It’s been a while since I’ve slept in a camper, cabin, or tent, but that doesn’t stop me from loving Trail’s End Restaurant!
Trail’s End Restaurant
Located at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort, the down-home spot is one of my favorites for many reasons — but delicious food and reasonable prices top the list.
Getting to Trail’s End is half the adventure. It’s located waaaay at the back of the resort, in the area known as the Settlement.
Now, wait. To be fair, adventure is kind of a generous word. It’s actually kind of a pain to get here. Maybe that’s why I like it so much — it’s rarely too packed!
If you’re coming here via bus from a theme park, or via your own car, you’ll park way up at the front of Fort Wilderness and have to take some internal buses to get back to the Settlement. That’s why I prefer to get to Trail’s End and the other Fort Wilderness restaurants via boat from Magic Kingdom, Wilderness Lodge, or the Contemporary — much less intensive on the travel end, and more enjoyable as well.
On this morning we took the bus, so we had some sight-seeing to do on our way from the bus stop back to Trail’s End… .
It’s not uncommon to see horses at Fort Wilderness, where there are carriage and wagon rides available.
Pioneer Hall shares space with our destination. I love this place! It looks like a giant log cabin. The surrounding by tall pines and live oaks dripping in Spanish moss really give it the feeling of a pioneer settlement.
Pioneer Hall is home to several popular destinations at Fort Wilderness. You’ll find Mickey’s Backyard BBQ close by. But it’s also where you’ll head for an evening of down home fun at the Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue!
Just past the Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue venue, you’ll find our destination for the morning — Trail’s End table-service restaurant. This location shares a building with Crockett’s Tavern, the local watering hole and a great little place to enjoy an adult beverage, or nosh on snacks like chicken wings, pizza, or nachos.
But it was time to head in for our early morning ADR, so we made for the entrance. The restaurant is surrounded by low, wraparound porches, which are often being used by Fort Wildernessers to sit a spell.
The friendly and classic sign greets you as you check in.
Everything about Trail’s End is seriously laid back. You are supposed to relax and slow down here. Make time for a game of checkers. Go ahead. You know you want to. (And check out the not so Hidden Mickeys on the chairs.)
Come on in, beckons the welcome mat. (Well, technically, it’s saying “Howdy” to you as you leave. But we won’t nitpick.)
Tables and chairs carry the same rustic themeing as the post and beam construction. But chairs are generous and cushioned, making for comfy seating.
In true outhouse fashion, you’ll have to go back outside to use the restrooms! (They’re shared with Hoop Dee Doo.)
While we’ve heard raves about both breakfast and dinner, it’s lunch here that I’ve come to love. If you haven’t had the chance to take in an a la carte lunch at Trail’s End, I heartily suggest that you add it to your list as soon as possible. The food is absolutely delicious, and unbelievably inexpensive (by Disney standards, anyway).
Yes, I’ve had the warm sticky bun sundae; and yes, it’s lovely.
But we were here for breakfast on this fine morning! Both breakfast and dinner are all-you-care-to-eat, buffet style; and the set up is extensive.
The buffets are decorated with antique kitchen equipment, and you’ll find cast iron and old-fashioned pantry items displayed nearby.
There’s a lot to choose from! So be sure to take a walking tour of all they have to offer before you start filling your plate.
Time to take a tour of the breakfast set up so that you can see it for yourself!
Trail’s End Restaurant offers a particularly hearty breakfast spread with lots of inventive, country-style favorites. But there are also some surprisingly light and healthy options, too. Let’s have a look around at what they have on hand for you here.
To Begin: Create Your Own Yogurt Parfait, Moonshine, and Fruit
I am a big fan of yogurt, granola, and fresh fruit for breakfast. So I was really excited to try out first hand the Create Your Own Parfait Bar that we told you about a while back!
You’ll find some really delicious options here for customizing your parfait. Choose from Vanilla or Blueberry Yogurt in mason jars.
These weren’t refilled as often as I’d hoped they would be, and I was glad to get the last blueberry yogurt that I saw for the rest of the day! Moral of the story? If you see a flavor you’d prefer, grab it!
Then go ahead and add Fresh Berries, Citrus Quinoa Salad, and Granola for even more flavor.
The granola was definitely more of a muesli type than a baked granola with yummy oat clusters, by the way — so be prepared.
If you prefer Whole Fruit, there’s an assortment of that as well.
There are also some cut, ready to eat fruit options as well Cottage Cheese.
To Continue: Cereal, Bread, and Other Cold Offerings
Prefer some carb power to get your day going? There are plenty of options in that category as well! Start out with assorted Sliced Bread for toasting, as well as Bagels.
There’s a toaster located nearby for your convenience.
Many toppings are available for your bread and bagels, including Jelly, Marmalade, Butter, and two kinds of Cream Cheese.
There’s even Smoked Salmon.
Freshly baked Corn and Blueberry Muffins are served right out of muffin tins for a rustic touch. And how much do I love that I can get their killer cornbread for breakfast?!?
There are also some more decadent bread offerings, like Doughnut Holes, plus Croissants and Fruit Danish.
But the “Keeps Me Awake At Night Dreaming About It” Award goes to these incredible Warm Pecan Cinnamon Buns! These are totally unique to Trail’s End, and they’re a show-stopper. These were CONSTANTLY being depleted while I was there, so, again, be sure to keep an eye on when they’re being refilled.
They’re swimming in a rich, buttery sauce, so it behooves you to get up there early so you can steal as much sauce as possible. I’m just sayin’. Early bird gets the butter.
Cereal lovers will also find some options, and milk is available for you right on the bar. This is super convenient, since you often have to ask your server for milk at many Disney buffets.
I love the old fashioned cookie jars!
Cheese Grits accompany Gravy and Oatmeal in that “hot stuff that’s kind of cereal and kind of side dish” area that all Disney buffets seem to have.
There’s also Brown Sugar for dressing up your oatmeal a bit.
Main Dishes and Side Dishes
And now we get to the main dishes and sides. And there are many to choose from! I hope you came very hungry!
If you’re an egg lover, there are plenty of ways for you to enjoy your favorite breakfast food. Scrambled Egg fans can choose from Plain, or a dressed up Veggie Frittata.
Just a note about the eggs on the morning I visited: they were NOT being refilled very quickly, and there was a huge back-up waiting for eggs. Seriously. A massive line at the buffet. Overall, the service here wasn’t the best, so keep an eye on the dishes you want to eat and grab ’em as soon as they’re refilled!
Trail’s End also offers two wonderful varieties of Eggs Benedict. Choose from a traditional version, featuring Canadian Bacon. Or try something with down home flavor: Country Benedict with Pulled Pork! No joke!
Breakfast Pizza with Eggs, Cheese, and Veggies is also available.
The meat team is represented by Bacon and Sausage. And really, isn’t there something beautiful about a skillet piled that high with bacon??
Potatoes come in two versions: diced with herb and pepper garnish; or shredded.
And any down home breakfast would not be complete without Biscuits and Sausage Gravy. My husband was a happy man.
Some Sweet Endings
A Disney breakfast buffet almost always means one thing to me: Mickey Waffles! Where cute and delicious meet.
You can choose Plain or Chocolate Chip here — but note that the chocolate chip version is really just plain with chips sprinkled on, not baked in.
Thick-sliced Texas Toast also makes for some hearty French Toast Sticks.
And, of course, there’s plenty of Syrup for you to top your waffles and French toast.
There was also a very pretty Blueberry Bread Pudding the day I visited. Ah, Disney. How I love you and your “breakfast needs dessert, too!” philosophy.
So, what did I have? Ah, glad you asked! I stocked up on proteins — eggs, sausage, etc. — since I had a long day of park eating ahead of me.
But no way was I passing up that delicious AND relatively healthy Yogurt Parfait Bar. I topped my Blueberry Yogurt with more berries, plus a sprinkle of granola, for a fresh, light breakfast starter.
But then it was Mickey Waffle time! The butter and syrup made the tiny waffle even more delicious, mixed with the melty chocolate chips. (Too much butter, ya think?)
And I simply had to sample that Warm Pecan Cinnamon Bun! Super gooey and delicious.
I loved every single bite of this amazing treat.
My thoughts about Trail’s End are short, sweet, and to the point: Get There. I have eaten at pretty much every breakfast buffet at Disney. And Trail’s End is up there as a favorite. There is a huge variety of offerings that include some delicious and unique dishes. But the astounding thing truly is the price. Far less than comparable breakfast buffets, you simply can’t go wrong.
There are a few cons, of course. Like I mentioned, the service was pretty atrocious here on the morning I visited. Dishes weren’t being refilled regularly on the buffet, so there was lots of waiting around to get what you wanted. And my server kept trying to take my dishes before I was finished with them. This made for lots of keeping one eye on the buffet to see when things were refilled and one eye on my meal to be sure it wasn’t being whisked away. Pretty tense!!
And sure, there are no characters, so you might miss out on that piece of the experience.
But, overall, for value and food quality, it’s hard to beat Trail’s End Restaurant.
Is Trail’s End a favorite stop for you and yours? Tell us about your experience there in comments below!