LAST UPDATED 9/4/18
We have loved our stays at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge so much that we’ve visited four times in three years! Transporting guests to the wonders of the wilderness, the resort is inspired by the legendary mining and railroad history of the Pacific Northwest.
Wilderness Lodge is also home to two Disney Vacation Club resorts – Boulder Ridge and Copper Creek – featuring everything from studios up through 3-bedroom grand villas and lake front cabins. You do not have to be a Disney Vacation Club member to enjoy these accommodations! They are available to the general public for booking, just like a regular hotel room. I don’t think many people realize this. Today I’m going to share all the details and my thoughts on Boulder Ridge.
While Copper Creek is located off of the main lobby of Wilderness Lodge, Boulder Ridge is housed in a separate building attached by a covered walkway. It has its own lobby that is lovely and on a much smaller, cozier scale than the grand lobby next door.
You will find a few fireplaces tucked about, along with things like game tables and fascinating mementos of Walt’s adoration of the railroad.
I highly recommend participating in the complimentary architectural walking tour of Wilderness Lodge that kicks of in the main lobby. They do take you through the Boulder Ridge lobby, which is every bit as fascinating as the main lobby! This is a train from Walt’s backyard collection. Note how the numbers on the bottom left would actually say “hello” to a child looking down at them from above. SO Walt!
Like next door, the lobby at Boulder Ridge is stunning at Christmas with a huge tree, garlands, twinkle lights and Christmas music. It is much quieter over here and I often enjoyed my coffee by the fire or a game of checkers with the little one before heading out for the day.
Boulder Ride Deluxe Studio at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
We stayed in a standard studio, with a queen bed, sleeper sofa and pull down bed.
We personally love this set up because each kid gets their own bed and you have a lot more space to move around in during the day when the beds are folded up.
Another bonus of the studio is a kitchenette.
The bathroom has an open vanity with a large closet. Of of this is a separate room with the shower/tub combo and toilet.
Overall, I will say that this room felt more dated and in need of an update than anywhere we’ve stayed in the last year. It is very close to the transportation and I loved the lobby space but I’m not itching to stay in this particular part of Wilderness Lodge again.
Dining at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort
Geyser Point Bar & Grill
One of our favorite meals of our week long trip was the lazy afternoon we spent at the brand new Geyser Point! This location is on the quick serve dining plan and is a MUST if staying at Wilderness Lodge, or even Contemporary which is just a boat ride away.
There is both covered and open seating and we have done – and enjoyed – both! The hostess does now keep a wait list and seat accordingly, which I much prefer over trying to stalk tables.
The unique menu has everything from bison burgers with Tillamook cheddar and a house-smoked salmon BLT with lemon-caper mayonnaise to small plates, craft beers and signature cocktails. While everything we had was very good, I highly recommend just going for the delicious burger of the salad. :-) I also love their black cherry mule.
This is one of Disney’s signature dining options and a bit of a hidden gem! The restaurant celebrates the culinary heritage of the Pacific Northwest with seasonal and regional menu selections. We found everything here from appetizers straight through to dessert to be wonderful! Artist Point will soon be adding a Snow White character meal so stay tuned for more information.
Territory Lounge has long been one of our favorite Disney lounges. We love the warmth of the rustic lodge decor and often make a meal of the flatbreads, fondue, poutine and charcuterie in the evening!
Whispering Canyon Cafe
Whispering Canyon Cafe is another favorite! It is just a silly, fun meal with good comfort food. If you go, you must ask for straws and ketchup! Whit went so far as to ask if the skillet was a souvenir. HAHA! It’s a great place for a group as well.
This updated quick-service restaurant serves Mickey waffles, specialty sandwiches and flatbreads, grilled chicken sandwiches, pulled pork and more. The dining area here is nothing special so we had our breakfast to go each morning and enjoyed it in our room!
Recreation at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort
Just like for dining, guests staying at Copper Creek Villas & Cabins are steps away from all of the recreational opportunities at the nearby Disney’s Wilderness Lodge.
Boulder Ridge Cove Pool
This brand new, modern-day swimmin’ hole has a gorgeous backdrop and an excellent back story. Families with little ones will appreciate the zero entry pool. We loved the cabana type seating areas that are first come first serve.
Copper Creek Springs Pool
The feature pool is heated and surrounded by pine trees and boulders. My boys LOVE the waterslide built right into the rocks. There is also a splash area connected to the pool. My kids also always love the afternoon pool parties with trivia, games, bingo and other challenges.
The Water Playground
My kids LOVE the geyser the sounds off every hour!
Salon at the Springs
If you are familiar with Wilderness Lodge, the Trout Pass pool bar is now the Salon at the Springs! I treated myself to a manicure to check it out. For y’all, of course… :-) I must say that it was a lovely and luxurious experience and I highly recommend it. The salon is tiny and advance reservations are definitely needed. The salon does manis, pedis and hair. I did a manicure and then had them apply some festive Disney Jamberry nail wraps. I’ve really wanted to try them for a long time and had no confidence in my own ability to apply them. While they were super cute and I did enjoy having them, I wouldn’t do them again. I just use my fingers too much and they started snagging on everything after the first day.
Hidden Mickey Scavenger Hunt
Be sure to pick up the hidden Mickey scavenger hunt at the front desk. It is a great way to explore the resort!
Another favorite feature of Wilderness Lode are the fireplace nooks. You will find these overlooking the lobby. Some of them simply had a couple of rocking chairs, and others (like this one), had fireplaces, sofas and chairs. We chilled here one night during a big storm and brought pizza up to enjoy our dinner in front of the fireplace. It was just lovely!! This particular one was on the fourth floor just over the main front doors of the lodge.
Electric Water Pageant
Each night, the Electric Water Pageant stops right at the Wilderness Lodge beach. Check the times guide during your stay.
Teton Boat & Bike Rentals
Cruise around Bay Lake aboard a variety of watercraft, include family pontoon boats. Land-lovers can steer bicycles and surrey bikes around the resort or down the trail to Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground.
We rented Sea Raycers and had a fabulous 45 minutes tooling around Magic Kingdom, boating over the water bridge and checking out the monorail resorts. John is already quite the Disney buff and was so excited to get a few glimpses of the abandoned River Country and also take a peek of the shoe tree up close!
Cornhole, Ping Pong, Pool and More
In a covered pavilion off of Geyser Point you fill find ping pong, pool, giant connect four, corn hole and more. Simply ask for the balls at the recreation window. Honey and I had a lovely lunch overlooking Bay Lake while the boys popped over here for games between bites of food.
Campfire and S’mores
Each evening the resort shows a movie under the stars and lights up the fire pits for s’mores. They provide sticks and marshmallows and you can purchase kids for s’mores at the quick serve window next to Geyser Point. I believe they are $10 and have stuff for about 4 s’mores.
There is SO much to do at Wilderness Lodge that we still haven’t done it all in our three stays. Here are a few more on our list…
Jogging Trails – Take a quick jaunt down the .75-mile shaded trail that leads to Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground or take your time wandering the 2.5-mile pathway throughout the resort’s grounds.
Buttons and Bells Arcade – Delight in both classic and contemporary arcade games.
Now, I know I will get questions about Disney Vacation Club. I have hemmed and hawed over writing my own post because there are already so many out there that I’m not sure what more I could really add to the equation. Essentially, Disney Vacation Club is Disney’s version of a time share. You purchase a number of points at a “home resort” (current options are Copper Creek, Polynesian and Aulani). These points can be used any time during the year at any resort for any type of accommodation. Of course, some take a lot more points than others. If you have specific questions, please email me and I will help however I can!
That being said, you do not have to be a Disney Vacation Club member to enjoy these beautiful accommodations! They are available to the general public for booking, just like a regular hotel room. I don’t think many people realize this.
Before I go, I also want to share that one of our favorite things about Wilderness Lodge is taking the boat over to Magic Kingdom. It is such a peaceful way to arrive and depart. The other parks are accessible by bus, but Wilderness Lodge is a fabulous choice for families that will spend the majority of their time at Magic Kingdom and dining at the monorail resorts (Chef Mickey’s, Ohana, Park Fare, etc.).
As always, I am happy to answer any questions you have about Boulder Ridge, Copper Creek, Wilderness Lodge, or Disney in general!!
As an independent consultant with Glass Slipper Concierge, an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner, I offer concierge travel planning for Walt Disney World® Resort, Disney Cruise Line, Disneyland® Resort, Adventures by Disney®, Aulani and other delightful destinations.
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