Day 2: In The Wilderness! / Four Resorts, Two Festivals 2019

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Day 2 of Four Resorts, Two Festivals 2019, the latest of my Disney Trip Reports, is here! Today we check into the first of the four Disney Resorts that we are staying at on this trip – Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge!

The Four Resorts, Two Festivals 2019 Trip Report Index tells you a bit about the planning of this trip, as well as some info about us – me, Michelle; and my husband, Steve. It also, of course, has the full list of days for the trip.

Disney's Wilderness Lodge arch.

Day 2: Check-in: Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

Lunch from Roaring Fork; Dinner from Geyser Point Bar & Grill

February 24, 2019

We woke up after a good night’s sleep in our studio suite at the Hyatt Regency Orlando on International Drive. The jet lag on the way out to Orlando means we often wake up at around 4 am and then end up falling back to sleep for a few hours.

The plan for this morning was to catch a cab back in the direction of Orlando International Airport to pick up our mobility car rental from WallyPark – a parking facility about 10 minutes from the airport – and then drive to Disney’s Wilderness Lodge for the first leg of our four-resort stay at Walt Disney World!

But first, we threw open the curtains to watch the sunrise and to see the amazing views from the 31st floor! It was rather cloudy, but from this high up you could see for miles. We spotted SeaWorld’s rollercoasters in the distance and used Google Maps to try and pinpoint some other landmarks.

After our sky-high sightseeing, we turned our attention to hot drinks!

View from the 31st Floor at Hyatt Regency Orlando
View from the 31st Floor at Hyatt Regency Orlando
Coffee Machine in Hyatt Regency Orlando

I mentioned in yesterday’s room tour that we had a coffee machine but that I didn’t have a photo of it. Well, it actually turns out that I do have a photo (and it was in the next day’s folder on my computer)!

Starbucks coffee was provided, along with tea bags, creamer, and sugar/sweeteners. Looks like tea was being made – ever so British!

We then got ourselves showered and dressed and packed away the few things that we had used.

Even though our stay at the Hyatt Regency Orlando on International Drive was short, we both agreed that we had a great night and would stay there again.

Once down in the lobby, I ordered an Uber to take us to WallyPark while Steve checked us out.

Entrance Lobby at Hyatt Regency Orlando International Drive
Hyatt Regency Orlando International Drive Lobby Water Feature

There was some miscommunication from the bellhop about where we should be waiting for our Uber. We were told it would pick us up from the entrance to the hotel, but nope, it is a short walk around the corner to the side of the hotel.

The Uber had indicated they were there, but we couldn’t see them, and Steve then wandered off to find them, while I was stressing that we would get charged for not showing up for our cab!

Eventually, we were directed to the right place and even though the Uber driver was a bit crabby that we were not where we should be, we were soon off to pick up our hire car.

Hyatt Regency Orlando International Drive
Hyatt Regency Orlando International Drive
Hyatt Regency Orlando International Drive

We hired our mobility hire car (or rather, a minivan) from Florida Van Rentals whom we have hired from twice before. They kindly provided us with a discount for our rental period.

On previous trips, we have been able to pick up our minivan from the valet at the Hyatt Regency at Orlando International Airport (MCO). But this year, the situation has changed and pick-up is now from WallyPark, an airport parking facility about 10 minutes from MCO.

If you read yesterday’s trip report you’ll already know the rigmarole we had about our hotel mix-up, and therefore having to catch cabs we hadn’t planned for we were now almost $100 lighter in cabs alone! Any discounts we had already ended up being spent!

We located our car in the parking lot, only to discover that the company had provided us with the wrong one. Instead of rear access, we had side access for my ECV, and there wasn’t a passenger seat either. Ultimately this was a vehicle that wasn’t for us, and we couldn’t do anything about it until we reached our resort so that we could phone them.

We look back now and laugh at the situation but at the time it was not a great start to the holiday and I did a fair bit of crying out of frustration!

With the car loaded and Steve sat in the back giving directions, we were finally on our way to Disney’s Wilderness Lodge!

Disney's Wilderness Lodge Arch
Disney's Wilderness Lodge

We LOVE Disney’s Wilderness Lodge (WL). We stayed here on our 2015 trip – Halloween in the Wilderness and always hoped we would be able to come back and stay again.

As much as I love our DVC Home Resort of Disney’s Polynesian Village, I do wish we had been able to purchase at WL! A few years after our DVC purchase, they opened up Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, but we already have our Home at Poly and can’t afford a second one!!

That said, as DVC Members, all of the DVC properties are available for us to book and stay at if there is availability, so not all is lost!

We were staying at Boulder Ridge Villas – which are the original DVC villas at WL. They are tucked away to the right of the main building.

However, you do have to check-in inside the WL lobby which is STUNNING. It took my breath away the very first time I ever saw it, and it continues to do so with each and every time I step foot inside it.

Wilderness Lodge Lobby
Wilderness Lodge Fireplace
The Lobby at Disney's Wilderness Lodge
Wilderness Lodge Lobby Panorama
Bear Skin on Wall at Wilderness Lodge
Artist Point Restaurant Check-in Desk

The style of Disney’s Wilderness Lodge is inspired by turn-of-the-century National Park lodges in America’s Great Northwest, with towering totem poles, wood carvings, and Native American artifacts.

There is a grand fireplace that shows all the layers of the Grand Canyon and with rocking chairs to sit in front of the roaring fire, it is such a cozy place to sit – especially during the holidays! In fact, the whole lobby seating area is really comforting and welcoming, and we love to just sit here and watch the world go by when taking a break from the parks.

It is a noisy lobby due to Whispering Canyon Cafe being located there – and that is quite a raucous restaurant! But if you can go sit when the restaurant is closed, it’s a joy to just sit on one of the comfy chairs and just chill.

I’ll tell you more about the resort throughout the report – basically as I share the photos I took as we explored. The resort has changed since our last visit with the addition of Copper Creek Villas & Cabins.

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