The brand-new Lava Lounge at Rainforest Café opened just two weeks ago, and already the place is on fire – literally. (Stay tuned, I’ll get to that.)
I visited earlier this week and had the chance to chat with General Manager Jeff Kruger. He clued me in to some of their most popular items, including the Sparkling Volcano and Jungle Runner, pictured below, and I figured out a few things on my own. Keep reading, because I’m sharing all my insights.
Wait time: There was a wait to dine inside at Rainforest Café, but at the Lava Lounge, seating is first-come, first-served. When I arrived at 5:45 p.m., there were still plenty of open tables and a few seats at the bar. My wait time? Zero minutes.
Food: I assumed there would be a limited menu offered at the Lava Lounge. You know what they say about making assumptions, right? Not only can you order from the full Rainforest Café menu, but there’s also a special menu featuring items created just for the Lava Lounge. That’s right, there are even more choices, so chances are there’s something everyone in your party will enjoy. If I had room, I would’ve tried the Volcanic Sliders or the Tectonic Tacos – they both sounded delish!
Ambience: If you like waterfront views, want to be part of a “volcano” experience and prefer talking to shouting, then the Lava Lounge is for you. The setting is a friendly laid-back bar that feels casual and welcoming; it’s just the kind of place you’d want to end up after a long day in Disney Parks. (And I saw a great mix of adults and families, so don’t let the “Lounge” title throw you off; it’s a space for all kinds of groups.)
Wow Factor: The food and service alone may dazzle you (you did see that Sparkling Volcano dessert, didn’t you?), but if you need more to get you fired up, the Rainforest Café Volcano should do the trick. “Erupting” multiple times each evening, it’s a sizzling display of flame spires, fireballs, steam bursts and fog that erupts in sync with a light and sound show. It’s the sort of spectacle you’d only expect to see at a Disney theme park. Or maybe Las Vegas. Either way, it’s truly impressive, and you can see, hear and even feel it from inside the Lava Lounge.
The only thing that disappointed me? The fact I waited so long to stop in! If you’ve been, I’d love to know what you liked best in the comments below. If you haven’t, what are you waiting for? Check it out during your next Downtown Disney visit. (Oh, and be sure to tell Nile the Crocodile I said “hi” – you can’t miss him!)
Read on for more updates from Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort: