I’ve stayed at most of the Walt Disney World resort hotels, but the Wilderness Lodge was one that I’d never been able to visit. On my recent trip for the opening of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at the Magic Kingdom, I had the opportunity to stay at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. It’s a great hotel with lots of fun amenities, perfect for a family vacation.
The cozy, rustic theme feels so different from the hectic pace of the theme parks. When you stay here, you don’t feel like you are in Central Florida, in the theme park capital of the world. Instead, you’ll feel like you are in a national park in the American Pacific Northwest.
I am a former member of the Disney Parks Moms Panel and have been on some complimentary press trips at Walt Disney World, but all opinions are my own. I stayed at the Disney Wilderness Lodge as part of a complimentary press trip. This post contains affiliate links. A purchase through one of these links may result in a commission paid to us at no additional cost to you.
A Review of the Disney Wilderness Lodge
Disney’s Wilderness Lodge is located in the Magic Kingdom area of the Walt Disney World resort. Its decor was inspired by the national park lodges of the Pacific Northwest, and if it looks similar to Disney’s Animal Kingdom, that’s because it was designed by the same architect.
Unlike the Grand Floridian and the Polynesian, all of the rooms of the main hotel are located within the same building. The Villas at Wilderness Lodge, a DVC property, is located adjacent to the main lodge as are new Copper Creek Villas.
These cabins are separate and located a short walk from the main building. While they were not there when I visited the first time, I was able to see both the Copper Creek cabins and the Boulder Ridge Villas on a separate press trip.
Although the Wilderness Lodge is located in the Magic Kingdom area of the park, it’s not on the monorail loop like the Contemporary, Grand Floridian, and Polynesian. Instead, guests get to Epcot, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios via bus service that travels continuously throughout the day.
To get to the Magic Kingdom, guests can take a boat right from the dock at the Wilderness Lodge. This boat is a nice change of pace from the bus transportation and it’s just a short ride on Bay Lake.
The Wilderness Lodge is a separate property from Disney’s Fort Wilderness although both are located within the Magic Kingdom Resort area. The boats go to both properties however. While Disney’s Fort Wilderness offers moderate level cabins and campground facilities, Disney’s Wilderness Lodge is a deluxe resort with more premium rooms.
Rooms at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
Like all Disney resort hotels, there are lots of different options when choosing your room. Room categories at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge include standard view, nature view, and courtyard view.
For a more luxurious stay, you can also book a club level room. There are two room classes in this level – standard rooms and deluxe rooms. With a club level room, you’ll have exclusive access to the club lounge, with refreshments offered throughout the day.
While I didn’t have club access during my stay at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, I’ve had it at other Disney resorts. In general, you’ll find that the club level offers food throughout the day. It’s usually light bites, snacks, and drinks, but you can definitely supplement your meals outside the resort with food from the club level. It’s also a nice place to get a drink after a long day.
The Wilderness Lodge offers standard rooms as well as bunk bed rooms (pictured above). Kids will love the bunk bed rooms, and they also have a little more floor space without the larger second bed. Although I was traveling solo at Disney during my stay, I was assigned a bunk bed room.
I thought it was great for families and something that I would book if traveling with my two kids. However, I did find that my bunk bed room was a little darker than other rooms at the Wilderness Lodge. Many of the rooms at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge offer beautiful views off the balcony. These views are dependent upon the type of room you book.
If you don’t get a bunk bed room, and are traveling with your family, you’ll probably get a room with two queen beds. These rooms don’t have tons of room, but are pretty standard. Amenities in all of the rooms include complimentary WiFi, televisions, a portable crib, a small refrigerator, and a small desk. Unlike some of the other Disney deluxe resorts, these rooms don’t have a separate pull out couch for a fifth guest.
Like the other deluxe resorts, the sinks are outside the area with the toilet and shower. This can definitely make things easier when getting ready in the morning, because two people can get ready at the same time.
As a Disney vacation club (DVC) property, there are also DVC villas, cabins, and suites offered at the hotel. These can sometimes be booked by guests that don’t have DVC, if they are available. Renting points is also an option. You can learn more about the Copper Creek Villas here.
Before booking your room at the Wilderness Lodge, think about how much time you’ll plan to spend in the room. At Walt Disney World, I don’t tend to spend too much time in the room. So, I probably wouldn’t pay extra for a room with a better view. However, it may be worth it to you depending on your plans.
Wilderness Lodge Restaurants
Disney’s Wilderness Lodge boasts several excellent table service restaurants. Recently, (after my visit), the signature restaurant, Artist Point, was transformed into Storybook Dining at Artist Point. Instead of a signature restaurant, it’s now a character dining restaurant offering dinner. There, you’ll find Snow White, some of the Dwarfs, and the Evil Queen.
Like other Disney character meals (and any other restaurants on property), you’ll be able to make reservations here even if you aren’t staying at the resort.
The more casual Whispering Canyon Cafe is right off the lobby and is lots of fun for families. It offers an all-you-can eat buffet and is Old West themed.
Off the lobby, you’ll also find a quick service restaurant – Roaring Fork – which offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This is a great option for a quick meal, especially breakfast. At the Disney quick service restaurants, you don’t have to make reservations, and just place your order at the counter.
The Disney Wilderness Lodge also offers the Territory Lounge and the new Geyser Point Bar and Grill. Offering gorgeous views and delicious food, the Geyser Point Bar and Grill is perfect for a relaxing meal. I had the opportunity to sample a few items from the menu and they were delicious.
The resort also offers room service if you’d prefer to dine in the privacy of your room. We never get room service at Disney World, because we love having more space to eat. But it’s always a good option to have.
Amenities at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
While you probably won’t spend too much time at the resort, there are plenty of amenities onsite. As a Disney resort, you’ll have access to concierge services, room service, bell services, complimentary transportation to the parks and other resorts, and Disney’s Magical Express (complimentary transportation from Orlando International Airport to the resort).
There are also a number of recreational facilities offered. You’ll find boat and bike rentals, an arcade, fishing excursions, an onsite gift shop, and a pin trading kiosk in the lobby. The resort also offers activities including Movies Under the Stars.
There are now two pool areas at the resort. The newest is the Copper Creek Springs Pool, which has a splash play area for little ones as well as a water slide and two whirlpools. There’s also the Boulder Ridge Cove, with a zero-entry pool and a whirlpool.