Top of the World Lounge Review: A Villains Lair

    The Top of the World Lounge has reopened as “A Villains Lair” to Disney Vacation Club Members on the 16th floor of Bay Lake Tower. The lounge, which was previously lightly themed to Tomorrowland, has been updated with a villain’s flair. Along with the new theme comes a new name: Top of the World Lounge – A Villains Lair. In this review, we’ll take a look at the villainous touches as well as take a look at what the menu has to offer.

    Backstory and Theming

    Here’s the new backstory for A Villains Lair:

    Discover the untold story of this covert hideout for some of Disney’s most dastardly villains. Even the ruthless relax. 

    Whether pursuing puppies or stealing souls, messing with a mermaid or belittling a beast, evil-doing is exhausting. And since a dishonest day’s work is frowned upon by mainstream masses, the deliciously devious decompress away from judging eyes––hiding deep underground… or on top of the world. Swapping stories of sabotage and toasting with tales of terror, the unsavory unwind in places inaccessible to the innocent.

    So, when our own Top of the World Lounge temporarily closed its doors atop Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, it didn’t take long for the idle enclave to become a devils’ playground. We’re not sure how they got here (we can only guess by monorail), but we do know they were here. For when we returned to reopen this picturesque place to mingling Members, we found stuff left behind by these hustlers in a hurry.

    Curious couture from their wicked wardrobes. Artwork befitting their ghastly galleries. And rebellious recipes for their cunning concoctions. That’s when we did what so many great Cast Members have done before us.

    We gave the place a longer name. Welcome home to the Top of the World Lounge – A Villains Lair. Like the best Disney stories, it’s a place of magic… with a touch of tragic.
    Disney World

    All of that backstory is probably much ado about nothing. The actual theming is very light and essentially amounts to some updated pictures of Disney villains and a tv slideshow. That said, Disney did update the carpet, chairs, and tables, which is a good thing. Here’s a look around the space!

    There is also an outdoor observation deck that is very popular when fireworks are going off at Magic Kingdom. We visited after the fireworks (a much easier time to find a seat), and the observation platform was empty. There were some tables and chairs out there, but Cast Members told us they didn’t have enough staff to utilize them yet. Maybe soon.

    Who Can Visit?

    Here’s what Disney has to say about who can visit A Villains Lair:

    Accessing the Lounge

    Special Access to the Top of the World Lounge – A Villains Lair is available to eligible Members on a first-come, first-served basis until the lounge reaches capacity. Due to the lounge’s popularity during Disney Enchantment––the Magic Kingdom fireworks––arriving as early as possible will offer Members the best chance of gaining admission to this exclusive experience.

    Eligibility

    Eligible DVC Members with access to Membership Extras––who are staying at a Disney-owned-and-operated hotel at Walt Disney World Resort using their Membership (whether they booked with Vacation Points or cash)––may enjoy access to this exclusive space just outside Magic Kingdom park.

    Party Size

    Eligible Members and their guests staying on that Member’s reservation are eligible. Each eligible Membership can enjoy Top of the World Lounge access for one party per day—which can include eligible Members and guests staying on that Member’s reservation. At least one Member in the traveling party must accompany the group and present their current MagicBand, digital Membership card and government-issued photo ID in order to gain admission to the lounge and observation deck. A Digital Disney Vacation Club Membership Card is also required to verify Membership eligibility.

    Restrictions

    No outside food or beverages may be brought in.

    The lounge is subject to blockout dates, or limited access, on holidays and special event nights.

    Blockout dates include:

    • July 3
    • July 4
    • December 30
    • December 31

    Hours of Operation and Parking

    Top of the World Lounge – A Villains Lair is open from 6:00 PM to midnight daily, subject to capacity restrictions and operating hours.

    Check-in time starts at 5:45 PM.

    Complimentary parking for eligible Members begins at 5:00 PM, pending availability. Eligible Members must present a digital Member Card and photo ID at security to confirm accessibility.

    Please be aware that the lounge may include blockout dates, such as holidays (July 4th, New Year’s Eve, etc.) and special event nights.

    Fireworks Viewing and ‘Wicked Wind Down’

    Of course, one of the main reasons you might consider visiting Top of the World Lounge would be for the view of the fireworks. We visited after Disney Enchantment was presented for the evening, which made it much, much easier to find a table, but there are a limited number of seats available during the nightly Magic Kingdom fireworks show. Alternatively, Disney is now offering the “Wicked Wind Down” upcharge event for $55 per person which allows for fireworks viewing. You can learn more about the event in our article below.

    ‘Wicked Wind Down’ Reserved Fireworks Experience Coming to Villains Lair Lounge for Disney Vacation Club Members
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    Top of the World – A Villains Lair Menu

    Here’s a look at the menu at the time of our visit.

    There are no entrees available at the lounge, but a variety of appetizers will more than satisfy any villainous cravings you might have. Here’s a look at the “Fiendish Fare” appetizers:

    • The Empress’ Charcuterie Board – $18
      a selection of meats, cheeses, and seasonal accompaniments perfect for any dinner party
    • Unfortunate Souls Shrimp – $15
      herb-roasted shrimp popping with flavors of Romesco sauce, olive tapenade, and marinated tomatoes
    • Lair-Made Hummus – $11
      plated with pita and topped with tomatoes, cucumbers, and olives
    • Cosmic (Plant) Power Flatbread – $13
      topped with plant-based Za’atar-spiced “beef,” caramelized onion spread, pickled onions, and “Tzatziki”
    • Twisted Tales Pretzel – $11
      soft Bavarian pretzel served with whole-grain mustard
    • Who’s Afraid of Pork Belly Sliders – $14
      shredded pork belly sliders topped with barbecue sauce and house-made pickles
    • Tomatoes of Terror Flatbread – $13
      Margherita flatbread topped with Roma tomatoes (a crop bullies might throw at a bell ringer), Tomato Ragu and Mozzarella
    • Seven-Lair Cake – $12
      Our Seven-Layer (or ‘lair’) Cake deviously drizzled with sinfully Salted Caramel Sauce

    There were also some specialty cocktails, but we didn’t get around to trying any of them:

    • Tower Trap – $17
      Askur45 Gin, Yellow Chartreuse, Orange Blossom Honey, Traditional Black Tea, touch of Cucumber and Fresh Lime
    • Cursed Pirate – $15
      Diplomatico Planas Rum, Gosling Black Seal Rum, Passion Fruit, Pineapple, Lime Juice, Cane Sugar, Blue Curacao
    • Man in the Forest – $22
      Handcrafted Widow Jane Straight Bourbon Old Fashioned, Martini & Rossi Sweet Vermouth, Blandy’s 10 yr Madeira, Baking Spices and Ginger Bitters
    • The Other Side – $16
      Helix7 Vodka, Rothman & Winter Crème de Violet Liqueur, Blueberry Simple Syrup, Orange Blossom Honey, Fresh Lemon
    • Mirror Mirror Moonshine – $15
      Sage-Infused Ole Smoky Strawberry Moonshine, Fresh Lemon Juice, hints of Yellow Pear and Stone Fruit, topped with Matcha Tea Foam
    • The Underworld – $15
      Handcrafted Traditional Spanish Opici White Sangria, Peach Puree, Blue Curaçao Orange Liqueur

    There are also some non-alcoholic offerings:

    • The Queen’s Garden – $8
      Seedlip Garden, Peach, Lime Juice, Mint, Sparkling Water
    • The Lion’s Uncle – $7
      Orange Sherbet, Sprite®, Grenadine

    Food Photos and Review

    Unfortunate Souls Shrimp

    We’ll start with the Unfortunate Souls Shrimp! These were absolutely popping with flavor. While we would have enjoyed a cocktail sauce or similar, there really was a lot going on here. The shrimp had a wonderful green hue to them and they were loaded with herbs.

    The Empress’ Charcuterie Board

    Some basic cheeses made up the Empress’ Charcuterie Board. There are far more adventurous charcuterie boards around Walt Disney World property and for $18 you can certainly find something more entertaining on the menu than this.

    Twisted Tales Pretzel

    An oversized pretzel hangs precariously as it is delivered to your table. This is a good sharable thanks to its size, but unfortunately, ours wasn’t the freshest. An overly hard exterior gave way to a considerably softer interior, but we wish it was just a bit softer overall. Maybe you’d have better luck if you were seated earlier in the evening.

    Who’s Afraid of Pork Belly Sliders

    A middle-of-the-road effort here, these didn’t necessarily stand out as being amazing. Instead, they will probably meet but not exceed expectations.

    Tomatoes of Terror Flatbread

    We started strong with a delightful shrimp offering before losing our way a bit with some weaker plates, but now we see a resurgence in flavors with the Tomatoes of Terror flatbread. Wholly unphotogenic, the flatbread contains noticeably fresh tomatoes and cheeses. This is a good option for the picky eaters you might have in the group.

    Cosmic (Plant) Power Flatbread

    Next up is a more photogenic flatbread that also happens to be plant-based. Thankfully, the Cosmic (Plant) Power Flatbread doesn’t skimp out on flavor.

    Bits of plant-based Za’atar-spiced “beef” take a back seat to a wonderful flavor combination of caramelized onion spread, pickled onions, and “Tzatziki”. We thought that this was an excellent option for plant-based eaters, who sometimes are treated as an afterthought (although that is improving).

    Lair Cake

    The delicious seven-layer cake returns with a wonderful edible logo for Bay Lake Tower. The cake was moist and the salted caramel was a perfect accompaniment. If you only have room for one item, make sure you (or someone willing to share with you) order the Lair Cake.

    Closing Thoughts

    Overall, the “Villains Lair” is a light overlay of the existing space that doesn’t do too much to distract. Yes, it’s that what it used to be, but Top of the World Lounge wasn’t really a highly themed space before this either. It’s a wonderful spot to grab a drink and watch the fireworks or wind down from a long day at Magic Kingdom.

    Mike
    Mike
    Mike is the owner and writer for BlogMickey.com. Visiting the parks daily allows him to keep up with the latest Disney news, reviews, and photos from around the Disney Parks. You can reach him at [email protected]

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