This past fall Frontier Airlines started running non stop flights from our home airport to our favorite airport, Orlando International (MCO.) The day they announced this flight option they also offered a special rate. We, of course, could not pass this up and booked a flight right away. It started as an adult only trip at a value resort, but after a few months thought we added flights for the kids and switched to a Deluxe suite that sleeps 5. Added bonus us that we were able to use our DVC points for the long weekend stay. It was the first flight for 2 of the kids and the first time we had flown as a family. This was also the first time we took a vacation as just a family- no other family or friends along and it couldn’t have come at a better time as the oldest will head off to college in fall.
Our original reservation was for POP Century, we did change that to Saratoga Springs Resort. But SSR still only slept 4. Thankfully our wait list came through and we were able to book a studio at Boulder Ridge. A few weeks later Magic Bands and Luggage Stickers arrived- we were all set.
This was our first time to Wilderness Lodge, other than dropping off other guests at the bus stop in November on our way to The Contemporary. It was a great choice!
The resort theme is based on the turn of the century Pacific Northwest. The design of the main building is spot on. It definitely looks like an elaborate rustic cabin. In the main building you will find check in and concierge, DVC desk, 2 signature dining restaurants, a quick service restaurant, gift shop, and plenty of comfortable seating. It is also where deluxe rooms and Copper Creek DVC rooms are located.
Just outside the gift shop is the arcade and a covered path that will lead you to Boulder Ridge Villas, a DVC resort. Again the theming in the Boulder Ridge Building is perfect, with a large fireplace in the elaborate common area. The fitness center is also located at Boulder Ridge.
The resort has 2 large pools with hot tubs- we used the hot tub at the Boulder Ridge pool and were disappointed that it wasn’t hot- it was closer to the temperature of bath water.
There are also Cabins on both ends of the property. They are on the lake and have their own hot tubs. They have full kitchens and can sleep up to 8.
You can watch the Electric Water Pageant each night at 930 PM, right from one of the docks. There are bike rentals and lots of paths to walk, there is even one to Fort Wilderness. Unfortunately current construction caused the path to be closed while we were there, otherwise this was on my list of things to do!
We did eat breakfast and dinner at Roaring Fork- the quick service. Both were good. We ate dinner outside on the patio (which had heat lamps to keep you warm on a cool January evening) and breakfast in our room. We did not eat at any of the other restaurants; Whispering Canyon, Artist Pointe or Geyser Pointe that are located on the property.
Wilderness Lodge is located on Bay Lake and a quick boat ride to Magic Kingdom. There is also bus transportation that will take you to the other 3 parks and Disney Springs. Buses are shared with The Contemporary Resort/ Bay Lake Towers.
Most importantly was the room. Our family typically does not stay in a studio when it is all 5 of us. But since we were able to do this with only using a portion of our DVC points we figured we could make it work. The room had a queen bed, full size pull out couch and a single drop down bed. All three were plenty comfortable and it worked perfectly! There was a balcony, which I enjoyed my coffee on in the morning and wind down drink at night- and it’s always fun to people watch from a balcony. There was a small fridge, microwave and coffee pot. And we were able to get extra coffee as well so that we didn’t have to buy any. I am sure the resort was full but never felt the over crowdedness that you feel at a value resort. It also wasn’t too large to walk from the room to the boat dock or to refill the soda mug each time you needed too.
Overall it was perfect- theming, decor, and amenities all made this an excellent stay. And yes, I would go back in a heartbeat.