Over the past couple of years, we’ve finally had a chance to start exploring some of the lounges on Disney property, and we’ve come to realize that Disney Imagineers bring the same level of creativity to these “grown up” spaces as they do to the nearby attractions.
Resort lounges can be a great place for a night cap after a long day at the parks, or they can be a reason to visit a different resort you’ve never stayed at before. And the lounges in the parks can be a refuge from the heat and a fabulous way to wait for your FastPass+ time to roll around.
And it doesn’t have to be an “adults only” trip for you to enjoy these places — we actually started taking our kids to the lounges when they were about 11 years old. For the most part, the lounges are very family friendly, and in the cases where kids are not allowed, it’s generally only after a specific time, such as 8 pm at Trader Sam’s and 10 pm at the Edison.
Here is a list of my 5 favorite lounges on Disney property:
- Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto (Polynesian)
This “whimsically themed” lounge is named after the “head” salesman you encounter on the Magic Kingdom’s Jungle Cruise and is in the Polynesian Resort. This is is not your average tiki bar: there are all kinds of special effects, and specific things that happen when you order specific drinks. Half the fun is just hanging out and watching the goings-on.
Tip: Get to Trader Sam’s just as they open at 4 pm to put your name on the list; there is very limited seating inside and the wait can be very long during peak periods.
If the wait is too long, you can sit outside at Trader Sam’s Tiki Terrace, which has the same menu options and even some of the same Skippers (servers), it’s just not quite as fun.
- Victoria Falls Lounge (Animal Kingdom Lodge)
Maybe it’s because this is in my favorite resort (Animal Kingdom Lodge) and it’s located outside one of my favorite restaurants (Boma), but whatever the reason, I like the ambiance and the drinks at this lounge. Full disclosure: I’ve never tried any of the food here. But given how great the other restaurants are in this resort, I bet it’s great!
- Raglan Road (Disney Springs)
Whether you’re sitting inside at the bar or outside on the patio, Raglan Road is a fine place to have a meal and/or a drink. We love the live music – there’s usually different live music acts performing both outside and inside.
Tip: Can’t get a dining reservation at a popular restaurant? You might be able to sit in the lounge area with no wait and order some of the same dishes from the restaurant menu.
- Brown Derby Lounge (Hollywood Studios)
I’ve mentioned this lounge previously, but it really is a great place to stop and grab a drink and something to eat from the Brown Derby’s menu. The service is super friendly, and their Hollywood Manhattan is one of my favorite drinks on property.
It is generally easy to get a place to sit, but the bartender will make drinks “to go” for you if you’d like. We usually try to time it so that we can get a (slightly obstructed) view of whatever show happens to be going on center stage.
- La Cava del Tequila (Epcot)/Nomad Lounge (Animal Kingdom)
Ok, I cheated a bit there by having TWO lounges listed at the top, but truly I could not make up my mind. These two are the only two lounges that we visit every time we go to that particular park.
I’ve written about both these places before, and they are the perfect places to get out of the crazy Florida weather. The atmosphere is amazing: La Cava del Tequila is inside the pyramid in Epcot’s Mexican Pavilion, and Nomad Lounge is in the same building with Tiffins restaurant, across the bridge from Pandora.
The drinks are great at both locations, and the food is consistently good. Nomads features quite a few dishes from signature restaurant Tiffins. And while Cava has very few menu items (queso, guacamole, salsa, chips), they are very good and very filling and customer service is amazing.
The Edison (Disney Springs) – This “industrial gothic-style” venue has incredible cocktails and live entertainment. The Edison’s interior is fascinating and well worth a wander. There is a dress code after 10 pm.
Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar (Disney Springs) – Even if you’re not a fan of the Indiana Jones franchise, you’ll want to explore this “family-friendly waterside outpost” crammed with all kinds of vintage memorabilia and sly references to the movies.
River Roost Bar (Port Orleans Riverside) – Port Orleans Riverside’s River Roost Bar is home to “southern style” libations and the legendary performer Yehaa Bob. Try to catch one of his hilarious, family-friendly shows (they’re free!), but get there early to nab a seat.
Do you have a favorite lounge that I didn’t mention? Please let us know in the comments below!
Want to experience these fantastic places yourself? Contact Patricia at All for Dreams Travel today for a FREE quote and FREE help planning your next Disney vacation!