Hear me out on this one. As the mother of young children, I love me a good lounge. Now I know what you’re thinking, but Ellen isn’t there alcohol in lounges, aren’t they designed for drinking? That may be true, after 9pm I’m sure most people in the lounges are there for a few cocktails, but here’s why we skip sit-down dining in favor of the lounge.
First off, you don’t have to pre-plan. Lounges are first come, first serve. There’s no reservation and check-in time, some of them like Nomad Lounge have a walk-up list, but the less popular ones usually have seats available. Let me tell you about those seats too. We’re not talking formal dining tables and hard-backed chairs, we’re talking couches and chintzy armchairs. This is huge when you have tired babies. Instead of having to try to eat around them while they sit or sleep on your lap at a dining table, you can have them cuddle right up to you while you enjoy your food (and maybe a beverage). My daughters have both taken the best naps of their lives in Walt Disney World Lounges.
The menu’s in the lounges are something we need to talk about. Often offering small plates ideal for sharing, the menus at the lounges are usually phenomenal. We pretty much wind up ordering one of everything. The best part is most of the lounges are tied to a bigger restaurant i.e., Ale and Compass has a lounge, Nomad Lounge is next to Tiffin’s, and Abracadabar shares a space with Flying Fish. This means that often if there’s something you or one of your littles wants that’s not expressly on the menu, they can make it happen. I had a server offer me menu items from Flying Fish when the gluten-free options at Abracadabar were a little sparse.
Dining in a lounge is a less formal affair which works out great for families with smaller kids. Instead of asking them to sit still, stay in their high chair, and be quiet, the lounges offer kids the freedom of movement and noise. Obviously, you still need to be respectful of other guests, but I find that the freedom to get down and walk around in our small area is a great way to deal with kids who are too restless and overstimulated to handle a full sit-down meal.
Have you dined in a lounge with your children? Or do you prefer traditional sit-down dining?
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