Tips from the DFB Guide: Off-The-Radar Disney World Bars and Lounges

Walt Disney World is supa fun, but it’s also go-go-go-go. Sometimes ya just gotta relax.


Of course, there’re all kinds of ways to accomplish that. But after a long, hard day of Disney touring, I love to head to one of my favorite Disney Bars and Lounges.

“Bar” might not be the first word you think of when you picture Mickey Ears and Pixie Dust. But actually, these are some of my favorite spots on property for a number of reasons.

And I know you agree, because when I first published the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining, a comprehensive Index of Disney World’s Bars and Lounges was one of our readers’ top requests.

Well — we heard you! And I’m happy to let you know that the DFB Guide includes reviews of every Bar and Lounge in Walt Disney World!

Let’s dive into the Index and take a closer look at a few. You know my favorites, like Territory Lounge and the Dawa Bar. But today, I want to take you on a tour of a few places you may not have discovered yet.

And if you find this information helpful, then be sure to pick up your copy of the Guide today for $4 off using code “2015” right here!

Ready to grab a drink?

A Niche Menu and Free Beer: The Wave Lounge at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

The Wave…of American Flavors at Disney’s Contemporary resort is a great place to take in a relaxing breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Seldom crowded, the restaurant, located in the quiet back corner of the hotel’s lobby offers a market-inspired menu at a much lower price point than you’ll find at Disney’s suite of signature restaurants. You’ll also find some delicious breakfast options.

But in addition to interesting eats, you’ll also find a pretty cool bar and lounge area.

The Bar at Disney's The Wave Restaurant

The Bar at Disney’s The Wave Restaurant

While the food menu is market-driven, the drink menu features some specialties, too. The Wave’s wine list features New World Wines, primarily from the Southern Hemisphere. And nearly all of the wines featured have one thing in common — screwcaps! Sealing wines with screwcaps is a way to battle cork taint, an unfortunate chemical reaction that can ruin a good bottle of wine. So don’t be put off by screwcaps the next time you see one; many quality New World wines, especially those from New Zealand and Australia, are sealed this way.

Wines at the Wave

Wines at the Wave

Do your tastes run to beer rather than wine? The Wave also features a nice selection of Organic Beers. In fact, if you’re a guest staying at the Contemporary or Bay Lake Towers, you can enjoy a Complimentary Organic Beer Tasting on Saturdays from 3-4PM. (Remember, this is JUST if you’re staying at the resort.)

Beer Flight at The Wave

Beer Flight at The Wave

Just stopping in for a drink? Try the Beer Flight. The presentation is pretty impressive.

A Bar That Switches Things Up: Kona Island Coffee/Sushi Bar

Another favorite stop of mine certainly lives up to the name “bar” — but for completely different reasons. In this case, we’re (mostly) trading cocktails for java and some interesting eats.

New Tiki Statue in Lobby at the Polynesian!

New Tiki Statue in Lobby at the Polynesian!

The Polynesian Village Resort has just undergone a major facelift. We’ve welcomed new spots, like the Pineapple Lanai (the resort’s purveyor of Dole Whips these days) as well as the crazy popular Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto (waiting times have been up to 6 hours during its soft opening!)

Trader Sam's door sign

Trader Sam’s Door Sign

But with all of the changes, the resort has maintained most of its beloved eateries, including [Read more…]

Review: The Wave at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

We hadn’t been back to The Wave for a couple of years, so we knew it was time to head back for dinner!

The Wave is a unique table-service spot at Disney, because their menu focuses on local and sustainable ingredients. Because of the ever-changing and seasonal local offerings, they are one of the few moderate table service restaurants I’ve encountered that changes up the menu four times per year. (Usually that’s only allowed for signature restaurants!)

Available for breakfast (which also features a buffet), lunch, and dinner, you won’t necessarily find the same dish here that you had six months ago. That can be good and bad, but it’s always an adventure to stop in and see what’s new!


Located in the back left corner of the Contemporary Resort’s lobby (just past the concierge desks), you might miss The Wave altogether — except that they’ve dreamed up this groovy light tunnel for the entrance.

This gives you the feeling of heading below the waves for a culinary adventure. (Or it could also remind you of the dearly departed rainbow tunnel from the original Journey Into Your Imagination. Either way, it’s still cool.)

Wave Entry

The atmosphere is modern and contemporary, and the check-in and bar areas look a little “night-clubby,” actually! But never fear — this restaurant is very family-friendly.

Wave Check-In

You make your way around the beautiful and expansive bar as you walk to the dining area. Here, you’ll see more waves in the decor, like the backs of the comfortable bar chairs.

The bar features screw-top wines (more about that later) and fun organic local beers.

Wave Bar

As you enter the sleek dining room, the color palette changes from blue to harvest gold. Waves (amber waves of grain, perhaps?) continue to surround you, even from above.

Wave Dining Room

Although the look is decidedly modern, it maintains a comfortable feel, with padded seats and booths throughout. The finish also cleverly disguises [Read more…]

News! Complimentary Beer Sampling at Disney’s Contemporary Resort!

UPDATE: Since posting this, we have gotten word that this beer tasting is only for guest staying at the Contemporary Resort or Bay Lake Towers. We’d heard differently from a Contemporary CM before printing, but this word is directly from the manager at the restaurant. Sorry folks!

In a recent comment, reader Bill M. (thanks, Bill!!) told us about a Beer Tasting that happens every Saturday at Disney’s Contemporary Resort! I made some phone calls to find out the deets, and we’ve got ‘em right here!

Visit The Wave’s lounge to sample complimentary beer each Saturday, from 3-4 p.m.. Three certified organic beers by Orlando Brewing Company are provided, making this a great stop on your monorail crawl.

Don’t like beer? While your friends are sipping complimentary brew, order a screw-top wine (ya gotta pay for it, though).

Beer Sampling

While this activity is advertised in the Disney’s Contemporary Resort (and Bay Lake Tower) Recreation Activities Guide, you do not need to be a guest of the resort to participate. Of course, the beer tasting is only open to [Read more…]