A bell rings. “Dinner time!” hollers a woman in plaid and tan outfit. One might be intimidated by the yelling, but that’s what they did on the old frontier. When dinner was ready, you knew it.
Whispering Canyon Cafe at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge will take you back in time and gives a glimpse of what the Old West was all about. This themed restaurant has servers who will teach guests what working hard really means. Want ketchup? Be prepared to work a little as the server brings 15 bottles of ketchup to the table for families to mix together. Spill a little bit of water on the table? The server will literally throw a few napkins to the clumsy partner. Although this may sound rude, the servers are very friendly and just want to give guests a good show.
Although the focus may be on the cast members who stay in character, don’t forget that the restaurant itself is beautiful. Right inside of Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, this restaurant is all open space. No walls separate the resort from the restaurant, so one can appreciate the log cabin feel. One might think that they’re venturing out into the wilderness, and Disney does a wonderful job of playing up that theme.
I was lucky enough to have experienced this resort during the holiday season, so the log cabin was decked out with holiday decorations and a beautifully decorated Christmas tree.
Now, let’s get to the important stuff. Cowboy food. The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. However, this post will be featuring the dinner portion. The dinner menu is filled with so many options to choose from.
The server who took care of my table the night I visited recommended different options that were her favorites. These included Slow-smoked Pork Spring Rolls and Loaded Yukon Potato Leek Soup as appetizers. For the main course she praised the Grilled Western Buffalo Meatloaf and the Grilled New York Strip Steak. Then she sold me on the best platter you could try, which was the: Build-Your-Own All-You-Care-To-Enjoy Platter.
This all you can eat family-style platter includes: Family-style Mixed Greens tossed in an Apple Vinaigrette Dressing and Fresh-baked Cornbread. Start with Three: Kansas City-style Smoked Pork Ribs, Barbecue Pulled Pork, Herb-baked Chicken, Hand-carved Oak-roasted Beef Strip Loin, Citrus-crusted Market Fish, or Western-style Sausage. Sides for Sharing: Seasonal Farm Fresh Vegetables, Mashed Yukon Gold Potatoes, Cowboy-style Baked Beans, and Corn on the Cob (as seen on the Walt Disney World Resort page).
The mixed greens with the apple vinaigrette dressing was very sweet on my palate and I could taste the strong vinegar flavor. The cornbread was a nice side to go with this salad as it soaked up some of the tartness of the dressing. The cornbread was also very moist and flavorful.
Some people say they’re wine snobs. Well, I say that I am a ribs snob. The Kansas City-style Smoked Pork Ribs were not my favorite thing on the plate and could have used a bit more sauce. They were a bit dry and there was a very very smoky and charred flavor. However, the Barbecue Pulled Pork was a different story. Although it had a smoky flavor as well, the pork was divine and melted in my mouth. I could definitely taste the barbecue flavors in each bite.
The Herb-baked chicken was nothing out of the ordinary. I will say that the chicken was very tender and the herbs were blended well together. The Hand-carved Oak-roasted Beef Strip Loin was my favorite by far. Very juicy and tender, this meat had all sorts of flavor to it. I actually asked my server for a second helping of this delicious meat. The Citrus-crusted Market Fish was not very impressive. It was a bit on the dry side and I could not taste the citrus flavors. Lastly, the Western-style Sausage was very good. The sausage reminded me of good old-fashioned camping trips when you’d cook meat out by the fire.
All of the sides were delicious, but my favorite was the Mashed Yukon Gold Potatoes. These potatoes were very thick and still had the skins in them. I could not get enough of these potatoes and felt they were very addictive.
Whispering Canyon Cafe is a Disney restaurant that gives families a hearty meal with some real western theming. If you’re wondering which restaurant to book for the evening, I recommend giving this place a try. I’d also make reservations a few days in advance, as some days may be busier than others.
901 Timberline Dr
Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830