Friday, July 13, Wilderness Lodge “Welcome Home”
So how did Rich work a half day without taking vacation? Well, under the circumstances, Rich’s boss was generous in allowing him to wrap up things early. At about 2 p.m., we were packed and the car loaded, so off we drove to Wilderness Lodge via the back way. Before we knew it, we were pulling up to the guard gate and given the big “Welcome Home.” Actually, I think he said, “Well, you finally got here.” We always have such fun with the resort guards.
We valet parked the car and a CM welcomed us practically before we got out of the car. We really don’t enjoy this more aggressive approach these days. Let people get out of the car, have some time to be in awe of the resort before you pounce on them. I think this welcome is to make up for the lack of welcome at the front desk.
They asked if we’d checked in online and we didn’t this time. We had a rookie check us in so it was a bit bumpy and not quite as fun as we’d remembered. WL has always been known for spectacular service and we will say that the Wilderness Lodge service isn’t what it used to be – not from what we’ve seen. In fact, you may notice more of these comments throughout the report. It’s wonderful – don’t get me wrong – but not nearly as wonderful as it once was. (I also see the influence of the cruise ship industry in their hotel management now.)
Rich told them it was my birthday and they gave me the usual birthday pin and another CM sang “Happy Birthday” to me, a bit awkwardly. They were trying! I guess I’ve celebrated so many birthdays at Disney, some of the novelty has worn off. I started thinking back through my years at Disney and I realized I’ve been going to Disney since I was an itty bitty girl. 🙂
Anyway, this is the exciting part – we usually book a water view room and I just didn’t think it was necessary for this trip. I really don’t think you can have a bad view at Wilderness Lodge so a standard view room would be just fine. Not only was it fine, but our standard view room was one of the rooms off the Lobby – I was thrilled – I’ve always wanted to stay in a room in the Lobby area. I wondered why we never got one before and I realized we were booking water view rooms.
We loved the 6th floor balcony being tucked under the top floor’s balcony – it offered more shade and privacy. We also loved the refurbished rooms. For those who’ve been reading our Two4Disney blog, you know how disappointed I’ve been in our rental house – especially the carpet. Well, I was thrilled with the WL carpet – running around barefoot was one of the highlights of the stay. I also loved the wood entry and bathroom area – even that felt good under my feet.
The whole West Coast Lodge feel was just the touch of home I needed. This was the first time we’d stayed at WL since we started staying at the Grand Californian and a lot of it felt so similar – as if we were staying at the GC again – another touch of home!
Rich made a quick trip to the gift shop and grabbed some snacks and I had to take this pic of the flip flop Rice Krispie treat – some of you know that one of my blogs is called “Flip Flops & Fabs” – how perfect was this?
We soaked up the atmosphere of the room, took time out for a little rest, enjoyed the balcony and the view, and then got ready for the birthday dinner at Artist Point.