Welcome to A Villains Lair
On July 11th, the Top of the World Lounge finally reopened at Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort.
Before then, a few influencers and media members received an invitation to preview the updated facility.
Here’s what we just learned about Top of the World Lounge — A Villains Lair.
About the Top of the World Lounge
The Top of the World Lounge has provided many Disney Vacation Club members (and Points renters) with unforgettable moments.
This lounge opened at night and allowed guests to watch all the Magic Kingdom sights from a bird’s eye view.
First, you’d check in on the bottom floor just past the lobby. Then, you’d take an elevator to Bay Lake Tower’s top floor.
You won’t find anything else here besides the lounge and an observation deck.
Since this amenity has remained exclusive to DVC members, it’s remained the kind of personal touch that connects emotionally with Disney fans.
I have several favorite moments involving the Top of the World Lounge…and even a couple of not-so-good ones.
One reckless pair of parents let their two-year-old try to balance on the side, and I’m still scarred by the thought of it several years later. Who does that?!
Anyway, the good vastly outweighs the bad, as the view here is unparalleled. Even the nearby California Grill is slightly further from the action.
When you watch the fireworks at the Top of the World Lounge, you’re as close as you can get to Cinderella Castle while remaining 100+ feet in the air.
The only other person who gets this view is the cast member playing Tinkerbell during Disney Enchantment:
Of course, you don’t have to care about fireworks presentations to have fun at the lounge.
Historically, Top of the World Lounge sold appetizers, shareables, and delicious alcoholic (and non-alcoholic) beverages.
For many, hanging out at the lounge at night proved the best possible ending to a Disney day.
Still, when the pandemic occurred, management took this opportunity to reimagine the space. And that’s what brings us to today.
About A Villains Lair
I suspect the title says everything here. Disney has re-themed Bay Lake Tower’s rooftop as Top of the World Lounge: A Villains Lair.
Pay attention to the spelling there. It’s plural and not an apostrophe. As such, the lounge’s new theming highlights several Disney nogoodniks.
When you enter the updated lounge, you’ll notice artwork on the walls that embraces the dark side of Disney characters.
A digital monitor shows highlights of diabolical deeds, including the Evil Queen giving an apple to an unsuspecting Snow White.
The new lanterns on the tables would seem right at home in a dungeon, and they flicker ominously rather than lighting permanently.
In a way, Disney has expanded on its previous work at Artist Point. This lounge mimics many of the ideas from Storybook Dining with Snow White.
You can follow this trend with the menu, which includes sections such as Wicked Wines, Fiendish Fare (appetizers), Crafted Concoctions, and Bubbling Brews.
The whole thing feels straight out of Dragon’s Lair in that it’s timeless and charming in its shameless villainy. Some of it looks like it could kill Dirk the Daring, too.
Overall, the premise remains the same, though. We’re still talking about alcoholic drinks and appetizers rather than a full-fledged restaurant.
Even in its new form, A Villains Lair remains a hangout spot rather than the place to go when you’re starving.
The closest things to true entrees are Cosmic (Plant) Power Flatbread and Tomatoes of Terror Flatbread.
Still, the showstopper on the menu comes as the sole item on the dessert menu. It’s Seven-Lair Cake, which Disney describes as:
“Our Seven-Layer (or ‘lair’) Cake deviously drizzled with sinfully Salted Caramel Sauce.”
Who could possibly turn down devious drizzling?
Thoughts about the Changes
Amy and Paul Krieger were among the invited guests at the event. Here’s a video of their experience:
Mrs. Krieger correctly points out that the Top of the World Lounge changes are mostly subtle. So, if you liked the old spot, you’ll love the new one!
Josh and Jenna at ResortTV1 also appeared. They have a longer video that includes some character performances:
You shouldn’t expect such appearances when you visit, as I suspect they’d distract away from the nightly fireworks presentation.
However, anything is possible here if that’s what the guests want.
Overall, Top of the World Lounge’s changes strike me as overblown, albeit thematic. They didn’t redesign the interior inasmuch as they changed the furniture.
Still, I’m a sucker for theming, and Disney survey data suggests that many tourists crave more villain experience. This just became one of the biggest.
As a reminder, Disney has made the questionable decision to alter the rules for Top of the World Lounge, though.
You must stay at an “eligible Walt Disney World Resort hotel” and qualify for Membership Extras.
The other change is that the only people you may take with you to the top floor are the ones on your hotel reservation.