Planning where to eat during your Walt Disney World vacation can be a rather daunting task.
Advanced Dining Reservations can be your lifeline to a relaxing trip when you know you’ll want to enjoy leisurely meals. But what happens when your blood sugar is dropping, the kids are screaming, and there are no reservations to be found?
No Reservations? No Problem! We’re compiling our list of the best Walt Disney World Lounges where you could hack a meal for you and your family. While these spots may be known primarily as bars, they feature solid food menus and allow children.
Enchanted Rose at Disney’s Grand Floridian
Located on the second floor of the resort, this lounge opens daily at 1:00 PM with food service beginning at 5:00 PM. In addition to the stunning classic Baroque-inspired design (if it’s not Baroque, don’t fix it!), the menu features some delicious options that could make a substantial meal. Highlights include House-made Flatbreads, Truffle French Fries, Mini Smoked Short Rib Sliders, and a Crab & Gnocchetti Gratin.
There’s also an inventive cocktail menu that includes table side service and drinks served up with a tale as old as time.
Located on the 2nd floor of the Great Ceremonial House, this stop features both lounge seating and bar seating in an idyllic tiki hut-style setting. This is where you can find iconic drinks like the Lapu Lapu and the Backscratcher. While the cocktail menu leans heavily toward tropical and fruity, they also offer a full bar menu. The bartenders are skilled here, so you won’t be seeing much in the pre-mixed department.
While the food menu is limited, it does feature some delicious items, including the Mixed Grill Kebab served with savory peanut sauce — yup the same favorite eats as you’ll find in the table service ‘Ohana! It is also where you can find the cult-favorite ‘Ohana Bread Pudding without ever having to step foot inside the restaurant.
This is your opportunity to sample African wines and inspired cuisine from the neighboring full-service restaurant in a more relaxed, lounge setting. Their Discovery Wine Flights are a great way to try wines from around the world — in particular South African wines — you wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to try. The menu leans heavily toward Indian, Middle Eastern, and African flavors with dishes like Samosas and Lamb Kefta Skewers. You will also find the famous Sanaa Bread Service here that features a variety of Naan bread with accompanying dips and chutney.
This popular spot is mostly utilized by park guests as a walk-up drink counter or a place to wait for their reservation at the restaurant next door. But if you are lucky enough to snag a spot at this bar, you can partake in the full menu from 50’s Prime Time Cafe.
That’s right! In addition to fun drinks like Dad’s Electric Lemonade, you can enjoy their classic dishes like Cousin Megan’s Traditional Meatloaf or Mom’s old-fashioned Pot Roast, all without ever needing a reservation. 50’s TV is continually playing in the background while you’re enjoying the uniquely retro setting.
Crew’s Cup Lounge
This cozy spot located next to Yachtsman Steakhouse features a full bar plus a selection of full-size dining options. The chill vibes are a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the theme parks.
Food is served from 5:00 PM to 10:00PM, and selections include the signature pull-apart bread from the steakhouse next store and delicious prime rib sliders. Also of note are a House-made Signature ‘Yacht’ Dog and a 10-oz Roasted Prime Rib.
The Lounge At California Grill
California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort may be one of the most sought-after reservations on property. With stunning views of Magic Kingdom and Seven Seas Lagoon, the food, service, and atmosphere are top notch.
Luckily, guests without reservations can take their shot at getting a spot in the limited seating at the restaurant’s lounge, comprised of bar seats and lounge style seating.
The lucky few will have their pick of the restaurant’s entire menu, including delicious sushi, charcuterie, and steak options.
The lounge opens along with the restaurant at 5:00 PM, and we suggest arriving early to line up at check-in podium located on the 2nd floor of the resort. Remember, too, that if you save your receipt from the Lounge (or the restaurant proper) you can return later that night to watch Happily Ever After from California Grill’s observation deck!
The Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge
In addition to the Lounge’s specialty menu of small plates, guests also have access to the full restaurant’s menu. The lounge menu features a smaller version of their Famous Hollywood Brown Derby Cobb Salad in addition to Derby Sliders and Andouille-crusted Shrimp with delectable grits (these are a must!). The full bar also offers a selection of cocktails including their signature Grapefruit Cake Martini and Margarita and Martini flights.
The lounges around Walt Disney World feature a treasure trove of delicious eats and cocktails. Bonus: these elevated dining experiences require no reservations at all. Next time you’re in a pinch, consider one of those solid experiences.