We’ll head out to “Splitsville Luxury Lanes” for lunch and a few drinks.
Having just opened this past December, it’s the newest addition to a Downtown Disney that will be seeing some significant changes over the next couple of years. As it stands now, you’ll find Splitsville in between the AMC Theater and DisneyQuest and across from House of Blues.
Bowling runs $15 – $20 per person and includes the shoe rental. The amount of time you receive depends on the number of people in your party. To compare, a movie at the AMC Theater also runs 15 bucks these days.
Spanning the two stories that at one time housed the Virgin Megastore, Splitsville is gigantic.
Instead of a long line of lanes, Splitsville’s lanes are in clusters around the alley.
There are otherwise five bars with a lot of seating.
There are two bars outside – one on each floor.
You can order food and drinks anywhere. Some of the tables require you to see a host for seating, while others have a “please seat yourself” tag.
Televisions, tuned almost exclusively to ESPN, are also plentiful.
I can envision this being an ideal spot to catch a football game this fall. ESPN Club is usually overrun and the resort lounges are often cramped. I have no idea how many games they’ll show though.
There are elevators in addition to the escalator.
I prefer to sit upstairs, where you don’t have quite the number of people milling about, but the bars themselves don’t seem to be too crowded. I’ve visited on a Saturday afternoon, Friday afternoon/evening, and a weekday afternoon and there has never been a wait for a table. You can march right up to the bar or just pop in to look around.
There are two sushi bars in addition to everything else.
Evening waits for bowling lanes have been long – 60 to 90 minutes, so be ready for that.
You’ll see a list of the “next bowlers” overhead. Even during the afternoon, when at least half of the lanes looked to be unoccupied, there was a long list of waiting parties. There is a thing called “priority bowling” for $80/hour from 10am – 4pm and $125/hour from 4pm – 2am where your group of up to 8 will receive the next available lane upon checking in. This has to be booked at least a day in advance, so you won’t necessarily know if you need it. But if you’re bowling in the evening, chances are you’re going to experience a significant wait for a lane otherwise. Considering the usual price is $15-$20/person, the hourly price may even be less expensive because it includes bowling/shoes too.
Billiard tables are available for a more economical $9/hour per table. They’re all located on the second floor in the middle.
Larger menu: http://www.easywdw.com/reports7/splitsville.jpg. Pricing looks to be generally reasonable – $12 burgers/sandwiches, $14 pizzas, and sushi in the $11 – $15 range. This is the fifth Splitsville location, so one can assume they’ve pretty well figured things out by now.
Drink pricing is a little rougher. Beringer White Zinfandel is a $4 bottle of wine that they’re hawking for $32. The Sonoma Cutrer, which runs around $22 at the store, would be a smarter choice. On the red front, the Acacia looks to be the best value.
I initially deemed the $14 cocktails and $8.50 beers to be absurd.
On the beer front, the best value by far is the Southern Tier IPA. This 2XIPA is an 8.2% Imperial IPA full of hoppy goodness that isn’t particularly common.
I was initially going to make fun of the “artsy” Disney bloggers who shoot every single thing crooked. So I have crooked versions of all these pictures.
The beers here are 18 ounces and served in these somewhat ridiculous, thick goblets. This is what a Stella Artois looks like.
I started with the “Long Island Tea – Vodka, Rum, Gin, and Triple Sec Mixed with Sour and a Splash of Coke – 14 bucks.” One thing about glass size is that it really doesn’t matter how big it is if it’s full of ice, as this one is. It turned out to be just six or seven sips worth of actual beverage – or less than you’d get across the street at House of Blues during happy hour for $3.75. I was not particularly enthusiastic about it.
On a return visit, I opted for the “Kingpin Margarita – Jose Cuervo Premium Tequila, Grand Marnier, and Fresh Lime – 14 bucks.” This time I stipulated, “Easy on the ice if they’ll let you” and the drink seemed to come with less ice. I have no idea if the server actually relayed my request or if it was just luck, but you may want to say the same thing.
Tilted. Every picture. This is the $9 Frozen Margarita – Jose Cuervo Tequila, Lime Juice, and Triple Sec. These are “literally” freezing cold and take forever to drink.
On their own, the frozen drinks should be pleasing to the palette. For an additional $2, you can get a “floater” shot on top. This isn’t advertised, but one of the servers suggested it upon ordering one of the drinks. This is obviously going to make your drink stronger, but it also makes the drink taste much more like alcohol. If you like the taste of alcohol, I’d suggest the floater – but skip it if you’re more of a $14 Grey Goose Slush from the France Pavilion sort of person. But a $2 shot of 151 proof rum on top is a good value. If I was going to critique Splitsville, I would say that their staff isn’t trained particularly well. While one server suggested the floater, the next one I encountered had no idea what I was talking about and had to go check her machine to see if it was an option. When handed a Tables in Wonderland card, a bartender told me they didn’t take it. When I told him they did take it, he said “Let me check. I don’t even know what Tables in Wonderland is.” Another server also had no idea what the card was. To be fair, they’ve only accepted Tables in Wonderland for a couple of weeks, but it seems like one of those things that cast members should be aware of. Aubry S was on top of things though.
Back on the drink front, we have the Strawberry Daiquiri – Rum, Strawberries, and Sour Mix. This was the one topped with the 151 and you certainly knew it. There was a distinct rum aftertaste – not displeasing necessarily, but if you didn’t like the taste of rum, you’d probably hate the drink.
And finally, an “Around the World – A blend of all of our signature flavors.” I really can’t overemphasize how long these suckers take to drink. I was still drinking it like 45 minutes after it was delivered. They are so cold!
The frozen drinks seemed to be a better value than the bowl drinks, especially with the extra shot of booze on top for $2.
Scarlett from TouringPlans.com and Tom from WDW News Today will be joining us for lunch. Scarlett started with a Snickertini – Smirnoff Vodka, Frangelico, Kahlua, and Cream – $10. I had a sip and it seemed to be what you would expect for a girly drink – sweet without much flavor from the alcohol.
And the Birthday Cake – A blend of Smirnoff Iced Cake Vodka and Godiva White Cream Chocolate – $10. Scarlett basically said this was the best drink ever and I would concur that it did taste just like a birthday cake. It would make for another nice girly drink.
In the evening, I was joined by friends-of-the-site Darcie and Tim. Darcie concluded the evening with a Lemon Drop – Ketel One Citroen Vodka and lemonade sealed with a sugar rim – $10. It tasted too strongly of alcohol for her.
For food, Tom and Scarlett ordered the Firehouse Pizza – Mozzarella, diced chicken tenders, buffalo sauce, bleu cheese, and drizzled with ranch dressing – $14. I thought it was a large pizza for the money and tried a slice after it had cooled off. It had a thin, crispy crust and a decent amount of chicken. It seemed to be a good value for 14 bucks – that’s less than the pizzas over at Wolfgang Puck Express and this one is much larger.
The $12 Alley Nachos – BBQ Chicken, nacho cheese, pico de gallo, and the sour cream and jalapenos on the side. Scarlett and Tom “couldn’t believe how good they are.” They were quite good with a generous amount of stuff on top. Also not a bad value at all for $12.
The $14 Filet Sliders – Two sliders with thick slices of seasoned filet served with onion rings and horseradish cream.
This was the least amount of food for the money, but you could tell the steak was nicely seasoned and high quality. They really tasted like a hearty steak sandwich. The rolls were incredibly fresh and the onions provided a nice crunch along with the bun. Very good.
I went with the $12 BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich – Our tender pork cooked cooked low and slow with BBQ Sauce and Onion Rings.
Another high quality item, the pork wasn’t dripping in sauce like most Disney pork sandwiches. The pork had a nice smoky flavor and the roll was fresh and soft. It was one of the best sandwiches I’ve had on property and the price point was perfectly reasonable.
I was impressed with the food at Splitsville. I like the atmosphere, though to be perfectly honest I wish it wasn’t a bowling alley. The sound of constantly pounding balls gave me a headache. Sit outside to get away from that and have a good vantage point for some people watching. The South American tour groups tend to be dropped off on the West Side next to Cirque, so you’ll probably see hundreds of them marching around.
The question of “Who would go bowling at Disney” seems to come up a lot. I’m not a bowler. I think if I tried, I would “literally” bowl a zero. But Splitsville has been busy in the evenings, like much of Downtown Disney is. I think the nice thing about Splitsville is that it will be an easy way to pop in for a decent meal when the other restaurants are booked. While Downtown Disney is the butt of a lot of jokes, it does get busy at night, particularly on Fridays and Saturdays. Without a reservation, you’ll often be quoted a wait of 30 to 90 minutes virtually everywhere. And as far as bowling at Disney is concerned, I can see the appeal, particularly when the theme parks close earlier. And with something like 32 lanes, this isn’t really something that has to appeal to everyone. But the market does seem to be there. Lanes are a lot easier to come by early in the week during the afternoon.
But I’d be happy to head back to Splitsville whenever. It’s a friendly place with good food at reasonable prices. I’m not in a hurry to buy another $14 drink though.
And here’s some merchandise they sell:
I’m not sure why you’d want something that says Splitsville on it, but they do have a lot of stuff!