Wilderness Lodge Resort
Tall timber and the grandeur of Rocky Mountain national park geyser
country are the inspiration for Disney's Wilderness Lodge.
A sun-drenched atrium dominated by 60-foot lodgepole pine timbers and
a massive stone fireplace helps recapture the romance of rustic, century-old
architecture with a contemporary flair, bringing the wilderness world
of nearly 100 years ago 2,000 miles to Florida lakes and forest lands.
One of Disney's "deluxe" category resorts, the lodge is hidden away
on the shores of Bay Lake surrounded by towering pine, cypress and oak
forests. The 728-room hideaway is accessible by boat across Seven Seas
Lagoon to Magic Kingdom and by bus to all Walt Disney World theme parks,
hotels and attractions.
Warm tones of brown, green and beige create a cozy, woodland feeling
in the guestrooms. An old-fashioned patchwork quilt, artwork depicting
the mystery of the Old West and a light-wood armoire etched with mountain
scenes adorn the rooms. Most rooms include a balcony with views of waterfalls, "geysers," courtyards,
Bay Lake or the surrounding woods.
The resort features a volcanic meadow with bubbling color pools, babbling
brooks and geysers spewing misty streams up to 100 feet into the air
beside the swimming pool and white sand beaches.
Though conditions during the two-year construction project didn't match
the harsh, subzero climate when Old Faithful Inn was created by craftsmen
more than 90 years ago, forging Wilderness Lodge out of the Florida landscape
was no small feat. Tons of granite flagstones and hundreds of giant lodgepole
pines from the West were brought in to re-create the authentic atmosphere
of America's national park lodges.
A soaring, log-framed main lobby is the centerpiece of the complex.
Massive six-story-high bundled log columns help support roof dormers
that bathe the multicolored wood and stone floor below in natural light.
Four massive chandeliers with torch-cut scenes of Indians and buffalo,
topped with glowing teepees, grace the lobby. Two 55-foot-tall handcarved
totem poles -- the "eagle" and "raven" -- were inspired by Northwest
A majestic, 82-foot-tall, three-sided stone fireplace re-creates a 2-billion-year
geological record of the earth with fossilized remains of prehistoric
animal and plant life. Colorful rock strata layers are re-created in
the proportions they occur in the Grand Canyon.
The culture and beauty of the West is showcased in the artwork at the
lodge. The oldest culture to be honored in the hotel is the Native American,
with artifacts from tribes such as the Cheyenne, the Crow, the Sioux
and the Blackfoot. The era of exploration is represented by maps from
the great Western survey teams plus sketches and watercolors from artists
such as Karl Bodmer and George Catlin.
Guests are invited to explore porches, the Continental Divide lobby
bar, the library and other intimate spaces that are tucked away within
the lobby and six-story guest wings which surround a themed water recreation
A bubbling hot spring in the main lobby expands into a geothermal area
outside the building. The water flows under a picturesque window wall
to become Silver Creek in the upper courtyard. The quiet, contemplative
creek widens and is transformed into a roaring waterfall which plummets
15 feet past Overlook Point, another traditional National Park icon,
and widens again in the swimming area.
A kiddie pool and hot and cold spas complete the swimming area which
then flows toward Bay Lake. The excitement is capped off by steaming
color pools and an Old Faithful-style geyser that erupts at regular intervals.