A Return to Roaring Fork, Geyser Point Drops Interesting Options, Whispering Canyon Breakfast, and Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

We return to Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort for an update on Roaring Fork and to see what else is going on around town.

There’s been quite a bit of focus on the resort lately. Here’s a few updates from the last couple months:

Roaring Fork is of course the lower level, largely indoor quick service located inside the resort’s main building.

The eatery reopened with an odd setup that required guests to order in one location and pay at another. Fortunately, that system was quickly discarded and guests may now order and pay at either location. The line at the arrow marked “To Pay” is typically shorter as it’s less obvious that it’s an ordering station.

The menu is on the short side, probably for the sake of efficiency, and also keeping in mind that there’s another quick service/lounge option outside at Geyser Point.

You might remember that I thought the onion flavor on the Gourmet Grilled Cheese was overpowering.

But we really enjoyed the Smoked Pulled Pork Sandwich.

A nice little assortment of packaged snacks are available:





It’s a similar selection to what we saw over at The Market at Ale & Compass at the Yacht Club.

I’ve visited Roaring Fork a couple more times since the initial review, here with the $13.49 “Brisket Burger – Tillamook Cheddar Cheese, Cranberry Barbecue Sauce, Cast Iron Onions, and Apple Frisée on a Sweet Brioche Bun.”

This is, unfortunately, your standard reheated Disney burger, though Roaring Fork does a nice job of dressing it up. The brisket adds a lot of beefy flavor and the sauce mixes sweet and tangy really nicely, in addition to the fruity apple mixed in with the crunchy frisée and the soft, nicely toasted bun. But we’re still working with a pretty bland beef patty – it’s too bad Disney can’t ramp up their D-Luxe operation and at least move those burgers to the resorts. There’s probably no hope of making enough for Cosmic Ray’s et al. But the Brisket Burger is a little better than your typical outing with the brisket and sauce. A standard Angus Bacon Burger is available by request.

The $11 “Grilled Chicken on Roasted Garlic Focaccia – Roasted Peppers, fresh Mozzarella, and Oven-dried Tomato Pesto.”

This was better – the tomato pesto did a nice job of livening up the sandwich and the chicken had a nice mesquite-quality to it. The mozzarella was a little uneven, but I appreciated that they were using the “real thing” rather than a gummy, flavorless slice. The peppers added a bit more spice and the focaccia did an admirable job of keeping everything together without overpowering the main ingredients. I’m not sure that it’s worth seeking out specifically, but it’s a nice, slightly lighter option than some of the other stuff. I like the potato barrels served here too – a nice crispy crunch and a lot of potato flavor – a nice change of pace from Disney’s standard offering.

The $11 “Fennel Sausage, Pepperoni, Caramelized Onion, and Goat Cheese Flatbread.”

This is heading in the right direction, but without more of a sauce, is incredibly dry. The ingredients were all high quality and tasted good on their own, but some sort of white sauce would be the way to go here. It ended up being “just okay” overall, in my estimation, and I wouldn’t order it again.

Cold sandwiches remain available in the cooler along with a couple of salad options. Unfortunately, we still don’t see the return of the Roast Beef and Blue Sandwich or Northwest Chicken Salad.

I’ll have to pick one of these up as this wrap looks like it’s packed full of stuff.

Definitely check out the Campfire Cupcake.

The Maple and Bacon Doughnut is also really good.

Overall, Roaring Fork is probably not a destination quick service, but it should do the job for a couple of meals for those staying at the resort.

Geyser Point has received nothing but praise since opening earlier this year. I have an extensive review here, which includes pictures and thoughts on more than 20 items.

Unfortunately, the menu has been dumbed down a bit since opening. Above is what’s now offered for breakfast.

While this is what was originally offered. No more scrambled eggs, potato hash, maple cinnamon pancakes, eggs benedict, or crab cakes eggs benedict, among other things. And the only option for kids is a “Breakfast Box” with cereal. I think that takes the prospect of breakfast here down from “absolutely try to make it” to “only if I’m desperate.”

Fortunately, we see fewer changes during lunch and dinner.

But salmon is a thing of the past, whether you want it as part of a sandwich or a salad. It seems odd considering these frozen filets are relatively easy to prepare and salmon is “very” Northwest.

And Geyser still does offer picturesque views both during the day and night, in addition to one of the best vantage points to enjoy the Electrical Water Pageant. The Lounge items are on point, the draft beer lineup is decent, and drinks are pretty good for the most part. The only major negative here is a reduction in breakfast – but the kitchen probably was unable to keep up with demand that early in the morning, at least considering how much of a dropoff there would be in interest from 11am-5pm.

Being a bit disappointed in the breakfast offerings at Geyser, I thought I’d check in on what Whispering Canyon Cafe had going on for breakfast. I’ve previously reviewed dinner here, lunch here, and breakfast here.

Breakfast is served for seatings from 7:30am through 11:15am, so you can get an early or late start if you prefer.

Whispering Canyon is otherwise not the most peaceful of meals and I would characterize our experience as annoying on a couple of fronts. Upon ordering our drinks, our server, who was not terribly attentive, read off the ages of each person in our party and announced whether they were older or younger than he was. This might be funny if you were watching a sitcom, but the ladies don’t typically like being reminded of age, particularly when the answer is “older.” Our food was also delivered ten seconds before the hokey-pokey, so we found ourselves putting our right foot in and our right foot out as our eggs cooled down in front of us. Again, funny in a “as long as that doesn’t happen to me” sense. It really is rough for us bloggers out there.

I apologize as we’re in phone-mode with the $9.50 “Mimosa – Sparkling Wine and Orange Juice” – a run-of-the-mill offering, as you’d expect.

And an $8.25 “Bloody Mary – Skyy Vodka and Bloody Mary Mix.” While basic in its execution, it did have a nice spicy quality to it, though we don’t see any of the fun accompaniments that we’ve seen elsewhere.

The server proclaimed that he “had found the big eater in the group” when Erin ordered the $18 “All-You-Care-To-Enjoy Breakfast Skillet – Scrambled Eggs, Western Home Fries, Bacon, Sausage, Waffles, Buttermilk Biscuits, and Sausage Gravy.”  This is a nice collection of Disney breakfast favorites and a smart way to achieve a second Mickey waffle.

The sausage gravy probably isn’t going to inspire anyone accustomed to “real” southern cooking, but it was nice and creamy with a meaty, salty flavor that enhanced and softened the biscuits. The sausage had a hint of spice and the bacon was appropriately crispy. The potatoes were bland and arguably under-cooked. But Mickey Waffles with their subtle, malty character, crispy outside, and soft inside help carry any meal.

I went with the $15 “Eggs Benedict – Two-Poached Eggs on an English Muffin with Hollandaise Sauce, Canyon-smoked Bacon, and Western Home Fries.”

These were also nicely executed and a lot of food for the money. The hollandaise had a rich, buttery flavor and the ham was surprisingly tender and flavorful. The potatoes again disappointed, though – bland, without much spice, and under-cooked.

And our friend Kate ordered the $14 “Eggs-Any Style with Western Home Fries, a Biscuit, and your choice of Bacon or Sausage” with a couple bites of fruit substituted for the bacon/sausage. It’s another filling breakfast, but for “just” four more dollars you can go big with the skillet.

Overall, virtually all of the new additions to Disney’s Wilderness Lodge have been positive. Geyser Point and the new pool should make most guests’ visits more enjoyable, and the new Villas create more Disney Vacation Club inventory. With what they’ve got to work with, Roaring Fork has also seen some meaningful improvements, though I’m still with those that lament the loss of some classic choices. But Wilderness Lodge remains one of Disney’s most beautiful resorts and you might find its location more convenient than you were expecting. There’s a lot to see and do here whether you’re staying at the resort or visiting for a relaxing drink or meal.

Comments

  1. John says

    We were disappointed that the “Bounty Breakfast” of scrambled eggs, pancakes, biscuit, bacon, hash browns, and sausage are no longer offered at Roaring Forks. Also the Tuna sandwich, made fresh, was very good and is no longer offered. We are though looking forward to eating at Geyser Point. One of the places that is overlooked at the Wilderness Lodge is the Territory Lounge, where there is great food to be found.

    • Carrie says

      That is odd. I double checked Disney’s site to see and it says the same thing. Maybe they left off apples to dip in the PB. Personally, I enjoy eating PB right out of the jar but I might have a problem.

  2. anon says

    Looking forward to your Baseline Tap review. You’re the only coverage worth trusting TM

    Stone Delicious on tap in disney…….

  3. John says

    I would have ended the Whispering Canyon meal asking the server if he thought the tip would be more or less than the smallest tip he received all day. Then again I have no issue asking a waiter if they “can stop being a $#%&” very loudly when things like that happen.

    • anon says

      I mean sure, that’s a valid response, but if you’re eating there, you should know that the shtick is part of the package.

  4. Linda R. says

    We stayed at the WL in August & loved both Roaring Forks & Geyser–we ate at Geyser for breakfast & RF for lunch. Loved the Salmon Bialy (had it twice) & Steel-cut Oatmeal & I had the Gourmet Grilled Cheese everyday because it was so tasty! The desserts were good too–the campfire cupcake & the croissant filled with custard & fresh berries were my favorites!! Geyser Point was a great addition to WL. So peaceful in the morning & in the evening too, while enjoying one of their specialty drinks.
    Whispering Canyon was good too. We had dinner there & prepared ourselves for all the noise/fun.
    It was our 1st time at WL & loved it all so much, we are going back again in February 2018!

  5. Jon says

    I would assume the hot food has largely been removed from Geyser Point’s menu as Roaring Fork is now re-opened. If I had just got up it wouldn’t be instinctive to head outside to breakfast when there is a QS location inside the hotel.

  6. Jeff says

    I’ve bounced around through the years about what my “favorite” WDW Resort is.
    The Boardwalk, Poly, Animal Kingdom Lodge and even Old Key West have held that Title for me at certain times.
    But after returning from a vacation last week that included 6 nights at the Wilderness Lodge, there’s no doubt in my mind anymore.
    That awesome new pool area & Geyser Point Bar & Grill, which is my favorite bar/restaurant anywhere in the “World”, clinch it for me. What amazing improvements to an already great Resort.

    The Wilderness Lodge rules!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *