These days, lots of Disney World guests make a beeline for the nearest Starbucks on property to get their morning caffeine fix.
Epcot’s Fountain View, Magic Kingdom’s Main Street Bakery, Animal Kingdom’s Creature Comforts, and the Trolley Car Cafe at Hollywood Studios are understandably popular spots — especially in the early morning park hours.
But if you’re someone who stumbles to the coffeemaker first thing in the morning before you can form a complete sentence [sits at computer, points to self] and you happen to have a stay at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge in your future, you might be interested to learn about Territory Coffee Company.
But with a typical opening time of 4:30 pm, this beautiful space sat empty most of the day until last summer, when the Territory Coffee Company opened for what was originally a test run.
It must have been successful, because it’s been up and running since, and I recently had the occasion to start my day at Wilderness Lodge and check it out at long last.
As expected for an already-established space, the set-up is pretty much the same for this makeshift coffee shop as with the lounge, with the exception that there aren’t any candles on the tables lending to the typical evening ambience.
Also, it’s a counter service operation in the morning. Just stroll up to the bar, place your order and be on your way, or sit and relax a while.
While there are a few eats up for grabs, it’s simple fare similar to the grab-and-go options you’ll find next door at Roaring Fork: pieces of whole fruit and croissants, muffins, and the like.
The main draw, of course, is coffee, and you’ll see your choices listed on the menu propped on the bar. Most of the items are self-explanatory, with the exceptions of a few specialty beverages unique to the setting like the Gold Rush Latte (a vanilla latte with caramel), and the Wilderness Bark Latte (a chocolate-hazelnut latte).
When I asked the Cast Member about the Wilderness Bark Latte specifically, he said he loved it, but also made sure to inform me that its nutella-type flavor was really strong.
You had me at “nutella,” my friend. Here it is!
OK, yeah… so that’s just a cup ;). But I wanted to show that the size of the specialty beverages is 16 ounces. No Grandes, Ventis, mediums, smalls, etc. One size fits all.
And, NOW here is the coffee… at least the top of it 🙂 .
What you’re seeing next is my attempt to swirl around the drink enough so you can notice the lighter cocoa-colored brown as opposed to a darker coffee brown. Basically, the predominate flavor was the chocolate and hazelnut while the espresso — though definitely still tasty and present — made up the background and aftertaste.
It really was like drinking nutella, except it tasted much better than the idea of that sounds ;). It was quite rich, and I thought it was seriously yummy. That said, those who prefer a more robust coffee flavor may want to stick with one of the non-flavored espresso options.
I really enjoyed the drink, but my favorite part of the experience was having Territory Lounge — err, Coffee Company — practically to myself!
There were a few other guests in and out, but I still think folks hardly know this spot even exists, and those who did enter left with their coffee in hand. It was pretty much me, my coffee, and all the Mickey cartoons I could hang around to watch!
Which, as it turns out, is a pretty rad way to start the day.
Of course, you can still fill up your Refillable Resort Mug or purchase a regular coffee at Roaring Fork just down the hall. But if you’re looking for a little vacation splurge in a unique and surprisingly calm atmosphere before a busy park day, consider a stop at the Territory Coffee Company, open from 7:00 to 11:00 am.
It may be just what you need, to keep you from feeling like this…
Wishing you a Magical Day from Disney’s Wilderness Lodge!
Will you be stopping for your morning cup o’ joe at Territory Coffee Company? Please let us know with a comment!