Hands down Whispering Canyon Cafe at Wilderness Lodge, is the restaurant that offers the best value for your money anywhere in Walt Disney World. Everyone Says So. So we just had to go and see for ourselves. Budget food is one thing, but is it actually any good? Located at Wilderness Lodge, this restaurant is a perfect example of why we love resort hopping. A unique experience you won’t find elsewhere in Walt Disney World (or probably anywhere else at all). It isn’t, however, for the introvert, the romantic dinner or the serious family talk you’ve been meaning to have… here’s why.
Whispering Canyon Cafe at Wilderness Lodge
While finding the Disney’s Wilderness Lodge was a little confusing for us ( since it is not at Fort Wilderness Resort and Campgrounds, which is the campground), just know that if you take the wrong bus (like we did) to the campground and just stay on it long enough you will get to the Lodge. If you would like an easier transportation experience, just hop on the Wilderness Lodge bus or take the ferry from Magic Kingdom.
Whispering Canyon Cafe has a Family Style Menu
The menu at Whispering Canyon Cafe is typical western campfire cooking. While the all-you-care-to-enjoy platter offers up ribs, chicken, pulled pork and is very meat-heavy, they also have vegetarian options like quinoa cakes. If you eat fish, salmon is also available by request and is also all-you-care-to-enjoy. The platter was delicious. Though, we were unable to finish an entire platter between the three of us, we saw many other people asking for seconds. This is a ton of food! The platter also comes with salad and cornbread for sides. Even the desserts were very cozy and again…large enough to share.
Whispering Canyon Cafe Tips
We had heard about the importance of asking for ketchup ( because you can never have enough), why everyone should ask for straws and the famous bottomless milkshake. Tip: get the milkshake. Just do it. Fun fact? The milkshake can be used as your drink if you’re on the dining plan, which makes this an even better value.
We had not heard about the service, which was divine and hilarious! When Disney says all their staff are “cast members” we tend to wonder how many of the staff have actually taken acting or improv classes. After seeing this crew, ( much like the cast members at Prime Time Cafe) we are believers that these must be professional trained actors. In our opinion the cast members of Whispering Canyon Café could rival Second City or SNL. But this experience is what you make it. You will need to engage with your server, other servers, everyone. If you don’t, you’ll pretty much get chastised.
P.S. This is not a restaurant that will allow you time to discuss vacation plans or have a serious chat with your spouse/ children. If you plan to do so, just be prepared for the wait staff to sit down and join in on the convo with you, then ask other guests at other tables for advice… always a great way to bring out the dirty laundry. We’ve seen a few fights. Never pretty.
Immersive Dining at Walt Disney World
The experience at Whispering Canyon Cafe is immersive. And by immersive we mean it’s loud and the servers are sassy. This concept of Immersion Dining is part of the unique experience you get at Disney that you don’t get other places, so it’s new for many, and pretty unexpected. If you need a straw you may get 20. Do you have a pouty teenager, be prepared for some embarrassment coming their way. If there’s even a hint of seriousness about you, just be ready to get made fun of. It’s fun for everyone. Looking for a nice romantic evening? This is not the place. Celebrating something? Let your server know and they’ll tell the entire restaurant.
They do have a pony race ( on stick ponies) that happens during dinner for the little ones so make sure your chair is pushed in! And your little ones ready.
Wilderness Lodge at Walt Disney World
Before or after dinner at Whispering Canyon Cafe, check out the Lodge. Complete with fireplace, Native American décor and Wilderness Mickey and Friends merchandise in the gift shop. The grounds are really quite beautiful and there’s plenty to explore.
While you’re visiting Whispering Canyon Cafe, be sure to check out Old Faithful past the outdoor pool at the back of the lodge. The Old Faithful geyser goes off every 30 minutes, so hang out on the bridge and wait for it. It’s cool to see and it shoots super high! There’s also an outdoor bar called Copper Canyon Grill nearby in case you wander out there and decide its time for a drink. Depending on how your meal went, you may need it!
There were many things we loved about Whispering Canyon Café and decided it’s definitely an experience you should have at least once, if not more. Especially if you’re toting family! Much like the 50’s Prime Time Café at Hollywood Studios this restaurant comes with a flavor all it’s own and is definitely worth the trip.