Why is the Wilderness Lodge at Disney World a favorite resort among Disney fanatics?
There is a reason why scientists, psychologists, and medical doctors all recommend spending time in nature. Walking provides exercise, extra sunshine provides Vitamin D, and the mind is refreshed as it takes in the sights and sounds of the outdoors. At Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, the hustle and bustle of life in the city fades into a serene, peaceful atmosphere, where you can relax with your loved ones and enjoy the scenery around you.
Do you love the outdoors but don’t like “roughing it”? You can also spend time in the cozy, cabin-style resort hotel. The fusion of modern amenities you’d expect from Disney’s five-star service and attention to detail regarding it’s more rustic atmosphere, culminate to create a warm, welcoming environment for those who desire to be close to nature, but not too close.
If roughing it is your thing, Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort is adjacent to the lodge, and offers the variety of camping experiences we all know and love! You can stay in a tent, cabin, or recreational vehicle, and can spend your time hiking, biking, fishing, kayaking, and more! There is truly something for everyone here. And if you want to learn more, here are 5 refreshing facts about Disney’s Wilderness Lodge and the Fort Wilderness Resort:
Fact #1: The impressive complex was inspired by the National Park Lodges from the American Northwest.
Disney spares no expense when it comes to attention to detail. The lodge is not only built in the style of historic national park lodges, such as the Majestic Yosemite Hotel, it also features pine logs imported from the standing dead forest of Oregon!
When you enter Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, you must take a moment to take in the magnificent architecture and features of the place. The doors open into a massive, 7-story atrium filled with turn-of-the-century furniture. Four unique lighting fixtures hang in the room, featuring yellow, teardrop-shaped pieces in the shape of a teepee, complete with metal framing and figures in the shape of buffalos circling around.
The atrium also features a massive, 82-ft. fireplace as the featured focal point in the lobby. Imagineers intentionally layered various types of rocks in it to represent the different rock layers found in the Grand Canyon! Be sure to look for them when you go.
The rooms themselves gracefully combine turn of the century furniture with Native American textiles, giving it a warm, cozy feel. Sconces light up special headboards with black and white images installed on them.
Looking for a quick bite to eat? Check out the Roaring Fork! Designed in a turn-of-the-century eatery, this kitchen with it’s quick service can quench your thirst and satisfy any appetite.
If upscale dining is the more desired atmosphere, Artist Point is your culinary destination. Infused with nature and wrapped in Disney charm, trees growing up from the floor act as a canopy overhead. Disney also added fairy lights to highlight the leaves, giving the room a warm and attractive glow.
This enchanting environment is also complimented by the occasional visit by cast members! Snow White sometimes stops by, often accompanied by her dwarf companions. Keep your eyes open, because you never know what you’re going to find here.
Fact #2: Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Pays Tribute to Native American Culture and Craftsmanship
In spite of the hotel itself being modeled after settlers’ lodges, Disney took the time to research and incorporate bits of Native American culture throughout the resort! Native Americans living on the coast in the Northwest built large plank houses, and incorporated totem poles both outside and inside of their dwellings.
In Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, Native American historians and craftsmen were contracted to build two 55-foot-tall totem poles in the center of the atrium! They took over a year to complete and are named the Eagle Totem and the Raven Totem, after the two main clans that occupy the American Northwest.
In their culture, the raven is a highly revered hero. The Raven Pole tells the dynamic story of Raven pulling the stars, moon, and sun out of a box to bring light into the dark world.
If you’re curious to learn more about life in the Pacific Northwest, you can also sign up for the Wonders of the Wilderness Lodge Tour. During this guided, free tour, you can learn all about the building’s architecture, the Native American craftsmanship and artifacts, and the fantastic symbolism behind many of the lodge’s features! For those interested, you can catch this tour at 9 am on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Fact #3: The Disney Wilderness Lodge Features Remarkable Water Attractions – Including a Geyser!
The Fire Rock Geyser
What other deluxe resort can say that it has its own geyser? Inspired by Old Faithful, the Fire Rock Geyser runs periodically throughout the day, and is able to blast water an impressive 120 feet in the air! It’s an experience that makes you feel like you’re up-close and personal with nature. It’s also a great place for a family photo, as well.
Boulder Ridge Cove Pool
Unlike most pools, this pool has a backstory. Boulder Ridge Cove used to be the quarry where the Seven Dwarfs worked! When the resort was built, imagineers incorporated a few extra touches, such as the Railway and Mining Co. water tower and mining carts, to bring the story to life. Other props strewn around the area may look familiar, too, as they have been salvaged from the Backlot Tour at Hollywood Studios. So, keep an eye out for them when you go!
Copper Creek Springs Pool
Boulder Ridge isn’t the only pool surrounded by interesting features. The Copper Creek Springs pool boasts an impressive 67-foot water slide surrounded by rocks and varying foliage. It also features both hot AND cold whirlpool jacuzzis!
If you want to grab a bite to eat throughout the day, you can head over to the nearby Geyser Point Bar and Grill. And after you eat your fill, your kids will love the new activity play area.
Disney’s Bay Lake
If exercise is not at the top of your list, consider a more serene activity such as sightseeing or fishing at Disney’s Bay Lake, conveniently located near both Disney’s Wilderness Lodge and Fort Wilderness. The fish in this lake average about 21.5 pounds, a suitable challenge for both experienced and novice fisherman alike, where the fish of choice is bass. At Bay Lake Marina, they have “catch and release” fishing expedition charters with equipment rental if necessary. Other activities at the Lake include parasailing, “SeaRacer” rentals (large Jet-ski type boats) tetherball on the beach, and even hula-hoop contents and rubber duck races for the kids!
Fact#4: The Disney Wilderness Lodge Has Fantastic Nature Trails to Explore!
The Wilderness Lodge and the Fort Wilderness Campground are connected to each other by a mile-long walking trail! If you want to skip the shuttle and take a stroll outdoors, this is the place to go! Take in the fresh air and the crisp, green leaves on the trees as you meander along. You may even see some wildlife on your excursion! Keep an eye out for chipmunks, deer, and lizards as you go! If you want a longer walk, try the 3.1-mile pathway winding around Fort Wilderness and the campground.
However, walking isn’t the only way you can enjoy these scenic pathways. You and your family can also ride bicycles on your stay here! At the time of writing, the Wilderness Lodge’s bicycle rental is temporarily closed.
However, you can still rent bikes at Fort Wilderness. They have bikes for both children and adults, and even have a few that come prepared with training wheels! Other accessories such as helmets and child seats are complimentary with bike rentals, so you can take the whole family out for a ride – no matter how old they are!
Enjoy your time exploring the trails, taking in the lush forests, the lovely wildflowers, and the tranquil meadows. You never know what you’re going to see next!
Fact #5: Wilderness Time at the Disney Wilderness Lodge > Screen Time
While it’s true that your kid may have their cell phone or tablet in-hand in the hotel room, it won’t be glued to their fingers during the day. Your child will be so busy playing in the pool, checking out the nature trails, and boating on the lake that they won’t even miss it!
Fort Wilderness offers many things to do during the day. Even the pickiest child can find something they enjoy. Boating includes kayaking, canoeing, speed-boating, and fishing boats. You can also rent a bicycle or explore the wilderness on horseback!
One activity that is popular with the children is the Fort Wilderness Archery Experience! Reservations are highly recommended, as classes are 75 minutes long and only allow for ten people at a time. Your family will have a blast learning how to hold a bow and pretending that they’re Robin Hood, firing away in the Sherwood Forest.
Another popular activity is horseback riding at the Tri-Circle-D Ranch! Younger children can go on pony rides, available on a walk-in basis, while older children and adults can enjoy time on a trail! Trail rides are also available on a walk-in basis, but they fill up fast and reservations are highly encouraged.
It’s worth it, though, to be able to explore the trails on these majestic animals, taking in the sights, feeling the sun on your face, and swaying to the rhythm of the horse’s steps.
Booking Your Return to Nature at the Disney Wilderness Lodge
If you want to experience the great outdoors with a Disney flair, book your Disney VIP tour with World Class VIP today! All you have to do is call (407) 270-0956 for a free quote. Our VIP experience at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge is guaranteed to give you the calm you desire, and the escape that we all need from a world that demands so much of our attention. Let’s return to a time when nature was a part of who we were.