If there’s a resort to rival The Grand Floridian for the number one spot on my list of favorites, it’s Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. I may be bias because I have an undying love for Brother Bear, which is the Disney movie that most closely connects to the theme of the Wilderness Lodge. The lobby is stunning, as all of them are, but the detail in the woodwork coupled with the breathtakingly expansive layout and never-ending high ceilings make your jaw drop.
The Wilderness Lodge truly captures the spirit of adventure and the beauty of the outdoors, making you want to embrace nature at all times! It is buried in trees as you drive up to check in and it amazes me how Disney thinks of every moment the guest will experience and ties everything back to the purpose of their hotel. Another aspect of the resort that truly enhances the focus on nature is its seclusion. Not only is it buried in trees while you are driving up, but the trees continue to make you feel like you are in the middle of the forest. The Wilderness Lodge sits on Bay Lake, however, one barely notices the Contemporary out of the corner of their eye, as it’s nowhere near a direct sightline. There are trails weaving around the resort for you to take a nightly stroll or a morning run in peace and quiet.
Disney capitalizes on the Wilderness Lodge’s seclusion by implementing beautiful structures that look seamless in the design. There is a large boulder and waterfall structure as you walk outside the lobby toward the pool and further down that walk there is a geyser that goes off every hour! The manmade aspects of the hotel blend completely with the natural elements you would expect out of a mountain lodge resort.
The Whispering Canyon Cafe — Perhaps one of my favorite Disney restaurants ever, the Whispering Canyon Cafe offers not only really great food, but an amazing atmosphere and experience! I’m actually kind of sad because when I was younger, the antics and heckling by the waiters and waitresses were a huge part of the dining experience. I heard that due to noise complaints, they had to take it down a notch which stinks! But it is still a fun and go-to place for a family breakfast or dinner. We tend to get their all you can eat skillets at either meal because they have everything we could want and it’s all you can eat! Check out the chocolate shakes too – my dad and my brother are obsessed.
Geyser Point Bar & Grill — This is the newest food addition to the Wilderness Lodge and what’s even better than the food is the location! It is right on Bay Lake and the restaurant itself has this beautiful outdoor theme exhibited by fire, stone and wood architecture. The food is more at the quick service level if that’s what you are looking for over a sit down restaurant like the Whispering Canyon Cafe.
The cool thing about the accommodations at the Wilderness Lodge is that they keep growing! Now, Disney has added some of the coolest rooms they have – log cabins! The cabins are situated right on the bay in the middle of what seems like a whole forest of trees. They are expensive, but I can’t imagine a stay there wouldn’t be worth it. The regular accommodations are also comfortable and full of aspects of the Wilderness theme. My favorite is the pull out bed beneath the TV in the studio rooms – you’ll find a magical Disney drawing to sleep next to at night!
The Wilderness Lodge is within the Magic Kingdom Resort Area, so you can hop on a boat to take you to the Castle! You can also travel to other resorts in the area like the Contemporary or the Polynesian by using the boat transportation.
The pool is also a really fun amenity and what’s better yet is that there is a new second pool! We were staying there during the pool’s construction, so I still haven’t seen too much of its progress but both have a spirit of adventure and this amazing rustic theme. My favorite view of the resort is going down to the bridge in between the pool and the geyser, with Bay Lake on one side and the gorgeous back of the resort on the other. The lobby is full of windows and the resort is U-shaped so you feel completely enclosed and cut off from the outside world and in tune with nature.
There’s a new extra at the Wilderness Lodge that I have yet to try, which is a poolside spa! It looks amazing and I can’t wait to (hopefully) check out its services!
Since it is time for the Holidays, I will mention that I adore the decorations of the Wilderness Lodge. The woodsy theme is captivating and makes you feel all kinds of warm and wintery spirits! My dad and I even recreated our own Wilderness themed Christmas setting!
As you can tell, I love the Wilderness Lodge. There is some sort of magic happening there, where you feel so in tune with nature and you’re reminded of the important things in life. It’s a breath of fresh air — and one of the best resorts at Walt Disney World!
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