Here’s follow-up #2 of my Coin Collecting Packages for my Friends but this has a little twist. After my parents successfully collected the coins I had requested in packet #1, I wrote about it in a follow-up post you can check out here. Initially this second package was for a co-worker of mine that annually visits Florida and always stays at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. I made the assumption she would be going again, but unfortunately she was saddened to inform me that they were going to have to skip this years trip.
Initially I wasn’t too concerned since my family had planned to go down to WDW for a wedding in October, and this would just mean I’d needed to take a special trip over to this resort to press the coins. Then as luck would have it my wife and I ended up scheduling just last week an impromptu trip to Orlando for a couple of days (more details to come in some future posts). It also ended up that we would be visiting during my birthday so I used that as an excuse to book a reservation at the Whispering Canyon Cafe located in … you guessed it the Wilderness Lodge. Funny how things work out like that.
I will start out by stating that I have never stayed at this particular resort, but it was always on my to-do list. We have stopped in every so often when collecting coins in the past, but this would be the first time for an extended visit. We parked in the guest lot and as we walked up towards the main entrance this place is really enormous and beautifully built. With all the logs and stone work it looks like a huge log cabin, but with every amenity you can think of.
Here’s the Resorts logo on the welcome mat as you enter the main entrance.
The main lobby area just towers over you as you walk inside. The theme of this resort as with all of the Disney resorts is really amazing.
I took the stairs up to the fourth or fifth floor to capture the above picture of the light figures that look like a little teepee. How cool is that.
Just beyond the resort check-in area is the gift shop ..er sorry the Mercantile. I couldn’t resist the Mickey and friends totem pole located just outside.
We had only arrived about 15 minutes before our dining reservation so after a quick look around we headed over to the Whispering Canyon Cafe to check-in. After a few moments they escorted us to our table. Now a word of warning for anyone not familiar with this restaurant, it is listed as a Unique/Themed dining experience. What does this mean? Well it’s all in fun, but there could be some shenanigans with the wait staff. An experience I had was when we ordered drinks mine didn’t have a straw so I asked our waitress for one and she told me to “Hold my horses I’m working on it” which was then followed by about 20 straws being thrown at me. Again this is all part of the act and was actually quite funny at least to my family. For those of you that are not interested in participating fear not this restaurant has recently made a change. When you are first seated your table is given a coaster which is green on one side and red on the other.
If you turn it to Green then your wait staff knows you want to play, but if you turn it to Red you just want to watch. But to be honest you’re in Disney so why not just relax and have some fun. There are stick pony rides every so often for the kids, and ask for ketchup at your own risk.
The table beside us in the picture above asked for ketchup and their waitress yelled out for the entire resort to hear that “We neeeeeed ketchup!”. A family a few tables away that had asked for ketchup previously had to walk over about 30 bottles of the red stuff. Each time someone asked for ketchup the last table with the bottles has to pass them along. During all this fun the food here is pretty much themed towards the inner cowboy in all of us and consists mainly of barbecue.
I opted for the all you can eat skillet which contained generous portions of brisket, ribs, chicken, sausage, corn, mashed potatoes and baked beans. The food comes in the skillet pictured above and as soon as you finish one off they will bring you out another until your pants no longer fit. After stuffing ourself on the food, and being picked on a little further by the staff we decided to try to walk off our food by wandering around the resort a little bit.
Outside the report has a beautiful waterfall that runs down stream, under a bridge and eventually into the main pool.
Being that we were in central Florida it didn’t take long before the sky opened up and it started to drizzle. We walked around a bit more but eventually the rain really started coming down so we quickly headed back inside. I then took this opportunity to search out the pressed coin machines that were to be found inside.
Almost directly across from the entrance to the Whispering Canyon Cafe was the first set of machines. These two were combined into one nice looking cabinet and consisted of three penny designs and one quarter.
The penny designs had images of Snow White (Disney Princesses Set #5 of 6), Winnie the Pooh and Tigger too.
The quarter design had Pocahontas and John Smith with the Wilderness Lodge Resort Logo above them. I always like the coins that get this special treatment for the resorts. This makes a really cool souvenir for visiting this specific location. Since not all resorts have designs like this I started collecting Coffee Mugs from each of the resorts I visit, but that’s a whole other collection we won’t get into.
Back near where the mercantile (gift shop) was located are a set of doors that led out to the covered walkway that leads to the resort’s bus stop. This is where you can get the bus to take you to the different parks or Disney Springs. Another great feature of this resort were these walkways which I though were really cool.
Out by the bus stop I hit the jackpot. There was a three machine cabinet just waiting to be used. This included one quarter machine, and two penny machines each with three designs. Seven coins in one location must be a record or something.
First up was the quarter design which showed Woody and Buzz Lighyear which is part of the Friends set #5 of 8).
If nothing else this resort has quite the variation of coin designs covering a wide range of Disney characters. The first penny machine had Simba from The Lion King, Gill from Finding Nemo, and Happy from Snow White.
The last machine had Pocahontas kneeling, Meeko (also from Pocahontas) and Winnie the Pooh & Piglet counting honey pots. As I turned to head back inside I noticed one other new piece of technology at the bus stop. I really liked this idea and when I had visited last year these were still a rumor but not anymore.
Each resort bus stop now has a screen that gives the times of when the next buses will arrive for available location (Parks, Water parks, Disney Springs). I was happy to see this finally in use and can’t wait to try it out when we visit again this fall.
Unfortunately since we didn’t stay overnight I can’t attest to any of the rooms but can only image if they are anything like the rest of the resort I’m sure they are amazing. This has definitely moved up on my “Want to stay at” list. But even if you don’t stay overnight definitely come check out the resort you could easily spend an afternoon wandering around and check out the Whispering Canyon Cafe for some food. But don’t forget to make your kids ask for Ketchup!