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Disney’s Wilderness Lodge to undergo a major refurbishment as part of DVC expansion

Disneys Wilderness Lodge DVC expansion 2015 kennythepirate

Beginning October 26, 2015 Disney’s Wilderness Lodge will undergo a major refurbishment to prepare for Disney Vacation Club expansion.  Work will continue through 2017 and will affect the Hidden Springs pool, resort beach, playground, recreation fire pit, bike and boat rentals, spa treatments and walking trails.

Disneys Wilderness Lodge DVC expansion 2015 kennythepirate

The project will add 26 luxury water side bungalows that will have a rustic appeal, but remind one of the Polynesian Village Resort expansion.  The drawing below appears to remove the entire beach area from the resort.

Disneys Wilderness Lodge DVC expansion 2015

Take a look at the following frequently asked questions for more information about this project:
1) What are the refurbishment dates? When will work be complete?
Disney’s Wilderness Lodge will be undergoing multiple refurbishment projects beginning in October 2015 and continuing through 2017.

2) How will this work impact my stay?
Throughout this project, Disney is committed to providing a great Guest experience. At certain times of day, there may be some noise and we may have alternative paths of travel throughout the resort. Construction related noise will likely take place between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. to insure minimal impact to Guests.

3) Why are they removing the current Hidden Springs leisure pool?
As part of the resort enhancement project, the Hidden Springs leisure pool area will be expanded to include a larger pool and more deck space, as well as a hot tub area.

4) I like the pool the way it is now because it’s smaller and more intimate than the feature pool. Why are you changing that?
Muliple DVC Members and Guests stated that they would like to see enhanced offerings at the resort. As a result, the resort will be increasing the pool area, including a larger pool and more deck space, as well as a hot tub area.

5) How long will the Hidden Springs pool be closed? Is there another pool available?
The Hidden Springs pool will be closed for an extended period while the area is under construction. However, the Silver Creek Springs, the resort feature pool, is available and features a water slide, hot tub, and children’s water play area.

6) Will the Teton Boat and Bike Rentals close? Will there be an alternative?
Teton Boat and Bike Rentals will be closed in late October while refurbishment work is completed in the area. As an alternative, bikes will be available for rent near the jogging trail. If you would like to rent a boat or enjoy some fishing, you are welcome to visit the marina at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground.

7) Will the beach and playground area close? Any alternatives?
Yes. The beach and playground area at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground remain available throughout this refurbishment work as an alternative.

8) Will the nature trail close?
Although the nature trails at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge and Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground are closing in early October, Guests do have the opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors on the paved New Balance jogging trail which connects Disney’s Wilderness Lodge with Disney’s Fort Wilderness & Campground on a 2.5 mile path.

9) What about the fire pit? Will it be closed as well?
The recreation fire pit will be closing in late October while we complete refurbishment work in the area. As an alternative, Guests are able to visit the Meadow Trading Post area of Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground for Chip ‘n Dale’s Campfire Sing-A-Long, which includes a nightly campfire followed by a movie under the stars.

10) Will there be a nightly movie under the stars at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge?
The recreation staff will host a nightly movie movie indoors in the Carolwood Pacific community room in the Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge for Guests.

11) Why are the spa treatment rooms at Sturdy Branches Health Club closed?
In order to preserve the tranquil spa experience, treatments at Sturdy Branches Health Club will be temporarily unavailable from late October through early February due to construction noise in the area. Spa treatments are available at a number of locations at the Walt Disney World Resort, including nearby at Senses – A Disney Spa at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort.

12) Is watercraft transportation available during the refurbishment?
Yes. Watercraft transportation will continue to operate as normal.


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  1. I see in the drawings that the bungaloes will run along the beach area and also along the waterway by the dock for boat transportation. I really hope that this dows not detract from the natural forest feeling you get as you approach the lodge by boat. Money making vs the natural appearance! Waterside bungaloes- Hawaii. Yes. Canadian backwoods. No!!!!

    • Supposed to look like fishing cabins, but does seem like overkill. Bunagalows are so expensive that most go unused too.

  2. Hi Kenny,
    Just curious if there have been any updates to the finish date on the construction? Thinking of staying here October 2017

  3. I have a question, my husband and I are planning to book a vacation at WL at the end of April or first of May 2017. The articles Ive read say construction through 2017. Does anyone know if it would be completed or mostly completed by then? I really want to stay at WL. Thanks for your help.

  4. We are a group of 6 planning to stay at WL in October 2016…any update on construction and if that’s still not the ideal location?

  5. What would you do for an end of April, beginning May 2016 trip- WL courtyard or POR Royal rooms. We Have young children, 3 and 4, and will return mid day for nap.

  6. Yesterday was advised we had been upgraded to the Wilderness Lodge from Caribbean Beach Resort. Doesn’t seem like an upgrade to me so asked for original hotel as not prepared to go to the Wilderness Lodge.

  7. I am staying wl club level 10 days week of Thanksgving so they have nothing that’s is comparable to what I already have booked we are a family of 6 and when I called hey had nothing so I either go and deal with the noise construction and loss of amenities or lose the airfare. When I booked this I was told only about he pool being closed they should offer some sort of alternative or at least a discount I paid full price no extras or dining plan so some 7000.00 and now I’m not looking forward to it. Any suggestions on how to get the magic back into this trip?

  8. I was wondering if since this has been announced, there was any better or definitive time frame as to completion – we are looking to rent DVC points for October 2016 (15th – 22nd or 23rd) – getting close to the end of 2016 and was wondering if the Villas would still be greatly impacted – I’m sure there are only so many “woods views” to go around.

  9. OK, I have had this trip booked for MONTHS and I JUST received a voicemail today regarding my stay at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. This is our first time staying there and we are arriving Wed Oct 28th and checking out Tuesday, Nov 3rd. I wasn’t able to reach anyone when I called back, so I left a voicemail. I was really excited to be staying here but now I am worried this will have a negative impact on our trip. We are scheduled for a courtyard view room (just 2 adults, no kids). Can anyone tell me what to expect? (And what Disney is going to tell me when I call back?) Do I need to consider relocating? Seems rather late in the game! I am worried and hoping someone can shed some light on this. I appreciate any help/suggestions.

  10. I am so bummed about the construction. We’ll be staying there October 10-16,2015 We were going to stay at Poly but decided not to because of construction. Will we be impacted at all? Any suggestions?

  11. So I need some guidance. We’re booked at WL from 12/16-12/21. When I called in response to the message and letter about the construction, they put in a request for us to have a north wing, woods view (so away from the construction) but couldn’t guarantee it. They also gave each member of my party a 4th FP for each day of the trip. That’s a pretty sweet deal, but I’m still worried about the impact of the construction. So I called back and they offered to move us to a pool view at AKL, but we’d lose the extra FP. I love AKL, but it’s a bit of a trek from MK, which is the park we’ll visit most. We also have lots of ADRs at the monorail resorts. They couldn’t move us anywhere else because we have free dining.

    So, should we stay at WL, enjoy our extra FPs and take our chances with the construction? Or move to AKL?

    • It takes maybe 8 minutes more to travel from Animal Kingdom lodge. If you are okay with construction, stay put. If not, move.

  12. I’m in the same boat Katie! I want to switch but don’t really want to spend any more money, and certainly don’t want do downgrade, I think I’m going to wait and see how far along they are nearer the time.

  13. We have booked to stay at WL in August 2016 we were really looking forward to it, we have contacted our travel agent with a view of looking at changing hotels, we were thinking either the Grand Floridian, Yacht, Beach or Contemporary. I wonder how much construction there will be at that time? What would you do?

    • “Beginning October 26, 2015” Likely will continue into summer, but could be wrapping up by then. At least most of the structures should be built

  14. I agree, with 14 days we will have some time to take it easy so would rather be somewhere relaxing and construction free, thanks for the advice, I’ll try and switch, wish me luck!

  15. Hey Kenny thank you for all the useful info! I have booked a holiday at Wilderness lodge for November next year, we are coming all the way from the UK and I wanted it to be perfect! I’m a bit sad that the beach etc will be closed :( I’ve spent a lot of money so a little disappointed! In your opinion do you think I should try and move resort while there’s still rooms at other resorts available, or should I hang fire until next year and see how far along the renovations have come by November 2016? We are there for 14 nights which would be quite a long time to be in a construction zone if it is really bad. I’m a bit confused! It’s very important for us to be close to Magic Kingdom as I have a little girl x

    • If I were traveling, I would try a different deluxe resort just due to the mess and noise that it will cause. If you can’t avoid it, spend more time in the parks :)

  16. I spoke with CM yesterday and they said we could switch to Saratoga Springs or stay put in our 2 bedroom villa at WL. They said there is no availability at any of the Magic Kingdom resorts. Considering this, would you think I would be ok to remain at WL and not make a switch? Thank you!

  17. We are booked through DVC- rented a members points- for a mid November stay at the Villas. Always wanted to stay at Wilderness Lodge around the holidays. Would you still recommend switching even if we will be at parks during the day? AND, if so, are we even able to switch it booked through DVC (rented points)? Thank you!!

  18. Thank you for your updated information. My husband and I are going Oct. 24 – 31, 21015 and it is our first time staying at DWL. Of course I am not happy with this because I am a Disney planner, everything is planned out ahead of time, but what can you do it’s Disney and they have to keep with the upgrades or people will complain about that too! Think we will keep our reservation at DWL but here’s a question for you…will I still be able to book a special carriage ride?

  19. Oh not suggesting the late announcement is your error. Upset with Disney.

    What are your thoughts on staying vs switching vs canceling?

  20. Kenny, thanks for the info. It’s not on the WDW website yet. I am very irritated though. It seems like every time I decide to splurge on a resort they end up doing construction there while I am going to be there. When I choose to go cheap and stay at Pop Century, I never have this issue. I will call tomorrow and see what my options are to switch hotels, but since I’m on the free dining plan, they will probably make it difficult or impossible.

  21. Thank you as always for the info! We found out through your email and immediately call disney. They really didn’t say that much other than we should be ok since the work will be done at the villas… We don’t know what to do.. Should we try to change to animal kingdom (our second option) or should we stay at the Wilderness? Do you think our vacation will be too affected because of this? I would appreciate very much you opinion. This is a very special trip for us and it’s a surprise for our son who has been through a lot this year. I have planned and research so much for this trip and have everything paid and almost ready! We wanted this trip to be perfect for him! We are going nov 26 to December 4. Thank you very much!

  22. Well this is not cool. Just about 100 days out from start of this major project – is this the first time we hear of it? I do not recall this being on the table at the time of my booking. Can’t decide – stay the course (early November trip) or try to relocate to another resort? With free dining, my options will be limited. WL was chosen in large part because this will be an MK focused trip. Kind of angry right now.

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