Can’t beat the classics! Long before Trader Sam’s became a Walt Disney World headliner, Tambu Lounge was holding down the hut at Disney’s Polynesian Resort. Nothing screams vacation more than a tropical drink and an umbrella. All that’s missing is the sandy beach…oh wait, the Polynesian Resort has that as well. Disney, they think of everything. Well, as Jimmy Buffet would say, it’s five o’clock somewhere, let’s grab our stool and enjoy one of the Tambu Lounge original cocktails!
From the moment you walk into the Polynesian Resort, it’s like stepping into a tropical oasis. The theming is so on point you could picture Don Ho singing Tiny Bubbles in the lobby. If you’re not familiar with Don Ho, Google it, we’ll wait. Alright, back to the article. The Tambu Lounge is located on the second floor of the resort. When arriving at the resort you’ll want to stay to the right and head up the staircase.
Surrounded by a who’s who of great dining options, as you arrive on the second floor, the Tambu Lounge will be directly in front of you on the right, next to ‘Ohana. Off to your left, you’ll find one of our favorite breakfast places and a hidden gem dinner spot, Kona Cafe.
Passholder Insights: If you’re arriving via the Magic Kingdom Resort Monorail, you’ll already be on the second floor. Tambu Lounge is straight ahead from the exit.
Surrounded by tiki gods, thatched roofs, and tropical plants, Tambu Lounge brings the beachside hunt inside. You can either pull up a seat by the large bay windows with grand views of Seven Seas Lagoon or cozy up to the bar. With some of the most tendered bartenders on Walt Disney World property, you know where you’ll find us!
Recently, the Tambu Lounge bar was renovated to add both outlets and USB charging capabilities. Charging your phone while enjoying an adult time-out. Don’t mind if we do!
Passholder Insights: Seating is limited. One of the things we like to do is order a drink and chill out on the couches near the exit to the monorail.
Tambu Lounge is known for two drinks, the Lapu Lapu and the Backscratcher. If presentation is everything, then these two drinks won’t disappoint. The Lapu Lapu is served up in a whole pineapple, yes the whole pineapple. Instagram better be ready for your pic! To serve the famous drink they take a pineapple and hollow out the inside and cut out a crevice for the straw. Filled with rum and an array of tropical fruits, the Lapu Lapu will definitely get people’s attention around the lounge. The best part is that it’s more than just a showpiece, it tastes good too!
If a pineapple is too showy for you, give the backscratcher a try. Combining a couple of different rums, passion fruit juice, and whiskey, the backscratcher is topped off with, well, a backscratcher. The garnish for the famed cocktail is a backscratcher made by the Oriental Trading Company, yes the same company who owns and operates DisneySea. How convenient!
Rounding out the bar is a variety of tropical drink options ranging from Mai Tai’s to Hawaaiin mules. If tropical drinks are not your cup of tea, no worries, as Tambu Lounge offers a solid beer and wine menu and has a full bar. According to Serena, they pour a mean bourbon!
Passholder Insights: If you’re not hanging around Tambu Lounge and looking to explore the resort, let the bartenders know and they’ll create your drink to go!
Every good drink needs a solid sidekick and Tambu Lounge as a great selection. On our latest trip, we tried two items, the Beef Carpaccio Tataki which consisted of thinly sliced beef marinated in a spicy mix of black pepper and chili oil served cold. When we say thinly sliced, we’re pretty sure it only had one side! The beef was perfectly prepared and packed a punch with the spice. It was definitely a solid dish, the only downside is we wish there was more!
Our second snack was the Tambu Mixed Grill. With Tambu Lounge sharing a kitchen with ‘Ohana you’re able to order the grilled meats from the restaurant at the lounge. It’s a great way to sample restaurant if you’re unable to make a dining reservation. To cap it all off, you can order the secret dessert item, the bread pudding from ‘Ohana. Just do it, and thank you us later. Just ask the bartender and they’ll hook you up!
Passholder Insights: Downstairs at the Polynesian Resort is Captain Cook’s which is a counter service restaurant. It’s the one resort area where you can order up a Dole Whip!
Tambu Lounge is a true Disney World classic. Whether you’re looking for a quick drink, waiting for a table at one of the restaurants, or just taking a relaxing night away from the parks, it’s a great place. Depending on what time of day you stop by, check out the My Disney Experience app for when the Magic Kingdom fireworks are taking place for the day. The Polynesian Resort has a great view of the fireworks from the beach and they even pump in the music. The only left to do is pick out a drink. We’ll take a couple of backscratchers!