THP’s Most Adored Sip & Lounge Spots in WDW

With Fourth of July tomorrow & this great post from Beers & Ears about favorite places to have beer on property recently, I’ve been inspired to put my own list of bars and lounges together. It’s festive, right?? (It’s also aiming to be super warm in the Orlando area this weekend so I can’t think of anything better than finding a dark, air conditioned spot to relax after a long day in the parks.)

Let’s get this started…

dawa bar (animal kingdom)

A Day at the Dawa Bar in Animal Kingdom

You know you love a place when you are having a particularly bad day and you want your teleportation device to get you there ASAP. This is one of my must-do stops in Animal Kingdom — not only for the great drinks but for the people watching, the uninterrupted time to hang out in Harambe, and the awesome live music opportunities mid-afternoon or so. Since they expanded (and moved) the bar, it’s a bit roomier but I never realized until recently just how busy it can be during the afternoon. (The bartenders don’t have much time to dish.)

Drink of choice: Safari Amber Ale

the tune-in lounge (hollywood studios)

It’s just about two years ago that James and I went in here for the first time in forever. After years of being frightened of the 50s Prime Time, it’s nice to have an excuse to gobble up some fried chicken, order a drink, and chat with some of the friendliest staff in all of WDW. Plus the decor is just awesome. There’s so much to look at!

Drink of choice: Magical Star cocktail (unlimited glow cubes!)

tutto gusto (epcot’s italy pavilion)

This place isn’t much about the drinks for me but about the CHEESE and DESSERT. Sure, I wish there were seats at the bar. but I understand why there isn’t. (It’s so tiny!) Tutto Gusto IS a nice little getaway from the craziness of World Showcase and a worthwhile place to stop for a snack (or even lunch). Try not to stare at the desserts too hard.

Drink of choice: I’m going simple with an espresso here.

the belle vue lounge (board walk resort)

Belle Vue Lounge at BoardWalk Resort

Comfy chairs and board games? Count me in! This is exactly the relaxed atmosphere I love in places I frequent. I wish I found a little bit of it closer to home. (It’s so rare!) Belle Vue Lounge a little small, and could get a crowded but it also gives you an excuse to get a feel for my love, the Board Walk Resort. Belle Vue feels old-timey without trying too hard, and I feel right at home when I hang out there.

Drink of choice: Strawberry julep

the wave lounge (contemporary resort)

Hanging out at The Wave at the Contemporary
One of many pictures taken with Katherine (Food Fitness Fantasy) in 1/14.

I’m a newbie to The Wave but I think I’ve learned that sitting in the darkened lounge portion of the place is better than sitting at the actual bar. (As long as there are no kids running around because that’s happened before.) It’s cozy and pretty empty in the afternoons… which makes it the perfect place to sit back on the hottest Orlando day. Plus they put the Contemporary swirly sticks in your drink!! That’s the best souvenir ever.

Drink of choice: Chocolate Martini

tambu lounge (polynesian resort)

Backscratcher at the Tambu Lounge

Not sure how “relaxing” this spot is going to be during construction but I don’t think this lounge is about location, really. You can’t see much from the windows except for palm trees and well, it’s near a restaurant? So not exactly the most magical but the staff is amazing and the drinks — to die for. I think this spot has one of the best cocktail menus. Enough to convince this beer drinker than it’s okay to have two cocktails instead of two Konas.

Drink of choice: Backscratcher (a drink with souvenirs!)

crew’s cup lounge (yacht club)

Only recently did I have the chance to check this place out even after my parents have dubbed it a must-visit. Okay, they are totally right. I loved the simplicity of the nautical decor, and holy crap, that lobster roll is delicious. (Don’t believe me? Ask the… wrong place!) This is one of those stops where you are meant to have a dinner, friends. The menu is great, the staff is divine, and you get all the benefits of hanging out at the Yacht Club without the hefty price tag. Sounds like a win-win, right?

Drink of choice: Abita Strawberry Ale

Is it 5 o’clock yet? I’d love to hear about your favorite spaces for spirits! Give me some recs. 🙂

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A book publicist who loves writing about Disney and books, and sometimes Disney books.

6 thoughts on “THP’s Most Adored Sip & Lounge Spots in WDW

  1. I’m pausing at all of these places on my next trip. Crew’s Cup is such a nice little surprise, isn’t it? But my favorite place to get a drink… California Grill just before they stop bar service, after the fireworks and dinner crowd has cleared out. I never get tired of that view, and the bartenders are amazing at creating a special drink for you and you alone!

    My special wish is a nice, intimate, dark place to drink at the Polynesian. Tambu Lounge is a lobby bar, and not a very good one at that. Here’s to hoping the upcoming Trader Sam’s has a couple hidey-holes where a person can relax with something fruity and relaxing!

  2. Somehow I’ve totally missed the Dawa Bar when we’ve gone to the Animal Kingdom in the past. I’m rectifying that mistake next time we go there. How will I find time to hit all these spots?

  3. Estelle, I think we could be good friends. A mutual love for books, the Muppets, DAK and specifically the Dawa Bar- you’re one cool chick.
    One of my go-to lounges that you didn’t mention is Mizner’s Lounge in the Grand Floridian. I know, sounds stuffy, but it really isn’t. Time it in the evening when the Grand Flo Society Orchestra is playing and *bam*, Disney magic is made.
    Oh, and the new(ish) Hollywood Brown Derby al fresco lounge in DHS. Nice atmosphere when the DJ isn’t playing dub-step from the Sorcerer’s Hat stage.

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