With so many changes in the works for Disney’s Wilderness Lodge and Boulder Ridge Villas, it was inevitable we’d see a new dining hotspot for the resort’s guests. The latest addition to the resort’s great slate of restaurants, Geyser Point Bar & Grill, recently opened while construction crews add finishing touches to the new lakeside villas and pool area. Functioning as a hybrid quick service location and outdoor bar for the neighboring quiet pool, Geyser Point is currently the main quick serve dining location for the resort while Trout Pass Pool Bar and Roaring Fork undergo refurbishment.
I dropped in for lunch on opening day to get a look at the new menus and location, and at first glance, Geyser Point really wowed me. The location is spectacular – set right on the edge of Bay Lake (adjacent to Trout Pass and the geyser walkway), the covered (with an actual roof!) cushy seating area surrounds a central bar, with a quick service window and accompanying drink refill station on one exterior edge. The open-air seating area features built-in fans and heaters, useful for both of Florida’s seasons (the two-week winter and then summer), as well as pull-down shade screens on all sides that will protect guests from inclement weather.
This place is pretty versatile – you can order quick food to-go, or stay a while and have your food delivered to you in the seating area (on real plates with real silverware – a true luxury at Walt Disney World quick service locations). If bar/lounge food is more your speed, you can take a seat and one of the roaming cocktail servers will come to take your order from the separate bar menu. Once you’re done with your meal (either quick food or bar menu food), Cast Members will come clear your table for you.
Quick service food options are pretty traditional fare – sandwiches and salads, but the menu emphasizes seafood options (crab cakes and grilled salmon) uncommon at many other resort quick service locations. Even the burger comes with a slightly-elevated option – you can grab the standard beef burger common around Walt Disney World, but you can also opt for a bison burger. The menu is definitely a little more adventurous than the resort’s other quick service location, Roaring Fork (which serves solid, simple sandwiches, flatbreads, and salads).
I’ll definitely visit Geyser Point again soon to try some of the bar fare (fried oysters and brisket cheese fondue were standouts on the menu at first glance), but for this meal, I opted for a few of the sure-to-be-popular options from the quick service side. Arriving about 15 minutes after I ordered at the window, I sampled the lump crab cake sandwich ($13.99), bison cheeseburger ($13.49), and grilled portobello salad ($9.99), with the chocolate brownie mousse ($5.99) for dessert.
First impressions: the real plates and silverware are a great touch, and portion sizes (for the most part) seem pretty reasonable for the price and quality of what you’re getting. Everything arrived to our table hot and fresh, with a particularly visually-striking plate presentation on the portobello salad. These looked like dishes I’d order at a non-signature table service restaurant – much prettier and more impressive than a normal quick service meal.
My first bite came from the bison burger, which, while not cooked to a requested temperature (they all come out medium-well to well-done), arrived tender and juicy, not in the least bit dry (a fear with such a lean meat). Topped with Tillamook cheddar and marionberry barbecue sauce, the burger can get a bit messy, but the sauce, in particular, was a great pairing with the lean bison – sweet and tart, bringing out the natural sweetness of the onion straws, as well. A word of warning for those who are condiment averse, though – this burger does come topped with mayo (despite the menu not listing it), so make the cashier aware of your preferences when you order.
Every meal comes with either waffle fries or multigrain salad, so I chose one of each with our entrees. I definitely preferred the waffle fries: crisp outside, fluffy inside, lightly seasoned with salt. The one issue, though, was that I only got about six fries with my burger – I wished for a few more on the plate, not only because they were tasty, but just to fill up the plate a bit more. I’m hoping this portion issue was just an opening-day blip on the radar and not indicative of what the regular portion will be going forward.
I ordered the multigrain salad alongside the crab cake sandwich (topped with house-made Canadian bacon and spicy cabbage-carrot slaw). The sandwich came with two crab cakes on a fluffy brioche bun, savory and not at all fishy or packed with filler, and slightly sweet Canadian bacon on top. The spicy carrot-cabbage slaw was vinegary and perfectly matched with the lemony, bright crab cakes, though not particularly spicy to me. On the side, the multigrain salad was packed with quinoa and tiny diced zucchini and peppers, with a citrusy light dressing holding it all together. If you are in search of a lighter lunch or dinner option and are in the area, this would definitely serve you well.
The burger and sandwich were great, but oddly enough, I found the grilled Portobello salad to be the most compelling dish of the meal. Though I think they’re overselling this salad as a “mushroom” salad, given the three pieces of one Portobello mushroom cap on the entire dish, it was absolutely delicious. Large pieces of grilled mushroom, zucchini and yellow squash, roasted red peppers and tomato sit atop a larger portion of the same quinoa multigrain salad we’d sampled on the side of our crab cake sandwich, and the whole dish comes drizzled in goat cheese and balsamic dressings. Tangy goat cheese and sweet but acidic balsamic are classic pairings with all of these vegetables, and really tied the whole dish together. I’ll most definitely be back for this dish once summer hits, as it’ll make for a perfect light, bright lunch any day.
For dessert, I tried the chocolate brownie mousse, topped with caramel popcorn (a single kernel), and two wings of toasted meringue. The brownie on the bottom of this dessert wasn’t quite cakey or fudgy, a little odd in texture but rich in chocolate flavor. The mousse was the real star here, though – so dense and creamy, it was deep in milk and dark chocolate notes without being cloyingly sweet. This is probably too heavy a dessert after a big meal here, but I’d try to save room for it after a salad or light sandwich (or as an afternoon snack).
Overall, I was very impressed with Geyser Point’s quick service selections – each dish offered distinct flavors unique to this location and more commonly only seen at higher-priced table service restaurants. The one trouble you may encounter with Geyser Point in the coming months is the same I had during my meal – finding a table. While Roaring Fork and Trout Pass Pool Bar are both down for refurbishment, this location will be incredibly busy with resort guests in search of a quick bite. Even during lunch on a mild winter day (when not as many guests were using the pool, and so many were at the parks), I had trouble finding a seat. I’m sure breakfast and dinner at this location will be packed, so plan ahead and pack some patience over the next few months. The food and the view, though, are worth the wait.