by Disney Magic Diva
One of the reasons some people are reluctant to choose a deluxe resort at Walt Disney World Resort is they think they lack the “kid-friendly” amenities the value or some moderate resorts offer. Clearly the value resorts have wonderful theming that undisputedly appeals to children. And you can choose a princess-themed room at Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside Resort (read our review, here) or a pirate-themed room at Disney’s Caribbean Resort. What kid (or kid-at-heart?) wouldn’t love that? But our grandchildren absolutely loved Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, and they have good reason to feel that way!
First, Wilderness Lodge is beautiful! It makes you feel like you’re on a wonderful, outdoor adventure – and we know most children love adventure. While adults may be awestruck by the towering ceilings and gorgeous wood décor in the lobby, the kids were instantly drawn to the totem pole and babbling brook. The enormous fireplace and rocking chairs were hard to ignore too. Step outside on the balcony, and you have more oversized rocking chairs just begging you to come sit, relax, and enjoy the view of the pool and courtyard as the brook babbles beside you. It’s one of those “take your breath away” lobbies – whether you’re 3 or 93.
Our room was a HUGE hit with the kids too – probably mostly due to the bunk-beds. They were giddy with the thought of sleeping in a bunk-bed, and thankfully there wasn’t an argument over who got to sleep on the top bunk since that spot is reserved for kids 6 and older. Our grandson, who was only 5, was happy on the bottom bunk though after he was able to climb up and down to the top bunk a couple times to investigate. The bottom was just so much easier!
The bunk-beds made for a little more floor space in our room – something that’s always appreciated with children. We had a courtyard view, so our balcony overlooked the pool much to everyone’s delight. The details in the room were so fun for the kids to explore – from the bedposts which resembled animal wood carvings to the forest animal tiles in the bath to the subtle animal sculptures on the dresser drawer handles. It was like we just stepped into Snow White’s forest!
Like all deluxe rooms, the bath had double sinks and plenty of shelving under the vanity for storage. The tub/shower and toilet were separated from the sinks by a door, giving plenty of privacy and enabling more than one person to be getting ready at a time.
The refrigerator, coffee-maker, etc. were in the entry “hallway” to the room, something we found a little inconvenient. It was a little tight getting into refrigerator and without a table nearby, a little inconvenient if you were trying to fix sandwiches or anything similar in your room. The closet, though, had plenty of room for not only clothes you wanted to hang, but also empty suitcases or pantry items.
Once you venture outside of your room, you’ll be amazed at everything there is to do at Wilderness Lodge. The pool, naturally, was a huge hit! The brook, which we saw in the lobby, flows out the lobby and meanders through some lush vegetation before it culminates in a gorgeous waterfall and eventually flows into the pool area. It’s breathtaking!
In addition to the main pool, there is a children’s splash area which kept our grandson entertained. The poolside activities were not to be missed – like other deluxe resorts the games, crafts, dancing, and all-around good times the recreation staff host kept the kids busy and happy for hours.
Just past the pool, you can find Geyser Point. Like Old Faithful, the geyser erupts on a regular basis, and provides squeals of delight – not to mention a fantastic photo op! Just a few steps away you’ll find the fire-pit where cast members host marshmallow roasting each night, complete with s’mores kits. And nearby is Geyser Point Bar & Grill – a perfect place to grab a quick meal while enjoying a spectacular lake view. Check out Devo CabDisney’s review!
Diva Tip: Make your way back to Geyser Point just before fireworks at Magic Kingdom. It’s a great place to catch the show, and still get the little ones in bed at a decent hour. If the weather isn’t conducive to being outside, check with Guest Services in the lobby for indoor places to spot the fireworks.
There are plenty of restaurants available around the resort. In addition to Geyser Point Bar & Grill, Wilderness Lodge is the home of one of the most famous table service restaurants at Walt Disney World – Whispering Canyon Café. The grandkids enjoyed the food, and especially the sassy servers and hobby horse races. Be sure to ask for ketchup! (Read Daisy Diva’s review here.)
One of the newest restaurants at Walt Disney World is also located at Wilderness Lodge – Storybook Dining at Artist Point with Snow White. This restaurant wasn’t opened when we visited, but we’re anxious to try it this summer when we visit again. Imagine dining with Snow White, Dopey and Grumpy and even an audience with The Queen! We can’t wait!
If you need quick service or grab and go items, Roaring Fork offers several choices. Mickey waffles, eggs and bagels; burgers, sandwiches, salads, and chicken – your typical quick service items are all available.
One of the best features of staying at Wilderness Lodge is the proximity to Magic Kingdom. When the grandkids are with us (and often when they’re not!) we spend quite a bit of time at Magic Kingdom. While the monorail loop resorts are undoubtedly closer, Wilderness Lodge is still a wonderful choice for anyone wanting to make Magic Kingdom a focus of their stay. The preferred way to get to Magic Kingdom from Wilderness Lodge is by boat. Busses are available, but a boat is just so much more fun!
Diva Tip: Another advantage of using the boats to transport to Magic Kingdom is the ability to roll your stroller onboard! No need to fold up and haul strollers on a bus, or more importantly wake sleeping children after a long night at the parks! Just roll on, and sail away!
If you’re looking for more activities, you can also catch a boat to Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground. Here your little cowpoke can saddle up for a pony ride! Our grandson had a fabulous time with this one morning when his older sister and I had a girls’ activity planned. If you’re interested in other activities at Fort Wilderness, check out Passholder Diva’s two-part article (Part One and Part Two) or Pink Diva’s tips on night-time activities. And Tiki Diva has more tips on daytime activities around Wilderness Lodge and Fort Wilderness.
Just to clarify – Disney’s Wilderness Lodge is a completely separate place from Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground. When using the boat transportation, be sure to pay attention to the boat’s destination. You’d hate to get off at the wrong resort! Also, you should know Disney Vacation Club’s Boulder Ridge Villas and Copper Creek Villas & Cabins are adjacent to Wilderness Lodge. While they are separate facilities, they are literally next door to Wilderness Lodge. Pixie Dusted Diva has a great review of Copper Creek Villas.
If you’ve thought about a deluxe resort, but worried whether the kids would enjoy it for fear it’s too “stuffy,” consider Wilderness Lodge! It’s seriously like staying in an enchanted forest. We can’t wait to go back!
If you’d like some expert FREE advice on booking Wilderness Lodge or ANY resort in or around Walt Disney World, be sure to contact Patricia at All for Dreams Travel.
***Disclaimer – We at Tips from the Disney Divas and Devos hope you enjoy reading our articles, and encourage you to share any you feel may be of interest to someone else. We do ask, however, if you choose to share the photographs attached to our articles, you give credit to the photographer. Thank you for your cooperation and sharing our love of Disney!