Dining is an important part in creating the perfect Disney experience for Guests visiting Lake Buena Vista. There are so many awesome restaurants to dine in around the Walt Disney World Resort, that it’s just not possible to fit them all into one Disney vacation. Dining experiences are offered across full-service and quick-service restaurants in the Disney Parks and Resorts, providing something for every Guest to enjoy.
The Disney Dining Plan is likely to have encouraged a lot of Guests to try more of the Disney restaurants than they typically would have if they had previously traveled without using it. Of course, it’s no secret that dining in and around the Disney theme parks can be quite pricey, especially if you choose to eat at signature dining restaurants, such as Le Cellier in EPCOT, California Grill in Disney’s Contemporary Resort, and Sanaa in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. Character dining also comes with a larger price tag, due to providing Guests with the opportunity to dine with their favorite Disney friends.
For some Guests, a Disney vacation is all about the theme parks, so they may not be aware of the wonderful experiences they could enjoy if they ventured outside of the Disney theme parks and into the Disney Resort hotels. Other Guests may have had the pleasure of experiencing some of the activities and amenities the Disney Resorts have to offer but may have skipped a personal favorite of ours.
Let us share the dining location that we never skip when taking a Walt Disney World vacation. It’s the place that we highly recommend visiting during your next visit to Lake Buena Vista.
A favorite Disney dining location
Are you looking for a fun dining experience, that offers both family-style dining and also individual plates? Then Whispering Canyon Cafe is the place for you. Prepare to enjoy western-inspired dishes, served up by sassy Cast Members who provide fun for the whole party.
Where is it?
Whispering Canyon Cafe is located inside the lobby of Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. This beautiful Resort is inspired by Yellowstone National Park lodges and America’s Great Northwest. Prepare to be wowed by a grand lodge, that is tucked away amongst tall evergreen and pine trees, and beyond stunning waterfalls. Arrive ahead of your reservation to take in the stunning architecture inside, and explore the serene outdoor surroundings. Alternatively, make time after your dining experience to explore this Disney Deluxe Resort. You’ll be glad you did!
You may know Wilderness Lodge by another popular Disney dining location; Storybook Dining at Artist Point with Snow White. Different to Whispering Canyon Cafe, Artist Point is only open to Guests for dinner, from 4:00 p.m. through 9:00 p.m. each evening. This restaurant serves up a delicious dinner, accompanied by appearances from Snow White, the Evil Queen, Dopey and Grumpy from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937). Enjoy a set menu including appetizer, entree, and dessert, at a price of $60 per adult, and $39 per child, plus tax and gratuity. You’ll feel like you’ve just entered the Enchanted Forest if you choose to dine in Artist Point.
How do I get there?
Disney’s Wilderness Lodge is located on the shore of Bay Lake, and so, is close to Magic Kingdom. We love to catch the boat across Seven Seas Lagoon and Bay Lake to Wilderness Lodge from Magic Kingdom. You can also access Disney’s Wilderness Lodge from any of the other Disney Parks and Disney Springs, using the Walt Disney World Transportation System.
If you have access to a car during your Disney vacation, you may also be able to park in the car park of the Disney Resort. You may be asked to show proof of a reservation upon arrival, particularly during busy periods. If you plan to visit over the Christmas period and other peak times throughout the year, don’t be surprised if you are told that the car park is limited to Resort Guests only. If travelling during these periods, we recommend using Disney Transportation.
Whispering Canyon Cafe offers three dining periods per day:
- Breakfast – served between 7:30 a.m. and 11:25 a.m.
- Lunch – served between 11:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.
- Dinner – served between 5:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.
Whilst advanced dining reservations are recommended, you may not need to book as early as 60 days ahead of your arrival date. You are likely to find a reservation at Whispering Canyon Cafe a few days prior to your arrival.
In terms of pricing, there is something on the menu to suit every budget, and every appetite. This is a restaurant that offers all-you-care-to-enjoy skillets as well as individual plates too. Fill up on a 3-course meal, or just enjoy one course – the choice is yours!
Breakfast & Lunch
Or you could say Brunch! Whispering Canyon Cafe menu is actually the same for breakfast and lunch, which is fitting, seeing as there is only a 5-minute change-over between the dining periods. We certainly aren’t complaining though, as we really quite enjoy eating brunch throughout the day!
When it comes to the famous Whispering Canyon Cafe Signature Skillets, there are three to choose from when dining from the breakfast and lunch menu:
- The Heritage – tuck into buttermilk-cheddar biscuits and sausage gravy, with scrambled eggs, country potatoes, hickory-smoked bacon, pork sausage links, and Mickey-shaped waffles
- The Carnivore – feast upon house-made cornbread with honey butter, maple-chipotle barbecued slow-smoked pork ribs, oak-smoked beef-brisket, barbecued pulled pork, citrus-herb chicken, country potatoes, buttered corn and charred carrots
- The Lighter Side – enjoy Bircher muesli, fresh fruit, yogurt, egg white spinach frittata, turkey bacon, turkey sausage, country potatoes and Mickey-shaped waffles (top tip – ask your server to switch out the Bircher muesli for cornbread, so you don’t miss out on this delicious offering!)
For the Guests in your party who would prefer to enjoy their own plate, rather than tucking into an all-you-care-to-enjoy skillet, they can choose from:
- Pepper Jack ‘Cheese’ Frittata
- Belgian-style Waffle
- Seasonal Fruit Plate
- Seared Impossible Burger
- Chopped Bison Burger
- Ham and Cheese Omelette
- Steel-cut Oatmeal
- Applewood-smoked Turkey Sandwich
- Slow-smoked Pulled Pork Sandwich
- Chopped Salad
Additional sides and dishes to share, as well as morning cocktails and non-alcoholic beverages are also available to order. Whispering Canyon Cafe also serves up allergy-friendly dishes; just be sure to let your server know of any allergies when placing your order.
If you’d prefer to enjoy a three-course meal when visiting a Disney full-service restaurant, then we recommend dining at Whispering Canyon Cafe for dinner. You’ll have a choice of three starters, main entrees and desserts if you’d prefer to skip the all-you-care-to-enjoy Signature Skillets. However, we think you’ll be missing out if you choose to skip one of these four options:
- The Traditional – tuck into oak-smoked mustard-barbecued beef brisket, maple-chipotle pork ribs, slow-smoked pulled pork, citrus-herb chicken, western-style sausage, smashed potatoes, buttered corn and sautéed green beans
- The Land and Sea – enjoy house-smoked salmon, citrus-herb chicken, spicy vegan sausage, charred portobello, barbecued cauliflower, roasted potatoes, sautéed green beans and oven-roasted carrots
- The Pig – feast upon braised pork belly, maple-chipotle barbecued pork ribs, slow-smoked pulled pork, mustart-barbecued ‘Piggy Wings’, western-style sausage, smashed potatoes, buttered corn and sautéed green beans
- Plant-based – you won’t miss out with this skillet serving up maple-chipotle barbecued jackfruit, spicy ‘sausage’, mustard-glazed beefless tips, herb-brushed Trick’n Chick’n, roasted potatoes, oven-roasted carrots, sautéed green beans and charred peppers
Brunch vs. Dinner
The choice between brunch and dinner can be a tough one. Of course, you need to consider which seating will work best for you and the rest of your party. Speaking from experience, let us give you some advice that may help to inform your decision.
With there being such a large window to enjoy Brunch, you have plenty of time to work with if you’re leaning toward this dining experience. Fill up for the day with an early- morning reservation, that will help to power you through a day in the Disney Parks. You’re likely to only need a snack in the early afternoon if you choose an all-you-care-to-enjoy signature skillet for breakfast. This will help to keep your spending on food a little lower on the day that you dine in Whispering Canyon Cafe, as some of your party may not need to eat until dinner.
Securing an advanced dining reservation around lunchtime will provide you with the opportunity to spend time in a Disney theme park from opening through to noon. Enjoy an early breakfast, before heading to the Disney Park of your choice, to ensure that you have plenty of room to enjoy brunch in Whispering Canyon Cafe. Why not follow your dining reservation with an exploration of Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, before heading back to your hotel for an afternoon by the pool? Don’t be surprised if you aren’t feeling hungry enough to have dinner after brunch. Instead, treat yourself to a tasty Disney snack as your evening meal. You’re on vacation after all!
If you’re looking forward to dining in Whispering Canyon Cafe for dinner, then we recommend eating earlier in the day, so that you have plenty of room to eat all of the good stuff you’ll be served up in the restaurant. Dining during early evening will allow you time to finish your day with Disney fireworks. Why not catch the boat to Magic Kingdom after dinner so that you can enjoy Disney Enchantment? Alternatively, catch the Disney Bus to EPCOT from Wilderness Lodge, and secure a spot in World Showcase to see your evening out with Harmonious.
Lots of fun
Not only does Whispering Canyon Cafe serve up delicious food, but you’ll also be treated to a whole lot of fun whilst dining. No two experiences in this fun Disney restaurant are the same! Get ready to interact with the Cast Members, take part in old Western games, and be served with a little bit of attitude. If you’re celebrating a birthday or special occasion, then this is the place to be! Oh, and remember to ask for ketchup – whether you need it or not! If you don’t then you’ll be missing out on a whole lot of fun!
Only Guests who order a Signature Skillet can dine from them. This is something to bear in mind when you and the rest of your party are placing your order. Whilst other options on the menu may sound more appealing, you may find that Guests who order entrees are finished well before those Guests who order a skillet. As such, we’d recommend all Guests order either a skillet or a regular entree.
Getting value for money
Whispering Canyon Cafe was a firm-favorite Disney dining location for us when using the Disney Dining Plan. Whilst it is not currently being offered to Guests, we’ve found that we still make time to visit Whispering Canyon Cafe during every Walt Disney World vacation. The reason for this – is value for money!
If you’re wanting value for money just like us, then we recommend ordering an all-you-care-to-enjoy skillet. Not only can you keep eating until you are full, but skillets guarantee you a two-course meal. Ahead of your skillet being served, you will be treated to an appetizer. In most cases, this is a helping of delicious cornbread. Don’t be afraid to ask for more if you finish it too! Skillets are $24 per person during breakfast and lunch, and $36 per person at dinner.
As the name suggests, the Signature Skillets are unlimited. Order as much as you like; you just need to let your server know what you like and care to have more of. Anything you have left at the end of your meal, you can take with you in a box, and enjoy later on.
So what are you waiting for? Make sure you’ve planned a visit to Whispering Canyon Cafe during your next Walt Disney World vacation. As this Disney restaurant offers both brunch and dinner, it offers the perfect excuse to plan for two visits. Why not plan to visit across two future Disney vacations, so you can decide on which menu you prefer? Either way, if you choose to skip this Disney restaurant, we can guarantee that you’ll be missing out!