The Renovated Boulder Ridge 2-Bedroom Villa is Almost Perfect

The Renovated Boulder Ridge 2-Bedroom Villa is Almost Perfect

If a friend ever invites you to join her family for a stay in a Boulder Ridge 2-Bedroom Villa, say yes. I know that’s oddly specific, but it happened to me. I hope it happens again.

Boulder Ridge is stunning in every way. We knew it would be. After all, it’s part of Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, the grand champion of all Disney hotels. The attention to detail Imagineers brought to this resort is breathtaking. You can be sweating while walking around Magic Kingdom all day but forget you’re in Florida as soon as you enter the lobby. It feels like the Pacific Northwest. That’s gold-level theming.

Disney's Wilderness Lodge lobby

While the Wilderness Lodge was designed as a tribute to national park lodges in the western United States, Boulder Ridge is themed after 1860’s railroad hotels. I’m not an expert on 19th-century railroad worker accommodations, but I doubt they lived like this.

Map of Disney's Wilderness Lodge, including the Copper Creek Villas, Boulder Ridge Villas, and Cascade Cabins
Click image for larger view

Quick note! While Boulder Ridge is a DVC resort, there are a select number of rooms available to non-DVC members. Simply book through Disney or a travel agent.

Location

The Boulder Ridge Villas are a short walk from the main Wilderness Lodge lobby. I’ll write more about the lobby and resort amenities soon. For now, we’ll focus on the room accommodations.

Disney Imagineering has been taking some heat for their resort design choices. Many have bemoaned the loss of immersion in favor of more generic styles and amenities. Luckily, that didn’t happen when Boulder Ridge underwent a refurbishment earlier this year. My family never wanted to stay here before the renovation. You can probably see why. But now? We’ll be back. Often.

It might be odd to lead with this, but the hallways were freezing. The lobby is warm, thanks to the outer doors opening a thousand times a day. But those hallways… you might want a sweater, perhaps one that matches the Southwestern motif found in the carpet. That motif is also found throughout the villas.

Boulder Ridge Villas hallway

Our MagicBands wouldn’t open the door to our Villa. This has happened in the past, but unlike those times, it wasn’t caused by a technical glitch. A maintenance Cast Member was in the room addressing a minor issue. For safety reasons, the door will not unlock if a Cast Member is inside. I asked him to make sure the air conditioner was set properly while he was there. It was, and the AC in our villa was magnificent. But not as cold as the hallway.

Once I walked in, I was blown away. My family and friends weren’t. They were freezing outside while I took pictures. But they too loved it once I allowed them to come in.

Note: I had seven people waiting in the hallway while I took photos. They didn’t rush me, but I didn’t want them to have to wait long, so a few shots were missed. Mea culpa.

Living Room

The Villa’s living room and kitchen were the focal point of the renovation. This main area has a palette of warm and cool colors. They all work well together, from the bed’s wood paneling to the teal kitchen cabinets to the mustard booth seat. A “wood” floor (actually vinyl) is much preferred to the carpet it replaced. Disney characters are hidden throughout the room, including in the curtains, pottery, and wall art.

In recent years, Disney Vacation Club has begun replacing existing sofa beds with vastly superior Murphy beds. We’ve enjoyed them in Saratoga Springs and the Riviera Resort. Honestly, we’ve become Murphy bed snobs. I’m not sure we can go back to a Villa that has one of those dilapidated sofa beds.

The Murphy bed includes shelves that house Southwestern-inspired pottery and a lantern, all beautifully lit by recessed lighting. Outlets offer both traditional plugs and USB ports. I did not get a picture of the bed in the down position. A tired teenager was using it shortly after these photos were taken.

Drawers opposite the Murphy bed provide a place for the living room’s occupant(s) to stow their clothing. Unfortunately, they’re very shallow. Our packing cubes did not fit well. Above the drawers is a large wall-mounted television. The unit has three TVs, each allowing you to cast from your phone. No, Disney+ isn’t offered in Disney hotels, but casting is the next best thing.

Living room in a 2-bedroom villa in the Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney's Wilderness Lodge
Living room in a 2-bedroom villa in the Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney's Wilderness Lodge

We had a regular 2-Bedroom and not the Lock-Off Villa. What’s the difference? A Lock-Off is a combination of 1-Bedroom and Studio connected by a door. Each unit can serve as its own accommodation or be combined to form a 2-Bedroom. On the other hand, our Villa can only be sold as a 2-Bedroom.

I mention this only because our unit had one fewer bed than a Lock-Off Villa. The Studio in a Lock-Off includes a third bed (another, smaller Murphy bed). I’ll have a Studio review up soon to show that configuration.

Kitchen

We never cook while on vacation. It’s in my family’s contract. But I do enjoy eating breakfast in the room. We save money when we can, and a bowl of cereal is much cheaper than a Disney Quick Service breakfast. We will spend money on a certain breakfast waffle from time to time…

Where was I? Oh yeah, the kitchen. If you do enjoy cooking, it comes stocked with just about everything you need to prepare meals. Except for scissors. I don’t understand why they don’t have scissors.

We loaded our fridge with bottled water, milk, and a few other items we ordered from Amazon Fresh. And Gideon’s cakes. And Amorette’s Patisserie treats. Our group enjoyed many late-night snacks.

Kitchen in a 2-bedroom villa in the Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney's Wilderness Lodge
Kitchen in a 2-bedroom villa in the Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney's Wilderness Lodge

Master Bedroom

Our friends offered us the master bedroom. Our friends are pretty great.

The master has a king size bed and plenty of drawer space. Two nightstands have all the outlets you’ll need. Extra outlets are also available above the dresser. You’ll have to take my word for it. I don’t take photos of outlets. Reviewing hotel rooms is still pretty new to me.

A large TV is mounted above the dresser.

The only drawback to the master is the lack of a balcony. The Villa’s two balconies can only be accessed from the living room and second bedroom.

Master bedroom in a 2-bedroom villa in the Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney's Wilderness Lodge
Chair in master bedroom in a 2-bedroom villa in the Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney's Wilderness Lodge

The master vanity could be better. We need two sinks. Rather, my wife needs me to have my own sink. And the vanity area doesn’t have a door separating it from the bedroom. The second bathroom’s vanity has the same issue. I like bathrooms with doors.

Master bathroom in a 2-bedroom villa in the Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney's Wilderness Lodge

The bathtub backdrop is another bit of western-inspired art, complete with Mickey and Minnie.

Master bathtub in a 2-bedroom villa in the Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney's Wilderness Lodge

And here is where my photography checklist failed me. I didn’t get a picture of the main bathroom. It’s pretty typical for a DVC Villa and includes a toilet, walk-in shower, and small vanity. The shower has two heads — rain and hand-held. You can access this bathroom from both the living room and master bedroom. I hope my descriptive powers do this bathroom justice…

Second Bedroom

The second bedroom includes two queen size beds. Colorful headboards house plenty of lighting. A single nightstand is placed between the two beds. What about the person on the opposite side? We all need nightstands!

A large dresser and wall-mounted TV are on the opposite wall. Overall, this room is more sparsely decorated than the master but still looks nice.

Second bedroom in a 2-bedroom villa in the Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney's Wilderness Lodge

Again, the second bedroom’s vanity doesn’t include a second sink and is open to the bedroom.

Second bathroom in a 2-bedroom villa in the Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney's Wilderness Lodge

The second bathroom is very tight, which is odd. A huge walk-in closet is right next to it (not pictured).

Second bathroom in a 2-bedroom villa in the Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney's Wilderness Lodge

Finally, all 1-, 2-, and 3-Bedroom Villas have a washer and dryer in the unit. Laundry detergent is supplied, as well. I have a picture, but it’s not the right vibe for this review. Nobody wants to think about laundry while on vacation.

The View

Our 2-Bedroom Villa offered us great views of the lush Florida Pacific Northwest and Bay Lake. It was a very peaceful location. Guests on the same side of the building but closer to the actual Wilderness Lodge will have views of the Boulder Ridge Cove Pool.

View from a 2-bedroom villa in the Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney's Wilderness Lodge

The balconies are on the small side, but they’re appropriate for the building’s architecture.

Balcony on a 2-bedroom villa in the Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney's Wilderness Lodge
Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney's Wilderness Lodge

Our Villa was ideally located for anyone who appreciates quiet. Guests in certain Villas on the other side of the building might have to deal with noise during the day from buses and luggage carts rumbling over the covered walkway connecting Boulder Ridge to the rest of the resort.

Final Thoughts

Again, we love the Wilderness Lodge and all its Villas. Our 2-Bedroom was close to perfect. The hotel is idyllic. The grounds are immaculate. Evening boat rides to Magic Kingdom have become a tradition in my family.

I’ll write much more about this resort very soon.

10 out of 5 stars.

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