By the co-author of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2019, the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series ever.

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Theming and Accommodations at Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge



By Dave Shute

(For the first page of this review of the Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, see this.)

THEMING AND  ACCOMMODATIONS AT THE BOULDER RIDGE VILLAS AT THE WILDERNESS LODGE

Review The Villas at the Wilderness Lodge from yourfirstvisit.net

There are currently ten official Disney Vacation Club resorts at Walt Disney World.

Because the two sets of options at the Wilderness Lodge, Animal Kingdom Lodge and Saratoga Springs are so different, and the Polynesian offering is so distinctive, for review purposes I count a total of twelve resorts, but rank only eleven.

Their overall ranking for first time family visitors is as follows:

  1. Copper Creek Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  2. Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  3. Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas–Jambo House
  4. Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas–Kidani Village
  5. Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
  6. The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa
  7. Disney’s Beach Club Villas
  8. Disney’s Boardwalk Villas
  9. Disney’s Old Key West Resort
  10. Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa, main resort
  11. Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort, Treehouse Villas area

My rankings exclude the Polynesian Villas and Bungalows, as it does not offer one or two bedroom villas. If the ranking were based solely on studios, the Polynesian offering would be near the top.

These resorts are available to anyone to reserve through the regular Walt Disney World website or the resort reservations phone number at 407-939-7675.

They also are available to the general public at great discounts through renting points from a Disney Vacation Club member.

According to Walt Disney World’s website,

“Recalling the 1860’s railroad hotels of the American West, the [Boulder Ridge] Villas offer the comforts of home amid the rustic beauty of Disney’s Wilderness Lodge … Just a breezy boat ride to Magic Kingdom park, the [Boulder Ridge] Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge celebrate American craftsmanship and the majesty of the great outdoors.”

Railroad Memorabilia Villas at Disney's Wilderness Lodge from yourfirstvisit.net

While the Boulder Ridge  Villas have tons of railroad memorabilia, including from Walt Disney’s own model Carolwood Pacific, the old railroad hotels–such as the Harvey Houses–weren’t nearly as lovely as the Villas.

Public Space The Villas at Disney's Wilderness Lodge from yourfirstvisit.net
Moreover, the lobby of the villas is themed as a roundhouse or turntable-served car shop with a covered turntable–a rare amenity in a hotel.

Think of the Villas as being themed around the old west, adventure, exploration, and railroads, and you’ll get it!

While not as stunning as the Wilderness Lodge itself, because the Boulder Ridge Villas share the check-in, services, restaurants, and lobby of the Wilderness Lodge, as a package including the Lodge, the Boulder Ridge Villas are overall amazingly kid-appealing.

The Boulder Ridge Villas principal negatives are the small size of the shared space of its Two-Bedroom villas.

Returning visitors will likely find the Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge to be a favorite. The Wilderness Lodge itself is spectacular, but has small rooms. The Villas give your family a little more room to spread out!

ROOMS AT THE BOULDER RIDGE VILLAS AT DISNEY’S WILDERNESS LODGE

Like all Disney Vacation Club resorts except the Polynesian Villas and Bungalows, the Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge have studio rooms, One-Bedroom Villas, and Two-Bedroom Villas.

Unlike most, it has no Grand Villas, although you can find Grand Villas in sister resort Copper Creek.

At the Boulder Ridge Villas, Studios sleep five, on a queen, fold-out couch, and fold-down 75″ x 33″ bed that sleeps smaller than that.

Kitchinette Studio Villas at Wilderness Lodge from yourfirstvisit.net

They also come equipped with a coffee-maker, mini-fridge, toaster and microwave. These rooms are slightly larger than the main lodge’s 340 square feet, and have a slight additional feeling of spaciousness because of the couch rather than a second queen.

Murphy Bed Studio Villas at Wilderness Lodge from yourfirstvisit.net (2)

There aren’t any standard rooms in the main lodge that sleep 5, so the small number of studios here–about 65–is in high demand.

One-Bedroom Villas sleep 4 in a master bedroom with a king bed and a fold-out couch.

Living Dining Kitchen Space Villas at the Wilderness Lodge from yourfirstvisit.net (3)

The couch is in a shared space that also includes a full kitchen/ dining/ living space and a washer/ dryer.

The bath is accessible from both the master bedroom and the shared living space, and is designed so that the kids can use one side without intruding into the master bedroom.

Master Bedroom Villas at the Wilderness Lodge from yourfirstvisit.net

The master bedroom includes a king bed.

Two-Bedroom Villas add a second bedroom to a One Bedroom Villa. “Lockoff” Two Bedrooms simply combine the spaces and capacity of a Studio and One Bedroom. “Dedicated” Two Bedroom Villas (floor plan below) replace the Studio with a two-queen room.

As noted on the first page of this review, I don’t recommend Two-Bedroom villas at the  Boulder Ridge Villas at the Wilderness Lodge for families that can’t entirely fit into the two bedrooms themselves.

There isn’t enough living or dining capacity, and the placement of the connecting door to the second bedroom is awkward when the couch is folded out and being used as a bed.

So if you have to use the fold out couch, avoid a Two Bedroom here, and stay in a Two Bedroom at Copper Creek or  Kidani Village instead.

(To each of the capacity figures above, you can add one more kid under 3 at time of check in who sleeps in a crib.)

PHOTO TOUR OF A STUDIO AT BOULDER RIDGE VILLAS AT THE WILDERNESS LODGE

This review continues here!

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