Review: Geyser Point Bar & Grill at Disney World’s Wilderness Lodge

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.

Geyser Point Bar & Grill sign

Geyser Point Bar & Grill sign

Allow me to explain…

Atmosphere

Geyser Point welcomes guests by presenting a rustic setting in perfect keeping with Wilderness Lodge.

Geyser Point Bar & Grill

Geyser Point Bar & Grill

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).

Geyser Point Bar & Grill

Geyser Point Bar & Grill

There’s plenty of seating to be had, too, from right at the bar to traditional tables and chairs, to cozier, comfier couches.

Low Tables and Cushioned Seating

Low Tables and Cushioned Seating

Bar Seating

Bar Seating

More seating options

More seating options

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.

Quick Service Walkup Window

Quick Service Walkup Window

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.

Bar area

Bar area

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.

Geyser Point Bar & Grill

Geyser Point Bar & Grill

Then just enjoy your food and the gorgeous views.

The view

The view

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.

Geyser Point Bar & Grill

Geyser Point Bar & Grill

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.

Eats

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.

Geyser Point Featured Cocktails

Geyser Point Featured Cocktails

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.

Whippersnapper Sour

Whippersnapper 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.

Geyser Point Rustic Fare

Geyser Point Rustic Fare

I’m talking about the Cheesy Barbecue Brisket.

Cheesy Barbecue Brisket

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!

Geyser Point Counter Service Menu

Geyser Point Counter Service Menu

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!

Bison Cheeseburger with Waffle Fries

Bison Cheeseburger with 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.

Bison Cheeseburger cross-section

Bison Cheeseburger cross-section

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.

Northwest Berry Whip

Northwest Berry 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 :) .

Crispy Chicken Sandwich

Crispy Chicken Sandwich

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.

Seasonal Pie

Seasonal Pie

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.

Seasonal Pie

Seasonal Pie

The Chocolate Brownie Mousse is garnished with toasted meringue and a solo piece of caramel popcorn.

Chocolate Brownie Mousse

Chocolate Brownie Mousse

That popcorn is a good indicator of size — this is TINY.

Chocolate Brownie Mousse cross-section

Chocolate Brownie Mousse cross-section

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.

Overall

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.

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Is Geyser Point Bar and Grill on your dining radar? Please let us know with a comment!

Comments

  1. Joanne B says

    OMG, we had the same exact rude experience last week. We’re locals, and enjoyed Geyser Point many times last year. We hadn’t been all winter, but given the nice weather we went over there last week. We didn’t know they had change the seating policy, so of course wandered over and sat at a table. We were completely chastised and by two different servers, two different times – it was completely embarrassing. In fact we almost left because of it. There’s no need to be rude – especially when they changed the format for seating. (PS – we agree it’s a great place to grab a drink and a burger, though. But given the way we were treated, it will be a while if/when we return).

  2. Andrew says

    Am I the only one who guessed which food AJ couldn’t resist from the Rustic Fare menu before scrolling down? To my complete lack of surprise, I then saw a photo of cheese and brisket. :) Yum.

  3. Sandra G says

    Well, boo on rude CMs. There isn’t any excuse for that. The one we encountered when trying to check in for our ADR at Tusker House really put me off going back, even though the meal and server were fine. And now it looks like they’ve cheapened the desserts at GP. My husband loves taking the boat to WL from MK and wanted to go to Geyser Point next trip, but he doesn’t do well with folks who give attitude when they are supposed to be welcoming.

  4. Essie says

    I love animals and bison are of particular interest to me. That said, I would love to try the bison burger. I’ve often heard that it’s delicious and much healthier than beef.

  5. Dave says

    Wow, unexpected review by you AJ and I have to respectfully disagree with some points as I had a totally different take. While i did go in Sep under the old seat yourself format, I enjoyed nothing but happy faces. The food was very good, got the bison burger and a great schoefferhofer. My wife got the turkey sandwich and really enjoyed it as well with a great frozen drink. We didn’t get dessert as we love the magic cookie bars sold at RF. But the best part of G Point is the ambiance. Eating outdoors with an amazing view with a fresh breeze is the “point” here. The comfy chairs/tables along the perimeter give it a relaxed casual feel and sitting and watching boats go by on the water is so relaxing. Yes, Territory Lounge has better and broader food choices but its an indoor, different type of atmosphere choice. And I would assume the seating change has occurred due to it becoming more popular. I get frustrated with Trader Sam’s waits and “lingering” in a place with such few tables but hey, 1st come 1st served. As long as people continue to order and drink you have to take your medicine and be patient for a table, albeit there are many. I would assume in the near future they will modify and tweak the menu and hopefully make sure the CM’s never, ever get snippy with the customers!

  6. Jeff says

    Geyser Point is one of my favorite spots in all of WDW.
    The atmosphere is an absolute perfect addition to the Wilderness Lodge.
    And despite the inconvenience of the new seating policies for some, bravo to Disney for doing it. I was appalled by several people who lingered in those prime seats for literally hours during our September stay there. Some even brought in there own food & simply ordered a couple sodas while plucking away at their laptops the whole time.
    It was a change that needed to happen.

  7. Jamie says

    After you finish your meal and drinks are they going to come over and ask you to leave? That would be interesting.

  8. Joni says

    I wish they had a larger menu even if it were only for lunch .
    A couple more salads, and a flatbread option. And as a late night choice som chicken wings , stuffed mushrooms, more small bites to have with a cool drink.

  9. Sue says

    I’m looking forward to having a meal or 2 here during our August stay. Hope the lump crab cakes are still on the menu. Sad to hear they’ve changed the menu and ruined the pies. I’ve also heard they no longer serve breakfast.
    I am confused on some comments that being seated will cut down on how long you stay. I don’t see the connection at all.

  10. Dave says

    Sue, think Panera Bread. There is no line to wait to be seated. So no incentive to leave. Most people are respectful and “get it” if there is a line of people waiting to be seated. When your finished with your meal and your server asks you is there anything else, you would pay your check and leave, not pull out your laptop and stay another 45 mins. Now, people see no tables open in the seat yourself format, they leave and go into resort and try for a spot.

  11. Misty says

    I have a question if you order from the quick service window and you want to sit in the lounge area but not at the bar and not order from that menu do you still tip for being seated?

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