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!
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.
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 dinner visitors do.
Seating is pretty much all in one massive dining room, though there is one smaller (quieter) dining room toward the back of the restaurant.
Whispering Canyon Cafe New Lunch Menu
As I mentioned before, we were here to try out the brand new lunch menu just revealed in late September 2012.
In the past, the lunch menu has consisted of the all-you-care-to-eat skillet full of barbecue goodies and side dishes, along with some a la carte options.
Now, lunch guests have a choice of assorted appetizers (the yummy spring rolls are still available) and entrees, but the skillet has been removed from the options list as we mentioned in our earlier post.
On our visit, we wanted to try as many new things as possible. I started out with the Moonshine Margarita — made with real Moonshine! This was a great eye opener, sweet and tart, and a rockin’ way to start out the meal.
With a little moonshine under my belt it was time to start eating — and quick, before I ended up on the floor! To begin, we sampled the Flash Fried Navajo Bread. I had really been looking forward to trying this ever since I saw it on the menu, and it was worth waiting for.
I really picked up the sweet note from the honey in the tender fried dough. The Tomato Jam had a slight sweetness as well, although it was balanced by a little bright acid from the tomato. I could have easily eaten this whole basket by myself, and it got a thumbs up from everyone at the table! But there were more treats to be sampled…
Next up were the Western Chips with a trio of dips, which included Buffalo Chili, Cheese Dip, and Fresh Salsa. This was good, fresh, and — although pretty standard — just fine. The queso was slightly plastic cheese-ish, which is always good.
But overall, I’d prefer the chips and trio of dips at Territory Lounge!
And because I love you, I tried something I wouldn’t normally eat: the Chuck Wagon Angus “Bacon & Egg” Burger. I’m not a big fan of fried eggs. But for you guys? Anything! 😉
And actually, it was quite good!
The burger itself was well seasoned, flavorful, and cooked to perfection. The egg can get a little messy, but hey! That’s what a bun is for! The Tillamook Cheddar Cheese is a delicious touch, as is the smoky Chipotle Ketchup. I’d recommend this one.
We also tried the Slow-Smoked Pulled Pork Sandwich. Served on a Brioche Roll with Sweet Ancho-Barbecue Sauce, I had high expectations for this one.
And it was good. It didn’t bowl us over or anything, but it was just fine, and we enjoyed it.
Now, let’s talk dessert. Many of the menu offerings were pretty standard, with one obvious exception: Jalapeño-Lime Cheesecake. I wanted to get this because I knew it was one of the standard, comes-with-your-meal desserts on the new dinner menu, so I thought it would be helpful to give you a review.
And this is where the meal took a turn for the…well…weird.
This absolutely did NOT work for me. I like lime, and I like cheesecake. Heck, I even like jalapeños. But I am convinced that the three should not be combined in dessert form — at least not this way.
It wasn’t just the flavor, either; the texture of the cheesecake was off-putting as well. And as if it couldn’t get worse, the chunks of candied jalapeño were the nail in the dessert coffin. I would definitely pass on this one.
But we’ll end with a high note. I’m just pleased that the awesome caramel apple pie made the cut on the overall dessert menu!
This stuff remains an incredible dessert, and it’s the one I’d recommend from the menu here…hands down. (Along with those all-you-can-drink milkshakes, of course!)
If you have your ADRs scheduled for lunch at Whispering Canyon — or you need a Magic Kingdom midday escape break — I would still recommend this as a good meal to seek out. I really like the shift toward the upscale for lunch, something that we’ve seen on the Territory Lounge menu as well. Although I will miss the lunch skillets and will sigh with wistful affection when I think of them. (Sigh.)
If the skillet experience is what you’re after, be sure to head to Whipering Canyon for dinner, where it’s all-you-care-to eat served family style, similar to ‘Ohana or Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue Dinner Show.
Lunch is quite good though. We enjoyed the dressed-up menu and quieter atmosphere, and we’ll most certainly be back.
What looks good to you on the new Whispering Canyon Lunch Menu? Let us know below!