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Review: The Territory Lounge at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

Bars and Lounges around Walt Disney World and Disneyland are often family friendly spots to grab a table-service bite or meal with no reservations needed.

You know that one of my favorites is Crew’s Cup Lounge in the Yacht Club Resort in Walt Disney World, but another fantastic spot to nosh is Territory Lounge in Wilderness Lodge.

Disney's Wilderness Lodge

I am a huge fan of all things food at Wilderness Lodge. Whether you’re whoopin’ it up at Whispering Canyon Cafe (go ahead…ask for ketchup!), having a refined and relaxed meal at Artist Point, or grabbing a bite to go at Roaring Forks, it’s pretty much always good.

But with a robust and interesting menu of cool pub food, The Territory Lounge is another must-try!

Lanterns and Menus Carry the Theme of the Bar

Atmosphere

Step into the Lounge, and you’re immediately enveloped by dark woods, leather trim, and low, lantern lighting. You’re also likely greeted and welcomed by the awesome cast members here!! A big shoutout to LouAnn!

Rich Colors and Comfortable Seating Make the Space Inviting

The bar is rarely crowded, and there is comfortable seating throughout. I love the padded and backed barstools, and the round tables with plenty of room between.

Bar Area and Round Table Seating

We were there during a particularly quiet time. This is a fantastic place to beat the heat!

View of the Bar From the Other Side

Check out this monstrous carved bear. He and his friends are holding up the bar!

Carved Wooden Bear Holding up the Bar

If it’s a quiet conversation that you’re after, there are some more intimate seating options along the wall.

Intimate Seating Along the Back Wall

The loveseat and fluffy pillows are a nice touch. This is definitely a spot where you could hang out for a while. And I would totally claim a spot on the couch!

Americana Decor and a Cozy Loveseat Make for an Inviting Space

Comfortable chairs – oddly positioned beneath the television – would be great for chatting, but not so much for watching the game.

Comfy Chairs and the Framed Flatscreen

I love the attention to detail in these collections of antique surveying tools and equipment located in shadowboxes along the back wall of the lounge. As an added bonus, they give off really awesome soft light.

Cool Shadowboxes Use Old Expedition Tools as Decor

But now for the real attraction – the amazing selection of dressed up snacks!

Eats

The Territory Lounge Menu has such an incredible selection! The chefs have done a bang up job taking classic foods and giving them a Northwest twist. It’s pub food, but with polish.

Menu - Click to Enlarge

We weren’t drinking during our visit, but if we had been there are a number of cool selections here on tap — including Moosehead! Epcot Canada fans, dost thou hear this?

Draught Beers

More Draught Beers

There were so many things on the menu that sounded fantastic, so we picked a few. Well…just about all of them.

We started with the Northwest Charcuterie Plate, which featured a little bit of everything. The menu leaves the selection open-ended, so it was exciting to see what we would get.

On the meats team, there were two kinds of sausage – Venison and Bison – plus liverwurst. While I thought the Bison Sausage was a bit gamey, I really enjoyed the Venison. Like…loved it. I rated the Liverwurst as just okay, especially beside the other options.

The cheese selection included Drunken Goat, Rogue River Blue, and Reypenaer VSOP Gouda (hubba hubba!!). While the Drunken Goat was mild and good, the Rogue River was excellent! A common addition to many Disney cheese plates, it was super creamy and very flavorful without overwhelming me with a sharp taste.

The Reypenaer VSOP Gouda, which is aged for two years, was my very favorite, though. It had a strong, rich umami flavor; and although it is a hard cheese, it simply melts in your mouth. Add to this the walnut bread, cranberry mustard, and sweet pickles, and we were hooked!

Northwest Charcuterie and Artisan Cheese Platter with Mustard and Sweet Pickles

Next up was the Sharp Cheddar Beer Fondue (what?!??!?!!), which came to our table in this adorable Staub cast-iron pot on its own little warming flame.

Accompanied by sourdough, pretzel bread, Granny Smith Apples, and dried apricots for dipping, I was pretty sure this would be a homerun.

Sharp Cheddar Beer Fondue

The Fondue was thick, creamy, and coated the dipping foods perfectly! The sharpness of the cheese was the perfect contrast to the sweet fruit and salty, spongy breads. Heavenly.

Sharp Cheddar Beer Fondue - Up Close

Even with the minor menu change (the apricots were supposed to be figs, but there’d been a problem with the supplier), every item was delicious dipped in the cheese. No, seriously. They were wow. I’m totally craving this dish right now as I write about it!

Foods to Dip in Fondue - Yes!

The apple and cheddar is such a classic combination, and was delicious. I couldn’t decide what my favorite dipper was! That’s a good problem to have. ;-)

Apple in Sharp Cheddar Beer Fondue

But how did it taste, you ask? Like a thicker version of the Cheddar Soup available at Le Cellier and the Food and Wine Festival! This is a must-eat.

Bread in Sharp Cheddar Beer Fondue

Next up were the House-Made Northwest Potato Chips with a Trio of Dips. These included Truffle Aioli, Huckleberry Honey, and a Smokey Blue.

House-Made Northwest Potato Chips with Trio of Dips

Incredible! I loved the sweet/salty combo of the Huckleberry Honey and chips together, but the Truffle Aioli was my fa-vor-ite. I had so much food to eat that night, but I kept going back for more of those chips and Truffle Aioli!

And of course I had to mix up my food a little here. I happily combined the Gouda from the Charcuterie Plate with the chips for a whole new flavor.

The chips were thick, crunchy, and perfectly fried without being at all greasy.

House-Made Potato Chips - Up Close

Finally, we tried Cognac-Glazed Chicken Lollipops with Lemon Spritz and Cilantro. (Lollipops are, apparently, wings?)

Cognac-Glazed Chicken Lollipops with Lemon Spritz and Cilantro

Cutesy name aside, these were really delicious. The glaze had a terrific sweet-savory tang, and the meat was flavorful and not at all dry. The smoky note was a great compliment to the flavors, and the zing from the cognac and lemon spritz was the icing on the cake.

I didn’t miss the (curiously absent) cilantro. I hate cilantro. Those of you who love cilantro are welcome to come eat with me and have the cilantro-y bits. ;-)

Overall

If you like to explore what makes each resort so wonderfully different at Disney World, then ya gotta make a trip to Territory Lounge on your next visit! This was probably one of the best meals I ate during the entire trip.

Sure, these aren’t your standard chips and dip or wings, but would you really want it to be? After all, you can get those things at lots of places. Where else will you find Venison Sausage and VSOP Cheese in the shadow of the world’s best theme park?

With its upscale twist on barfood and cozy atmosphere, Territory Lounge remains one of our favorite places to relax and grab a (substantial) bite. The perfect afternoon or evening out in Disney World.

Have you had the pleasure of noshing at Territory Lounge? Leave us a note and tell us about it!

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25 Comments

  1. Donald says:

    Woah! Artist Point is my favorite Disney restaurant, but I never thought there would be such amazing options right next door! I’m gonna have to fit this in before my next Artist Point meal.

  2. melissa sue says:

    Donald, I was just thinking the same thing … but if I eat too much fondue, how will I fit a tomahawk chop in my belly?!?!?

  3. Otis III says:

    The Territory Lounge has been one of mine and my wifes favorite places to just relax and unwind from a hectic day at the parks. The food, the beer, and the atmosphere are all perfect. It’s also a nice place to have a cocktail while waiting for your ADR at Artist Point.

  4. Alan says:

    What I love about the DFB is that these reviews remind me of old favorite hangouts that have sort of slipped out of minds as the years go by. We used to stop here at least once a trip, if only for the pure ambiance of the hotel and that bar. However, as more and more bars, lounges and places like the Cava and Tutto Gusto keep openig, many of these old favs seem to get lost in the shuffle. But those food pictures and Moosehead on tap are like Bali Hai calling “come to me”.

  5. Shayne says:

    We’ve only stopped in here once, and we parked ourselves on that loveseat with wine in hand! We had already had a big dinner, so we didn’t eat at Territory Lounge on that occasion. But now you’ve got me wanting to go stay at Wilderness Lodge again just for easy access to the lounge! That all looks yummy, especially the fondue. Behold the power of cheese.

  6. Cindi says:

    Wondering if this would be an option on the dining plan? It sounds good for a sit down meal.

  7. Melissa says:

    I cannot wait to try the cheese fondue during our trip this fall. Do you know what time they open?

  8. richard says:

    I’m a huge fan of the Wilderness Lodge, but I’ll always prefer the pool bar. My big issue with Territory Lounge?

    The TV.

    It just takes me RIGHT out of the atmosphere to always have that TV on blaring sports programs.

  9. George says:

    I didn’t know Disney had all this stuff

  10. AJ says:

    Donald — It’s a definite must-do! I can’t wait to go back and have more of this new menu.

    Melissa Sue — Sounds like a two-day-plan to me! :-)

    Otis — Agreed. It’s one of my favorite Lounges on property.

    Alan — I’m so glad to be able to remind you of old favorites. This place has always been great, but this menu is just phenomenal. I consider a restaurant to me GREAT when I’m still craving what I ordered weeks later — that’s definitely the case here!

    Shayne — Just about any cheese you get here will be incredible…that’s my prediction! I definitely need to make more time for Territory Lounge.

    Cindi — I don’t think it’s on the dining plan, but I’m double checking.

    Melissa — Yes!! You must! They should open around 2 or 3pm for serving — that’s what most lounges do in WDW.

    richard — Ah, good point! I do love the pool bar, too, though — one of my favorites.

    George — It’s pretty great!

  11. I pinned quite a few things in this review that I want to remember to try when we make our next trip!

  12. Bret says:

    They open at 4pm if the hours are still the same. I see that the menu is now more like Artist Point and not like Roaring Forks as it use to be… I use to love to get stuff from here but last time I did not see anything I liked. Now that I know they have wings….. I might be back in Nov.

  13. Elizabeth says:

    I was at the Territory Lounge on Sept 4, 2011. It was the first night of our honeymoon and we stopped in for a drink and to relax before dinner at WCC. We had an awful experience. It was packed and there was only one bartender and one server. Service was slow and our server was rude to us. We got out of there ASAP when we were done with our drinks. It was actually my first experience with Disney resort dining and it was a bad first impression.

  14. Lori says:

    Well, you mentioned two places right off the bat, Crew’s Cup Lounge and Territory Lounge, both great nosh places! The last time I was at Territory Lounge was this past December. There was a flatbread on the menu that was fantastic. It was a BBQ pulled pork with coleslaw. ON the flatbread. And it WORKED. I love how the menus keep changing. While I love cheese and more cheese, I would have a hard time ordering from this menu, unless I had willing participants who’d want to share the Asian dishes with me, too. It all sounds so good. Yum.

  15. Niekon says:

    The last time I was at is venue was about 4 or 5 years ago… and I was not impressed with the appetizer menu nor the beer selection. I see that they have improved the appetizer menu, but has the beer selection improved any? From the photos you posted they are still rather limited in beers and not carrying anything that would be considered a microbrew.

  16. Paul says:

    AJ, as I tweeted last night, my friends and I ate here specifically because of your recommendation. I have to say it was fantastic. We loved everything we had. Between the six of us, the only things that weren’t ordered were the Tuna Tataki and the Edamame. The fondue was incredible, the blue cheese on the platter was fantastic, even the chips were great. Thank you very much for a great great recommendation. It’s definitely on our list of places to return to!

  17. Paul says:

    (oh, and they take Tables in Wonderland too!!)

  18. Cindy says:

    Hello All… I am a server at the Territory Lounge and just wanted to say THANK YOU for your support!! As someone else mentioned with all the other choices we seem to be getting lost in the crowd! And its quite frustrating to know those of you who know Artist Point did not know that we too have some delicious food and refreshing cocktails! Our beers are NOT limited to the tap selection, so ask your server as we have around 18 different bottle offerings!!

    Stay tuned Territory fans… not only is our menu divine, it will be even better very soon! A few new changes are coming … look for a French Onion Soup served in a bread bowl… hopefully a salad offering… and back by popular demand… a Flatbread Pizza!! Oh and … drum roll please…. DOUGHNUTS coming soon!!!

    I am leaving for a year to work as an Innkeeper at a luxury Log-home B&B in the Smoky Mountains!! Be sure and tell all the staff when you visit that Cindy sent ya! They would love to have you all join them in one of the best kept secrets in Disney!! See ya real soon!!

  19. Cindy says:

    PS… Sorry, but the Dining Plan is not accepted at Territory … but yes… we do accept Tables of Wonderland!! If you are a Disney regular and do not have this card… GET ONE!! Not only does it get you a 20% discount on your food… it also discounts alcohol… the only one to do so!!

    To the honeymoon couple with the bad experience… my apologies!! Even though I was not a cast member during your time visiting, I can say that on occasion, and with no fault of our own, ( people call in sick-no shows-etc) Even the best of us have a bad night but there is no excuse for a server to be rude with a guest. In fact, quite the opposite! Customer service is VERY IMPORTANT to us and would ask you to give Territory another chance. We take pride in our lounge, our food and most importantly our service. I am always grateful when guests are patient and understanding especially when we are understaffed and super busy. Typically, there should be a bartender and 2 servers… Please come back and try our new menu… you wont be sorry!

  20. Lexi Storm says:

    Oh no! I got my wires crossed and ordered fondue at Cookes of Dublin instead!! I knew something was off when there wasn’t any pretzel bread!!

  21. Steve says:

    My wife and I will be spending two days at Wilderness Lodge and we’re excited that there’s a cool little spot tucked away! That fondue looks amazing and to see Widmer Brothers (a great underrated brewery) Hefeweizen on tap is fantastic! Looking forward to checking it out next month!

  22. Angela says:

    I notice the lounge is open until midnight. Is food available until closing or does food service cut off earlier in the evening?

  23. Lottie says:

    Eek we have 2 weeks at WL in May – I sense the cheese fondue will become a favourite of ours!

  24. Kristen says:

    Can I bring my Kids to the Territory Lounge… or is it Adults only?

  25. Paul says:

    @Kristen, all are welcome. :-)

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