We’re blazing new trails by the Magic Kingdom. Someone always has to be first, and the Boulder Ridge at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge was the first Disney Vacation Club Resort to be built near the Magic Kingdom. In November of 2000, after being announced in 1998, Boulder Ridge opened its doors to DVC members. Finally, DVC has come to the Magic Kingdom Resort Area! Sorry Dwayne, we had to steal your tagline. Pull out your favorite fishing pole, we’re going salmon fishing in the Pacific Northwest for our DVC Duo review of Boulder Ridge at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge.
Boulder Ridge is a nod to our Nation’s National Parks and the historic lodges spread throughout the Northwestern United States. The exterior is designed to appear like the antecedent lodgings built by workers on the transcontinental railroad. Hiking around the resort you’ll discover geysers, babbling creeks, and sparkling hot springs both in and outside of the lodge. Stepping into the lodge you’ll notice the distinct Lodgepole Pine imported from Oregon to create the traditional “log cabin” atmosphere. No detail is too small at Boulder Ridge, even the 82 ft fireplace is modeled after the Grand Canyon with its colorful rocks. The rooms are as if you stepped into your own mini log cabin home.
Passholder Insights: In the main lobby of the Wilderness Lodge are 55 foot authentic Native American poles, as well as a smaller Disney inspired version.
With 136 guests rooms Boulder Ridge is one of two DVC resorts at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. The resort is connected to the Wilderness lodge with a covered walking path. It shares a lobby with the main lodge that is jaw droppingly gorgeous, with unobstructed views of Bay Lake through the 100 foot plus windows. Below are the room options:
- Deluxe Studio – Similar to your normal hotel room with one queen sized bed, one double-size sleeper sofa, 1 single pulldown bed and a bathroom. Sleeps 5 people.
- 1 Bedroom Villa – Similar to 1 bedroom apartment, as these rooms have a kitchen, laundry facilities, living room and large master bedroom with a jacuzzi tub. One bathroom with a standup shower and second bathroom.The living room couch can convert into a pull out queen bed and a pull out chair that convert into a twin bed. Sleeps 5 people.
- 2 Bedroom Villa – The 2 bedroom villa is made up of a deluxe studio and 1 bedroom villa. The only difference is the addition of a walk-in closet in the deluxe studio portion where the entrance would normally be located. Sleeps 9 people.
Passholder Insight: Please note unlike other DVC resorts like Bay Lake Tower, Boulder Ridge does not have any 3 bedroom villas.
We’ve stayed in all the room types at various resorts. In our opinion, what makes Boulder Ridge different than any other DVC resort is the location. The resort creates the feeling that your deep in the wilderness, even though you’re only a stones throw (or boat ride) away from the Magic Kingdom. Similar to Old Key West, Boulder Ridge has only bathroom in the 1 bedroom villas.
Arriving at Boulder Ridge either by the Disney Magical Express, car, taxi, or rideshare you’ll be dropped off at the Wilderness Lodge lobby area. Bell services will greet you for any of your luggage needs. Stepping through the front door on your immediate left is Whispering Canyon Cafe, just beyond the restaurant is check-in and guest services and you’ll find a gift shop with a limited selection of groceries and “grab and go” items on your right. Traveling further into the lobby you find cozy couches and rocking chairs that are so welcoming you’ll want to curl up with your favorite book. It’s the perfect place to recharge and relax, especially during the holiday season.
Unique to the Wilderness Lodge is the creek that travels from within the lobby down to the pool area. You can find the creek straight back from the main entrance.
The Pools and Recreation
Situated on the backside of Boulder Ridge is the Boulder Ridge Cove pool. A tranquil oasis tucked into the boulders encasing the resort. Walking into the zero entry pool you feel as if you’re stepping into a swimming hole you discovered while hiking around Yellowstone National park.
Looking for a little more action? Head over to the Copper Creek Springs pool. Fed by the lobby creek, the pool has a 67-foot waterslide that is built into the rocks. You can relax by the pool or in one of the whirlpools, choose carefully as there are both hot and cold options. Nestled off to the right (when facing Bay Lake) of Copper Creek Springs is a Geyser Point Bar & Grill, a great place to grab your poolside food and drinks.
Beyond the pools, Boulder Ridge offers up a variety of recreation activities. At Teton Boat & Bike rental you can rent both motorized and sail boats, as well as bikes to explore the grounds. Off the boat dock, you can also book a fishing trip where a Disney cast member will lead you on a fishing excursion around Bay Lake (fees apply).
Who’s Hungry? We Are!
Boulder Ridge has a solid variety of options for food, and one of the most relaxing quick serve locations at Geyser Point Bar and Grill. With grand views of Bay Lake, Geyser Point Bar and Grill is a great place to unwind and recap your Disney day. Unlike most Disney resorts, Boulder Ridge has a second quick serve location in Roaring Fork, a great place to enjoy the hearty wilderness breakfast offered.
- Whispering Canyon Cafe – Located in the main lobby is a rootin’ and tootin’ good time restaurant serving up your western favorites. You may or may not want to “ask for Ketchup”. You’ve been warned. Serving up breakfast, lunch, and dinner (buffet), Whispering Canyon Cafe is a single meal credit if you’re on the Disney Dining Plan. We’ve heard the hearty breakfast is a must try.
- Storybook Dining at Artist Point with Snow White – Located in the back right of the main lobby is a Signature Character Dining Experience with Snow White, Dopey, Grumpy, and the Evil Queen. Sit back for a royal feast theme around the Disney classic. Open for dinner and one meal credit on the Disney Dining Plan. We would recommend making an advanced dining reservation, as character dining books up quickly.
Outside of the restaurants, Boulder Ridge has one of the DVC Duo’s favorite lounges for an adult timeout, Territory Lounge. Step into that cozy lodge lounge, fully equipped with bear totem, and enjoy your favorite beverage of choice!
Passholder Insight: Geyser Point is not the traditional Disney quick serve. If you’re looking to enjoy your meal in the seating area, you’ll want to check in with the host. It’s one of the only quick serve locations with a server.
If hiking around the resort and Walt Disney World isn’t enough for you, head over to the Sturdy Branch Health Club. The facility has the all the basics for a vacation workout. If running is more your speed, stop by the front desk for a jogging trail map.
Overall, Boulder Ridge at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge is a tranquil wilderness escape. It is the perfect resort if you’re looking to be close to the Magic Kingdom, but want to feel like you’re ”away” from everything. One of the best themed resorts on property, Boulder Ridge is definitely a resort to see regardless if you decide to stay here or not, especially during the holiday season. With tons of activities to enjoy around the resort, Boulder Ridge is great for those planned days away from the parks (resort days). We would definitely recommend staying at Boulder Ridge, especially if you’re trying to spend more time hanging out in Mickey’s house.