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WDW Radio # 676 – Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort Report

We’ll look at 10 reasons to stay, play, dine, and visit Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort, including some secret and special places and experiences you won’t want to miss.

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Thanks to Beci Mahnken from Mouse Fan Travel for joining me again this week!

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Click Here Read The Full Podcast Episode Transcript

Lou Mongello: [00:00:00] Both brilliant in execution and spectacular in scale, Walt Disney world is a living, breathing. Masterclass in the concept of environmental storytelling, it's illustrates and epitomise is the remarkable ability to suspend our disbelief and transform our perception of both time and place, not just in the parks, but in the resorts as well.

And I feel like I'm in dot, dot, dot. Is that comments sort of paraphrase of the excited, emotional response that Disney elicits from not just first-time visitors, but decades long annual pass holders. I'm raising my hand. And one of the places that I think is most representative. Oh, that is the subject of this week's show and the subject of my ongoing love of this resort.

Disney's wilderness lodge. And so this week on our Walt Disney world resort report, we're going to share and. 10 ish reasons to stay, play dine, snack, and visit Disney's wilderness lodge. And joining me once again is someone who freely admits that the fastest way to her heart is through a Walt Disney world lounge.

She is of course, Becky Mankin from mouse van travel

Beci Mahnken: through, through a lounge or, you know, This resort located. I was only kidding. I will say when we actually started talking about doing this specific resort report. Yeah. Okay. One of my very favorite lounges came to mind immediately. [00:02:00] So you're not. I'll I'll give you that today.

This time

Lou Mongello: only, usually when I say to Becky, let's do a resort report, she goes, oh, in this place has a really nice lounge. That's fine. I can do it. And just fake the rest. But you may remember Becky from such resort reports as 6 30, 4 Disney's beach club. Show 6 28 Disney's Viro beach. Gosh, it was so much fun.

Show six 20 art of animation and show six 11 Disney's Riviera resort, plus countless upon countless emails shows. And you know, Becky, as I was thinking about this one specifically, and I know we were like, oh, we can do this one or we can use them. Went to bat hard for wilderness lodge, because I think for so many of us, our ongoing love and fascination with Walt Disney world is doing part two.

What I like to consider like the wow factor. And I mean, wow, not just at the attractions and shows and restaurants and places and spaces, but the exceptional levels of customer service. The cast members and really it's persistent and consistent ability to wow. Us and captivate our attention, our dollars and our loyalty and like that.

Look, that's why. There is an 80 plus percent return rate for first time visitors, right? Because of not just that remarkable level of loyalty that we have, I think, but that ability to transport people from the reality of daily life to somewhere else. And I think nowhere else might that be as evident than at wilderness law.

Beci Mahnken: We'll just lodge really holds a lot of character and charm. And for me, it's a little bit different because it is based on or inspired [00:04:00] by the national parks, uh, blogs. Like the one at the old faithful lodge, I think is specifically what it's kind of after, but it reminds me a lot of my backyard up here in the Pacific Northwest.

There. A lot of, uh, lodges that have that same character and charm and the, the celebration of the native American heritage and all of those pieces pulled together. So a lot of people would ask me, so how come you don't stay there very often for me, it's like going to my backyard when I walk in and I'm in that surrounding.

It feels like I'm home. So why would I go 2,500 miles away to vacation in my backyard? So I haven't spent a lot of time there from staying there. However, it's one of my very favorite places to walk in and to just soak up the atmosphere because it is so grand, it's grand and it's beautiful and it's nature.

Um, and it's wonderful to have that experience. Right outside of a theme park.

Lou Mongello: And I think for me, because there is so much in and to this resort and the real and imagined the history, the details, the stories, the educational opportunities. We'll get to the dining. I promise. And I show her, go back to show 31 double digits.

It was one of my earliest DSI Disney scene investigations of wilderness lodge. And then back on show to await, we really went into a lot of specificity and depth on the stories and the histories and the details and just how. Literally, and then we'll talk, I'm sure about this, how everything speaks, right.

And, and the meaning and the stories behind the creations of the storytelling that takes place inside and outside, um, of [00:06:00] wilderness lodge, both the real story and the imagined story as well. So I want to get into our list of 10 ish reasons. And as always Becky, you are my guest and ladies first, and I'm very curious to hear.

What was the first thing that came to mind and the first thing on here,

Beci Mahnken: The very first thing that came to mind was the lobby, the lobby itself. When you first walk into wilderness lodge, you're greeted with this. Um, I think it's like seven stories tall or something of that nature. Eight, is it eight stories you walk in there and it's all that beautiful log cabin look and feel to it.

And you immediately, it evokes that that feeling of being in a mountain lodge right away with the hustle and bustle is going on. Places that you can just sit and sit in a rocking chair and relax. And one of the things that I've always drawn to besides that huge, um, fireplace, which is 80 some odd feet tall, uh, is the, the stream that is inside of the lobby and the water, the sound of the water.

It always draws me. So you're drawn through that. Beautiful. Cavern of a lobby to this, this babbling Brook that you see that is, um, working its way outside. Um, and all of the, the different details in the lobby that, uh, that again, nod to that net native American heritage with the artifacts and little things that you'll find around the lobby.

Um, and I can't forget, obviously that one of my very favorite things about the lobby is at Christmas, when you walk in and. My very favorite Christmas trees around the resorts is in the wilderness lodge. And it's a 40 foot tall tree, I believe, but it's almost dwarfed in a way when it's in that lobby, it's like, it's a perfect fit.

And I've never really been [00:08:00] successful at getting the entire Christmas tree in one picture because it is just so huge. So I think that. Uh, the lobby does a great job of starting the storytelling of, um, of the atmosphere that you're in. And I, there was the very first thing that came to mind.

Lou Mongello: Well, and it's interesting because the lobby is on my list as part of one of the first two things on my overall list, which is the atmosphere.

And I'll sort of let that sort of seamlessly segue into that because I agree with you and the lobby here. Is very much evocative of animal kingdom lodge or the grand Californian where it is this stop you in your tracks, all inspiring jaw dropping moment. As you, as your eyes, sort of continue to sort of find their way up past the exposed beams and the totems.

And you realize this eight story. Lobby's sort of dwarfs you in, in its magnificence and the totem poles and the artwork and the native American history. And for me, like the one I had sort of put this under the, the overarching entry of just atmosphere and the rustic. Yet elegant feel that wilderness lodge has to it.

And the ability to bring the great outdoors inside. I think that there is arguably no other resort in Walt Disney world. That instantly makes you forget. You're not in Walt Disney world. When you walk in the door, it could be 137 degrees. Like it normally is in July and parts of August and the humidity can be through the roof, but you get in there.

And you're almost like, like a moth to a flame, like you're drawn to the fireplace and your eyes are drawn upward. And you [00:10:00] mentioned that the Springs and fire rock Geyser, and we'll talk about the inside and outside parts of the Geyser and. There is this incredible, and I don't mean like oppressive heat, but this there's a warmth to wilderness lodge that I almost don't find and feel the same way elsewhere.

I think animal kingdom lodge has its own sort of. Version and variation of that, but the overall atmosphere with the exposed wood, the native American artwork, the history, the Springs, the fire, the views, the privacy. One of the things I love about this resort in term from an atmospheric perspective is the, the feel of the privacy.

And we'll talk even sort of in more specifics about where I think it is at its peak and the stories are woven, not just in. Real world Pacific Northwest Americana, but the imagined stories, we talked about that again, on those other shows. And I will use this as a place to sort of plant my flag and say, we can maybe discuss this now or later, or is this the most relaxed.

Resorts all of Walt Disney world, because I'm not so sure that there are other hotels that give you this level and depth of absolute relaxation, top 10 places to relax in, in wilderness lodge. I can bang it out. No sweat.

Beci Mahnken: Yeah. I think you've got something there. It has an interesting again, charm to it that it's almost like a modern luxury.

Meets this rustic cabin feel that it has a casual elegance to the whole thing where yeah, if you're going to go camping, you're going to relax. If you're going to, [00:12:00] um, you don't have that feeling that you have to necessarily, uh, be on the go all the time there. And I think that you've kind of hit a nail with that relaxation piece.

And as you said, it, it made me wonder, I, I think you're right. I'm not. I can't think of another one that really evokes that same, um, that same feeling of just walking in and, and breathing, uh, included

Lou Mongello: and it's cozy and the warm big tufted leather chairs, and those looks and crannies throughout, and, and just being from a 30,000 foot perspective being sort of.

Cuddled by those pine trees that surround the resort gives you such a, again, that, that type of relaxing, wonderfully isolated.

Beci Mahnken: Yeah, I totally agree. And you could sit there. That's one of those lobbies, you can walk in, sit down, sit by the fireplace and you can be there for hours if you wanted to just people watching and enjoying the atmosphere that you're speaking of and, and the sights and the sounds.

And, uh, just that sound of water. Again, I'm going to go back to that over and over again, because it is. That evokes that relaxation in me, as well as I think others have that same feeling. And until you start hearing the yelling going on from whispering, which we'll talk about that in a minute, but, um, yeah, and now I want to go

Lou Mongello: there right now, punctuated by also saying that it's not sort of continuing to sort of hyperbole, it may be the most, and this is going back to environment.

It may be the most walkable of any of the resorts, not just on an. Way, but outside just sort of wandering, it's a very easy property to wander. And we'll talk about some of the locations as we talk about transportation, but when you walk down that dock past fire rock [00:14:00] Geyser towards the, the, the marina dock, like it is one of the most beautiful serene places in, from an atmospheric perspective in all of Walt Disney.


Beci Mahnken: When you're talking about share beauty, the two that always come to mind for me are wilderness lodge and an animal kingdom lodge, just from a nature perspective and, and from wilderness lodge. You're right. I think that that does make you feel like you want to go for walk in the woods. It's right there.

And the, and it's, it's a big hug. It's a big warm. Seriously. I'm just thinking about walking through those paths and those trees are all around you and, and it's, it's so private and secluded and it doesn't feel like it's been, um, you know, mowed down and open and spacious. It is very spacious, but you are walking through a forest and not something you think of when you think about Florida.

Lou Mongello: And it feels like that property, not even from a Disney story, it feels like it's been there. I mean, it doesn't feel like it was something built, you know, in the nineties it feels like something that's been there much, much longer. So. All right. I think my piggyback of atmosphere counters my entry. So what's next on your,

Beci Mahnken: well, let's go to one of the easy ones, one of the big standouts of, of, um, why you would choose it would be its location in general.

I love that it is so close to magic kingdom. Um, you know, granted it doesn't have a monorail, uh, stop because monorail doesn't go there, but that's okay. Because I think that that would have ruined the atmosphere. Um, you do have. Uh, very easy boat ride that takes you over to magic kingdom. So it, it has that, uh, closeness to the magic kingdom that you can easily get there via the boat.

And it also has the transportation of, of the buses and so forth, but the location is so tucked [00:16:00] away over in the corner. That for me, you really forget that you are in Florida. You really forget that you are near a theme park. If you allow yourself just to kind of melt into the atmosphere of, of where it is.

Um, so I think location is. Best reasons. And if you're looking for a deluxe resort type of accommodation, but you're not looking at the, the highest cost wilderness lodge is one of the lowest, um, in terms of cost when it comes to deluxe resort choices. So I think that that's a win.

Lou Mongello: You need to stop talking cause you just took about six entries.

Great. So I agree, uh, location I had as, as number three, I think location is, is that important? Um, and I mean, location, not just in terms of where it is situated and this feeling like we said of not being in Florida, but it ties into, and I had this actually as a separate entry, but I think it ties in very cleanly, the boat.

Right. The boat to the magic kingdom, to me is an attractor and attractive aspect. And by magic kingdom, I mean, you can also take a boat to the campgrounds, to the contemporary, that 10 minute boat ride, which is often not very crowded. It is very leisurely. Like if you take it in the morning or at that golden hour at night is so wonderful and beautiful.

It is for me an attraction in and of itself. So location and boat ride were sort of on my list separately, but there is clearly connective tissue between the two. And since you already took it, I also had a price. I had price of less because. It's a deluxe resort that is very close to the magic kingdom with this level of privacy that I almost think would, would garner a higher price, right.

Because you're not amidst [00:18:00] the hustle and bustle. And I'm sure we'll talk about the different types of rooms, but when you said monorail, I was like, Um, internally screaming, thank God. Like thank God. There is no monorail. Um, but if you're looking for a deluxe accommodations on a little bit of a budget, wilderness lodge, like I said, is the perfect choice.


Beci Mahnken: And when you were talking about, um, the, the proximity to magic kingdom as well, I forget how close it is until, I mean, you and I were there not too long ago and. The fireworks kind of

Lou Mongello: reminded me

Beci Mahnken: from a location perspective. It was just saying that it reminds you of, oh yeah. That's how close I am. Because you, you forget just the proximity to the park that you are until that happens in the evening.

Lou Mongello: I agree. Um, it's going to be a short

Beci Mahnken: show because I keep stealing them. Is that what's going on? And

Lou Mongello: that was just the kiss of death.

Two hours later. We're still talking next on my list. And honestly, I was the first thing that came to my mind. Right. Because we talk about how. How Walt Disney world makes us feel right. And what this, what this resort feels like, what it's themed like. And I started thinking about not only what does it feel like, but where does it feel like?

And going back to my love of not just the serenity and the theming, but that feel of the resort that I think literally unlike anywhere. It starts before you step foot onto the property, proper, like, as you're starting to go down that winding pathway to the guard gate, you're already starting to see the timber [00:20:00] signs and the bear crossing and all of a sudden, like you are immersed in this feel and it's a very.

Striking resort. And I love the fact that it's inspired by real national park hotels. Um, again, I won't go too deep into this because we did talk about it on some of the earlier shows, but, um, when Disney hired Peter Dominick, who was a famous architect to design it. The choice of him was, was very intentional, right?

He was not only a very successful architect, but he was the son of an environmentalist and his personal passion for the Pacific north Northwest and the Rocky mountains, et cetera. And building traditions were integrated into this 728 initially room hotel. He was sort of able to bring in traditional log cabin, construction techniques and was inspired by the director of the national park service.

And so he wanted to really build something that was instantly reminiscent and recognizable of national park lodges from like the earliest early part of the 20th century, who. Which were built sort of very purpose-built and sort of a, this overarching theme. And if you look at places like old faithful in, in Yellowstone and, uh, the Yosemite hotel in Yosemite national park, Lake McDonald lodge in glacier national park, the many glacier hotel also in glacier national park, Jasper park lodge in Canada, the bright angel lodge in grand canyon, national park, uh, Elta VAR hotel.

Also, if you look at pictures of these and see, and [00:22:00] many of them are, are incredibly striking, I've never Becky. We need to do a national park fired lodge tour, but you really can't. Yep. You can look at them and see almost section by section. I can sense where the inspiration came from, and that was integrated into wilderness lodge.

And I love that sense of as Disney does everywhere. Authenticity in the storytelling.

Beci Mahnken: Yeah, the, the whole national park inspiration, like you said, you just Google some of those locations and it looks like you're looking at a wilderness lodge, which both internal and or on the interior and the exterior.

And it's so amazing too. To know that heritage net history for how those were built and why they were built into to know that the architect and the designer took such care in bringing that history forward to that location. It. Yeah. The, the first things you were like naming those off. I looked at one of them and I've seen the old faithful Inn, which always reminded me of that lodge, but all of a sudden looking at some of the others going, we need to go there.

We totally need to get a, on a, on a trip and, and hit these national parks because man, what a wonderful. Trip.

Lou Mongello: That would be like, if you look at Jasper park lodge and look at the lobby interior, you know, instantaneously that those TP style, massive light fixtures that hang from that eight story atrium are directly inspired by the Jasper park lodge.

And. Th they're they're made from real raw height and they're painted by hand with native American important and meaningful symbology across that, that, um, [00:24:00] heavy metal framework. It's just, it's gorgeous. It's gorgeous. And it's why to your point, you can and should spend time in the lobby, looking around at all of the details and the real history that is.

Prevalent and sort of oozing from every corner of it.

Beci Mahnken: That's just, as I'm looking at it going now, I want to go to wilderness lodge so bad right now. I want to stay there again and just be surrounded by, by all of that nature. It's that looks amazing.

Lou Mongello: All right. So what is next then on your list,

Beci Mahnken: I'm going to go with variety of accommodations.

Oh my

Lou Mongello: God. It's like, you're reading my list if I should be happy or frightened that we're thinking so far.

Beci Mahnken: Yeah. Th there's a, there's a whole discussion that can be had on that. But for now, let's go ahead and just talk about the variety, which of course. When you add wilderness lodge, we also have the villas, which are the copper Creek villas and the, uh, the Boulder Ridge villas as well.

So you have standard rooms in the lodge that start at about that 340 square foot, a scenario, which you can get up to four guests in most of those rooms. Um, but with the addition of the villas, you can also move into the. The standard studio, the one, two and three bedroom accommodations. But my very favorite are the cascade CA cabins, which are about a 1700 square foot.

Uh, I was lucky enough to be able to stay in one of those for a couple of nights. By far. I think that these are probably my favorite of the, the larger accommodations that are available on property. Um, uh, from the Villa perspective, it is just stunning. Um, they sleep up [00:26:00] to eight people against 1700 square feet.

And you feel like you are in a cabin in the mountains? Well, you're near a theme park and you're near a very large resort. You feel like you are separated in your own mountain cabin in the middle of nowhere. And it's such a wonderful experience to have surrounded by, you know, all the theme park crazy.

Lou Mongello: So I had my entry on my list was basically, I think Disney's wilderness lodge is multiple resorts.

In one, right. We told her to being a deluxe resort, a Disney vacation club property, and the villas and the cabins. And there's a different, you know, the, the copper Creek villas are, I think you think about these villas, you start thinking about the Polynesian bungalow. If I had a choice, if only with a travel agent who could give me a choice, I think that I would choose these.

And, and, you know, again, there's no bad choice here. Right? But these, there are these there's 26, as opposed to, you know, I think there's a lot fewer. Oh, the Polynesian bungalows, but there was something about these. Lush natural surroundings and these panoramic views of bay lake in front of you that give you not just a sense of privates privacy, but solitude.

There's this wonderful, like quiet serenity, especially if you get some of the ones that are a little bit farther down the path, a little bit farther away from, you know, the pools and, and some of the other areas it's not only beautiful. On the outside, put on the inside and that screened in porch and the hot tub and the double I've never stayed there.

I'm giving back the puppy dog. That's, I've never stayed there, but maybe better than you come down, [00:28:00] we should stay there and do a live show from there to really show people exactly what it looks and feels like. I think

Beci Mahnken: that's a fantastic idea. Any excuse to stay in one of those, any, any, any tax deductible excuse to stay in one of those cabins would be fantastic.

I, I think that, um, it's a great, uh, option for families who want that sense of privacy together, but to have. Uh, activities and things near them as well. Uh, that, so you have that camping cabin feeling, but you still are able to get out. And again, I'm going to go back to what I said before about the, uh, the lodge itself, the cabins, especially feel that modern luxury that meets the.

Rustic charm of a cabin. Um, yeah, I think we need to, I think we need to do that. You keep talking, I'm going to look it up to see if there's anything available.

Lou Mongello: Wilderness lodge to look when you come to Walt Disney world. It's it's, there's this very interesting dynamic, almost internal conundrum. Sometimes that you're faced, which is we're here.

We're on vacation. We want to relax. But there's four theme parks right outside the door. There's Disney Springs, there's all these things to do. And you'll almost have to decide where do you want to sort of allocate your resources sometime? Do I want to spend more days in the parks and going and experiential type of things or, and we're end, or do you know, do I want to put that towards.

Uh, resort. And I think sometimes if you're going to be spending, you know, rope drop to last one out, well, maybe, you know, it doesn't necessarily matter where you stay, you just need a bed and a shower. But I think wilderness lodge specifically is one of those places and I've done this. I've put my money where my mouth is.

I went with my family. It may have [00:30:00] been, it may have been about a year, year and a half ago or so where we went for two nights. And mind you will. Dislodge is 10 minutes from my house. We went for two nights. We didn't go to the parks. We did not leave property at all. And we had this amazing time and almost forgot in a wonderful way.

That magic kingdom was a 10 minute boat ride away, except for being able to sit outside and watch fireworks and the electrical water pageant. And I say that to mean, if you're almost looking for a destination vacation and want to sort of spend a little bit more in terms of financial resources and in terms of your time, it's one of the reasons why I love wilderness lodge and, and petition for it so much in terms of it possibly being the overall best resort.


Beci Mahnken: Hmm. That's a pretty strong statement, uh, being the best, but for some

Lou Mongello: directions, it's a subjective thing and it's again on why you go and what you want. But like, as a local staycation, like we'll just lodge is way up there. I mean, I liked Riviera to. And I, and I liked to pollinate animal kingdom lodge it's night.

Okay. But you understand my point again?

Beci Mahnken: I do get it. It's that same feeling that I kind of have over at Fort wilderness where you can still go enjoy. Um, the theme parks and enjoy being in that atmosphere, but then you can go back and be with your family. There's enough, which brings me to my next point, I think, is it my turn anyway?

Cause I can just segue right into it. There's a ton of recreation that's available there at the wilderness lodge. That would be great for families and you wouldn't even need to go to the theme park to enjoy yourself. So [00:32:00] kind of. Pointing on to what you just said between the pools and the campfires and which I love.

I love that thought of just taking your family down to a campfire by. The marshmallows and the sticks to, to roast marshmallows, to sit outside and watch a movie because they have the movie, but underneath the stars, you don't have to have that theme park experience to really enjoy this resort because there's so much other things to do.

Lou Mongello: So recreation amenities activities was a very high entry on my list. Again, going back to when my family and I stayed there. Wilderness lodge was our theme park, right? It is what we spent all of our time. We actually sort of made it. Not at the main pool, the copper Creek Springs pool, which by the way, has a 67 foot water slide built into the rock formations, which is amazing.

I got to say that show cause we went over to the Boulder Ridge Cove pool, which was quiet and it was sort of nestled into the villas area and they have a Whirlpool and these sort of shaded seating areas almost like. Minnie cabanas. And it was like, we had such a nice time sitting there and we would go over and got some food and brought it back to the table.

And yes, I actually relaxed for a few minutes, which if you know me, yeah. It's a big deal. Like, so there's the relaxing aspect, but there's also a ton of activities where you talked about movies under the stars. It doesn't matter. What's playing right. It's about sitting out on that lawn, literally under the stars with a snack, just like watching your favorite Disney classic there's pool parties.

And you mentioned the campfire. Arts and craft there's something called fitness. I don't know what that is, but, [00:34:00] um, there's boat rentals, fishing, excursions, bike rentals, jogging trails. It's starting to sound exhausting. So I'm going to go back to things like stuff you could do on the water. Um, and if you didn't know, there's also some, there's some secret stuff that might not necessarily find.

So for example, what there's actually a free, hidden Micky. That you can get, if you go up to the front desk and ask for one, I want to say that there's some sort of secret code word, but there's not just ask for the hidden Mickey hunt and I believe it's back or coming back. There's also a free, yes. I said free and Disney in the same sentence.

There's a free guided tour that you can take with one of the wilderness lodge ranger. You don't even need to be staying there. Um, that's amazing. And one of these days, when it comes back, I will go back and document it or broadcast it live. But whether you're staying there or not, it's a really, really neat way to see the resort in ways and maybe perspectives you haven't done before.

Um, and learn a lot about. It's history, design development and, um, importance, especially in terms of, um, I think it's really important to note that the native American artwork and heritage that is represented throughout.

Beci Mahnken: Yeah, excuse me. That is such a cool thing that they do with the guided tours, because, um, there's just so much history, especially in the lobby with all of the artifacts and things that you just possibly would just walk past and not realize how much it plays into the story of the resort itself.

So I haven't taken one of those tours myself. I've seen them going on and you kind of want to just kind of slip in to listen to what, what they're telling people, but, um, I love the fact that they have that available and there and other resorts as well to, uh, to be able to really learn about the [00:36:00] atmosphere and the resort that you're in

Lou Mongello: Becky.

Um, my name is Luma Angello. And for those of you listening, I know you're probably going, how has he not mentioned? Not even once the mention of dining dare I say, dare, dare. Dare I say, we'll just leave. Has arguably some of the best top to bottom dining of any resort in Walt Disney world, I will plant my flag squarely here because they have not only table service restaurant.

Whispering canyon cafe storybook dining, which I have not been to. I did not get a chance to go before a closed down where you could meet snow white and dopey and grumpy rumor has it. The evil queen stops by as well, but the counter service locations roaring fork, I dig it. Guys are point barring. Mind blown, we've done a live review.

It is one of my favorite overall places. Just forgetting even how good the food is there. Bison burger for the win, but some of the best views. And I love, love, love territory, lounge. I think territory lounge is one of those. The top three lounges in Walt is world. If only there was somebody I know Becky just starts and I'm not sure if it's called this anymore, but even like Ms.

Jenny's in room dining again, Ms. Jenny, there's a whole backstory go back and listen to the DSI and the other show that we did on it, but the, um, the food at. Wilderness lodge in terms of types of food that are available, types of restaurants that are available is really some of the best you'll find on property.

Beci Mahnken: You know, when you mentioned territory lounge to have a great sangria, but [00:38:00] have you tried.

Lou Mongello: Pretzel and dip and

Beci Mahnken: that's, what's going to ask you, it's the Oregon Chardonnay. Fondue. Yeah. That's it, which is so good. And yes, I might've had that every single time I sit there because it is so good, but every single location, I haven't been like you, I haven't been artist's point since they have done the story book dining was snow, white it dinner, but that was one of my very favorite places to go for dinner.

So that might be something we need to do on our list because. I haven't seen the, the

Lou Mongello: character dining there. I'm going to get back suite. You're telling me that I'm going to get Becky to a character meal. That would be a library.

Beci Mahnken: Why not? I haven't been there. It'd be great to see it. I remember when the last time I was, uh, there at the lounge, he looked up and he could see all of the lighting and it looked really cool from the outside.

So yeah, we might have. But Geyser point. All right. I, I will go on record. I still haven't tried a bison burger there's cause Eisner so fluffy. I don't know. I don't know if I could eat, I don't want to eat anything that I've met and I've met a bison. So, you know,

Lou Mongello: nah, nevermind. I don't want to, I mean, I don't literally don't even want to hear that story, but.


Beci Mahnken: uh, they have a lot of great choices and a lot of great options. And, and, um, one thing that I really love about Geyser points, especially at night, if you're sitting out there, that's got a lot of different seating areas that you can just kind of plant yourself in, and then you hear that wonderful tone of the main, the sorry, the, um, electrical water pageant out there.

And all of a sudden, everybody stops eating and doing what they're doing and you pay attention to what's going on with the electrical parade. It's a great location. And I love the fact, they have so many options between the counter service at the roaring fork. Um, and of course we can not go without mentioning the [00:40:00] whispering canyon cafe, which is a tradition for so many families.

And one of the things that you have to repeat, no matter if you're staying there or not, because it is so. Fun. It is a dinner in a meal and a show starring you and the, and the, uh, the servers that are helping you out and sometimes not helping you out. It's it is such a great place for family dining or a group of friends, uh, because you're going to have a great meal.

There's skillets. To die for, and you're going to laugh and you're going to laugh a lot.

Lou Mongello: You just I'm now I'm thinking skillet and the cornbread. It's so good. All right. Two quick things just to sort of add on one, I have three words for you to know about the magic cookie. Oh,

Beci Mahnken: no. Tell me about the magic cookie

Lou Mongello: hour.

Go to roaring fork and find out for yourself, but what the magic cookie ours is, is it don't be


Beci Mahnken: to raise him? No, that's my favorite cookies.

Lou Mongello: Nighttime on the water as it as almost really a separate entry because, and here's the play Becky, you go to Geyser points in the evening, and if you're like me, you like to sort of spread your me lap.

There's amazing seating, both under the cover of Geyser point proper and then a little bit closer by the water. These wonderful. Tufted comfy chairs, but if you time it just right with your meal and in your case, cocktails, plural, you will catch not only unique views of, um, the firework show enchanted in general.

And with the music being piped in. And if you happen to tune into my live broadcast that I did maybe six, nine months ago, it's not only a great view, but that little [00:42:00] girl who was singing along and made everybody around cried, it was amazing. But then wait a little while. And you get the electrical water pageant and this front row unobstructed view, like ground level of the water pageant, which I think the views there literally are second to none.

Um, and again, if you check with your, my Disney experience app in the front desk, you can find out exactly what time, not only the fireworks are, but when the water pageant will be coming by as well.

Beci Mahnken: I wouldn't go there so bad right now.

Lou Mongello: Great. You can also watch it from your cabin and by cabin. I also mean out on the porch or in the hot tub or whatever, but you can do that.

Beci Mahnken: I'm all for it. And speaking of the grounds, because we actually haven't really talked too much about the Geyser itself, which is a great attraction and it much like the Yellowstone geysers that you see when you're at Yellowstone park. Erupt every once in a while it gets every hour from 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM, something like that.

They go, it goes up 120 feet. So you can't miss it once it starts up. And it's one of those neat things just to, um, to enjoy when you're on the grounds of. At the resort.

Lou Mongello: And if according to store it doesn't actually really connect, but you can actually sort of literally connect the dots from the bubbling Geyser that begins inside the lobby that trickles its way throughout the property until it reaches down to fire rock Geyser.

And I'll tell you, Becky, that the last entry, um, on my list with maybe a little tiny honorable mention is. That secret spots abound at wilderness lodge and sometimes a secret spot can be [00:44:00] your personal subjective secret spot. That secret spot that you like to go to get away from it all. But there are some semi-secret or less well-known spots throughout that resort, which for me as a local sometimes is at least theoretically, like I keep saying, I'm going to go to this spot and go work for a little while.

But then I realized I got to put on pants and drive there, but anyway, like the, so you mentioned firearm Geyser, but inside the lobby itself, if you go to the second floor, um, as right above sort of the, the Portico share, when you first enter, you can go up the stairs and there's a second floor fireplace that is quiet.

And private and isolated, like there are glass doors that sort of. A little bit more, almost cut off from the lobby, although you have this amazing view of the lobby overlook, but there's also some wonderful, uh, individual workstations with these, um, these, these hand-blown glass lamps, and it's just, it's quiet and it's out of the way and there's power in this charging and it's, if you're looking for whether you're staying there, you need some time.

To get away to work, read, relax, think nap. Um, there's a lot of those places that you can find, not just in the main building, but over in, um, in that the second building sort of the, the vacation club building for, for lack of a better word and. The other, not so secret place, which is one of my, again, favorite places anywhere in Walt Disney world is the cowl would Pacific room.

Uh, you may know it as the iron spike room, which is this out of the way. Cozy comfortable, again, [00:46:00] super comfy chairs, private little fireplace there's game tables, but there's so much history there. Not just, oh, the lodge and oh America and our journey via rail to the Pacific Northwest. But. It is a place where a piece of Walt is actually home.

Right? There's two of the train cars from Walt Disney's. Why are you looking at me? Like you didn't know this. Wait, you didn't know this there's two train cars from Walt Disney's Carrollwood, Pacific railroad from his home. And there's all kinds of little. Um, uh, there's photos everywhere and informational plaques, but it is quiet and it is out of the way.

And it is like this somewhat well-known yet still incredibly, relatively hidden treasure. Not just of this resort, but I think of all of Walt Disney world. And when I know when we talk about wilderness lodge in the past, we've talked about it when I've done my finding Walt and Walt Disney world episode, the Carrollwood room was one of those places that if you were a Walt Disney enthusiast, you have to make your way over again.

You don't need to be a guest in order to go and check it out, but more importantly, Like if you're staying there and you want to just get away and grab a book or in Becky's case a cocktail and just sit quietly and have a conversation or play a board game with your family there, it literally is the near perfect.

In Walt Disney world. You're

Beci Mahnken: you're speaking like you have been there many times maybe to get away and work in a corner somewhere. I

Lou Mongello: was going to say, I've gone there to work. I've gone there to relax. I've I want to say I've done a meet there, but I don't think I've actually years ago. Um, I actually, uh, Uh, a teacher from a school that was up in the Northeast, came [00:48:00] down and I gave a presentation to students about waltz.

Um, not specifically the cold room in the Carol Wood room, um, because I love that place so much. I think it was a place sort of directly connect the story of Walton and some of the stories of, of the lodge to, uh, I, yeah, like I really, really, really liked that place a lot. And it's Becky it's usually you walk in and there's nobody there.

Beci Mahnken: Which is a plus, especially when you're trying to work. And especially at times, like right now, whereas so busy in the parks and you want to get away to something a little bit more private again, where you can grieve without a huge crowd around you. That sounds like the perfect place. Yep.

Lou Mongello: So, uh, that's actually all I had on my list other than, uh, there was one, I almost sort of felt I needed to mention it because it's not there.

And what you talked about, some of the different aspects, the aesthetics and the atmosphere. And I think another huge attractor that we sort of mentioned was the, the integration of nature into this resort. And there are. Walking paths and bike paths, and you can just sort of wander. I said, it's a very walkable resort.

Uh, once upon a time, way back when there actually was a walking path between wilderness lodge. And Fort wilderness. Yeah. You used to be able to take this. I think it was like just under a mile or so maybe like a 20 minutes and I think they still use it for carriage rides from Fort wilderness, but yeah, there used to be a, um, a walking sort of nature trail.

In between the two. And I think it's been closed for a couple of years, but it's just sort of evidences and who knows what the future is going to hold in terms of expansion of some of these resorts and new resorts that are coming [00:50:00] to that section of property. Um, but it still remains a very sort of wonderfully inside and outside walkable result.

Beci Mahnken: Like I said, just taking those, those little walks through those amazing trees and especially at night, that's what I love that resort the most. If you go there. Coco have a cocktail. Of course, that would be a great idea or, or dinner if you, if you

Lou Mongello: prefer,

Beci Mahnken: if you prefer to have dinner and then go for a walk, that is like the best resort to just wander around at night with the lamps and the trees and the lighting and the sounds and the water.

I just think it's a fantastic place to spend time you

Lou Mongello: hit right on it. And the last word I had on here was the sound's like, whether you sit in the. Well, do you sit by the Geyser? Whether you sit by the water, you can just, the next time you go, just close your eyes. And just listen to not the sound of children laughing, but the sound of the water and the sound of the, the natural wildlife and the birds.

And some of the little critters that you'll find, you know, throughout some of the parts of the resort. Um, it is very, very peaceful. And I think Becky that the part of the reason why I wanted to give this it's resort report now, As I think that not only is the resort and attraction unto itself, but I think it's one that's worthy of a special visit, uh, whether you are just coming to Walter's.

You mentioned earlier, especially during Christmas time, you have got to make a special trip out here, and I will pose the question to you. Our friend who's listening. I'll post this in the clubhouse, or you can call the voicemail at four seven nine hundred nine three nine. One is wilderness law. The [00:52:00] most beautiful hotel in Walt Disney world overall, there's no right or wrong answer.

I just want to know your opinion. And if you're thinking, if maybe we have inspired you to go. Deeper and deeper into Disney's wilderness lodge and stay there on your next visit. You can go and visit. I mean, don't go visit Becky cause she, I found out she does not like that. When you knock on a door, you can go and visit mouse, fan travel, and Becky and her amazing team of travel advisors will help you get to Disney world.

Beci Mahnken: Absolutely happy to do that, especially I want to talk about this whole magic cookie thing again, because if there's oatmeal raisins involved, I need to know it because that's pretty my first stop. I'm not that whole meeting thing that we have set up, I'm going right for the cookies. And then we'll talk about whatever later oatmeal raisin, um, like hot gooey over as a cookies.

Lou Mongello: Now, why did he got to where we had such a nice day and now I'm a little.

Beci Mahnken: Okay. I'll, I'll turn it back to them. Set the sangria, the same Greta and the Chardonnay, fondue

Lou Mongello: kids, just so you know, there's movies under the stars and Becky's babysitting services. Wow.

Beci Mahnken: Marshmallows. We can, we can like sit out there and we can have a business meeting and we can roast marshmallows.

Lou Mongello: Sure... We'll get a lot accomplished.


About Lou Mongello

Lou Mongello is a former attorney who left the practice to pursue his passion, and is now a recognized Disney expert, author, speaker, and host of WDW Radio. Learn more…

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