Escapes & Strolls: Spyglass Grill

Despite the heat, last weekend Kim and I decided to go on an outdoor escape. We needed the walk and figured the beach atmosphere would lessen the feeling of the temperature. We chose Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort as our destination. A trip to the Spyglass Grill turned out to be just the escape we were looking for.

For free parking, you can always park at Disney Springs and take a bus to the hotel. We decided to park at Epcot and take the bus from there. The pickup stop is under the shade, but it was still hot, and the trips were taking a little bit longer due to an accident on the route. Luckily, it was nice and cool once on the bus since the ride ended up taking about 20 minutes to get from Epcot to the hotel. The bus stops at multiple pickups around the hotel grounds. Make sure to pick the stop that you need as they are somewhat spread out. We got off at the Port Royale stop, which is where the main lobby of the hotel is located.

Caribbean Beach is Disney’s resort with a combination island and pirate theme. The entire length of the stretched out hotel is along the water. You really sense the island feel between the water and tropical vegetation all around you when you step outside your room, sit outside at a restaurant or participate in one of the kids pirate cruises. There is even a small island that you must cross to get from one end of the resort to the other.

There are multiple food options inside and an outdoor bar connected to the main lobby. The unbelievable island fortress themed pool is also right outside the building. The area had too much going on for us to find a spot to sit back and relax. We decided to move on and headed to the Spyglass Grill on the other side of the resort. As we walked away from the main lobby area, the number of other guests around dropped drastically. We took in the beautiful views of the water as we headed over the small island that connects that resort.

We pretty much had the island to ourselves. There were plenty of cozy open benches and covered gazebos with views of the water. The vegetation was especially lush on the island and filled the spaces around these seating areas. This would be a great place to grab a coffee or beer and watch the sunset over the water. We continued along the path, which followed alongside the water the entire way. We passed multiple beach areas with white sand on our walk. These were mostly empty and had several available lounge chairs and hammocks to get your beach fix in.

Eventually, we came to a quaint building with a walk-up window and a small outdoor seating area. As we walked up, we noticed the large spyglass and pirate flag and decided to find a seat. Old-time pirate music was playing throughout the outdoor seating to set the mood. The restaurant is not far from the water, and the patio offers a perfect view. It was hot, but between the shade, overhead fans and the AC coming from inside the walkup window it was more than bearable. Lucky for us, a storm was rolling in, and it got cloudy and breezy, making the whole situation feel a little more piratelike.img_6920
The menu is actually pretty decent for a small poolside grill. There are sandwiches, tacos, and salads ranging from $8 to $14. There is a full kids menu here as well with options in the $7 range. We ended up getting a combination of grilled spiced Mahi and jerk chicken tacos. There were 3 of these average-sized tacos plus a side item. The tacos came out quickly for us and actually tasted pretty fresh. There are also a few baked goods and a full dessert menu here. We ended up getting some fun, but unnecessary complimentary cupcakes because of a small mishap with our cold brew coffee.

What’s a pirate-themed restaurant without some ale? Even though we didn’t order any, there were plenty of alcoholic beverages available. The location is also the bar for the adjacent pool, but we didn’t notice since there wasn’t really anyone around. There is a mix of canned and bottled lighter beers for poolside drinking and a few crafty options as well ranging from $7.50-$10. Wine and sangria are available along with several island-themed liquor drinks, including some frozen options. The alcoholic drink menu options range from $10.50-$13.50, and there are non-alcoholic versions of the frozen selections for $6.50.

After eating, we sat back and enjoyed our Shakin’ Jamaican cold brew as we listened to the traditional maritime music playing overhead. The cool breeze and scenic view made it easy to stay and just enjoy the moment. When we were ready to leave instead of walking all the way back, we headed to the bus stop. There is a stop very close to the Spyglass Grill with benches under the shade. The Carribean Beach buses pick up here for transport between the resort stops as well as the buses that go back and forth to the theme parks. From here we had a conveniently short wait for a direct ride back to Epcot parking.

img_6907There is plenty more to explore at Disney’s Carribean Beach resort. I could have easily spent hours more between the different bars, views, and seating areas. I recommend the Spyglass Grill for anyone looking for a quiet beach bar, waterside experience. It’s great for a meal on the patio, or a tropical drink to take along on the resort’s island walk.

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