Just back from 8 nights at the Wilderness Lodge.

Discussion in 'Disney Resorts' started by JerseyJanice, Jun 18, 2002.

  1. JerseyJanice

    JerseyJanice RIP, Max!

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    I'll do a full report later as I'm trying to get caught up on my work.

    Sadly, I have to report that the transportation was extremely poor.

    If anyone has any quick questions, I'll be glad to answer them.

    F.y.i. (and I'll put this in the FAQ), if you want a smoking optional room, do NOT pay for a woodsview or courtyard view. It won't matter. Only a certain section of rooms are smoking. All are technically woodsview, but could be called standard view because the view is pretty poor.
     
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  3. lucki4

    lucki4 So sad it is over

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    When you have a chance, please let us know why the trasportation was so poor.
     
  4. Gary M

    Gary M DIS Veteran

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    When did they change the location of the smoking optional rooms? We were at WL, Feb. of this year and had an excellent location with a smoking optional room. We had a courtyard view in the "Bears Face". We have stayed in smoking optional rooms 5075 and 5077 more than once and these courtyard views are our favorites.
     
  5. rojoe

    rojoe Earning My Ears

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    We'll be there next week. Can you give me a quick run down of where the biggest transportation problems are? We'll have a car for all the parks but I was really looking forward to the boat transportation to MK. Thanks ! Rojoe


    P.S. How was everything else?? What time should you catch the boat for MK to be there when it opens??
     
  6. ColetteN

    ColetteN <font color=teal>If you find my link to the cool s

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    Please share the big transportation hangups and why it was so poor. I'm going in August and would like to be warned ahead of time. We won't have a car, so are relying completely on Disney Transportation (which is beginning to worry me :( ).

    I can't wait for your trip report.

    Colette
     
  7. JerseyJanice

    JerseyJanice RIP, Max!

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    The transportation is shared with Fort Wilderness. While the two resorts look close enough together on the maps, the drive from WL to FW seemed quite long.

    Getting to/from the Magic Kingdom was O.K. on the ferry, but only if you were using it during off-hours. To get there for park opening or leaving after the fireworks (!), it was horrific. I'm fairly certain there were only 4 boats servicing the 2 resorts, so the lines to get on the boat took forever. It was not fun standing on line in the heat for a half-hour with an exhausted 5 year old after the fireworks.

    About halfway through the trip, we found out that we could take the monorail or ferry to the TTC and a bus to WL from there. It was faster than waiting for the boat, but not much fun being in the monorail cattle herd and having to transfer to another mode of transport.

    The ride to Animal Kingdom is about an hour long. The bus goes WL to FW (BTW, that leg took as much time as it took to go from PO to Epcot or MGM on our last trip), then to Blizzard Beach and finally AK.
     
  8. kimmar067

    kimmar067 TAGS?? It's all about the 'likes' now!

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    Please post on the WL FAQ!!!! (I am also interested in the transportation situation:confused: )

    (Some picswould be nice, too;) !!)

    Sending some "Good Luck" pixie dust *~~*~~*~~*~~* out to corvair amy...she's probably checked in by now!!!!


    Countdown to WDW:
    1 month - 7 days - 19 hours - 38 minutes - WOOHOO!!! :bounce:
     
  9. gepetto

    gepetto <font color="red">Actually thought WebmasterAlex w

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    Welcome back, Janice! :) Sorry about your transportation problems. When we stayed there, WL shared with Polynesian and GF and it was no problem.
     
  10. kraftyone

    kraftyone Earning My Ears

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    My wife and I just returned from the Wilderness Lodge on Sunday, 6/16 after a five night stay. I had read the boards with some concern, as many complained of poor transportation. I must say that we thought the transportation was GREAT. The longest we waited for a boat or bus was six minutes (yes, I timed it), and most of the time we did not have to wait much at all.

    One thing to know is that the ferry schedule to MK changes both according to the time of day and the 'route' of the ferry. There are usually three boats in the 'loop' between the WL, FW and MK, and they go in opposite directions. (That is, one goes MK-FW-WL and one goes MK-WL-FW.) Therefore, you can often ask the boat driver where he is going next, and if it is not where you want to go, you can wait and get the next boat that is going the other direction. In other words, if you are trying to get to MK from the WL and the boat is stopping at FW first, just wait and there will probably be one coming from FW and thus going directly to MK. The system is somewhat confusing if you do not ask, but if you do so in a friendly way, the drivers are very accommodating and will help you out. Even if you have to go to FW first, the trip is only 22 minutes (again, I timed it).

    We thought the bus service to EPCOT, MGM, AL and Blizzard Beach was excellent. There were always a lot of buses and we saw them regularly, even when we were going somewhere else. (The buses to the AKL were far less frequent.) We did not go to Downtown Disney, but it seems that this is the one problem in the bus system for WL. One other thing: we went to an E-ride night, and it seems that they are not well coordinated with the WL. Because you usually have to take a boat to / from the MK, they have some problems when the boats stop running at 10.45 (and e-ride goes to 1.00). What you need to do is take the monorail to the TTC and then get a bus to WL. We only waited a few minutes, but I heard one woman complaining that she had waited for 45!

    Overall, we found the transportation to be far better than we had experienced at POFQ and POR. While we might have been fortunate, my sense is that--in most cases--people are just being a little too hard on Disney for its supposedly 'poor service.' For our money, the transportation was outstanding!
     
  11. JerseyJanice

    JerseyJanice RIP, Max!

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    Kraftyone, we returned the same day as you. We found the transportation to be very slow and inconvenient whenever we were going somewhere during peak times. Maybe you took the buses during off-hours?

    Everyone we talked to was as unhappy as we were with the transport system. BTW, the bus to Blizzard Beach was the same one going to AK.
     
  12. skiwee1

    skiwee1 DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for the update on the transportation. I was at the WL in May and thought the transportation at the CBR was 100% better then the WL busses and boats! At that time all the boats picked up WL then FW before heading to either MK or CR. There was no choice as to catching a boat that went directly to MK or CR. We always had to ride to FW first. I thought that was the biggest pain! The busses were even worse. It took forever just to get to FW before going anywhere else. It is much quicker to go through 7 bus stops at the CBR then to go to the FW and back. No lie! I loved the resort but until they fix the transportation they can have it. I am booked for the CR this October but if it doesn't come down in price then I will go with CBR. Of course if they change the problems at the WL then I would go back to there.
     
  13. JerseyJanice

    JerseyJanice RIP, Max!

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    I was also disappointed in the food court. The selections were far fewer than we had at PO-FQ on our last trip.

    Maybe I'm just not a deluxe kind of girl, but honestly, our stay at PO-FQ was better overall than WL. For that matter, we liked PO-FQ better than the Contemporary, too.
     
  14. kraftyone

    kraftyone Earning My Ears

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    Sorry to hear that your experience was so bad, JerseyJanice. We took the 8.30 a.m. buses to AK and EPCOT and the 8.30 a.m. boat to MK to get there a bit early, so maybe we missed the 'peak' times around 10.00 or so. (At least 10.00 is when I would estimate it was busiest). BTW, those buses filled to capacity so we did not stop at FW first; we just headed right to the parks. I found the boats to be punctual and relaxing, so even the few times we went to FW first, I was OK.

    I will say that while we stayed until the end at EPCOT and AK, we did not go home at the end of the day from MK. I would suspect that the crowds were bad then. Our experiences at EPCOT and AK, though, were good.

    I would agree with you on the food court at WL. It is much too small, with limited options. (I asked a cast member and they agreed, saying that the architect had 'misjudged' the number of people who would be eating there.) I, too, think the POFQ food court is better.

    Overall, the WL is great, though if one has small children, a moderate might be a better choice. (Of course, if you can afford it, the Polynesian is the best, IMHO)
     
  15. Belle5

    Belle5 DIS Veteran

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    I agree that WL and FW sharing the busses is an idea gone bad! In March we planned a lot of FW activities for our trip and the bus rides were ridiculous because of always having to go to FW and then WL! What a waste of time. We had never had to do that before!
     
  16. jwfla422

    jwfla422 DIS Veteran/Philly Native

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    Sorry about your experience with WL's transportation. That was one of the main reasons we stopped staying there in the past. This trip coming up I plan to valet the car so I'll be able to valet at other hotels as well. I also plan to use the car more.

    I just recall waiting on buses for 15-20 minutes at a time. But, I also have to admit, we had the same experiences with waits at DL (now POR). I guess it all depends when you're there. I have also seen lines at the WL's boat to MK too. But, we also had an hr and a half wait at DL for the boat to DD, so we gave up on that. It is all relative.

    Are you referring to "Roaring Forks" as the WL's food court. Since it was designed as a "fast food quick bites" type place (I don't know if I'd compare it to the food courts at the moderates). I know there is a lot more selection at the moderate food courts because there is more room to accomodate more food selections.
     
  17. Beanie

    Beanie ~*Snoopy Fan Forever*~

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    Sorry to hear about your problems with the Transportation at WL, JJ...When we stayed there last month, we didn't have any problems with transportation, but then again, we have strange hours, so maybe that is why...LOL...

    Welcome back!! :)
     
  18. dBugged

    dBugged <a href="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/index.

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    Ouch! It sounds like they really changed the transportation since we were at WL last September. The busses didn't stop at FW and stopped at the Poly and GF and then on to the park or destination of choice, except for the TTA direct bus. The travel times were pretty speedy. On the return trip, it was great because the WL was the first stop. I remember reading about how lousy the transportation was last year before we went and I was pleseantly surprised. However, now it sounds like someone made a bad tactical decision. I remember the ride from FW to WL when we took the Mear's shuttle from the airport. It was a haul, especially considering that they were next door. It's a shame to hear that they messed with it. Ick!
     
  19. KLR-wlv

    KLR-wlv DIS Veteran

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    We stayed at WL in May 2 years ago and the boats to the MK from Wl and FW were separate and it worked very well the whole trip. Then they added the villas on and combined the boats. We went a year ago and the boat transportation was really bad. Some mornings since it stopped at FW first, the boat was already full and 1-2 people could get on so we had to wait for 3 boats. Then returning, they stopped at FW first making it a long trip back. I really don't understand why, when they added 200 or so units, they cut back on the boat service which they tout as a plus to staying there. It is unfortunate because I really love the place.
     
  20. JerseyJanice

    JerseyJanice RIP, Max!

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    I came home to big job cuts at my company and wasn't in a great mood.

    I reported the negatives (transport, small food court--if you can call it that--and not great view even though we paid for woodsview).

    But there were many, many positive things about the Lodge. On the whole, we had a wonderful stay.

    First off, no denying how beautiful the place is. The details everywhere are simply amazing. The floors are not identical to each other. All of them have little sitting nooks tucked away in different spaces where you can relax and enjoy the view.

    The CM's are very nice and enthusiastic. If you can, use your American Express card to take advantage of the White Glove Treatment. We were there under two separate reservations (4 nights were a gift from my in-laws and 4 nights we paid for), so we had to check in and out on the day of the new reservation. Therefore, we got two White Glove packages.

    The White Glove package included two neck straps perfect for displaying pins plus two White Glove pins (so we got four of each in total). The CM's approached my son (5 years old) and traded very nice pins for the AmEx ones. He got into the pin thing, and I have to say it was fun. It was especially nice to start with four free pins (the AmEx ones).

    The pool was my son's favorite part of the trip. He'd have swum all day and night if we let him. The scenery around the pool is spectacular. We loved seeing Old Faithful go off. The pool by the Villas is very nice. They bubble water up from the bottom randomly so it's like a real spring.

    We ate at Whispering Canyon for a breakfast and a dinner and enjoyed both meals immensely. (I'll be posting restaurant reviews on the Restaurant as soon as I can write them.) The wait staff is a hoot, and the food was good.

    We got tired of Roaring Forks' selection by the end of the trip, but I have to say that we liked the place overall. Everything we had was well prepared.

    The beach near the marina is a wonderful place to relax and see the Electric Water Pageant (I love that!) as well as the MK fireworks. There's a playground there too that my son enjoyed playing in while we stretched out on chaise lounges.

    My opinion is that if you're there to enjoy a resort and its amentities, it's a fabulous choice. However, if you're looking to do the parks commando style, the transportation system is not conducive to that. At least it wasn't last week.
     
  21. lucki4

    lucki4 So sad it is over

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    Thanks for posting the update. I gues transportation is just hit or miss and when we go, I hope it's good for us :smooth:
    Sorry about the job layoff and I am glad that most of the trip and WL was very enjoyable.
     

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