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Old 09-06-2010, 08:35 AM   #1
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beebeeryan's Avatar
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Upstate NY
Posts: 695

Just back...Villas Wilderness Lodge...FABulous!

We are just back from our first family trip (DH, Me, DS 7 DS 4) to WDW! Departed Friday Aug 27 and returned Sat Sep 4. We had a very early flight and landed just before 10am in Orlando. Happy Limo was waiting for us, bags were off in a jiffy and we were at the Wilderness Lodge checking in before 11am. I had done online check-in and there was 1 person ahead of us, but a manager? (guy in suit, not ranger outfit) came out and called someone to take us right away further down the counter. Got our packet and since there was a line for the concierge (we wanted our Undercover Tourist tickets put on our KTTW card, the CM who checked us in said he'd do it for us and went off to do it in the back. Our 1 bedroom villas was ready and we were able to go straight there and get settled. I did not make any requests and we were on the 2nd floor overlooking the walkway from the lodge to the villas. It was quiet and first room close (around the corner) to the elevators. Perfect. I saw no issues with the room, seemed in good condition, clean, Mousekeeping was great, we got towel animals the most days. We only saw people twice all week on our floor. Groceries we ordered from Garden Grocer were sent up by Bell Services promptly. We changed and went to grab a bite at Roaring Forks and headed straight to MK from there. We were at MK before 12:30pm. Only waited 5 minutes for a boat. Rides were pretty much walk on, or max 10 minute waits although it seemed busy, but we walked in during the Move It Shake It party parade thingy.

All in all, the entire week after that was pretty quiet. Even that weekend we used Fastpass a little, but it was hardly even necessary. The Mountains had 15-20 minute waits sometimes, but even those were walk on or 5-10 minutes most of the time. Of course, it takes 5 minutes just to walk from the queue area to get to the loading areas. Kids got to see most of the characters with mostly minimal wait times, though those lines were longer than anything else. We were prepared for afternoon thunder storms but it only rained a little the first Saturday and then nothing the rest of the week. And temps were not too bad, yes hot, yes humid, but some days were actually not too bad at all. We spent morning at the parks, most afternoons at the pool which the boys just loved. My scared little boys were braving the slide 20 times in a row and the little one learned to swim underwater. Then we'd head back to MK in the evenings for dinner or just after for a bit. Luckily DS4 was just 40 inches and the dare-devil loved all the rides we could go on. Splash Mountain being by for the favorite to the point we did it 4 times in one day!

We only took the boat to MK and buses everywhere else and honestly never had a problem with the buses. Once or twice waited the full 20 minutes but mostly it was 10 minutes or less and the rides were quick enough even stopping at the GF on the way. Buses were never full, we always sat down. Of course, we never closed a park. We did however make pretty much all parks at rope drop almost everyday.

And we got some nice chocolates as a thank you from the villas staff after experiencing 2 brief power outages, although our room still had power we did have to use the stairs, once we found them, to get in and out twice. CM's were everywhere with flashlights helping people find there way around the second time. The quiet pool was closed for almost 2 days during this power issue, but since our kids loved the main pool it didn't matter much to us.

Artist Point was excellent I thought, although I was surprised to see people coming in to eat in their swim cover ups or tees thrown over their swimsuits. It's a nicer restaurant and that seemed inappropriate. We enjoyed Whispering Canyon as well. Roaring Forks was fine although limited, we didn't eat there too much other than to grab a quick breakfast for us, we had grocery things for the kids to keep their routines. It was never too packed and always places to sit, although we didn't usually sit. DH was a little annoyed the pool bar closed so early, usually before 8pm it was closed up.

Super trip and now I want to go back, but it's gonna be a few years.

Thanks to the DIS Boards, I read it religiously for months beforehand planning this trip and felt really prepared and knew all the little tricks and secrets and it helped a lot.

Trying to add some pictures to this...

Barbara , DH , DS 11 DS 8
DS's Magic Moment
Aug 1984 ~ Dec 1992 ~ May 1998 (POFQ) ~ Aug 2010 (VWL-Video) ~ Aug 2011 (CR) PTR Video TR~ Aug 2013 (YC)Review Dining Video

Last edited by beebeeryan; 09-07-2010 at 12:42 PM.
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