Disney, USA

Magic Band Beta Test: Wilderness Lodge

Two friends of mine were lucky enough to win a stay at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge and Port Orleans: Riverside as part of the MyMagic+ testing phase. The Walt Disney World Resort was giving out free nights’ accommodation to cast members with comp tickets to enjoy the parks throughout the day, prebook their fastpasses and use the magic bands at the resort.

Our first night’s accommodation was at the Wilderness Lodge, a log cabin style resort nestled in the woods only a stone’s throw away from the Magic Kingdom. We decided to spend that day at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, since we were somehow able to book fastpasses for Toy Story Mania.

The Osbourne Family Christmas Lights were also going at the time, so we were able to enjoy them during the night as well, just before our fastpasses for Toy Story Mania were due.

I wasn’t there for check-in, so I really didn’t interact with the front desk Cast Members that much. The lobby is simply amazing and really feels like a (giant-ass) cabin in the wilderness. Around the main building itself there is roaring fires, deep lounge-chairs and rich carpets that give it a homey feel.

We went to Whispering Canyon Café for dinner and dear god that was a treat. They have bottomless milkshakes and the service is… unique, but great. We had our server talk to us for about 15 mins and then demand someone’s phone, take a selfie and send it to all her snapchat contacts. But the real kicker is if you ask for ketchup. There isn’t any on your table, so the unsuspecting diner asks their server for some. They then proceed to holler across the restaurant, at which point, the family who had the ketchup last has to bring all 15 bottles of the stuff to your table. And woe be to you if someone else wants some, because then you all have to send it on down to the next table. It’s awesome.

The room was really nice. I’m assuming we got a preferred room, because it was spitting distance from the lobby. I managed to Skype my parents from the balcony overlooking the lobby itself. The word “lobby” is starting to look weird now.

Because it’s so close to Magic Kingdom, Wilderness Lodge is one of the more expensive options for accommodation, but with the Fort Wilderness Campground right next door, there are some cheaper options available as well.

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