Review: Lunch at Bongos Cuban Cafe in Disney World’s Downtown Disney

Sometimes I need a little Gloria Estefan in my life, so I high tail it over to Bongos Cuban Cafe!

I’m just kidding. I rarely need any Gloria Estefan in my life, but I DO need the deliciousness that is Bongos. Seriously, you guys, I haven’t had a bad meal here…ever. It’s a hidden gem, and if you haven’t been there, start your planning engines for your next trip!

It’s Cuban food of awesomeness — tons of flavor, not-always-efficient-but-at-least-friendly service, and drinks that are BIGGER THAN YOUR HEAD. Plus souvenir glasses. And POPSYCAKES!


Located in Downtown Disney West Side, most Disney guests know this eatery as “the place with the big pineapple out front.” During the evening, Bongos looks and feels like a nightclub that you’d find in Old Havana or South Beach. It’s like a party waiting to happen, this place.

Open and airy, you can imagine the celebration spilling out onto the “street” during especially festive times.

Outdoor Atmosphere

Outdoor Atmosphere

And a festive good time is what you’d expect here, as is evident from the two bars that dominate the inside.

Second Bar Area

Bar Area

Sit yourself down on actual bongos at the bar up front! Fun (and REALLY uncomfortable!).

First Bar Area

Bongo Bar Stools and Cool, Colorful Lighting in the Front Bar Area

So if you’re tired of sitting on the Bongos, no worries; this place offers a wide array of seating areas. The upstairs seating area — both inside and outside on the balcony — offer good views of the surrounding Downtown Disney area.

It may be a teensy bit quieter upstairs at night, but during the day (for lunch) the whole place is nice and relaxed.

Upstairs Seating

Upstairs Seating

Yep — two-story ceilings and [Read more…]

Review: Carioca’s on the Disney Magic Cruise Ship

Today we’re visiting the newest Disney dining establishment on the high seas… Carioca’s!


The Disney Magic is Disney Cruise Line’s original ship. After fifteen years of sailing, she recently underwent her first lengthy renovation (referred to as a “re-Imagineering” by Disney Cruise Lines :) ). Several of the dining and adult lounge areas were refreshed and enhanced, while others received a complete redesign.

With the ship’s launch in 1998 came the introduction of Disney’s unique approach to dinner seating known as Rotational Dining. Instead of gathering in one large dining room every night, guests aboard Disney Cruise ships are assigned to a rotation among three different dining rooms. Their table servers rotate with them, getting to know their likes and dislikes (as well as any special dietary needs), allowing for a more seamless dining experience.

Welcome to Carioca's

With the Magic’s recent post-renovation relaunch, what was formerly Parrot Cay in the dining rotation has become Carioca’s!


Carioca’s is inspired by and named after Donald Duck’s pal, the one and only José Carioca! You may know José from two Disney films from the early 1940s: Saludos Amigos and The Three Cabelleros.


Even if you aren’t familiar with these films, you may have enjoyed sailing and singing along with José, Donald, and their third amigo, Panchito, on the Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros in Epcot’s Mexico Pavilion!

Gran Fiesta Tour

“Where one, two, and three goes, [Read more…]