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Review: Trail’s End Dinner Buffet (and NEW Baked Potato Bar!)

Trail’s End in Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort has gone through a few changes over the past year. A new a la carte menu at lunch is winning raves, and now a new baked potato bar at the dinner buffet is heartily praised as well! Can’t wait to hear your comments!

The Trail’s End restaurant is especially fun because of the journey it takes to get to Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground. Whether you arrive via bus, boat, golf cart or bike, you’ll find yourself naturally immersed in this far-away setting.

Trail’s End is nestled in the Settlement area of the resort, which is also home to the popular Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue dinner show, Crockett’s Tavern, and the Settlement Trading Post, which serves as the general store.

Trail's End Sign

Atmosphere

Trail’s End, Crockett’s Tavern, and the Hoop-Dee-Doo share space in Pioneer Hall, where visitors can sit for a spell in a rocking chair or play checkers on the porch.

Cozy Porch

Inside, the rustic atmosphere invites guests to unwind while savoring a buffet comprised of down-home good eats.

Lower Seating Area

Eats

Once seated your server will offer beverages. I just love the mason jars that the cold beverages are brought in.

Coffee and Water in Mason Jar

I’m a self-diagnosed carbaholic and the new baked potato bar at Trail’s End was a welcome addition to this simple but delicious buffet.

Start with a starchy potato with salted skin, then add your favorite fixin’s. Yes, that’s melted cheddar cheese and fresh, warm bacon!

Salted Potatoes, Cheese and Bacon

There were a variety of fixings – Chipotle Butter, Salsa, Butter, Jalapeno Sour Cream, Sour Cream, Cheddar Cheese and Bacon.

Potato Fixins Bar

Roasted Strip Loin was on the carving board with Au Jus.

Roasted Strip Loin and Au Jus

Fill up a bowl of Chili or Tomato Basil Soup!

Chili and Soup

Trail’s End also has a Pasta Bar now! It’s a nice addition to the selections of comfort food. Top your pasta with marinara or cheese sauce.

Pasta Bar

Green Beans, Mixed Vegetables and Cod.

Veggies and Cod

Pork Ribs, Fried Chicken (Thighs and Legs) and BBQ Chicken.

Pork Ribs and Chicken

Fried Corn with Bacon, Brown Gravy and Mashed Potatoes. The Mashed Potatoes won rave reviews even by my 11-year old who doesn’t usually eat potatoes with the skins. They were THAT yummy!

Fried Corn, Gravy and Mashed Potatoes

Shrimp with Horseradish Dressing and Cocktail Sauce.

Shrimp and Sauces

Salad fixings included Black Olives, Red Onions, Tomato, Lemon, Cucumber, Banana Peppers, Grapes and Cantaloupe. Dress your greens with Bleu Cheese, Ranch, Balsamic or Thousand Island Dressing. Don’t forget the Bacon Bits!

Mixed Greens

Salad Fixings

Salad Bar

Tomato Mozzarella Salad, Caesar Salad, Cheddar Cheese.

Salads

Cucumber Salad, Potato Salad, Croutons, Cole Slaw, Shredded Carrots.

Salad Bar Fixings

Self-serve ice cream is dispensed in vanilla or chocolate flavors. There’s also an option for a twist. That’s the unmarked middle lever. Go ahead and mix it up! I did!!

Ice Cream Dispenser

We didn’t pass by the Sundae Toppings with choices of Cookie Topping, Chocolate Topping, Strawberry Topping, Chocolate Buttons, Gummi Bears, and Caramel Topping.

Sundae Bar

The delicious Apple Cobbler dessert! Fill up a crock, then top it with ice cream (and caramel sauce!) for an extra sweet treat!

Apple Cobbler

Corn Bread was found on the dessert table, but I’ll admit to putting some on my dinner plate. We also discovered cookies, brownies, rice krispies, bread pudding, and pudding “dirt” cups with gummy worms.

Corn Bread, Cookies, Brownies

Brownies, Rice Krispie Treats

Bread Pudding

Dirt Cups

Simple foods on my son’s first plate.

Chicken and Mashed Potatoes

My plate with a starch concentration. ;-)

Plated Food

The apple cobbler was good enough for seconds! It was warm, chewy but not crunchy, and sweet.

Apple Cobbler and Ice Cream

Overall

While I’ve had the pleasure of dining here on a previous trip, this was the first time that I’ve brought my family here. Trail’s End satisfied the hunger and picky appetites of our entire party.

Kim LaPaglia is the Editor at Disney Food Blog, a Disney World Mom’s Panelist, and the owner of the blog Castle Concierge.

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14 Comments

  1. Chrissy says:

    Oh WOW! The last time I was at Trails End, I wasn’t too terribly impressed with the dinner buffet. But now? I’m totally putting that back on the list of restaurants to go to again, as long as they keep having the baked potato bar.

  2. Alan says:

    Visiting Fort Wilderness Resort is almost like having a vacation within a vacation. It is so different than all the other resorts at WDW and worth a trip over there. Sort of like a dude ranch. The new menus are a welcome change and the potato bar is a nice touch. The buffet looks like good home cooked food and can be a welcome change from the rest of the Disney World restaurants.

  3. John Grigas says:

    So glad to see that Trail’s End continues to be great! Contender for “Best value on Disney Property,” I think! Plus, it’s my Ace in the Hole when the crowd levels are high and I don’t have any ADRs. The boat ride from MK is a nice break, too.

  4. This buffet is certainly good value. Nothing fancy here but great comfort food! Service was a little slack during last visit but that was because the server had so many demanding tables and was trying to be a good host to all! Really struggled to get my bearings in the dark but I’ll give it another try as the food is worth it :)

  5. Diana says:

    A baked potato bar? I’m there!

  6. AJ says:

    Chrissy — I can’t wait to try it!! I love me some baked potatoes, and if there’s melty cheese…!!!

    Alan — Agreed! It’s so relaxing there. And the buffet does look great — plus it’s a bit less expensive than other WDW buffets…

    John Grigas — Great point on this spot being perfect for a no ADR day!

    Emma — Hooray for comfort food!!! Plus, you can go for a little jog around the camper loops to work it all off when you’re done!

    Diana — Agreed!

  7. Mark Hickson says:

    When I was there last September i got the lady bartender to make a new pick-me-up drink for a very hot day. It’s called an “Eskimo Coffee” Imagine an Iced Irish Coffee with whipped cream on top. It’s GREAT!

  8. venessa says:

    We already love it for breakfast but we’re really excited to try it in Janurary for our wedding site visit! We’re trying it out because if we end up liking it, we’re using it as our wedding rehershal din din. =) so much food!! I’m going to have to get teeny portions to try everything! Looks so good.

  9. Clair says:

    Love the comfort food at Trail’s End. Nothing fancy but most certainly tasty in a very relaxed and friendly atmosphere.

  10. Kim says:

    Mark – Eskimo Coffee?! Thanks for the cool tip!

    Venessa – I’ve got to get over there for breakfast. Enjoy your wedding site visit. We renewed our vows in Disney for our 10th anniversary. Fairy Tale Weddings was outstanding! A rehearsal dinner at Trail’s End sounds like super fun!

    Clair – Totally agree!!

  11. Heather says:

    Wow! That buffet looks like it’s had a total overhaul! I can’t wait to try the new offerings!

  12. Cleo says:

    I wonder if the chicken is as good as at the 50s restaurant.

  13. Matt says:

    I’m not a huge fan of buffets. When I go out to a restaurant, I plain and simple like to be served :-) But, when I heard that Trails End had a baked potato bar, I said screw that, I’m going!

    Everything everyone has said is true – it’s great comfort food. The salad bar is nice and fresh. It’s not too huge that you get lost in the choices either. I was hoping their soup choice was tomato but, alas, it was chicken noodle. And since I only eat that when I’m not feeling well, I passed. The fried chicken was quite tasty. The ribs were, while meaty, left me wanting more flavor I guess. They were fine and filled me up. Partner said the oven roasted chicken was absolutely delicious. And the veggies were all cooked perfectly.

    Now for that baked potato bar. The potato was baked perfectly, just perfectly. And the topping choices were just what you’d expect. I loved that the bacon bits were real bacon bits, not Bac-O’s. I gooped on the melted plastic cheese and piled on the bacon and oh my, it was perfect! The one thing I wish they had was a table next to the bar so that you can get your potato all dressed up. It’s not easy holding a plate, trying to pry open the potato, reach in and scoop out toppings and pile them on your potato. But, a guy’s gotta do what a guy’s gotta do right?

    I was full. But dessert was next! Being that we ate late (after 8pm) the choices weren’t plentiful. I took a chocolate chip cookie which I actually didn’t care for. Maybe it had been sitting out a long time, but it just tasted “funny” to me. I did make myself a caramel sundae and if you like McDonalds caramel sundaes, it tasted exactly like that. Minus the peanuts. Unfortunately they didn’t have peanuts available.

    So, in all, if you’re looking for good ole comfort food at a decent price, Trails End is your place. Plus, the boat ride there is pretty fun too!

  14. Katie says:

    Just wondering if the baked potato bar is still available?? Going to Disney World at the end of February and it’d be great to give it a try!

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