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!
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!