Join me in welcoming back guest author Julie B.!
Trail’s End Restaurant
She returns with a review of Trail’s End Restaurant in the Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground. The journey to this restaurant is part of the experience, right?!
Howdy folks! Even though we’re on vacation, sometimes you just want the comforts of a home-cooked meal. Trail’s End Restaurant at Fort Wilderness Campground brings all the happiness of home to its dinner buffet.
Remember, this spot is a little distant from some parks and resorts. You can reach Trail’s End at Fort Wilderness by taking a boat from Magic Kingdom, Contemporary Resort, or Wilderness Lodge; or by taking a bus from any park or Downtown Disney to Fort Wilderness. Note that if you take a bus, you’ll have to transfer to the Fort Wilderness internal bus system to get to Trail’s End. (DFB recommends taking a boat if possible — so much easier.)
Trail’s End is a cute little restaurant, featuring the theme of a cabin in the woods. It blends perfectly with the campground!
The walls are adorned with the best of the outdoors and the back country. Large wooden beams finish setting the scene for your meal in the wilderness.
On the lower level (just down a small half-flight of stairs), Trail’s End is also home to Crockett’s Tavern.
The bar is themed the same way as the restaurant and even features a 6-foot-tall (taller?) bear!
Trail’s End has an all-you-can-eat buffet of the best comfort foods out there. I’m talking mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, fried chicken, and all the fixings!
The first section of the buffet is the cold salad bar.
Here they have salad mix, Caesar salad, tomato mozzarella salad, marinated cucumbers, and peel-and-eat shrimp.
They also have amazing croutons! There’s an addicting combo of salty seasonings and a little hint of sweetness (Paprika? Sugar? I couldn’t put my finger on it, but either way, you definitely want to try these!).
The next station starts on the main course- mixed vegetables, corn, honey-glazed carrots, green beans, mac and cheese, and tomato pasta (note: on a second visit the vegetables were a little different, so options may vary).
Next up: mashed potatoes (with skins), gravy, maple salmon, baked chicken, fried chicken, and ribs.
Beyond that is a carving station that rotates meat choices. Options often include sausage, baked ham, or brisket.
Make sure to save a little extra space for the last section of the buffet: the baked potato bar!
They’ve got every topping imaginable, from your standard sour cream, cheese, bacon, and chives, to more unique toppings like salsa and pulled pork! But I was most eager to try the big skillet of corn bread at this station!
Phew! Exhausting list of foods isn’t it?
The best thing about a buffet, though, is that you have the power to customize your meal. And in my goal to review as many foods as possible, I tried them all! Now that’s my idea of a customized meal- some of everything!
Salad is, well, salad. Try a little (croutons!) but save room for the rest.
Standouts of the night were the ribs and pulled pork (I’m a sucker for anything smoked and smothered in BBQ sauce). The salmon was also an unexpected treat! The maple topping was wonderfully sweet and the salmon was a really good quality. Plus, it was deboned, which always scores points when I order fish.
As excited as I was for the corn bread, I found it a bit dry and bland. Definitely grab some butter or enjoy this with your pulled pork for some added flavor.
After all the stick-to-your-ribs entrees, make sure to save some room for dessert. There’s a soft serve machine, warm apple cobbler, pecan bars, fruit, cookies, bread pudding, and red velvet cake.
Most were fun, but nothing to write home about. Since this is a buffet though, play around and get creative! I topped my apple cobbler with vanilla soft serve and caramel sauce. Yum!
Or grab a banana, top it with ice cream, strawberry sauce, and chocolate sauce, and you’ve got a banana split!
Trail’s End is a great option for the whole family! With classic foods that everyone knows and loves, even the pickiest of eaters will find something tasty.
It’s not gourmet, but it doesn’t need to be. It’s the type of meal that makes you want to cozy up in a blanket by a fire and watch the stars (after dinner be sure to check out Chip and Dale’s Campfire Sing-Along at Meadow’s Trading Post).
The whole evening is a break from the hustle and bustle of a normal Disney resort and lets you settle in to the comforts of home cooking.
Has your family dined at Trail’s end? How did it compare to other Disney buffet meals? Let us know in the comments!