Guide to Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge0 Comments
A Brief History of Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
The history of Copper Creek Villas diverges a bit from Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. Yes, the Wilderness Lodge history is still the same. Michael Eisner and his team coveted a resort close to Magic Kingdom that would hearken back to the national park lodges of the American Northwest. That hotel, Wilderness Lodge, is one of the most visually impressive in the entire Disney catalog.
The first Disney Vacation Club (DVC) hotel rooms at the resort are now known as Boulder Ridge Villas. This expansion debuted in 2000 and proved popular enough that Disney strategists saw an opportunity. The company owns a vast amount of acreage on the Wilderness Lodge campus and had plenty of room for new villas.
More importantly, executives watched with pride as the bungalows at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort became the talk of DVC. They anticipated an opportunity to do something similar at Wilderness Lodge. This resort also has waterfront land that provides a serene backdrop for lodging. Disney’s construction plans play into this Bay Lake view by positioning the most expensive hotel suites right by the water.
Disney didn’t stop there. They repurposed a large portion of the play area at Wilderness Lodge, adding a new pool while changing the appearance of another. They also built a different waterfront section, one that features a restaurant and lounge. A private DVC concierge building was part of the plans as well, although it didn’t prove popular with guests.
Overall, the history of Disney’s Wilderness Lodge falls into three phases. The first one is the construction of the property. The second one is the introduction of DVC villas. And the most recent one is the resort’s doubling down on its DVC offerings by repurposing some parts of the campus while building anew at other spots.
The Style of Copper Creek Villas & Cabins
America’s national parks are the pride and joy of the country. An entire cottage industry of lodges cropped up over a few decades, and these iconic hotels have become the backbone of park lodging. Their notoriety explains why Disney wanted to mimic them.
Company executives love to duplicate beloved vacation ideas like trips to the beach or the boardwalk. These proven rest concepts become the basis for new Disney hotels. In the case of Wilderness Lodge, Imagineers liaised with a proven lodge architect, Peter Dominick Jr. to construct a resort that honors national park lodges. The outcome is an award-winning property that will take your breath away the first time that you see it. I view this hotel as one of Disney’s greatest triumphs in hotel design.
The jaw-dropping nature of Wilderness Lodge is readily apparent when you enter the building. The lobby provides a view of all the hotel levels above you. The wood style creates a folksy, homey ambiance that will soothe your soul. You also can’t help but notice the stone fireplace anchoring one corner of the lobby. Its size and stature will make you feel tiny, which is fitting since this structure is based on elements of the Grand Canyon.
When you stay at Wilderness Lodge, you’ll feel as if you’ve walked back in time to an earlier time in American history, one where you didn’t need to be a DVC member for a hotel desk clerk to say, “Welcome home!” This place is among the most familial of all Disney resorts, and the causality for this pervasive feeling of comfort is the underlying style of old-school mountain lodging.
The DVC Aspects
The rooms at Copper Creek are among the newest at Walt Disney World. To DVC members, that’s a positive in a lot of ways, although long-time owners won’t be as sentimental about it as they are with some resorts.
The points chart here is fascinating. Disney officials didn’t want to favor one DVC property at Wilderness Lodge over the other, and so the points cost is identical for studios, and one- and two-bedroom resorts. They match for every room type in every season. So, what’s been said about Boulder Ridge applies to Wilderness Lodge. The points cost is reasonable for a Magic Kingdom area resort that’s not on the monorail.
Copper Creek does have smaller rooms than Boulder Ridge. All of the villas here are on the small side. A standard studio is 338 square feet as opposed to 356 square feet at Boulder Ridge.
Copper Creek Studio:
The one-bedroom suites are 675 square feet, and the two-bedrooms are 1,051 square feet. Again, Boulder Ridge is larger at 727 square feet and 1,083 square feet. People who prefer space will favor Boulder Ridge, while those who enjoy intimacy and newer rooms will like Copper Creek.
Copper Creek One-Bedroom:
Copper Creek Two-Bedroom:
Of course, the top of the line at Copper Creek is where the real difference is. Boulder Ridge doesn’t have Grand Villas or Cabins. Fans of high-end Disney accommodations and people who travel in large parties will love Copper Creek. The three-bedroom suites here are generously sized at 2,237 square feet. Plus, they sleep 12, making them great for gatherings.
Copper Creek Three-Bedroom:
The Cabins are the pinnacle of hotel rooms at Wilderness Lodge and arguably all of DVC. These rustic cabins are right by Bay Lake. At 1,213 square feet, they’re the second-largest suites, but they maintain intimacy due to their homey design. While they theoretically sleep eight, the Cabins are the ultimate in romantic getaways. Watch this video of the Wilderness Lodge Resort to see why you should aspire to stay here at some point.
Copper Creek Cabin:
The most famous amenity here is the newest one. Artist Point was already a Signature Dining experience, denoting it as one of the best meals in town. Resort officials wanted to turn it into a must-visit meal, and so they altered it into Storybook Dining at Artist Point with Snow White. This offering is one of the most enjoyable character meals imaginable. You’ll interact with Snow White, Dopey and Grumpy, and the Evil Queen. Plus, the food tends to smoke and glow, almost as if witchcraft were at play.
DVC members are devoted to the other Table Service restaurant here, Whispering Canyon Café. Located just beyond the fireplace in the lobby, this place is among the loudest you’ll ever visit. The noise stems from everyone having a great time. Slapstick comedy is on the menu here, as the servers entertain diners with various shenanigans like the infamous ketchup gag. Sometimes, when you order ketchup, your server will deliver, oh, about 50 bottles’ worth of it.
The food at Whispering Canyon Café is the heartiest that you’ll eat in Orlando. The campfire theme at the restaurant explains why most of your food gets served in skillets. And these large plates can hold a lot of food. Disney recently updated the menu to maximize the number of skillet options. No matter your palate, you’ll find something that your stomach will love here. Also, ignore the philosophy that you should never fill up on bread when you dine here. The cornbread is decadent.
The other places to eat are almost as good as the top two. Roaring Fork serves 10-Hour Pulled Pork-Cheese Grits and 10-Hour Pulled Pork Sandwiches that will blow your mind. The grits are available at breakfast, while the sandwiches are on sale at lunch and dinner.
The latest eatery is Geyser Point Bar & Grill, which sits beside Bay Lake. It’s an outdoor Quick Service meal that harbors a secret. During inclement weather, it quickly converts into an indoor restaurant. Retractable walls come down and keep the rain away from your table. This place feels like a patio sports bar, which is by design. Televisions have games on regularly, and the food is excellent, especially the Bison Cheeseburger.
Wilderness Lodge hosts two pools, and they’re both relatively new. Disney repurposed its old pool to theme it differently. Copper Creek Springs Pool is best known for its 67-foot waterslide, which is built directly into the walls. Boulder Ridge Cove Pool looks like an abandoned mine, but it’s really a playful pool setup that your kids will adore.
Another amenity is transportation. Sure, you can take the buses here to all of the parks, but Magic Kingdom fans are especially in luck. The hotel features boat service to and from the park. It also carries transports guests to Fort Wilderness, home of many dude ranch activities, and Disney’s Contemporary Resort. The latter locale gives you monorail access to the other resorts and, after a connection at the Transportation and Ticket Center, Epcot.
I should mention that there’s one other outdoor amenity here worthy of your time. The campfire at Wilderness Lodge is vastly superior to most of its peers. The hotel’s theming and surroundings add a layer of authenticity to the proceedings.
Resort Pros and Cons
The pros and cons of Copper Creek Villas are primarily the same as the ones discussed with Boulder Ridge Villas. The resort’s proximity to Magic Kingdom is a huge logistics advantage for owners and guests.
The boat to the park allows those of us who don’t love Disney’s bus system to take a different, more scenic route to the park. As I’ve mentioned before, you’ll sometimes luck into an unexpected viewing of Disney’s nighttime fireworks or the Electrical Water Pageant. It’s a unique bit of magic that accentuates your DVC stay and makes you feel happy about your decision to join the program.
To DVC members who love to spend a lot of time at the hotel, Wilderness Lodge is an ideal lifestyle fit. The restaurants are terrific, and the new Snow White character meal is a strong selling point. The pools are well-themed and entertaining. And the Fort Wilderness entertainment is a quick boat ride away from this resort.
The points chart is basically the same for the two DVC properties at Wilderness Lodge. Since Boulder Ridge contracts expire in 2042, Copper Creek is a much better deal due to its 2068 end-date, but you may also pay a much higher purchase price. All other things being equal, you should remember that aspect when you evaluate contracts.