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Top theme park hotel spotlight: Disney's Wilderness Lodge

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Published: June 4, 2009 at 9:33 AM

We're in the final month of rating as we nail down the winners of this year's Theme Park Insider Awards. Each Thursday, we're profiling one of the hotels contending for the Best Theme Park Hotel honor. Today's it's Disney's Wilderness Lodge at Walt Disney World.

Disney's Wilderness Lodge

Patterned after the Old Faithful Inn at Yellowstone National Park, the Wilderness Lodge is located across the Seven Seas Lagoon from the Magic Kingdom, around the bend from the Transportation and Ticket Center. It's not on the monorail line, but many Disney fans make the drive or take the bus over to the hotel for its notable restaurants, including Artist Point and the Whispering Canyon Cafe.

If you've stayed at the Wilderness Lodge within the past year, please visit its listing page to submit your rating and leave a comment.

Previously:

Readers' Opinions

From James Rao on June 4, 2009 at 9:41 AM
I have never stayed at this resort, but I have visited and scoped it out. It is very beautiful, one of the most gorgeous properties I have seen at WDW. The lobby area alone is worth investigating on some hot afternoon when you take a break from park touring.

One day, when I earn my second million (I have already given up on earning the first one), I will stay at this resort. Until then, I just have to live vicariously through my TPI friends.

From Joshua Counsil on June 4, 2009 at 3:33 PM
I have stayed at the Wilderness Lodge. The eats are good, and the surroundings are beautiful, but our rooms were nothing special. We stayed in two studio rooms and were unimpressed. Perhaps they were older rooms requiring refurbishments.
From Nick Markham on June 4, 2009 at 4:47 PM
We stayed here on our very first and so far only visit to WDW. It was amazing! The room, the pool, the Whispering Cafe, lobby, atmosphere, everythin was great!
From Dan Maher on June 4, 2009 at 5:18 PM
Stayed here twice on our last two visits. I love every part of this hotel. Both the exterior of the building and the lobby are truly amazing and the pool area is incredible. Plus the geyser that goes off is a nice touch. I thought the rooms were very well themed too.
From Rob P on June 5, 2009 at 1:47 AM
We always try to make a day for going around all the Resorts using the transportation. It gives you a sense of perspective when considering all that WDW has to offer.
Wilderness Lodge is definitely up there with the best.....although our opinion is not based on staying there at all.
The pool area is imaginatively designed and the restaurants are better than most too. But the thing we like to do is to sit for a minute or two in one of those rocking chairs in front of the mammoth fireplace in the main atrium and just watch the world pass through before taking the boat across the lake to Magic Kingdom.
The wilderness was never more comfortable than this.
From 98.141.95.55 on June 5, 2009 at 7:03 AM
Hey, don't forget taking a launch over! I love the watercraft more than anything. I'll take the ferry over the monorail 90% of the time.
From Raul Araoz on June 5, 2009 at 9:52 AM
Never stayed at the Wilderness Lodge. It is one the next places my family and I plan to go to. We have however stayed at the Grand Californian, which was made by the same architect, and loved it. It has an extremely warm atmosphere and a tremendous lobby.
From John Buxbaum on June 5, 2009 at 10:44 AM
We have visited the lodge twice and stayed there in August 2008. We absolutely love the Lodge and will not stay anywhere else on property (we won't stay off property). The theming, the music, the decor are wonderful. The pool is great and the perfect end to the day.
Roaring Forks is great for us in the morning before we head out. Whispering Canyon is one of my favourite places to eat on property.
We love that a bus ride to MK (the wait for a bus was never ever long) was less than 5 minutes.. We love the ability to take a boat back to the resort. We got back from Epcot after Illumination in less than 35 minutes taking the monorail to the TTC, monorail to MK, and boat to WL.
From 205.188.116.16 on June 6, 2009 at 7:18 AM
I have had food at most locations at sea world and I have to say that I have never had a good meal. There food is substanard in every way. I remember several years ago that the Orlando Sentinal did a review on Sea World and said that they never found a good place to eat and the service was just as bad.

On the other hand I have never had a bad meal at Disney.

From Randy Scott on June 6, 2009 at 3:05 PM
We stayed at Wilderness Lodge last October(2008). It was just okay. Our room was on the second floor past the counter service restaurant. Our floor always smelled like a combination of garbage and hot grease. Not a pleasant smell for a group of 4 people that spent close to $10,000 for airfare, room, and deluxe dining plan.

We enjoyed the AKL much more the previous year.

From 152.132.9.130 on June 8, 2009 at 8:39 AM
We've stayed here twice. Absolutely LOVE it. It is our favorite place on property. Artist Point is my fave restaurant. Most of the rooms have balconies, unlike some other deluxe Disney resorts and the vast majority of rooms seem to be good ones. I think there are only a handful of parking lot views- the rest are at minimum woods views. The pool is awesome. And if you manage to get a view of Bay Lake- wow. (Side note: Wilderness Lodge is not located on Seven Seas Lagoon, which is the lake that fronts Polynesian and Grand Floridian. WL and Contemporary have beaches abnd docks on Bay Lake.) The boat launches themselves are fun. There are dedicated launches to the Contemporary Resort and Fort Wilderness as well as to Magic Kingdom- so it's right in the middle of everything. Love this place!
From Anthony Murphy on June 8, 2009 at 2:16 PM
Really a top notch resort for sure. Absolutly beautiful! The Whispering Canyon Cafe is a rip roaring time! I have stayed here a couple of times and it is pleasing to all the senses and, if you can make it, go on a tour of the place!


A bit off topic, but how did these four get selected? I mean they are great, but I feel that Animal Kingdom Lodge is even better than these four!

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