When the Disney Springs revamp for Downtown Disney was announced, the overall theme seemed to be that of a quaint seaside town. Which for the most part is what was delivered when the newly titled retail and dining area opened in waves from the Marketplace, to the Landing to the Westside. But something that caught everyone off guard was the announcement that the building known as the “Hangar” was in actuality going to be Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar.
As it turns out, Jock Lindsey, the obscure Indiana Jones character who served as Indy’s pilot, used Disney Springs as a hub to travel in and out of. He liked the town so much that he decided to convert his airplane hangar into a watering hole for the locals, which brings us to the now…
With the Hangar Bar now open, the establishment serves the purpose that it once held for Jock himself: a place for those traveling the world to stop, refuel and enjoy themselves.
If there’s one thing Disney Imagineering can do well, it’s building a theme and telling a story. Walt believed that everything should tell a story no matter how subtle or overt it might be. When confronted by the fact that most often Guests wouldn’t know it was there, he would shoot down the argument with a simple “But I know it is”.
And story is what Jock Lindsey’s has in spades, whether you notice it or not. Many were excited for the fact that this would be an Indiana Jones themed bar, and while it definitely is, the bar decides to go with a much quieter way of showing it. Upon arrival you can notice maps and old photographs on the walls. Old newspaper clippings tell the story of cross oceanic flights and travel posters boast of far off places. Letters between adventurers and old friends read of relics and meeting points. Instead of basic Disney coasters, the bar holds condensation catchers from such far off places as the Seven Seas Club and Club Obi Wan (places that if you’re an Indiana Jones fan you’ll recognize). The menu is written in Jock’s logbook, with each page representing the drinks of the different continents he’s traveled to.
Drinks such as the Anything Goes, Shorty’s Singapore Sling, Scottish Professor and German Mechanic are thinly veiled enough to make fans smile. While you can easily flip to the last page of the menu to see what the beverage offerings are, by exploring the actual menu more references and in jokes are there to make you appreciate the detail. The food menu follows suit as well, with Good Dates and the Snack of Ra being but two of the dishes that give you an elbow nudge and a knowing wink.
Here in lies the glory of story: Jock Lindsey rewards those that explore and can appreciate the details that have gone into to the work, but doesn’t punish those whose heads they go over. Little Johnny might be a huge Indiana Jones fan who loves everything about this place, but if Dad isn’t he can still appreciate the decor without having to listen to the Indiana Jones theme song on repeat for their length of stay.
Jock’s offers a small food menu of appetizers (nine dishes), and while some might be surprised and put off at the lack of offerings there’s a surprising amount of depth, and on my visits I’ve been able to sample about half of their menu, and enjoyed all of it.
Rolling Boulder Sliders – Indiana Jones fans will instantly get this reference to Indy’s biggest foe, but the dish makes this challenge much less threatening: a trio of spiced meatball sliders topped with a yogurt sauce. Of all the things sampled this is by fat my favorite. The spices used give the sliders (which are full meatballs between on small brioche buns) a Mediterranean feel, which when coupled with the sweeter yogurt sauce really sell the deal. My only complaint is that the sliders go way too fast (but the amount of garlic and spices gives you ability to revisit the taste all day), even when trying to savor them. I would gladly order a whole burger in this style.
Tannis Tacos – Anyone looking for something a little bit lighter find a good choice in the Tannis Tacos. Falafel on a lightly fired flour tortilla topped with lettuce, cucumber and tomatoes, and a yogurt sauce similar to that on the Rolling Boulder Sliders. Full of flavor and providing a vegetarian offering, the tacos stand out on the menu.
Lao Che’s Revenge – An order of chicken wings in a sweet hoison sauce topped with sesame seeds, the typical bar food gets dressed up. Being from Buffalo, wings are something I take extremely serious, and I thoroughly enjoyed these. A step up from the usual Buffalo Wild Wings fare, the wings are one of the more casual offerings on the menu and might not sound as scary as the Snack of Ra (African salads with Naan bread).
As mentioned before the menu boasts a number of signature cocktails, all themed to different continents while also carrying on the Indiana Jones theme. During my visits I tried three of the beverages, the Cool-Headed Monkey, Anything Goes and the Reggie’s Revenge.
All were fantastic with the Cool-Headed Monkey being my absolute favorite. Made with African Rum, Tangerine Liqueur, Lime Juice, Watermelon, and Pineapple Juice. A fantastic light and fruity punch that is great while sitting out on Jock’s large patio or in his dry docked ship “Reggie” (named after his pet snake). Served in a monkey tiki glass, fans will surely get the joke. While I’m surprised there’s not a banana liqueur included in this, Disney mixologists probably know what they’re doing more than I do.
Talking about Jock’s pet snake will bring us to what I would consider to be the signature signature coctail: Reggie’s Revenge. Florida Cane ‘Orlando Orange’ Vodka, Melon Liqueur, White Cranberry Juice, and Lime Juice all come together out of a strange green glowing, snake adorned decanter at the end of the bar. The result is a fresh and fruity beverage that makes me wonder why I don’t drink or eat more things with melon in it.
Finally the Anything Goes, a concoction of byejoe dragon fire spirit, fresh Lime Juice, Passion Fruit, and Pineapple Juice. With a nice tropical bite thanks to the pineapple, this bright fruit punch was a little overshadowed by the others tried against it. Nothing wrong with it, but when compared to the other two which were standouts, this just was the third of three.
For those who want something a little simpler, there is also a large selection of beer and wine available as well.
Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar is well deserving of all the hype and attention it received. This is due to it’s own merits but also as how it promises whats to come with the rest of Disney Springs. While it might lack the over the top personality of something like Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto at the Polynesian Village Resort (the closest cousin Jock’s could have), Jock’s does have a little bit more accessibility. With more seating and expanded hours, guests have a better chance of getting in than those trying to get into Trader Sam’s. I’ve had extremely good luck finding both tables and seats at the bar thanks to the open seating policy.
Prices might appear to be a bit on the steep side for some (for two drinks and an appetizer the tab was over $30 on my first visit), but I go in thinking that: A. Most guests are coming on vacation and this is a once in a lifetime stop. B. This is a special occasion place for events or when friends visit. This wouldn’t be my usual after work stop for drinks, in fact the very nature of it makes it a place to be sought out, not stopped at.
But those willing to take the first steps towards the destination will be rewarded with, Indiana Jones fans doubly so.