*This dining experience took place in February 2017.
Appetizers and Drinks at the Nomad Lounge
The Nomad Lounge, located in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park, offers appetizers, small plates, and drinks. The Nomad Lounge opened in 2016, and is located next to Tiffins, the new signature dining location in the park. I’ve been dying to go to the Nomad Lounge for a while now, especially after reading Alexis from Alexis’s Gluten Free Adventures review of the lounge. Brandon and I decided to stop in to check out the offerings before we caught a showing of the Rivers of Light.
I have to say that the Nomad Lounge is one of the most relaxing and calm lounges I’ve ever been to at Disney. It’s beautiful interior reflects the world travels of Disney Imagineers, and I love that. Plus, there are some really cool signs and quotes decorating the entire lounge from Disney guests who love to travel the world too. The color scheme is bright but subtle, and you truly feel calm the moment you enter the lounge.
The bar area is the most elaborate with travel flags from Disney guests.
I love that they thought of the theming right down to the menu and drink guide. It looks like an old travel journal and notebook. And you’ll see from the inside notes from the Imagineers.
Thought I didn’t get a photo of the outside, the Nomad Lounge does have a charming outdoor seating area, overlooking a small bit of water. It’s perfect for a Florida winter day or a cooler evening in the park.
But let’s get to the food and drink. The important stuff, right?!
Up first, our server Spencer got us some water. Interestingly enough, you can get still or sparkling water here, and the sparkling water is free of charge. That’s pretty rare for most restaurants, so I asked for a sparkling water with some lime in it (my favorite!). It’s so refreshing.
Brandon and I each got one of the specialty drinks. I ordered the Spice Trader Classic with gin, vermouth, lemon juice, strawberries, and soda water. I loved that this drink was not overly sweet. A huge gin fan, I always look for unique gin options. This one was perfect, and I will definitely be ordering it again.
As a side note, if you aren’t sure if you can have or can tolerate a certain alcohol, do check ahead or on your phone when you are there. Disney does not typically offer information about gluten free options for alcohol.
Brandon got the Tempting Tigress. I stay away from whiskey, bourbon, and other similar alcohol because I don’t tolerate them very well. Brandon said this one was phenomenal though and even our server said this is one of us his favorites.
Because I’ve been reintroducing dairy back into my diet, we also opted to get the Cheese Plate. At $14, it was a wee bit pricey, but the quality of the cheese was very good. It included an aged gouda, a feta cheese, Purple Haze goat cheese with fennel and lavender, and a strong blue cheese — served with cardamon smoked marcona almonds and house-made raisins. The dish also had 2 small berry gelees that were to be eaten after you finished your cheese. They tasted like concentrated fruit snacks.
The cheese plate is completely gluten free, according to the chef. In fact, almost all of the dishes on the small plates menu at the Nomad Lounge are gluten free, which is huge. Even the dishes that contain gluten like the sliders, just need a slight modification (like a gluten free bun). How cool is that?
The cheese plate was perfect for us. I am a sucker for aged cheese, so I loved the gouda. But, I also really enjoyed the blue cheese and the goat cheese. The feta was good, but really bland and nothing special compared to the other cheeses. The almonds and raisins were nice compliments to the cheese too.
I have to say, I’m a Nomad Lounge convert now. It’s a bit pricey, but the atmosphere and quality of food and drinks really do make it stand out from some of the other typical Disney bars and lounges. I adore that they have such unique drink options too. Plus, it’s just a quiet, calm, and relaxing place to chill after a hot day in the Animal Kingdom. I’m a little worried it may become really busy once Pandora: The World of Avatar opens because it is located at its entrance, but hopefully, it will remain a quiet gem in a busy park.
Have you been to the Nomad Lounge? What did you think of the food and drink there?