On a recent trip to Florida, my colleague and I decided to visit the Tambu Lounge at Disney’s Polynesian Resort. Disney is known for its superb hospitality and the Tambu Lounge (a Disney property) for their tiki inspired drinks, one of the most well-known being the Lapu Lapu.
The Lapu Lape is quite possibly one of the most famous cocktails on all of Disney property and the drink to get when at the Polynesian Resort. This tropical concoction is served in a hollowed-out pineapple and transports you to an island oasis. Encompassing two parts Myers's Original Dark Rum, two parts pineapple juice, three parts orange juice, one part sweet and sour mix, topped with one part Bacardi 151 rum floated on the top it was a must try.
The dark rum was a great choice as it gives the drink a little more flavor and the 151 floater adds kick to this tropical beverage. In addition to the Lapu Lapu, the Backscratcher is another standout cocktail on the menu. It’s a combination of both light and dark rums including one and a half parts Bacardi Superior Rum, one and a half parts Myer’s Original Dark Rum both combined with passion fruit, then topped with one part Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey floater.
Other interesting tropical twists on some classic cocktails adorned the menu to fit their island theme, including the very delicious strawberry julep, garnished with a ripe whole strawberry and the habanero margarita.
Tropical drinks are not all you will find at this island-themed watering whole. True to Disney style you can celebrate the spirit of the south pacific with Hawaiian food and decor that were all equally up to par. However, nothing compared to the service and dedication from the bartender on duty, or as Disney calls them “cast members.” The knowledge and experience that the bartender had was what ultimately made the trip to Tambu Lounge most memorable. The drinks were wonderful and Clinta (the bartender) made them perfectly. His attention to detail and interaction with the guests at the bar, all while meticulously training new staff, is some of the best that I have seen on a Disney property.
Disney provides an award winning beverage program that has been recognized by the VIBE Vista Awards and multiple other outlets for quality, selection and menu list/design plus depth of training and continuing education. Therefore, there is something to learn not only from the specialty drinks that they create but the overall guest interaction when a customer sits at the bar. The question, now, is how can you commit to a beverage program and operation that will create the same experience for your guests?