Trail’s End Restaurant Breakfast Review
Trail’s End Restaurant is a buffet in Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground at Walt Disney World. This review features photos and thoughts about breakfast at Trail’s End. The buffet menu at Trail’s End features a lot of different country favorites, and I think offers the best bang for your buck at Walt Disney World. Trail’s End participates in the Disney Dining Plan, and accepts Tables in Wonderland for a 20% discount. Given its low cost, it’s not a great use of a Disney Dining Plan table service credit if you’re trying to maximize your value on the Disney Dining Plan. However, it’s an excellent option if paying out of pocket.
Trail’s End is one of those restaurants you don’t hear a ton about, probably due to its remote location at Fort Wilderness. What you do hear is almost unanimous praise. I was a little concerned about all of the hype before I visited the Trail’s End for the first time (well, probably not the first time…my family used to camp at Fort Wilderness every year until Shades of Green opened, but I don’t remember any of those early-1990s meals), as I’ve found that hype tends to snowball in the Disney community, and some of the most popular things tend to be disappointments (Exhibit A).
Fortunately, that was not the case with Trail’s End in the slightest. Not only did it live up to every bit of that hype, but it also proved to be a fun location that is equal parts quaintness and quirkiness in terms of ambiance…
What do I mean by that? Well, let’s start with Disney’s description of the decor, which “keep[s] things suitably cozy and rustic as you and your kin tuck into a heaping spread of hearty countrified fare and new-fangled favorites.” Normally, I’d think this was the standard, embellished marketing copy to really sell a theme. In the case of Trail’s End, this folksy talk is completely on the money. Trail’s End feels like a restaurant you might stumble upon in the backwoods of Alabama, in a city with only a gas station, a single restaurant, and a barbershop.
Normally, Disney environments are designed to convey a certain theme and atmosphere, but Trail’s End feels more organic than that, as if they allowed Rocky and Ruby Sue to set up shop at Fort Wilderness. There are some random photos and decorations you just wouldn’t expect to see in a Disney restaurant, and it really gives Trail’s End an aura of authenticity. This isn’t to say that other theming at Walt Disney World doesn’t feel authentic–it does–or that Trail’s End is amateurish–it isn’t–but there’s a certain unpolished feeling to Trail’s End that gives it both added charm and character.
I mean all of this as high praise; the ambiance of Trail’s End is great. Although some of the details are a bit puzzling, it’s all in good fun, and the look of the restaurant is well done. This is really all in keeping with Fort Wilderness as a whole, which is one of the last vestiges of the ‘Vacation Kingdom of the World’ days of Walt Disney World, back when the resort presented itself as much more than theme parks. Fort Wilderness is sort of an anomaly in terms of present-day Walt Disney World, almost as if the powers that be are unaware of its existence, and the management of the Fort has gone rogue and really done whatever they want.
I know that’s not the case, but it does seem like Fort Wilderness has been largely undisturbed as so much of the rest of Walt Disney World has changed, with the Fort remaining a bastion of tranquility and reminder of the simpler, early days of the Vacation Kingdom. I’m still trying to convince Sarah to grab one of our tents and spend a weekend at Fort Wilderness, never leaving the campground. Suffice to say, I love the atmosphere at Fort Wilderness, and by extension, Trail’s End.
I dined at the breakfast buffet at Fort Wilderness with a couple friends after a morning of sunrise photography. We had parked at the front of the Fort and walked all the way to the dock at the back, which I think was a little over a mile…and continued chasing the light for a couple hours for what ended up being a bit of a bust of a sunrise. All that walking around for nothing stirred up my appetite.
In terms of food, Trail’s End absolutely delivered. It’s American comfort food with a country skew, and pretty much everything felt like a recipe from the Pioneer Woman. Given the price, there are a surprising number of options, from create your own yogurt parfait to breakfast pizza, biscuits and gravy, and eggs benedict. For drinks, there’s a delicious “moonshine” juice that I highly recommend. As an added bonus, it won’t make you go blind! I had pictures of this juice, among other things, but my memory card from this morning got corrupted and I was unable to recover some of the photos…but this juice looks like juice. Helpful, right?
The buffet has the standard cold options like fruit, cereal, toast, and bagels, but this isn’t amateur hour, so we’ll skip ahead to the things that matter: the meats and cooked foods.
The absolute star of the show is the eggs benedict. There are two varieties of this, traditional style with Canadian bacon, and a countryfied version with pulled pork (pictured on the right). I don’t know what it was, but there is something about the pulled pork version that was just amazing–the epitome of breakfast comfort food. Normally, I try to only sample a particular item once so I can “test” everything on the buffet, but I may have had a few of these…
Also pictured on this plate, biscuits and gravy (a staple of any country buffet), cheese grits, bread pudding, and Mickey waffle. The bread pudding was absolutely delicious, and the perfect breakfast dessert. Or, in my case, something to have throughout the meal. (Pro tip: when you’re on vacation, dessert is far game any time of day or for an entire meal if you so desire.)
I’m not a huge fan of the Mickey waffles anywhere, but they are a crowd pleaser, so it’s good to see a few varieties of them on the buffet.
This plate shows the veggie frittata, other eggs benedict, breakfast pizza, salmon, potatoes, bacon, sausage, and hash browns. All of this was delicious, with the frittata being unexpectedly good.
I’m a sucker for breakfast pizza (it’s pizza…at breakfast…what’s not to love?), so perhaps I enjoyed this more than I should have, but I thought it was really good.
In terms of the main food offerings, that’s it. The buffet is somewhat limited as compared to other breakfast buffets at Walt Disney World, but I feel like everything on this buffet packs a good punch. Plus, breakfast here will run you less than $20, versus around double that for Chef Mickey’s. Granted, there are no characters here, but the food is better, and maybe you could try to trick your kids to do a meet & greet with that mounted buffalo head? (Just tell them it’s Buff, one of the coolest Disney characters anywhere!)
Overall, Trail’s End is well worth the trip out to Fort Wilderness. I think Fort Wilderness itself is well worth the trip out to Fort Wilderness, so consider a meal here icing on the cake. From the delightfully kitschy decor to the price point to the food itself, Trail’s End is an absolute winner. We’ve found breakfast to be the weakest meal at Walt Disney World, but Trail’s End presents a really great option for it. Even if you arbitrarily take price and theme out of the equation, I’d say Trail’s End would be in the running for best breakfast at Walt Disney World. Once you factor in the value it offers and the fun setting, it’s a no-brainer.
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Overall Score: 10/10
To read other Disney restaurant reviews from Walt Disney World and dining resources, check out our Walt Disney Dining Reviews Index.
Have you eaten at Trail’s End? Did you enjoy the meal? What was your favorite piece of decor? Want to eat here? Share your thoughts on anything related to Trail’s End or Fort Wilderness in the comments!
as of 3/22/2021 Fort wilderness Trail’s end is temporarily closed from WDW website hope the fort will open for breakfast in November I get hungry!
We went here this morning for Christmas brunch. While the selection was amazing, all of the food was cold. When I mentioned this to our waiter, he was very kind and brought me a bowl of lukewarm sausage gravy. We were very disappointed.
We went here last month for breakfast which happened to be a Saturday. At the weekends, they do a special extra breakfast which comprises an amazing roast ham (which was incredible) and the ABSOLUTE star was the oak smoked bacon, which came in a massive hock that they sliced in front of you. It was amazing, and the best breakfast I had at WDW. Go on a weekend!
I’m going here for Breakfast this Friday and I’m so excited to try it! I love breakfast food! I’m worried about getting there though, because we’re relying only on Disney transportation to get around, and it looks like a few people lament how hard it is to make it to this restaurant. What do you recommend? Thanks for the great article!
My dad loves the dinner buffet. We will have to try breakfast!
Just went to the Trail’s End buffet for dinner: $24 per person and definitely one of the cheapest meals in Disney considering the quality.
They had had smoked brisket and baked fresh glazed ham the night I went, and the best salmon I think I’ve ever had in Disney World (and that includes Artist’s Point). The sides were excellent too and We all liked the baked potato bar.
The trip on the bus is the only downer; one of our party was in a wheelchair and you lose a little bit of the carefree spirit that you have at Disney because you must depend on the bus driver to strap in the wheelchair (but he did it with great rapidity and skill.)
I found all your comments on Fort Wilderness spot on and it is a charming corner of the park. My sisters used to camp there every year and it is apparently a greatest experience. ( I never have ). I hope you get to go camp there soon; I’ve never heard anyone disappointed with the experience.
Thanks for the tremendous blog, and happy travels.
Shush! We really are trying to keep this place a “hidden” gem! LOL
We love Trail’s End for breakfast! The pulled pork eggs benedict are the best! If you aren’t staying at the fort, the boat from the Magic Kingdom drops you off right by Trail’s End so you don’t have such a far walk. I also wanted to mention that they offer a 10% discount if you pay with a Disney Visa card.
Awesome tip about the boat and Disney Visa. Thanks!
We ate there before leaving for home so had to park and ride the bus to the restaurant. It was a major pain. I would only recommend if riding the boat as you mentioned.
Also, folks rave about that bacon, but I found it terribly undercooked. I was looking for a microwave.
The “Giddy Up & Go” chicken dinner is delicious and possibly the best value in all of WDW. We take the boat to Ft. Wilderness…stop at Trails End for this take out dinner…sit outside and eat…then hit the Chip n Dale Singalong. It’s an awesome, low cost way to spend a great evening at WDW!
That sounds like a really awesome plan. I’ll have to remember this…
We ate here in January, and I am DEEPLY disappointed that they didn’t have the pulled pork eggs benedict while we were there. They only had bacon or ham. Although it does make me want to eat here next time we haul the camper down there though.
No pulled pork?! That is criminal.
Trails end and the Captains Grill are our two “go to” spots on our disney vacations.
Dinner Buffet is really great as well at Trails end, especially if you book an early time. Afterwards, you can roam around the farm, look at the horses, go for a pony ride, etc…all while the sun sets. It really brings about that feeling of “relaxing” away from all the craziness at the rest of WDW. And where can you drink from Mason jars and take a nice sunset boat ride into Magic Kingdom for the rest of the evenings activities. We sometimes do it twice since it really is so pleasant
You should review captains grille though…best & cheapest breakfast spot in the epcot resort area. Never busy in the mornings – we go at 7:30/8 and there are like 5 tables full, with a decent buffet (hot, cold, cereals, muffins, yogurt) and the best part is the price…cheap! It is priced like trails end and such a nice break from cape may (where everyone goes) or the other breakfast character restaurants
The feedback from friends about Captain’s Grille has really been all over the place, so I’ve been apprehensive to give it a try. Maybe it’s time to bite the bullet and just do it. Thanks!
Love reviews like this. In answer to your other recent post regarding what we might enjoy seeing in the future from you, it is exactly this. As “older” Disney guests with many visits in our past, we have moved on from being mainly experiencers of rides to hunting for new treasures to experience. (I went through my own phase of shooting beautiful vignette shots with my old 35mm film cameras before others did this en masse. Got lots of odd looks back then.) And now we are on to enjoying the hunt for gems such as this place. Love your creative look into menus, ambiance, hidden corners in the resorts that might appeal to this of us going one layer deeper in the Disney world!
Totally know what you mean. We are at the same stage, and I think posts like this for the “Disney Veterans” would probably really appeal to regular readers!
Great review! Looks like my husband and I will have to try this one out for breakfast soon. The pulled pork eggs benedict sounds similar to “The Samoan” at Kona Cafe – which also happens to be one of my favorite breakfast items in all of WDW. If you haven’t tried that one yet, you should. Seems like it would be right up your alley (poached eggs and hollandaise sauce over a scrumptious smoked pulled pork hash… mouth watering as I type)
The Samoan is already on my list–don’t worry! 🙂
Have eaten there for dinner buffet several times and enjoyed it hugely but have never tried Trail’s End for breakfast. Now I’m seriously tempted for next time around especially being a sucker for a good eggs benedict (the ones on the Wave’s breakfast buffet are always good too.)
Their dinner buffet is definitely worth a try too!!!
This is my family’s favorite place to go too! We stay at Wilderness lodge, and must do a breakfast and a lunch at Trails End each visit. There is something special about Fort Wilderness. Oh, and my Ruby Sue (6) just loves the place! 🙂
LOL, is that actually your daughter’s name? If so, is it also a reference to National Lampoon’s Vacation series? If so, MAJOR PROPS! 🙂
The eggs Benedict are really something special. Hard to believe they are off a buffet table And Trails End crushes Hash Browns! They’re amazing! We stayed at POR in October and took a cab to the front Entrance of Ft. Wilderness and walked back to the restaurant. It was one of the best parts of our trips. Totally different vibe with people out bike riding, dog walking, and running. I do think there is one negative to the buffet and that is the small room with the single line buffet. We went on a Sunday morning and there was a long line every time I went to refill my plate (which was a bunch). This place is a huge bargain, especially if you have Tables in Wonderland. I still think Tusker House is the best buffet but this is a close 2nd (and way cheaper).
I could see it being busy on a Sunday, but when I went on a weekday, it was absolutely dead. I’ve heard it’s typically never more than half full. I think from that perspective, it probably doesn’t make sense to have two buffet lines, even if that does mean it backs up on Sundays.
Tusker House is better overall in terms of food (as is Boma), but overall–with value factored in–I think Trail’s End comes out ahead.
I LOVE your restaurant reviews! Thank you for all that you do.
Thank you! For a while I thought I was the only person on this planet who’s not a fan of Mickey waffles…
Maybe we just have a different understanding of waffles in Germany, but I was quite disappointed when I trled them for the first time..