Pull up a rocker, it's a Wilderness Lodge Trip Report!

Discussion in 'Disney Resorts' started by WDWKOOK, Sep 5, 2012.

  1. WDWKOOK

    WDWKOOK NOW WITH LESS TAG!

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    I recently posted a WL/CL review in April. My BLT TR is coming up soon!

    DD13, DH and I stayed club level at Wilderness Lodge's Old Faithful Club from 8/21 - 30. We were celebrating our 25th anniversary and this was our 3rd stay totaling 27 nights at WL/CL in the past year. We also stayed a total of 7 nights between BWI/CL and BLT this past year.

    We spent 3 wonderful nights at BLT in a one bedroom villa then drove over at 0930 to WL in four minutes flat. As usual, we were met in the port cochere by a smiling club level greeter/runner who wished us a happy anniversary and escorted us up to the 7th floor after DH parked the car.

    Sterrie checked me in while DH made his way to the lounge for some pineapple, ('pre-breakfast breakfast' - more on this later). I was given two anniversary pins with "25" marked in Sharpie which we wore once to each park.

    The room I had requested, 7127 was ready! It is one of only two rooms that directly face the WL courtyard and Bay Lake, 7035 is the North Wing equivalent. The newly rehabbed room looked even better in person and a CL welcome gift of chocolates was on the bed.


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    Our Lodgekeeper, Jonnett is a gem and is part of the reason we have twice requested 7127. She is very creative and generous with towel animals:

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    She truly surprised us on our last day with the most unexpected, generous and thoughtful gifts for DD:

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    Jonnett is an excellent housekeeper with a great attention to detail. I did notice, however, that this visit toiletries weren't being replenished. When I left a note with the tip once, I received one of each toiletry, but that was it the entire stay. (I don't know who the housekeeper was that day.) I asked the club level manager if housekeepers were now supposed to leave fewer toiletries, but he wasn't aware of any change. Later that day, I found this smiley-faced bag on our door from the manager:

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    We upheld our check-in day tradition of what we like to call a 'pre-breakfast breakfast'. DH has some pineapple, etc... in the lounge and then we head to WCC where he has the skillet breakfast:

    Canyon Skillet
    All You Care To Enjoy $16.49 per person

    Scrambled Eggs, roasted Red Potatoes, Bacon, Sausage, Waffles, Buttermilk Biscuits, and Sausage Gravy.








    DD and I tried the spinach and feta egg white omelet and it was delicious:

    Egg White Omelet - served with spinach, pico, feta, and chipotle barbecue served with roasted red potatoes and a Biscuit $11.99


    As always, we were entertained by all the fun antics of the servers and DD was happy to be given a menu signed by 'Slim,' one of the hilarious CMs.








    In honor of our anniversary, we ate at Artist Point on our arrival night. Our anniversary was noted in our reservation and we received two complimentary glasses of sparkling wine, (DH kindly offered his glass to me;)) and we also received some amuse bouche (a small serving/tasting of soup in this case).

    DH and I ordered the Buffalo Strip Steak:

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    Our buffalo was disappointing as portions were inedible (tough) and the accompanying side was rather small, but quite tasty. The waitress noticed we had left some of the steak on our plate, admonished us for not telling her it was tough:confused3, then told us she had taken our most expensive appetizer off the bill, which we appreciated.






    For appetizers, DD and I ordered the Smokey Portobello Soup and it was delicious:

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    DH loved his Alaskan King Crab and Sweet Corn Fritter. One complimentary serving of berry cobbler and three spoons was brought out for dessert which was quite tasty, but DD doesn't like cobbler, and we were never asked by our server if we wanted to order dessert so DD later ate a club level dessert.

    Our server had a tendency to speak to us as she walked away to fetch water, bread etc... I would have to turn around to listen to her as she would be walking away from our table, then returning. For this level of Disney dining, I felt both the service and our main course just didn't cut it for us to want to return anytime soon.​
     
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  3. WDWKOOK

    WDWKOOK NOW WITH LESS TAG!

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    We have really enjoyed our meals at Trail's End. We had only previously tried the TE dinner buffet which was very good. This trip, we tried the breakfast buffet and lunch and they were wonderful, too.

    The best buffet dish (IMHO) is the BBQ pulled pork Eggs Benedict - wow! It was so delicious that DH doesn't care to go back to Kona Cafe for their pulled pork hash dish (The Somoan). They also offer Mickey Waffles, fresh fruit, quiche dishes, breads, eggs, meats, gravy, biscuits...

    Lunch was also great! I had the catfish which was lightly breaded and pan cooked with 3 large, fluffy (not hard and crunchy) hushpuppies, a great spicy remoulade sauce and cole slaw that was warm not cold. DD and DH had the Johnny Cake BLT with a side of Hoppin' John and turnip greens, (not DD, she had the homemade chips;)).

    Dessert was a big hit with this ice cream devotee. I had the Sticky Bun Sundae: Butter pecan ice cream with caramel sauce, pecans, whipped cream and a small sticky bun in the middle - served in a jar! DH liked, but wasn't crazy about, his pecan pie with a Jack Daniels whipped cream. But, DD loved her S'mores dessert made with chocolate mousse, large marshmallows and chocolate sauce.


    Trail's End is located next door to Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue (Pioneer Hall), in between the horses/ponies and marina at Ft. Wilderness. It's an easy and pleasant 15 minute walk from WL or you can also take the Blue Flag boat or even the FW bus.

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    MENU



    He (she?) watched over us both meals since we had the same table twice, but different servers:
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    BREAKFAST BUFFET:



    In addition to fresh fruit, cottage cheese with pineapple, yogurt, etc... and a dessert section...


    Wonderful lox/salmon:
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    Breakfast pizza, eggs, BBQ pulled pork Eggs Benedict:
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    The BBQ pulled pork Benedict is delicious! It is an English muffin served with BBQ pulled pork, a bit of BBQ sauce and topped with a poached egg. It is similar to The Samoan at Kona, but DH declared it, "Even better!" This is now his favorite WDW breakfast:
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    BBQ pulled pork, hash browns:
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    Sausage links, bacon, biscuits:
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    Oatmeal, cheese grits, gravy:
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    French toast sticks, Mickey waffles, Cinnamon rolls, apple tart:
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    Various breads:
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    LUNCH-DESSERTS​



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    Back to WL...



    One morning, I noticed that all of the bushes were being removed from the area between the WL side entrance and the bus stop. By the afternoon, all of the mature foliage had been removed and in its place were small shrubs:



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    This happened in almost the blink of an eye, and if I hadn't seen it in progress, I probably wouldn't have even noticed, that's how quickly everything was replaced. I asked a worker why perfectly good bushes were being removed/destroyed. He said that Disney is worried that people could hide in tall shrubbery near common areas, like walkways and bus stops so they want everything replaced with short shrubs:confused:. The next day we walked from the TTC to the Poly and workers were doing the same thing near the walkways there. Some mature bushes had been left, but they had been completely stripped of their leaves and were bare:sad2:
     
  4. WDWKOOK

    WDWKOOK NOW WITH LESS TAG!

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    Club level lounge offerings were basically the same as in April with the welcome addition of sushi (and tons of wasabi) on Wednesdays:

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    These are the daily menus, subject to change :


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    Some lounge photos from August:

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    This WONDERFUL sign in front of the lounge made only a short appearance before the Disney Gods decided it needed formal Disney God approval (or disapproval:mad:):

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    Unfortunately, the beloved nightly cobbler variations/recipes changed from our previous visits. Artist Point prepares a few cobblers everyday which are served for dessert in the CL lounge. Usually there is a berry cobbler, most notably a strawberry-peach, or an apple cobbler.

    This visit, a blueberry cobbler was added. The blueberry itself was delicious, though one evening the topping was undercooked underneath. A cranberry cobbler made with canned apples was also introduced, but in our opinion, it wasn't tasty. IMHO, cranberry isn't an ideal fruit for a cobbler and it tasted rather bitter and seemed more like a coffee cake rather than a cobbler. After mentioning the changes we noticed to the CL manager, he spoke to the new Artist Point cook and kindly requested the return of the strawberry/peach and apple cobblers. Unfortunately, instead of sliced apples being used in the apple cobbler, as in the past, it was being made with small apple squares from a can. And, when the strawberry/peach cobbler returned, the peaches were no longer fresh, but frozen and they were unripened and hard.

    None of this is earth shattering, but it is a noticeable change we saw in the 4 months between stays and it was disappointing, but beyond the control of CL staff.







    As of our departure 8/30, Flag Family was still on hold due to the continued roofing work, as seen in this photo:

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    I have more VWL/WL information on the first page of the WL THREAD and I will be updating the first page soon with more recent photos. I leave you with some random shots of WL/VWL...


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  5. OThopeful35

    OThopeful35 DIS Veteran

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    Great TR!! Glad you enjoyed your stay at WDW:cool1:
     
  6. Mousemommy1

    Mousemommy1 DIS Veteran

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    Thank you Kook!!! It was wonderful reading your report and reliving our trip!!

    I notice they must have gone through and replaced the headboards....because they hadn't done ours yet, though we had a refurbished room, we still had the brown headboard.

    And we didn't get the blankets across the bottom.

    And we didn't get SUSHI!!!! The menu looks fantastic!! We did have the version chili, scallops wrapped in bacon, and chicken wings...but the rest of the stuff looks amazing too!!!

    You know, I had changed (of course), to a 5/5 split stay between Yacht Club and Poly CL....but this report definitely makes me think twice....oh, how I love the WL!!! :goodvibes
     
  7. Jungle Cruiser

    Jungle Cruiser DIS Veteran

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    Hi KOOK :wave2: welcome home! Just quickly read the TR, I am on my way out to a meeting, so I couldn't study the menus etc. However, I will re-read tomorrow morning at my leisure, cup of coffee in hand :coffee: So, glad you had such an amazing trip!
     
  8. BLTtinkerbell

    BLTtinkerbell DIS Veteran

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    Thank you for your awesome review! I enjoyed reading it and looking at your pictures.
     
  9. Missoutandabout

    Missoutandabout DIS Veteran

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    Kookalicious! Back to reality. Boo! Thanks for this most lovely trip report...

    :cheer2: You're really making me want to stay there. Adore the sign on the bear; maybe it will mysteriously reappear.

    It's a gorgeous lounge, isn't it? Looks very spacious. Sorry about the cobbler shenanigans, shame when they mess with a good thing.

    Very curious about those shrubs being taken out. :scratchin
     
  10. bowbat

    bowbat DIS Veteran

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    Okay, now I'm REALLY ready to get back to WL. :goodvibes As always, love your report and your opinions (though I *am* hoping your Artist Point experience was a fluke -- we'll be dining there in November).

    Thus far unable to convince my husband we need to IMMEDIATELY go to WDW when our house closes, so my new plan is to quietly add a few days to our November reservation. Shhhhh....:rolleyes1:

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and photos!
     
  11. Grumpy Grandma

    Grumpy Grandma DIS Veteran

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    kook I'm here enjoying your trip report .... just sittin in my rocker waiting for my turn at WL!!! :rotfl2:
     
  12. mouseketeermama

    mouseketeermama Mouseketeer

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    Thank you so much for posting this! You have officially convinced my husband to switch our ALK CL trip to a WL CL trip simply due to the food options!

    Can you tell me what you think of the pool and if from your room you were able to see the ELP? I am thinking that your view is EXACTLY what we want!:goodvibes
     
  13. madgali2000

    madgali2000 Earning My Ears

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    Thanks wdwkook we love the WL!!!! We are heading down Oct 30th!! Can't wait!! We love all the pictures and info you post!! Our 2 DD's get all worked up every time they see pictures of the WL!! Just wanted to thank you for putting the effort in!! Thanks again!!
     
  14. madgali2000

    madgali2000 Earning My Ears

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    Ooops forgot to ask you .... We also stay on he club level, but we're wondering about bunk beds ours 2 DD's love bunkbeds!! Do they have them? in the past we only had 2 queens!! Can't wait for Sunday night scallops in bacon!! Yumm. Thanks again!!
     
  15. LuvGoldens

    LuvGoldens Mouseketeer

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    Thank you for the TR Kook and all the pictures! Between your report and that of my co-worker who just returned to work today after her first stay at WL I'm soooo excited for our upcoming stay I can hardly stand it!!!:yay:

    What a fantastic view from your room too!!
     
  16. Wendy31

    Wendy31 DIS Veteran

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    Oh gosh... I almost wish I hadn't looked at all your wonderful pics & read your report!

    I'm going to miss the WL SO MUCH!! I dearly hope we like the CR - the WL is just going to be so hard to beat!
     
  17. R2-JD

    R2-JD It was all started by Walt Disney!

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    Thanks Kook! Between your TR and my DW telling me about her co-workers first stay at WL I too am very excited about our upcoming stay!! :yay:

    12 more days!!!

    JD
    (and yes Luvgoldens is my DW :rotfl:)
     
  18. sjs314

    sjs314 "Laughter is timeless, imagination has no age, and

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    Welcome Back KOOK

    Wonderfull TR has me thinking about checking to see the availability. The refurbed room is very nice and enjoyed the TE review if we do stay at WL again I plan on checking TE out
     
  19. babyberger

    babyberger DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for the TE info! We will be at WL in Feb and can't do WCC so this looks like a great alternative and the kids will love the boat ride over!
     
  20. WDWKOOK

    WDWKOOK NOW WITH LESS TAG!

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    Thank you and you're FTP (First to Post):yay:

    Yes, some of the rooms didn't have the new fabric on the headboards when you were there and the 'blanket' at the foot of the bed is actually just a decorative runner. So..... what is Candace going to do?:listen:

    Howdy! Make sure you're in a rocking chair tomorrow morning;)

    Thank you! It was fun putting it together.

    YES! Cobbler shenanigans! That's precisely what it was:lmao:


    Don't give-up on AP. We've had great meals at CA Grill and not so great ones, but our last one was great. You never know with Disney Signature Dining - they keep you guessing.

    Yippee for more days!!!

    :wave:
    :idea:You might have to let our dear Jungle Cruiser borrow your chair tomorrow morning:surfweb:

    The pool is best for younger children since the slide is a little on the tame side. There is also a VWL pool that WL guests may use and a total of 3 whirlpools. DD13 and I (DH stays inside by a cozy fireplace:thumbsup2) prefer the beach. It's never crowded and there are many chairs and even two cabanas and umbrellas.

    If you want a WL courtyard view, just request an inner courtyard view. There are only two standard CL rooms that directly face Bay Lake - 7127 and 7035. However, they do have an elevator behind them that makes noises. We prefer hearing it over guests though, since both rooms don't have a connecting door:thumbsup2

    You're welcome and I'm glad you liked the TR. You might also like the WL thread;)

    Yes, there are bunk beds on the 7th floor, but you must request them. All standard CL room views are by-request only.

    I'm so glad it made you even more excited. Yes, we love that room - perfect view and no connecting door. In fact, it's the last room in the wing so there's rarely even any foot traffic. But, it's our little secret:ssst:

    If it makes you feel any better, we also love CR/BLT and I've had trouble deciding, too so I've twice done a CR-BLT/WL split. The rooms are much larger at BLT and CR, you can walk to the MK and we prefer the dining options at CR. There's nothing wrong with loving both!

    :rotfl: I had you figured out - nice to have you both around and you need to get packin' soon:thumbsup2

    Thanks, Sheila and at least you know what thread to go to if you decide to change!
     
  21. midge3426

    midge3426 Mouseketeer

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    Glad you had a great trip Kook. Thank you for posting the pictures--we are super exicted because we will be there in two days!!!!!:yay::yay::yay::yay:


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