Snack Series: New Carrot Cake Cupcake at Wilderness Lodge

I was pretty lucky to meet cast member Michael S. last month on my visit to Walt Disney World!

This week, Michael sent along an awesome find — a new carrot cake cupcake at Roaring Fork in Disney’s Wilderness Lodge!

Wilderness Lodge Carrot Cake Cupcake

Looks pretty great to me. Here’s Michael’s review:

The cupcake was absolutely amazing! The frosting was definitely the best part, so sweet and creamy. It reminded me very much of the carrot cake cookie that I often get at the Writer’s Stop at Hollywood Studios, only in cupcake form. I will also add that the carrot cake itself was very moist. Overall the cupcake was [Read more…]

Disney Food Trends: Gourmet Mac and Cheese

Even Chef Mickey is in on the trend...

I’ve been noticing a few food trends while traipsing through Disney parks, and I think they’re important to mention — especially since they seem to be popping up on every menu re-vamp out there.

First, we gotta take a gander at good old macaroni and cheese. When I asked Disney World’s Sanaa Chef Bob Getchell about the gourmet mac and cheese trend that seems to be taking over Disney restaurants, he mentioned that chefs like to make food they themselves love; many have fond memories of mac and cheese while they were growing up, and they want to create new and improved contemporary recipes for the dish. Here are a few of our favorite versions on and around Disney property:

Yachtsman Steakhouse
Yacht Club Resort’s Yachtsman Steakhouse gets a nod due to a relatively new mac and cheese dish I found on the menu in October. Their truffle mac and cheese uses huge orecchiette noodles and Reypenaer cheese with a touch of truffle oil and a topping of crunchy onions. It’s served in a cast iron baking dish that lends a rustic look — very fun! The best part — it tastes amazing. Rich, tangy, creamy sauce nestles into those pasta pieces and serves as the perfect accompaniment to the meal. This is sold as a side dish only, so be sure to look for it at the bottom of the menu.

Yachtsman Steakhouse Mac and Cheese Side Dish

Le Cellier
Not to be outdone, Epcot’s Le Cellier Steakhouse has also introduced some mac and cheese on the menu. Served in a cast iron skillet, elbow macaroni is [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: November 28, 2010

Happy Turkey Day Weekend, everyone! Here’s a bit-o-news to start your week.

Eating (and Drinking) Around the World has a photo-filled review of the Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic tasting stations.

OC Register takes us inside Disneyland’s Club 33 and reports on the first day of Disneyland Candy Canes this year.

Theme Park Insider reviews Disney’s Hollywood Studios’ Hollywood Brown Derby restaurant.

Touring Plans‘ blogger Todd Perlmutter reviews Disney World’s Kouzzina, Le Cellier, and The Wave…of American Flavors. And, oh, by the way, he got to meet Cat Cora!

The Disney Chick makes Apple Caramel Pie from Wilderness Lodge’s Whispering Canyon Cafe.

Main Street Gazette has a mouth-watering review of his Aloha Pork Sandwich at Captain Cook’s in Disney’s Polynesian Resort. Just goes to show, deliciousness is around every corner in WDW!

AllEarsNet blogger Jack Spence has some great food pics from Pollo Campero in Disney World’s Downtown Disney.

Magical Kingdoms has a great review of their free Disney Dining Plan usage, including how much it saved them over a 19-day trip to Disney World.

Watch Me Eat heads to Earl of Sandwich in Disney World’s Downtown Disney!

Whispering Canyon Cafe Dinner Review

Wilderness Lodge’s Whispering Canyon Cafe is the kind of place that earns strong opinions from guests. Sometimes positive; sometimes negative.

Me? I love it. Bottomless milkshakes, bottomless skillets of grub, bottomless horses… . Maybe I’m getting ahead of myself.


Tucked into the left-hand side of the lobby at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, Whispering Canyon Cafe is a massive, wood-ensconced restaurant where cowboys still fight Indians (look at the back of your chair and see which side you’re on), napkins are re-purposed bandanas, your server is your fellow pioneer, and nobody stands on ceremony.

Table Setting

If this place has anything, it’s atmosphere (read more here). If it’s the kind of atmosphere that appeals to you, hilarity ensues. There’s even a warning on the menu:

But what they don’t mention is that Whispering Canyon Cafe has bad service. No…wait. Not “bad” service. More like “irreverent” service.

WCC servers are “on the range” with you, and they don’t really have the patience for pomp and circumstance. For instance, [Read more…]

Guest Review: Artist Point

You guys are in for a treat today. One of the best food photographers I know has agreed to write a guest blog about her experience at Artist Point in Disney’s Wilderness Lodge! Thanks to Morgan Rooks for this culinary adventure.

Artist Point

Artist Point

I had long wanted to try Artist Point, located at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. I would often eye the menu listed at AllEars, my eyes lingering over particularly alluring delights like venison pot stickers and cedar plank roasted salmon, while my fiance would frown at the suggestion — having remembered a bad experience from years past.

Finally, my chance would come in January 2010, due to my dear fiance’s parents, who have rekindled their love for the establishment. It was the last day of our vacation when we boarded the boat from Magic Kingdom. The hull cut its way through inky black waters, past the lights of the Contemporary, headed to the dock of Wilderness Lodge. We reached our destination, and the long wooden dock, flanked with intricate lanterns that called us into our Pacific Northwest inspired destination.

Wilderness Lodge Walkway From Dock

Wilderness Lodge Walkway From Dock

The restaurant is elegant, yet earthy and rustic, which gives it a relaxing and welcoming atmosphere. Lighting — styled like the lanterns we saw outside — hung over head, and a wall of long windows offers a view of the wooded lands that surround the resort.

Artist Point Lanterns

Artist Point Lanterns

Tall wooden beams emulate the majestic trees of the [Read more…]

Dining In Disney World With Kids: Part 1

Introducing the Disney Food Blog Dining in Disney World With Kids two-part series! Thanks to Zannaland for guest blogging Part 1, where she includes a few of her favorite family secrets. And stay tuned for tomorrow’s Part 2 in the series, where Disney World Moms Panelists determine the best dining locations for kids of certain ages. There are some very informative and surprising ideas that I think you’ll enjoy!

Parent or not, the wonderful dining options and experiences for kids at Disney World are no secret. But what if you don’t want to spend your entire vacation doing character meals? (Not that there’s anything wrong with those — they offer some of the best food on property!) What I’d like to share are some of the dining secrets we’ve discovered over the years as the best options for something different. They may just become regular favorites for your family!

Best Location For a Nap


  • Maya Grill - This restaurant became a favorite of ours during a stay at Coronado Springs Resort when we were unable to secure a breakfast reservation anywhere else. We had been to Maya Grill for dinner on its opening night, but hadn’t tried it for breakfast. We were so pleasantly surprised by the food as well as the fact that it was not crowded at all. It was nice to enjoy a peaceful, leisurely breakfast for a change. For that reason, it makes it a great location for a stroller-bound child to enjoy a nap without interruption. The location also makes for some lovely scenery as you walk off your meal.
  • Columbia Harbor House - Magic Kingdom’s hustle and bustle excitement is sometimes too much for the littlest guests, and all the over-stimulation leads to not wanting to nap at all. Columbia Harbor House is a respite from that stimulation. The dark paneling and dimly lit interior ensure no distractions for tired kids. Even on the hottest of days, it’s always cool and calm inside. Sometimes, the second floor is open for even more secluded dining. Once they wake up, there are some great kids’ favorites here like Mac & Cheese and Chicken Nuggets.

Best Entertainment


  • Sanaa - Animals are perhaps the most engaging entertainment for little kids. Young kids are just learning different animals’ names and habitats, but even older kids will be fascinated by the on-going show happening just outside the dining room windows at Sanaa, located in Disney’s Kidani Village in Animal Kingdom
    Lodge. The best part is the show is completely unpredictable and different each time you visit. Your server is also able to tell you more about the animals as well as the unique cooking options offered at Sanaa, making it a great learning experience for all.
  • Germany’s Biergarten - One of my fondest childhood memories at Disney World is seeing the German Ocktoberfest show in Epcot’s World Showcase for the first time. More than just the great music and singing, guests are invited onto the dance floor to show off their best polka moves. Wonderful memories and photo opportunities are to be had here watching kids dance with parents and grandparents. It’s also an easy-to-walk-in location if you don’t have reservations.

Best Kids’ Activities

  • Olivia’s - Disney Food Blog’s recent entry about Olivia’s reminded me of this favorite spot, located at Disney’s Old Key West Resort. Amazing food and scenery aside, Olivia’s offers a special treat for all children – Olivia’s Artist of the Day. Upon arrival, kids are given a coloring sheet and crayons to color however they wish. Then they turn in their masterpieces, and twice a day – morning and evening – cast members choose an Artist of the Day. The chosen artwork is displayed at the front hostess stand, and the winning child gets to ring a bell in celebration. Despite the sibling rivalry when my son was chosen first, both kids were chosen during our stay and it made for quite the memorable experience.
  • Whispering Canyon Cafe Warnings

    Whispering Canyon Cafe Warnings

    Whispering Canyon Cafe - This is perhaps not a real secret to many Disney World fans, but I couldn’t pass up talking about it. Whispering Canyon Cafe offers some of the best entertainment around, and there really isn’t a set show at all! Here, your servers are the entertainment, often yelling back and forth to each other and joking around. For even more fun, ask for ketchup. (If you’re shy, sit back and wait for someone else to ask for it; I’ve never been there when someone hasn’t asked for ketchup, and the fun ensues.) There are also several times when kids can engage in pony races using wooden hobby horses. There is definitely no shortage of entertainment for kids and adults here.

Undignified Dining

There are two restaurants in Disney World that people either love…or hate! And it’s not because of the food; it’s because of the service. Not that 50’s Prime Time Cafe and Whispering Canyon Cafe have bad service; you simply have to know what to expect.

Disney incorporates “story” into all of its theme parks, rides, hotels, and restaurants. And in these two particular restaurants, the “story” is that you’re being served in an atmosphere that calls for a little less dignity and a few more pranks.

50's Prime Time Cafe

50's Prime Time Cafe

50’s Prime Time Cafe

The 50’s Prime Time Cafe in Disney’s Hollywood Studios has long been the place to get fried chicken, meatloaf, chicken soup, and other mom-a-rific favorites. The story here is that you’re eating in Mom’s kitchen, and that your server is some sort of relative — aunt, cousin, uncle, brother…you get the idea.

To make this “comforts of home” story even more real, Disney has trained its cast members at 50’s Prime Time Cafe to treat their customers as family. They bring around photo albums to show the table and ask about Aunt Betty and Cousin James. But they also tell customers to keep their elbows off the table, finish their vegetables, and set the table!

Of course, if you don’t decide to follow directions, punishments which range from slightly embarrassing to hilarious may ensue! Should you find yourself pinning a sugar packet to the wall with your nose, standing in the corner, or singing “I’m a Little Teapot” — with motions — in front of a restaurant full of your new best friends, don’t say we didn’t warn you!

Whispering Canyon Cafe

Whispering Canyon Cafe Warnings

Whispering Canyon Cafe Warnings

While Whispering Canyon Cafe at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge doesn’t have quite the same reputation for humiliation as does 50’s Prime Time Cafe, you will definitely experience your fair share of pranks here!

Cast members adopt specific personalities, complete with wacky nicknames, that harken back to the old west. There’s not a lot of respect for niceties around these parts. You may have napkins and straws thrown at your table, and making a cell phone call from your seat probably isn’t smart — your waiter might want to have a word with the person on the other end! Of course, the last thing you want to do is ask for ketchup… unless, of course, you really like ketchup! (I won’t post specifics, but if you request the info via the “contact us” button above, I’ll give you the low-down.)

So you think you might want ketchup...?

So you think you might want ketchup...?

But the games and pranks are all in fun, and kiddos have a great time at this restaurant. There are sing-a-long songs, hobby horse races, coloring pages, and other games. And, of course, the repeat-after-me vows to “stay up as late as I can,” and “never, ever go to Universal Studios.”

So Go Have Some Fun!
I think that a lot of folks who dislike these restaurants simply aren’t prepared for the type of service that’s customary. Once you know what you’re in for, you can be ready for it…and even have a few zingers ready for retorts! That said, if “interactive” service isn’t for you, just let your server know that you’d rather watch the fun rather than be a part of it. Shouldn’t be a problem in either restaurant. Enjoy!

Photo Credits:
Ketchup: EdenPictures via flickr
Prime Time Cafe: JoshMcConnell via flickr
Special Thanks to