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Top 10 Disney World Bars and Lounges

South African Wine at Jiko

When it comes to a happy hour beverage, a night out with your spouse or some friends, or…let’s face it…a margarita at the stroke of noon…there are a few spots in Disney World that get the job done better than others! FYI — The Disney Food Blog offers a full list of bars and lounges — complete with descriptions of each place — in our DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining e-Book.

Now, let’s take a tour of our Top Ten Disney World bars and lounges — these are the places that really make us want to get up and dance. ;-) Don’t forget to check out our list of Honorable Mentions at the end! Many of these spots offer the standard Disney Parks bar and lounge menu should you be interested.

Top Ten WDW Bars and Lounges

1. La Cava del Tequila

Nestled in the twilit atmosphere of the Mexican pavilion in Epcot, La Cava del Tequila is popular with tequila and margarita fans. Try the Avocado Margarita while perusing the limited appetizer menu. See our margarita reviews here and a pic of the tequila flight here!

Due to its cozy and dark location, La Cava makes a great place to escape the heat and bright sunshine while touring World Showcase. However, it gets crowded quickly, so to ensure that you get a table, head over to La Cava at opening time — noon!

La Cava Bar

2. Jellyrolls

While Jellyrolls isn’t for everyone, if you love music from the 70′s, 80′s, and 90′s, and especially if you love dueling piano improv, it’s going to fit the bill for you!

An entertainment spot on Disney’s Boardwalk bringing you non-stop dueling pianos, the bar at Jellyrolls plays second fiddle to the fun. Arrive early to get a table; it’s standing room only by about 9pm each night. By the way, there’s a drink special every night that’s served in a giant red plastic cup. Order that. And bring plenty of $1 and $5 bills to slide onto the piano with your request for your favorite Billy Joel, Journey, or Beastie Boys song.

Oh, and save me a seat!

Jellyrolls at Disney's Boardwalk

3. Dawa Bar

After your journey to Harambe, Africa, in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, it’s clearly time to relax at the Dawa bar! When you need a break from touring, the Dawa Bar serves up spirits (South African wines and African beer) at a great people-watching location as guests race towards Kilimanjaro Safari. Watch the African drummers and dancers from this shaded spot.

Dawa Bar in Harambe Village

4. TIE: Tambu Lounge and Territory Lounge

Travel to the South Seas and stop by the Polynesian Resort’s Tambu Lounge. The bartenders are great, and sipping a Lapu Lapu served in a fresh pineapple is always memorable!

This is a great place to grab a drink before heading out to the beach to watch the Magic Kingdom fireworks!

Lapu Lapu at Disney

Or spend a quiet evening in the Pacific Northwest at Territory Lounge, where guests can dig into one of the best appetizer menus on property!

Sharp Cheddar Beer Fondue

5. River Roost Lounge

Located at Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside Resort, this little bar offers more than you’d ever believe! Fun drinks and a small appetizer menu at River Roost are greatly complemented by the performances of Yee-haa Bob Jackson, a ragtime improv pianist whose shows are always a hoot!

Ye-Haa Bob

Become part of Bob’s dedicated following after just one evening here…

6. Tune-In Lounge

Stop by the Tune-In lounge for some laid-back fun in a 50′s-themed setting at this Disney’s Hollywood Studios location.

The full bar offers the standard Disney Parks bar and lounge menu, a specialized drink menu with some fun 50′s-themed drinks, and the 50′s Prime Time Cafe food menu! Yes, stop here without an Advance Dining Reservation and you can enjoy some down-home cooking with your beverage(s) while seated at the kitschy bar!

Don’t forget the s’mores for dessert!

Full Bar at Tune In Lounge

7. Raglan Road Pub and Restaurant

Enjoy great beer in an authentic, imported bar from Ireland (yep — they actually IMPORTED the bar!). And Raglan Road in Downtown Disney has some incredible food as well.

Cream of the Crop. Choose Your Own Beer Flight of Warsteiner, Magners, Kilkenny, and Smithwicks

Head over to the pub at night to enjoy live Irish music and dancing!

8. Crew’s Cup Lounge

The dark and intimate Crew’s Cup Lounge is a relaxed location with good food from a menu that offers more than just appetizers (boneless buffalo wings!!!! — it’s the little things that matter most, really, isn’t it?). Best of all, you can usually find a table here!

Crews Cup Bar

9. Kimonos

The WDW Swan is home to Kimonos — the only karaoke spot on property, and one of the best sushi bars in WDW. While some consider this a restaurant, the lounge-like feeling and seating make it feel like a bar/lounge to me.

Sample some Sake while watching the sushi chefs! Check out our review here! And don’t forget to join us at Kimonos for the WDW Foodie Fest Sushi and Sake meet — right before we head over to the Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic!

Sushi Platter

10. Big River Grille and Brewing Works

While the food can be hit and miss here (though the beer cheese soup and nachos are pretty much always good!), I’m including this in the top ten solely for my beer connoisseurs! Homemade and seasonal brews are made fresh here at Big River.

Find Big River Grille and Brewing Works on Disney’s Boardwalk.

Beer Flight at Big River

There’s also some lovely outdoor seating if you’re visiting on a beautiful evening!

Honorable Mentions

So many lounges, so little non-touring time to sit back and relax! If you find yourself near any of these lounges, put down your itinerary and treat yourself to a beverage.

Don't forget the light-up ice cube...

  • Bellevue Lounge at the Boardwalk Inn is an out-of-the-way retreat that’s perfect for afternoon rests and family game nights! Pick up a continental breakfast here, too! Check out this great Bellevue Lounge photo blog over on WDWforGrownups.com.
  • Sanaa Lounge at the Animal Kingdom Lodge‘s Kidani Village is especially relaxing because it’s usually empty! There’s good food here too!
  • Mizner’s Lounge in Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort offers laid-back elegance and the chance to hear live entertainment in the Grand Floridian lobby.
  • The Banana Cabana pool bar at the Caribbean Beach Resort has awesome bartenders and killer Pina Coladas.
  • At Pop Century Resort, our favorite Petals Pool Bar still serves up some unique drinks despite the standardized menus seen at many bars.
  • Travel back in time to the Shark Bar at the T-Rex Cafe in Downtown Disney. When you sit at this fun bar watch for the 45-foot, animatronic octopus!
  • While at Downtown Disney, the Tequila Bar in Paradiso 37 offers great appetizers and drinks (although it can be a bit loud and crowded at night).

Did we miss any? What’s your favorite hang-out at WDW? Let us know in the comments below. :-)

Just a reminder — look for a full list of bars and lounges, complete with descriptions of each place and recommended drinks, in our DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining e-Book.

Jellyrolls photo credit

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54 Comments

  1. Chris says:

    I think you guys missed one of the best lounges in WDW, The bluezoo!!!!!It has a fabulous atmosphere, themed wonderfully and you can see the selection of oysters on the raw bar with fish dancing to the glow of fire while the aroma of spices beckons taste buds to salivate! The Zooberry is my second favorite drink on property second only to the Grand Marnier Orange Slushy (or G-MOS as I like to call it). You can see the talents of the bartenders with the mixology lab as they make the famous dipping shots! I fully understand this place can put off a snobby I am hip NY type of vibe or that you must be dressed to impress, but after all this is WDW and you can come from Epcot mickey ears and all, enjoy a wind down with the best cocktails in a great environment in a amazing (great smelling too!) Hotel.

  2. Sara says:

    I love Raglan Road, the band and dancers make it fun and lively! I still haven’t made it over to the River Roost to see Yeehaw Bob – but his show looks great too!

  3. Whoa whoa whoa….Where’s my beloved Rose & Crown Pub? It’s only the best place in all of WDW:)

  4. Buzz2001 says:

    Rix Lounge at CSR

  5. Kat says:

    I think La Cava del Tequila is great too! I want to try some of the others you mentioned like Dawa Bar and Raglan Road.

  6. Elizabeth says:

    I completely agree with this list. Very well researched. ;-)

  7. Adhi says:

    While I agree with most of this list, im disappointed to not see Rose and Crown! Carl is one of a kind and usually is a hit to start off our… fun beverage trips around the world… La cava, raglan road and dawa bar are usually “must go” places when I am there though, and are always so much fun.

  8. George says:

    You forgot The Wave! Fantastic wine list, friendly bartenders, and a cool vibe. I love the neutral, mid-century modern decor, a nice break when I’m not in the mood for another nautical flag, straw-hatted dandy, or totem pole. You can order off the dinner menu here too, which is good for solo diners, and they have a nice appetizer and drinks menu as well. Easy in-out if you valet, as it’s right near the main entrance.

  9. Adhi says:

    (I forgot to mention) I really must try the rest of this list! From what you show here, jellyrolls looks like a hit.

    And I’m disappointed that while at port orleans, I missed out on both this neat place and the hurricane drink in the lampshade glass!

  10. JoVonn says:

    I haven’t tried any of those but will now!

  11. Frank Stefanec says:

    I like the Lobby Bar @ the Dolphin.
    Very centrally located.
    In the hub of the buzz at the Dolphin.
    Bartenders are great guys.
    TV’s for sports.
    Il Mulino’s too.
    I used to love Riptide. Lobby bar @ the Beach Club years ago. Next to Cape May.
    Frank

  12. Paul C says:

    A list like this without the Rix at Coronado Spring?

    http://www.rix-lounge.com/

  13. John Grigas says:

    We always dig the Outer Rim, but we wouldn’t nominate it over your Top Ten! That’s more about location than anything else.

    Tune In is my favorite lunch spot in the Studios when it is just me (or me and my wife). If you get there early enough, the bartenders will take time to get to know you before the lunch rush takes hold!

  14. melissa sue says:

    I agree with George. The Wave bar is a must-visit!

  15. melissa sue says:

    Although I agree–not in the Top 10. Maybe as an honorable mention.

  16. Alan says:

    Yea AJ. If you’ve listed them in order of your favorites I might quibble with you about that order, but I love ‘em all. The accidental way I stumbled upon the Dawa bar in the AK will always make it my fav but I tend to spend more time at the smaller of the two outdoor bars at Raglan Road (Hole in the Wall) at their Happy Hour. Just sitting under an umbrella table, sipping (slightly) discounted Smithwick’s and munching on an order of fried scallops from Cooke’s of Dublin while watching the crowds stroll by is my “Happy Place”.

    I can’t help thinking about some of the bars that are now history. The Catwalk bar above the Brown Derby, The Baton Rouge Lounge aboard the old Empress Lily, and most of all the small bar, with a real Happy Hour, attached to the old Fireworks Factory restaurant in Pleasure Island.

  17. venessa says:

    Cava de Tequila is beautiful but lately the service has been horrible, at least with us. And is sad to see Rose and Crown not on the list, they have a pretty good selection of drinks. Man I can’t wait to go back in Jan.

  18. Michelle B. says:

    For me, I would have excluded Big River Grille. I don’t find their beers all that great. I’ve been to 7 of the 10 listed so will definately have to hit the other 3! I would give Honorable mention to the Catwalk Bar. RIP!

  19. Cathy L says:

    I have to say that I agree with other posters about the now-defunct catwalk bar. It was a great place to go and relax for a drink and a snack!

    Missing from the list — the ESPN Club on the Boardwalk!! Great pub-type food, good selection of draft beers, great bartenders (we miss Matt), and televisions tuned to your favorite team over the bar. Not to mention sports trivia — it’s a good time and a spot that we visit every time we are in WDW.

  20. Larry Brooks says:

    Hey, I’m with Deej, The Rose and Crown is a greatplace to get a drink and say hello to the one and only “Carl”!

  21. Jennie says:

    I’ve visited all (including honorable mentions) but 5 and I agree on everything with the exception of Big River Grille – switch it out with Rose & Crown and it’s perfect!

  22. Savorique says:

    Well researched list, wow, thanks! Not so kids friendly for once ;)

  23. George says:

    Fulton’s (not my favorite restaurant) bar is nice too. A very large curved bar with lots of stools, and you can order off the entire menu, though I usually stick to the chilled seafood and shellfish with my cocktail(s).

    And while we’re in the ‘hood, I’ve heard good things about the “Meatball Bar” at Portobello.

  24. George says:

    Jellyrolls doesn’t have a good “bar,” per se,* but the entertainment is great. Don’t go expecting really good drinks, rather for the fun time.

    *read: plastic cups

  25. AJ says:

    Chris — I do like bluezoo! But I’d pick Kimonos first. ;-)

    Sara — Yes! Go see Yee-Haa Bob! :-)

    Jennie, Adhi, Larry, Venessa, and Deej — You guys know I LOVE Carl the Bartender and that yummy English Bulldog!!! Very good point that Rose & Crown should have been included!

    Paul C and Buzz — Rix is great; I love that you can get the margarita flight there!

    Kat — Yes! Dawa Bar! You’ll love it.

    Elizabeth — Thank you so much, my friend!

    George and Melissa Sue — I love the Wave bar, too! So chill and relaxing! And the bartenders are fantastic.

    JoVonn — Can’t wait to hear what you think!

    Frank — I think Il Mulino’s bar is very hip! Great point. Also, the lounge is still next to Cape May — called Martha’s Vineyard now :-)

    John — I think the Tune-In is a great hidden gem!! Excellent point to go early.

    Alan — Love the mentions of the older bars. You should do a guest review of those if you have pictures!

    Michelle B — Thanks for the review :-) Can’t wait to hear what you think of the other three!

    Cathy — Ooh, we love the ESPN Club. One of my favorite places for wings. Plus, you get to watch the game even in the bathroom!!

    Savorique — Glad you enjoyed it! You’ve been to all of these spots, I presume?

    George — Fulton’s is an interesting spot, too — great point. Definitely an atmosphere choice! I haven’t tried the meatball bar at Portobello, but I’ve heard good things, too! Also, I agree about Jellyrolls — the entertainment is why you visit; not the bar.

  26. Jim J says:

    Terrific list AJ. I would add the Top of the World Lounge at BLT. Incredible views, and a great place to see Wishes (music is piped in).

  27. alix says:

    victoria falls in the animal kingdom lodge (on a balcony above the restaurants) is hands-down the best quiet bar in the whole World.

  28. JoAnn says:

    I’m glad to see the Petals bar made honorable mention. I have got to try the Lapu Lapu.

  29. Shaun says:

    What about Port Orleans French Quarter, Beignets and Jazz music. How can you beat that?

  30. Tank says:

    I expect to visit at least 5 of these in December!

    …why, no. I don’t have a problem! :P

  31. Dave A says:

    I agree with all listings (that I’ve been to) except for Mizner’s Lounge. That place just has bad mojo. Staff has never been pleasant in there and it’s an awkward space for the location.

    I would vote for Victoria Fall Lounge as my #1. Plenty of space and South African wines!

  32. Jen says:

    Thank you for this very timely list! My three best girlfriends and I are heading to WDW in October for some birthday celebrations and this will definitely come in handy especially since the last time I was at Disney I was most definitely under-age.

  33. Jeff says:

    I get the feeling the author isn’t a bar person.
    Not mentioning Rose & Crown or Victoria Falls is straight up bizarre.
    Opinions are opinions…………..but neglecting those (especially Victoria Falls) borders on ignorance.

  34. AJ says:

    Jeff — I’m sorry you were disappointed (and if I’m ignorant about Disney bars, by all means sign me up for more research! :-D). I’ve been to Rose and Crown and Vic Falls multiple times (in fact, see my comment above about Carl the Bartender and the English Bulldog)! I like them both very much.

  35. 71 says:

    Mizners should be top 3!!! Amazing staff, laid-back atmosphere that somehow manages to be elegant without being stuffy.

    Of course, were PI still open, this list would be a lot different.

  36. Kelly says:

    Victoria Falls Lounge is definitely my number one waterin’ hole as well. Nice and quiet, tucked away from the hustle and bustle, it’s a great place to visit before a dinner at Jiko.

  37. Amy says:

    I would definitely add Top of the World Lounge! Not only can you enjoy Wishes with your favorite drink, but I am a little biased since I got engaged there a month ago! Atmosphere is fantastic but I definitely agree with most of your list! Enjoyed this one! :)

  38. Craig says:

    The Green Cabin at Vero Beach deserves a mention, albeit a little off the beaten Orlando track.

  39. Becky says:

    #1 and #6 have been frequented by us. We love the Tequila bar…do hate sometimes it’s packed, but we always go to find our favorite bartender there! He’s awesome! Says he remembers us, but I doubt it with all the faces that come and go…either way…he’s great!

    #6 is great b/c it’s NEVER been busy when we go! Great moments to just drink something before getting back to it!

    We sat in a place at the Polynesian before, not sure if it was the one you mentioned, but had a nice appetizer and long islands..very nice moment before going to Magic. :)

  40. catherine says:

    A list like this just makes me miss the Adventurers Club.

  41. catherine says:

    oh and I am no fan of Victoria Falls.

  42. AJ says:

    Catherine — Right? The Adventurers Club was above and beyond.

  43. lottie says:

    Oh my goodness this has got me so excited (I have to wait until May 2013)!

    My boyfriend and I have 3 nights on the Disney Dream and then 14 nights at the WL so I’m sure we’ll be sampling a lot of these bars (we’re coming from the UK hence the super long holiday).

    I’m hoping to have a good dance into the early hours one or two evenings where we haven’t got an early day in the parks afterwards. Are there any nightclubs in WDW, or bars that stay lively after midnight?

  44. Cindy says:

    My favorite bar is The Gurgling Suitcase at Old Key West resort. I miss Adventures Club and all the bars at Pleasure Island.

  45. AJ says:

    Cindy — I REALLY need to get out the Gurgling Suitcase soon. :-)

  46. Safari Mike says:

    Dawa Bar and the Cave of Tequila are my favorites

  47. richard says:

    I’m a huge fan of Trout Pass at the Wilderness Lodge. I’d actually choose it over Territory Lounge — and many other more standard bars at the resorts — for one BIG reason: I hate that Territory Lounge and some of the others almost constantly have a HUGE TV on blairing some sporting event. I know, I know, sports lovers are people too, but that’s why God invented the ESPN zone.

  48. Leo Guerra says:

    Victoria Fall is very enjoyable as well at AKL Lodge – Jambo House; right in the middle of all the action! For more of a getaway feel – Sanaa at Kidani Village for sure

  49. Carol says:

    We usually stay at POFQ and really enjoy Scat Cat’s Lounge. Elliot Dyson puts on a great show, very entertaining! Definitely not Top 10, but maybe an honourable mention?

  50. Michael says:

    When this was first published this place did not even exist – but a great one today is The Top of The World Lounge in Bay Lake Towers. Only one problem – you must belong to DVC to get there. If you go around 9:00 PM they have a terrace which allows you to view the fireworks at MK and what a great view from ten stories up. The music and dialog is also piped in through the speaker system. The Lounge itself it great for relaxing after a long day.

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