Best Ho­tel: Dis­ney’s Wilder­ness Lodge

WDW Magazine - - Content - BY JESSI KIMBLE

Ahh… wilder­ness Lodge. There is noth­ing quite like walk­ing into the lobby of this in­cred­i­ble Deluxe Re­sort for the very first time. To say you’ll be in awe doesn’t even do it jus­tice. It’s ar­rival day and you’re ready to check in, child in tow (if not chil­dren), a bit jet lagged, bogged down in heavy lug­gage but on the verge of be­ing in tears be­cause you’re at WALT DIS­NEY WORLD, you’ll walk into this re­sort and im­me­di­ately fall in love.

You will never want to stay any­where else, you’ll dream of this place, you’ll seek out the lobby sound­track, and ask for ketchup ev­ery sin­gle restau­rant you go to. Okay, so be­fore I get ahead of my­self, let me try to nar­row it down to 10 things that I love about Dis­ney’s Wilder­ness Lodge (I al­ready have goose­bumps!).

1. The Lobby

One of the most re­lax­ing, invit­ing, and just all out gor­geous places to pull up a rock­ing chair, sip your morn­ing brew, and just en­joy the mo­ment. Dis­ney’s Wilder­ness Lodge is in­spired by the Na­tional Park lodges from the turn of the cen­tury. Log beams, a mas­sive stone fire­place, two 55-foot totem poles, and a bridge over a bub­bling brook con­trib­ute to the rus­tic Amer­i­can North­west mo­tif. There‘s a brook right in the lobby and it flows out of the re­sort and turns into a beau­ti­ful water­fall that flows into one of the re­sort’s pools.

2. Hid­den Mick­eys

There are hid­den Mick­eys ev­ery­where at Wilder­ness Lodge! Stop by the front desk and ask for a Hid­den Mick­eys Hunt sheet. Tours may also still be of­fered so make sure to ask. This is a per­fect rainy day ac­tiv­ity!

3. The Din­ing

Wilder­ness Lodge has some of the best din­ing on prop­erty! Whis­per­ing Canyon Café, a ta­ble ser­vice restau­rant, is one of my fa­vorite fam­ily ta­ble ser­vice eater­ies. Kids have fun things to do, like Lin­coln Logs and hobby horse races. Ex­pect some fun-filled din­ing with a lit­tle bit of feisti­ness from your servers. Meals are served fam­ily style and all that you care to en­joy. Just make sure you ask for ketchup!

And who doesn’t like room ser­vice? Room Ser­vice is avail­able from 6:30am – 11:30am and 4pm - mid­night and can be or­dered from your re­sort room phone. No va­ca­tion is com­plete with­out at least one morn­ing with break­fast in bed.

Artist Point makes you feel like a so­phis­ti­cated diner with fresh sea­sonal dishes in a com­fort­able at­mos­phere. This rus­tic “farm to fork” din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence of­fers beau­ti­ful views of Bay Lake and Sil­ver Creek Falls. There is out­door din­ing avail­able too, weather per­mit­ting. Not only are there one of a kind ap­pe­tiz­ers, en­trees, and desserts, Artist Point also of­fers over 90 wines and a som­me­lier to as­sist in your selec­tion. There is a dress code and mak­ing a reser­va­tion 180 days in ad­vanced is sug­gested. If all this in­cred­i­ble food seems in­tim­i­dat­ing, ask your server what they rec­om­mend and you won’t be dis­ap­pointed!

4. The Elec­tri­cal Water Pageant

This has to be one of Walt Dis­ney World’s best kept se­crets and Wilder­ness Lodge Re­sort Guests get prime view­ing ar­eas of this night­time spec­tac­u­lar! Head down to the dock or beach area and be­gin­ning at about 9:30pm you’ll see a pa­rade like you’ve never seen be­fore! Put the kids in their pa­ja­mas, grab a hot co­coa from the food court and watch as beau­ti­ful crea­tures glim­mer, swim and dive across Bay Lake. Make sure you check the re­sort front desk for show times and keep in mind that this is weather per­mit­ting.

5. Boat Ac­cess to Magic Kingdom

This is such a won­der­ful way to be de­liv­ered to the Magic Kingdom in the morn­ing! Walt Dis­ney World al­ways pro­vides free trans­porta­tion to its re­sort Guests but this is by far the very best way to make your en­trance.

6. The Geyser and Pool Area

Pine trees and gi­ant boul­ders sur­round Sil­ver Creek Springs Pool. With views of the re­sort, Bay Lake and the great out­doors your fam­ily can splash and play all day long. Zoom down the wa­ter­slide, en­joy the hot or cool whirlpool spas, or watch the kids have a blast in the kid­die pool. You’ve heard of Old Faith­ful, but have you heard of Fire Rock Geyser? Watch in awe as water shoots 120 feet into the air ev­ery hour from early morn­ing un­til about 10pm from Wilder­ness Lodge’s own geyser lo­cated near the pool area.

7. Camp­fires and Movies

Like many re­sorts, Wilder­ness Lodge of­fers Movies Un­der the Stars, screen­ings of pop­u­lar Dis­ney movies shown on a large screen out­doors. They also have nightly camp­fires where you can make s’mores and en­joy in lots of fun fam­ily ac­tiv­i­ties.

8. The NEW 10 Gal­lon Chal­lenge

This dessert is a mas­sive work of culi­nary ge­nius. One scoop of mint cho­co­late chip, one scoop of vanilla, one scoop of cho­co­late, and one scoop of straw­berry ice creams cov­ered in pieces of cho­co­late coated ba­con, toasted marsh­mal­lows, Oreos, whipped cream, caramel sauce, straw­berry sauce, pineap­ple, bananas, and cher­ries. But it doesn’t end there! There’s a slice of ap­ple pie, a cho­co­late cup­cake, a vanilla cup­cake, a brownie, and two Mickey Mouse sugar cook­ies in there! It’s all served in a 10 Gal­lon Hat and only in the ini­tial test­ing phases. That means it’s not of­fi­cially on the menu yet but I’d love to see it stick around!

9. Ac­tiv­i­ties

All the out­door ac­tiv­i­ties you as­so­ci­ate with well, be­ing in the great out­doors can be found nearby. Fish­ing, hik­ing and jog­ging trails, boat and bike rentals are all avail­able.

10. The Rooms

Rooms of­fer im­ages of wildlife, Na­tive Amer­i­can dé­cor, col­or­ful bed­ding, and gor­geous wooden fur­nish­ings. The bath­rooms have a sep­a­rate van­ity area with two sinks and most rooms con­tain two queen sized beds. There are rooms with King sized beds and even bunk beds as well. I love that the rooms con­tain a cof­fee maker and cof­fee!

Wilder­ness Lodge just keeps get­ting bet­ter and bet­ter too! Make sure you check with your travel agent about any clo­sures or con­struc­tion dur­ing your visit. Right now ar­eas are be­ing enhanced through 2017. This has caused some ac­tiv­i­ties to be re­lo­cated dur­ing ren­o­va­tions.

Wilder­ness Lodge also of­fers Roar­ing Forks Food Court, But­tons and Bells Ar­cade, Sturdy Branches Health Club, Trout Pass Pool Bar, and Ter­ri­tory Lounge. Not to men­tion a fully and uniquely stocked gift shop, Wilder­ness Lodge Mer­can­tile, where you can find beer, wine, snacks, sun­dries, and even a coon skin cap! With so much to love about Wilder­ness Lodge, you re­ally need to check it out for your­self!

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