In all the busy preparations for my Walt Disney World trip and the realities of daily life, I missed this little gem on TouringPlans.com that stated that Chase – a sponsor of Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival – would have a lounge for Chase cardholders in The American Adventure pavilion. Imagine my surprise when one of the cast members giving me my sweet pepper hash at the Farm Fresh booth mentioned that I could go to a lounge because of my credit card!
If you look at The American Adventure pavilion, to the right of the main entrance is a side door that leads into a stairwell. Some lovely cast members stand there, and you show them your Chase card. (On the main banner it states that the lounge is for Chase debit and credit cardholders, including Disney Visa members.) Then you follow the signs up to the third floor (there’s also an elevator) and a most wonderful sight beckons.
To the right, there is a refreshment station where you can purchase wine and other alcoholic beverages. There are tall tables there where you can enjoy your refreshments. However, the best part is the Coke Freestyle machines (there are three) where you can pick from a wide variety of Coke products for free! (This is how I can get my vanilla Diet Coke, so I was thrilled.) There is coffee offered for free, as well. While they don’t offer any food in the lounge, you are welcome to bring food up to the lounge. I saw grocery store snacks as well as Food & Wine fare.
If you go left from the stairs and elevator, you find a cell phone charging station. Be careful that you choose the right plug for your phone. Some people were comfortable plugging in their phones and leaving for drinks or relaxation. Others hovered by the charging station. I did a little of both, and hovered a little more when I realized my phone had been unplugged. The charging station was a great perk for me, since my phone is old and was close to dead in the middle of the afternoon!
There are two leather couches and several tables and chairs set up around the lounge, and two of the smaller tables offer a wonderful view of Epcot from below. It’s not often that you can see over the America Gardens Theater and view Spaceship Earth!
Two Disney Infinity games were set up to experience, though I couldn’t tell if it was version 1 or 2. (I didn’t see any Marvel characters, so I’m assuming it’s the original.) There were four characters on the platforms that kids could sample in Toybox Mode. Many of the kids enjoyed figuring stuff out, and it gave the parents a chance to chill while their kids were occupied. One of the televisions is on a loop promoting the Chase Disney Visa card, and another runs Disney XD, but on mute.
A cast member was handing out special wristbands that would provide a special viewing area for Illuminations: Reflections of Earth. While in the past there was also a special pass for Eat to the Beat concerts, that was not offered both days I visited the lounge.
My favorite part of the Chase Lounge is the bathrooms. (Hear me out!) The Disney Parks are not known for having the best toilet paper, but in the lounge the TP was a much better quality. There aren’t many stalls, so there might be some waiting in line if you come at a busy time.
There are multiple cast members in the lounge ready to point the way or give you helpful information or clean up spilled drinks. The lounge has a cap, but both times I was there, it did not reach capacity. If it had, they line people up outside, and each person coming out allows another to go in.
The Chase Lounge is open for the entire time World Showcase is open (11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 11:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday), but I would recommend going there early in the day. I went on a Thursday afternoon, and the place started to feel more crowded after 3. On the Saturday that I went, there were quite a few people the whole time I was there.
If you have a Chase card, this is a great way to get out of the Florida heat and take a load off your feet while enjoying the air conditioning and a cool drink. Take advantage of this lounge – it’s only available during Food & Wine!
Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival runs every day in Epcot, now through November 10, 2014.