Jan 29, 2018

Disney Recap: Wilderness Lodge Staycation

Piper turned ONE last Tuesday (1/23). ONE! Blows my mind.

For Piper’s birthday we chose to celebrate with a Disney staycation (we live about 30 minutes from the parks). Piper is too young to comprehend, but she will definitely be Disney-spoiled. We are annual passholders and Disney Cruise Line lovers. I already booked a cruise for May 2019 for our first vacation with baby #2. (Children have to be at 6 months old to cruise.)

I think this Disney stuff is super normal because it is how I grew up. My mom worked for Disney my entire life. I spent my pre-teen summers roaming the parks in lieu of day camps before finally starting to work for the Mouse when I turned 15. My husband, on the other hand, tells me all the time this is not normal. He is slowly sipping the Kool-Aid.

Piper’s first Mickey Waffle, dairy-free of course.

Pre-baby life I stayed at many Disney resorts: Animal Kingdom Lodge, Boardwalk Inn, Fort Wilderness, All Star Music, Saratoga Springs, The Dolphin (3rd party onsite resort), and Paradise Pier (Disneyland).

Now, I can add Disney’s Wilderness Lodge to the list. We stayed two nights in a studio suite at the Boulder Ridge Villas. This resort is categorized as a deluxe resort in the Magic Kingdom area.

The resort recently underwent some upgrades and additions (you can read about that here: Disney Parks Blog).  I can’t  compare the before and after product since I did not see the pre-renovated facility. But, from what I did see, the resort is absolutely stunning. From the website:

Escape to the rustic majesty of America’s Great Northwest. Inspired by turn-of-the-centur National Park lodges, Disney’s Wilderness Lodge celebrates American craftsmanship and honors the beauty of the untamed wilderness. Soak in the splendor of the great outdoors, from nature trails through pine forests to rocking chairs that overlook a murmuring creek. Inside, discover towering totem poles, headdresses and more, and enjoy the rustic elegance of the stone hearth and roaring fireplace.

Twenty minutes after checking in, I kept saying, “everyone is so nice here!!” Seriously, I think I am such a Disney fanatic/nerd because the Cast Members are so accommodating and magical to their Guests. Every single person I interacted with was beyond kind and made me feel like a celebrity.

One of the main reasons we chose Wilderness Lodge was its proximity to Magic Kingdom. We made reservations to dine at Cinderella’s Royal Table and wanted to take the complimentary water taxi to the park. We also had breakfast reservations at Chef Mickeys at Contemporary Resort – also a boat ride away! Side note for people with kids: You don’t have to collapse your stroller to take the water taxi or monorail. Super convenient if you load your stroller up like I do! 

TIP: Plan ahead by knowing exactly when the water taxi starts transporting Guests! If you have an early morning reservation for breakfast at the Magic Kingdom, don’t miss the first boat! You may even need to find alternate transportation depending on park hours. The first boat departs 30 min before the park opens.

We showed up for the Magic Kingdom boat at 7:30am for our 9:05am reservation. (They let you in the park early for dining reservations). When we arrived at the dock we were surprised to learn the boat would not arrive until 8:30am. A little stressful! Thankfully, we made it – with 5 minutes to spare! In hindsight, I would take the boat to the Contemporary and walk to the Magic Kingdom. The boat to and from the Contemporary starts running at 6:15am and the walk from Contemporary to Magic Kingdom is very short.

Resort Highlights:

  • A beautiful outdoor bar, Geyser Point Bar & Grill, right on the lake
  • Campfire & s’mores by the lake
  • Two beautiful pools – one a little more quiet and one fully equipped with a water slide and splash pad area
  • Boat and bike rentals
  • New Balance running trail
  • Beautiful views!


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