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.



yourfirstvisit.net—Disney World Instructions for the First-Time Visitor



Amenities at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge



By Dave Shute

For the first page of this review of Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, click here.

AMENITIES AT DISNEY’S WILDERNESS LODGE

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge is one of 8 official Disney owned and operated deluxe resorts at Walt Disney World.

In their recommended order for first time family visitors, they are

  1. Polynesian
  2. Wilderness Lodge
  3. Animal Kingdom Lodge
  4. Contemporary
  5. Yacht Club
  6. BoardWalk Inn

(Many of these also offer Disney Vacation Club (“DVC”) studios and villas, all for rent to the general public–see this for more on the Disney Vacation Club resorts. There are two DVC offerings at the Wilderness Lodge: Copper Creek Villas and Cabins, and Boulder Ridge Villas.)

Lobby Disney's Wilderness Lodge from yourfirstvisit.net (2)

You enter the Wilderness Lodge into its glorious, jaw-dropping lobby–none of my photos do justice to it…

Lobby Disney's Wilderness Lodge from yourfirstvisit.net (3)

Check In Disney's Wilderness Lodge from yourfirstvisit.net

On the right you’ll find the check-in and concierge area. At Disney World, “concierge” means help with tickets, dining reservations and such.

Gift Shop Disney's Wilderness Lodge from yourfirstvisit.net

Just down the side and extending around the corner is the gift shop.

More gift shop images:

Gift Shop Disney's Wilderness Lodge from yourfirstvisit.net (3)

Gift Shop Disney's Wilderness Lodge from yourfirstvisit.net (2)

Back into the lobby, and then outside you’ll find the main Copper Creek Springs pool at the Wilderness Lodge, which nestles between the two main wings of the building–see the map (on it the Lodge is the green-roofed shape at the top). More on the main pool and the great second pool, the Boulder Ridge Cove pool, down and around the corner, is later in this review.

Close to Bay Lake is a depiction of Yellowstone’s Old Faithful, whose local name is “Fire Rock Geyser,” and which goes off on the hour.

At this end of the complex, if you go left, or north, you’ll come to the boat dock.

Boats Disney's Wilderness Lodge from yourfirstvisit.net

One set of boats from here takes you to the Magic Kingdom, and another set loops among the three Bay Lake resorts–the Wilderness Lodge, Contemporary Resort, and Fort Wilderness. This makes getting to the kid-pleasing Chef Mickey’s at the Contemporary, and Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue at Fort Wilderness, quite simple.

Boat Disney's Wilderness Lodge from yourfirstvisit.net

Boats to the Contemporary always start much earlier in the morning than the Magic Kingdom boats–at 6.45a the day I shot this–so if you are going to the Magic Kingdom early, get the Contemporary boat and walk from the Contemporary to the Magic Kingdom.

Bus Stop Disney's Wilderness Lodge from yourfirstvisit.net

The bus stop–where you’ll find shared buses to all the parks–is at the other end of the resort, near the main entrance, between it and the nearby Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge.

Bus Board Disney's Wilderness Lodge from yourfirstvisit.net

The bus timing board. Note at the bottom that it also indicates watercraft transport to the Magic Kingdom.

Gym and Spa Villas at the Wilderness Lodge from yourfirstvisit.net

Inside the Boulder Ridge Villas is the gym, Sturdy Branches.

A new spa, Salon by the Springs, was still under construction at my July 2017 stay here.

Further down towards Bay Lake is the bike and boat barn.

Some more bikes…

…the marina.

What used to be a beach and a kids playground has largely been replaced by the new Cascade Cabins.  But there is still a trail to Fort Wilderness, and a pleasant walkway near the shore of Bay Lake outside of the new dining venue Geyser Point. (There’s more on dining at the Wilderness Lodge later in this review.)

Also in this area is an outdoor fireplace for campfires.

And then there’s the main pool.

THE MAIN COPPER CREEK SPRINGS POOL AT DISNEY’S WILDERNESS LODGE

This review continues here!

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2 comments

1 Shannon { 08.14.17 at 7:34 am }

Hi Dave,
Thanks for the review.
I booked the Wilderness Lodge for a stay this winter knowing that the kid’s club (Cub’s Den) was closed during renovations but hoping that it would re-open. I am now hearing that it will not reopen. Are you aware of any plans to replace it with a new kid’s club?
Also, you mention in this review that the kids playground was removed. Was it replaced by a new playground?
Many thanks.

2 Dave { 08.14.17 at 11:52 am }

Shannon, I have heard the same rumors about the Cub’s Den. It is physically still there, but I can’t vouch for it being available. I did not see another playground, and one is not marked on the map–that does not mean there won’t be one but I can’t say that there is one…

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