Wilderness Lodge Construction Update

by on January 6, 2016 16 Comments

Filed under: Resorts, Walt Disney World (FL)

Within the past week, I stayed in two different rooms in the Wilderness Lodge Villas at Walt Disney World. Prior to the stay, we received intense warnings and apologies from Disney that our enjoyment of the resort would be extremely disrupted (three different personal phone calls and two letters). While there is indeed lots of construction going on, I found things to be contained and well managed. We had been promised that all construction noise would happen between 9:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., which was adhered to quite carefully. I even watched while a tractor driver was scolded at 8:45 a.m. to turn off his engine for 15 more minutes.

If I had been a first time visitor to the Lodge, I might have been disappointed, but as a frequent guest and Wilderness Lodge DVC owner, I was fascinated with the process.

As a point of reference, here is the Google Maps earth view of the area prior to the construction. The blue at the center was the Villas pool. The small green rectangle near the beach at top right is the bike and boat rental building.

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Here’s what that area looks like now from a 5th floor Villas room. The trees and Villas pool are completely gone. The only structure remaining is the green-roofed bike and boat barn.

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You can see in pano that the construction wraps all along the beach side of the Villas.

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Peeking through the construction fence: this digger is approximately where the pool used to be.

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A view of the bike rental building.

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The new playground equipment is no longer fully upright. The left most support posts are all out of place.

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There is high fencing around the entire perimeter of the construction. It’s a lot, but they seem to be doing their best to keep things clean.

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There is a bit of the construction fencing visible even from center rooms in the main lodge. The log-cabin building to the left of the umbrellas in the photo below is the bar at the main pool.

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Other than the side of the main Lodge nearest the villas, the rest of the resort is undisturbed. Below is a photo of the main pool taken the same morning as these other photos. No evidence of work here.

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Each room with a construction view received a commemorative pin set as a thank you.

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Work is expected to continue throughout 2016.

Posted on January 6, 2016

16 Responses to “Wilderness Lodge Construction Update”

  • We stayed there with a construction view the week of Christmas. Much like you we are DVC owners at WL and it was great to see the goings on. My children in fact loved watching the construction vehicles! The end result is going to be amazing.

  • Hidden Springs has gone??!! We loved that pool. Is a new quiet pool being built?

  • We stayed at the villas in mid November and WOW, what a huge change in progress since our visit! They were still using jackhammers to remove the cement of the old pool while we were there. We were worried going in, had back and forth correspondence with Disney via our travel agent prior to arrival, however like you, we had a great stay and thought they did a good job minimizing the effect to guests. That said, our room was about halfway down the building and not overlooking the jackhammers working on the pool that we’d hear during the day…

  • Take note, the “new playground equipment” you mentioned above is in fact the same one that was off on the beach, just moved for construction. Whether or not they put it back in place is to be seen. For now it’s shoved to the side.

  • We are scheduled to stay there in August. The only thing I’m concerned about is if the boat dock is going to be hard to get to. I’m hoping to stay in one of the affected rooms just so I can get those cute pins!

    • The boat dock has thus far not been impacted. There were clear paths of access and transportation was running normally.

  • Any changes to the boat dock or NW side of the Lodge? We are staying in the Lodge in May. Thanks!

  • Thanks for this as I have been wondering about it. Staying in standard CL @ WL in June. Glad to hear it’s not unbearable. The CM I spoke to while booking said we shouldn’t be affected too much where the standard CL rooms are. Like everyone else, just hope boats won’t be an issue.

  • Have they published an ETA of when construction will be finished? Looking to book for January 2017, and we’ve wanted to stay here for a while! I heard a while back the construction would be 2016-2017, so I’m hoping by 2017 it’s just minor “punch list” items, and not major disturbances to the general guest experience. Thanks so much for posting these photos!

  • The great thing about staying at value resorts, no construction… lol.

    Seems like they are always tearing up a deluxe somewhere. Not going to see that at pop.

  • From someone well acquainted with construction projects of similar scope and scale, these guys are doing an exceptional job at minimizing inconvenience/intrusion…they are essentially invisible as it relates to typical construction work.

  • I was worried about staying at the lodge 12-18 to 12-24 because of the construction, but was reassured it wouldn’t affect me. Other than seeing a few construction vehicles in the parking lot and noticing a lot of missing trees while on the boat back from Magic Kingdom, I completely forgot that the construction was even going on. My room was nowhere near the area being worked on and I still got the cute pins. I am so glad I kept my reservation. It was wonderful, especially at Christmas.

  • Thanks for this update, just stayed at the Villas the beginning of November and construction was just beginning but had zero impact on us. I really love watching the changes take place and anxiously waiting to see the plans and what’s coming.We are staying in a 2 bedroom villa in October and can’t wait to get back.

  • First time staying at the Wilderness Lodge at the end of February into March (booked a standard room). Can you still rent bicycles?

  • Holy crap! They wrecked the place. I was there this summer for 8 wonderful days in my DVC 2 BR overlooking the wilderness that is no more. I swam in that pool every day with my kids. Sheesh, I hope they can put something nice in there. I can imagine what the WL tour guide, you know, the awesome dude; short and pudgy with the warden hat has to say!