This week’s SATURDAY SIX looks at the Six Best Bars and Lounges at the WDW Resorts. When we here at the SATURDAY SIX headquarters set out to do an article on the best bars and lounges at Walt Disney World, we didn’t want you – Dear Reader – to just take our word for it. So we conducted our patented top secret, double blind, exhaustively comprehensive scientific poll by reaching out to some of the biggest names in the blogging industry. A veritable theme park Who’s Who responded, and today we are here with the results.
BUT THAT’S NOT ALL! For this article we contacted a bonafide theme park drinking expert in Drunk@Disney to give his thoughts on each bar and lounge. You will find Drunky’s thoughts at the end of each write-up. You will also hear from Rhiannon, Drunky’s better half and co-author on an upcoming book about drinking at WDW. So sit back, stir that swizzle stick, and let’s begin our countdown starting with…
# 6 – Territory Lounge (Wilderness Lodge)
Inspired by the national park lodges of the early 20th century, Wilderness Lodge is the type of resort that is distinctly Disney. Designed by Peter Dominick, who was also behind Animal Kingdom Lodge and the Grand Californian, Wilderness Lodge has a certain warmth and coziness to it that you just can’t find in than any other hotel in Orlando. It also happens to contain three underrated gems in the area of WDW dining: Whispering Canyon Cafe, Artist Point, and Territory Lounge.
Northwest Exposure. Vodka, Kahlua, half and half, Amaretto, splash of Coke. (photo by Brandon Glover)
With a good amount of seating and an appetizer/dessert menu filled with unique options, Territory Lounge is going to be a spot you will fall in love with. There is even a fireplace to sit by! At SATURDAY SIX HQ two things go over like gangbusters when it comes to bars and lounges, themed napkins and swizzle sticks, so you can imagine our heart was a flutter seeing the Wilderness Lodge swizzle.
How bout that swizzle stick?!!! It makes even a Vodka cranberry look magical. (photo by Brandon Glover)
Oregon Pinot Gris Fondue. (photo by Brandon Glover)
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We’re back with everyone’s favorite theme park advent calendar: a daily countdown of our favorite drinks at Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, and SeaWorld building anticipation to the Big Day.
Criteria: Drinks can be alcoholic or nonalcoholic. Drinks can come from any venue on property. Bonus points awarded for atmosphere where the drink is served. Any drink with glow cubes is immediately disqualified. Ready? Let’s go!
DAY TWO: Godiva Chocolate Martini at Mizner’s Lounge (Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort)
Mizner’s Godiva Chocolate Martini. (photo by Brandon Glover)
Located on the second floor of Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort, Mizner’s Lounge has an intimate setting, indoor seating and a full bar menu. Because Mizner’s is located in the Main Building of the Grand Flo, it is nearby to the live jazz band that plays during the day and we have a hard time finding something more relaxing then sipping on a Godiva Chocolate Martini while listening to that wonderful music (the band even plays Christmas songs during the holiday season). As a bonus, Mizner’s offers mixed nuts to its bar patrons, and as one of the few “free” things you can get at WDW, be sure to take advantage.
Ingredients: Stoli Vanil Vodka, Godiva Chocolate Liqueur, White Crème de Cacao, and Frangelico
There are many fantastic Cast Members at Walt Disney World and we’d like to send a big thank you for years of great service to Tammy, a longtime bartender at Mizner’s.
Ingredients of Mizner’s Chocolate Martini. (photo by Brandon Glover)
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AJ Wolfe from the Disney Food Blog returns with information about a Disney attraction not advertised in the brochures!
Drinks Available at Ohana and Tambu Lounge
While we all enjoy hitting the theme parks for some great attractions during our Disney World days, there’s still fun to be had once the parks close! I’d like to introduce you to a tidy little excursion called the Monorail Crawl
When people think about “alcohol + Disney World,” they usually have visions of drinking around the World in Epcot, fond memories of Pleasure Island, or thoughts of indulging in one of the delectable new menu offerings at the Mexico Pavilion’s La Cava del Tequila.
But the original way to have a grand evening of imbibing in Disney World was to visit one of Disney’s resort hotels around Seven Seas Lagoon. And if you’re going to visit one…why not visit them all? Thus, the birth of the Monorail Crawl — it’s a great way to resort hop, but still feel like you have…you know…a purpose!
Here’s How It’s Done
When taking part in the Monorail Crawl, participants can begin at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort, Disney’s Polynesian Resort, or Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Have a drink at your starting point, then load up on the monorail and head to the next resort hotel. Pretty simple, eh?
Jazz Band Outside Mizner's Lounge
You can even think up themes or games for each hotel, e.g. have a Hawaiian-themed drink at the Polynesian, a classic liqueur at the Grand Floridian, then a good old draft beer at the Contemporary (just be sure to do them in the right order!); or have three members of your party each bring a recipe for a new drink to sample — try one of the new recipes at each new resort!
However you plan to spice up your Monorail Crawl, be sure to designate a driver or two.
Some Favorite Watering Holes to Consider
Mizner’s Lounge at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort: This snazzy spot is the perfect place to begin your crawl. Relax in the lounge with a classic cocktail while you listen to some live jazz.
Outer Rim Lounge at Disney’s Contemporary Resort: This will take you from the Victorian decadence of the Grand Floridian into the George Jetson age! The Outer Rim Lounge offers deep, cushy chairs and an incredible, floor to ceiling view of Bay Lake and the Contemporary pool. If you hit it at the right time, you can even see the Contemporary’s movie on the beach from the Lounge! Click through images of the full menu here.
Tambu Lounge at Disney’s Polynesian Resort:
Outer Rim Lounge Bar
A Hawaiian-themed paradise of a lounge, this one features live music from the islands as well as a big-screen TV (which could matter if it happens to be game day!). Schedule your crawl so that you can hit the Poly in time to watch some of the Magic Kingdom’s fireworks from the Lounge’s huge picture windows, or get your drinks to go and watch the Electric Water Pageant from the beach.
Remember, this activity can cost as little or as much as you’d like; you don’t need any theme park tickets, and you don’t even have to pay for parking!
Last Minute Suggestions
Here are a couple of suggestions that might make the Crawl even better:
- Schedule this excursion when you’re staying at a monorail resort. As fun as it is when staying elsewhere, it’s even better when you can just monorail it back to your resort and head to bed at the end of the evening.
- If you’re staying at another property, take a Disney bus or a shuttle to the starting point. You’ll be glad to not have to drive at the end.
- Bring friends! While a small party is fun, sharing the Crawl with a crowd can make it even more of a memory.