A Tale of Two Indiana Jones Bars

Travel Features disney world
A Tale of Two Indiana Jones Bars

Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar opened in Disney Springs in 2015, and ever since I’ve just called it “the Indiana Jones bar.” You’re forgiven if you don’t know who or what a “Jock Lindsey” is; he’s a minor character from the Indiana Jones movies who appears in a single scene at the start of Raiders of the Lost Ark. He’s the pilot with the pet snake at the end of the opening scene, right after Indy’s pilfered an ancient temple and been chased by both a massive boulder and a gaggle of murderous locals. He’s in the movie for maybe two minutes and then 30 years later gets a bar named after him.

Although it’s named for the Indiana Jones equivalent of that walrus-faced guy Luke meets in the cantina in Star Wars, Jock Lindsey’s really is an Indiana Jones bar, full of references both subtle and overt to the film and with a 1930s adventurer aesthetic right out of old film serials. It successfully creates its own unique identity that’s still rooted in the world of Indiana Jones, hinting at lives and events running tangential to Indiana’s own history; that is, in my opinion, the best way to do a themed bar, rather than just trying to replicate something from a movie or TV show as closely as possible. It’s also a full-service bar, with a menu of original cocktails, a variety of beers, and knowledgeable bartenders who can whip up pretty much any drink you ask for. It’s wonderful, I love it, and I try to drink there every time I’m at Disney World. Don’t miss it. (And definitely get the giant pretzel that’s served on an old-timey airplane.) 

That’s not the Indiana Jones bar I’m here to talk about, though.

Den of Destiny

For a brief time this summer Disney has opened a pop-up Indiana Jones-themed bar in its Hollywood Studios theme park. Indiana Jones: Den of Destiny opened in the former home of the Indiana Jones Adventure Outpost store a few weeks before the June release Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, and will be open through August 15, 2023. (So if you absolutely have to visit as many Indiana Jones bars as possible, you’ve got just under four weeks to get to Orlando.) Given how great Jock Lindsey’s is, expectations might’ve been a little too high for Den of Destiny; this is a temporary pop-up, after all, based in a small, shuttered theme park gift shop. It’s not even a full-service bar; it has a couple of pre-mixed cocktails for sale, along with two beers and one non-alcoholic option. There are tables without chairs in a covered area outside, but nowhere to sit inside the bar itself. The interior is themed to the extent that the previous store was, with more of that pre-war adventurer vibe you see at the Jungle Cruise ride. It’s not a place you’d ever want to hang out in for all that long, and given the lack of tables, Disney clearly doesn’t want you to hang out in it, anyway. It’s tough to call it a bar, really; you walk up, you get your drink, and you walk away, which gives it more in common with a food truck or drive-through. 

There’s a little bit more inside Den of Destiny than just the old Adventure Outpost theming, but not much. A few props from Dial of Destiny are on display inside glass cases, including Indy’s hat and whip, as well as costumes made for Harrison Ford and Phoebe Waller-Bridge. There’s also a photo spot with a replica of the time-shifting dial of the movie’s title; sadly you can’t actually turn the dial or change the hands, or anything. As far as I could tell it also won’t transport you back to ancient Sicily. I’ve never been especially impressed by or interested in movie props, outside of stuff like Oz’s ruby slippers or Chris Elliott’s wig from Cabin Boy, but if you’re looking for something to point a camera at, these things are ready and waiting. And if you’re looking for Easter eggs, you’ll find a few in the mock travel posters hanging in and around the building.

Den of Destiny

If you aren’t a margarita, whiskey, or beer fan, you’ll have to go elsewhere to fulfill your drinking destiny. The Adventuress Margarita mixes tequila with passion fruit papaya green tea, cucumber, lime juice and agave nectar. Priced at $13.50, it’s the theme drink for Waller-Bridge’s character in Dial of Destiny, Indy’s goddaughter-turned-rival-turned-friend. The Weathered Fedora ($14.50) obviously wants to evoke the musty, old-man feel of the 70-something Indiana Jones seen in Dial; it might also make you think of Sean Connery’s character from The Last Crusade. This spin on the Manhattan includes bourbon, sweet vermouth, vanilla, ginger bitters, star anise, cinnamon, and nutmeg, and although it’s a perfectly acceptable Manhattan, it doesn’t necessarily go down that well when it’s 95 degrees in an exhaustingly humid Florida July. I get that they’re working with limited space in the old Adventure Outpost, and that it’s impractical to set up an actual working bar within it, but a little bit more variety with the cocktails would be nice.

The two beers are available as 16 ounce drafts, and both cost $10.25. You can find Cigar City’s Jai Alai IPA everywhere at this point, but it’s still a wonderful, citrus-y IPA, and one of the few beers I still care about in that deeply overexposed style. You can also get a cup of Lost Coast Tangerine Wheat Ale, if you want something a little lighter and less hoppy. And if you aren’t a drinker, there’s a non-alcoholic L’Atlantique Green Tea on the menu for $6.25; it’s got pomegranate green tea, blood orange, lime juice, and agave nectar in it, and as a lifelong avoider of tea, I didn’t even try a sip.

I’d feel silly if I called Den of Destiny disappointing. Again, it’s a pop-up bar that will exist for only two months in a small space built to sell knockoff fedoras and toy whips; expectations should be nil. Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar is such a fantastic bar, though, with very careful, intricate theming, from the backstory to the decor to the menu itself. Jock Lindsey’s is one of the best themed bars I’ve ever been to, and as the only Indiana Jones bar I’ve ever been to, it’s set a standard of quality within the subgenre that no temporary pop-up could hope to match. Den of Destiny is a cool, minor little plus to a theme park that still doesn’t have quite enough to do, but don’t fret if you can’t see it in person before it goes away; you’re not really missing anything.

Senior editor Garrett Martin writes about videogames, comedy, travel, theme parks, wrestling, and anything else that gets in his way. He’s also on Twitter @grmartin.

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