Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort
The third resort I picked to do my resort review is the Wilderness Lodge. It is one of the most popular resorts on property and is also my wife’s favorite. It is secluded and breath-taking. The drive up to the resort starts as you turn onto Timberline Drive and you are immediately surrounded by trees and the rest of the Walt Disney World Resort seems to fade away. You are overcome with the beauty of the resort sign as it bridges over the road. It is an incredible site at night when it is lit up by the torch-like lights.
The Wilderness Lodge opened on May 28, 1994 and from that day on has been stealing the hearts of all the guests who make the resort their home. The inspiration for the resort came from the historic Old Faithful Lodge in Yellowstone National Park. The theme of the resort hits you once you pull up to the resort and see it’s size and the wood columns. And once you get ready to enter the grand lobby, you can hear the sounds of crickets (alla Disney crickets that is). As you walk through the double doors, immediately your eyes and heart jump as you see in front of you the incredible 80 ft tall fireplace. To your left, you notice a loud and entertaining restaurant, Whispering Canyon Cafe. As the grand large open lobby with rocking chairs, teepee chandeliers, wood carvings and totem poles enlighten your senses, you also hear running water. Yes, I said water! Inside the back of the lobby is a bubbling geyser that runs outside and turns into Silver Creek Fall and then into the Large Pool. At certain times, a Disney Photopass Photographer is set up in this location with the wooden bridge and geyser as the backdrop.
We love the gift shop,. The Wilderness Lodge Merchantile, which is to the right of the geyser. One of the most photographed things is right outside the Mechantile, the Mickey and Gang Totem pole. In the gift shop you can find your resort logo’d merchandise, snacks, beer, wine, sundries, toys, pens, and plush animals along with many other things.
Once you finally wander over to registration to check in, you will notice the main building is seven floors and the two wings are six stories with the lobby actually on the 2nd floor. The room offereings here have three different views: standard view, a woods view, and courtyard/pool view. Room rates vary from $265 to $1540 a night depending on room view and stay dates. Most rooms have two queen sized beds, with some having an option of a queen size bed and a bunk bed. The rooms all have a small safe which is convenient along with hair dryers, ironing, ironing board and a small complimentary fridge. There are also concierge options at this resort and are located on the seventh floor. The concierge club is known as the Old Faithful Club.
The restaurants offered at Wilderness Lodge are very interesting and unique. Starting with Roaring Fork, which is located on the ground floor near the pool entrance, is a snack shop that offers light meals and this is also where you get your refillable mug. Whispering Canyon Café, opens to the lobby, is a family style restaurant that is loud and entertaining! Their offerings are served family style and all three meals are served. I really enjoy the food here and the atmosphere is one of the properties best! Another sitdown restaurant here is Artist Point. Certain times of the year you will find specialty and unique game entrees on the menu including the Cedar Plank Salmon and is one of the few U.S. location which gets Copper River Salmon.
Some of the unique features of the resort are in the lobby area on the floors above the lobby where you can find, smaller fireplaces and cozy, comfy couches. These are great locations to just sit and enjoy the atmosphere on a cool fall evening and just relax. Another resort exclusive is that behind the pool there is an actual geyser that spouts water 120 feet in the air, every hour on the hour from 7am to 10pm. They also offer a little marina where you can rent water craft and bikes. Also along the beach at night, you can catch the Electric Water Pageant around 9:45pm and movies are offered nightly (weather permitting.)
In summary, the Wilderness Lodge currently ranks among the most romantic resorts on property and is one loved by my family and me.