Welcome back to Geyser Point Bar and Grill at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge!
Open for just over a year now, Geyser Point is a lounge-meets-counter-service restaurant (we’ll explain how that works shortly) set outside the beautiful Lodge, making the most of some truly terrific lakeside views.
It used to be that guests could grab a cocktail directly poolside at the casual Trout Pass Pool Bar. But the former Trout Pass has since been transformed into the Salon by the Springs, so Geyser Point is THE place to grab a drink near the Copper Creek Springs Pool.
But there’s much more than drinks in store these days. So let’s pay a one-year-old birthday visit to Geyser Point Bar and Grill! Because even in this very first year, there are already some changes to report. And while there’s still plenty to enjoy here, I can’t say I’m a fan of some of the changes.
Allow me to explain…
Geyser Point welcomes guests by presenting a rustic setting in perfect keeping with Wilderness Lodge.
In fact, before we step in and discuss what’s changed, let’s take a look at the spot in its opening days…
Geyser Point still combines the Lodge’s indoor stone-and-cedar vibe with the best of the outdoors. And though plenty of the space is open to the outdoor experience, you can easily enjoy it rain or shine, thanks to plenty of cover (and even retractable walls when the elements are a bit too severe).
There’s plenty of seating to be had, too, from right at the bar to traditional tables and chairs, to cozier, comfier couches.
Something rather unique to Geyser Point Bar and Grill is its dual purpose. There is a Counter Service element that operates pretty much like any other walk-up window around Disney World, serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
But you may also decide to dine in the lounge, which features a few unique-to-Geyser cocktails, several Northwest brews, and even some small plates.
And HERE’S where things get tricky. In Geyser Point’s earliest days, you could amble in, grab a table, and a server would come to greet you at the table you’d selected. Or, say you were bringing food from the Counter Service area. No problem! Just bring your grub and grab a seat.
Then just enjoy your food and the gorgeous views.
This brings me to those changes I mentioned earlier. On my visit, I had to wait to be seated in the lounge. No more strolling in and sitting where you choose (which kinds of defeats the whole attempted “pool bar” vibe).
And, I have to say it: the Cast Members I encountered who were in charge of seating that day were pretty rude about the whole thing. So, I want you to be prepared that it’s not necessarily that laid back feel you’d expect from an outdoor, partially Counter Service location. I showed up expecting the old system, so not knowing any different I continued towards a seat.
The way I was treated by the Cast Members when I was informed that things work differently now unfortunately left a bad taste in my mouth even before I placed an order.
On the upside, the food at Geyser Point (and my actual server herself) were still lovely.
Going in, you should know I ordered from both the Counter Service options and the lounge options. Let’s start by taking a look at the lounge with the Featured Cocktails menu.
Each of the cocktails on the menu feature a spirit from a Northwest distillery. I went with the Whippersnapper Sour, featuring Whippersnapper Whiskey with sweet-and-sour.
The powerful pucker from the sweet-and-sour is a fun contrast to the strength of the whiskey.
But there’s one thing I simply can’t resist here, and it comes from the Rustic Fare menu.
I’m talking about the Cheesy Barbecue Brisket.
Served with house-made chips, this savory, salty, cheesy pile is much more substantial than your typical dip. It’s closer to a meal, and I’m so glad it survived the more recent changes here. And so are a lot of other people, I think, because you’ll see a dish of this on just about every table a lot of the time!
This was still wonderful, if a little pricey for what you get. I do wish they’d give you more of the brisket dip — it’s a pretty small portion.
And now for the Counter Service eats!
The Bison Cheeseburger comes topped with bacon, Tillamook Cheddar, onion straws, lettuce, and tomato. The two sauces on the burger are garlic aioli and marionberry barbecue. And hooray for the side of Waffle Fries!
Unlike your regular dry Counter Service “hockey puck” burger, the bison patty was tender and held some good flavor. In fact, I was incredibly impressed with the flavor. Bison is a leaner meat, and without that fatty marbling, you wouldn’t expect as flavorful a patty. But it was excellent — and had enough flavor for even this rib-eye fan!
And I think those toppings come together just right with this one — I especially enjoyed the saltiness from the fried onions with the sweetness of the marionberry sauce.
Marionberries are a hybrid blackberry developed in Oregon, so it’s fun to know that even the Counter Service options get a bit of the Northwest treatment.
Speaking of berries… I wanted to try the Northwest Berry Whip, mostly to see if it was at all similar to our beloved pineapple Dole Whip.
As it turns out, not really — it’s certainly sip-able as opposed to soft serve, and it packs a refreshing, cold bright berry punch. My only word of warning: I ordered mine with some black cherry vodka added in. Don’t do that — it wasn’t a good mix, and the drink is good as it is.
I also grabbed a Crispy Chicken Sandwich, which comes topped with chili aioli, lettuce, and tomato, and is served on the same artisanal roll as the burger. That Tillamook Cheddar you see peeking out of the side there was added per my request 🙂 .
The chicken wonderfully lives up to the “crispy” descriptor in its name (which stands in a nice contrast with that soft bun), and I loved how the aioli gave it a little kick! I would absolutely order this one again.
If you need a bite of something sweet at Geyser Point, your options are currently limited to Counter Service. I grabbed the Seasonal Pie, which was Apple Pie on my visit.
These pies have changed a lot since the early days, and now they’re not nearly as compelling. Instead of being unique and hearty, they’re really just tiny counter service desserts now. I wasn’t impressed with the size or the flavors.
The Chocolate Brownie Mousse is garnished with toasted meringue and a solo piece of caramel popcorn.
That popcorn is a good indicator of size — this is TINY.
And boring. The cake was dry and tasteless. The mousse on top was OK — it had good flavor and texture — but the bite-size of this dessert makes it not even worth a second glance in my book.
So, the food at Geyser Point is still decent — sans the desserts — but still pricey. Be prepared.
Nosh or Not
Plan a visit to Geyser Point Bar and Grill if:
- You’ve got some folks in your group who want a full Counter Service meal, and some who just want something to drink along with some pub noshes. Geyser Point fits both bills!
- You want to take full advantage of the gorgeous setting of Wilderness Lodge, because this spot plays it to the hilt.
- You’re already staying at Wilderness Lodge, it’s a nice day, and you’d like to eat outside.
Skip a trip to Geyser Point Bar and Grill if:
- You prefer a laid back feel (from a service perspective) in your bar or counter service choices. Your better bets for that in Wilderness Lodge are Roaring Fork and Territory Lounge.
- You want a bit more value for your money.
- Wilderness Lodge (accessible via boat and bus from Magic Kingdom) is too out of the way of your park plans.
Geyser Point has so much potential. We’re talking about some great food in a memorable setting — from the actual space itself to its prime real estate on the waterfront. It’s all there. But the food (especially the table-service bar eats) seem too pricey for what you get, and the new seating policy has messed with the laid back feel of the spot, in my opinion. It might be a result of the unique set-up of the combination of a lounge with a counter service — or it might be because the spot is so nice that they experienced trouble with crowd control, or table turnover was too slow if guests wanted to linger. But when you’re talking about a lounge, lingering is kind of the whole point, right? Sigh.
In any case, those things that are working — the food and the setting — mean that I’ll head back here from time to time. But the experience doesn’t come close to Territory Lounge when I’m at the Lodge, and Geyser Point is pretty out-of-the-way unless you’re staying at Wilderness Lodge.
Overall — visiting here would be on an as-needed basis for me most likely. I won’t make any special trips this way.
Is Geyser Point Bar and Grill on your dining radar? Please let us know with a comment!