Theme Park Insider

Finding the Inspiration: Disney's Wilderness Lodge

June 5, 2016, 9:42 PM · I'm taking a short break this week from visiting theme parks as I've been driving around the west after picking up my daughter from college. But the people who design theme parks draw inspiration from places all over the world — so if you know where to visit, you can find the original locations recreated in some of your favorite parks, during your other travels.

Today, we visited America's original national park, Yellowstone, where Disney's Imagineers found their inspiration for the Wilderness Lodge at the Walt Disney World Resort. Many Disney fans are familiar with this — the top-rated hotel at Disney World, according to our readers.

Wilderness Lodge entrance

But here's the original inspiration behind Disney's Wilderness Lodge, the Old Faithful Inn at Yellowstone National Park.

Old Faithful Inn entrance

Let's step inside and have a look:

Inside the Old Faithful Inn

Seem familiar, Disney fans?

Inside the Wilderness Lodge

Of course, Disney's recreation in Florida has floors and stairs that are perfectly level, so it's not an exact replica of this 113-year-old log structure, which nevertheless remains standing strong in spite of the many earthquakes and millions of visitors it has endured over the past century. If fair's fair, I guess we'll have to see how Disney's Wilderness Lodge is doing in 2107.

Where are some of the real-life originals that you've visited, in addition to their theme park copies?

And before we wrap this post, let's note that America's National Park Service is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. While we're all about theme parks here on TPI, we love national parks, too, so we hope that you'll celebrate this anniversary with a trip to a national park in addition to your favorite theme parks this summer.

After all, you won't find waterfalls like this on a flume ride.

Then again, you probably wouldn't want to take a ride over that one, would you?

Replies (1)

June 7, 2016 at 12:13 PM · We have made several stops in Williams AZ - the gateway to the Grand Canyon and we have driven along Route 66 through AZ with a couple of visits to Qatman AZ. Now if Carsland had wild burros wandering around to nibble at your snacks or beg for carrots the picture would be complete.

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