By the co-author of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2017, from the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series ever. Paperback available on Amazon here. Kindle version available on Amazon here. PDF version available on Gumroad here.



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Review: Copper Creek Villas and Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge



By Dave Shute

OVERVIEW: COPPER CREEK VILLAS AND CABINS AT DISNEY’S WILDERNESS LODGE FOR FIRST TIME VISITORS

Copper Creek Villas and Cabins is the newer of the two Disney Vacation Club resorts at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge.

Opened in July 2017, it adds studios and many multi-bedroom options to the Vacation Club inventory (all available to anyone to book, just like regular rooms) that already existed here in the former villas, now re-named Boulder Ridge.

Most of Copper Creek was rebuilt into what had been half of the Wilderness Lodge, its southeast wing.

But Copper Creek also includes 26 new (and wildly expensive) “Cascade Cabins,” 12 to the north along the waterway between the Wilderness Lodge and the Contemporary Resort, and 14 south along Bay Lake.

Most room options at Copper Creek Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge are wonderful places for returning visitors to Walt Disney World to stay. But for typical first-time visitors, I don’t recommend the Disney Vacation Club resorts.

That said, these “DVC” resorts can be a great choice for first time visitors with large families, needing extra sleeping spaces, or looking for a more comfortable place to stay.

Among the Disney Vacation Club resorts, the Copper Creek Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge ranks first overall for first-time visitors.

THE DISNEY VACATION CLUB RESORTS

You can have a spectacular visit at any Walt Disney World resort. However, this site recommends that typical first time visitors to Walt Disney World avoid the Disney Vacation Club resorts, while noting that these resorts are wonderful for visits after the first. (You can find extensive detail on the DVC resorts here.)

The recommendation comes from the simple fact that the distinguishing feature of these resorts–extra space and full kitchens–will not be of much value to first-time visitors following one of the itineraries on this site, as they won’t be used much.

However, the Disney Vacation Club resorts represent more than 10% of Walt Disney World’s total rooms, and are very appropriate for first time visitors with large families, needing extra sleeping spaces, or looking for a more comfortable place to stay.

Because of this, I’m providing a series of up-to-date reviews. This review is based on my two stays at the Copper Creek Villas at the Wilderness Lodge the week it opened in July 2017.

THE COPPER CREEK VILLAS AT DISNEY’S WILDERNESS LODGE

Resorts are ranked on this site for first time visitors based first on their kid appeal, and then on their convenience.

On this basis, The Copper Creek Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge comes in first overall among the Disney Vacation Club resorts. (See this for resort rankings.)

The two Wilderness Lodge options–Boulder Ridge and Copper Creek–have the best overall kid appeal among the DVC options.

Because the glory of the Wilderness Lodge is the architecture of the main building and in particular its lobby, and because Copper Creek is in the main building, Copper Creek generally wins out over Boulder Ridge–although the separate building of Boulder Ridge really does have its own unique charm and a much more coherent theme. (Copper Creek simultaneously fully participates in the glorious theming of the Wilderness Lodge itself, but is largely themeless on its own.)

However, there’s a little variability here for some families in the Studios. Pick between the Copper Creek and Boulder Ridge based on your sleeping needs. Copper Creek studios sleep four on a queen and a fold-out bed that’s as wide as a queen but four inches shorter. Boulder Ridge studios sleep five on three beds–those two beds and a third bed that folds down from the wall, and eliminates the room’s table when it does so.

This review has five pages

Lobby Totem Pole Disney's Wilderness Lodge from yourfirstvisit.net
Kid Appeal. The Copper Creek Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge share the services, resources and lobby of Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, plus compatible theming. The spectacular kid appeal of the Wilderness Lodge, especially its lobby, makes it number one on the kid appeal list.  (For more on the Wilderness Lodgesee this.)

Convenience.  Both sets of Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge are the fourth-most convenient of all the Disney resort hotels, and the second most convenient of the DVC resorts–after Bay Lake Tower. Boulder Ridge is a little more convenient to the bus stop, which serves Animal Kingdom, Epcot, and Hollywood Studios.  Copper Creek is a little more convenient to the boat dock that serves Magic Kingdom.

OTHER DISTINCTIVE FEATURES OF THE COPPER CREEK VILLAS AT DISNEY’S WILDERNESS LODGE

The Copper Creek Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge has a number of very strong positives.

  • The strongest positive is the spectacular theming of it and its partner resort Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  • Other shared positives include the nice variety of dining options in the Lodge, and the theming of the main pool and of the new smaller pool Boulder Ridge Cove

Another positive compared to many other DVC villas is the size of the dining room table.

See the Two Bedroom Villa floor plan.

The shared living/dining/kitchen space is in the center–it’s the same in both One and Two Bedroom Villas. The dining table can seat six–which does not seem like a lot compared to the eight people a Two Bedroom Villa here can sleep…

…but it’s much bigger than the dining table at Boulder Ridge, shown above, and also bigger than the equivalent tables in most other DVC resorts.

Moreover, also in 2017 a number of other refurbed or new amenities opened at the Wilderness Lodge. While any guests–those staying in the Lodge, in Copper Creek, or in Boulder Ridge–can use them, these amenities were added as part of the Copper Creek project, and collectively present a step-change improvement in the amenities at the Wilderness Lodge.

The new Geyser Point Bar and Grill adds a lovely waterside bar…

…with wonderful views of Bay Lake (your rainbows may vary).

Nestled among Geyser Point, Boulder Ridge, and Copper Creek…

…in the space of the old plain quiet pool here is the completely re-done Boulder Ridge Cove pool, richly themed to an abandoned mining railroad, and probably overall better than the main pool itself.

Also re-done were the other quick-service option at the Wilderness Lodge, Roaring Fork, and the boat and bike barn.

Still to come is the spa, “Salon by The Springs,” which will go in the old main pool bar.

BEST AND WORST ROOMS AT THE COPPER CREEK VILLAS AT DISNEY’S WILDERNESS LODGE


See the map. The Wilderness Lodge itself is the larger, green-roofed block on the top left–the Copper Creek Villas are in the Lodge, on its right–southeast–side. The Boulder Ridge Villas are the smaller, reddish-roofed block at the bottom right. The Copper Creek Cascade Cabins are the small buildings along the water.

There really are no bad rooms at Copper Creek. Both sides of Copper Creek have pool views. Rooms closer to Bay Lake are also closer (via stairs) to Geyser Point, both pools and the boat dock that takes you to the Magic Kingdom. Rooms closer to the lobby are closer to the elevators and to the bus stop for the other theme parks.

Best places to stay at the Copper Creek Villas at the Wilderness Lodge

So long as you are able to use the stairs, the best Lodge rooms will be upper floor (because quieter) villas and studios closer to Bay Lake. If you aren’t comfortable on stairs, ask for Upper Floor and Near Elevator.

Among the Cascade Cabins, the northern ones (numbered 8001-8012) have partial, distant views of Happily Ever After, and are closer to the main lobby via the passageway that goes near Roaring Fork, but suffer from lots of boat noise.  The southern Cabins (8013-8026) have a quieter, more tranquil location–although they do get some boat noise–but are distant from all services except Geyser Point and the Boulder Ridge Cove pool.

Worst places to stay at the Copper Creek Villas at the Wilderness Lodge

All first floor rooms have patios, not balconies. On the Boulder Ridge Cove side, this at least makes the new pool and Geyser Point pretty easy to get to–just walk off your patio and you are steps away.  But they will be noisier, less private, and not have as nice a view.

All seventh floor rooms–and some others–have solid-walled balconies, rather than the open railings you’ll find in most lower-floor studios and villas. This quite limits the view you get while seated. Standing views are fine, and seventh floor courtyard view rooms can get truncated views of Happily Ever After over the opposite wing of the Lodge.

Disney’s room request form for these villas won’t let you get anywhere near this specific…so you’d need to communicate over the phone.

BEST FOR:

Larger families, families seeking a bit of extra privacy or more beds, families looking for a more comfortable place to stay, families looking for particularly kid-appealing DVC space, families wanting to get into the Wilderness Lodge but finding its regular rooms to be sold out.

WORST FOR:

Families on a budget.

THEMING AND ACCOMMODATIONS AT THE COPPER CREEK VILLAS AT THE WILDERNESS LODGE

This review continues here!

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2 comments

1 Noelle { 08.17.17 at 2:20 am }

Thank you for a detailed review right after the resort opens. I don’t see a pack and play as well as high chair in the storage closet in your photos. Do I have to request one during check in? I remember they are usually already there at other resorts. A very sturdy step stool was also in our AKV room.
Thanks.

2 Dave { 08.17.17 at 7:31 am }

Noelle, over the years I’ve noted a mixed presence of these, but yes you can always call for them.

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