Here at the Downlow, we enjoy sharing the good news that theme parks, especially Walt Disney World, aren’t just for kids. Yes, they are fantastic vacation spots for parents and grandparents with children and we always getting get a kick out of watching kids have fun at the parks! But. WDW is also a super fun place for adults! As our friends and family know well, we’ve been going for years and each time, we seem to discover a new activity that adults can enjoy while in the World.
We also, fortunately, love a good bar. And Disney’s got a lot of good bars! We thought we’d give you a look at some of our favorite spots in and around the Disney parks to belly up for a mid-day drink or a nightcap. Cheers!
Tambu Lounge / Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
The Downlow: The Tambu Lounge is a must-hit spot for us each trip. Located at Disney’s Polynesian Village and Resorts (right outside the entrance to ‘Ohana), Tambu Lounge features a menu with unique tropical drinks and some of the friendliest bartenders anywhere on property! Be sure to try to the Lapu Lapu, a rum and fruit cocktail served in a (whole!) pineapple and my personal favorite, the Backscratcher, a rum/juice/whiskey concoction that comes with its own…well, backscratcher! (Fun fact: John the Bartender told me that on a busy night, the Tambu Lounge will go through 100 pineapples for the Lapu Lapu’s!). Tambu Lounge also has on its menu the sticky chicken wings and AMAZING bread puding that are served inside at ‘Ohana. This is definitely a bar to hit on your next trip to WDW.
Hours of Operation: 7:30 am to midnight
Victoria Falls Lounge / Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
The Downlow: Situated in the middle level of the gorgous Animal Kingdom Lodge, Victoria Falls Lounge is a great place to stop for a drink before you grab dinner at AKL’s Boma or Jiko resturants, or head out back to look at the giraffes and other animals that live right behidn the lodge. When we stop, we’re sure to grab a Tusker Lager and snack on some of the African-inspired tapas plates!
Hours of Operation: 4 pm to midnight
Territory Lounge / Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
The Downlow: The Territory Lounge is one of those hidden gems that we had heard about for many years, but never had a chance to visit. So glad we finally made that trip over to the beautiful Wilderness Lodge because Territory Lounge did not dissapoint! Nestled just off the main lobby, Territory Lounge offers a great menu with sandwiches, nacho and a charcuterie tray. We were blown away by the House Braed with Lardo Butter and Sea Salt. We may have ordered a second basket while we sipped on a great bourbon fligth and a Moscow Mule. Between the food, the drinks and the atmosphere, Territory Lounge was an absolutely high point during our last visit!
Hours of Operation: 7:30 am to 2 pm; 4:30 pm to midnight
Dawa Bar / Disney’s Animal Kingdom
The Downlow: The Dawa Bar holds a special place in the Downlow’s heart as it was the first WDW bar we visited together during our first trip in 2011. Back then, the Dawa Bar, which is lcoated in the Africa section of the park, was just a tiny pop-up bar right outside the entrace to the Tusker House Restaurant, but with the addition of the new Lion King Theater, Dawa Bar moved on up to a bigger location just across from the Harambe Marketplace. Bob the Bartender is usually on duty and we always look forward to stopping at Dawa before (and after?!) our trip on the Kilimanjaro Safari! You can’t go wrong with a cold Tusker Lager from Dawa wwhile you snack on one of Animal Kingdom’s specialty cupcakes! It’s BYOC (Bring Your Own Cupcake) so we suggest you stop at Creature Comforts on the walk to Africa.
Hours of Operation: 10 am to about 1/2 hour before park closing
Nomad Lounge / Animal Kingdom
The Downlow: Nomad Lounge is a new addition to the bar scene at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and it is an instant favorite! Located in the same building as Tiffins, Nomad Lounge offers guests a casual lounge seating with ample seating inside and outside and a great selection of food and drinks. From the outside deck, guests have a great view of brank-spanking new bridge that will take guests into Pandora: The World of Avatar when it opens in May. Eagle-eyed guests will also be able to spot on the “dragon rocks” from the Nomad deck! The dragon rocks were an original feature of Animal Kingdom when it opened in 1998 and the rocks served as a tease for the “Beastly Kingdom” section of the park that Disney never got around to building! Anyway, back inside, we would recommend sharing the African-spiced Wagyu beef sliders and enjoying a Leaping Lizard (pineapple rum with orange and passion fruit juice) or a Snow Leopard Savlation (vodka with mint and ginger beer).
Hours of Operation: 11:30 am to 7:30 pm (sometimes open til 8 pm)
Tune-In Lounge / Disney’s Hollywood Studios
The Downlow: When everyone is giving Disney’s Hollwyood Studios a hard time for being a half-day park, we’d like to remind them there are still plenty of reasons to visit and one of them is the awesome Tune-In Lounge! Many guests only know Tune-In Lounge as the waiting area for the 50’s Prime Time Cafe restuarant next door. But if you’ve never done so, take a few minutes on your next visit to belly up to the Tune-In and enjoy one of their great drink offfering. For me, every time, it’s Dad’s Lemonade, a bright blue cocktail with rum, vodka, sweet and sour mix and Sprite! And don’t forget that multi-colored “ice cube” to add a special visual flair. Tune-In Lounge is great for a quick midday stop or to grab a drink for your walk over to Sunset Boulevard!
Hours of Operation: 11 am to 8 pm
La Cava del Tequila / Epcot World Showcase – Mexico
The Downlow: La Cava del Tequila is a wildly popular bar inside the Mexico Pavilion in the World Showcase at Epcot. As the name might imply, La Cava is the place to go if you love tequila! Their menu features more than 200 kinds of tequila, as well as Mexican beer and tasy margaritas! If you can’t squeeze your way into the bar, La Cava also has some tables for guests to use while they snack on guacamole or chips and queso! La Cava has a fun, friendly atmospher and one of the best drink menus on property – don’t miss it!
Hours of Operation: Noon to 9 pm (open later during Extra Magic Hours)
Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar / Epcot World Showcase – Italy
The Downlow: Tutto Gusto is sitauted at the back of the Italy Pavilion, between Tutto Italia restaurant and Via Napoli. Modeled after an authentic Italian wine cellar, Tutto Gusto offers an impressive collection of wine offerings and the menu is perfect for any time of the day. We are crazy about the cheese plates and we’ll also often share one of the sandwiches (we’re particular toward the Fior de Latte Mozzarella!). So on those days when you’re doing the full loop around World Showcase and you find yourself in need of a break, you can’t go wrong making a pitstop at Tutto Gusto!
Hours of Operation: 11:30 am to 9 pm (open later during Extra Magic Hours)
Rose & Crown Pub / Epcot World Showcase – United Kingdom
The Downlow: The United Kingdom Pavilion is one of the most popular areas of the World Showcase and the Rose & Crown Pub is a big reason for that! This British pub offers a great beer and food menu, including the famous fish & chips that are so popular right next door at the Yorkshire County Fish Shop! During our last visit, we stumbled upon one of the best drink deals we’d ever seen on property – the Imperial Sampler! For less than $12, you get a nice size p0ur of the following beers: Bass Ale, Harp, Boddington English Pub Ale, Strongbow Cide and Guiness Stout! Between the great food and beer, the occasional in-house entertainment (the Piano Lady) and the raucus crowds, and Rose & Crown Pub is a place you might never want to leave!
Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto / Disney’s Polynesian Village and Resorts
The Downlow: Another entry from Disney’s Polynesian Village and Resorts, Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto is new to WDW but has been a staple at Disneyland for many years. Trader Sam’s is named for the same Trader Sam that guests encounter toward the end of the famous Disney Jungle Cruise! In the lower level of the Polynesian, there’s a reguarl unassuming door that if not for the small Trader Sam’s sign on it, would be almost unidentifiable as the entrance of a bar. But inside that door, guests enter an exotic locale where the bartenders and servers sing, yell and otherwise cause all sorts of mischeif as they serve a collection of unique and tasty drinks! We love the Uh-Oa! (order it and see what happens!), the Krakatoa Punch, and the HippopotoMai-Tai!
Hours of Operation: 4 pm to midnight
Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar / Disney Springs
The Downlow: Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar is a new addition to Disney Springs and has quickly become one of our favorite water-ing holes! Themed as the hangar that Jock built when he “stumbled upon” Disney Spring in 1938, the Hangar Bar features a great collection of appetizers (wings, meatball sliders and tuna tacos) and drink menu is on point! We highlyg recommend Reggie’s Revenge (voka with crandberry and lime juice) and the Hovito Mojito! Best of all, like Trader Sam’s the bartenders are in on the action and if you get a good one, she or he will stay in character while serving you some of the best drinks on proeprty.
Hours of Operation: 111:30 am to midnight (sometimes 1 am)
Summary: Quench your thirst for action at this 1940s airplane hangar turned dive bar—ex-home of Indiana Jones’ sidekick and pilot.