It took a year after our initial purchase to feel that itch to add on to our DVC points. At the time, the only way that I knew how to scratch it was to add on directly through Disney. That meant that the choices that we were left with were Aulani Resort in Hawaii or Copper Creek Villas at the Wilderness Lodge, and since our passion was Disney World, Copper Creek was the only real option. Our plan was to add on just enough points for a long weekend during Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival, so 50 points and $9,000 later and we were off to try a new adventure in Copper Creek. The nice thing about this was that since it was directly through Disney Vacation Club, there was no chance for me to screw up the use year, which remained at February to go along with our initial Polynesian contract.
At first Michele and I were skeptical about the resort, since even though it was a quick boat ride from MK, it was not a “Monorail Loop” resort, which we had grown to love in our DVC stays at the Polynesian and Bay Lake Tower, and our prior cash stays at GF. This fear subsided as soon as we walked through those sliding glass doors and got that distinctive Wilderness Lodge smell for the first time. I was truly in awe of how majestic and uniquely detailed their lobby was, from the finely detailed chandelier and lighting accents, to the five story totem pole that is the centerpiece of their amazing lobby, and finally the breathtaking 30 foot fireplace which is layered in alternating colored slate-like stone and appears to have be ripped right from a Pacific Northwest forest-side retreat.
Due to a room availability when we booked our trip, we actually stayed in a one bedroom at Boulder Ridge our first night and the next three in a Deluxe Studio at Copper Creek. The comparison in both style and appearance was striking. Not to say that there was any issue with Boulder Ridge, but the Copper Creek Studio Villa was stunning at first glance. Our deluxe studio villa was ideally fitted for a couple, though I think that it may have been a bit cramped with a full family. Clean and modern, the room was perfectly accented with Northwest style colors and camp side accents. With our balcony overlooking the pool, it was the perfect place to enjoy an early morning coffee and get a bit of early morning computer work done before heading out to the parks for the day.
Since we were there for a short time and also during Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival, we did not dine at the more classic dining locations on property, Whispering Canyon Café and Artist Point (which has since added a Snow White character dining experience). We did however enjoy one of the best quick service breakfast spots this side of Cap’t Cook’s in the Roaring Fork. In additional to the standard breakfast platter and Mickey waffles, they offered a fine selection of pastries and fresh cut fruit, but the real stand-outs were their Banana Foster’s French Toast and the Bagel Sandwich, which came with the standard bacon, eggs, and cheese, with was accented with an Apple Vinaigrette tossed Arugula and a subtlety spicy Chipotle Mayo drizzled on top. Both were truly crave-worthy, especially by Disney World quick service standards. We rounded out our dining experience at the resort with some late night drinks at the picturesque Geyser Point Bar and Grill, which is an outside lounge that sits along Bay Lake.
In addition to dining, Copper Creek offered unique amenities geared toward their DVC following and cash guests alike. From the Copper Creek heated Spring Pool with the 67 foot waterslide, to the Fire Rock Geyser that sprays an hourly eruption of water 120 feet into the air, to the DVC member exclusive Reunion Station, which offers scheduled wine tastings, animation classes and to Cake Decorating workshops, and even a Phone Photography class that teaches members how to take the perfect shot with your smart phone.
With our biggest fear being how to navigate transportation with not being on the Monorail, Wilderness Lodge did not disappoint, with their close and expansive parking lot right next to the main lobby for those drives to Epcot and Hollywood Studios, and the quick boat ride to Magic Kingdom, which became a magical edition to our trip in itself. It was on this boat ride that we were able to enjoy the Electrical Water Pageant (one of my all-time favorite resort experiences) actually from the water while heading back to our room for the night.
What began with a bit of fear of the unknown, has turned in to a place to plan a perfect weekend getaway. Change can be a daunting task (especially when it comes to changing up our beloved and not frequent enough Disney World escapes), but what I have learned with the DVC resorts for often than not, sometimes it truly is better to leap before you look.