February 2011, we went on holiday with my brother, his wife and daughter (then aged 8). While there they wanted to revisit the Whispering Canyon Cafe at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort as they had previously stayed at the hotel and had really enjoyed it.
On arrival at the resort we checked in at the gatehouse and saw 2 deer to the side of our vehicle in the ‘wilderness’.
The Wilderness Lodge is as you would expect very rustic and full of wood. Our table was ready and we were seated straight away.
The theme of the cafe is cowboys and indians – with teepee lights, rodeo pictures, servers dressed as cowboys. Every so often they round the children up for hobby horse races round the restaurant – one of the things my niece had remembered and enjoyed.
The food was hearty and rustic – ribs, corn on the cob, chicken, prime rib. Soda came in jars and my brother was delighted to see Sam Adams on the beer menu.
We had good service and it was a real experience, it wasn’t quiet! Don’t go for a romantic couples dinner – this is not the location for that – there is no whispering at the Whispering Canyon Cafe.
This year the Food & Wine Festival runs through to Monday 14 November. Over the years the festival has been expanded and now features additional ‘happenings’ including Beverage Seminars, What’s Cookin’ with, Mix it, Make it, Celebrate it, Cheese seminar and Culinary Demonstrations in the Festival Centre plus Festival Dining Events in the World Showcase.
I think the majority of visitors attend to stroll around the world sampling the festival exclusive foods and wine. There are an additional 38 marketplace stands as well as the usual eateries. This year features 5 new marketplace stands including the Chocolate Studio and the Islands of the Caribbean – where we got a rather nice frozen mojito!
We also enjoy the Eat to the Beat series of concerts and have been lucky enough to catch Chaka Khan and Boyz II Men.
The only downside if there is any is that you may find your waistline increases and your spending money decreases – as there are a lot of tasty temptations along the way.
One of our favourite annual Disney events – we definitely recommend it
On our last full vacation day, we headed to Disney Springs to check out the changes.
We parked in the multi-storey Orange car park – undercover so keeping the car cooler for our return, lots of spaces and good location into Disney Springs by the bowling at Splitsville and the new Coca Cola World.
Starting our visit on the terrace of Coca Cola World (3 storeys of Coke branded products) we took in the view and got our bearings.
We made our way through the new undercover shopping arcade – to the outside stores. What an absolutely fabulous setting, fountains, palm trees with pristine shop fronts. We had a quick browse in Kate Spade before making our way to The Boathouse for our lunch reservation.
Lunch at the Boathouse was everything we had hoped for – great service, good quality food, nice selection and the crafted cocktails were the best!
After lunch we made our way to the Disney and Lego stores before going back to the new stores including Under Armour, Sephora, Zara and Ugg.
Taking a mid afternoon break, we went to Sprinkles for a cupcake desert. I had been looking forward to trying the cupcake ATM out, however, it was out of order. We went in and order a cupcake sundae – a cupcake cut in half with a scoop of ice-cream in the middle. For us, the product didn’t live up to the hype – I’m not sure we would return – particularly as there is Ghirardelli which serves amazing ice creams.
All shopped out and appetites well and truly satisfied we headed home, just ahead of a very nasty storm!
The following day we headed out on the US 27 for Bok Tower Gardens as we were interested to see the newly opened Hammock Hollow.
Located to the right of the restaurant area as you go in, it is nice ly tucked away so the tranquility around the Tower is not spoiled.
Hammock Hollow is amazing – including a snake shaped sandpit, water fountains to play in, a word garden, fairy gardent with dress up accessories and stage, hammocks, pine garden. With lots of shade, seating and picnic areas I think it will be very popular.
We also took.a turn along the main walk, through the wild garden and bog garden stopping briefly at the window on the pond.
We then headed to the Blue Palmetto Cafe for a lovely wrap and some beer battered fries.
After lunch we had a leisurely stroll up to the Tower, feeding the fish on the way.
Another excellent visit – highly recommended
So after the disappointment of Sarasota and the Red Tide preventing us from visiting the beaches we were back on the road at 8.30am.
We decided to drive straight through to Celebration for a stroll around the lakes followed by lunch at Columbia.
There was a small tortoise on the walkway. We also looked at the shops which are a bit disappointing and very touristy – OK to browse.
Lunch was amazing as usual – I tried something new a sauted beef stew called Steak Saltedo – fantastic. My friend chose a mojito (comes with sugar cane) gazpacho and Steak with onions, plantain and rice.
Leaving room for a scoop of Kilwin’s – I tried the Georgia Peach which was apparently flavor of the day meaning I got 2 scoops for the price of 1!
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