Best Hotel: Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
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!
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!