Disney’s Wilderness Lodge is adding 26 waterside bungalows to its Disney Vacation Club line-up. These bungalows will be similar to the over-the-water bungalows at Disney’s Polynesian Villas and Bungalows. Construction is reportedly set to being at the end of October, 2015, impacting several areas at the resort.
According to on-line reports the impacted areas will include the resort’s beach, the playground, the fire pit, and the Hidden Springs leisure pool. The main feature pool, which was just renovated last year, will remain open. Boat and bike rentals, the nature trail, and the resort’s spa will be unavailable during construction.
Guests with northwest-facing rooms at the Lodge and northeast facing rooms at the Villas may experience construction noise and view during the construction period. All construction work will be limited to day-time hours to limit nuisance noise to guests. Construction will begin at 9 a.m. and will end by 7 p.m. each day and is expected to last well into 2017.
I spoke with Disney Guest Services this week and they indicated that Wilderness Lodge DVC Villas will be most affected by the construction. The Hidden Springs Leisure pool is being completely refurbished so the removal of concrete is going to be extensive, time consuming and loud. Other major areas of impact will be the beach and the nature trails.
The main feature pool, geyser, main hotel building, and boat docks will not be impacted except for noise. I will admit that some of what I discussed with the Guest Services cast member seemed “scripted”. I have heard that some guests with reservations during certain periods have already been receiving letters from Walt Disney World notifying them of the planned construction, and there is lots of on-line discussion of dissatisfied guests looking for some form of discount or free “gift” just at the thought of being inconvenienced. On one hand, I personally feel that Disney is always under construction somewhere and takes great pains to be sure guests are impacted as little as possible during their stay, making arrangements for use of unavailable amenities at other locations, if necessary. On the other hand, Wilderness Lodge is pricey and I would expect to be comfortable. However, Disney has let guests know with more than enough time to allow for reservations at other locations and knowing Disney, they will be as accommodating as possible for guests. I personally won’t allow this construction to change my mind about staying at Wilderness Lodge but I’m sure there are many that will. We all know there are some that complain about the tiniest things looking for some sort of free gift from Disney so I can only imagine how something like this will impact those people. Most of this same work was recently completed at the Polynesian with guests being impacted as little as possible.
If you have a Wilderness Lodge reservation, how concerned are you about the construction impact on your stay?