FIRST LOOK, Review, and PHOTOS! Here’s What’s Different About Whispering Canyon Cafe at Disney World’s Wilderness Lodge!

This past week has been a foodie trip around the reopened Disney Vacation Club Resorts! Since several DVC Resorts reopened last Monday, we have been checking out some popular food spots like Kona Cafe at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort and Grand Floridian Cafe at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa to see what’s new and what’s the same old, same old!

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

Today, we’re sharing our experience at Whispering Canyon Cafe at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge! Are the waiters just as sassy as ever? Will we get ten bottles of ketchup!? Keep reading to find out!


Currently, the two options for visiting a Disney World Resort hotel are 1) to be staying there as a guest or 2) to have a confirmed dining reservation at one of their resorts. Tip: we were actually informed by security at the parking lot entrance at Wilderness Lodge that we arrived a little TOO early for our reservation! So keep that in mind when you plan your meals, as you may not have as much time to “wander” around the resorts before your reservation as you may think!

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

Like many of our other dining experiences this week, we used the new Mobile Dine Check-In to let Whispering Canyon know we had arrived for our reservation!

Whispering Canyon Cafe

In the main lobby of the restaurant, there are plexiglass “sneeze guards” at the host stand. The QR code to scan in for Mobile Dine Check-In is also located there.

Whispering Canyon Cafe

We received a text message letting us know our table was ready, and off we went!

Mobile Dine Check-In

The Mobile Dine Check-In has so far been a very smooth experience for us!

Like the other dining locations we’ve visited, fewer tables are in use at this time.

Whispering Canyon Cafe

Signs are placed on the tables that are not being used, allowing for safe physical distancing between parties.

Read more about Disney’s new Mobile Dine Check-In here!


Once we arrived at our table, we were presented with a QR code to scan to view a digital menu

Digital QR menu at Whispering Canyon Cafe

…but paper menus are available upon request.

Whispering Canyon Cafe paper menu

The front side of the paper menu features their food options, while the other side includes all of the beverages you can order.

Paper menu at Whispering Canyon Cafe

Then we had to make the difficult decision of what to order! Whispering Canyon Cafe’s star menu items are those shareable skillets, but we decided to try something a little different this time around!

Learn more about how your dining experience at Disney World will change this summer!

We started our evening with some cornbread because when one eats at Whispering Canyon Cafe, one must eat ALL the cornbread! (Obviously, cornbread is the perfect vehicle for getting copious amounts of that whipped butter into our mouths!) To our disappointment, they had JUST run out of the regular cornbread but they DID have the allergy-friendly cornbread, which is both vegan and gluten-free. So, we gave it a shot!

Allergy-friendly cornbread

In the past we have found the allergy-friendly version of their cornbread to be moist and super yummy, but the one we were served today was definitely on the dry side and had an almost grainy texture. Don’t worry, it still holds plenty of butter though (that was really our end game here!).

Allergy-friendly cornbread

Another dish well known by Whispering Canyon Cafe aficionados are their “Burnt Ends” Nachos for $12.00!

“Burnt Ends” Nachos

Seriously, just press pause for a second and check out this incredibleness in action. They’re HUGE!!


These nachos are, in a word, STUPENDOUS! The meat on the nachos is the perfect mixture of both crispy burnt AND soft textures! Speaking of the meat, we did find that there were a TON of toppings on our nachos, so we would probably request extra chips in the future! And for just $12.00, this “appetizer” could easily fill you up as a meal on its own!

Burnt Ends Nachos toppings

Our dinner was definitely off to a pretty good start if we do say so ourselves!

Burnt Ends Nachos and Allergy-friendly cornbread at Whispering Canyon Cafe

We also ordered the Cedar Plank Salmon for $26.00 as an entree. We found the salmon to be very tasty, even for those who aren’t salmon fans! The star of this dish, however, was the CHEESY Ancient Grains on the side!

Cedar Plank Salmon

It had a risotto-like texture, TONS of Parmesan flavor, and was SUPER creamy and yummy! It totally makes this dish worth ordering, especially if you already are a salmon lover! That salmon was good too but if we’re being honest? It was totally overshadowed by that bomb side!

As for dessert…we had our hearts set on the Seasonal Cobbler, but we were told it was currently unavailable! The cobbler here is typically REALLY yummy, so we’ll keep an eye on when it makes an appearance.

Read another recent review of Whispering Canyon Cafe here!

One of the memorable features of Whispering Canyon Cafe is the zany and sassy service from the Cast Members! In the past, we’ve seen the servers do just about everything from pony races around the restaurant to gallon-sized mason jars of drinks! If you ask for a large drink, you may get WAY more than you bargained for! Unfortunately when we visited, we were told those weren’t available, so our drinks were brought out to us in a standard mason jar.

Standard mason jars

If you ask for a large drink and they don’t have the JUMBO jars, you may receive the extra serving of your beverage of choice right away to still have the “effect” of getting extra, but it certainly isn’t as fun as those gallon mason jars! We were also curious to see what happened when we asked for ketchup. (If you’ve been here before, you KNOW!) Alas…

Sad ketchup from Whispering Canyon Cafe

we were given one sad little ramekin of ketchup! Our server did tell us that all those fun antics are not happening for now but when the parks reopen there may be some new, re-imagined ways for the servers to interact with the guests. For now, they were limited to some light heckling.

Learn more about the restaurants that will reopen with the theme parks here!

Nosh Or Not?

Whispering Canyon Cafe is a great spot if…

  • Your travel party is big into “family style” dining and are game to split those massive signature skillet dishes. Prepare to leave Whispering Canyon Cafe FULL.
  • You’re staying at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge and looking for a decent table service restaurant with good food.
  • You LOVE meat. While there are also plant-based options available on their menu, Whispering Canyon Cafe is all about those high-protein skillets.

You may want to consider skipping Whispering Canyon Cafe if…

  • Your favorite part about dining there are those zany waiters! With those antics on the shelf for the time being, Whispering Canyon Cafe is currently really no different than any other restaurant on property.
  • You aren’t in the Magic Kingdom area that particular day. Currently, you can only visit a resort hotel if you are staying there overnight or if you have a confirmed dining reservation. If you aren’t already in the Magic Kingdom resort area, it’s a pretty far trek, especially with the limited transportation currently available.
  • You’re looking for a quiet, romantic vibe. Even with the stunted waiter interactions, Whispering Canyon Cafe still makes for a louder dining experience. If you’re at Wilderness Lodge and looking for a romantic dinner, check out Storybook Dining at Artist Point when it reopens!


Our experience at Whispering Canyon Cafe was a delight! This restaurant has been hit-or-miss for us in recent years, but we found the food to be exceptional this time around. While we understand the limited antics from the waiters at this time, it was still a highlight of meals here for us. But the tasty food and the promise of shenanigans returning one day down the road will keep up coming back!

What’s your favorite dish to order at Whispering Canyon Cafe? Let us know in the comments!