Advice please, Contemporary vs. Wilderness Lodge

Discussion in 'Disney Resorts' started by missasmom, Oct 10, 2013.

  1. missasmom

    missasmom Earning My Ears

    Sep 22, 2013
    Hello everyone! This is my first time posting on here. I am planning a trip for the end of January 2014 with my DH and DD (3 1/2 years old). We have tentatively held 6 night reservations at the Contemporary with the dining package. Tonight, while looking online at prices, I saw the Wilderness Lodge for significantly less. Here's my question, is the Contemporary, being on the monorail and walking distance to MK (where I am sure we will be spending most of our time) worth the cost difference? Any other resorts (moderate or deluxe) that you would recommend? It will be my DD's first visit and we will be doing lots of character meals, she is very into Disney princesses right now. Thanks in advance!
  2. marybogue

    marybogue Mouseketeer

    Aug 7, 2007
    Welcome! :wave2:

    I took my children to WDW for the first time this past May 2013, and stayed in the garden wing at the CR. There is a certain magic about being on the monorail line, and we utilized that walkway to the MK A LOT! We loved our stay at the CR, and I am so happy they got to experience being on the monorail line.

    However, I don't think that being in the location was the defining part of our trip, so if you there is a resort that better suits the budget, then go for that (We had dinner at the Wilderness Lodge and the ambiance of that resort is AH-mazing!). In January we are trying a moderate. Ultimately, the trip will be so exciting and magical for the kiddos, that they won't know the difference between value/moderate/deluxe. I don't really know if that helped. :lmao:

    Have fun!

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  4. spinchy

    spinchy Earning My Ears

    Oct 5, 2013
    I've stayed at both (admittedly, CR was many years ago) and I much prefer WL. The discounted price is just icing on the cake in my view. Walking to MK and being on the monorail are great, but WL is beautiful and the bus service was really quite good both times I've stayed there. There's nothing "wrong" with CR in my view, it's just not as fun to hang out in. The boat ride to MK from WL isn't as convenient as walking or taking the monorail, but I bet your kids would find that fun too!
  5. letsgoreds

    letsgoreds DIS Veteran

    Nov 2, 2011
    We stayed at WL when DS8 was 3.5 and 5. Two of our favorite trips. I think that he went down the slide like 100 times in a row. The steps are tame, and he loved being able to do it by himself. We also loved riding the boat to/from MK.

    We have stayed at BLT, and I LOVE the walk to MK, but WL is a much prettier resort. Feels like home...and I everytime I have a hard time going home. The rooms are darker, and a bit more dated vs. Contemporary (I like modern).

    Honestly, the monorail kinda smells. A 3yo will enjoy riding a bus just as much as a monorail. I prefer driving...except for the walk to MK. Still love that. We stay at BLT vs. contemporary.
  6. kmb584

    kmb584 DIS Veteran

    May 12, 2010
    I have stayed at both CR and WL numerous times and both my 4-year-old daughter and I prefer WL. CR is the original WDW resort and while I do like the modern room decor and dining options, the fact that it's also a convention resort reverberates off the walls. I was expecting my daughter to absolutely love it but she didn't. My opinion of CR is that it's catered more for adults and people visiting for business meetings and conventions.

    On the other hand, WL is absolutely beautiful and filled to the brim with intricate details. It (along with AKL) makes me feel as if I'm on a vacation within a vacation; that's how awesome the themeing is. While not on the resort monorail line, it's still considered a MK resort and if you opt to travel by boat the ride isn't long at all. Once there, you can easily board the monorail for the TTC and then board the monorail there for EP.
  7. ArwenMarie

    ArwenMarie DIS Veteran

    Apr 10, 2013
    The rooms are smaller at WL (340 sf vs 430 at CR), so that accounts for a bit of the cost difference, as well as being off the monorail line. Walking back and forth to MK is the main draw of the CR and is really neat.

    As far as theming, to each their own :) I'm not a fan of the WL theming, it reminds me of the mountains around here and I don't feel like I am away in Florida lol. But again, to each their own, some people hate the CR theming and I love that hotel.

    Kids seem to love the WL, so if it's cheaper and you think you would like it, definitely go for it!
  8. abner1776

    abner1776 DIS Veteran

    Feb 24, 2006
    As the PP said, themeing is an personal taste thing...I love the WL themeing while the CR leaves me cold and seems so impersonal.

    Again, whether or not the extra cost for the CR is worth it is a personal thing, but even if the two cost the same, I would not stay at the CR..monorail or no monorail.

    The easy walk from the CR is great but the boat from WL to MK is just as enjoyable.
  9. DWillowBay

    DWillowBay DIS Veteran

    Sep 19, 2010
    We couldn't decide either, so we are doing a good portion of our trip at WL (lower cost being part of that decision) and then the last few days at the Contemporary. I'm so excited for both :dance3: and still don't have a good means of having a preference between the two. Glad we're doing the split!
  10. hedberg1661

    hedberg1661 DIS Veteran and Patreon Supporter

    Jul 30, 2013
    Wow this is tough. Two great choices.

    CR offers you the ability if you DD crashes to take her back to the room quickly (5 minute walk from the entrance of MK). The Monorail is also a nice feature should you want to spend some time in EC...just one transfer at the TTC. The decor is nice but not as warm and friendly as WL. If proximity to MK and Monorail access is your main focus this is the resort for you.

    WL decor and setting is wonderful. While you aren't on the Monorail Line the WL bus reviews seem to be one of the best. Also, you can take the boat to MK which the kids love. Another option should you choose this resort...take a boat to CR and ride the Monorail from there this way you aren't "short changing" your DD on the complete Disney experience.

    I am all about the experience you get while at WDW. Personally, CR may be a better resort for you as parents...easy in and out of MK. Monorail access etc. WL is great for the family and thus I must recommend this given you are getting a worthy discount.

    No matter which resort you choose I recommend visiting the other during your stay to scope it out. Check out what the stores have to offer...especially the big one in CR and make the most of your trip.

  11. mickeynut1

    mickeynut1 DIS Veteran

    Apr 16, 2007
    We've never stayed at the CR, but we love the WL. The CR is great with having the walkway to MK, but the WL is a convenient boat ride away. As the pp mentioned, the rooms at the CR are quite a bit larger than at the WL, but with only 3 of you, the WL room would be fine as far as space. If being able to walk to MK is a priority, I'd go with the CR; otherwise, the WL is a beautiful resort and that would be my choice as we love the atmosphere as well as having the boat for alternate transportation. Good luck.
  12. Happyjen27

    Happyjen27 DIS Veteran

    Apr 23, 2012
    I think the thing that tips me over the edge toward CR is the fact that you can get to and from the MK without breaking down the stroller. Whether you chose the walkway or the monorail, you can leave that little one in the stroller and get back to your resort.

    I also prefer brighter rooms, the Poly was too dark for me, so this time we're trying CR. WL was a very close second, and that's probably next on my hit list for next year. Well, next year is probably between GF and WL.

    So far, I've been picking my resorts based ease of transportation only, because with little ones and mid day breaks, it is worth every penny to get from A to B easily.

    I don't think you could go wrong either way.
  13. Jedimike

    Jedimike Mouseketeer

    Jul 10, 2011
    I've stayed at all of the MK resorts over the last two years with my family (DW, DD7, DD9) with our most recent trip being the Wilderness Lodge last week. The kids LOVE the Wilderness Lodge. The theme is much better than Contemporary in that regard. The swimming pool was much easier to access than the CR from a tower room. The transportation to and from MK was not an issue at all. We did the boat a couple times, and we did the bus a couple times. The bus was actually super fast.

    Other than the walkway / monorail line, I feel like the other advantages of the CR are:

    1. Best deluxe arcade. Period. The arcades at GF, Poly, WL are a joke.
    2. Better restaurants than WL. Chef Mickey's >> Whispering Canyon; California Grill > Artist Point.
    3. Best theme park views. It was magical to watch Wishes every night from the tower room.

    All that being said, I feel like really young children (i.e., <5 or 6) would probably prefer Wilderness Lodge. My kids prefer the Polynesian for the theming and the volcano pool (and I like the transportation options) and the CR for the arcade and restaurant.

    Along these lines, I anticipate that as my girls become teenagers, we'll probably start staying at Epcot resorts.
  14. KimmiP

    KimmiP Mouseketeer

    Sep 8, 2013
    It's so funny that this thread came up because I was going to post a similar one about CR and WL. I now am booked at CR in the tower, bay lake view in June but then realized that WL Club level was the same price! Since we are not doing the dining plan (more of 2-3 ADR and the rest on the fly) and I have my DD and my niece (17 & 16) coming I am trying to figure out which one is better.

    FWIW, we have been to the WL 3x but never Club level and have never stayed at CR.

    Opinions would be great!

    As for the OP, WL is much more "kid friendly" and the boat ride is awesome and not too long. You are also on the boat loop with Fort Wilderness which has the Chip and Dale campfire sing a long. Not sure if that is in your plans but it's a cool thing to do. :goodvibes
  15. hedberg1661

    hedberg1661 DIS Veteran and Patreon Supporter

    Jul 30, 2013
    Totally agree the best arcade is at CR. I am surprised on your "which is better" restaurant choices. I find them to be equally unique. Love this post. PS: when the girls are older...BC is for you.
  16. Babsy

    Babsy DIS Veteran

    Oct 30, 2001
    We had the same dilemma. WL or CR. The WL club level is renowned as particularly great and we love club level!! I love the theme here too - such a beautiful resort! SO the WL had a strong appeal since we could no longer feel comfortable booking the Poly. It just seemed like the next best theme to the Poly. We booked the WL. Then I read about hundreds of spiders on the boat! I am terrified of spiders.

    Meanwhile, although not initially fond of the theme at the CR, we decided to look into a stay here. Convenience of walking to MK means a lot when going to and fro frequently with small children for naps and breaks throughout the day. Also, the rooms look large, comfortable, bright and cheery. WL rooms look small and dark in comparison to us. Finally, the CR has some amazing views in all levels, IMO. Overall, I like the open bright airy feeling of staying here as well as the magnificent views from the tower.

    In the end, though, talk of the spiders on WL boats ended the WL consideration for us. I know that there are buses, but if we are using buses with strollers, then we will stay in a moderate and save big $$$. We switched to the CR for all its conveniences and comforts and wonderful views. I am happy with the CR as the best choice for our family that includes an infant , toddler, adults and seniors.

    We are spitting the stay with the YC where we will have walking access to Epcot and DHS. The only bus will be to the AK, which, I believe, is unavoidable.
  17. emilyann415

    emilyann415 DIS Veteran

    May 23, 2008
    First of all, let me say I LOVE the Wilderness Lodge. My DH and I pick that resort most often. However, may I suggest you also look at Riverside Port Orleans in the princess rooms. We stayed there last June and my DD5 at the time LOVED it and couldn't wait to get back to our room each day. It isn't as handy as either of the other locations, but significantly cheaper and the rooms are gorgeous. Look at them on YouTube. Just a suggestion!
  18. missasmom

    missasmom Earning My Ears

    Sep 22, 2013
    Thank you to all who replied, sounds like we really cannot go wrong either way...We still have our CR reservations held for now, but likely will change to the WL (the savings is just too great to pass up, more shopping!). I think we will probably take the boat to the CR, breakfast at Chef Mickey's and then hop the monorail to the MK or EP. She'll love it either way. For me, visiting in the "winter" (I know in Florida that can mean a lot of different temps), I like the idea of the WL decor, it just looks beautiful.

    Thank you also to the pp who recommended the royal rooms at PO, those look incredible...we just need to plan another trip and stay there, CR too!;)

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