We’ll take some time to visit Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, where construction continues in a number of areas, including on bungalow-style cabins out in front of the resort and on an expansive pool addition.
But first, we’ll check out Geyser Point Bar & Grill, the newish quick service/lounge hybrid that opened waterside back in February.
Unlike at the Polynesian, where the relatively new Oasis Bar & Grill is located inside of a gate that requires a MagicBand or tailgating-someone-actually-staying-at-the-resort to enter, Geyser Point is out in the open and easily accessible.
Another vantage point.
Geyser Point offers a quick service window where you order food, fill your drinks, and then wait for your food to be delivered.
A couple of tables have been added in between Geyser Point and what will become a new spa area.
Breakfast is served from 7am-11am and features a few northwest-y touches.
Lunch/dinner, which is served daily from 11am through midnight, is centered around burgers, sandwiches, and salads.
A Finger Food Sampler for the bloggers. It’s always nice to feel included.
The drink station offers the usual suspects, in addition to Sprite Zero, Cherry Coke, and XXX Acai-Blueberry-Pomegranate Vitamin Water.
But my favorite thing about Geyser Point is the scenic location just feet from the water. Since taking this picture, additional tables have been added closer to the water.
A wide shot of the seating area on the resort side.
It’s incredibly relaxing to sit down at one of these tables and soak up the atmosphere.
There are several seating options, including right up at the bar itself.
A couple of TVs.
This lounge area also offers a separate food and drink menu:
These drinks are mostly unique to Geyser Point and use a variety of brands from Oregon and Washington in particular. Hailing from Seattle myself, it’s really fun to see Rogue on Disney menus. Their Amber Ale was my first “real beer.”
Most of these drinks are a little less unique.
As always, Beso Del Sol is served out of a 3-liter box that would cost you $20 at the store.
Rogue Dead Guy Ale on draft is a good choice and they’ve also brought down the Widmer that’s available at Territory Lounge, in addition to the Elysian Space Dust IPA and Bud Light on draft.
You can also order anything from the quick service menu from your seat at the Bar/Grill/Lounge.
On opening day, I just had my phone with me, so the pictures will be of slightly lower quality on some of the items.
The $11.25 “WhipperSnapper Sour – WhipperSnapper Whiskey perfectly mixed with Sweet-and-Sour” wasn’t exactly “perfectly mixed,” but the sweet-and-sour tasted “house-made” and didn’t suffer from that cloyingly sweet, syrupy sugar water that’s served out of jugs. There was just too much of it and it would have been helped by more of the young whiskey itself, which hails from the Ransom Distillery in Sheridan, Oregon. Without the sweet and sour, its best attribute is the cinnamon up front and the lingering spicy sweetness on the back end. This will run you a dollar more than the typical Disney Whiskey Sour with Jim Beam, but it’s worth the extra buck to taste the rye and Northwest barley in the WhipperSnapper. Very good.
The $11.25 “Northwest Iced Tea – Rogue Dark Rum, 44° North Idaho Potato Vodka, Aviation Gin, Cointreau, and Sweet-and-Sour with a splash of Coca-Cola” is your Northwest interpretation of the Long Island. I’ve always been amused that Disney’s versions never include tequila, but this otherwise fits the bill. The sweet-and-sour and what is always much-more-of-a-splash of Coke help wash away the flavors of the alcohol, which is suitably present at the front of each sip. Nicely mixed.
The $11 “Cascadia Sangria Cocktail – Zodiac Black Cherry Vodka, fresh Lime Juice, and Orange Juice topped with Columbia Crest H3 Merlot” is one of the prettiest cocktails that I’ve been served in recent memory. It offers more complexity than you might be expecting after the required stir – otherwise you’re going to end up with a mouth full of the vodka on the bottom – really nice fruity flavors tempered by the natural tasting vodka and the tannin in the wine. Very refreshing.
The $11.25 “Huckleberry Punch – 44° North Mountain Huckleberry Vodka, Bols Crème de Cassis, fresh Lemon Juice, and Cranberry Juice” is another attractive cocktail. The vodka combines Idaho Burbank and Russet Potatoes and Rocky Mountain water from the Snake River Aquifer with the state fruit of Idaho for a rich, naturally sweet flavor that’s aided by the blackcurrant liqueur. Very good.
This “Blue Wilderness” is not listed anywhere, but is inexplicably available as part of a “secret menu.” It’s made with Zodiac Black Cherry Vodka, Pineapple Juice, Lemon Juice, Simple Syrup, and Blue Curacao. I wish somebody could figure out how to give drinks a pretty blue color with some other ingredient, as the artificial orange flavor of the Curacao and pineapple juice dominate. Not recommended.
The $11.25 “Apple Mule – Crown Royal Regal Apple, DeKuyper Pucker Sour Apple, and fresh Lime Juice topped with Fever Tree Ginger Beer” is available on a lot of pool bar lounge menus these days. Mine was heavy on the sour apple, which didn’t seem to mesh as well with the apple whiskey as you might expect. It was actually virtually undrinkable, but it might have just been poorly mixed.
As embarrassing as it is to admit, I actually really like the “Moscato Colada – Skyy Infusions Moscato Grape Vodka and Bols Blue Curaçao blended with Piña Colada Mix.” It’s extremely sweet, but so refreshing that it’s surprisingly drinkable. I really like the smooth texture of the ice crystals. The perfect poolside cocktail to nurse over the course of an hour, it doesn’t work quite as well with food. But it might be shareable for the sake of flavor.
While Elysian is now owned by the monolith that is InBev, their 8.2% Space Dust IPA offers a bitter blast of hops at the front and an earthy conclusion. Very good.
The 6.8% ABV Dead Guy Ale is probably Rogue’s best known beer with its pleasant caramel-y sweetness with some spicy honey notes. It might be a touch more bitter than you’re expecting, but also very good overall.
On the non-alcoholic front, Blue Sky Organic Root Beer is available for $2.79. It’s a much more natural tasting soda than the Coke products.
I’ll start with the “Lounge” food items and then move to those also available from the counter. This is the $12 “Crispy Fried Oysters – with Miso Tartar Sauce.” I thought they were one of the weakest items on the menu considering you receive just four heavily breaded, salty, fishy oysters. The Miso Tartar Sauce is fantastic though with the white miso paste combining with some ginger and a little bit of spice. The oysters do have a nice crispiness to them, but it’s only a few bites for the money.
There’s the exact opposite issue with the $5 “Edamame with Chili-Salt,” which is the perfect snack if you’re not hungry but want to munch on something alongside a couple of cocktails. I enjoyed something similar at Morimoto Asia a couple of weeks ago and the chili-salt offers a really nice burst of spiciness that will help you finish that Moscato Colada in short order. Very good and very shareable for not a lot of money.
The $11 “Cheesy Barbecue Brisket with House-made Chips” is my favorite item on the menu. The meaty brisket is served more as a dip to top the crunchy chips, with a generous amount of Tillamook cheddar cheese mixed with provolone on top ,and a few slices of spicy jalapeno mixed in for good measure. It’s a hearty dish that can also be shared, though I don’t think you’ll want to. The portion isn’t tremendous, but it’s enough to cover the chips shown in the picture, so it will take you pretty far. And they’ll bring more chips on request as well.
The $13 “Shrimp on a Wire with Miso-Lime Vinaigrette, Togarashi, Shishito Peppers and Chili-Aïoli” arrives with four fresh, nicely chilled shrimp. There’s several layers of flavor here with the citrus-y lime in the vinaigrette combining with the spiciness of the pepper in the aioli, the crunchiness of the shishito on top, and the peppery quality of the togarashi sprinkled on top. It might not be a compelling value at four shrimp for 13 bucks, but the shrimp are in the vicinity of the quality you’d get as part of a shrimp cocktail at something like the BOAthousE or Paddlefish. I would get them again.
The $9 “Salmon Rillette with Sourdough Crisps,” which I, somehow, only took one picture of. The easily spreadable smoked salmon dip had some hints of chive, shallot, and pepper with a heavy-handed lemon flavor throughout. It was a sizable portion for the money and pretty easily shareable, but if you’re looking to get filled up, I’d go with the Salmon Sandwich that we’ll see momentarily. The Sourdough Crisps added some heft and had a buttery garlic flavor on their own that complemented the rillette well.
Oops, here’s a second one! Close call.
Overall, the Lounge menu is not particularly extensive, but each dish is executed well. Even if the oysters or shrimp aren’t an overwhelming amount of food, the flavors are on point.
Here’s a reminder of what we’ve got going lunch/dinner wise.
The $14 “Lump Crab Cake Sandwich with House-made Canadian Bacon and Spicy Cabbage-Carrot Slaw.”
As far as fast food crab cake sandwiches go, it impressed on both size and quality. The thick slice of Canadian bacon added a nice chewy contrast to the crab with lingering flavors of maple syrup and brown sugar. The crab cake had an admirable amount of crab in it with a surprisingly low amount of filler given its size, with some lemon and herb undertones. The crunchy slaw on top added a bit of vinegar and some crunch in between the really soft brioche bun. Pretty fantastic.
The $13 “Grillled Salmon BLT with Lemon-Caper Mayonnaise” was one of the better entrees as well.
The sandwich came packed with a thick filet that could have easily stood on its own. The capers add some salt and olive to the creamy mayonnaise, while the lemon adds a bit of citrus-y sourness that helps even everything out. The whole grain bread was fresh, but perhaps not equipped to keep the juicy sandwich together. The fresh tomato slice was cut thick and the lettuce added some crunch. I thought it was a great sandwich and along with the crab cake, represents the beautiful Northwest well.
The $10 “Smoked Turkey Sandwich with Lettuce, Tomato and Cranberry Mayonnaise.”
Unfortunately, this wasn’t a whole lot more than “just a Disney quick service turkey sandwich.” It’s not “bad” per se, but the turkey is reliably dry and there isn’t enough of the cranberry mayonnaise, which would probably brighten things up. But if you’re not in the mood for something hot, it should at least fill you up. I like their waffle fries as well. There’s more potato flavor and far less grease than Disney’s typical entry – thick with a crunchy exterior and and a softer interior. You only get a handful, but the weight adds up to a decent amount.
And I think the number of fries they’re plating is more generous than the first couple of days of operation, as the four on the side of the $12.49 “Classic Bacon Cheeseburger with Tillamook Cheddar, Lettuce and Tomato (here without the cheese or tomato)” is pretty sad. Unfortunately, this is your standard Disney fast food burger, which means it gets the job done, but don’t expect great things. The toasted bun is an improvement though – crispy on the outside with a light pillow-yness inside.
I’ve had two run-ins with the $13.49 “Bison Cheeseburger with Tillamook Cheddar, Sweet Onion Straws, Lettuce, Tomato and Marion Berry Barbecue Sauce.”
This was the first. It looks well put-together, but it’s not exactly piled high with stuff.
This was my most recent engagement just about three weeks ago now. It’s a huge burger packed with toppings, to the point where it’s unwieldy with the slippery bib lettuce, thick slice of tomato, two levels of bacon, and a lot more onions than we saw originally. I think there were some complaints that the burger was originally dry and gamey and this may be an attempt to help cover that up, though I think the sweet-tangy barbecue sauce does a nice job of adding flavor. I actually ended up brushing most of the toppings off for the last few bites because it was just too much. Overall, I didn’t find this as compelling as the Crab Cake Sandwich or BLT, but it’s a more interesting choice than the standard burger.
The $9.99 “Grilled Portobello Salad with grilled Portobello, Zucchini, Roasted Red Peppers, Tomato, and Multi-Grain Salad with Goat Cheese Dressing.” It’s a bit strange to lead with “Grilled Portobello” when there isn’t much of it to speak of. There’s a chunk on the left and then I think one underneath the large ring of onion next to it. Otherwise, the tangy goat cheese and sweet/sour balsamic contrasted nicely as they normally do and there’s a lot of the “multi-grain salad” underneath to add some protein. I think it’s different enough that vegetarians should enjoy it more than your typical garden salad and it’s quite a bit of vegetables for the money. Quite good.
The “Multi-Grain Salad” is also available as a side in lieu of the Waffle Fries. We thought it was a bit dry and bland on its own, but it’s certainly a healthier option for those that aren’t in the mood for something deep-fried.
We really liked the “$6 Chocolate Brownie Mousse with Caramel Popcorn and Toasted Meringue.” The rich chocolate cake underneath did a nice job of propping up the real star of the show, which is the creamy mousse on top. The couple bites of toasted meringue added some marshmallow and one lucky bite will add the crispy caramel popcorn as well. It’s not huge and you may be better off adding a larger dessert elsewhere, but those looking for some chocolate at the end of their meal should enjoy this.
Overall, Geyser Point offers some of the most scenic views on property and food that is varied and high quality.
Roaring Fork is expected to reopen in the middle of July and will expand the quick service options.
This bar area is somehow going to reopen as a spa.
Reunion Station is expected to be the Disney Vacation Club “Community Hall.”
It’s basically right behind Geyser Point – that’s the eatery seating in the back right of the frame.
Boulder Ridge Cove Pool, a replacement for the former “quiet pool,” looks to be a huge improvement – a much larger space with some really neat details.
I would expect the watercraft/bike rental to open alongside the new Villas in mid-July.
The Cabins on the water start at $1,835 a night and go up to $3,200 during the winter holidays. So maybe not.
A few more pictures around the resort, some of which were taken during my sunburst phase of early 2k17:
Those staying at the resort probably want to plan at least one stop at Geyser Point, perhaps in the evening to enjoy the Electrical Water Pageant, which rolls by nightly at 9:30pm. I never turn down an opportunity to go back.