The Wilderness Lodge Villas are a nice addition to the Wilderness Lodge Resort. This Disney Vacation Club property is quiet and very inviting with its cozy fireplaces, quiet pool area, and relaxing rocking chairs. Like the Wilderness Lodge, the theme here is Pacific Northwest nature. But the Villas are unique because their story is really about train travel and the railroad hotels that sprung up during the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad.
You’ll see nods to this train culture throughout the lobby, but nowhere is it more prominent than in the room just to the right of the main entrance. This is the Carolwood Pacific room and it pays homage to Walt Disney and his love of trains. The walls are decorated with photos, sketches, and memorabilia. You’ll see historical shots of Walt, his model trains, and fellow train enthusiasts.
You can see a model of Walt’s famous Lilly Belle scale steam engine. This is the train his friend Roger Broggie built for him and that Walt conducted in his own backyard. Two original Lilly Belle freight cars are also on display here. When compared with the scale drawing and photos, you can really get a sense of how scale measurements and math played a big part in getting the design of the Lilly Belle just right.
Books, maps, conductors’ hats, lanterns, and medallions round out the collection on display. You can definitely see how much trains played a part in Walt Disney’s life and why they are prominent at the Villas.
FL Sunshine State Social Studies Standards:
SS.1.A.2.1, SS.1.A.2.2, SS.5.A.6.3