Club Level Series: Wilderness Lodge

Did I save the best for last with the Club Level Series and Wilderness Lodge? Well, you will have to try them all yourself to see because the one thing I know to be a fact is everyone has a favorite and no two people can agree! So, the good news is to find out which is your favorite you will need to stay club level at all the deluxe resorts and then let me know which you love the best!

Wilderness Lodge Resort is a deluxe resort that is considered a Magic Kingdom resort. It is not on the monorail but does have a nice, quick boat ride to and from Magic Kingdom that makes it desirable. Though currently under a massive renovation so if you are staying here make sure you are aware of what the renovations will impact during your dates. But, moving on to the club.


First, a note about a change that is happening with all club levels and this is in the Itinerary Planning Office (“IPO”). Prior to this post, each club level guest received an email from the IPO at their resort and it was where you could get help planning, get reservations made for you prior to your stay, ask questions, etc. This service is being changed and is currently not available – so we are hearing. There has been no official announcements, just rumors, so we will not address those but as soon as we hear we will let you know! But, if you are staying club level and do not receive this email – this is why. If you do receive it or are reached out to by the IPO – let us know! We are investigating what all is going on in this department!


The lounge at Wilderness Lodge is called the Old Faithful Club and is located on the Seventh Floor and you will need to be staying club level to access the floor via the elevator. So, sadly no sneaking in or just wandering around! It is private and exclusive to those that have paid for the extra perks!


Club level extra perks at Wilderness Lodge are the same as all other club level perks at the other Deluxe resorts. These include plush bathrobes in room, turn-down service with chocolates on your pillow, lounge access with complimentary food and drinks, spa quality toiletries (favorite of mine!), and private check-in.

Room types that you can get if you are staying club level at Wilderness Lodge include 2 queen beds, 1 queen bed with a set of bunk beds or a king bed. Also, if you are in a suite at Wilderness Lodge you will automatically have club level included in your reservation.

ofc-infoThe food – yes, it always comes down to the food! Here is a schedule and a sample of what is offered at Old Faithful Club at Wilderness Lodge:

Breakfast 7am-10am (coffee service starts at 6:30am) – Continental breakfast with pastries, muffins, bagels, yogurt, fruit, and cereal.



Excellent way to start the day!

Refreshments 11:30am-4pm – small snack foods. They will have crudite, cookies and chips (homemade chips!) with dipping sauce, candies and nuts.

Wine and Cheese Selections 5pm-7pm – Cheese platter, salads, Antipasti platter, BBQ Chicken Skewers, Venison Meatballs in Sweet and Sour Sauce, then these amazing Peanut Butter and Jelly Shooters with a Puff Pastry.



BBQ Chicken Skewers

BBQ Chicken Skewers

Cordials and Desserts 8pm-10pm – Apple Crisp, Cookies (several varieties), and Magic Bars. This is also when they broke out some of their fine liqueurs to taste or a glass of wine if you prefer.

They always have soda, water, milk and non-alcoholic options as well!



Is It Worth it?

As a travel agent I get this question pretty frequently, and you may be surprised on what topics this question is asked.   These are my opinions on whether something is worth doing at Walt Disney World.  These are going to be my opinion but my opinion is also based on personal experience as well as data gathered from former clients.


Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique: At least once, especially if you have a kid who is crazy about princesses.  I would highly recommend if you are going to drop the cash you will want a reservation at Cinderella Castle in the Magic Kingdom.  The packages can be pretty pricey so to save, bring your own costume and accessories instead of purchasing the full package.


Pirates League: This is very much worth it!  It is a great value and a fun experience for boys and girls.  In fact unlike Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, adults can also get a makeover here too!  They have pirate and mermaid choices and it is a really good value in comparison.


Getting Up Early: YES!  I cannot say yes enough.  The parks are least busy when they first open.  You also get to see some neat stuff like the Welcome Show at the Magic Kingdom.  How can you possibly be the family of the day if you are sleeping all morning?  Some restaurants even offer early breakfast reservations inside the parks which means you have beat the crowds inside the parks.  Go ahead and take that afternoon nap now, you deserve it.


To Try ______ Attraction: Well this is a no-brainer, yes!  You should absolutely try any attraction, ride or show at least once unless you have a medical condition in which it is advised against.  You may never know when you find your new favorite!


Park Hopper Tickets:  In most cases, yes.  This ticket makes your vacation so flexible.  It can be a little work bouncing from park to park but if you are like a lot of people and find Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom to be half day parks this ticket option gives you the chance to save the rest of your day by hopping over to another park.  If you are traveling with really young children it might not be worth the hassle.  But if you are traveling with teens or adults only it is so worth the splurge.  I have travelled with and without the Park Hopper and I will absolutely give up a character meal before I give up with Park Hopper!


Party Tickets: Yes, especially if you do not have park tickets for that day.  You can enter the Magic Kingdom at 4pm on the party days even when the party doesn’t start until 7pm.  You get special parades and firework shows, extra treats and character meet and greets.  The parks are less crowded as well so you can get on your favorites rides with a minimal wait time!

Refillable Mugs: Yes, but you have to do the math!  So as of 2016 the mugs are $17.  Say you are staying 5 days it would be $3.40 per day, plus you keep the mug.  For me this is very much worth it.  I drink coffee or iced tea in the morning so I would fill up each morning before going to the parks.  Then on an afternoon break I will fill up with Powerade, lemonade or more iced tea.  Then in the evening before bed I’m loading up on more water or Powerade.  Some quick math tells me that I am coming out ahead plus I have a cute souvenir cup to take home!


Cinderella’s Royal Table:  Not really a good value.  This restaurant located inside Cinderella Castle is a character meal that will run you about $60 a person or 2 Table Service credits.  While you cannot beat the location or atmosphere there are other really great choices for princess character dining (Akershus, 1900 Park Fare) that won’t cost as much and the food is really good.  If you were planning to do this as a special treat or celebration then it may be worth it to do once.


The Dining Plan: Yes, if used correctly!  The dining plan can absolutely save you money if you plan your meals correctly to get the best value.  If you split meals a lot or routinely order something that isn’t an entrée they no, it may not be worth it.  If you like to go on vacation knowing it is all paid for then this is very helpful, no Disney food sticker shock either.  So how do you figure out if it is worth getting?  You will have to do a bit of work checking menu prices and then figuring out if what you would order for each meal plus 2 snacks and if you would use the refillable mug (drinks start at about $3) and then look at the cost per day of the dining plan.


Preferred Rooms: Yes, a thousand times yes! Want to save yourself some walking at the beginning and end of the day?  How about saving yourself a long trip to the pool or food court?  Taking kids to Walt Disney World?  Then get a preferred room, it is worth the price difference from a standard, especially at the Value resorts.


Club Level: This is a it depends.  If you are already on the dining plan it may not be worth it, but if you are looking for a way to plus up a vacation with a great room that has snacks provided a couple times a day plus free drinks?  Then yeah you will want to look at it.  The big seller is that it includes some beers and wine as well as bottled water.  You could make breakfast out of the offerings.  There are also midday snacks offered and hot appetizers in the evenings and desserts in the late evenings!  This can be a fantastic value!  Check out Tara’s Club Level series here for specific resort information.


T-Shirts, Misting Fans, Glowing Trinkets: Nope, save yourself a lot of big bucks and pick up these things prior to going on vacation.  You can find misting fans and the cheap glowing, spinning toys at pretty much any dollar store, Walgreens, Walmart stores for about ¼ of the price.  The same could be said for the shirts you can purchase at Walt Disney World.  Your basic Tshirt will set you back about $25.  Go ahead and check out with Disney Store online, Target, Walmart, Forever 21, Torrid, Hot Topic, H & M, and Etsy just to name a few.


Club Level Series: Animal Kingdom Lodge

Sanaa View

We are nearing the end of the Club Level Series with two deluxe resorts left to cover and so I decided Animal Kingdom would be next! We at DoleWhipped have two Dole Whippies that LOVE Animal Kingdom Lodge. It is one of my favorite resorts and so much to do. It is the best themed resort, in my opinion, and who does not love a glass of wine in the evening and hanging out with a friendly giraffe on your balcony? If you have not tried it yet go for it! It is heaven. If you need even more luxury at Animal Kingdom then go ahead and splurge and go Club Level.

Animal Kingdom Lodge’s club lounge is aptly named the Kilimanjaro Club and is located on the 6th Floor of Jambo House. The lobby is a huge atrium and it is located on a landing on the 6th floor and overlooks the lobby and it is only accessible by club level and suite guests. The Kilimanjaro Club literally just finished refurbishment and was done in May 2016 so best time to visit is now.

There are about 70 Club rooms and there are also suites available. The club level rooms are very similar to the standard rooms at Animal Kingdom and located on the Fourth Floor.

One thing special and unique is if you are a Disney Vacation Club member you can trade in your points and upgrade to a Club Level Room at Animal Kingdom Lodge. This is the only resort that has this as an option.

There previously were a few different special things that Club Level at Animal Kingdom or even just staying at Animal Kingdom afforded you. Certain things like the Night-time safari and Wanyama Safari but all of these have recently changed to be open to any Walt Disney World guest.

The lounge food – it in itself is a HUGE bonus at the Kilimanjaro Club because when it gets down to the good food for evening hours they bring it in from Boma and Jiko so you are in for a huge treat. The morning offerings and afternoon snacks are a bit of the usual club level offerings but the lunch, dinner and evening desserts are where it is at! Yes, even zebra domes make it to the dessert table at the Kilimanjaro lounge! The amazing part of all of the food is it is, as always, complimentary to Club Guest. If you are someone not sure about trying these restaurants – this is a great way to get a taste and realize these are amazing places with some of the best food on property!


Club Level Series: Contemporary Resort

Moving on through the Deluxe resort’s club level in this series and let’s quick recap. So far, we have reviewed Grand Floridian, Poly, Yacht Club and Boardwalk’s Club level. I am personally sold on any or all of them but are any standing out for you? I may have a personal favorite but waiting until later to reveal!

RWV590691Next stop is the Contemporary Resort’s Club Level and lounges named the Atrium Club and the Tower Club.

There are 64 club rooms and suites and they enjoy some of the best views on Disney BA4A4ADE-43A0-4072-91CF-945EB43864E4_zpsuid0o77iproperty. The Atrium Club lounge is found on the 12th floor and has a magnificent view of the Magic Kingdom and is a great place to watch Wishes from every night. The Tower Club lounge is on the 14th floor and again a great view of Magic Kingdom and Wishes! The two club lounges are identical in function and menu they just look a bit different. The 12th floor Atrium club has all standard rooms and the 14th floor with the Tower Club services the suites as well.

On top of watching Wishes from the Club level lounges you can also watch the Electrical Water Pageant. Though some readers might blow this off I have many clients that want a view to specifically see the Electrical Water Pageant and I agree! It is lovely and a must see if only for the nostalgia!

The Club level cast members are available on site between 7am and 10pm and one really cool feature is you can also text with them. So, out at a park and not sure what you should do about not having a dining reservation – the club level staff can help you out right through text!

June 2007 Walt Disney World

June 2007 Walt Disney World

The same amenities as the other club levels exist here (chocolates on your pillow, special check-in, somewhat upgraded rooms (robes and different amenities mainly) and the special lounge with the complimentary drinks and food.

The Atrium Club and Tower Club start with coffee and continental breakfast, then move on to snacks and small munchies for the main part of the day. They then break out the hot apps at dinner time like crab cakes and vegetable spring rolls and late night is cordials and desserts.

Sounds good and yummy to me! I can not wait to check it out.





Club Level Series: Yacht Club

And we are back…after a short break to enjoy a longer trip to Walt Disney World and first hand try out some club level lounges and experiences I will tell you this my friend. Once you do it in person, you never want to go out of club level again. I am going to go in-depth and details about my personal experience in the next few weeks so stay tuned.

YC CL FurnitureBut next on our trip around Club Level is the Yacht Club, located on the backside of Epcot in a wonderful location right on the boardwalk. The Club Level lounge at the Yacht Club is located on the 5th floor and named the Regatta Club. There are approximately 70 club level rooms and a few more suites that are club level as well.


So, let’s get to the important part – the food and drinks! The Regatta Club will notYC CL disappoint so save room to get the most of your club level experience or skip a few ADRs (cancel within 24 hours!) to get your money’s worth. Are items like braised beef, Raspberry and Brie En Croute, and chicken skewers with yogurt dipping sauce sounding heavenly about now? Go for it These are a small sampling of what is available as hot appetizers at the Yacht Club Concierge Lounge.

Or skip the evening shows and have a dessert and cognac in the evening relaxing and chatting with your fellow concierge guests. Though it would be hard to skip some of the amazing offerings at EPCOT for meals and snacks it can be done and made easier if you are grazing through the Regatta Club,

Along, with the Regatta Club the concierge level guests receive the same extra care as the other resorts. Preferred check-in and turn down service and a few little extras that make your stay even more magical.

Disney Club Level: What is it and why do I want it?

Disney has a category of rooms that are called “Club Level” or “Concierge Level” and though not a secret they are sometimes considered a “hidden gem”. I thought I would help share what it is and you can decide for yourself if it is something that would benefit or enhance your next Disney trip enough to make it worth the extra pennies (okay maybe not pennies!) that it will cost you!

This week will be an overview of Club Level and then the series will continue with an in-depth look at the different resorts club level benefits and extras so if you DO decide that you want to try out club level you will know which resort’s club level offerings are right for you. Club level does have many similarities throughout the different resorts but they as well have been customized for each resort.

Thanks for the photo of Club Level Lounge

Thanks for the photo of Club Level Lounge

First, not all resorts offer club levels and only Deluxe resorts have true club level rooms. One moderate has an option that resembles club level and that is Coronado Springs Business Class rooms. It is not called club level but has some of the same benefits such as a lounge only accessed by Business Class guests but it does not have the full offering that the deluxe true Club Level rooms offer. As we go through the series we will have a specific article on Business Class at Coronado Springs where we compare it to the full Club Level and tell you more about it.  All of the deluxe resorts now offer Club Level category so that list is Grand Floridian, Polynesian, Contemporary, Wilderness Lodge, Beach Club, Yacht Club, Boardwalk and Animal Kingdom Lodge. Disney Vacation Club villa resorts that are deluxe villas category do not offer club level rooms. So, for example Bay Lake Tower or the Boardwalk Villas do not have this option.

Some people get confused and think Club Level has something to do with the concierge desk at the resort’s front desk. It does not and is separate so anyone staying at that resort can utilize the concierge desk in the resort’s lobby. Only Club Level can work with the concierge that is Club Level only and has a separate desk.

One of the best services that Club Level offers is the Itinerary Planning Office. Prior to your visit your TA and the IPO will work together to get your schedule set. While on your vacation they are a valuable resource when needing to move reservations around or if something comes up and you need to cancel reservations or fastpasses, etc.

AKLOne of the favorite services that Club Level offers is the lounge. Usually club level rooms are on the same floor or at least in the same area. Each of the resorts have a Club Lounge that offers complimentary food and drinks throughout the day and night.The lounges offer comfortable seating and TV’s (one is just for the kids with Disney cartoons playing). You can definitely eat a great breakfast here and heavy snacks throughout the day. I know many Club Level guests that even will eat dinner here in the evening. Though it is not a traditional restaurant or somewhere that has a menu that you order from their snacks are filling enough that you can definitely get full. There are a variety of hot and cold appetizers from the resort restaurants and wine and beer; along with soda and juice to fill you up. In the later eveningPoly CL2 they will have desserts and cordials out to indulge in. They do print menus of that week’s food and you will get that from your Club Level concierge or pick up at the lounge. The lounge is open from 7am to 10pm.

Club level rooms typically offer additional amenities as well. You will find luxurious robes in your room, spa-quality toiletries and DVD players, along with sometimes slightly larger rooms. For example, a Club Level room at Animal Kingdom Lodge is one of the deluxe category rooms (unless you have a suite). You also can request nightly turn-down service if you wish while you are staying Club Level.

Poly CLAnother benefit of Club Level is you will have your own check-in area that will make waiting in line to check-in a thing of the past. Club level access is secure and is restricted to club level guests only. In the past, a special Gold colored Keys to the Kingdom card would allow you access but now it is stored on your magic bands.

Each resort has unique reasons why Club Level is special and as we go through this series you will find that it might be the special, Club Level only Sunrise Safari at Animal Kingdom Lodge that appeals to you or that the Sushi during the dinner hours at the Poly Club Level steals your heart. There are so many appealing reasons to think about staying Club Level at Disney and I guarantee you there is one that is practically perfect for you!

Have you stayed Club Level at Disney before? What was your favorite part?

Disney's Club Level- (1)