We’ll set out for Wilderness Lodge to check out the holiday decorations, pool construction, merchandise, and Territory Lounge and then very briefly pop over to Magic Kingdom in between.
Hailing from the pacific northwest myself, I may be a bit biased, but I’ve always “felt” like Wilderness Lodge “feels” the most Christmas-y of the various resorts:
Just pretend like the tree shot works.
And yes, just about any time I see a wreath, tree, or lights, we’re going to get one of these views.
Wilderness Lodge’s Silver Creek Springs feature pool closed in early September for a refurbishment that was expected to continue until late November. The refurbishment went a few days long and reopened earlier this week.
There are no discernible changes to the pool itself, other than the fact that a gate now surrounds it. It’s not RFID-enabled like the gates that surround the Art of Animation pools. It’s strictly a safety thing.
Construction was working past 10pm to get the resort’s new kids’ water play area up and running.
It’s very similar to the Alice in Wonderland installation at the Grand Floridian.
Or the pirate-themed area at Caribbean Beach. It will be a nice addition.
Resort merchandise here is plentiful:
It’s a much larger variety than we saw at the Yacht Club.
A look at a variety of other items available in the gift shop:
Other resort gift shops would have a similar variety.
We took the boat over to Magic Kingdom to use a Seven Dwarfs Mine Train FP+ and take a look around.
Here in the heart of Mickey’s Party Season, non-Party dates at Magic Kingdom are pretty wild. Main Street is a mess with about 90 minutes until the first Electrical Parade steps off.
Not much else to report when it’s so dark out. Baymax apples are available for the same price as the much more intricate designs.
You wonder how long until everything is wrapped in Olaf.
Cute kids’ shirt.
Something no child anywhere has ever said.
2015 merchandise is out in force. We’ll take a closer look in a separate post.
Territory Lounge at Wilderness Lodge might be my favorite on property. Artist Point, the restaurant next door, is rarely so busy that people waiting for their tables clog it up. That’s a big problem after 5pm at something like Tambu Lounge at the Polynesian or Mizner’s at the Grand Floridian (which is made much worse with the DVC addition).
A shot earlier in the day before the lounge opened at 5pm. Seating is relatively comfortable and the location is darker, quieter, and more intimate than most. Kids are welcome of course, but this location doesn’t seem to attract as many families.
Food is well above average too.
This is a bit of a changeup compared to what’s been served for the last year or so. Things are a bit confusing because there are actually a couple different beer menus. There’s another that includes Abita Harvest Series, Cigar City Moduro Brown, Left Hand Milk Stout, Napa Smith Hopageddon IPA, Oskar Blues Dale’s Pale Ale, Petrus Aged Ale, Schofferhofer Grapefruit, St. Bernardus Abt 12, and Unibroue La Fin du Monde.
On the plus side, Territory offers Widmer Hefeweizen, Redhook ESB, Moosehead, and Bud Light on draft.
I tried the “Blue” version of the Moscow Mule after enjoying the regular version at Kona a few nights prior. This one adds what I thought was an off-putting, artificial blueberry syrup that overpowered the other flavors and made it difficult to drink.
Unfortunately, Lisa didn’t enjoy her Raspberry-Ginger Mojito – Finlandia Raspberry Vodka, Ginger, Mint, Raspberry Puree, and fresh Lime Juice topped with Coconut Water any better. It suffered from a viscous, syrupy quality with an overpowering, metallic raspberry flavor . I’m not sure if other people have had better luck since going 0 for 2 is rare at Disney where drinks follow standard recipes resort wide. The Wilderness Lodge stirring sticks are a nice touch.
The food was significantly better. The Territory Lounge Crispy Chicken Wings with Celery and Bleu Cheese Dressing – $9 were a heaping portion of 12+ large, plump, freshly fried and crispy wings. They had a natural, acute spiciness that didn’t particularly linger – by far the best wings I’ve had on property and a tremendous value compared to what’s available elsewhere, including the chicken nuggets downstairs at Roaring Fork that would cost you more money. The highest recommendation.
The Pulled Pork Nachos – In-house smoked pulled pork, house-made tortilla chips, sharp cheddar cheese, cilantro sour cream, hard-apple cranberry salsa, and pickled hot peppers were a triumph at $12. Delicious tangy pork is piled high on top of the complementing sour cream and salsa. Very fresh, delicious, and a large portion for the money. The highest recommendation.
Wilderness Lodge is relatively convenient from Magic Kingdom. You can take the boat or bus over and enjoy any of the resort’s public areas. Head up the stairs or take the elevator up to enjoy some of these quieter areas next to the fire.
That’s what’s going on.