by Beth Keating
April 25, 2021
Geyser Point Bar & Grill at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge bills itself as a quick service location on the Disney website, but I beg to differ. To me, quick service means you grab your meal on a tray after ordering at a walk-up window, while balancing said tray while you wait for someone else to vacate their table so you can grab a seat. It’s usually crowded, and often chaotic.
Geyser Point is anything but. This hidden gem of a dining spot is a great venue for relaxing after a hard day hitting the theme parks, or even for a laidback lunch or dinner while taking the family to the nearby Wilderness Lodge pool. While there is normally a takeout window available (it wasn’t in service while we were there due to the pandemic, but it reportedly has reopened), our family would heartily recommend pulling up a chair and staying for a while. Since it’s technically a walk-up lounge, you don’t need reservations. We’d bill this place more as a casual dining spot that also offers a to-go window, rather than a typical quick serve location.
The restaurant is a rustic, open air eatery that invites you to sit back on comfy, cushioned couches at low coffee tables while you enjoy your meal. Some of the seats are at tables along the overhang, while there are also seats at the bar, and you can look out on the Wilderness Lodge’s lush landscaping while you wait for your food to be delivered to your table. Big-screen TVs are tuned to varying sports if you are interested, and there’s no hurry to get on with the rest of your day, as the staff keeps the pace relaxed and casual.
Our wait time after putting in our names with the host was less than ten minutes, barely enough time to wander down to the dock and take a few pictures of the waterfront. We were seated at a beautiful table tucked just under the roofline, along the shrubbery looking out onto Bay Lake. While we ate, we watched the sun set and the boats ferrying guests back and forth to the theme parks. It was a really peaceful way to gather at the end of the day.
QR codes provided the means to access the menu from our phone, and we had the option of a more abbreviated lounge menu, or the regular lunch and dinner menu that had a few slightly larger plates.
There’s a lovely Handcrafted Charcuterie board ($18.00) that a nearby table was enjoying, but we opted instead to share the Cheesy Barbecue Brisket with House-made Chips ($11.00). It was so good we briefly contemplated ordering a second one to split, but fortunately our main dishes arrived and saved us from ourselves. (But there’s always next time!) The house-made chips were crunchy and still warm, and not the slightest bit greasy (as is too often the case with homemade chips elsewhere), and the brisket was tender with a slightly smoky taste and a blend of melty cheeses and a few scattered jalapenos.
For our main selections, we went with the Bison Cheeseburger ($19.00), served with Bacon, Sweet Crispy Onion Straws, Marionberry Sauce, Lettuce, Tomato and Garlic Aïoli. The burger was perfectly done, and juicy as well. The marionberry sauce was a nice contrast to the crunch of the onion straws. This burger was a definite “come back for this one again” entrée.
We also ordered Shrimp on a Wire, a set of delicious shrimp with Soy-Lime Vinaigrette, Togarashi, Shishito Peppers, and Chili-Aïoli ($13.00). The shrimp was crisp, and the dipping sauce was a nice accompaniment. There was a bit of spiciness to the dish, and the flavors were really fresh.
The desserts were tasty, but not necessarily something to drive out of your way to the Wilderness Lodge for. We had the seasonal pie ($7.00), which on our evening turned out to be an apple-cranberry pie. We also sampled the Campfire Brownie, which at $6.00 was cute, with its icing-created campfire flames on top, but it was pretty much your typical chocolate brownie underneath. However, in the past few weeks, depending on the day, Geyser Point has either offered a slightly different version of the campfire brownie, or removed it from the menu altogether. Either way, you probably won’t miss it much, and Geyser Point has added a few more offerings to the dessert menu in its place. Current to the writing of this article, they were offering a delicious Apple Cider sorbet and a Campfire Mousse, each $7.00.
Other menu choices include smoked turkey sandwiches ($12.00); grilled portobello salads ($10.00-$17.00, depending on add-on toppings); crab cakes ($14.00); and Teriyaki chicken wings ($15.00).
While Geyser Point may look somewhat like a bar from the sidewalk, it’s still Disney, and kids are more than welcome. As an outdoor, open-air venue surrounded by National Park-style beams holding up the roof, you hardly notice the kiddos at the other tables as the wide open al fresco setting spreads out any sounds from restless offspring. There is a small kids’ menu for them.
Truthfully, I would have been thrilled with one of the kids’ menu choices when our boys were small. The kid’s Finger Food Sampler ($7.19) has Sliced Smoked Turkey, Tilamook Cheddar, Spiced Apple Jam, Grape Tomatoes and Sourdough Crisps with a choice of low-fat milk or a bottled water. Our kids would have been really excited with the options on this snacking-style plate, and I would have been ecstatic they were eating something other than chicken nuggets for the third day in a row! There’s also a burger ($7.69) or grilled chicken ($7.49) if your kids don’t like to graze their way through the meal.
Geyser Point is billed as a lounge, and it serves a full complement of wines and Draft beers (how fun do the Rogue Dead Guy Ale or the Elysian Dragonstooth Stout sound?), but they also have a few signature drinks as well. Huckleberry Punch ($15.00) is a combination of 44° North Mountain Huckleberry Vodka, Bols Crème de Cassis, Lemon Juice and Cranberry Juice. At $15.00 each, the WhipperSnapper Sour has WhipperSnapper Whiskey mixed with Sweet-and-Sour, and the Cascadia Sangria Cocktail is a Zodiac Black Cherry Vodka, Lime Juice and Orange Juice drink topped with Columbia Crest H3 Merlot. The Northwest Iced Tea is Geyser Point’s version of the Long Island Iced Tea, with 44° North Idaho Potato Vodka, Bacardi Superior Rum, Aviation Gin, Cointreau and Sweet-and-Sour with a splash of Coca-Cola for $14.00. If those more unique sips don’t interest you, there’s always the ubiquitous and omnipresent Disney Frozen Piña Colava, Banana Cabana, or Captain’s Mai Tai, all at $13.00.
Geyser Point is now on our list of favorite casual dining locations at Disney. Its relaxing ambiance made us sit back and unwind for a while, and the fact that the food was excellent was an added bonus. If you time it right, when the Electrical Water Pageant takes place on Bay Lake, you’ll get a great view of this original-to-the-opening of Disney World nautical display, as it floats right on by Geyser Point.
After the craziness of the crowds, the drive over to Wilderness Lodge was well worth the effort.
Beth Keating is a regular contributor to DisneyBizJournal.
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