I'm new to this site. I would like any input anyone has on the Wilderness Lodge resort. We have stayed at the Polynesian and also Port Orleans Riverside. We have 3 kids so that does not allow us to stay at the value resorts.
I love, love, love, love, love the WL. It is my favorite resort on property. As I'm sure you already know, it's less than the Poly and more than POR, but I think it is definitely worth it. I love the Lodge atmosphere. It is very homey. I can't help but smile very time I've walked in after a hot day at the park. I'm not sure if the others do this, but the WL has rooms with bunkbeds, which could be fun for two of your kids. Not being on the monorail loop makes getting to the MK a little longer, but it's not bad. You can either catch a boat or bus to the MK or ride the boat to the Contemporary right across the lake and walk from the Contemporary to the MK. I've stayed at POR before and loved the landscaping there. The WL has nice landscaping too, especially around the pool. If you guys plan on eating at Hoop-Dee-Doo, it's easy to get there. Again, you can take a bus or boat, or the campground is within walking distance if you're the type to walk. Whispering Canyons, a restaurant in the hotel, is really fun for kids. Every hour or so they have a stickhorse race around the tables. Artist Point is the other hotel restaurant - it is fabulous! - but it is more of an adult setting and younger kids may get bored there. I've never stayed at the Poly, but I have stayed at the Contemporary and GF, and out of those, I still put WL at the top of my list. I highly recommend it!!!
"All our dreams can come true.....if we have the courage to pursue them." - Walt Disney
Wilderness Lodge is a wonderful resort. It has an atmosphere that transports you to a different place and time. I love the boat transportation to MK. The Whispering Canyon cafe is a great place for kids! The whole experience is a top notch location.
Now the Polynesian is also a great resort, but more expensive. WL is better than POR.
Jiminy Cricket Fan
I LOVE this place! Stayed there both times I have been to WDW. (Going to Boardwalk this next time.) I don't know about anybody else, but I thought transportation to most places was very efficient. (I use the WDW buses) If you can, get a room with a view of the lake. There is a cute little show there at night. Nothing huge but its a nice touch. Depending on your schedule and needs, I found jumping monorails to boats being fun, restful and not too time consuming at times. (Epcot to TTC to Contemporary and then Boat to Wilderness Lodge gives you a few minutes in AC )
I love WL...been four times since it opened (I am lucky.) Great location to get to MK. Amazing lobby. Good food. Great pool. You feel as though you are hidden by the location...which is nice. Lobby is awesome at night. Great place for kids to hang. AKL is my second favorite place...but WL still ranks #1.
Room renovations are almost complete ... about 50 rooms out of 750 remain and they are moving very quickly.
It's my favorite WDW resort and with the new rooms (all new top-to-bottom from carpeting to bedding to big flat screen LCDs), I can't see anywhere else better (except the Contemporary ... those rooms are incredible for WDW).
this is also my favorite hotel and I am actually a DVC member at the Villas.
The Iron Spike room just off to the right at the Villas lobby. This room has oversized rocking leather chairs (apparently this was Walt's favorite type of "thinking" chair) and all sorts of railroad memorabilia including an actual train car from Walt's set. The room also has games like checkers etc. These are great spots to relax and plan the rest of your stay.
There is a 1 mile walking trail through the woods which takes you to Fort Wilderness for easy access to a petting zoo and/or the hoop-de-doo review. You are likely to see some wild life such as deer, ducks etc along the trail. You can also rent speedboats and bicycles from this resort. There is also a daycare center for kids over 4 and also an arcade and large gift shop. Walking around the facilities, there are bear and deer tracks etc. built into the pavement for added ambiance. Music comes from hidden speakers and at night, there are flickering lights and crickets chirping a la DL Blue Bayou. Even outside of going to the parks, this resort is really a destination in itself and is easily our favorite resort at WDW.
· Ease of Disney Park Access: The bus is actually the fastest way to the MK, but the boat is a lot of fun and adds to the memories/experiences of the stay. You can also get a boat to the Contemporary and hop right on the monorail to Epcot or other monorail resorts. The bus stops are right in between the main hotel and the villas. Sometimes the boat to the MK will stop at Fort Wilderness first but WL is always the first stop coming back from MK. Both buses and boats seem to come about every 10-20 minutes. It takes about 30-45 minutes to get to the Animal Kingdom which is the longest ride.
· General Restaurant/Lounge Impressions: This hotel is one of the nicer dining options outside of the Grand Floridian - this hotel features High/Middle/Low cost dining. Artist point is probably one of the best restaurants on WDW property, Whispering Canyon has great food and is a lot of fun for the kids and Roaring Fork has a nice selection of quick items and is conveniently located close to the main pool.
· Pool Description/Comments:
The main pool has a water slide and there is also a kiddie pool and 2 hot tubs. There is also a walk-up bar right by the pool and close to the geyser which erupts every hour or so. The Villas quiet pool also has a hot tub and is a favorite for adults, although kids can play there also without gettting dirty looks.