This Disney deluxe class resort is located in the Magic Kingdom area, between the Contemporary resort and Fort Wilderness. The “theme” of this resort is that of a National Park, as the entire resort has a lodge feel that captures the spirit of the American West in the early 1900’s. The parking area is conveniently located in front of the lobby area of the hotel and is within comfortable walking distance to the hotel.
The lobby itself is very breathtaking as its architecture includes massive log columns and totem poles. A large fireplace in the lobby welcomes you with comfortable rocking chairs, as a babbling stream runs into the lobby, creating a very peaceful mood.
Main Waterfall Wilderness Lodge The general store located just off the lobby, includes souvenirs in addition to general merchandise such as food items and toiletries. It is a good resource for forgotten items, such as disposable razors, or to satisfy a food craving (Entenmanns’s doughnuts).
The hotel has 728 guest rooms; each includes two queen-size beds, in addition to a table and chair. Storage for your clothing can be found in the TV armoire that has limited drawer space. The bathrooms are a bit small, but the vanity areas are outside of the bathroom, which helps when multiple people are dressing/washing at the same time. Most rooms have a balcony, but the upper floors do not have an unobstructed view, as the architecture creates almost an enclosed balcony on those upper floors.
Second Pool Wilderness Lodge The hotel has two pools, a main one and a more quiet pool. Life vests are available at the marina area and can be used for the length of your stay (at no charge) – this is a service for all hotel guests and is provided on a first-come, first-served basis. This is a great feature when traveling with small children.
The marina area is small, but contains small (two-person) boat rentals, along with larger 4-6 person boat rentals. The nice feature of this marina is that you will be able to drive your rental to the Magic Kingdom area (right up to the main entrance) or you can drive over to Fort Wilderness.
When staying at the Wilderness Lodge, you will have access to the boat transportation to the Magic Kingdom. This is a very pleasant trip, although you must note that the boat will stop at Fort Wilderness on its way to the Magic Kingdom (and sometimes on the return trip).
Review of trip- Date of stay – May 26-30, 2005-10-08
Main Waterfall Wilderness Lodge Our family trip to the Wilderness Lodge involved a split stay at a non Disney hotel (4 nights) and then a stay at the Wilderness Lodge (4 nights). Since we were switching hotels at the middle of our stay, we wanted to check into the Lodge quite early in the day and then explore the parks. When we arrived at the hotel we were told we could leave our bags and visit the theme parks while our room was being made up for us. Although we had reserved a standard room, we were told at check in that we would be upgraded to a courtyard view (nice perk)! We then self parked our car and took the boat transportation over to the Magic Kingdom. We did not like that the boat had to stop at Fort Wilderness, as this seemed to make the trip quite longer.
At lunch time, we returned to the Lodge and found our room was ready, our bags were taken up to our room very quickly and we spent the rest of the day enjoying the pools and exploring the resort. The geyser along the lake is a very nice feature as it “goes off” every hour. The kids enjoyed waiting and watching for the next blast off.
The overall look and feel of the hotel is quite nice. The landscaping and layout are beautiful. Although the hotel advertises a “beach”, it is only a very small area of sand with a few chairs. The rooms were a little smaller than those in the Animal Kingdom Lodge, but work for a family of four (with small children). Families with older children will need more space.
Walkway to Boat Dock Wilderness lodge our only negative issues with the hotel were the fast-food area and the access to the pool areas. The food sold in the Roaring Fork (fast food) was very limited and the staff was not very helpful. They also could not provide any bags or boxes for carrying food back to your room (which was a bit of a walk). In regards to the pool, the area was beautiful but we found many guests from Fort Wilderness were taking the boat transportation over to the Lodge and using the pools. This caused the area to be quite crowded and towels and chairs were hard to find. Although on a few days, lifeguards were handing out wristbands, it did not seem as though they were viewing the person’s room key before giving out the badge. When we rode the boat over to the Magic Kingdom, quite a few people traveled back to Fort Wilderness in their bathing suits, after using the pools at the Lodge.
Overall we experienced a good stay at the Wilderness Lodge. It worked well for a short stay of 4 nights, for a longer vacation, I would recommend a hotel with larger rooms (Animal Kingdom Lodge, Polynesian Resort).