May 28, 2024

Binary Blogger

Are you a 1 or a 0? News, Thoughts and Reviews

Binary Vacation Review – Disney Wilderness Lodge

5 min read
Front Door, Valet, Airport Shuttle Bus Drop-off area

 In the continuing mini-series of blog posts about my Disney trip, the next logical thing to talk about before Disney itself is the hotel we stayed at. For this trip we decided to stay at the Disney Wilderness Lodge located on the ‘Disney Property’. From the pictures and descriptions on their website it truly is designed as a lodge you would find in Northern Minnesota and it’s pretty big. All the pictures below are ones I took myself, you can find others ones on the links provided within this post. As you can see it’s got a log cabin, rustic feel to it and that ambiance resonates throughout the resort.

Main Lobby

Inside the resort there are a few restaurants and a mini-food kitchen/snack bar called the Roaring Fork. I will talk about the Whispering Canyon Cafe and the Roaring Fork, we didn’t eat at the Artist Point or hangout in the Lounge. We arrived at the hotel later in the day, we got there about 7pm and had dinner reservations at 8pm in the Whispering Canyon Cafe. After a long day of traveling we just wanted to get a bite to eat and get to bed. The Whispering Canyon Cafe is NOT a place to have a quiet meal. This is a crazy, loud, insane kid focused scream-fest of controlled chaos. I was not in the mood to handle that at the time.

For example, they don’t give you ketchup at the table, you have to ask for it. When you ask for it they make you a spectacle as the waiters/waitresses scream to everyone that you want ketchup. Now the really cute part is that the 4,5,6 yr olds that had the ketchup last bring over as many bottles as they can carry to your table. Then when someone else wants ketchup your kid has to go pass it on. Cute, but be prepared for the energy. For the food, I thought it was excellent. The apple pie dessert was beyond good.

The Roaring Fork is where you will spend most of your time besides your room. By the 3rd day I was sick of it. The food was fine, but the variety was not there to keep it appealing by the 4th day. If you have the meal plan you will eat breakfast and get snacks here. Decent but repetitive and you will cover the menu by the end of your stay. Now if you are a pool junkie and plan to spend many hours at the hotel pool then the cups you get as part of the package is a good deal. The cups allow you to get free refills of pop, coffee, water, tea, juice. When we got them we assumed we could fill them up all around Disney, nope, only in the Roaring Fork. So if you want to fill up before you leave for the day you have to haul the cups around. We brought them once with us and left them in the room the rest of the time. Our snack plan allowed us to get water and drinks anyway so the cups were a novelty at best.

Pool side

 The hotel pool was pretty cool, but we didn’t come to sit at the hotel. We did spend an hour or two one day in the pool at the end of a day, Tropical Storm Isaac made the rest of the days stormy and rainy. Inside the hotel there is a hot spring that runs outside and over the falls you see here. That then runs down to the pool through a nice rocky stream. Very rustic looking. On the other side of the pools is a full powered water slide with a tunnel. I went down it once to test it and it’s a little too strong for a 3 yr. old, but some parents were sending their little ones down wearing life jackets. Up to you.

The other impressive part about the pool were the amount of lifeguards and how strong their enforcement was. If there was one thing off, something fell into the pool, the life guards didn’t hesitate to jump in to get it out. For the size of the pool there were at least 3 lifeguards, sometimes more, walking around keeping an eye on everything and everyone. Enforcers.

Path to the dock

From the resort you can get to Magic Kingdom one of two ways, by bus or boat. We used the boat to get back and forth from the Kingdom. The other parks you take a bus. Either way it’s quick, easy, and hassle free.

Overall the Wilderness Lodge is a resort hotel. The rooms are a standard hotel room. Nothing special, nothing horrible. There are the basic hotel necessities, bed, sinks, fridge, shower, TV with decent channels, and free Wi-Fi. If you have been in one hotel room you pretty much have been in them all. This is Disney, you are in your hotel room to sleep and shower, the rest of the day you are not there.
Our room was on the 4th floor , with a view of the woods… on the balcony if you turned your head to the left we also had a great view of the busy and loud loading dock. Meh. The other thing I noticed is the doors are paper thin, so as you walk through the halls to get ice, you will hear everything in the rooms as you walk by. In the rooms its quiet, but in the hallways you might as well keep the doors open. 
On the side we were in you could see the Magic Kingdom castle, through the thick trees, and sort see bits and pieces of the nightly fireworks. Maybe on the 5th floor, the top, you could, but on the 4th not so much.
Regular Eye View of the Castle from the room

High Digital Zoom From The Balcony
Not because the hotel is bad, but we won’t stay here again. Primarily I like variety and there are many, many hotel options. Hotel location on the Disney property is really irrelevant since you are taking buses to get around to the parks anyway, there is no one central hotel that’s ideal and the monorail does not go to all the parks. 
If you want a rustic, log cabin feel give the Wilderness Lodge a shot. I don’t have enough experience at other locations to make a true judgement. Although, the boats and buses from other resorts were far more full than the ones going to and from this one.
One really cool sight is in the video below. I was in the room getting ready to head down to the pool and a splash in the normally mirror calm pond caught my eye and I saw this buddy slowly swimming across, I had to grab my camera and record. Made me think twice as I walked around the resort to make sure myself and the child stayed on the paths.

End of Line.

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