This Whispering Canyon Cafe dinner review explores if this is the right Disney dining experience for your Disney couples trip.

When Mike and I were in Walt Disney World for Christmas in 2021, our friends from back home were staying at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, and we went to visit them one night.

🎄 We’d never been to the Wilderness Lodge, and it quickly became my top choice of hotels to stay in during the holidays.

Kara met us in her pajamas, exactly what everyone else was wearing as they lolled around the lobby, which had an enormous Christmas tree in the center.

It was the coziest, most Christmas-y Disney experience I could imagine, and the vibe was calm and hushed. You felt like you could grab a seat in the center of the lobby and doze off.


When Mike and I were planning our 2024 trip, we wanted to spend more time at Wilderness Lodge, so we booked dinner at the Whispering Canyon Cafe.

Our memories of a chill, subdued experience were dashed by kids screaming, “Ketchup!” and the servers yelling inside jokes that only regulars could understand.

That didn’t make for an entirely unenjoyable experience, but it was different from what we’d expected.

As a couple traveling to Disney World on a romantic trip, knowing what to expect at Whispering Canyon Cafe can help you decide if it’s a good addition to your Disney dining reservations or not.

The Setting

The lobby of Disney's Wilderness Lodge.

The Whispering Canyon Cafe is a cinch to get to once you’re at the Wilderness Lodge. It’s right off the lobby, and you can see it once you enter. One side is completely open, only separated by a raised section where the restaurant is.

While the Cafe’s atmosphere was a surprise to us, we weren’t in for a shock once we were seated — we could easily tell what it was like while walking up to the host stand.

The restaurant isn’t large, and the tables and chairs are close together. It’s also brightly lit.

⛰️ While not romantic by any means, the setting is on theme with the rest of Wilderness Lodge, which the Disney website describes as “the rustic majesty of American’t Great Northwest” and “inspired by turn-of-the-century National Park lodges.”

Check. This definitely feels like a place you’d love to visit after a long, dirty day on a trail when you’re starving enough to eat two dinners plus dessert.

The Atmosphere

The Whispering Canyon Cafe is loud. This is a place where families take their kids, and those kids run around a lot and yell and laugh and get up and down and up and down.

They’re encouraged to by the staff. That’s kind of the Cafe’s thing: whooping and being raucous.

There’s also this game they play whenever someone needs ketchup. If you ask your server for ketchup, they yell, “Ketchup!” and a kid hops up and runs all the ketchup bottles to whatever table needs them. Then you sit there with 10 ketchup bottles on your table until someone else needs it.

It’s a cute, fun tradition that the kids love and that will grow on you even if you’re not into that kind of interactive dining experience. By the end of the meal, Mike was saying, “I kind of want to ask for ketchup,” just to be part of the charade.

The Menu

Nachos at Whispering Canyon Cafe in Disney World.

Whispering Canyon Cafe serves breakfast and lunch, but for this review, we’re going to focus on dinner.

There are starters, skillets, entrees and desserts, plus alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and milkshakes.

A favorite item on the Whispering Canyon Cafe menu is the all-you-care-to-enjoy signature skillets, which are $40 each for dinner. (Disney doesn’t use the term “all-you-can-eat” any longer.) There are four options to choose from:

Whispering Canyon Cafe dinner review of the signature skillets.

Otherwise, the menu’s on the skimpy side, probably because most people order a skillet. There are three appetizers, three entrees and three desserts.

If you come here expecting a ton of choices, you may have a hard time finding something you’ll like. This is a place where you want to check the menu ahead of time to pick out what you’ll order.

Dinner Review

Mike and I started with cocktails, which were perfectly acceptable. Nothing out of this world or special about them, but good enough to order a second round.

Cocktail at Whispering Canyon Cafe in Walt Disney World Resort.

For dinner, Mike had the ‘Burnt Ends’ Nachos appetizer, which was more than enough for his meal (and to share). They were topped with beef brisket, BBQ pulled pork, cheese sauce and salsa. Delicious.

The most notable part of my meal was the allergy-friendly Whispering Canyon House Salad, which had dried cranberries, goat cheese, and cranberry-poppyseed vinaigrette. It was simple but so yummy.

Allergy-friendly salad at Whispering Canyon in Wildnerness Lodge.

Also, Mike ordered a side of cornbread, and our server put in a request for a slice of gluten-free cornbread for me, too.

Gluten-Free Ordering at Whispering Canyon Cafe

As you can tell, I’m gluten-free (and dairy-free a lot of the time), so I had to order off the allergy-friendly menu.

Disney World is one of the easiest and most accommodating places to eat gluten-free.

Gluten-free cornbread at Whispering Canyon.

However, the resorts’ restaurants don’t have as many options as the in-park restaurants and eateries. One of the reasons we picked Whispering Canyon Cafe was for it’s gluten-free options, which were still limited but definitely my taste.

Our server was running around like crazy, but he still took lots of time to talk to me about my dietary restrictions. He even left the straw out of my drink because some straws can contain gluten, which I had no clue was a thing. Plus, he gave me tips for ordering GF throughout the rest of Disney World.

The Verdict: Wrapping Up Our Whispering Canyon Cafe Dinner Review

Lindsay and Mike at Wilderness Lodge in Walt Disney World.

Dining at the Whispering Canyon Cafe was a completely different experience than we expected after visiting the resort a couple of years earlier at Christmastime.

👎 We weren’t crazy about the ambiance and didn’t love the atmosphere because we were looking for a calmer, darker, more adult dining experience.

👍 That said, the food was good (though not exceptional), as were the drinks, and the server was excellent even though he was super busy.

Since we wanted to try a Wilderness Lodge restaurant other than Geyser Point Bar and Grill — which we love and highly recommend for a laidback drinks-and-snacks experience in the evening — we’re glad to have checked Whispering Canyon Cafe off our list.

However, since Whispering Canyon had a lot less going for it than we want on a Disney for couples trip, we likely won’t be returning. If we want a hearty meal, the Liberty Tree Tavern in Liberty Square at Magic Kingdom is far more our style, and the food there is excellent.

We usually stick to Disney restaurants for dinner, but if you want a Whispering Canyon Cafe breakfast review or you’re going to Whispering Canyon for lunch, check out this article.

For a truly romantic Disney dining experience, take a look at the prix fixe menu at Monsieur Paul in the World Showcase.

Whispering Canyon Cafe FAQs

The starting point of our Whispering Canyon Cafe dinner review — the hotel lobby.

Are there characters at Whispering Canyon Cafe in Walt Disney World?

No, there aren’t Disney characters at Whispering Canyon Cafe in Disney World. However, the servers are fun and animated, seemingly in character themselves in the spirit of the restaurant and resort.

Can you share the skillet at Whispering Canyon Cafe in Disney World?

Yes, you can share a skillet at Whispering Canyon Cafe, but anybody sharing the skillet will be charged its full price, which is $40 each for a dinner skillet. According to this Q&A, each person eating an all-you-care-to-enjoy skillet — regardless of which person ordered it — will be charged the full price.

What Disney park is Whispering Canyon in?

The Whispering Canyon Cafe is a restaurant at the Wilderness Lodge in Walt Disney World. It’s not in a Disney World park, so you can go whenever you like, whether or not you’re staying on Walt Disney property or visiting one of the parks that day. It’s always best to make dining reservations for Disney restaurants to ensure you’ll get a table.

Here’s how to make Disney dining reservations using the app.