Up Late at Disney World: Where to Go in the Wee Hours
After spending some time in Walt Disney World, one thing you might notice is that bars and lounges in the resorts and parks aren't necessarily open until the wee hours of the night.
It's something I've encountered when trying to do the famous Monorail Crawl -- some of the resort lounges close as early as 9 or 10 p.m. , unfortunately.
So where do you go once the parks have closed and the pineapple Lapus Lapus are no longer flowing... but you're still up and at 'em? Especially at this time of year -- it's almost New Year's, and plenty of folks will be looking for places to go to ring in 2011!
Downtown Disney area
Gone are the days of the Pleasure Island clubs of old. Disney made the decision to close Adventurer's Club, Comedy Warehouse, 8 Traxx, Motion, Mannequins and BET Sound Stage in 2008. And while there are some restaurants and shops in the area, these clubs of old mostly sit vacant, waiting for the area's transformation to Hyperion Wharf. But there are still a few places to grab a beer and enjoy some nightlife past midnight.
Bongos Cuban Cafe
Hours: 'Til 2 a.m. daily. No cover. Primarily a restaurant, but there are three bars, as well as a Latin band that plays music on Friday and Saturday nights.
Raglan Road Irish Pub
Hours: 'Til 2 a.m. daily. No cover. Also a great restaurant, Raglan Road serves up the finest imported beer from wooden bars shipped straight from Ireland. A an Irish house band, performs nightly M-Sat, and you can also see lively folk dances on stage each evening.
Hours: 'Til midnight Sun-Thurs, 1 a.m. Fri.-Sat. No cover.
Featuring North, Central and South American cuisine. Be sure to check out the international wine and tequila bar here.
When the Pleasure Island clubs closed, the Boardwalk area stepped in to help fill the void. Four different locations are up past midnight here.
Hours: 7 p.m-2 a.m. daily. $10 cover. Must be 21 to enter. A classic dueling piano bar, this seems to be the nightlife spot of choice for those missing the Adventurer's Club and other closed Pleasure Island locations.
Atlantic Dance Hall
Hours: Tues-Sat 9 p.m.-2 a.m. No cover. Must be 21 to enter. Atlantic Dance Hall has gone through a couple reinventions. It was first a club recalling the Sinatra Era with martinis and cigars, but that didn't work, so it reopened as a Latin club. Now it's a Top 40 dance club with a huge screen showing requested videos.
Hours: 'Til 1 a.m. daily. No cover. A sports lover's dream. Got a game to watch? This is the place to catch it and enjoy a brew while you're at it.
Big River Grille & Brewing Works
Hours: 'Til 12:30 a.m. daily. No cover. WDW's first and only brewpub. Can't decide on a beer? You can get a $5 sampler of beer shots to help you pare down the field.
Magic Kingdom Resort Area
If you're staying in the Grand Floridian or the Polynesian, you're in luck, because Captain Cook's at the Poly and Gasparilla Grill & Games at GF are open 24 hours a day! Who knew you could get your Dole Whip fix at virtually any time of day? It's mind-blowing.
What's your favorite nighttime location at WDW? Leave a comment below!