A popular Disney World restaurant is CLOSING soon, and that might mean you need to change dining plans for your upcoming vacation.
Disney World will occasionally close restaurants for refurbishment or play around with menu changes, but sometimes they completely overhaul existing dining locations to create something entirely new (like when The Wave…of American Flavors transformed into Steakhouse 71!). That’s happening soon at Trail’s End Restaurant at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground. Let’s go through all the details about this closure and transformation, and then we’ll give you some great options for where to eat while Trail’s End is unavailable!
What’s Happening at Trail’s End?
Trail’s End Restaurant has long been a favorite among die-hard Disney fans who know where to find good food at moderate prices — even on Disney property. Currently, Trail’s End serves family-style skillets for breakfast and dinner (as opposed to a buffet, which was traditionally the meal option here). They also serve a not-so-little something called the Covered Wagon Sundae.
This table service restaurant at Fort Wilderness is going to close for refurbishment this coming spring (in 2023), and when it reopens, it won’t be the same experience you remember. Disney hasn’t announced a specific closing date for Trail’s End, but the restaurant is still showing hours through mid-April as of writing (that’s as far as Disney’s calendar goes currently, but note that this could change once Disney finalizes plans for the closure).
Trail’s End will reopen later this year as “a marketplace concept with expanded quick service options,” which is very different from the table service, family-style meal that is currently served. The table service option will no longer be offered upon the restaurant’s reopening. So if you’re a fan of Trail’s End in its current state, you should make reservations ASAP to dine there before the closure this coming spring.
Learn more about Trail’s End Restaurant here.
Where You Should Eat Instead
So while Trail’s End is closed and even once it reopens as a quick-service marketplace concept, you might need a replacement for a sit-down meal. The only other table service restaurant at Fort Wilderness is the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue, which is a fan-favorite dinner-and-a-show combination located at Pioneer Hall.
Aside from the Musical Revue, you’ll only find food trucks and counter service options at this resort. So if you’re not interested in a lively show for your dinner, where should you go?
Luckily, there are a few great options for table service dining not too far away at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge.
Let’s take a look!
Artist Point, previously a Signature Restaurant, now hosts a Disney princess character meal: Storybook Dining with Snow White! Guests enjoy a prix-fixe meal and can meet Snow White, Dopey, and Grumpy, who stop by throughout the dinner. The Evil Queen is even present for a unique photo opportunity as well.
The food here is pretty classic American cuisine, with options like a shrimp cocktail, beef stroganoff, roasted chicken, and various pastries for dessert. There aren’t super unique dishes here, so even picky eaters will be able to find something for them on the menu.
Some of our favorite dishes on the menu include Royal Prime Rib Roast, “A Stroll through Nature,” and the Magic Mirror Slow-braised Veal Shank.
Dinner is served from 4PM to 9PM, and the meals cost $65 per adult and $39 per child. It’s definitely a pricier option, but that cost is about on par with most Disney World character meals.
Click here to read our most recent review of Artist Point.
Whispering Canyon Café
Whispering Canyon Café may have a peaceful-sounding name, but don’t be fooled. Lots of laughs and hijinks among the wait staff are served up alongside barbecue, roasted chicken, and other western-inspired specialties, including hearty All-You-Care-to-Enjoy Skillets.
All the shenanigans and high-energy antics are definitely our favorite parts about dining at this restaurant, but it might not be ideal if you’re traveling with a group of introverts.
The food is great here as well, with those all-you-can-eat skillets being an ideal choice if you come hungry. There are barbecue options like brisket, pulled pork, and pork belly, but there’s also a plant-based skillet for anyone on a vegan diet. You can also find steak, salmon, and (one of our personal favorite options) “burnt ends” nachos on the menu.
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are all served at the Café, with breakfast from 7:30AM to 11:25AM, lunch from 11:30AM to 2PM, and dinner from 5PM to 10PM.
Skillets at breakfast and lunch cost $26 per person, and for dinner, they’re $38. A la carte entrées range in price from $12 to $22 for breakfast and lunch and $22 to $36 for dinner if you decide to skip those skillets.
Read our recent review of Whispering Canyon Café here.
Don’t forget that you’ll need to make reservations if you want to dine at Artist Point or Whispering Canyon Café (which is the case at all table service restaurants in Disney World). You can begin making those reservations 60 days before you plan to dine at either restaurant.
How To Get There
So now you know a few great options for table service dining that are lose to Fort Wilderness, but how exactly do you GET to those restaurants? Don’t worry — we can help you out. There are a few different options for getting between Fort Wilderness and Wilderness Lodge.
There are a few different bus lines at Fort Wilderness, and one of these runs directly between the two resorts. The yellow line bus connects Fort Wilderness to Disney’s Wilderness Lodge.
You can hop on this bus to go directly between the resorts, without having to stop at one of the theme parks to switch buses. Note that you could also take a bus to any of the four Disney World theme parks and, from that park’s bus stop, catch another bus from the park to Wilderness Lodge.
If you’d prefer a scenic route, you can head to the Marina and catch a boat from Fort Wilderness to Magic Kingdom.
From there, you can hop on a different boat to go from Magic Kingdom to Wilderness Lodge.
The easiest way to get between Fort Wilderness and Wilderness Lodge is to drive yourself (if you brought your own car, of course). If you didn’t bring a car and would still prefer to drive, you can always use a rideshare service, like Lyft or Uber.
We’ll continue to watch for more updates from Disney about the closing of Trail’s End Restaurant, so stay tuned to DFB for all the latest news!
Click here to see every Disney World restaurant CLOSURE in 2023.
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Are you going to miss Trail’s End Restaurant when it closes at Disney World? Let us know in the comments.
The post Trail’s End Is Closing. Here’s Where To Eat Instead. first appeared on the disney food blog.