Located in the Wilderness Lodge, is an interactive dining experience that has set itself apart from many other locations on the Disney property, the Whispering Canyon Cafe. Now do not let the name fool you, this is more than a cafe, it is a full service restaurant with something for all ages and palates.
“Whispering Canyon Café - Disney's Wilderness Lodge” by JeffChristiansen licensed under CC BY 2.0
Not to be confused with the Fort Wilderness Campground, Wilderness Lodge is located in the Magic Kingdom Resort Area outside of the monorail loop. If you are spending your day in the Magic Kingdom, Whispering Canyon Cafe is a fantastic break. Just take a bus or boat over to the Wilderness Lodge and the Whispering Canyon Cafe is going to be located right inside the lobby on the left hand side. You will not be able to miss the open atmosphere and laughter erupting from the dining experience.
So What Meals Are Offered?
The Whispering Canyon Cafe is going to be a full service dining experience including breakfast, lunch and dinner. They begin their services at 7:30am every day. Breakfast is from 7:30 am to 11:15am every day. They have a wide array of offerings including eggs benedict, banana bread french toast, ham and cheddar omelette, Smoked Salmon and House Made Seasonal Biably, and waffles. Now their more treasured item is going to be the All You Care to Enjoy Breakfast skillet which features:
- Scrambled eggs
- Country potatoes
- Mickey waffles
- House made buttermilk biscuits
- Sausage gravy
If you are looking to spend your entire day with a full belly, this is going to be the perfect place to have breakfast that the entire family can enjoy. The all you can eat breakfast skillet comes in at $21 per person, but let me tell you that your belly will be full for hours and it is a fantastic way to begin your day. And if you eat just enough it might hold you over until a late lunch or early dinner.
There is also a lunch service offered from 11:45am to 2:30pm. During the lunch service you can expect to find Apple Smoked Turkey Sandwich, Chopped Bison Burger, Salmon BLT Salad, Grilled Chicken Sandwich, Skillet Fired Red Quinoa Cakes and St Louis Style Pork Ribs. Although that all sounds delicious, the most popular item and their signature is going to be the All You Care to Enjoy Skillet which includes:
- Fresh Baked Cornbread
- Slow-smoked Pork Ribs
- Barbecued Pulled Pork
- Citrus Herb Chicken
- Western-Style Sausage
- Mashed Yukon Potatoes
- Buttered Corn
- Cowboy Style Baked Beans
During the lunch service, the all you care to eat skillet will run you $24 per adult. This is going to be more expensive than breakfast, but will keep you full for the majority of the day. It is a great idea to eat lunch at the Whispering Canyon Cafe and then capping off the night with a Fireworks Dessert Party.
Now before we dive into the dinner service, there is one Disney vacation tip I have to share with you. If you are not going to be using a Disney Dining Plan and are going to be paying out of pocket for each meal and want to try the All You Care To Eat Skillet, go during the lunch. The same exact meal is going to be offered during the dinner service but the price is going to increase from $24 per person to $33 per person.
There is going to be a few more offerings during the dinner service including everything mentioned about:
- Family Style Mixed Greens with Apple Vinaigrette
- Oak-smoked Beef Brisket
- Seasonal Farm Fresh Vegetables
For the price point of about $9 more per adult, it is not going to be really worth it if you are doing Disney on a budget.
But maybe you are using a dining plan or are not looking to do the all you can eat skillet. In that case they have fantastic offerings including Char-crusted New York steak strip, Braised pork shank, St Louis full slab of Pork Ribs and the Grilled Salmon BLT Salad. The dinner service is going to be offered from 5:00pm to 10:00pm every day.
What is This Going to Cost Me?
Now we have covered the price point for the All You Care To Eat Skillet, but what about for everything else? How does the Disney Dining Plan work into this? As can be expected, breakfast is going to be cheaper than lunch and lunch is going to be cheaper than dinner. So if you are looking at eating here but are also trying to do Disney World on a budget, you are going to want to select the breakfast or lunch option every time.
But what does it actually cost? Well breakfast is going to run you anywhere from $10 to $21 per adult that will be dining. For lunch, the price is going to increase slightly coming in at $14 to $24 per adult. Dinner is going to be the most expensive meal offered. Per adult it is going to be anywhere from $19 to $33.
If money is not an issue, but all means you should stay all day in Magic Kingdom and then head over to fill up on all of that delicious BBQ, but maybe you are trying to make a more Disney budget friendly vacation. In that case, you should skip this as a dinner option and go for lunch instead. Since the all you can eat platter is also offered during the lunch menu, you can get the same dining experience for a portion of the cost which is going to save you in the long run. Do not just use this tip for Whispering Canyon.
When you are planning out your dining menu, make sure you also check the prices for the lunch and dinner service because chances are you are going to be able to get the same meal for a fraction of the cost.
So what is the atmosphere like? Well the theming is going to be set up from the moment you step into the WIlderness Lodge. Located inside the Magic Kingdom resort area (although this location is not on the monorail loop), you are stepping back into the time of exploring and settling in the wilderness. You are going to see lush foliage from the moment you enter through the guard gate with a giant sign that informs you that you are indeed at the Wilderness Lodge.
You will enter through the front doors of the Wilderness Lodge which is a giant open lobby with high ceilings and an adorable little stream that makes it way through portions of the lobby. On the right side of the lobby, you will notice a long range of desks and then an alley. The desks are going to be the check in area for those staying at the resort and through the small alleyway will be other activities to do at the Wilderness Lodge such as the arcade and a Kid’s Club. On the left side of the lobby you are going to see a sign for Whispering Canyon Cafe.
As soon as you enter the waiting area you will notice that the Wilderness Lodge theming is going to be consistent throughout this dining experience as well. You will go to the front desk and either see if they have any stand by availability. If you are going to try this route make sure you have a back up plan. Whispering Canyon is one of the more popular dining locations on Disney property and there is a chance there is no availability. If there is, they will tell you the wait at that moment and you will then be able to stand around the lobby area and the waiting area of the restaurant until they call your name.
But maybe you made a dining reservation! Instead of hoping for the best, just go to the desk in the waiting area of the restaurant and give them the name that the reservation is under. There may be a small wait once you give your information but your table will be ready in a timely manner. Now you can either waiting around in the lobby area or the small waiting area in the front which has a perk of its own. If you do have any children in your party or maybe you want to live out your childhood memories again yourself, there is a large building table with lots of Lincoln logs for people to play with while you are waiting for your table to be ready. This is a great way to spend some time together without just standing around tapping your foot and trying to wrangle your kids while your table becomes available.
Once you are seated, you are going to feel like a settler heading out West. The entire dining experience is based upon the Wilderness Lodge so you will see plenty of Western inspired outfits and decor no matter where you choose to dine. It is also connected directly with the lobby so if you chose to dine near that side of the restaurant be prepared to see people making their way to the theme parks or their room after a long day around Disney World.
Now for years the Whispering Canyon Cafe was known for the wild antics and kind of rude staff, but as of May 2018 it seems that they have made the change to tone down the rowdiness a tad bit. There is still lots of rowdiness going around, but one of the most notorious gags was when someone asked for ketchup! The server would then yell ketchup and other guests would have to run their ketchup bottles over to the new table. Now do not worry! You will still have a one of kind experience. There are still going to be ongoing activities for the kid to partake in while you are dining including making their way around the dining room on a pony on a stick to give them some times to burn off some steam while you are trying to chow down on your delicious all you can eat skillet.
So What’s The Verdict?
Even with the toning down of the rowdy antics at the Whispering Canyon Cafe, this is always going to be a five star dining establishment in my Disney Dining experiences. We always make sure we snag advance dining reservations ahead of time and carve out a good amount of time to make sure we can walk around the grounds after to enjoy everything the Wilderness Lodge has to offer. Whether we are splurging or trying to same a buck or two, we just select dinner or lunch depending on what our budget entails.
There is really one main reason we come to Whispering Canyon Cafe year after year and that is for one thing: the all you can eat dining skillet. There is nothing better than spending your entire day working up an appetite in the park knowing that in just a few moments you are going to be able to sit down, relax and eat all of the BBQ and fixings your heart can desire. And the quality of food is always above par.
There is nothing better than just spending some quality time with your family, surrounded by the closest of all of your Disney friends and not having to get up for more food. Oh that is right, everything is brought directly to your table, so no need to get up and get more food every time you finish what is on your plate. It is literally a dream come true when you spend your days running around parks to just sit down and enjoy the one of a kind service.
So no matter what your plans are when coming the the Walt Disney World Resort, make sure you take the moment book dining reservations ahead of time for this joyful and wild west experience. Make sure you pay attention to what park you plan to be at that day (although try to make it on a Magic Kingdom day. Due to the ferry service, it makes it quite easy to go to the Wilderness Lodge and back to Magic Kingdom without too much travel time) and set up some dining reservations because this is not going to be an experience your belly would want to miss!
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