Walt Disney World understands that not all families fit in the two adults and two kids category anymore. Some families are larger like ours with three kids, while others travel with extended family members like the grandparents. The question is finding an accommodation close enough to the park that won’t eat into your whole holiday budget.
We love the Wilderness Lodge, one of the first on-site resorts we’ve stayed at. I think it’s tied with the Polynesian Village Resort as my favourite place to stay when vacationing in the parks. I like that it’s close to Magic Kingdom, a park we often hit as a family numerous times on a visit, and it offers guests alternative modes of transportation other than the Disney buses. Don’t get me wrong, the Disney bus transportation is great but I’m just not a bus person. Living in the city with access to streetcars and subways, I’ve moved away from taking the bus if I can.
Of course the problem with the Wilderness Lodge once our third child no longer slept in a crib (they don’t really count as a guest under the age of three) you can no longer book a standard room. In order to get a larger room you have to upgrade to the Club Level. While full of awesome perks (we were upgraded for free one year) it does come with a big price jump.
Enter the Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. Although part of the Disney Vacation Club program, non-members can access these properties if members have not already booked them. The villas are like mini apartments with a kitchen or in the case of our studio room, a kitchenette. To give you a better idea of what to expect in a the studio, I put together a little walkthrough video:
While the Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge are located in a separate area from the main lodge, giving you a quieter escape, you will find a covered walkway joining the Villa building to the main building.
Yes, staying at the Villas means you have access to all the facilities at the Wilderness Lodge, such as the dining, kids club, the boat launch to Magic Kingdom and the hotel’s amazing pool with waterslide. The Villas at Wilderness Lodge also have their own swimming pool, which like the rest of the lodge is much quieter. My kids actually preferred the quieter pool after a busy day in the parks. We also discovered some quiet sitting areas in the Villas giving you a cozy escape by the fire. It was like a large cottage in the woods.
And because the Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge is a Disney property, guests benefit from the many Disney perks too. So if you’re looking for an on-site Walt Disney World resort that is close to Magic Kingdom and can hold your family of five (or greater), don’t forget to checkout the Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. It’s like a little home away from home but with roller coasters a stone’s throw away.