Thursday, March 27, 2014

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge is Breathtaking

While the Wilderness Lodge isn’t my favourite Disney resort (you can read about the Caribbean Beach Resort in my next blog post) it is stunning and the most economical of Disney’s deluxe resorts. When you enter the cavernous, eight-story high lobby, themed in style and décor that is designed to evoke the spirit of the great US national parks, you can’t help but pause to take a closer look. Prominent in one corner is the massive stone fireplace that rises through all eight stories and out the roof of the main lodge. There are several comfortable lounge and rocking chairs in front of the large fireplace. Nearby is the bubbling spring that starts in the lobby, passes under a glass wall to the outdoors, then flows through the gardens until it becomes a waterfall that plunges into the Silver Creek Springs pool. The pool area has hot and cold whirlpool spas, a waterslide, and a large family-friendly pool. Adults may want to retreat to the quieter Hidden Springs pool tucked a short walk away behind a sound-dampening row of trees.

When my mom came to visit me this summer, we spent two weeks at the Wilderness Lodge. While she was hoping for a more “princess themed” resort experience, we couldn’t beat the location and amenities of the Wilderness Lodge. As one of just four Magic Kingdom resorts, the Wilderness Lodge is only a ten-minute boat ride to the theme park where I worked and boats came every 10-15 minutes giving me a much shorter commute to work than the staff busses. In addition to the pools there is a general store, lots of walking trails and bike rentals. In the evening, you can view the classic (aka old fashioned) Electrical Water Pageant from the resort beach, roast marshmallows over a campfire, and beachside movies are shown each evening on a large inflatable screen. The rooms echo the theming of the resort so expect lots of wood and dark colours. All rooms have a balcony complete with a small table and two chairs and the higher your floor, the better the view. Some rooms offer views of the nightly fireworks from the Magic Kingdom. This is a large resort so expect a long walk from your room to the boat dock and to the restaurants.

We didn’t visit the fine dining restaurant (Artist Point). We ate most often at the quick service restaurant called Roaring Fork. There is a large indoor dining area as well as a number of tables and chairs outside between the hotel and the pool area. This is the location where you can purchase and fill your refillable mugs throughout your stay. The Roaring Fork offers both hot and cold options at breakfast, lunch and dinner with dinner specials that change daily, great soups and a truly awesome chili. They have a signature Wilderness Salad that is meal sized and worth a try. We occasionally ate at the moderate table service restaurant called Whispering Canyon Café. This is considered a “unique/themed” dining experience and the servers work hard to entertain guests during your meal. The serving staff play games and create challenges between tables and there is a long-standing joke that takes place whenever someone asks for ketchup. If you’ve been there to see it, leave a comment and share your experience below.

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