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Lamplight Lounge is More Than Just Lobster Nachos
By Tinker Belle Diva

Lamplight Lounge Downstairs

Downstairs and right by the water

The very popular Lamplight Lounge emerged in 2018 during the transformation of the Paradise Pier to Pixar Pier. It replaced the also very popular Cove Bar and Ariel’s Grotto, which merged to form the Lamplight Lounge. It is located at the beginning of the Pixar Pier before you reach the Incredicoaster. Disney Magic Diva reviewed this location soon after it opened, and didn’t find it to live up to her expectations. So how has it matured?  First a little bit more about the restaurant.

lamplight lounge

Outside downstairs looking towards The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure

Lamplight Lounge is billed as a ‘gastropub’, or basically a pub/bar/restaurant hybrid. As was the Cove Bar before it, they have signature cocktails and even more fun, there is a secret menu of cocktails, which dates back to the Cove Bar days (ask for the Fun Wheel – a Disney twist on the Long Island Iced Tea!). There is a food menu with appetizers and entrees, so you can make this stop your meal for the day or just a rest for a drink or two. DIVA TIP – reservations are very popular here, so you should make a reservation at least 60-days before your trip. There is also a standby waitlist you can join if you did not get reservations, but that option may or may not be available during your trip based on demand.

Lamplight Lounge

Spiral stairs

There are several seating areas – upstairs outside, downstairs outside, and downstairs inside. You can make a request for one of the options both when you reserve your dining and when you check in at the host stand. A special request may mean that you could wait longer for your table, so ask about that when you check in. We have dined at all of the locations, and each one has its perks.

  • Upstairs outside gives you a great feel for the Pier. You can watch riders zoom away on the Incredicoaster, and see the action around you.
  • Downstairs outside has great views of the water. This is the PERFECT location to sit and watch World of Color when it returns.
  • Downstairs inside is great for a hot day or when you want a more intimate setting.
World of Color

World of Color from downstairs outside

There is a restroom on the bottom floor, inside just to the left of the spiral stairs. There is an elevators for those that cannot take the stairs.

We’ve had meals at the Lounge many times before Disneyland’s closure, and we ate here with our very good Disney friends during Touch of Disney, right before Disneyland reopened. And I can say that our experiences have been mixed.

Lamplight Lounge

Open Ocean cocktail

Before the closure, we typically (but not always) took one of the last reservations of the night. When we did this, we then asked for outdoors downstairs so we could watch World of Color. We loved being able to watch the show while seated, and enjoy our food and drink. Note that the kitchen will close before World of Color starts, so your server will ask you for a last call. Also, the lights will go dark and when we were there in the winter, the outdoor heaters were turned off. Keep all that in mind and prepare.

Lamplight Lounge

Lobster Nachos and Potato Skins

The service we experienced has been mixed. We have had very good attentive service with great food, and some non-attentive service with good food. Nothing though was as bad as our visit during Touch of Disney. The server took our order in a timely fashion, but our food arrived at varied times. We had 6 people, and two of us received our food, followed in about 5 minutes but two more. But the last two people in our party were not served again after another 5 minutes, so we flagged someone who was not our server to ask for our food. It took nearly 10 minutes for someone to come back and tell us that our last two orders were still delayed, and we still hadn’t seen our server. At this point, we involved a manager and we finally received the last two orders after everyone else had finished. The manager was apologetic and did comp those orders.

lamplight lounge

Kids chicken

About the food – we do love the Lobster Nachos. They are tortilla chips with warm lobster with black beans, aged cheddar-oaxaca cheese sauce, pico de gallo, and chipotle crema, and you can customize by leaving off any of those. And they are huge – my daughter and I will share them and it is perfect. They are not super spicy (but I’m from Arizona so I like spicy). But don’t stop there! We really like the potato skins. They are crispy (fried) Yukon gold potatoes with brown butter-caper yogurt, smoked paprika aïoli, and manchego cheese.

lamplight lounge

The donuts

There is also a kids menu with burger sliders and grilled chicken tenders, and a fun selection of mocktails. My kids LOVE the Infinity Fizz – the bubbles make the cherry pearls dance in the glass! It’s super fun. And to finalize your meal, they have donuts. They are house made, are served nice and warm, and include two dipping sauces to top them off. Very yummy!

Lamplight Lounge

Get the lobster nachos (this one had lobster on the side)

While our experiences here have been mixed, we do enjoy the food, the views, and the atmosphere. When World of Color reopens, we will again take a late reservation and enjoy watching the show from our seats. I can still recommend that you dine/drink here, and hopefully your experience will be more like the good ones we had.

Are you ready to start planning your next Disney trip, but don’t know where to start? Contact our recommended travel agent, Patricia at All for Dreams Travel, for a FREE quote!

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Hello! I'm Tinker Belle Diva. Just like you, I love all things Disney and have since my first trip to the Walt Disney World in 1980, followed quickly by my first trip to Disneyland. The love of Disney runs strong in my family and has been passed along to my daughter and son, who have been to Disneyland more times than I can count!