02-20-2002, 11:02 AM
what configration was this room?ie;studio,1 bed...

DisneyPhD
02-20-2002, 01:00 PM
This is a good thread. I am finding it helpful. We just joined DVC a few weeks ago, our home resort if VWL. I am feeling regreat that we should of waited and got BCV. The DVC agent said it really doesn't matter what resort you is your home, but it seems after reading posts on the this board it does to the people here.

It is not that I don't like WL, I think it is a truely lovely resort. It is just that we are from Michigan and when we go to Florida, we want beach, sun and fun. A woodsy camping feel we can get by going up north for the weekend.

I love Y&B and hope to use the new BCV for many of our visist, but from what I am reading, VWL can't be beat!!!!!!!

DiznEeyore
02-20-2002, 01:14 PM
Originally posted by DisneyPhD
This is a good thread. I am finding it helpful. We just joined DVC a few weeks ago, our home resort if VWL. I am feeling regreat that we should of waited and got BCV. It is not that I don't like WL, I think it is a truely lovely resort. It is just that we are from Michigan and when we go to Florida, we want beach, sun and fun. A woodsy camping feel we can get by going up north for the weekend.

If it makes you feel any better, we are from Michigan, too, and *love* our VWL! It sure doesn't feel like up north (I lived & vacationed "up north" for years) or "camp-ish" to us! It feels like a luxury vacation in the Pacific Northwest! :)

MaryJ
02-20-2002, 01:56 PM
Does anyone have a picture of the spring that goes out of the lobby? Even though we were there last March, Florida was in the midst of a water shortage so the spring, falls, even the water fountains were turned off. We are going back in July, but I love to see a picture before we go.

lsyorke
02-20-2002, 02:44 PM
Our favorite resort pre-dvc was Y&BC but by buying at WLV we got last years points, so it was a no brainer. So maybe an add on is in our future??
WLV's are beautiful. We did the models at the resort before purchasing and DH loved the walkways and trees. Since we tend to go in the summer it was just much cooler at WLV. The location will be better for use traveling with 2 year old grandaughter.

spiceycat
02-20-2002, 03:39 PM
It was a studio - it did have two closets -

however right next to it was a 1bedroom and I don't think it had a much better view.

Room # 4562, so this would include #5562, 3562, 2562, and 1562 - I think that is all the floors.

Mooobooks
02-20-2002, 11:36 PM
One of the great things about staying at the Wilderness Lodge Villas is that you have full access to the Wilderness Lodge and all of its amenities.
We've found something at both the Wilderness Lodge and The Animal Kingdom Lodge that we've never found at any other hotel in WDW: we love to just sit and relax in the lobby. If you've seen the Disney traveling exhibition "The Architecture of Reassurance" then you'll understand what they've done with both hotels. They have created restful places that INVITE you to relax--and in the busiest place, the lobby!
One day we were too pooped to go the parks, my wife was many months pregnant, so we just sat in the lobby of the Wilderness Lodge with our laptops by the little spring at the back and had a lovely day (catching up on a little work in a surrounding like that still qualifies as a vacation day to us!).
Another time, we were at The Animal Kingdom, which closes at 5 pm. We had dinner reservations with another couple at Jiko's at the Animal Kingdom Lodge at 7 pm. We sure didn't want to go all the way back to Wilderness Lodge Villas, so we just sat in the lobby of The Animal Kingdom Lodge and took a nap. What a restful place! (And we weren't the only ones catching some Zzzzsss.)
The ambience which Disney has succeeded in capturing at both of these hotels is unique.

Synonymous
02-21-2002, 12:09 PM
Don't worry, DisneyPhD- you don't have to stick to your home resort. Our first trip was to our home at BWV, but each trip since then has been to VWL. We like VWL better, but we saved alot of money by buying at BWV instead of waiting for VWL (Of course, we later turned around and bought a few points at VWL, anyway.)