Thursday, June 30, 2022

Our Guide to Disney's Wilderness Lodge



Disney Wilderness Lodge, copper creek villas, Disney Blog

If you've been a long time reader of our blog, you may remember that it is a goal of ours to stay at every Disney World Resort. We keep getting sidetracked from this goal because we like going back to our favorite resort!  We have only a few left to check off our list and this past week we finally checked off Wilderness Lodge!  I had booked a stay at Wilderness Lodge about 10 years ago and then cancelled it for a more "Disney-ish" feeling resort. And by "Disney-ish" I mean a more colorful and "beachy" feeling resort.  Although I heard great things about the Wilderness Lodge, I never had the desire to stay there because I assumed it was a "dark" resort that made you feel like you were in the forest.  That to me did not feel like a Disney vacation. 

Disney Copper creek, Boulder Ridge Villas

Since Wilderness Lodge was one of the last resorts on our list to "check off" we decided to book there.  Our parents would be traveling with us this time and I knew our dad would just love Wilderness Lodge!

Let me just say, I was SO WRONG about Wilderness Lodge.  It is not dark and it is not "non-Disney-ish".

Disney Boulder Ridge, Copper Creek DVC Villas, Disney blog

I felt like I was just as much at a Disney resort as I have at any other resort.  My first time staying here was actually my first time visiting here ever! 


So here are the details on Wilderness Lodge.

Wilderness Lodge  has several types of accommodations.  They have the standard rooms in the Wilderness Lodge building, they have the DVC ( Disney Vacation Club) rooms at Boulder Ridge ( on the right side of the resort), on the left side of the resort are the Copper Creek buildings and around the lake are the Cascade Cabins. 

We were in Boulder Ridge in a Deluxe Studio.  You can read about our experience in that room HERE.

Transportation:   If you want to Visit Magic Kingdom ( the closest park) you can take a boat ( they have 2 types of boats) or  you can still take a bus. But that's not as much fun!

Fairytales and Fitness, Disney blog


 When I booked at this resort I was told that not only is there a direct boat to Magic Kingdom, but there are also direct boats to Fort Wilderness ( the campground) and the Contemporary resort. You could then hop on the monorail at the Contemporary if you wanted to take it to another monorail resort ( Polynesian or Grand Floridian) or even the TTC where you can transfer monorails to go to Epcot.  However, AT THIS TIME THOSE BOATS WERE NOT RUNNING. I visited the Summer of 2022 and cast members said those boats to Contemporary and Fort Wilderness had not been running and they didn't know when they would be again.  I heard the boat to Fort Wilderness was not running because it had to pass by that island ( old River Country) where Disney is building that new Reflections lake side lodge resort, which makes sense since Disney is being super secretive about that right now ( more on that later).  However, I can't think of any reason why the boat to the Contemporary  would not be running. Perhaps it was a staffing issue (which is still being noticed at Disney).

You will have to take a bus to all other parks, water parks, and Disney Springs.  The bus stop is located right in front of the Boulder Ridge Villas.



Fairytales and Fitness, Disney blog


Recreation: The main source of recreation is of course the main pool with the water slide.

Disney blog

 There is an additional pool (without water slides) near the Boulder Ridge Building. My family really enjoyed this pool and spent a few hours there one afternoon. Around 3pm they were starting some pool side activities for the kids, including chalk art.


  Behind Geyser Point Bar and Grill there is game room of sorts. It is a covered patio that had table tennis, table soccer, and mini pool table. In the near by lawn they had a Corn Hole game ( but this particular game had very light bean bags so they were hard to throw).  We did spend some time playing the games


A nice perk to staying at Wilderness Lodge or the villas is that you can indeed see the Magic Kingdom Fireworks.  I can say for sure that you can see them from the Wilderness lodge boat dock. They even have the Magic Kingdom music piped in through the speakers.  There was a bench there that we were able to sit on and watch the fireworks, but be warned there is only one bench.  

Disney blog

After the fireworks we were treated to a front row seat of the Electric Water Pageant. 


Sturdy Branches

Other recreation includes a running trail ( which was closed at the time of my visit, I'll talk about that later), and a health center /gym called Sturdy Branches ( post on that coming soon). 


Be sure to stop by the geyser that erupts every hour.


There are nightly campfires 6:30 -7:30 pm with complimentary marshmallows. S'mores kits are available to purchase.

As with many of the deluxe resorts, you may be greeted  with some characters.  These usually take place near the lobby in the main lodge and happen at random times.

Disney Blogger

  We did not see any of the random character visits during our stay, but we did see plenty during one of our dinners. We did see a photo pass photographer in the lobby that took some great pictures of our family.

Crafts at Disney Wilderness lodge


There is a salon ( Salon by the Springs) that would normally do hair and nail services. However this was not available during our visit. In fact, the building was turned into a place for arts and crafts. I don't know if this is a permanent closure or not because the Salon services are still listed on the resort website. 



Each month there will be an activities schedule published ( These will also be posted around the resort or ask for a schedule at the front desk).  This will tell you what the movie will be for each night for movies under the stars. These movies are completely free and start each night at 8:30 pm.  It will also tell you about any other crafts and activities that will be going on, such as tie dying t-shirts ( for an additional cost).

Mercantile shop at Disney
There is one gift shop at Wilderness Lodge called the Mercantile.  It had some of the same souvenirs as all the other shops I'd been in with the addition of some clothing pieces that had Wilderness lodge printed on them. Definitely not the best resort gift shop I'd been in. 

Disney Wilderness Lodge Activities
Buttons and Bells is the resorts arcade.  Not only does the arcade have your typical pinball and video games, it also has massage chairs, and some of the interactive games like where you ride on a motor bike, or snow board.  You might think they are stupid, but just try them once. It is fun.  This arcade also has 2 photo booths. One is a typical photo booth and one is one of the new booths that makes your pictures with comic book characters.  The arcade does not take cash, you will have to put money on a card and then each game or photo booth will use points. 

More outdoor recreation is available at Fort Wilderness which was just a short bus ride away. 

Dining with evil queen, Dopey, Grumpy, and Snow White

Dining: One of the best experiences we had at Wilderness Lodge was at Storybook Dining at Artist point.  

Artist Point was Wilderness Lodge's signature dining location. Now it is a character dining location ( still expensive but worth it). Full review of that restaurant coming soon.

Bison Burger at Disney

Our family also really enjoyed the Geyser Point Bar and Grill.  This is an outdoor, but covered, restaurant and is known for its famous Bison burger.

Quick service at Disney Wilderness Lodge

We will also be reviewing this restaurant as well as the quick service dining location called Roaring Forks. 

In addition to these three dining options, there is also Whispering Canyon Cafe. This restaurant can be seen from the lobby of Wilderness Lodge. This restaurant serves up all you care to enjoy skillet meals as well as lots of shenanigans. 

We did not get to visit Territory Lounge which I regret because I would have liked to try the Oregon Chardonnay Fondue with Pretzel bread and grapes. Maybe next time.

Our particular room had a mini fridge, microwave, and toaster so we were able to heat up some breakfasts in our room. 

Also, if you buy the refillable mugs or you just want to refill your own bottle with water or ice, you can use the fountains that are in Roaring Forks or the one just outside of Geyser Point.


The Resort: This resort and its grounds really are lovely.  Be prepared to even see some critters. 

                   Can you spot the duck in the pool? 

Of course you have those Disney ducks and it was cute to see them actually lounging in the swimming pool. One evening as we were walking back to the room my sister encounter some critter that she could not identify. She took pictures and videos but of course it was dark.  She tried to describe what she saw to a cast member and they assumed it was a Florida Racoon.  Another cast member told me that she saw a Florida Panther on the property just last year. 



 In addition I did spot a few small snakes, but was told they were the harmless type. 


 As an added touch there are animal prints stamped into the sidewalks all around the resort.


Across from the Cascade Cabins there are some picnic areas with tables and grills.  Since this is a DVC resort, I would assume that these areas are available to all resort guests, not just those staying in the cabins. 

You do not have to be a DVC member to stay at this resort.  The main lodge has the standard rooms and club level rooms, the largest which sleeps up to six. 

The DVC side has the Villas and the largest ( the three bedroom) sleeps up to 12.

Disney Copper Creek Cabins

The cabins sleep 8 and even have a private enclosed patio with it's own hot tub.  I've learned that Disney even pipes in the fireworks music there!



 We are so glad that we finally chose to stay at Wilderness Lodge. I think it was the perfect combination of being "Disney-ish"  and being a peaceful respite.  All of my family is indeed "into" Disney but if you have someone in your family/travel party that is not a huge Disney fan (but is going on vacation with you), this might be the perfect resort to introduce them to the Disney Magic! 


Does this sound like a resort you would like to stay at? 











No comments:

Post a Comment

Fairytales and Fitness is a personal blog authored and edited by us, Meranda and Lacey. The thoughts expressed here represent only our own and are not meant to be taken as professional advice. Please note that our thoughts and opinions change from time to time. We consider this a necessary consequence of having an open mind in an ever changing society. Any thoughts and opinions expressed within our out-of-date posts may not be the same, nor even similar, to those we may express today. Some links may contain affiliate links. Some links are just to pages we'd like to share.