Tag Archives: Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
Going to Disney world is a one of a kind experience and for many choosing just how they are going to mold their trip can be quite overwhelming. There are so many choices to consider when making plans; do you get a park hopper, is the dining plan right for your group, do you sign up for a special tour, or is there a reason not to add water park entry to your ticket? All of these are valid questions, but perhaps one of the most pressing questions is what category of hotel is right for you when staying on Disney property. Today I will help you sort out some of the confusion by discussing if staying at a Deluxe resort is right for you!
Disney offers three categories of on property accommodations: value, moderate, and deluxe resorts. The Deluxe resorts are the most expensive resorts on property and offer quite a few perks for the guests staying at them. Many wonder, however, if the major cost difference between the value resorts and deluxe resorts is really worth it. Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing your home away from home.
The deluxe resorts offer the most visually attractive themes and will appeal to everyone in your group. The grounds are spotless! The rooms are clean and offer double sinks, roomy bathrooms in comparison to value resorts, a variety of toiletries, and balconies. I have also never been disappointed in the towel animal department, but this could be pure luck!
Deluxe resorts, which include The Grand Floridian, The Contemporary Resort, The Polynesian, The Wilderness Lodge, The Animal Kingdom Lodge, The Boardwalk Inn, The Yacht Club and The Beach Club are the most elegant and luxurious hotels on Disney property. They offer a true resort feel and add an element of relaxation to your trip. Most of these resorts offer spectacular pools, hot tubs, and spa services. You will also find poolside bars and towel services. Though there are pools at every Disney resort, if you are staying at a value resort you will not find towel service or the relaxing atmosphere of that the deluxe pools offer.
Deluxe resorts also offer proximity to at least one theme park and often offer multiple modes of transportation. From the Grand, The Contemporary, and the Polynesian you will be able to arrive to the Magic Kingdom by boat, bus, foot, or monorail. By using the monorail you are also afforded easy access to Epcot and very simple return trips to your room from these parks. This is especially valuable for those traveling with small children who may need a nap or a pool break at a moments notice. From the Boardwalk and the Yacht and Beach Clubs you will be able to access Epcot by foot or boat and access to Hollywood studios by boat. With its proximity to Epcot this means the Magic Kingdom is only a quick trip on the monorail! The Wilderness Lodge offers boat service to the Magic Kingdom. The only Deluxe that does not offer particularly stellar transport is the Animal Kingdom Lodge. This is due to the size and location of the resort. Because there are many living animals who reside at the lodge, transportation is limited to bus service only and can be a bit on the slow side.
Deluxe resorts offer spectacular food service locations and many of these resorts offer at least one quick service location, one table service location, and one signature dining experience. The Contemporary offers some of the best dining on property with the California Grill. The views of the Magic Kingdom are unbelievable here! With a variety of choices for dining right at your finger tips, you will be assured that you are never limited to just pizza alone!
Another great advantage to staying at a deluxe is the service. You will feel like royalty in the hands of the wonderful cast members. Though it is Disney policy that all cast members are willing, helpful, and just plain amazing, I have never encountered a single one who did not go above and beyond the call of duty at any deluxe resort.
There are also quite a few extras that the deluxe resorts offer such as health clubs, child care locations, equipment rentals such as bikes and boats, in room refrigerators, and amazing gift shops. As a guest of a deluxe resort you will certainly enjoy the best of everything.
Now that you are armed with some valuable information about the deluxe resorts it is time to make a decision. There are some factors to take into consideration. Cost is of course the number one factor. A deluxe can cost you three or four times as much as a value and often the prices of a deluxe soar well over the two hundred dollar a night mark. If you really want to stretch your vacation dollar a deluxe simply may not work for your group. You could always consider a split stay if you want to sample a deluxe. I suggest starting your trip at a value resort and ending at a deluxe. It is very easy to move up the ladder, but moving down may be a bit of a disappointment.
Another factor to consider is your touring style. Does your group start out the day at the parks and stay there until well past sun down? If so a deluxe may not be a necessary expense for you as you are only there to use a bed and a bathroom. If your touring style is more in line with mine then you are the type of person who sets out to the parks for only a few hours at a time and comes back to the resort to read, relax, and soak up the sun. If your Disney vacation needs to have some elements of a relaxing get away then a deluxe may be a better choice than a value or a moderate.
There are so many resorts to choose from on Disney property and there are great things about every category. I am a fan of the deluxe resorts as they fit my relaxed touring style and I budget for the expense involved in staying at one. Sit down with your family and decide what your vacation is going to be like before choosing a hotel. As always, no matter where you stay you are still at Disney World and will have an amazing vacation!
- Rumor: New Disney Vacation Club Property to be Built at the Grand Floridian? (everythingwdisneyworld.com)
- Disney World Vacation April, May, June, July August 2011 Discounts (pixievacations.com)
Here are some of the discounts that Disney World Passholders Receive for 2011.
Sports and recreation discounts are valid for purchases made by Walt Disney World® Passholders and valid Pass ID is required for redemption.
- Richard Petty Driving Experience:Get $20 discount off the regular price of a Richard Petty Ride-Along Experience or $35 discount off any Richard Petty Driving Experience package. Valid only at the Walt Disney World® Speedway for the Passholder. Not valid with any other coupon or discount. Call 1-800-BE-PETTY (1-800-237-3889) for reservations and information.
- BASS Nitro Fishing and Guided Fishing Excursion: Take 10% discount off the regular price. Valid for Passholder and the nmber of Guests permitted on the reservation. Reservation can be made by calling (407) WDW-PLAY (407-939-7529) or (407) WDW BASS (407-939-2277). Valid only at Walt Disney World® Resort.
- Sammy Duvall’s Water Sports Centre: 10% off Parasailing, Water-Skiing, Wakeboarding, and personal watercraft at Sammy Duvall’s Water Sports Centre at Disney’s Contemporary Resort for the Passholder after 12:00 p.m. 15% off all activities prior to 12:00 p.m. Reservations required. Certain age restrictions apply. EXCLUDES MERCHANDISE AND CANNOT BE COMBINED WITH ANY OTHER PROMOTIONS. For reservations, book online or call (407) 939-0754. Guests under age 18 must have parent or guardian permission to call.
- Marina Boat Rentals: Passholder receives a 15% discount off the regular price of boat rentals at any Walt Disney World® Resort Marina including Specialty Fireworks Cruises. Subject to availability. Certain age restrictions apply (excludes Holiday Event Specialty Cruises and the Grand 1 Yacht).
- at Walt Disney World Resort: 30% discount off Day Visitor Rates for the Passholder and up to three (3) Guests in the party. The discount is available on Day Visitor Rates for play anytime of day. Discounts cannot be applied to any other discount or special rate including, but not limited to, Twilight Rates. Tee times at this rate are limited and may be made up to 14 days in advance by calling 407-WDW-GOLF (407-939-4653). Advance reservations required. Valid on Championship Courses Only
- Disney’s Grand Floridian Spa and Health Club: 10% discount off the regular price of one 50 min spa treatment each visit for the Passholder. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 407-824-2332.
- The Spa and Health Club at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa: 10% discount off the regular price of one 50 min spa treatment each visit for the Passholder. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 407-827-4455.
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Massage & Fitness Center: 10% discount off the regular price of one 50 min spa treatment each visit for the Passholder. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 407-938-4715.
- Disney’s Yacht & Beach Massage & Fitness Center: 10% discount off the regular price of one 50 min spa treatment each visit for the Passholder. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 407-934-3256.
- Disney’s Coronado Springs Massage & Fitness Center: 10% discount off the regular price of one 50 min spa treatment each visit for the Passholder. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 407-939-3030.
- Disney’s Boardwalk Inn Resort Massage & Fitness Center: 10% discount off the regular price of one 50 min spa treatment each visit for the Passholder. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 407-939-2370.
- Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort Massage & Fitness Center: 10% discount off the regular price of one 50 min spa treatment each visit for the Passholder. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 407-938-4222.
- Disney’s Contemporary Resort Massage & Fitness Center: 10% discount off the regular price of one 50 min spa treatment each visit for the Passholder. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 407-824-3410.
- Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort Salon: 10% discount off the regular price of one Salon treatment $45.00 or greater each visit for the Passholder. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 407-824-3000.
- Disneys Yacht & Beach Resort Salon: 10% discount off the regular price of one Salon treatment $45.00 or greater each visit for the Passholder. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 407-934-3260.
- Disney’s Coronado Springs Resorts Salon: 10% discount off the regular price of one Salon treatment $45.00 or greater each visit for the Passholder. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 407-939-3965.
- Disney’s Contemporary Resort Salon: 10% discount off the regular price of one Salon treatment $45.00 or greater each visit for the Passholder. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 407-824-3411
For more information click here.
*To enjoy your 2011 benefits, you must present your valid Annual Pass at the time of purchase, booking, and/or redemption of any offer. Offers may not be combined with any other certificate, offer or discount. Offers apply to the Passholder only, unless otherwise noted. Offers are subject to change without notice and are subject to availability. 2011 Passholder benefits expire on December 31, 2011. All valid Passes will be subject to the enclosed benefits from January 1, 2011 through December 31, 2011. Updated benefits will be available for all valid Passholders on January 1, 2012.
The owners of the Walt Disney World® Resort reserve the right to revoke the Annual Pass if it is presented for admission by anyone other than the Passholder of record or if the Passholder violates the policies of the Walt Disney World® Resort.
The owners of the Walt Disney World® Resort shall not be liable for non-utilization of ticket components or loss of recreational opportunities due to refurbishing, capacity, inclement weather, special events or any circumstances beyond their control.
- Report: Disney World passholders invited to free Richard Petty Driving Experience tour (blogs.orlandosentinel.com)
I have been to Walt Disney World 6 times. 2 times with my parents when I was a teenager, 2 times with my parents, my brother and his wife, and my husband and son, one time just my husband and I and one time just my little family of three. All of these visits to my second home have amazing memories, like my first visit, or my sons first hair cut, which we had done at Harmony Barbershop, or a week to experience the magic just my husband and I on our 10th wedding anniversary. But nothing compares to the memories that were made on our last trip in October/ November of 2010.
It was our first family trip with just the 3 of us, and we stayed at the Wilderness Lodge. That made it special unto itself. My husband is not a fan of roller coasters, and I LOVE them. So I was thrilled when my son who had just turned 7 less than a week before wanted to ride the coasters with me. We went on all of the Roller Coasters, some more than once. He loved them. And I was so happy to have something special for just me and my little man to do together in Disney.
My son is a huge Star Wars fan, so his memory that he will carry with him forever is the mad dash to be part of the Star Wars Jedi training. The ropes dropped and off we went, running, and it paid off. He was the last child in the line for the first show. He was thrilled; he was going to “fight” Darth Vader. He went through his training and then patiently waited for his turn, and then it came. With a big smile he walked up and took center stage to fight Vader. Then as he was finishing the storm troopers began to advance on him and he was told to Force them. Well this was the perfect child to pick for that, little did they know that during the whole trip every time we came to the automatic doors he would “force” them open for us. This was his highlight, and he still tells everyone how he got to force the troopers.
On our last full day there we were chosen to be the Flag Family at Wilderness Lodge. This to me was a once in a lifetime memory and an honor. We met Ranger Joe at the front desk. He asked for our letter that had been delivered to our room to notify us. We then began our journey to the roof.
First things first, take in the view. It was a cloudy day, and ended up raining most of the day, but the view. Wow. It was just amazing. My husband and I stood in awe as we looked out over the world. My son just ran around.
Ranger Joe was great with Cole, who had to raise all the flags. We were just there to watch. We learned about the 5 flags on the lodge and raised each one, starting with the American flag and ending with the Wilderness Lodge flag. After all the flags were raised we said the Pledge of Allegiance, and tears came to my eyes.
What a proud moment for myself and my family, like I said what an honor. Ranger Joe then presented us with a certificate for being the Flag Family on Thursday November 4, 2010. Some people asked me what we do to get chosen.
Well in most cases you are chosen at random, but after we did our online check in I sent a special request to them. I told them we were going to be celebrating our Sons 7 birthday and mine and my husband’s 11 wedding anniversary, which was the day after we left Disney.
It worked, we were chosen and it was a memory I will never forget. Our first trip with just our little family of 3 was the most special and Magical; Dreams really do come true at Disney.
Cynthia J. Settimo
This article comes to us from Cynthia, she is a fan of the Chip and Company website and is now a Chip Panel Columnist. She wanted to share some of her Disney Magic with everyone and hopes it brightens you day! The Chip Panel is still looking for Guest Bloggers. Click here if you want to learn more.
- The Truth About Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort And Spa!! (chipandco.com)
I would like to provide a quick preface on this article – it reflects my opinions only and nothing more!
We love the Grand Floridian (GF) for lots of reasons but we don’t always stay there. Why? We generally do 10 or 11 night stays and a stay of that length can be cost prohibitive because we are just a couple of average Seniors! We do, however, stay there on special occasions as in the past on our 25th and 30th Anniversaries and we absolutely will stay there on our 4oth in 2017. On our 35th in 2013 we are going to go for the Wilderness Lodge just to try something different. Let’s try to explode a few myths and accentuate some real pluses about the good old GF:
- MYTH: The Grand Floridian is not kid friendly. If this is true, someone needs to explain it to the many, many kids we see having a wonderful time there. They runs as fast and yell as loud as at any other Disney resort. They dress, look, and act the same as all the other terrific kids at Walt Disney World.
- MYTH: The Grand Floridian has a “snooty” atmosphere. The Grand Floridian is truly luxurious! What we have found though is that the Cast Members are as friendly, helpful, and genuinely caring as any on Disney property. They are a delight to be around and as down to earth as can be. Sure, their costumes are a bit fancier than at some resorts but that adds to the whole Victorian ambiance. It’s part of the show.
- MYTH: The Grand Floridian is for rich people only. Yes, it’s expensive but many folks like us save a little bit extra just to be able to enjoy just how wonderful this resort is. I would say that most of the folks staying there are just like you and me and have always wanted to stay there so they save towards it and only do it once in a while. It really is worth it if you are looking for more than a bed and a shower between theme parks. Oldies (like us) especially go for the extras as an integral part of their vacations.
- PLUS: The resort is gorgeous and has a very relaxed, early Florida atmosphere. You never feel hurried when you stay there. Everything at the Grand Floridian is impeccably maintained from the rooms to the landscaping. You will not find a piece of paper blowing around on the grass.
- PLUS: The shopping options on the second floor of the lobby are the best outside of Downtown Disney. Sure, there are some high end options but a lot of the shops offer stuff that folks like us buy. Plus – it’s fun to look at the really expensive stuff and dream.
- PLUS: No other resort has more dining options. From the relatively small but well maintained food court to Victoria and Albert’s (a personal favorite) there are seven different restaurants on the property. 1900 Park Fare has character buffets twice a day and the best buffet food at Walt Disney World. All of the other restaurants are as good as or better than any at the World.
I hope you come away with a new appreciation for the Grand Floridian, we do every time we stay there. There are quite a few more myths and a LOT more pluses (transportation especially) but I just wanted to present a few. As always, enjoy your visit to Walt Disney World!!