Top of the World Lounge – A Villains Lair Coming to Contemporary Resort’s Bay Lake Tower
Walt Disney World announced that Top of the World Lounge will reopen in reimagined form next month. This popular DVC dining and fireworks viewing location will return to Bay Lake Tower at Contemporary Resort on July 11, 2022–after hosting three nights of hard ticket parties.
Dubbed “Top of the World Lounge – A Villains Lair,” the new look rooftop bar has been transformed into a covert hideout for some of Disney’s most dastardly villains. Whether pursuing puppies or stealing souls, messing with a mermaid or belittling a beast, evil-doing is exhausting. “Even the ruthless relax,” according to Disney Vacation Club.
Since a dishonest day’s work is frowned upon by mainstream masses, the deliciously devious decompress away from judging eyes––hiding deep underground, or…on top of the world. Dun dun dun. Swapping stories of sabotage and toasting with tales of terror, the unsavory unwind in places inaccessible to the innocent.
So goes the story that when Top of the World Lounge temporarily closed its doors atop Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort over 2 years ago, it didn’t take long for the idle enclave to become the devil’s playground. No one is sure how they got here (monorail is the leading theory, but the walkway that smells slightly like sewage might be more appealing to the evil), but we do know they were here.
For when Disney Vacation Club returned to reopen this picturesque place to mingling members, they found stuff left behind by these hustlers in a hurry. Curious couture from their wicked wardrobes. Artwork befitting their ghastly galleries. And rebellious recipes for their cunning concoctions.
That’s when DVC did what so many great Cast Members have done before. They gave the place a longer name. (Note: this self-deprecating joke is actually in the announcement. Big kudos.)
Welcome home to the Top of the World Lounge – A Villains Lair. Like the best Disney stories, it’s a place of magic… with a touch of tragic. Experience spell-tacular views while sipping sinister concoctions and nibbling on fiendish fare––for eligible Members only.
Like the villains who lounged before you, toast to your travels and revel in rebellious recipes while swapping stories of wicked fun and plotting your next (vacation) escape. Cap off the evening with a rooftop viewing of the Disney Enchantment nighttime spectacular at Magic Kingdom.
Beyond the new furnishings, delight in new menu offerings including carefully crafted concoctions, wicked wines, bubbling brews and ominous appetizers––including the Seven-Lair Cake.
Top of the World Lounge – A Villains Lair is open from 6:00 pm to midnight daily, subject to capacity restrictions, eligibility (see below), and operating hours. Check-in time starts at 5:45 pm.
Complimentary parking is available at Bay Lake Tower for eligible Members beginning at 5 pm, pending availability. Eligible Members must present a digital Member Card and photo ID at security to confirm accessibility. Even that isn’t guaranteed to satisfy the Keepers of the Contemporary, where the parking lot is locked down like Fort Knox.
Eligible Disney Vacation Club Members must satisfy the following to be eligible to enter Top of the World Lounge – A Villains Lair:
- Have access to Membership Extras (meaning DVC owners who purchased directly from Disney or resale owners who are grandfathered in)
- Be staying at a Disney-owned hotel at Walt Disney World, whether they booked with DVC points or cash
Upon arrival, DVC Members must check in at the Top of the World Lounge – A Villains Lair desk on the ground floor lobby. At least one Member in the traveling party must accompany the group and present their current MagicBand, digital Membership card and government-issued photo ID in order to gain admission to the lounge and observation deck.
Note that the lounge may include blockout dates, such as holidays (July 4th, New Year’s Eve, etc.) and special event nights.
As part of Disney Vacation Club Membership Magic, a special event, the “Bound to be Bad” Fireworks Party, will be held prior to the official opening on July 8-10, 2022.
DVC Members will revel in the darker side of their favorite Disney stories during a food-and-drink-filled fireworks party inside the newly refreshed lounge. Hosted by villain super-fans deviously decked out in their “Disney-bounding” best, this hard ticket event includes a sinister spread of ominous appetizers, an open bar of cunningly crafted cocktails, and a raven’s-eye view of the “Disney Enchantment” nighttime spectacular at Magic Kingdom.
Before you get too excited for the “Bound to be Bad” Fireworks Party, we should note that it likely won’t be cheap. Disney Vacation Club hosted hard ticket events at Top of the World pre-closure for holidays, and those had similar descriptions (they also included keepsakes).
The last one of those was offered to ring in 2020 (perhaps that’s what summoned the villains…and all the other badness of that year?) and it cost $119 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Given Walt Disney World’s price increases on pretty much everything since then, our guess is that the “Bound to be Bad” Fireworks Party costs somewhere between $150 and $175. There’s next to no chance it’ll be below $100.
Personally, I wouldn’t pay $120 for New Year’s Eve fireworks viewing, and there’s no way I’d pay more than that for some random date in the summer. And certainly not for Disney Enchantment. (Now, if they’d pipe in the music for Happily Ever After, maybe I’d change my tune…)
But to each their own. Unlimited food and alcohol plus this great view of the fireworks is definitely worth something, and I’m sure it’ll be a fun event. I do think it’s weird that it’ll have Cast Members “Disney-bounding” as villains rather than actual costumed characters, but I guess that’s one way to keep costs (for Disney) down.
Other than that, I can’t muster much enthusiasm for reimagining Top of the World Lounge into a “Villains Lair.” The concept seems totally divorced from the modern aesthetic of Bay Lake Tower, and doesn’t particularly sound like the kind of ambitious, highly-themed overhaul that might justify a discordant theme.
Top of the World Lounge wasn’t necessarily anything special, but it did have a clean mid-century aesthetic with cool Walt Disney World and monorail concept art. It was a cool space that didn’t really need to be messed with. If anything, the redesigned lobby of the Contemporary meshed well with the old-look Top of the World Lounge.
Ultimately, my hope is that Top of the World – Villains Lair is a temporary overlay with the normal lounge underneath whatever decorations they’re adding to celebrate *checks notes* the summer season (…of villains?).
With that said, I do have to hand it to whoever wrote that press release for Disney Vacation Club. Really clever and amusing–not the style you’d normally see from Disney. If the team behind the Villains Lair redesign is as talented as that writer, perhaps this will be a pleasant surprise. Either way, at least it’ll still have seven layer/lair cake and fireworks views!
Planning a Walt Disney World trip? For comprehensive advice, the best place to start is our Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide for everything you need to know. If you’re considering joining DVC, first be sure to read our Ultimate Guide to Disney Vacation Club. If you still can’t decide whether membership is right for you, “try before you buy” and rent points from DVC Rental Store. If you are convinced a membership is for you, check out the discounted options at DVC Resale Market.
Excited for the return of Bay Lake Tower’s rooftop fireworks viewing area and bar? Do you agree or disagree with our take on Top of the World – Villains Lair? Any firsthand experiences at this Walt Disney World bar that you care to share? Planning on booking the Bound to be Bad Fireworks Party? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing feedback about your experiences is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!
It also seems there is a third requirement for eligibility, you must be staying on property even if you are a Blue card holder. I thought this might be a nice perk to get in a bit of Disney during a business trip.
Am I the only one who thinks DVC is trying to appease blue card members by taking a perk from white card members? Can they buy a discounted pass? No, but feel free to buy a drink or snack in our exclusive lounge.
As a white card owner at BLT where they took access away as soon as I bought it … I plan to make a scene and get kicked out after paying dues every year for a building with little to offer already. I will enjoy being difficult for sure for the first time to those cast members in hopes DVC hears about it. We have all asked for it to come back and of course they strip us of our last perk. Screw you too.
Or you could just contact DVC directly.
Being difficult to Cast Members who have zero say over policies is counterproductive. It’s a big part of why service is so poor right now–good Cast Members are quitting because of the way they’ve been treated by Disney and entitled guests, realizing that there are far easier jobs for the pay.
This is a shitty move on Disney’s part, but so is your response. Worse yet, you know it is and are still going to lash out at people who didn’t make the decision.
Didn’t say I was going to lash out but rather make a scene and being difficult. Specifically asking for lots of information, slowing down the manager so they are forced to complain to higher ups. Lol in short I am mostly being openly disgusted and come the time I go I will just let hotel staff know we are not happy with the decision. Calling DVC directly is as useful as not saying anything. Disney left their staff to suffer by implementing their decisions and leaving them to suffer as the wall they hide behind. You know how useless management is unless they can’t make money or people quit on them. Legally it seems they can do this so really I have no real complaint and I can only hope their new idea fails so they have to rethink it. Appreciate your effort to defend the guest service attendant but unfortunately they have become the only person that will actually at least listen and then flick us off as we walk away so mgmt does not have to.
Just ask to speak with the manager/supervisor & leave the innocent cast members out of it. I always do that as the first person you speak with does not make the decisions, they just follow the policy. Good luck! This is what pushed me to buy direct… I know – exactly what Disney wanted but so did I for my beautiful growing family 😉
Tom, before, TOTW was accessible to all DVC members, even us lowly white-card holders who are not grandfathered into Member Benefits. I thought there was a legal reason that access could not be limited. Do you know what has changed to allow this new limitation?
I’m not sure how they’ll justify it.
My assumption before was that since this is a physical part of the real estate and maintenance fees are paid by all DVC owners at BLT (presumably), that limiting access would be problematic. Either it is and this move will get challenged by members, or Disney has found some way to circumvent that.
Tom, you are incorrect. Top of The World Lounge is not written into any deeds nor is it paid by member dues. It is a commercial space leased out by Disney to DVD, just as any of the other restaurants or lounges in other DVC resorts are. So, while it stinks that access is being taken away from a certain group of people, it is well within DVC’s right to do so. Member benefits are always subject to change or removal.
I just finished the purchase of a Boardwalk Villas resale contract and in the membership paperwork they sent about the only perk they even mentioned I got was TOTW access. I guess I had it for a few weeks. So now I will just take some of the $20,000 I saved by buying resale and go to the California Grill. Same attitude I have with Midnight Madness. $20,000 buys a lot of after hour party tickets. The only thing I have fear missing out of, is my money!
I’m kind of excited about this. I like the idea of a place we can go to see a great view of fireworks that won’t require a park ticket or an expensive dinner reservation, other with the Poly beach which has gotten so crowded. Hoping the blue card plus onsite hotel stay requirements should keep crowds down.
Magical Moments sold out in less than 50 min
Which included queue pauses
At $160 a ticket
Excited and ready to go!!!
How odd to be a BLT owner staying there this summer and not have access, paid or otherwise. Wasn’t TOTWL quiet most of the time before the 2020 shut down?
So no access for resale members even though my white card still says access? I assume it just hasn’t updated yet…
So no resale members are allowed to enter, even if we purchased several years ago? My white card still says access to TOWL on it but I assume it just hasn’t been updated yet…
I’m really excited for this! I love Villains- and I’m happy they are re-opening the lounge! Plus – It sounds like we’ll be able to park at the Contemporary – which is huge ( and not allowed previously)( and makes me happy as an AKL owner who doesn’t want to take a bus to MK and then walk to contemporary).
I won’t be doing the hard ticket event because it’s not worth going down for those dates- but if it were offered during other times of the year (say, less sweaty times)- I’d definitely consider it.
Honestly- this is the first WDW news that has come out in months ( maybe longer) that has made me happy.
I 1,000% agree on this note–it makes me excited and happy to be a DVC member!
I don’t have access to most extras. However, my card says access to Top of the World lounge. Does this mean I’m good?
Is your card blue or white? Blue you are good. White, bad.
So as a 2018 resale purchaser (no “blue card” but grandfathered into the ability to book at Riviera and future DVC resorts), it sounds like I’m no longer permitted to enter Top of the World? Or is membership extras status only required for the hard ticketed event? It’ll be sad to be kicked out of TOWL, especially during stays at BLT, but no lounge is worth the $6000 I saved buying resale. We’ve managed just fine these past two years without the lounge, so we’ll deal. Trader Sam’s Tiki Terrace and the outdoor deck of Enchanted Rose also offer some nice views, and they’ll still take my second-rate resale dollars!
This was definitely not on my Future-of-DVC Bingo Card.
I realize I probably should have thrown the towel in on thematic consistency years ago but what is this? Not that I’m a fan of the new Incredibles rooms but I definitely thought the room overlays meant the theme for the Contemporary was becoming “Midcentury ala Incredibles.”
I guess it’s “Midcentury ala the Incredibles meets Ursula in an abandoned DVC lounge” or something. I don’t get it.
Wondering ………. If you rent thru DVC Rentals do you have DVC rights to visit the Top of the World Lounge ???
” Eligible Members must present a digital Member Card and photo ID at security to confirm accessibility”
Don’t think so. Sounds to me like the Direct Member must be physically there for entry.
I’m a sucker for anything Villians, and we just bought a direct membership (I guess I’m a sucker x 2 :)) so yeah, I’m into this.