The Wilderness Lodge at Walt Disney World is a fabulous escape! Even if you’re not staying at this inspiring resort, we highly recommend making an Advance Dining Reservation for the Whispering Canyon Café. Today, guest author Rebecca Elliott shares a breakfast review.
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We like to eat breakfast at the Whispering Canyon Café when we stay at the Wilderness Lodge. It’s convenient, the portions are hearty, and there’s usually no wait for a table. (Even so, get the Advance Dining Reservation – just in case! You never know!)
My family and I love staying at the Wilderness Lodge. The hotel is modeled after the Old Faithful Inn in Yellowstone National Park, a historic landmark built in 1904. Its lobby is inspired by the Pacific Northwest and is absolutely stunning.
Like most of Disney’s deluxe hotels, the Wilderness Lodge has three levels of dining options: counter service, family-ish, and fancy schmancy. Whispering Canyon Café is the moderately priced (for Disney) family restaurant located just off the hotel lobby.
The décor of the Whispering Canyon Café reminds me of a little boy’s bedroom in the 50’s. It’s decked out in a cowboy and Indian motif with a Lincoln log-like ceiling and a floor that looks like a homemade quilt.
The wait staff take on the persona of wayward cowboys out to have a good time. They encourage diners to take part in their hijinks, which include singing, pony races, and general tomfoolery.
Here’s where I am going to abide by the old honesty-is-the-best-policy rule: I’m not a huge fan of the wait staff’s antics. Many, many people (including my husband and daughter) love it. They play along and find the jokes entertaining. I hate to say it, but they’re just not that funny to me. Not all of the servers are good at improvisation, so watching a non-funny person trying to be funny can be uncomfortable.
The entertainment can also be physical, and some people don’t like that. The servers throw straws and napkins on diners; if you order ketchup, they bring you all the bottles in the restaurant; they also slap diners on the back and try their best to throw funny insults. The good news for me is, the shtick doesn’t start until after 8:45am.
Every time I’ve eaten breakfast there, it hasn’t been too crazy. I’ve heard that diners can ask not to participate in the hijinks, but I’ve also heard that can backfire and cause even more unwanted attention. Beware! (Editor’s Note: If you’d rather not take part in the antics, let the cast member know at check-in that your table wants to be left out of the “fun.” It’s not Disney’s goal to make their guests uncomfortable, and the cast member should pass your wishes on to your server.)
We’ve eaten breakfast at Whispering Canyon Café many times, and every time it’s been good. Drinks are served in mason jars and meals at lunch and dinner are served in cast iron skillets!
Despite my ambivalence about their style, the servers are all efficient, excellent at answering questions about the menu, and very accommodating of special dietary needs. Here’s what we had on our last visit:
My daughter ordered the Belgian waffle. We’re all huge fans of Mickey waffles, so we were thrilled to see it was a giant one. And it was smothered with maple butter and candied pecans – even better! I don’t know how they do it so consistently, but the waffles are always crisp on the outside and moist on the inside. Delicious! You can choose bacon or sausage on the side.
Without fail, every time my husband eats at Whispering Canyon Café, he orders the all-you-care-to-enjoy breakfast platter. It’s served on an oblong dish and loaded with scrambled eggs, western home fries, bacon, sausage, waffles, buttermilk biscuits, and sausage gravy. They allow you to customize your plate, so my husband usually just gets eggs, waffles, bacon and potatoes. It feeds an army, and satisfies every food craving you could possibly have – salty, sweet, rich, creamy, starchy. It’s amazing.
In a fit of health consciousness, I ordered the egg white omelet. I’m so glad I did! It was loaded with spinach, goat cheese, and chipotle pico and served with fresh fruit and a biscuit. It was satisfying and allowed me to enjoy my morning in the park without feeling sluggish from a heavy meal.
Another healthier item we ordered — mostly to say we ate fruit on vacation — was the fresh fruit with ginger yogurt and granola. It was amazing! Mixed berries with creamy yogurt made zingy with ginger and a little granola for texture. We all enjoyed it.
Breakfast at the Whispering Canyon Café is a pleasant dining experience. Portions are generous, the food is tasty, and if you like semi-witty banter with the servers, you’re in for a good time. If you’re looking for a nice, quiet breakfast, I’d suggest a different venue. One thing is for sure – you won’t leave hungry!
Rebecca Elliott writes and hosts the food blog Home Cooks Unite! She is a dedicated foodie and Disney enthusiast whose latest trip to the Magic Kingdom included some incredible dining experiences.
What’s your favorite breakfast item at Whispering Canyon Cafe? Are you an a la carte or platter person? Chime in; the comments are below!