'Lounge'-ing Around Walt Disney World
A Quest to Visit Every Disney Loungeby Sue Kulick, PassPorter Featured Columnist
Last modified 08/27/2009
To those who say "Disney is just for children!" I raise my glass and point them in the direction of the fine lounges available at most Walt Disney World (WDW) resorts! My husband and I have a quest; we intend to imbibe a beverage in every Walt Disney World lounge. We have made it through quite a few lounges, with several more on our list.
What makes a WDW lounge special? The theming, of course! After all, it is Disney, and no one does theming better than Disney. Each lounge used to have a specialty drink on its menu, something that was consistent with the resort theme. In the recent homogenization of the menus, the specialty drinks seemed to go away, too. However, we have noticed a recent reinstatement of some of the resort-inspired specialty drinks. That makes us very happy indeed. So ... let's revisit some of our favorite haunts, and have a specialty beverage or two!
Despite Wilderness Lodge being our home Disney Vacation Club resort, it is NOT our favorite lounge! The number one spot belongs to The Outer Rim at Disney's Contemporary Resort. The lounge is decorated in retro space-aged funk, with low chairs and tables and a high tech fun filled bar. The specialty drink at this bar is the Sunken Treasure, a lovely green-colored delight complete with pineapple, flag, and umbrella. Relax with your drink and watch the sunset over Bay Lake!
On to number two: Territory Lounge at the Wilderness Lodge. Here you can sit in comfy couches or around intimate tables while sipping a Northern Exposure. You will be surrounded by wood and dark tones complimented by images from the Northwest. Enjoy a cheese and fruit platter or some wings while you search for the hidden Mickeys in this lounge!
Next on the list is Martha's Vineyard at The Beach Club. This lounge is off to the side of its big sister, The Cape May Café, but what it lacks in size, it makes up for in quaintness! It's intimate and cozy. We sipped our Passion Fruit Mai Tai's in a small seating area, and the bartender brought us pretzels!
We also enjoy the Gurgling Suitcase at Old Key West. This lounge is located near Olivia's, and the specialty drinks here are available with dinner at Olivia's as well! My husband Steve likes the Turtle Krawl, but I am partial to the Sultry Seahorse. Enjoy it with an appetizer of delicious crab cakes.
The Polynesian offers up the Tambu Lounge, a lounge we have had the privilege of staying in until closing…twice! The Tambu Lounge is on the second floor of the Poly, and often holds the overflow crowd waiting for Kona Café and Ohana. They offer table and bar seating, and they also offer a delightful concoction called the Island Sunset!
Close behind the Tambu Lounge on our list of favorites is Boardwalk's Belle Vue Room. The Belle Vue Room is situated on the Inn side of BoardWalk, and offers a cozy nook with chess boards, comfortable couches and a patio. There is a good selection of Scotch here, and the atmosphere makes you want to order a brandy or a port. I usually opt for a glass of their wonderful wines!
Animal Kingdom Lodge is home to Victoria Falls. This lounge is settled nicely between the main lobby and Boma, tucked in a corner with lots of ambiance and culture. My first trip there was a disappointment, as when I asked for a specialty drink (after finding none on the menu) the bartender offered a Pina Colada. Hmmm…I can get that pretty much anywhere. My next adventure there was a bit more successful, as I had the Boma-inspired Victoria Falls Mist, although I am not sure if it Boma or Victoria Falls had it first!
Just a few short months ago, I got to try River Roost at Port Orleans Riverside and The Crew's Cup at Yacht Club in the same trip! We went to River Roost the night that Bob Jackson was playing the piano, and if you ever get a chance to catch his show, don't miss it! I actually only had a Corona that night, but there is a drink there called the Sassagoula Sunset that is high on my list for next time. The Crew's Cup at the Yacht Club is set off to the side, overlooking the meat locker at the Yachtsman Steakhouse. No real specialty drink here, though. I ended up having a rum punch that was actually quite good, but made with a bit of a heavier hand than I usually like.
Last but not least on our list is Rix, at Coronado Springs. The only reason it is last is because we haven't tried it since it was Francisco's! See, Francisco's held a very special place in our hearts. In 1998, we stayed on Walt Disney World property for the very first time at Coronado Springs and enjoyed fabulous margaritas. That made it officially our first ever WDW lounge! We have stopped into Rix when it wasn't open, and it looks lovely, all done in warm Mediterranean colors. I was also happy to see that they have several specialty drinks on their menu. This is a must-do on a future trip.
We have yet to try Mizner's (Grand Floridian), Scat Cat's (Port Orleans French Quarter) or The Turf Club (Saratoga Springs). But we have many trips ahead of us, and as long as we continue to be adults at Walt Disney World, we will enjoy an adult beverage at one of the many wonderful lounges!
Updated 08/27/2009 - Article #265
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