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Have you been looking for something to do at night after a fun day in the parks? There seems to be a lack of nightlight around Walt Disney World property these days, but one of my favorite places to hang out into the wee hours is Kimonos Sushi Bar. Kimonos stays open until about 12 a.m. most nights (although the signage outside the restaurant simply says “late”) serving drinks and sushi to karaoke singers, but it is also open for dinner starting at about 5:30 for folks looking for a more relaxing sushi experience. At that hour Kimonos would also make a great place to stop in for a happy hour cocktail during a break from the parks. Karaoke gets started around 9:30 pm so if you are interested in belting out a few songs, stop in later in the evening.
Located in the Swan resort, Kimonos Sushi Bar is an easy walk from any of the Epcot area resorts or from Epcot’s International Gateway entrance. Guests could also easily access the Swan via a boat from Epcot’s International Gateway or Disney’s Hollywood Studios. If you’d like to visit this restaurant from another location, hop on the next bus heading for the Swan and Dolphin from any park. Of course the easiest way to get to any resort restaurant is with your own car, and valet parking is available at this location.
The decor here is modern with Japanese details including bamboo, paper
lanterns, and actual kimonos. There is a small stage for karaoke performers at the front of the room and a bar at the back. The space isn’t huge so it creates a more intimate setting especially with its lounge-like lighting and atmosphere. There a few seating areas including a more traditional table set up as well as more lounge like seating groups. You may select whether you’d like a regular table perhaps if you intend to eat, or maybe a couch will be more your style during the late night karaoke festivities. Guests may also sit at the bar if they so desire. A fun feature of the restaurant’s design is the open sushi kitchen where diners can watch their dinner being prepared.
Kimonos is by names sake a sushi bar so you can expect a lot of rolls and sashimi on their menu. There is a small soup, salad, and appetizer menu, but the majority of their offerings center around fresh fish. I am just starting to ease my way into sushi so I have not eaten here, but I have heard nothing but good things about their rolls. The Orlando Sentinel even voted Kimonos as the best sushi restaurant in Orlando! Readers of the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World seem to agree since they have given Kimonos a four star rating! It is also a more affordable than WDW’s other sushi hot spot, California Grill.
The restaurant also offers a fairly extensive bar menu, especially as far as Disney bars go. They serve some unique cocktails which cannot be found in the standard bar menu found around property as well as well as wine by the bottle and glass. If you are looking for a Japanese libation to accompany your sushi a selection of sake, plum wines, and Asian beers are also available to guests. Even if you aren’t hungry Kimonos is a great place to hang out with friends and have a few drinks, especially after the karaoke festivities begin.
Like I mentioned, the karaoke festivities get started around 9:30 each night. Now, let’s get one thing clear. I cannot sing. Nope, can’t carry a tune and therefore you will probably never see me attempt karaoke. I will make a fool of myself in a lot of ways, but this isn’t one of them. So I enjoy Kimonos for the sheer entertainment factor. I like to laugh with (maybe at) my friends as they sing along with the most ridiculous songs they can find. Some other guests may take themselves a bit seriously when hopping up on stage, but we’ve always taken a more humorous approach when we visit Kimonos. There is always a karaoke host or hostess on hand to organize singers and queue up the requested songs. I’ve had experience with really great hostesses and also some not so stellar ones. If you’d like to sing just select a song from their list fill out a card for the host/hostess. Then, run right up for your moment of glory when your name is called.
There are few things to note before you head over to Kimonos. They do accept the Tables in Wonderland card, but they do not take the Disney Dining Plan. Also since the Swan is not technically a Disney property, they do not allow guests to charge their room card for their tab. Advanced dining reservations are also not available at this location. If you are in the mood for sushi and have no plans for dinner, stopping into Kimonos should be no problem since reservations are not taken!
I can heartily recommend Kimonos for a night of good food and good times with your friends. It is a little off the beaten path, so it is rarely very crowded, the food is good, and karaoke is often a riot. Have you been to this night time fun spot? Let me know what you think about Kimonos in the comments!