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View Full Version : what do you love about the Wilderness Lodge?


lissiesmum
01-14-2008, 08:57 AM
I will be traveling in the summer with DD4 and looking for a MK area resort. I am thinking of either Contemporary Garden Wing or Wilderness Lodge. I just don't get excited about the WL though, and I know it is a favorite for many many people and was hoping you could share with me what you/your kids love. I know the fireplace is a big draw, but we'll be there in summer. How is the pool waterslide? The boat ride to the MK? How long does it take to get there? If you want to go to Epcot, can you take a boat to MK then take the monorail there? Do you use the Fort Wilderness facilities, like the campfire movies at night? Could you spend a day just hanging around the resort? Thanks so much for your help, I want to feel that WL magic like the rest of you :wizard:

eliza61
01-14-2008, 09:04 AM
I will be traveling in the summer with DD4 and looking for a MK area resort. I am thinking of either Contemporary Garden Wing or Wilderness Lodge. I just don't get excited about the WL though, and I know it is a favorite for many many people and was hoping you could share with me what you/your kids love. I know the fireplace is a big draw, but we'll be there in summer. How is the pool waterslide? The boat ride to the MK? How long does it take to get there? If you want to go to Epcot, can you take a boat to MK then take the monorail there? Do you use the Fort Wilderness facilities, like the campfire movies at night? Could you spend a day just hanging around the resort? Thanks so much for your help, I want to feel that WL magic like the rest of you :wizard:

We love the WL in the summer. After a hot day in the parks, WL is cool & shady and peaceful.
The boat ride to MK will take you 10 minutes TOPS. It is a leisurely ride.
Yes, you can take the boat to the monorail and then hop the monorail over to epcot. WL also has direct buses to the parks. I've never waited more than 20 minutes for one (but that's not a long time IMO).
You can see the movies at night at FT. Wilderness, although I've never done it. You also have the electric water parade at night.
My kids loved the pool but it is smaller than the contemps pool. Every time we went to the pool there were cm hosting games for the kids that were a lot of fun. There is also a quiet pool

DisLUV
01-14-2008, 09:22 AM
For me it is the atmosphere. I love the feel of the lodge after a long day in the parks. It is especially great during the christmas holidays. I have stayed at the CR in the tower on the MK side and it was AWSOME but I still enjoy the lodge more!

Jaymie
01-14-2008, 09:48 AM
We'll be there for the first time in 9 days and I'm interested in why everyone loves it so much too. I'd like to hear about the slide at the pool too. We were at POR in July and my son loved the slide. He's only 3 but he's a daredevil. I'm hoping he'll be allowed on the slide at WL too.

LilGMom
01-14-2008, 10:08 AM
WL is our absolute favorite! As soon as we walk into the gorgeous and inviting lobby we sigh a sigh of relief and can feel any stresses that we brought with us leave. The colors are warm and inviting, the atmosphere is homey and we've never had a bad experience (minus a misbehaving son ;) ) at WL or VWL. We also love the convience of taking a nice little boat ride to the MK.

MAKHayes-DisneyDiva
01-14-2008, 10:32 AM
Subscribing!

PrincessBride07
01-14-2008, 10:45 AM
I love the National parks, especially in places like the Rockies, Yosemite, and Denali. The WL reminds me of places like that. Though I might not be able to step out of the lodge to see buffalo or elk, the MK isn't bad ;) . It is kinda like having two great worlds put into one.

CANDICE
01-14-2008, 11:44 AM
I had the same feelings about WL before my first visit (New Year's 2006). My DH wanted to stay there due to the fact that he is an outdoorsman and it kinda fit into his personality...I wanted to stay at the GF, but it was just entirely too expensive. So, I gave in and stayed at WL and it was WONDERFUL. The theming was great but not too outdoors...I really felt like I was in an upscale mountain home. We are going back in 2009/2010 for the week between Christmas and New Year's and I can tell you that I am excited about staying at the WL again. We did spend some time in the game room and had fun there as well as the pool and hot tubs. Maybe we'll venture out some day and stay somewhere else, but for now it is WL for us. You really can't beat the value of this resort. Low rates for deluxe amenities. (Low compared to GF, BC, YC, BW, etc)

tgropp
01-14-2008, 12:09 PM
The best part of staying at the Wilderness Lodge is grabbing a cup of coffee in the morning or a glass of wine in the evening, going to floor 4 or 5 at the front of the hotel, and curling up in the big leather chairs and couches beside the small fireplaces and watching the world go by down in the lobby. Also at the rear of the hotel lobby going out on the balconies (floors 4 -6) and getting a view of the courtyard, pool the lake and discovery Island is soooooo relaxing.

Smile4Me
01-14-2008, 03:10 PM
Glad to hear so many people love it! I can't wait to stay there in Sept! And thats only another 7 months....aaaahh!!:eek:

KIRSTIN'S MOMMY
01-14-2008, 04:16 PM
We love it because it feels upscale without feeling "stuffy". You can hang out in one of the big leather chairs in the lobby and put your feet up without feeling like someone will look at you funny. We love the fact that everything is under one roof and we don't have to walk to a "main" building for food or coffee. We love the pool area, my dd is 8 and we're headed for our 5th stay at the Lodge after trying out a couple of other resorts. My dd told us after our stay at CSR "This trip didn't feel like Disney World, it just felt like a regular hotel. When are we going back home to the WL?" That said it all to us, and we can't wait to be back there in May.

lissiesmum
01-14-2008, 07:24 PM
thank you all for your replies, I am beginning to feel those warm fuzzies! Could someone tell me if the pool has one of those walk in areas (I think it's called zero entry)? I think I am really starting to warm up to the WL. I like the close proximity to MK, but, at night it seems like there is plenty to do whether you walk over to Fort Wilderness and see a campfire movie under the stars, or watch the Electrical Water Pageant, or take the boat over to the Contemporary for dinner or move on from there over to the Poly. Which brings me to another question, if you were to make your way over to the Poly for the Spirit of Aloha show, is that the best way to get there, and how long would it take to get there? Also, one last question...is Fort Wilderness close enough to walk to, or is there some kind of internal bus system that has to take you out there? Thanks again for your replies!

jakenzie32
01-14-2008, 08:55 PM
There is not a zero entry into the pool as far as I recall. There is a kiddie pool. The slide is a typical slide, I didn't think it was any better than the one at The Caribbean. I did not get to relax in the leather chairs b/c I was with my 3 and 4 yr. old children. We requested a room with a castle view, which we received. The Unofficial Guide has a suggestion of rooms to request. My dd thought this was particularily amazing, to be able to see the castle out her bedroom window. We also enjoyed the fireworks from our balcony. The light parade is not spectacular, but something worth doing if you are just hanging out anyway. You can see it from the pier. During one of our resort days we walked to Fort Wilderness Campground. There is a service road with a paved trail next to it. Once at Fort Wildernss we took the kids through the petting zoo and for a pony ride (remember to bring a few bucks with you for the pony ride) You also can walk through the horse stable and see the amazing Cleidsdale? sp? horses. The walk is fine for adults, but we took strollers for the kids. You also may want to carry some liquid refreshments. I don't think I would make the walk at night as it is quite secluded and gets dark. The creatures in the forest (crocs etc.) would freak me out more than anything. Another plus of staying at the Lodge are the two restaurants.

Possible downsides-The quick service (counter)had an adequate, but limited menu compared to the food court venues at some of the other hotels. My dh and I also bumped our knees quite a few times on the wood corners of the high beds, this was just annoying. I also thought the room would be a little larger. I don't know if the balcony is counted as room space, but our room at The Caribbean seemed just as big.

We enjoyed our stay, but when we spend that much on a room again we will probably try Animal Kingdom prior to returning (but the beds look the same as the Lodge, ouch). In the past we have stayed at the mods, but this summer we will be doing PoP.

DizneyNutz
01-14-2008, 09:19 PM
thank you all for your replies, I am beginning to feel those warm fuzzies! Could someone tell me if the pool has one of those walk in areas (I think it's called zero entry)? I think I am really starting to warm up to the WL. I like the close proximity to MK, but, at night it seems like there is plenty to do whether you walk over to Fort Wilderness and see a campfire movie under the stars, or watch the Electrical Water Pageant, or take the boat over to the Contemporary for dinner or move on from there over to the Poly. Which brings me to another question, if you were to make your way over to the Poly for the Spirit of Aloha show, is that the best way to get there, and how long would it take to get there? Also, one last question...is Fort Wilderness close enough to walk to, or is there some kind of internal bus system that has to take you out there? Thanks again for your replies!

FW is close enough to walk, but I would suggest the boat ride to FW instead (especially at night time) since it is unlighted.

lissiesmum
01-15-2008, 08:18 PM
thanks for answering all my questions! I have a lot to think about and of course am nowhere near picking a resort yet...back to the drawing board :)

danielle782001
01-15-2008, 08:34 PM
1) Roaring Forks is an excellent cafe... tons of hot and cold choices for all hours of the day
2) Atmosphere is relaxing and beautiful
3) Boat to MK and Friendship boat (we used that to get to Chef Mickey and Hoop Dee Doo)
4) Walking/biking distance to FW
5) Beach playground
6) Pool area is wonderful
7) Whispering Canyon is one of our favorite table-service on property
8) Wagon rides to FW
9) The pool/water fall feature that starts in the lobby is amazing
10) The lobby is something you must see! Truly breath-taking
11) Rooms with a view of the lake and/ woods
*not a fan of the rooms overlooking the pool (too loud)
12) Water parade at night

13) Most important.... it feels like our second home. We are just comfortable there!:love:

DizneyNutz
01-15-2008, 08:51 PM
The Poly is the only good resort to walk to the TTC where you can get on the monorail to Epcot. The CR, Poly and GF are all on the monorail loop for the MK. So if wanting to go to Epcot, unless staying at the Poly, you will have to get off of one monorail and board another to get to Epcot. You can do this from the WL by taking the boat to the CR and switching monorail at the TTC, but it is probably quicker to take the bus to Epcot.

Chereya
01-16-2008, 05:10 PM
We requested a room with a castle view, which we received. The Unofficial Guide has a suggestion of rooms to request. My dd thought this was particularily amazing, to be able to see the castle out her bedroom window. We also enjoyed the fireworks from our balcony.


What room type do you need to book to request a castle or MK view?

Chereya

Treacle44
01-16-2008, 06:32 PM
We recently stayed at VWL, BCV and SSR and out of them all VWL won. There's just something so homely and welcoming about the place. Just felt so relaxed and happy there :love: . The structure is just so breathtaking, there are interesting things to look at everywhere.

The pool isn't as wonderful as some of the other resorts (obviously Stormalomg Bay was amazing) but it's still v nice. The restaurant options are pretty good there too.

We used the boat once and it was fine, took longer going than coming bakc though. The bus was superfast to Mk though, we used it a lot.

x

eyeheartgoofy
01-16-2008, 08:51 PM
You know, if you don't feel the love, I don't see a reason to try to sell yourself on WL. Everyone has their own tastes, know what I mean? Personally, the Contemporary and Poly hold no appeal to me (except for the monorail location).

Anyway, it was love at first sight when I saw the Wilderness Lodge picture in a travel brochure. The moment I walked into the lobby, my jaw just dropped.

I love the isolation. I feel like I'm a million miles from the hustle and bustle of Disney. For me, it is just a nice place to relax and unwind. I also like that it is all under one roof. No walking outside in inclement weather to get a snack. The walkway from the bus depot is covered as well ... WL was my first stay on Disney Property, so I suppose it does have the sentimental thing going for it as well.

farmbabe
01-16-2008, 09:22 PM
Everything!! My family just got back today after 6 days at WL. So sad to be home...but the trip was great and WL was fantastic! :goodvibes

DW mouser
01-16-2008, 09:32 PM
You can just ride the boat over to the Poly for the Aloha show. We ride over there and get on the monorail. It's right next door!!! Staying there in March. It's the only resort we did a repeat visit too!!:dance3:

bradisgoofy
01-17-2008, 03:43 AM
The slide is a twisty fun trip but no comparison to Stormalong Bay. Did you know the water feature in the lobby goes all the way to the pool and there is a "current" you can swim against where the water empties into the pool?

Angela Kay
01-17-2008, 09:44 AM
What room type do you need to book to request a castle or MK view?

Chereya

Woods View is what a friend of mine had and she was able to see the castle.

To the OP, the WL is something that really has to be seen in person. The videos and pics don't do it justice. When you walk in, you're just immediatley drawn to it's warmth. It's one of those resorts that's just welcoming. To me, it makes the vacation more relaxing. I swear I could have spent the entire week there and been perfectly happy.

mickeystoontown
01-17-2008, 10:53 AM
Subscribing! We have booked a 10 day stay at the WL in June. I can hardly wait! Everybody thinks we are crazy to want to stay at the WL since we live in a log home and we've got lots of seclusion, bunnies, racoons, deer, squirrels, etc. in our yard all the time. I'm already counting down the days!

lissiesmum
01-18-2008, 08:31 PM
Thank you all for your posts! I have had a really hard time choosing which resort to stay at and the WL seemed like a good bet for us. Different resorts appeal to different people for sure...I am one of those people who really have no desire to stay at the Poly or Grand Floridian! I would just like the idea of the monorail, but besides that there is no appel there. I really like the Epcot resorts, but the theme is Atlantic seaboard and I already live here and I don't think it's a theme my four year old would care too much about. I don't want to stay in a value, and the only mod I'd stay in would be POFQ probably. But I really want to stay in a deluxe, but one that won't break the bank. I am about 99% sure about the WL now. I ran into a colleague that stayed and she showed me her photo album and it just hit me as a "wow" place to be. There's just that 1% of me that is still thinking about the AKL. I'm going to be booking in a few months so I will certainly be reading more as the days go on! Thanks again for your posts, and if anyone has anything to add, please do :)

DonnaL
01-19-2008, 07:44 PM
For above poster who asked about MK view.......I don't believe any rooms at WL are listed at MK views, however, that said.... with some woods view rooms on the 4th, 5th or 6th (concierge) floor you will have a limited view of MK fireworks. I think the rooms are located near the beaver pond, but, only the higher floors will have any view at all because of the trees. And, as another poster said.....even if WL isn't your style.......when you walk through that door for the first time....it is absolutely breathtaking. We're DVC members, with our home resort at VWL and no matter how many times we walk into the lobby.......I still get that feeling of awe. We have not done a "park free" trip in all the years we've owned DVC, but, on our last trip (two weeks ago) I told my DH sometime soon I want to do just a "resort" trip......visit no parks at all.....just hang out by the quiet pool at VWL, read, relax, have relaxing dinners at several of the resorts, etc. Granted we were there during a non peak period (1/4 thru 1/11), but, the resort was practically deserted during the afternoon hours........I would love the feeling of having the place practically to ourselves!!!

goodguy595
02-13-2008, 03:28 PM
Great reviews by everyone. I am planning on staying at the WL. Thanks

Atchley
02-13-2008, 05:41 PM
We are staying at WL in July. We are so excited. Decided to splurge and go for deluxe this stay. I hope we don't like it too much. I don't know if we could afford it every Disney vacation.:scared1:

spalady
02-13-2008, 08:24 PM
On our last visit we went to WL to eat at Whispering Canyon and fell in love with it~we are making another trip down this summer and will book WL.

IWISHFORDISNEY
02-13-2008, 10:16 PM
OK no flames please. I am the oddball that likes AKL over WL. Yes it was pretty at Christmas but I just was not into the whole lodge thing. I tried to sell it to myself and ended up missing my favorite AKL. Not wasted trip because I love WDW but not as magical as AKL for me. The lodge was pretty but the trasportation was truely just horrible. Sorry if this isnt what you wanted to hear but I just dont feel the love for WL. I would love to try CR after having to go through the hotel every time we wanted to use the monorail last trip, I would go with CR if I could choose between the two. My other favorite area is the Epcot resorts for the awsome location.

Traci35
02-14-2008, 07:37 PM
We are staying at WL Dec. 7- Dec.13. We are so looking forward to the Christmas decorations. And curling up in front of the fireplace and enjoying all the decorations with a cup of hot chocolate with my Dh and son after a long hard day :laughing: at MK sounds divine!

I am also hoping to get some excellent family pic's there for the Christmas card!

MAKHayes-DisneyDiva
02-14-2008, 08:31 PM
OK no flames please. I am the oddball that likes AKL over WL. Yes it was pretty at Christmas but I just was not into the whole lodge thing. I tried to sell it to myself and ended up missing my favorite AKL. Not wasted trip because I love WDW but not as magical as AKL for me. The lodge was pretty but the trasportation was truely just horrible. Sorry if this isnt what you wanted to hear but I just dont feel the love for WL. I would love to try CR after having to go through the hotel every time we wanted to use the monorail last trip, I would go with CR if I could choose between the two. My other favorite area is the Epcot resorts for the awsome location.

This is why I love WDW so much - something for everyone! I am deciding between CR, WL, and YC for June 09.

duffy
02-14-2008, 09:31 PM
Add me to the list of Lodge lovers! I loved curling up in one of the big cozy chairs in the lobby and sipping my coffee each morning. Despite being in a huge lobby, with a very high ceiling, I always felt cozy and private. There are so many little nooks scattered about-my favorite is on the 4th floor, directly above the entrance. It has another, obviously smaller fireplace and more incredibly cozy furniture.

I can't wait to go back!