Review: Bongos Cuban Café Express

When you’re strolling through Downtown Disney, you really can’t miss Bongos Cuban Café.

The white building is huge, and takes up a hefty bit of space on the West Side, directly opposite Splitsville Luxury Lanes and right next to Exposition Park (home base for the Disney Food Trucks).

And, of course, part of the building is actually structured as an ENORMOUS PINEAPPLE. So that helps raise the profile a bit, too.

What’s harder to find – and indeed, most guests walk right by – is Bongos Cuban Café Express (sometimes referred to as the Bongos Walk-up Window). And it just so happens to be a great place to sit for a spell and grab a quick meal or snack.

The window is tucked into the left side (if you’re facing Bongos). So now that you know it’s there, let’s take a quick glance around!


“Express” is part of the name for a reason — the setting [Read more…]

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…]

What Disney Dining Spot Would You Expand or Change?

I think we can all agree that Disney parks and resorts are pretty great places. Still, I can always dream up ways to make them better… . ;-) After all, I did make my case for an Automat, right?

No automat yet, but I’d like to share another change that I’d love to see made: an expansion of the Banana Cabana pool bar at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort!

I’m including my thoughts on this below, but I’d love to hear YOUR ideas on what Disney World dining spots could use changes — whether they’re menu updates, expansions, or something else! Dream big — what would you do with an unlimited budget? Disney World, Disneyland, etc… everything’s on the table.

My Suggestion: Banana Cabana Expansion!

For my first joint project with Walt Disney World as a consultant for development (ha ha!), I’d make this fun and always-hoppin’ pool bar a little bigger!

Located adjacent to both the fabulously-themed (PIRATES!) main pool and the Old Port Royale shopping and dining mecca, Banana Cabana is the perfect place to grab a drink, keep an eye on the kiddos while they hang out in the pool, and watch the sunset.

The bartenders are [Read more…]