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  1. #1

    • Pixiedust?
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    Wilderness Lodge

    Okay, so I'm staying at the Wilderness Lodge in August due to the fact that my mom wanted to go a week earlier and there was almost nowhere to stay and her best friend whom she hasn't seen in 15 years is staying at Fort Wilderness.

    But I was wondering if anyone could give me any insight about this hotel because I've read everything allearsnet has to say about it and I was wondering about your personal opinions such as the food at the Roaring Forks for a snack, or Whispering Canyon Cafe because we have reservations there. I was also wondering, are all of the resort rooms refurbished now?

    Any other information besides just that would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

    .. a dream is a wish your heart makes

  2. #2

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    Re: Wilderness Lodge

    I totally the Wilderness Lodge. It is my favorite resort. Even though it may have been the only place available, it is a wonderful place to stay. It is one of those resorts that you actually want to spend time in. There were a couple of nights during my stay in May where I opted not to go to the park and walked around the Lodge instead. Before I get on a tangent, let me address your questions.....

    Roaring Forks is a lot better than it used to be. You can still get chicken fingers, hamburgers, the like, but they have also added new sandwiches and salads to the menu. I ordered one sandwich and it came with a mountain of ham and tillamook cheddar. It was a lot larger than I was expecting. I just have to say - avoid the coffee. It is Nescafe, which doesn't even qualify as coffee. There are other great places around that serve better coffee.

    Whispering Canyon is a fun place to eat. Like 50s Prime Time, the servers really make the meal. As I'm sure you've seen from allears, the food has a southwestern influence, but it's pretty basic. If you want a real kick, ask for ketchup. I'm not going to spoil it for you. About every hour or so, they also have a stick pony race through the restaurant for the kids. It's cute. Are you eating there for lunch/dinner or breakfast? Keep breakfast in mind. It's very convenient when you want a full breakfast and we've never had to make reservations for breakfast.

    I don't know the ages of your party members, but if you are all adults (or have patient children), try Artist Point in the Lodge. It's not very conducive to children, so younger ones may have a struggle getting through this meal. It's very slow placed, the food is excellent, and it is the perfect way to wind down after a hectic day in the park. The menu is northwest inspired, so check it out on allears to see if it might be something you would like.

    I think all of the rooms are refurbed (though I personally don't like the refurb). The sink area has been improved, though, as the lighting is pretty good now. The bathroom also now has one of those curved shower curtain rods. Pretty sweet.

    Some other things about the Lodge.......there is a Lodge tour in the mornings, though I don't know if it is offered every day. If you have a free morning, you might want to give it a try. The tour guides give a lot of insight to the Lodge's history that made me appreciate the resort even more. If you can catch him, look for an older gentleman named Stan. I think he is there five days a week. He is such a sweetheart! He has this older generation charm about him that I love. Stan say's he is going to retire every year, but every year he is still working.
    Here is Stan:


    My favorite spot in the Lodge is on the 4th floor. When you head to Whispering Canyon, you'll notice a staircase that goes over the main entrance. If you head up those stairs, you'll go through a glass door (which will put you right over the main entrance). Go through the other glass door and further up the stairs to the 4th floor. Hang a right, as if you are going to walk around the balcony way and you'll see a sitting area with a fireplace and cushioned leather chairs. It's a great place to hang out at night with a cup of tea (since good coffee is hard to come by . There is another seating area on the next floor, too. You'll find other little spots that you'll like - the WL has so many areas to discover.

    The WL Villas has the Iron Spike room. If you like Walt Disney history and trains, it might be worth a walk over there.

    If I think of anything else, I'll post it here. If you have any questions, shoot! You'll have a fabulous time - I'm very excited for you!
    "All our dreams can come true.....if we have the courage to pursue them."
    - Walt Disney

  3. #3

    • Lonestar Louisianian
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    Re: Wilderness Lodge

    Sealsm said it so well that there is nothing more to add except "I SECOND SEALSM!"
    ______________________________________________
    "Screw with my pixie dust at your own peril!" - Mr. Wiggins

  4. #4

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    Re: Wilderness Lodge

    Thanks NatdRat! I have a little problem with the WL.....
    "All our dreams can come true.....if we have the courage to pursue them."
    - Walt Disney

  5. #5

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    Re: Wilderness Lodge

    Thanks sealsm! I'm excited to be staying here because I love log cabins and always thought they were very neat. Our reservation at the Whispering Canyon is for dinner ay 8:20, we would try breakfast, but we never usually wakeup before 10am because we like to sleep in and stay out late.

    I just can't wait to get to sunny Florida and see my best friend. But hopefully there's not a hurricane there during that time, those are no fun.

    .. a dream is a wish your heart makes

  6. #6

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    Re: Wilderness Lodge

    Oh & we just booked a standard room because we figured we weren't going to be in the room at all, just to sleep and maybe cool off. We'd hang out in the resort itself more than the room.

    .. a dream is a wish your heart makes

  7. #7

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    Re: Wilderness Lodge

    Quote Originally Posted by LilRah08 View Post
    Oh & we just booked a standard room because we figured we weren't going to be in the room at all, just to sleep and maybe cool off. We'd hang out in the resort itself more than the room.
    That sounds smart to me. I never sit out on the balcony anyway. I hope you dont' run into a hurricane, either. If you do, though, think of it as not running the risk of getting sunburned.
    "All our dreams can come true.....if we have the courage to pursue them."
    - Walt Disney

  8. #8

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    Re: Wilderness Lodge

    Quote Originally Posted by sealsm View Post
    That sounds smart to me. I never sit out on the balcony anyway. I hope you dont' run into a hurricane, either. If you do, though, think of it as not running the risk of getting sunburned.
    Hurricanes don't bother us much after living in South Florida for 7 years and having water flood our house. I just hope it won't rain the entire time we're there, but once a day is usual.

    .. a dream is a wish your heart makes

  9. #9

    • He's a Beautiful Pirate..
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    Re: Wilderness Lodge

    I agree with Sealsm, it's great! Each time we have gone, we look at other resorts, and end up with a reservation at Wilderness Lodge. We that place. It's been a few years. Do they still have the parade on the water where you can sit out on the little beach (or your balcony) and watch it? The surroundings are beautiful and so is the lobby. I loved seeing the picture of Stan. We enjoyed the tour and being a flag family with him. When we went, he told us he was retiring too. Glad to see he hasn't. He is so much a part of that place. Oh Flag Family! If that is still available sign up. We asked for it at check-in. You can go up to the rooftop and raise the flags. It's just you, your party and your guide. You get a beautiful view and you can see the icons of the parks. They give you a certificate afterwards. Have a great time! I'm so jealous!!! I can't wait to go back. I keep dropping hints to the spouse...it's time to go back!

  10. #10

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    Re: Wilderness Lodge

    Okay, I absolutely love, loVE, LOVE Disney's Wilderness Lodge! I just got back from a great trip to WDW and the first part of my trip was spent at DWL. I was booked there through Disney Event Services for the POTC Adventure On The 7 Seas Event. I was supposed to be booked at the Contemporary, and was kinda bummed that I got pushed into the "overflow" resort. But let me tell you, I fell in love with the place! Truth be told, if I had it to do over I would make it my first choice to begin with.

    The grounds are gorgeous, I mean absolutely beautiful. It's so peaceful and secluded it really feels like it's on some mountain lake somewhere (except for the Florida heat). It seems as though every room must have an amazing view.

    When I first checked in and walked to my room, I was really annoyed because I felt like I was walking forever from the main lobby once I took the elevator to the 5th floor. The whole resort building is like a giant "U" shape, with the huge main lobby at the base, and two giant wings extending away from the front of the hotel. Well, I kept walking with my tired self (it was past midnight) dragging my bags turning corner after corner thinking I was going to have to walk forever to get back to the lobby anytime we wanted to go anywhere. We were in the wing to the left.

    Well, what I didn't realize until I woke up the next morning and started exploring the place, is that the farthest you are from the lobby the better it is! Our room had a great view over the pool (the main pool is in the center of the "U"). The elevator (which I didn't even know existed the night before) down to the Roaring Fork was only two doors away from our room. This was fantastic. Buy the refillable resort mug, and quick trips to the snack bar are so easy, fast and great. Unlimited sodas, coffee, and tea (hot or iced I enjoy both) are right at your fingertips the whole stay. It's like running to the kitchen in a really big house (ok, really BIG).

    Also another advantage to staying at that end of the hotel is that it's closer to the docks to take the water launches to MK, the Campground, and the Contemporary Resort. I love those boats! It's so relaxing to take them to or from the MK. A trip to the Contemporary and a transfer to the monorail gets you to Epcot very easily.

    Artist Point is FANTASTIC. We didn't have reservations anywhere (which should have been made months in advance). With the busy weekend we were there of course it was impossible to get into anywhere for a good meal. I thought we were going to miss out on a great fine dining experience completely. However, they were very accommodating at Artist Point; I only asked for a reservation about an hour in advance (when we got back to the resort from all day in the parks) and they said no problem. We went to our room to clean up and get dressed and were seated within ten minutes of checking in with the hostess. They recommend the "Cedar Plank Salmon" as their "signature dish". Well, I rarely eat salmon... I don't care for it much, but I was in the mood for fish so I picked the seared halibut. My friend Mark ended up ordering the salmon after debating about the pork chop in his head. When the salmon came (it actually comes out on a cedar "plank" and they place it on your dish), I opted to try a bite.

    Well, can I just say OH. MY. GOD. It is the best salmon I have ever tasted in my entire life. Seriously, I'm not joking... it was incredible. My halibut was actually very good as well, but I just can't get over how good the salmon was. I'm going to order it for sure if I ever go back!

    The Whispering Canyon is a hoot! It's really a fun, loud restaurant and the wait staff is hysterical. It's "family style" so the food comes in big plates at the center of the table and everyone serves themselves. It makes ordering easy! Great for big parties, btw. It would be very fun for a birthday.

    Well, that's my story about DWL. I had a great time, and I think you will too!!

    Last edited by DOOM BGI; 06-07-2007 at 10:04 PM.
    --Jonathan

  11. #11

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    Re: Wilderness Lodge

    Quote Originally Posted by pirateslife4me View Post
    Oh Flag Family! If that is still available sign up. We asked for it at check-in. You can go up to the rooftop and raise the flags. It's just you, your party and your guide. You get a beautiful view and you can see the icons of the parks.
    I forgot about the Flag raising. It's early in the morning, at sunrise, but pirateslife4me is right - the view is gorgeous!

    Quote Originally Posted by DOOM BGI View Post
    It's so peaceful and secluded it really feels like it's on some mountain lake somewhere (except for the Florida heat)..............I don't care for it much, but I was in the mood for fish so I picked the seared halibut. My friend Mark ended up ordering the salmon after debating about the pork chop in his head. When the salmon came (it actually comes out on a cedar "plank" and they place it on your dish), I opted to try a bite.
    I love that description! It's perfect! It does feel like a mountain lake. I ordered the halibut when I was at Artist Point, too. It was fantastic! My Dad always orders the salmon. It is really good, and doesn't get too fishy like some fish do.
    "All our dreams can come true.....if we have the courage to pursue them."
    - Walt Disney

  12. #12

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    Re: Wilderness Lodge

    Quote Originally Posted by DOOM BGI View Post
    Okay, I absolutely love, loVE, LOVE Disney's Wilderness Lodge! I just got back from a great trip to WDW and the first part of my trip was spent at DWL. I was booked there through Disney Event Services for the POTC Adventure On The 7 Seas Event.

    I'm sorry...off topic a bit...I can't find a trip report on the POTC Adventure Event. Did you happen to submit one? Or know anyone who has? We wanted to go, but the timing wasn't right due to other commitments. Glad you loved the Wilderness Lodge too. It's magical!

  13. #13

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    Re: Wilderness Lodge

    Quote Originally Posted by pirateslife4me
    I'm sorry...off topic a bit...I can't find a trip report on the POTC Adventure Event. Did you happen to submit one? Or know anyone who has? We wanted to go, but the timing wasn't right due to other commitments. Glad you loved the Wilderness Lodge too. It's magical!
    The POTC Event was awesome! I didn't do a TR, because I'm not a big picture taker (I took my camera but didn't even take it out of the case the whole trip). Plus, there didn't seem to be much interest on MC about the whole event to begin with. There are a couple threads over at the TellNoTales.com message boards, including a great one about the top tier "Ye Swabs" package. They got to do all the really cool stuff! Check it out!
    --Jonathan

  14. #14

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    Re: Wilderness Lodge

    We go to WDW every Christmas season, but we've never stayed at WL. However, we always make a visit, usually after MK. It has such a wonderful atmosphere!
    I want my cake back!

  15. #15

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    Re: Wilderness Lodge

    I'm excited to stay at the WL because it's like a log cabin, but with better amenities.

    It's my first time staying on WDW property because my parents are the type that like to stay outside for only 40$ a night, but they're doing this since I had surgery in May and they promised me about 3 years ago that we would stay on property when we went back.

    .. a dream is a wish your heart makes

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