Walt Disney World has announced new food coming to Wilderness Lodge this month. In this post, we’ll dispense with dish details, plus photos and thoughts about the enticing entress, savory snacks, and decadent desserts coming to the best resort at Walt Disney World.
Naturally, I won’t pass up an opportunity to plug Wilderness Lodge. Whenever I hype up an unsung spot at Walt Disney World, there are invariably some readers who don’t want the secret to get out. In reality, there’s a bigger danger of hidden gems being ruined or replaced when Disney tries to “fix” their poor performance, rather than those locations being overwhelmed with a sudden surge of popularity.
But as the kids say: can’t stop, won’t stop. Paying more and having a harder time booking the resort obviously isn’t ideal, but I’m ecstatic that Wilderness Lodge is finally getting the love it deserves. This blog’s whole existence is premised around hyping the things I enjoy and criticizing my enemies out of existence (your days are numbered, Dino-Rama!), and Wilderness Lodge is at the top of my ‘best of Walt Disney World’ list. I love that other fans are discovering and falling in love with this resort.
Not only that, but Wilderness Lodge is right up there with Animal Kingdom Lodge as the most immersive and lavishly-designed resort at Walt Disney World. The success of Wilderness Lodge is proof-positive that guests, even casual ones, like transportive and ambitiously-themed hotels.
In a just and logical world, this would mean fewer resort reimaginings that homogenize and dilute the design, or produce new rooms that evoke the antiseptic aesthetic of hospitals. (To Walt Disney World’s credit, recent resort redos have better balanced themed design and luxurious or modern accommodations.)
Anyway, let’s get to the point of this post by taking a look at what’s cooking at Wilderness Lodge. Starting today (October 4, 2022), Territory Lounge has some new menu items to try.
The Territory Popcorn Sampler features the chef’s take on popcorn with spicy, caramel, sea salt, truffle, and BBQ flavors. For the Artisanal Cheese and Charcuterie, Chef Brian Knox carefully selected Oregon and Utah cheeses with a focus on smokey notes and even a cheese wrapped in honey and sea salt, accompanied by fresh honeycomb, pickled vegetables, and handcrafted bread.
There are also some flavorful flatbreads new to the Territory Lounge menu. The Loaded Baked Potato Flatbread is topped with bacon, potato, chive cream cheese, and crème fresh while the Salmon Run is topped with an in-house dill-cured gravlax salmon with truffle cream cheese, fried capers, onions, black sea salt, and dill.
On the one hand, I feel like artisanal flatbreads–or whatever you want to call these–is a foodie trend that ran its course several years ago. On the other hand, these both sound really good to me, and I’m generally a sucker for flatbreads (or any pizza, really). Walt Disney World went flatbread-wild for a while, and has since backed off. I feel like the amount of flatbreads we’re now seeing as appetizers and at lounges is generally appropriate.
Rounding out the new menu items at Territory Lounge are the Bacon on the Wire and the Bone and Brie. The Bacon on the Wire is an “elevated dish” with black pepper candied bacon cured in smoked paprika and bourbon, cold smoked, and roasted perfectly with a bourbon glaze. In addition to bacon, it features deviled eggs topped with fried shrimp, chipotle beef jerky, and salmon candy with a bourbon drizzle.
You’ll be hard-pressed to find a bigger bacon enthusiast than me. I love the stuff, and I don’t discriminate–I’ll even devour a plate of the rubber bacon cut with a paper slicer served up at Walt Disney World buffets. However, I am sick and tired of this “bacon on a clothesline” trend. Instead of 3 pieces of candied bacon presented obnoxiously for $16 (or whatever this ends up costing), just give me a bowl of bacon without any frills for the same price. This is amateur hour–bacon for people who don’t actually like bacon.
The Bone and Brie is a “foodie adventure” with roasted bone marrow, honey-baked brie baked in a cast iron skillet with marionberry onion jam. As for this Bone & Brie, I’m willing to wait before passing judgment. This is also a tad on the trendy side, but to my knowledge, there’s no ‘marrow alternative’ that’s less fussy and frill-free. It comes with the territory here, and this dish actually sounds promising.
In addition to these mouthwatering eats, there are new handcrafted alcoholic beverages joining the Territory Lounge menu. The National 95, a coast-to-coast twist on the classic French 95 cocktail, combines Whistle Pig Rye from the East coast with simple syrup, and sparkling Argyle Brut from the West coast while the Lewis and Clark-inspired L&C G&T features Fords Gin, St. Germaine, and elderflower tonic, garnished with a cucumber ribbon and fresh flower.
The Orchards Bounty is made up of Ketel One Peach & Orange Blossom Botanicals vodka, house-made pinot gris syrup, Dolin Blanc vermouth, and Aperol. Sangria fans will love the Orange Spiced Sangria, a drink with Chateau Ste Michelle cabernet, Cointreau orange liqueur, apple cider, and house-made orange spice syrup. The Northwoods masterfully brings together Bulleit Rye, house-made rosemary syrup, citrus juices, and maple into one delicious cocktail.
For a campfire feel on a classic cocktail, the Smores Old Fashioned has Elijah Craig bourbon, toasted marshmallow syrup, and chocolate bitters garnished with toasted marshmallows. Finally, the Timeless Elias is a smoking libation featuring Macallan 12 yr. scotch, house-made vanilla bean syrup, and Courvoisier VSOP.
Turning to Roaring Fork, the underrated counter service restaurant at Wilderness Lodge, which also has new menu items beginning on October 11, 2022. Kickstart your day at Roaring Fork with one of the new breakfast options. The Meat and Potatoes Quiche with broccoli, potatoes, bacon, ham, and gouda. The Vegetable Lover’s Quiche with peppers, onions, leeks, green peas, potatoes, broccoli, fresh herb, and cheddar. Both look to be delicious options to fuel up on before your adventure.
For some sweet starts, indulge in the Warm Freshly Baked Cinnamon Roll with fresh blueberries and blueberry cream cheese frosting or the extra-large Warm Grizzly Bear Claw with mixed nuts and raisin filling. Both of these look incredibly promising, although I do wish we could get marionberry, boysenberry, or huckleberry cream cheese. Blueberry looks good, but those would be more unique–and fitting for the National Park themed lodge!
For lunch and dinner, there are some more items recently added that you need to taste. The Asian-Style Noodle Salad is quite refreshing with tofu, mixed vegetables, crispy rice noodles, and fried wontons. You can even add chicken or shrimp for extra protein. The Heirloom Tomato Salad with pickled wild mushrooms, burrata cheese, red pepper pesto, and basil is also a tasty, lighter option.
If you’re looking for a heartier dish, there are two more for you. The Country-style Baked Meatloaf features buttery green peas, chunky mashed potatoes, and gravy for a classic meal. The Barbecued Brisket and Burnt Ends with potato hash, fiery coleslaw, and cornbread features some comfort BBQ fare packed with flavor.
These last three items sound fantastic to me. Already planning our next meal at Roaring Fork, and planning on ordering that trio for the two of us, as it sounds like the perfect mix of light and heavy dishes. My guess is that the meats are similar to those served in the skillets at Whispering Canyon Cafe, which is good by me!
Finally, there are quite a few new desserts available all day long that are joining Roaring Fork’s menu. The Almond Walnut Bundt Cake is a must with a coffee glaze and cream cheese icing. If you’ve got a taste for blueberry, the house-made Blueberry Thyme Crumb Pie is a seasonal item that will change flavors throughout the year, so you can keep coming back. The adorable Bear Mousse Cake brings together raspberry mousse, almond cake, and dark chocolate ganache into a treat that is almost too cute to eat – almost.
Lastly, Humphrey the Bear has a passion for honey and the new Humphrey Bee Hive Cake is the perfect sweet eat for him. This delightful dish is made with chocolate cake, passionfruit mousse, sugar bees, and a white chocolate Humphrey on top.
I’m totally on board with all of these desserts. My only minor quibble is, again, with blueberry instead of a more unique berry. Otherwise, these all sound ambitious and, mercifully, lacking in food coloring and (hopefully) artificial flavors. My only hope is that the bear dessert ends up looking ‘less-perfect’ in person. Totally a personal thing, but I find there to be tremendous comedic value when Walt Disney World tries to make a dessert look like a person or critter, and instead it turns into a monster. Perfect timing ahead of Halloween!
Thoughts on these new menu items debuting at Wilderness Lodge in October 2022? Have any hot takes about bacon on a clothesline, flatbreads, or other foodie trends? What about blueberry v. marionberry, huckleberry, or boysenberry? Non-issue or hill to die on for you? Do you agree or disagree with our assessments? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback—even when you disagree with us—is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!