Top 10 Disney World Bars and Lounges

South African Wine at Jiko

When it comes to a happy hour beverage, a night out with your spouse or some friends, or — let’s face it — a margarita at the stroke of noon…there are a few spots in Walt Disney World that get the job done better than others!

FYI — The Disney Food Blog offers a full list of bars and lounges — complete with descriptions of each place — in our DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining e-Book.

Now, let’s take a tour of our Top Ten Disney World bars and lounges — these are the places that really make us want to get up and dance. ;-)

Don’t forget to check out our list of Honorable Mentions at the end! Many of these spots offer the standard Disney Parks bar and lounge menu should you be interested.

Top Ten WDW Bars and Lounges

Top Ten Walt Disney World Bars and Lounges

1. Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto and Tiki Terrace

We were so excited when Trader Sam’s came to the east coast, and it has proved itself to be every bit as fun and exciting as its Disneyland counterpart. Located at Polynesian Village Resort, Trader Sam’s transports you to the tropics and slings some funky attitude along with its awesome drinks. Step into the whacky Grog Grotto, where some of the drinks come with a show.
[Read more…]

Review: Whispering Canyon Cafe at Wilderness Lodge

Despite its name, the Whispering Canyon Cafe is a rowdy restaurant that encourages diners to sing, ride hobby horses (if you’re a grown-up, you only have to do this if you’re naughty), and laugh-out-loud throughout the meal.

Fitting the Wilderness Lodge location in Disney World, Whispering Canyon Cafe servers are in “old West” character, and this place is definitely casual to say the least!

Atmosphere

To say it bluntly, Whispering Canyon Cafe will make you feel like a kid again!

warning sign - click image for larger version

Cowboys and Indians decorate the backs of the wooden chairs, whimsical tee-pee light fixtures hang from the ceiling, kids can play with Lincoln Logs while waiting for a seat, and the noise factor will definitely remind you of your junior high lunchroom (maybe not a good thing, but pretty much the truth!).

Seating

cowboys and indians on back of chairs

The servers here are special as well. There are a few Disney World restaurants where servers are part of the entertainment, and Whispering Canyon Cafe is one of them!

With funny “stage” names and devil-may-care attitudes, they’re usually a fun addition to an already fun dining experience. (As always, if you’d rather keep your meal low-key, just let the cast member at the podium as well as your server know that you’d rather not participate in the antics — this usually works.)

Our server on this visit was “Foxy Roxy,” pictured here with a giant fork! What’s the giant fork for, you say? Well, [Read more…]

S’mores a la Wilderness Lodge

Disney World’s Wilderness Lodge carries the atmosphere of America’s great National Park Lodges — places where tall trees, fresh earth, clear lakes, and campfires are the backdrop for incredible vacations and explorations. And some quintessential eats at places like this are, of course, S’mores!!

For those who aren’t sure what S’mores are, they’re a campfire dessert made by smooshing a roasted marshmallow with a piece of chocolate (Hershey’s is standard) between two graham crackers. Sounds pedestrian, but it really is a very rich and satisfying dessert! The name? Just imagine kids saying, “May I have s’more?” after getting their first taste!

Wilderness Lodge offers two versions of S’mores in its restaurants: the S’mores cupcake at Roaring Fork, and the S’mores cheesecake at Whispering Canyon Cafe!

S’mores Cupcake

Over at Roaring Fork, Wilderness Lodge has introduced one of the most well-done S’mores cupcakes I’ve ever seen.

Usually, S’mores cupcakes use fully formed marshmallows, but I love that this version tops off with melted, gooey, browned marshmallow on top!

S'mores Cupcake

You’ll also find a graham cracker-flavored cake underneath the marshmallow topping. But where’s the chocolate? Two places! Inside the cake are hidden a couple of pieces of [Read more…]

Disney Food Pics of the Week: Chocolate

Thanks for sharing your yummy photos with us in the Disney Food Blog Photo Extravaganza! We savor (and drool over ;-)) the photos!

The Disney Food Pics of the Week feature chocolate to soothe your cravings!

This candy is just one of the zillion(!!!) divine items that you can choose at Karamell Küche in Epcot’s Germany pavilion.
Photographer: ButRfly512 / Vannah

German Chocolate Caramel

California Grill’s Valrhona Chocolate Cake with toasted marshmallow and peanut butter gelato!
Photographer: Natasha Joyan

California Grill Chocolate Cake

Yet another reason to love the Wilderness Lodge! Sweet!
Photographer: FLOrangeBird

canoe

All images are copyrighted to their photographers. Do not download or re-use without photographer permission.

Once again, we are grateful to the photographers who have submitted photos to the Disney Food Blog Photo Extravaganza on Flickr! We wanna see your food!

To see more of our Disney Food Pics of the Week series, click this link!

Review: Wilderness Lodge’s Artist Point

Ah, Artist Point. This restaurant and I have had a love-hate relationship, to be sure. On my first visit, I loved it. But after the second visit, I wasn’t chomping at the bit to go back.

On my third visit last December, I was in heaven.

Atmosphere
Artist Point is one of Disney’s lesser-known signature restaurants (read about the dress code here). Located in Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort, it specializes in cuisine inspired by the American Northwest (think salmon, big game meat, apples, berries, and mushrooms, for starters).

Entry

The high-ceilinged restaurant is understated, decorated with muted earth tones and a mix of light and dark wood. Chunky craftsman-style chandeliers punctuate the dining room, and soaring murals of Pacific Northwest scenes provide a [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: April 24, 2011

Wilderness Lodge Carrot Cake Cupcake

Hi all!! Happy Easter to all who celebrate it! :-) We’ve got a TON of news this week, so let’s get started.

First of all, the 2011 WDW Foodie Fest, our Disney Food Blog meet-up, has been announced! The main event will be on October 2nd in Disney World, and we’ll be having several events throughout the week as well! Find out more about the WDW Foodie Fest here.

Latest Disney Food News

Recent Reviews of the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining

And of course we have to highlight the great folks who are giving us a review of the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining — our new e-Book! Do you have your copy?

Imaginerding, the last word in Disney books of any kind, highlights the reasons the book should be added to your WDW planning library. Read his review here.

Travel Hyper recommends the book for guests with dietary concerns and International travelers looking for information on gratuities. It is also noted that the book is even helpful to seasoned WDW visitors. Read her review here.

Now, On to the Round-Up!

A Wedding Cake Blog shows us an elegant Disney wedding cake!

DisneyContemporary.com polls Facebook fans for Contemporary Resort restaurant favorites — past and present!

Main Street Gazette goes nutty with a favorite salty/sweet snack at WDW.

Walt Disney World for Grown-Ups reminisces about Epcot’s Kitchen Kabaret Revue.

Studios Central has some tips for your next Character Meal!

All Ears’ Searching Disney With Steve highlights a hidden Mickey in Disneyland’s Rancho del Zocalo!

Disney Parks Blog tells us what munchies can be found at Disneyland’s hotel lounges.

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.

Atmosphere

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…]