Whispering Canyon Café is one resort dining option you don’t want to miss! Located on the right side of the magnificent Wilderness Lodge lobby, Whispering Canyon is worth the trip to the Wilderness Lodge even if you are staying at a different resort.
We arrived around 5:15pm at the Whispering Canyon counter for our 5:30pm reservation. Immediately upon arrival, you will notice the Wilderness Lodge theme carries throughout the open restaurant. The grand entrance, the Native American head dresses on display, the intricate details in the wood work, and even the Lincoln Log table for kids to enjoy while waiting pull the Western theme to the forefront of your mind. Just as we started to explore the entrance our pager went off. We only had a 5 minute wait before being seated.
At that time the dining space seemed fairly empty. A Cast Member (David) immediately began conversation by asking us if we have been to Whispering Canyon Café. We stated it has been years, and he quickly came back with, “Well, what took you so long to get back to us!?” He made us feel like we were part of the family as we were seated just outside of the main dining room around a large table which fit our party size comfortably. David passed out the menus and explained the green and red circle he placed on the table. If you turn it to the green side that means you are ready to join in the fun. If you turn it to the red side that means you prefer to relax and just enjoy the meal without the horsing around. Our group of course turned it to the green side! David made a joke that he felt bad for our server because one of our family members was wearing a Mets shirt and left us laughing in surprise. In the next minute, napkins and straws came raining down on the table. Someone was throwing them over a half wall at us! Next thing we know, David is peaking around the corner announcing that he in fact is our unfortunate server. From that moment on we felt like he was a part of the family. He pulled up a chair, chatted with us, made some recommendations, and took our order. Warm corn bread was delivered (we could have just kept eating this!) and drinks and shakes were served.
The side space we were seated in was fairly quiet and spacious. When checking out the main dining room, which was empty just 15 minutes before, we noticed it filling quickly. There were a lot of families and there wasn’t much “Whispering” being done at the Canyon! It was noisy but being placed where we were we had no issues carrying on a comfortable conversation. Just before our food came, kids were allowed to take a wooden horse stick and ride around the main dining hall to some fantastic Western music for a horse race. Our daughter enjoyed it, and it looked like everyone else did as well!
Our food was delivered by a food runner that came around the corner saying, “I’m here, I’m here…” as if he had been nagged to get moving. Again, he acted as though we were just a part of the family! Our favorite dishes was the Louie-style Full-slab of Pork Ribs which one of our family members said was the best set of ribs he had ever had. The Dusty Trails Oak-Roasted Pork Loin Rib Chop, which came highly recommend by our server, David, was delicious and right on point. The Steak-Your-Claim Char-Crusted New York Strip was given rave reviews by one of our family members and was cooked just as requested. We were surprised to see the large size of the children’s meal (Mac and Cheese was the choice) which our daughter seemed to enjoy more and more with every bite. Several of us had endless milk shakes… yes, you read that right… endless! Finish one and another is just waiting on you. They were rich and tasty and they were offered in chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, or caramel. We also tried the Caramel Cheesecake which didn’t look too large but was super rich and perfect for sharing.
Need some ketchup? As you will see pictured, if you ask for ketchup you are going to get ketchup! The server will ask you to yell, “We need ketchup!” Before you know it, whoever has all of the ketchup bottles will come running with not just one bottle but with ALL of them. It’s hilarious and fun to watch the kiddos have a good time with it. Need more napkins, they will be tossed on to your table and you grab as you go. Our 7-year-old daughter and even our 8-month-old son were cracking up at the fun activities around them.
Side notes – Even though meatloaf is one of our favorites, we steered away from it as we were previously informed it was not good. We trusted the source and went with other options. Since the milk shakes come out with the drinks, we recommend you slow down on sipping the irresistible sweetness. They are filling and getting through the meal would require any cowboy to loosen their belt buckle!
The atmosphere and food are excellent at the Whispering Canyon Café but what really stuck with us and will give us a great reason to go back is how well the Cast Members played the role. Our server, David, particularly played the part perfectly. The food runners, and even seeing how the other servers interacted with their tables, showed off Disney Cast Members at their finest. This is a great place for kids (and adults that are children at heart)! Will we be going back? Absolutely!
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Food: Filling! Our favorites included the corn bread, ribs, and the milk shakes. Word is to stay away from the meatloaf. All food was cooked as requested and plated beautifully to match the tasty flavors.
Atmosphere: The Western theme is rustic but holds a sense of elegance with the beautiful lighting and décor. The noise level, particularly in the main dining space is loud but conversation can still be carried on comfortably.
Service: Has to be on our top 5 list of exceptional service.
Tips: Eat early to avoid the crowd. If you are looking for a quieter experience, ask to sit just outside of the main room which is towards the back of the restaurant. Ask for ketchup… but not a fork (just kidding!).