We’ll pick things up at the Wilderness Lodge. As in the BoardWalk Inn and Grand Floridian Walkabouts, we’ll take a look at some holiday-specific photos and then come back and take a look at some other points of (mostly no) interest.
Like most of the Disney resorts, the exteriors of most of the buildings aren’t decorated. Most of the decorations are congregated inside the main lobby. Out here, only the pool bar and the exterior of Roaring Fork have garlands. Looks we have some Bricker impersonators on the scene today.
Point and shoot. Cloudy day in sunny Florida. Fitting with the whole pacific northwest vibe of the resort. One of these days, when Disney publicly discloses they can control the weather, it wouldn’t surprise me to see clouds over the Wilderness Lodge all day, every day. You wanted an authentic experience, right? Amusingly, I had been whining about how much it rains in Florida. When I went back to Seattle over Thanksgiving, it rained for six days straight.
Some pacific northwest-y themed garlands on the upper right there hanging off of Roaring Fork, the resort’s main quick service.
The main attraction at the Wilderness Lodge is the Christmas Tree, which is currently dwarfing these (I assure you) normal sized gentlemen.
With the totem pole in the background.
Canoes, hand drums, tipis, and pine cones might be a little presumptuous, but it works.
A great location for sipping (spiked) hot cocoa this time of year.
You’re liable to run into these smaller versions of the big Christmas tree around the lobby.
And appropriately themed wreaths.
If it looks like you can hang a garland on it, you can be sure Disney will try.
A family of reindeer and a family of itty bitty trees.
Not a ton going on at check-in, but you’ve got the usual wreaths and some poinsettias. The various artifacts on the walls and around the resort are all worth checking out.
A nice area to help keep kids occupied during check-in.
I’m not sure if the ornaments are chained to the tree like they are at Animal Kingdom or not. For some reason it didn’t occur to me to try to steal anything off of it at the time and I didn’t see anyone else trying either. Next time.
One more of the lobby.
Headed down to Roaring Fork, the Lodge’s principal quick service.
Fake antlers, I’m sure.
The decorated pool bar.
One last wreath.
Wilderness Lodge is worth visiting any day of the year, but it’s definitely a little more special around the holidays. Since I am “from” the Pacific Northwest, I may be a little biased, but I’ve always thought the Christmas spirit fits in a little better with the wilderness theme.
From Magic Kingdom, you can get to Wilderness Lodge by bus or boat. I prefer the boat because it’s a little more interesting. The trip is ten or twelve minutes. There are a couple different varieties of watercraft. We’ll be taking this big boat over and then a little boat coming back.
The boat over to Ft. Wilderness Campground is on the other side.
Big and relatively comfortable. There are worse ways to travel. Rickshaw, for example. Goat also comes to mind.
Some unique views of the Magic Kingdom and the Contemporary Resort.
A dark picture of the large Christmas tree out in front of the Contemporary. Just wait until you see the Mickey wreath!
Creepy birds circling over the Contemporary. Maybe they smell gingerbread too?
A scenic trip, otherwise – especially considering what this would have looked like in 1965.
Kind of a sad beach.
From the dock, you can also take the boat over to the Campground or Contemporary Resort.
Or the Magic Kingdom.
An authentic experience right after you step off the boat. Cloudy and everything! It’s even better in the dark when the lanterns are lit.
Not patient enough to wait for the geyser to erupt.
Pool bar menu:
The options should look familiar.
The whole complex.
Actually a good looking shot for once. Not sure what happened.
This “rock feature” is a lot of fun.
But not too much.
The stream at the base of the lobby.
Current menu at Artist Point:
One of the more low-key signature choices, along with Jiko over at Animal Kingdom Lodge. It’s one of your best opportunities to get away from the kids and the hustle and bustle of the theme parks. Open for dinner only. Territory Lounge is attached.
Whispering Canyon Cafe:
On the other hand, if you’re looking to continue your theme park experience, Whispering Canyon is also conveniently located off the lobby. The most popular items here are the Canyon Skillet and “Bottomless” Milk Shakes. You’ll probably need to pile into a wheelbarrow to get home. The Lunch Skillet is about $10 cheaper, but comes with fewer meat items (no Pulled Pork or Beef Brisket).
The geyser, where the pool water actually “starts” is located inside the lobby. Very neat.
A little ambiance with Mama Bear and her cubs. Not sure what the bear on the right is doing to that tree though.
We’ll pop into Wilderness Lodge Mercantile to check on resort-specific merchandise.
A fun holder featuring a totem design similar to what’s out front.
Mugs as well.
Not sure what you do with these statue-looking-things. I just see a murder weapon, but I watch a lot of Murder She Wrote.
Some apparel options:
Cute stuff and more of it than we’ve seen in recent past.
Some food choices:
More than you’ll find at most of the other resorts. I checked on the price of those 2-Liter bottles of Coca-Cola and they didn’t have a price tag. “If you have to ask….” I guess.
Somehow in all of my posts on holiday merchandise, I missed the coffee. Here it is.
And the flavored coffees.
One of my favorite chairs on property through these doors.
They’re located in the back of the lobby area, overlooking the Falls and pool.
Over to Roaring Fork, which is accessible from the lobby area or from the doors outside.
Not a lot of options.
With a spotlight on the S’Mores Cupcake. Better pictures and a review here.
Fruit and sushi. Bigger picture.
It’s kind of a hole in the wall.
Chips, cereal, fruit, and other snack options.
Plenty of tables at 4pm – not so much at 9am.
Outdoor seating too.
Look for my “Best Places to Sip Scotch at Walt Disney World” to come out in “eBook” format by 2016. I still have a lot more locations to test. That PDF will cost $15.95 and I’ll constantly be plugging it. Constantly. Have you bought my Best Places to Sip Scotch at Walt Disney World book?
As close to the pool as I’m comfortable getting. Have you bought my Best Places to Sip Scotch at Walt Disney World book?
A smaller boat. Have you bought my Best Places to Sip Scotch at Walt Disney World book?
More intimate. Have you bought my Best Places to Sip Scotch at Walt Disney World book?
This should be Sailor Duffy instead!! Am I right?? Have you…Ow! You don’t have to hit!
Want to see a magic trick?? So the lights are off…and I put on my wizard hat and wave my wand…
And they turn on!!! Disney Magic, folks! I’m amazing! I’m awesome! The geyser is going off in the back there too.
Looks like a good spot, but I have never tried it. Just tell me when and I’ll meet you there. Guest blog!
Very cool lit up in the dark.
That’s the Wilderness Lodge. While you may not want to take the time to go all the way out here on your first or second trip, it’s certainly a worthwhile destination after you’ve “done” the Parks. It’s also a nice way to take a break from the Magic Kingdom in the afternoon.