Whispering Canyon was always one of my favorite restaurants at the Walt Disney World Resort hotels, mostly for the food quality, endless servings, and playful atmosphere. However, a few years ago, I picked Whispering Canyon for a birthday dinner and experienced a really terrible meal. Food was overcooked, under-cooked, and we even ended up waiting an hour past our reservation time. It was this experience which kept me away from Whispering Canyon at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, even though I have frequented Roaring Fork and Territory Lounge.
I wanted a good reason to return to Whispering Canyon, and a good tip from a friend last week was enough to convince me to do so. All he told me was that there was a new dessert, not featured on the menu, served in a “10 gallon hat”. I immediately said, “let’s go to Whispering Canyon!”
Now, while the main purpose of this trip was the ginormous dessert, which we will get to shortly, I do want to review the infamous skillet offered here, so this will be a full review.
Whispering Canyon Menu
The all-you-care-to-enjoy milkshakes are a great value at 7.50, the caramel is a particular favorite of mine. However, I skipped the shakes since there was an acrylic hat filled with sugary confections to order…
All-You-Care-To-Enjoy Skillet ($30 for adults, $14 for children)
The skillet meal begins with a salad of mixed greens covered in an Apple Vinaigrette.
There was also cornbread, which I couldn’t manage to get a picture of before we started devouring it…
The skillet itself contains pork ribs, barbecue pulled pork, roasted glazed chicken, beef brisket, western style sausage, mashed potatoes, fresh vegetables, corn on the cob, and baked beans. It is quite the feast and the server will bring you more of whatever you want if the first skillet isn’t enough to conquer your hunger.
Everything was cooked well this time, providing an experience much like the Whispering Canyon I remember from my very first visits. This ain’t Victoria and Albert’s, but if you enjoy good barbecue in endless portions, this is the right place for you.
The 10 Gallon Hat Dessert ($27.00)
Served in a giant plastic hat, this thing is fairly insane. Insane enough where someone looking to eat lighter might go to Beaches & Cream and get the Kitchen Sink…
So, what is in the monstrosity? Well, let me tell you…
- Vanilla ice cream
- Chocolate ice cream
- Strawberry ice cream
- Mine Chocolate Chip ice cream
- A full piece of Apple Pie
- Graham Cracker Crumbles
- A whole vanilla cupcake
- Strawberry Sauce
- Caramel Sauce
- A skewer of toasted marshmallows
- 2 chocolate brownies
- Chocolate covered bacon
The Ten Gallon Hat is not on the menu, you will likely have to ask for it. In our case, our serve never even brought it up. After she finished rattling off the dessert menu, we then asked if she had anything larger, to which I replied, “Do you happen to have something served in plastic headgear?”
I was rather surprised that there was not a big hoopla made over the ordering of this dessert hat. Whispering Canyon is generally loud: there are servers yelling at guests, guests yelling for ketchup, and loud horse on a stick pony races around the entire dining area. HOW IS THERE NOT SOME LOUD EVENT WHEN SOMEONE ORDERS THE BIGGEST DESSERT AT DISNEY WORLD?
I informed my server that I was disappointed about this, and that I expected more from such an insanely fun establishment. She then brought her manager over to hear my idea. The manager then looked at the server and said. “let’s work on this tonight!”. So, if you order this and something happens before it comes to your table, I guess you can thank ol’ Tom Corless. If nothing happens, well then, I just look stupid as usual I suppose.
The 10 Gallon Hat is suggested for 6-10 guests according to our server. We had 3 full-grown adults & 2 children who at least had a few bites, and we made a sizable dent in this thing. That being said, we are not suggested serving size people and probably devour more dessert than the average human being.
I feel like I’m downplaying the size by saying we almost finished it, but we are not normal, and this was more food than you can imagine, even looking at the photos.
To paraphrase Ian Malcolm in Jurassic Park, Whispering Canyon was so worried about creating this dessert, they never wondered if they should. It is really good, but there are a few things that just don’t blend well. I managed to get a bite or two that (I believe) had apple pie, pineapple, and mint ice cream in it. This is not something I wanted. That being said, finding a full vanilla cupcake under a mound of chocolate ice cream pretty much made my day. Nothing is blended in it, so it does make it easy to divvy up everyone’s favorite desserts, despite the daunting size of the overall contraption.
If you are picky in your dessert eating (I don’t care for fruit desserts), choose your bites carefully, but otherwise, dig in as you please. They will also provide bowls if you don’t feel like having your whole party eat out of one hat.
This is how far we got…
$27.00 is a lot of money (and according to one reader, too expensive for lunch at Tiffins), but this was something unique and is sure to be something everyone in the family will remember about their trip to Disney World for a long time to come. I have encountered some crazy desserts in my time, but the 10 Gallon Hat has to be just about the craziest.
Thanks to Chris and Elizabeth Chatron for their help in ordering and eating this thing…