Review: Dinner at Whispering Canyon Cafe in Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

It’s been FOREVER since I enjoyed a fun evening at Whispering Canyon Cafe. So I talked a friend into heading over to this supa fun restaurant for dinner the last time I was in Orlando!

Sitting just off the main lobby of Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, the moderately priced table service restaurant is a can’t miss for some guests…but nothing special for others.

During our last visit, we took a look at how the lunch and dinner menus had changed drastically from what fans were used to. And guess what? In the middle of writing this review, we get word that it’s changed again!

Git yer ponies saddled up and yer vittles bag tied on! It’s time to ride on in! (Did any of that make sense? No? Hmm.)

Atmosphere

Whispering Canyon Cafe is one of the easiest Disney restaurants to find. Head into Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort, hang a left, and you can’t miss it.

Whispering Canyon Sign

Whispering Canyon Sign

There’s even a good chance that you’ll hear it before you see it. That’s because there are bona fide antics going on throughout the meal. The name Whispering Canyon? Definitely tongue-in-cheek.

Warning -- Good Times Ahead -- Click to Enlarge

Warning — Good Times Ahead — Click to Enlarge

Themeing here seems ever so slightly more “cowboy and Indian” than in the rest of the lobby. Whereas the rest of that area has a slightly more elegant Mission style, Whispering Canyon is more whimsical. It reminds me of a playroom off from the rest of the grown ups’ space. :-)

Wood is all around you everywhere, echoing that lodge-y feel. Seating is mixed, with table and chair combos, as well as booths. And check out the super cool Indian chief on the backs of these chairs!

Seating

Seating

Others feature cowboys on bucking broncos.

Cowboys and Indians on the Back of Chairs

Cowboys Detail on the Back of a Chair

The servers can make or break your experience at Whispering Canyon. They have all kinds of tricks up their sleeves, though. So whatever you do, don’t drop your fork! (Unless you really want to know what the giant fork is for.)

Servers

Servers Plot Their Next Move

And speaking of the giant fork, Whispering Canyon is as well known for the crazy [Read more…]

Review: Crossroads at House of Blues at Walt Disney World’s Downtown Disney

So the big news from last week was the opening of a brand new counter service spot at Downtown Disney’s House Of Blues — the Smokehouse!

While we’ll be sure to stop by from time to time, it’s been a while since we reviewed the main house here as well! Let’s check out the dining room at Crossroads at House of Blues at Walt Disney World’s Downtown Disney for lunch.

We were surprised by the quality of food on our first visit. While just about everything was good, the classic Buffalo Chicken Wings and the White Chocolate Bread Pudding were the real standouts.

But since our last visit, House of Blues has partnered with celebrity chef Aarón Sánchez to completely overhaul the food offerings. While the emphasis at House of Blues is still on live music, the new Crossroads menu has taken the previously Southern-tinged menu in a slightly different direction.

Atmosphere

As I mentioned, if you haven’t been to House of Blues since the Crossroads menu came to the Walt Disney World location, you won’t find the surroundings to be much different than before. The menu didn’t coincide with a revamp of the restaurant itself.

In Blues We Trust!

Funky, rustic, slightly dark, and whimsical…those are the words that come to mind. You’re supposed to feel as though you happened upon House of Blues on some country road while traveling through the Deep South. And they succeed with transporting you.

Folk Art Outside

Like other Downtown Disney restaurants, House of Blues features multiple bars. The outside bar is a great spot to grab a drink and hang out with friends before or after a performance. It features “hand-lettered” menus and tole painting, as well as brackets and other finishes that appear to have been salvaged and repurposed.

Outdoor Bar

Next to Crossroads Restaurant, you’ll find the Club, which is the main performance venue for House of Blues. The hall holds up to 2,000 guests, and draws top-name talent regularly. It’s a great place to see a show if you haven’t had the chance.

Club — House of Blues Concert Venue

In addition to other performances, House of Blues also offers a regular Gospel Brunch. Held each Sunday at 10:30 am and 1:00 pm, you can read our review of Kirk Franklin’s Gospel Brunch in Disneyland’s Downtown Disney District here.

Gospel Brunch Information

But, snazzy musical performances would have to wait for another day. We were here for lunch, and we were hungry.

We made our way into the restaurant and were greeted with more folk art. At the hostess stand, you get a healthy dose of this interesting fusion. Gothic arches and cherubim call to mind a place of worship.

Entrance

Seating is nothing fancy — just utilitarian wooden chairs and tables.

Seating

Even booths are wooden. Nothing cozy here in the way of seating, but the booths are [Read more…]

Disney Recipe: Hoop Dee Doo Revue Cornbread from Disney World

It’s no secret that I love Disney World’s Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue in Fort Wilderness. I mean, come on? What’s not to love?

All you can eat picnic food served in metal buckets; all you can drink beer, wine, and sangria; a show that’s been entertaining guests since Disney World first opened? It’s all good.

Napkin Twirling and other Audience Participation Will Occur

And they serve one of my very favorite foods. So we thought it would be fun to share a recipe that can bring home the awesome flavors and fun atmosphere of this fantastic spot: Hoop Dee Doo Cornbread!

Cornbread with a Ball of Butter

Let’s get to it!

Ingredients:
3/4 cup cornmeal
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon [Read more…]

Dining in Disneyland: Celebrating Mardi Gras and Family Fun Weekends at The French Market

Celebrate Mardi Gras and Family Fun Weekends at French Market in Disneyland! Heather Sievers, our Dining in Disneyland columnist, has more!

Chip and Dale

With Disneyland’s Family Fun Weekends in full swing, it’s time for a Mardi Gras celebration.  Surprisingly, after years and years of being an annual passholder, I had never once been to The French Market.  When I eat in that area it’s usually for a Monte Cristo at Cafe Orleans.  Because of the special Mardi Gras menu, I decided to branch out and try [Read more…]