Over the past couple of months, we’ve done several stays at Wilderness Lodge in an effort to improve our coverage. It’s our #1 hotel not just at Walt Disney World, but in the entire world, so we thought it’d be worth sharing a rundown of our posts and provide quick tips and info about Wilderness Lodge in this ultimate guide.
Wilderness Lodge is also one of Disney’s most “complicated” resorts. There’s Wilderness Lodge the hotel, plus the Copper Creek Villas, which are inside the main lodge and used to be hotel rooms. Copper Creek also includes the new Cascade Cabins, which dot the waterfront. About half of those cabins are in front of the Boulder Ridge Villas, which is the Disney Vacation Club building that used to be simply the Villas at Wilderness Lodge.
Confused yet? Then we’ll spare you a recitation of the convoluted and superfluous backstory that attempts to explain how all of this fits together in terms of a narrative and a timeline. Simply put, the backstory is bad and unnecessary at a resort where the theme of a U.S. National Park Lodge set in the Pacific Northwest is fairly self-evident. The best course of action is simply ignoring the contrived backstory.
Anyway, for those who have missed them, here’s a rundown of our posts about Wilderness Lodge, almost all of which are new or newly-updated. We also include a quick summary and a few key takeaways for those who don’t want to read each post…
Restaurants & Dining
Storybook Dining at Artist Point – The new Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (minus 5) character meal at Wilderness Lodge, which was a controversial replacement for Signature Dining. While we strongly disagree with the decision to outright replace the normal dinner at Artist Point (couldn’t they just add character breakfast–as was done in the past here?!), we were pleasantly surprised by the cuisine quality here.
Roaring Fork Review– This counter service restaurant received an extensive refurbishment a couple of years ago (during Wilderness Lodge’s overhaul), and the expanded and more ambitious menu here was one of the best things to come of that. While this is still not “destination” counter service dining for most people, there’s something to be said for a midday boat ride from Magic Kingdom for a relaxed (and delicious) meal here.
Whispering Canyon Cafe Review– A cult favorite among longtime Walt Disney World fans, Whispering Canyon Cafe is a zany restaurant that offers comical interactions with deadpan and humorous servers. The cuisine is mostly good (especially the Canyon Skillet), and is great for those looking for barbecue or comfort food in a high-energy atmosphere. While that energy has been ‘toned down’ a tad, the performance element here is still going strong.
Territory Lounge Review– One of Walt Disney World’s most underrated bars, Territory Lounge is great for its subdued and mellow ambiance, and a solid menu that includes a couple of popular appetizers and desserts from the (former) Artist Point Signature Dining menu.
Geyser Point Bar & Grill– The natural setting is the highlight of this waterfront lounge. We personally prefer Territory Lounge on the bar side, or Roaring Fork on the food side, but Geyser Point is a nice option for drinks at sunset (and for a couple of its entrees).
Hotel Rooms & Villas
Wilderness Lodge Review – This fully-updated review features the hotel rooms at Wilderness Lodge, along with thoughts about the resort’s themed design, amenities, transportation, and more. This is a good starting point for reading about Wilderness Lodge, as it covers info and background about the resort that our DVC reviews gloss over. These are slightly dated, but still my favorite rooms at Wilderness Lodge.
Copper Creek Villas Review – These converted hotel rooms are the newest Disney Vacation Club units at Walt Disney World (for now), and they skew much more towards an airy and modern design sensibility than any other rooms at Wilderness Lodge. If that’s your cup of tea, fine. Personally, these are my least favorite rooms at Wilderness Lodge.
Boulder Ridge Villas Review – The outlying and dedicated Disney Vacation Club building, which is a very short walk from the main building of the lodge. These rooms are ~15 feet larger than standard rooms in the lodge, and their design is more to my tastes than the newer Copper Creek rooms. These were also refurbished in the last few years, so they don’t feel tired, and are more on-theme.
Cascade Cabins Review – These waterfront cabins are priced in “if you have to ask, you probably can’t afford them” territory, and are a poor value for money even when using Disney Vacation Club points. Nevertheless, they are nicely-appointed, and have a more thematically-appropriate style than other DVC additions at Wilderness Lodge.
Wilderness Lodge at Christmas – Via photos and text, we make the case as to why Wilderness Lodge is the best place in all of Walt Disney World at Christmas–not just the best resort during the holidays. The decorations, music, and tree are all gorgeous and rife with detail, but this is truly a matter of the whole being more than the sum of its parts.
Wilderness Lodge v. Animal Kingdom Lodge– A showdown between Walt Disney World’s two lodges, which are also the two most richly-themed resorts at Walt Disney World, as well as the two “cheapest” Deluxes. We love both, and have a tough time choosing between the two. This post breaks them down in a few different ways to help you decide which might appeal to you more.
Grand Californian Review – Designed by the same architect as Wilderness Lodge, this is Disneyland Resort’s flagship hotel. It deviates from Wilderness Lodge in pretty significant ways with an Arts & Crafts sensibility drawn from homes in nearby Pasadena, but nonetheless shares strong bloodlines with Wilderness Lodge.
Sequoia Lodge Review– Conquered both Wilderness Lodge and the Grand Californian, and eager for more? Sequoia Lodge is the Disneyland Paris “version” of this concept. While this property was likewise inspired by U.S. National Park Lodges, it was also evokes Frank Lloyd Wright’s modern Prairie Style. This is one of Disney’s most under-appreciated resorts in the world from a design perspective.
What do you think of Wilderness Lodge? What’s your favorite room type here? What about dining? Do you agree or disagree with our advice? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback—even when you disagree with us—is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!