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Bongos… More Than Just a Percussion Instrument

I\’m a planner.  OK, maybe I\’m even an over-planner.  I like to plan things and make lists and cross things off!  When my family is getting ready to go to Disney, I start planning!

I\’ve been to Disney World quite a few times, but there\’s still something different to plan every time.  For me, booking our dining takes the most amount of planning.  Do I want to go to one of our favorites? Do we want something new?  Do we need to go to another character dining?  Hmm…do we have time to do all of those?

On my last family trip, I went out of my comfort zone and only booked one dining reservation in advance.  Yep…7 days, one dining reservation.  Did I mention it was during Spring Break?  Call me crazy.  I just decided not to stress about it this time and see what we could book on the fly, and I\’m so glad we did!


Using the My Disney Experience app, one afternoon while freshening up in our room at Port Orleans French Quarter, I looked to see what restaurants were showing dining reservations.  Boma  at Animal Kingdom Lodge is one of our favorites, and they had a reservation!  Wait…I\’m trying to think outside our comfort zone this time.  Keep looking.  Yum…Raglan Road, we love that place, but I\’m looking for somewhere new.  Bongos has a reservation. Bongos? Where is that?  And what on earth does a place called Bongos serve?

As far as I knew, bongos were drums.  I think.  I looked it up.  Those are indeed drums.


Off we go to try out Bongos.  Bongos is located at Downtown Disney in West Side not too far from Cirque du Soleil.   Luckily from French Quarter, Downtown Disney is just a quick boat ride away. From the water, the building looks like a giant pineapple. Yes.  I said pineapple!  (Check out the picture…ignore the man.)

When you step inside, you feel like you\’ve been transported to Miami or even Havana!  Vibrant colors and delicious smells grab you.  We discovered that Bongos was created by music star Gloria Estefan and her husband, Emilio.


Our server recommended we try a drink, and there were so many to choose from!  I had a Cocotini (coconut rum, midori, and pineapple juice) while the husband went for a Coconut Mojito.  Both were absolutely delicious!

Then it was on to the main menu for our meal.  So many things sounded good, but there were ingredients I wasn\’t familiar with and I was scared of something being too spicy. Our server gave us excellent suggestions though.  I went for the Cuban Style Skirt Steak (marinated skirt steak grilled and served with fried green plantains, black beans, and white rice) while the husband chose Shrimp Cuban Criolla (sauteed shrimp in criolla sauce with white rice and fried sweet plantains).  Now,  I\’m sure you know what criolla sauce is, but I did not! Criolla is tomatoes, peppers, lime, vinegar, garlic and rosemary made into a sauce.  Yum.  And fried plantains?  Delish!

View of the ceiling!

Drinks were fantastic and the food was amazing!  Would we go again?  Absolutely!  Apparently a fun band plays on some evenings there.  We didn\’t get to hear any fun Latin music, but it was a great experience all the same.

We learned to not be afraid to try something new,  and now I have a great new restaurant to recommend.  No characters here–it really doesn\’t even feel like Disney–but a unique and tasty outing.

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