Disney’s Wilderness Lodge: Toto, We’re Not in Florida Anymore

Waterfall at Wilderness Lodge Walt Disney Worldphoto via http://www.flickr.com/photos/kathika/2460948050/

When people ask me which Disney resort is my favorite, I usually hesitate giving the answer because I love so many of them for so many different reasons. I love the Epcot resorts because of their location and love Animal Kingdom Lodge because of the peace and serenity. I love Caribbean Beach because it is just so fun, and makes me think I am in the Caribbean!

But all things being equal, for a beautiful resort with amazing theming, I vote for Wilderness Lodge as my true favorite. It is an amazing depiction of a traditional Pacific Northwest lodge that is so successful in this effort that if you visit, you WILL forget you are in Florida. Even in the middle of the summer. :)

So what makes Wilderness Lodge so special?

View From Our Floor - Wilderness Lodgephoto via http://www.flickr.com/photos/joshmcconnell/3277064210/

Well for me, loving Disney design and details the way that I do, I find this resort to be the ultimate example of the brilliance of the Disney Imagineers.

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge was designed after the Old Faithful Lodge of Yellowstone National Park. And really, the minute you walk in the door, it really feels like you have left Florida totally.

Wilderness Lodge Lobbyphoto via http://www.flickr.com/photos/joshmcconnell/3276243307/

Start in the magnificent lobby, with it’s 80 foot tall fireplace, and cozy rocking chairs. What a great place to just sit and relax! Especially during the holidays with the enormous Christmas tree that takes up the entire lobby area…it manages to take your breath away and be cozy at the same time.

Huge Fireplacephoto via http://www.flickr.com/photos/mike_miley/4218247041/
Wilderness Lodge - Lobby and Christmas Treephoto via http://www.flickr.com/photos/jcorduroy/3138597252/

Here you will find Pacific Northwest totem poles, amazing wood carvings, teepee chandeliers and so much more. Take the time to really check things out, because the details are amazing….and sometimes surprising. For example, the totem pole outside the general store has Disney character carvings! :)

IMG_9115photo via http://www.flickr.com/photos/tjung/5832212403/

One of the things that is pretty neat is the small stream that starts right in the lobby. The stream leads outside to one of the things that Wilderness Lodge is quite known for, and it’s way cool: an real geyser that is reminiscent of Old Faithful. Here, the Fire Rock Geyser shoots up every half hour from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m. Head past the pool area, and you can’t miss it: it shoots up 120 feet in the air!

IMG_9111photo via http://www.flickr.com/photos/tjung/5832212133/

While this is a Deluxe hotel, don’t let that stop you from considering a stay here. There are a number of ways to make a stay here fit in your budget. And even if you aren’t able to stay at Wilderness Lodge, I highly recommend you plan time for a visit. Of course, everyone suggests you visit during the holiday season, and I agree: Christmas and Wilderness Lodge go hand in hand. Still, any time of the year is a good time for a visit. There are, of course, a couple of great restaurants: Artist Point, which is a signature dining experience (and well worth it!), and Whispering Canyon Café (which is TONS of fun…ask for ketchup!)

Just be sure to allow extra time to explore…and don’t forget your camera! :)

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