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Friday Happy Hour: Tune-In Lounge

Every once in a while I like to take a look at a favorite secret spot, and today — in honor of Friday Happy Hour — we’re headed to Tune In Lounge.

This super-friendly lounge is tucked between 50′s Prime Time Cafe and Hollywood and Vine Restaurants in Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Disney World.

While it shares its main seating area — Dad’s Living Room(s) — with the waiting area for 50′s Prime Time Cafe (con!), it has all kinds of kitschy-fabulous decor that will either remind you of your growing-up-years or your favorite episodes from early Nick at Nite (pro!).

One of Dad's Living Rooms

I can highly recommend getting there early — around 11am — and taking a look around the place. With several seating areas and “living rooms” to choose from, you’ll be able to take in an eye-full of some of Disney’s greatest Hollywood Studios themeing. Full of authentic, way-back worthy couches, chairs, artwork, knick-knacks, and even televisions, you’ll think you’ve been transported back in time to when Elizabeth Taylor was just a kid, Mary Tyler Moore was still married to Dick Van Dyke, and kids were required to have names like Junior, Billy, Susie, and Mary-Alice.

Fun 50's Bar Decor at Tune In Lounge

Of course, there is a full bar here as well — one of the best you’ll find in the Florida theme parks, too. And I promise I won’t tell anyone if you start drinking at 11am, seeing as I’m the one who recommended you head over to the Tune In Lounge at that early hour! ;-)

While Disney’s standard bar menu applies here, you can also order from the 50′s Prime Time Cafe alcoholic drink menu or the food menu. So this is a great spot to stop if you’re dining solo, don’t have an ADR, or just want a quick bite. You even get access to the same fun TV shows you’d see if you were dining in the restaurant!

Full Bar at Tune In Lounge

Beers on Tap

Full Bar at Tune In Lounge

Now, after you’ve had your fill of meat loaf and fried chicken and washed it all down with a Glow-tini, head outside and to your right to see another fun “secret spot” — the Echo Lake Apartments.

Echo Lake Apts

Unfortunately, the gate to the apartments is rarely — if ever — open. Maybe you can catch someone who lives there on their way home! You can see the renters’ names on the mailboxes to the right of the apartment gate.

Echo Lake Apts Mailboxes

While I didn’t know many of the names, one of my favorite Disney fan sites, Hyperion 2719, has done some digging to determine who lives in the Echo Lake complex. Definitely click the link for some great Disney Imagineering history…

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8 Comments

  1. Jeni says:

    You know I’ll support that whole “drinking at 11am” thing! Hey, it’s 5:00 somewhere and you’re on vacation! I love this bar – I think the best time to enjoy it is mid-afternoon for a break from the heat.

  2. The Tune In Lounge is a great spot. It’s busiest at meal times, but it’s a great place for a break in late afternoon. The servers here are all so nice and make some great conversation.

  3. Sarah says:

    I’m pretty familiar with this bar.  I like to get Long Island Iced Teas there, but the last couple times, although filled with alcohol-y goodness, were topped with way to much sour mix. It tasted more like a spiked lemonade, and although good, was not what I ordered. It’s still a great place to relax from the heat, and the theming is great!

  4. AJ says:

    Jeni — I know you’re with me on this one! :-)

    Matt — Thanks for the tip on late afternoon. And thanks for the corroboration on how nice everyone is here — I’ve never had a bad experience.

    Sarah — Too much sour mix: noted! (Although you’re talking to the wrong girl…I usually prefer my drinks to be mostly sour mix, so this gives me even more reason to go to Tune In!)

  5. John Grigas says:

    I opened the place at 11am, just like you suggest, on June 21. Julie was the bartender, and she was terrific! If you want to get out of the heat and have a nice conversation with a quite-efficient bartender, you can’t beat the Tune In Lounge!

    It has a nice, easy pace early in the day.

  6. Sarah says:

    I recall the prior trips Matt and I made late last fall, there was a bartender named Mario who made the LIs just right. I’m not opposed to sour mix, and am aware of your fondness for it, AJ! The last time I had one a few months back, it appeared a manager-type was mixing so perhaps that could be why… I stuck with beer when I stopped in last visit.

  7. Josh says:

    Not like I am old enough to drink or anything yet, but it would be interesting to see a drinks menu for this place, and possibly a food menu if there is one.

    It has a very nice setup and consistent theme, it is just too bad that it is sort of hidden away.

    The apartments do interest me as well and it’s interesting that there is some history behind all of the mailboxes. Maybe this is a reason to go to Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

  8. Edmoe says:

    My wife and I love this place (along with 50′s Prime Time Cafe). Even if we don’t have time to stay we will pop in and grab a cocktail or beer to go. If, like me, you don’t care for Bud Light (which is sold at most of the stands around the park) then this is a nice little place to find something with a little more flavor. Also, we love mid-century design so we would come here even if they only sold Bud Light:)

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