Guest Review: Whispering Canyon Café Breakfast at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

The Wilderness Lodge at Walt Disney World is a fabulous escape! Even if you’re not staying at this inspiring resort, we highly recommend making an Advance Dining Reservation for the Whispering Canyon Café. Today, guest author Rebecca Elliott shares a breakfast review.

We like to eat breakfast at the Whispering Canyon Café when we stay at the Wilderness Lodge. It’s convenient, the portions are hearty, and there’s usually no wait for a table. (Even so, get the Advance Dining Reservation – just in case! You never know!)

Atmosphere

My family and I love staying at the Wilderness Lodge. The hotel is modeled after the Old Faithful Inn in Yellowstone National Park, a historic landmark built in 1904. Its lobby is inspired by the Pacific Northwest and is absolutely stunning.

Like most of Disney’s deluxe hotels, the Wilderness Lodge has three levels of dining options: counter service, family-ish, and fancy schmancy. Whispering Canyon Café is the moderately priced (for Disney) family restaurant located just off the hotel lobby.

The View of the Breath Taking Wilderness Lodge Lobby

The View of the Breath Taking Wilderness Lodge Lobby

The Dining Features Graphics and Elements of a Child's Playroom in the 50's

The Dining Features Graphics and Elements of a Child’s Playroom in the 50’s

The décor of the Whispering Canyon Café reminds me of a little boy’s bedroom in the 50’s. It’s decked out in a cowboy and Indian motif with a Lincoln log-like ceiling and a floor that looks like a homemade quilt.

The Chairs Are Adorned with Cowboys and Indians

The Chairs Are Adorned with Cowboys and Indians

Here Are the Cowboys and Lincoln Log Ceiling

Here Are the Cowboys and Lincoln Log Ceiling

The wait staff take on the persona of wayward cowboys out to have a good time. They encourage diners to take part in their hijinks, which include singing, pony races, and general tomfoolery.

Chandeliers are Adorned with Buffalo Cut Outs

Chandeliers are Adorned with Buffalo Cut Outs

Here’s where I am going to abide by the old honesty-is-the-best-policy rule: I’m not a huge fan of the wait staff’s antics. Many, many people (including my husband and daughter) love it. They play along and find the jokes entertaining. I hate to say it, but they’re just not that funny to me. Not all of the servers are good at improvisation, so watching a non-funny person trying to be funny can be uncomfortable.

When They Say Large, They Mean LARGE

When They Say Large, They Mean LARGE

The entertainment can also be physical, and some people don’t like that. The servers throw straws and napkins on diners; if you order ketchup, they bring you all the bottles in the restaurant; they also slap diners on the back and try their best to throw funny insults. The good news for me is, the shtick doesn’t start until after 8:45am.

Every time I’ve eaten breakfast there, it hasn’t been too crazy. I’ve heard that diners can ask not to participate in the hijinks, but I’ve also heard that can backfire and cause even more unwanted attention. Beware! (Editor’s Note: If you’d rather not take part in the antics, let the cast member know at check-in that your table wants to be left out of the “fun.” It’s not Disney’s goal to make their guests uncomfortable, and the cast member should pass your wishes on to your server.)

Ready for Service!

Ready for Service!

Eats

We’ve eaten breakfast at Whispering Canyon Café many times, and every time it’s been good. Drinks are served in mason jars and meals at lunch and dinner are served in cast iron skillets!

Despite my ambivalence about their style, the servers are all efficient, excellent at answering questions about the menu, and very accommodating of special dietary needs. Here’s what we had on our last visit:

My daughter ordered the Belgian waffle. We’re all huge fans of Mickey waffles, so we were thrilled to see it was a [Read more…]

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…]

Three Must-Try Disney Pies!

GUESS WHAT!!!! It’s NATIONAL PIE DAY!!!!

Today, in honor of this most momentous occasion, we couldn’t resist sharing with you a few of our very favorites. Whether they inspire you to bake a pie of your own, or plan a trip and let Disney do the baking for you — well, you’re welcome.

1. Peanut Butter, Banana, and Candied Bacon Pie From Boardwalk Bakery

So many truly wonderful things have come out of BoardWalk Bakery since it reopened after a major renovation last year.

While some classics remain, others, like the Cheesecake Brownie, received makeovers as well. But the real story are the amazing newcomers to the menu! One of my favorites, hands down, is the Peanut Butter, Banana, and Candied Bacon Pie.

Peanut Butter, Banana, and Candied Bacon Pie

Peanut Butter, Banana, and Candied Bacon Pie

The tart starts with a Chocolate Short Dough Crust. Peanut Butter is introduced to the party via the Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Filling, which is pie poetry. Because as much as I love rich peanut butter filling, this lighter approach is killer.

This sweet and salty goodness is wrapped up in a Chocolate Glaze. Add to that a little mound of creamy Banana Topping, and a sprinkling of Candied Bacon, and you’ve got a winner!

peanut butter, banana, and candied bacon pie cross section

peanut butter, banana, and candied bacon pie cross section

Sound awesome? Make a similar version at home with this recipe!

2. Lobster and Scallop Fisherman’s Pie From the Epcot Food and Wine Festival

Many of the pies that stand out from the crowd at Disney are savory rather than sweet. Case in point: the beloved Lobster and Seafood Fisherman’s Pie from the Ireland Marketplace Booth at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

Lobster and Seafood Fisherman’s Pie

Lobster and Seafood Fisherman’s Pie

We’ve been enjoying this delicious for the last several years and hope it comes back again this year!

This hearty, casserole-like main course consists of large chunks of [Read more…]

The Weirdest Burgers in Disney World

Yesterday we featured an awesome, interesting Disney burger, and we figured today would be a good day to delve into a few more of these finds!

Over the past few years, it seems like the culinary staff throughout the resort has made it a mission to reinvent the humble hamburger.

Once upon a time, there were rows and rows of nondescript fast food hamburgers. Now, you can find all manner of interesting flavor combos.

Whether you’re planning a vacation as you read, or you’re just looking for some serious burger inspiration, check out our list of some of the most unusual burgers we’ve had at Walt Disney World!

PB&J Burger

Sports fans who love Disney know that the BEST place to catch a game while you’re at the resort is the ESPN Club at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn.

But just as impressive as the myriad of televisions (even in the bathroom!) is the innovative menu of upscale sports bar food. One of the most interesting entrees is the PB&J Burger.

Inside the PB&J Burger at ESPN Club

Yep, that’s correct. Two of the world’s most comforting foods — peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and burgers — create a fusion of flavors like nothing you’ve ever had. And with the salty flavors of Bacon and spicy notes from sliced Jalapenos to add even more interest, there’s a lot going on here!

You’ve got to try it at least once (that’s about all I could take). And be sure to ask for extra napkins!

Battered Burger

Another burger that you’re not likely to see replicated in too many places is the Battered Burger at Cookes of Dublin in Downtown Disney.

Battered Burger and Chips from Cookes of Dublin

This small counter service spot shares a

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Disney Popcorn Gallery

We always love adding to our Disney food galleries!

From Margaritas to Ice Cream to Creme Brulee and more, we’re always collecting options and photos to share with you. And we quickly realized that there was one salty snack missing from our gallery list! What’s a trip to Disney without at least one bucket of Popcorn?

I think Disney popcorn is some of the best popcorn anywhere, and while newfangled snacks and treats will come and go, the classics will never go away.

You’ll find carts selling popcorn all over Walt Disney World and Disneyland, as well as in some of the resorts that also draw visitors, like Disney’s BoardWalk Inn. But there’s even more variety to it than that, so we’ve put together this handy gallery to showcase all the great popcorny options available!

You Never Get Tired of Disney Popcorn!

We’re going to share with you some of our favorite popcorn and popcorn-related goodness, but be sure to let us know your favorites or anything we don’t mention in comments below! Also, please keep in mind, especially in regard to menu items that include popcorn, that menus are constantly changing, so you may not always see these items when you visit a restaurant.

Disney Popcorn: A Classic

In need of some popcorn at Disney? You never have far to look. In fact, if your first stop is Magic Kingdom, you encounter a popcorn stand as soon as you set foot onto Main Street USA! Some of our readers say that Disney popcorn is the best-tasting in the world — and who am I to disagree?

Disney Popcorn!

And another great bit of news — Disney popcorn is vegan and gluten-free! Popcorn is naturally devoid of gluten. But the kernels are popped in a combination of coconut, corn, and canola oil, and are seasoned with kosher salt, so there are no animal products used. (Disney cautions that because the popcorn is prepared in outdoor locations, there is potential for cross-contamination. When in doubt of a food’s ingredients, be sure to ask for an ingredient list.)

Souvenir Buckets

If you think the fun stops with the snack, well…then let me show you something completely awesome. In addition to the crunchy goodness, you can also amass a completely fabulous collection of souvenir buckets should you be so inclined.

Collect different ones from each Disney park! Here’s one from Animal Kingdom, [Read more…]

Disney Food Blog Challenge: The Disney World Milkshake Crawl

Sweet, dreamy, creamy milkshakes. When you are craving one, nothing else will quite do. In honor of National Ice Cream month, it’s time to do another Disney Food Blog food crawl: MILKSHAKES!

Not surprisingly, some of my favorite milkshakes can be found right in Walt Disney World. If milkshakes are a favorite of yours, too, allow me to tempt you with a brand new food challenge — the Disney Food Blog Milkshake Crawl!

This one is a doozy! So if you break it up over a couple of days, we totally understand.

And be sure to let us know in the comments which milkshake is your favorite and which ones you highly recommend!

Cookies and Cream Milkshake at Plaza Restaurant

The Plaza Restaurant is one of my favorite table service spots in Magic Kingdom. It’s rarely super busy, and the prices are reasonable. As a bonus, there are some pretty amazing ice cream dessert options on the menu, thanks to the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor right next door.

My favorite beverage-meets-dessert options here are the Hand-Dipped Milkshakes.

Milkshake at Magic Kingdom

Served in old-fashioned glasses, and topped with [Read more…]

Ten Best Frozen Drinks in Disney World

It’s getting hot out there, guys!

And sometimes, when it feels like it’s 100 degrees and you’re sweltering in line, you need more than a cold drink. You need a frozen drink!

Fortunately, there are lots of palate-pleasing options found in all corners of Disney World. And we’ve got great options whether you’d like to go alocholic or non-alcoholic! Refreshment is just a menu choice away…

Today, we’re taking a closer look at our very favorites!

Frozen Lemonade

Sweet-tart and chilly, Frozen Lemonade calls to mind seaside treats from our favorite resort towns. And there’s nothing like it for reviving you on a super hot, sticky Florida day.

The secret is in the balance. A too-sweet treat can leave you feeling not so great while you’re standing in the bright sun. That little kick of sour rounds out the flavors and makes the beverage a true refresher.

Raspberry Lemonade Slush at Magic Kingdom

If you’re a lover of frozen lemonade, I have great news for you: there are tons of different varieties to try around the parks and resorts! You could make your own personal frozen lemonade crawl. (Hey! That’s a great idea…)

One of our favorites is the Raspberry Lemonade Slush that you find at Magic Kingdom’s Cheshire Cafe, located on the outskirts of Fantasyland. You can find a similar drink across the castle hub at Sunshine Tree Terrace in Adventureland. And if you’re looking for frozen lemonade in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, you can find an awesome, slurpee-type version at Herbie’s Drive-In.

If you prefer your frozen lemonade with a little kick, one of our favorite adult versions is available at Animal Kingdom’s Dino Diner Snacks. The Frozen Bacardi Raspberry Rum Lemonade has been inspiring random cravings for me ever since I tried it. :-)

Frozen Bacardi Raspberry Rum Lemonade at Animal Kingdom's Dino Diner

Check out other locations to score frozen lemonade slushes when you’re parched in the parks.

Dole Whip Float

Part beverage, part Dole Whip soft serve, this is one of Disney’s classic must-eat treats! The Dole Whip Float combines sweet-tart soft serve pineapple goodness with pineapple juice to provide one of the most refreshing icy drinks in the Kingdom.

Breakfast of Champions!

You CAN get this with vanilla or orange dole whip as well — either choice will cut the tartness a bit. But I prefer pineapple-on-pineapple, myself! Find this great treat at Aloha Isle in Magic Kingdom’s Adventureland.

Ice Cream Martinis

Looking for a new entry on your Drinking Around the World card? THE newest frozen drink concoction in Disney World can be found — where else? — World Showcase!

Head to Epcot’s newest eatery, L’Artisan des Glaces in the France Pavilion for the beautiful and crave-inspiring Ice Cream Martini.

Ice Cream Martini from L'Artisan des Glaces in Epcot's France Pavilion

The drink-sundae fusion is made by combining [Read more…]

The Most Popular Disney World Restaurants (and Alternatives When They’re Full)

Many Disney guests agree that the most important Disney Dining Tips lists include one specific piece of advice:

Making Advance Dining Reservations is an absolute must when it comes to planning.

While many seasoned Disney travelers are aware of this, there are lots of folks who visit the parks and are stunned to find no tables available at their top restaurant choices. Don’t worry, it happens to all of us at one time or another…and we’ve got solutions for you!

Today, we’ve updated our list of the most popular Disney restaurants, and terrific alternatives if you can’t score a table at your coveted spot!

Let’s take a look at the most elusive restaurants to book these days…

Dinner at Be Our Guest Restaurant

Scoring an advance dining reservation at Be Our Guest Restaurant for their table service dinner can be a daunting task.

Be Our Guest Restaurant Ballroom Dining Room

From the time that they first announced the restaurant’s soft opening until now, we have heard from many readers who haven’t been able to secure a spot at Magic Kingdom’s newest restaurant. Here are a couple of reasons why:

Newness: The biggest reason for this remains the novelty of the place. Be Our Guest and all of New Fantasyland is still the hottest ticket in Walt Disney World since its grand opening in December 2012.

Incredible, Immersive Themeing: The impeccable themeing means that stepping into Beast’s Castle is truly like climbing through a portal into Beauty and the Beast. You almost expect to look down and find your food animated!

The Grey Stuff — It’s Delicious!

Novelty: The French-inspired cuisine that’s served at Be Our Guest is unlike anything else available in all of Magic Kingdom. In addition, there is huge novelty surrounding the fact that you can now order beer and wine in the formerly dry Magic Kingdom (for dinner only).

So, what to do if you can’t [Read more…]

Review: New Lunch Menu at Whispering Canyon Cafe in Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

For years, the Whispering Canyon Cafe at Disney World’s Wilderness Lodge has been known for bottomless milkshakes, all-you-can-eat skillets, and a rowdy atmosphere due to the fun antics of the servers.

And with a pretty drastic menu overhaul last month, I was eager to try some of the new dishes on the now skillet-less lunch menu!

Atmosphere

Whispering Canyon Cafe is located just off of the lobby in Disney’s Wilderness Lodge resort. This is the Wilderness Lodge’s moderately priced restaurant, and it’s definitely got a lot of personality!

Honestly, the fact that the restaurant is open to the lobby has pretty much required a noise ordinance to be placed due to the raucous (though good-natured) behavior that has characterized the restaurant in the past.

Reflecting the Cowboy-and-Indian days of the old West, just about anything goes here. From hobby-horse races around the restaurant to servers interrupting cell phone calls, and pledges to “never, EVER go to Universal Studios,” Whispering Canyon has always been a laugh and a half.

warning sign - click image for larger version

naughty people riding hobby horses

In my own experience at WCC, I’ve been brought a bucket of Diet Coke after asking for too many refills…and after drinking it all, I received my very own “fastpass to the bathroom” from my server! ;-)

However, recently the antics have been toned down a bit. Keep in mind that lunchtime guests seem to have a much quieter experience than breakfast or [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: September 23, 2012

New Menus!

With the debut of new menus at some of our favorite Disney restaurants, the start of Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, and even more details about the Epcot Food and Wine Festival, the news has been filled with yummy eats and treats!

Leave us a comment below with your thoughts on the latest news!

Disney Food News

Alrighty! Let’s dig into these new menus and updates, shall we??

We’ve got more food news (including restaurant closure updates, Chase Lounge for Disney Visa cardholders at Food and Wine Festival, Disneyland and Disney World serving Frank & Weenies and Franken-Fusion Lemonade, and LOTS more) on our Disney Food News Pin Board!

Disney Food Blog “Focus on Epcot” Sale!

The 2012 Epcot Food and Wine Festival starts on FRIDAY, and this coming weekend is also a special celebration for one of our favorite parks — Epcot! So we’re counting down to the 2012 Epcot Food and Wine Festival with fabulous savings on our Epcot eBooks!

This Festival bundle packs together our DFB Mini-Guide to the 2012 Epcot Food & Wine Festival AND the The DFB Mini-Guide to Epcot Snacks for $3 off using code THIRTY.

Find out more about the “Focus on Epcot” Bundle here!

In addition, we are offering a discount on the DFB Mini-Guide to the 2012 Epcot Food and Wine Festival — use code COUNTDOWN to get $3 off this week! Time to get planning if you’re headed to the Festival!

Wondering if the books are any good? Check out our latest reviews!
We’d like to thank Adventures By Daddy for the glowing review – “Like the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival itself, AJ Wolfe’s e-book is comprehensive, but presented in an easy, “digestible” way. The e-book has a gorgeous compendium of photos, and is a great way to experience and relive the festival once you return.”

In addition, we appreciate the positive review given by Running At Disney. “Last year I got the DFB Mini-Guide to the 2012 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival e-Book and it was a life saver! The book features a full, daily schedule of events for each day of the 46-day festival. This level of detail, organized by day, can’t be found anywhere else online or in print.”

Be sure to take advantage of this week’s DFB Deals as we celebrate the 2012 Epcot Food and Wine Festival AND Epcot’s 30th Anniversary! Find out the details here.

On to the Round-Up

Walt Disney World for Grown Ups looks at the benefits of a Tables in Wonderland membership for restaurant savings.

AKL Resort has information about Sundown Mingles for Disney Vacation Club members at the Animal Kingdom Lodge.

Daveland shows us Walt’s apartment including his mini-kitchenette.

Main Street Gazette shows us the vintage concept for the never-built Scandinavia pavilion in Epcot which would have included a smorgasbord restaurant and sidewalk bakery.

Eating and Drinking Around the World finds a Perry the Platypus sugar cookie pop in Epcot!

The Walt Disney World Restaurant Tour visits the 50’s Prime Time Cafe at Disney’s Hollywood studios.

Disney Parks Blog celebrates Oktoberfest at the Biergarten with an interview with the Epcot musicians.