First Look and Review: The New Ale & Compass Lounge in Disney’s Yacht Club Resort

Welcome to the all-new Ale & Compass Lounge in Disney’s Yacht Club Resort!

Well, that’s not actually the full story… Ale & Compass Lounge has been around for ages. But HUGE changes in dining options at Disney’s Yacht Club have brought such a major refurbishment to the lounge that it really is — for all intents and purposes — a whole new place!

Previously, Ale & Compass Lounge was just a teeny little spot to grab a drink or enjoy a coffee or continental breakfast in the morning without much in the way of seating. Like the Resort itself, Ale & Compass presented a nautical theme which was certainly pleasant.

But now, the Ale & Compass Lounge has re-opened as part of the re-imagined Ale & Compass dining concept for the Resort, which also includes The Market at Ale & Compass and the brand new Ale & Compass Restaurant.

Ale & Compass Lounge sign

Ale & Compass Lounge sign

So let’s check out the changes that make up the all-new Ale & Compass Lounge!

Ale & Compass Ribbon Cutting on Opening Day

Ale & Compass Ribbon Cutting on Opening Day

Atmosphere

Again, if you’re familiar with the previous Ale & Compass Lounge, then you know the area was capable of comfortably seating around or just over a dozen or so guests. But now? The first striking difference at the new Ale & Compass Lounge is the size. There is plenty of seating in the form of couches, small tables for two, and booth-style seating along the walls to hold plenty of guests.

Ale & Compass Lounge

Ale & Compass Lounge

But there is also more to it than meets the eye when you enter from the Yacht Club lobby. And I don’t mean that in a “look at all the details” sense. No, I mean it quite literally — there is more to the lounge than meets the eye. See the doors on either side of the fireplace?

Ale & Compass Lounge

Ale & Compass Lounge

At first, I mistook them for Cast Member-only areas. But nope!

Entrance into Bar Area

Entrance into Bar Area

Just pass through and this is where you’ll find the full bar…

Ale & Compass Bar Area

Ale & Compass Bar Area

… amidst even more seating, like these cool high top tables.

Ale & Compass Bar Area Seating

Ale & Compass Bar Area Seating

I think words to describe the previous Ale & Compass would be “comfortable,” and “cozy.” The new look is instead modern and sleek. But touches like couches and the lovely fireplace still lend a “welcome home” feel to the space.

Fireplace

Fireplace

You can even enjoy the fireplace from the bar area a bit.

Bar Area Seating

Bar Area Seating

The deep and dark blue painted on the walls is quite a contrast from the lighter wood tones of the previous lounge. But the white in the flooring pattern and the lighting really brighten up the space. So it feels airy and light as opposed to cramped and dark, even with the bold color choice for the walls.

Ale & Compass Lounge

Ale & Compass Lounge

Nautical elements still play a part in the “new” Ale & Compass Lounge.

Nautical Touches

Nautical Touches

Nautical Touches

Nautical Touches

You know what else still plays a part? DRINKS!

Eats and Drinks

The menu at the Ale & Compass Lounge features a selection of Original and Classic Cocktails.

Original Cocktails Menu

Original Cocktails Menu

Classic Cocktails Menu

Classic Cocktails Menu

Here is a look at the Beer and Wine lists, with draft beers designated by the tap symbol.

Beer Menu

Beer Menu

Beer Menu

Beer Menu

Wine Menu

Wine Menu

Featured Spirits and non-alcoholic Mocktails are also included on the menu.

and Non-Alcoholic Drinks

Spirits and Non-Alcoholic Drinks

And the Appetizers offer some options that can also be found next door at the Ale & Compass Restaurant (such as the Hearth Oven “Pies” and Oven-Roasted Oysters) as well as some that are unique to the Lounge, like the Roasted “Buffalo-style” Cauliflower.

Appetizer Menu

Appetizer Menu

The Original Cocktails seemed most intriguing for our first visit, so we started with the Maple Old Fashioned.

Maple Old Fashioned

Maple Old Fashioned

This drink is comprised of Jim Beam Black Extra-aged Bourbon, maple syrup, orange juice, and Angostura Bitters.

Maple Old Fashioned

Maple Old Fashioned

While it was smooth and really enjoyable, it pretty much tasted like a regular Old Fashioned. It didn’t have that pop of maple that I was looking forward to. Had I known, I would’ve asked for more of the maple syrup. But it’s still a solid drink on its own.

Next up? The Big Apple, made with Buffalo Trace Bourbon, Crisp Apple Puree, and Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth.

The Big Apple

The Big Apple

Now, THIS is what I was hoping for from the Original Cocktails! It doesn’t go down as smooth as the Old Fashioned, what with the bite from the Vermouth. But the apple puree adds a really terrific flavor without making it too sweet. Surprisingly, this is a great pick for fans of bitter drinks and would even go well with a meal. Those looking for something sweeter will find a good choice with the Just Peachy, according to the bartenders.

I said The Big Apple would go well with food, didn’t I? The Grape Leaf-wrapped Baked Goat Cheese is topped with oven-roasted tomatoes and toasted pumpkin seeds, and served with a grilled baguette.

Grape Leaf-wrapped Baked Goat Cheese

Grape Leaf-wrapped Baked Goat Cheese

I thought the portion size here was great; something made for sharing with several slices of the crispy baguette.

Grape Leaf-wrapped Baked Goat Cheese

Grape Leaf-wrapped Baked Goat Cheese

All that bread stands up nicely to the soft, creamy — and nicely tangy — cheese.

Grape Leaf-wrapped Baked Goat Cheese

Grape Leaf-wrapped Baked Goat Cheese

Honestly, it’s hard to really enjoy the grape leaf on the bottom of the bowl since it’s hard to get to through all of that cheese, but the added flavor from the roasted seeds is a really nice touch. Because it’s so rich, this dish could stand on its own. But again, it’s nice for sharing if you’re enjoying the plate alongside…  oh, say, the Parker House Rolls and Spreads.

Parker House Rolls and Spreads

Parker House Rolls and Spreads

Or maybe the Carmelized Leek and Chorizo Hearth Oven “Pie.” 

Carmelized Leek and Chorizo Hearth Oven "Pie"

Carmelized Leek and Chorizo Hearth Oven “Pie”

So, how did those taste? Well, I guess you’ll have to join us for our FULL review of the Ale & Compass Restaurant! Check it out Here!

Nosh or Not?

You’ll want to visit the Ale & Compass Lounge if:

  • You’re staying at the Yacht or Beach Club and want to take full advantage of the refreshed dining scene at these Resorts.
  • You want to try some more creative cocktails than those typically served on the standard Disney Bar & Lounge menu.
  • You want some seriously substantial food along with your drinks.

You might want to skip the Ale & Compass Lounge if:

  • A trip to the Yacht & Beach Club is too disruptive to your Epcot tour plans (that’s the park these Resorts are closest to).
  • You prefer cozy or highly themed over sleek in your bar settings (if so, you’ll likely enjoy Territory Lounge, Tune-In Lounge, AbracadaBar, or the River Roost, among others).
  • You’ve already enjoyed a meal with a cocktail at the new Ale & Compass Restaurant, which features much of the same menu.

Overall

Well, I have to say that I am all for the newly refreshed Ale & Compass Lounge! Yes, the refurbishment delivered some very necessary additional space to a place that sees a lot of traffic, since the Yacht Club plays host not only to Disney guests but to convention guests as well. And both can find an easily accessible spot to grab a quick drink. (They’ll even provide your drink in a plastic cup to go, if needed.)

But even more, that added seating along with the sheer appeal and the look of the spot make it a place where you can also relax all vacation-style, you know? And it’s also nice to see some effort towards offering more creative cocktails than what’s typically on the standard Disney bar and lounge list. Add in some eats that are also above par (thanks to being just steps away from the Ale & Compass Restaurant), and we’ve all got one more spot we can add to the list of great Disney bars and lounges! Congrats on a great first day, Ale & Compass Lounge!

Are you planning to visit the new Ale & Compass Lounge? Please let us know with a comment!

Comments

  1. Suzy says

    First visited the lounge back in 2015 whilst staying at the Board Walk. We visited the bar again this past May and the lady bar tender remembered us! Such an impressive touch. I did hear she wanted to move to a different resort. Hopefully we’ll find her again.

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