The Best (and Worst!) Reasons to Stay at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

by | Mar 28, 2024 | Walt Disney World Resorts, WDW Blog

Wondering whether it’s worth it to book a stay at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge? We’re breaking down the pros and cons of this popular Walt Disney World Resort hotel below.

With majestic theming inspired by National Park lodges at the turn of the century, Disney’s Wilderness Lodge is a hotel that truly captures the “deluxe” definition of Walt Disney World’s Deluxe resorts. This hotel may be rustic, but it’s also stunning as soon as you step through the doors and into the lobby. Here, you’ll feel like you’ve left the theme parks behind and entered the great outdoors as you relax in a world of towering pine forests, nature trails, and murmuring creeks.

But is the price of this Deluxe resort worth paying? We’re sharing our top pros and cons of this resort to help you decide whether staying at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge is worth it.

Pros of Staying at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

The Grand Lobby and Resort Theming

Disney's Wilderness Lodge lobby

Photo by Mike Billick

Upon entering Wilderness Lodge, guests tend to automatically tilt their heads upward to take in the grand view of the lobby. It’s truly a sight to behold, and one you’ll want to witness even if you aren’t staying as a guest.

Decorated with massive totem poles, eye-catching headdresses, Native American patterns across the hardwood floors, teepee chandeliers, and even geological specimens and artifacts on display, Wilderness Lodge is home to countless details to examine and explore. It’s clear Disney Imagineers put a lot of work into designing this grand lobby, and it’s impressive from every angle.

We also love the National Parks theming that carries throughout the resort. From the stone hearth and roaring fireplace that welcomes you to sit back and relax in the lobby to the winding nature trails that take you along stunning scenery and immaculate grounds to the rocking chairs made for kicking up your feet, the theming is one of

Varied and Delicious Dining Options

We love the different dining options at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge –– and if you’re someone who wants variety in your restaurants, this is a great resort for that! At Wilderness Lodge, guests have several restaurants to choose from:

  • Artist Point, where guests can enjoy character dining (or Story Book Dining) and have fun with Snow White, Dopey, and Grumpy
  • Whispering Canyon Cafe, which offers hearty menu items and a serving of fun entertainment while you dine
  • Geyser Point Bar & Grill, a waterfront lunch and dinner spot with incredible views (and one of the best burgers in all of Disney World!)
  • Roaring Fork, a quick-service restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner that’s easy to grab at any time during your stay
  • Territory Lounge, a tucked-away spot to enjoy wine, beer, specialty coffee, and some artisanal appetizers

Whether you’re looking for food that’ll please picky eaters, comfort food favorites, or an adult-friendly place to have a drink at the end of the day, there’s really something for everyone at Wilderness Lodge.

Two Pools and a Kid-Friendly Splash Pad

Copper Creek Pool at Disney's Wilderness Lodge

Photo by Courtney Reynolds

If you and your family love spending a resort day at the hotel pools, Disney’s Wilderness Lodge offers some standout options for water fun. There are two pools at the resort, giving you more options compared to many other Walt Disney World resorts. Each pool offers a different vibe and different fun to be had.

Copper Creek Springs Pool is home to a 67-foot water slide, hot and cold whirlpool spas, and a water play area (or splash pad) that’s just for the kids! The heated pool is surrounded by nature, themed with rocks around its edges and towering pine trees overhead. It’s a great playful pool, and very kid- and family-friendly.

Boulder Ridge Cove Pool is a bit more laid-back, with a focus on relaxation. Here, you’ll find a zero-depth entry pool, a whirlpool spa, and plenty of shaded seating. It’s nestled within the Boulder Ridge Villas (a Disney Vacation Club resort), so it’s very close by for those staying in one of the villas, too.

Cons of Staying at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

Limited Transportation Options

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge is conveniently located near Magic Kingdom Park, and it’s a breeze to catch a boat when you’re headed to this theme park. However, if you’re planning to spend time at any of the three other Walt Disney World theme parks –– EPCOT, Hollywood Studios, or Animal Kingdom –– you’ll have to drive, take Disney’s bus transportation, or rely on rideshare services. 

The bus transportation to the other three theme parks can seem a bit long. You’ll have to factor in the wait time for the bus, plus the actual ride to the park, which can eat up a bit of time as you travel. Driving or using rideshare services can be faster, but it is a slight pain point overall that transportation is more limited.

Smaller Standard Rooms

Disney's Wilderness Lodge standard room, interior

Photo by Tatjana Lazar

Although Disney’s Wilderness Lodge is a Deluxe resort, its standard rooms are surprisingly small. The standard room size here is actually comparable to the room sizes at Disney World’s Moderate resorts –– so if you’ve stayed at other Deluxe resorts, you’ll notice the larger rooms aren’t actually a perk at Wilderness Lodge.

However, it’s only the standard room size that seems small. Wilderness Lodge offers 22 different room types, including the spacious villas,  So, you’re bound to find something that will fit your needs and space preferences… you may just have to look beyond the Standard Room type!

No Monorail Access

While Wilderness Lodge is considered a Magic Kingdom area resort, it does not sit on the Monorail loop like the other resorts nearby. As a result, there’s no Monorail access –– which is another transportation disadvantage. You’ll have to rely on boat or bus transportation to get to Magic Kingdom (or drive!). It’s not the biggest con, but it is a definite drawback.

Should You Stay at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge?

With its close proximity to the Magic Kingdom, multiple pools, restaurant variety, and even a geyser that erupts hourly, Disney’s Wilderness Lodge is an excellent choice when considering Walt Disney World Resort hotels. You’re still right in the center of the theme parks and Disney magic, but when you stay at this resort, you’ll feel like you’re completely secluded out in nature. We love Wilderness Lodge so much that we consider it one of the resort’s best hotels.

If the price doesn’t fit your budget, consider staying at Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside. They offer a variety of food options, and you can even catch a boat ride to Disney Springs!

Not sure if you’re going? You can just get more information about a potential Disney vacation.

Posts by Heather Adams

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Heather is a lifelong Disney fan who grew up at Disneyland and loves spending as much time as possible in the parks. As WDW Magazine’s Content Operations Manager, Heather is a content creator and strategist with experience at a wide variety of different outlets. She’s written for publications including Clean Eating Magazine, Fatherly, The Drive, Task and Purpose, Healthversed, Nation.com, and Car Bibles. Heather also authored the book Fidget!: 101 Ways to Boost Your Creativity and Decrease Stress.
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Authored by
Heather Adams

Heather is a lifelong Disney fan who grew up at Disneyland and loves spending as much time as possible in the parks. As WDW Magazine’s Content Operations Manager, Heather is a content creator and strategist with experience at a wide variety of different outlets. She’s written for publications including Clean Eating Magazine, Fatherly, The Drive, Task and Purpose, Healthversed, Nation.com, and Car Bibles. Heather also authored the book Fidget!: 101 Ways to Boost Your Creativity and Decrease Stress.
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