Monday, January 9, 2012

Whispering Canyon Cafe Review

Mayhem. That is the best word to describe the Whispering Canyon Cafe. My family and I experienced this pandemonium at a dinner during my August trip to Disney World.

I was on the monorail heading to Epcot when I overheard a group of off duty Cast Members discussing their recent meal at Whispering Canyon Cafe. My Mom asked them what restaurant they were talking about because it sounded like a lot of fun. They told us it was Whispering Canyon Cafe in the Wilderness Lodge hotel. I had read this review of Whispering Canyon on the Disney Food Blog and I was excited that my family wanted to try it. After some rearranging of ADRs (Advanced Dining Reservations), we were able to get a reservation for the next night (our last night at Disney).

When we walked in to the huge, open lobby of Wilderness Lodge, the restaurant was off to our right. We arrived around 4:45 p.m. for a 5:05 dinner reservation. It seemed a little too quiet, judging from what I had read and heard. It turns out that dinner starts at 5:00, so the restaurant was empty. We checked in at the hostess stand and waited for a few minutes. While we waited, there were Lincoln Logs for the kids to play with the in waiting area. What a blast from the past! The Lincoln Logs were the perfect toy to have there because the lodge looks like a giant log cabin.

One of the things I love the most about Disney is the show, and Whispering Canyon has plenty of it. A few minutes before 5:00, one of the hostesses asked a child to come ring the dinner bell. She had a giant triangle, gave it to the child and they rang it and screamed, "DINNER!!!" to signal the beginning of dinner. After this, each party was seated within a few minutes.

We met our waitress and she took our drink order. She brought us our drinks in Mason jars and threw our straws on the table. Make sure you drink yours as fast as you can, like my Dad did. He was thirsty and drank his iced tea right away. He was rewarded with a giant Mason jar full of iced tea and our waitress said "Maybe you won't drink this one quite as fast!" If you haven't noticed by now, the waitstaff here like to give you a hard time, all in fun. It's kind of like at 50's Prime Time Cafe, another favorite of mine.

There are individual menu options, but everyone in my family decided on the "all-you-care to enjoy" Canyon Skillet. At dinner, this includes Smoked Pork Ribs, Pulled Pork, Oven-roasted Chicken, Beef Brisket, Mashed Potatoes, Cowboy Beans, and Corn on the Cob. Since my Dad has food allergies to milk, the waitress said she would bring him his own personal skillet and some fries instead of the mashed potatoes, which have milk in them. Then we got our cornbread and butter, our salad which came with a lot of dressing on it (if you want dressing on the side, make sure to ask!) and our coleslaw, all of which were good.

Shortly after, our skillets arrived. The skillets are served "family style" so we got two: one for my Dad because of his allergies and one for the other three of us. Since my Dad got fries in his skillet, he asked the waitress for some ketchup. She yelled at the top of her lungs, "WE NEED KETCHUP!" but nothing happened! I had already been warned not to ask for ketchup, so I figured maybe the waitress was just trying to embarrass us. After a minute, she realized that no one else had asked for ketchup yet- we were the first ones of the night! So our waitress and a few other servers brought us every bottle of ketchup they could find- it was about 15 bottles. A few minutes later, another family had to stand up and yell "WE NEED KETCHUP!" and then we had to go and bring them all of our ketchup. This game continued the whole night. It was the funniest when 3 or 4 tables yelled it one right after another. Then no one knew who to bring the ketchup to. During dinner, I managed to drop my fork. Our waitress brought me about 10 forks in case I dropped another fork! My family and I could not stop laughing the whole time we were there.

The food was delicious! I am not a huge fan of beans, but I did try the Cowboy Beans and they were good. Everything else was amazing and we asked for seconds of almost everything. The Corn on the Cob is cut up into smaller pieces (but still on the cob). It was sweet and delicious, but dripping in butter. Call me a corn purist, but good, sweet corn on the cob doesn't need butter. Luckily, they made my Dad some corn without butter, and I had some of that. Much better. Make sure to ask your server if you want some corn without butter.

We were all way too full to try dessert, but the desserts all sounded amazing, and they also have bottomless milkshakes that looked delicious. That's right, I said bottomless! They will bring you all the milkshake refills you can drink! Our waitress and the other servers were all hilarious and put on a great "show." I haven't even mentioned half of the shenanigans that went on during our dinner there. We laughed and laughed, which was a great way to spend the last night of our vacation!

This is the perfect restaurant to bring babies or kids of any age to. There is a kids' menu. (well, there is everywhere in Disney World!) It is already loud to begin with. There are Lincoln Logs to play with as you wait. There are stick pony races around the restaurant and lots of other antics that kids of all ages (from 0-99) will love. If you or your child isn't into the antics, you can ask your server not to do them... but honestly, they are all good, clean fun that I think most kids (and adults) will get a kick out of. This is Disney, after all!

If you have never been to the Wilderness Lodge, you must go! It is beautiful inside and a meal at Whispering Canyon is the perfect excuse to visit. You don't have to stay there (it is a deluxe resort, after all!) to enjoy its restaurants or just to wander around the grounds for a bit and explore. There are tons of Hidden Mickeys to be found and if you ask at the front desk in the lobby, they will even give you a list of clues to help find them! There is also a geyser called Fire Rock Geyser that goes off intermittently throughout the day. For more information on the hotel, visit this amazing fan site: http://www.wildernesslodgesite.com

Thanks also to AllEars.net for the menu to WCC.

The picture above is of me next to the totem pole in front of the gift shop and the only picture I took in all of Wilderness Lodge. (Yes, it was 80 degrees outside, but it was cold in the air conditioning so I brought a jacket!)

Thanks for reading!
~Katie

3 comments:

  1. Great post! Wilderness Lodge is our absolute favorite, but I am sad to say that we've never eaten at Whispering Canyon. I've heard nothing but great things about it, so need to make sure that's on our itinerary next trip!

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  2. Great post ... took me right back! My family had a blast at this place, too. :) Now I'm craving the bottomless milkshakes ... Mmmmmm....

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  3. Another restaurant to add to the list of must-do's on my next trip!

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