Walt Disney World conjures up images of kids in strollers, characters roaming the parks and a lot of mouse shaped things. And, sure enough, as soon as you walk into the parks, you feel like a kid again- you’re excited to get your picture taken with Pluto, wait in line for Space Mountain, and buy a pair of sparkly mouse ears because, magic.
Disney may be extra special for kids, but I’ve come to appreciate it more as an adult through vacations and runDisney events. One of the best parts of visiting Disney as an adult? Seeking out the best spots to grab a drink when you need a break from the magic madness.
Note about Disney Drinking: Most vendors cater to American taste preference (read: sweet, frozen). Drinking in Disney is nothing like ordering a cocktail made by a mixologist in New York, it’s a different experience that’s fun in its own right.
Favorite drinks at Walt Disney World
- Polynesian Village: Trader Sam’s & Tambu Lounge
- Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto: Easily the best bar at WDW, Trader Sam’s is a tiki bar tucked in the back of the Polynesian resort. It’s a little speakeasy-esque, a wooden door hides a dark, tropical paradise. The drinks are strong, the servers are always cracking jokes, singing or dancing, and the walls are covered in tchotckes, many of which are animated. Order a Shrunken Zombie head and sit back to take it all in- coming here is like watching a show
- Tambu Lounge: If you’re staying at the Polynesian or doing a monorail bar crawl, the Lapu Lapu is a fun drink to order at this lounge on the second floor of the resort. If you’re a Disney fan, you’ve probably seen photos of it before, it’s a rum and tropical fruit juice drink served in a fresh pineapple
- Animal Kingdom Lodge: If you’re staying at AKL or visiting to dine at Boma, enjoy a taste of South African wines at Victoria’s Falls Lounge. The lounge overlooks Boma and lets you take your wine to the nearby fire pit if you want a more low-key drinking environment
- Bonus tip: Jiko offers a wine tasting every Wednesday, where you can sample South African wines and complimentary cheeses. I haven’t had a chance to do this on any of my trips yet, but I’ve heard it’s a great experience
- Yacht Club: The Ale & Compass Lounge is great for a beer, glass of wine or chocolate martini. Their food also rules- the tomato, basil, mozzarella sandwich is so good
- The Boardwalk: Jellyrolls is a fun spot for late nights if you’re staying at any of the resorts in the Boardwalk area (Boardwalk, Yacht Club, Beach Club, Dolphin & Swan). It’s a dueling piano bar with a cover charge and average drink menu. Definitely more about the experience than enjoying a good drink
- The Grand Floridan: Mizner’s Lounge
- A live orchestra playing nostalgic tunes and some seriously good martinis, what more could you ask for?
There aren’t a lot of standout drink options in Hollywood Studios. If you’re really craving a drink, you can grab a beer, glass of wine or frozen drink at many of the food stalls throughout the park.
- Peevy’s Polar Pipeline: If you’re looking for a quick drink, Peevy’s (a quick service stand near echo lake) has a pretty good frozen coke and rum slush
- Hollywood Brown Derby: No need to dine at the restaurant to have a martini or margarita flight in the adjacent lounge. In my opinion, this is the best option for enjoying a drink in Hollywood Studios
- Be Our Guest is the only restaurant in the Magic Kingdom that serves alcohol, and even then, it’s only offered at dinner. I’d skip having a drink with dinner and just hop on the monorail after you’re done at the park for the day to enjoy a great cocktail at Trader Sam’s in the Polynesian
- Dawa Bar: The Watermelon mimosa, African Bloody Mary and African margarita (with tangerine liquor) are all good choices. This outpost is right next to Tusker House Restaurant and close to Festival of the Lion King, which means you can grab a drink after reveling in the show
- Tamu Tamu: Dole whip fans, order yours with dark rum here
- Harambe Market: The orange rum slush is a refreshing treat on a hot day
- Jock Lindsay’s Hanger Bar: Fun, aviation/Indiana Jones themed lounge with unique cocktails. Recommend trying the Cool Headed Monkey or Bedtime Story
- The Boathouse: Order off the martini menu at this waterside restaurant, sit back and watch the vintage amphicars float by outside. If you’re eating here, the wedge salad, lobster mac ‘n cheese and baked Alaska are solid choices
- Raglan Road: Authentic Irish food and Irish dancers for entertainment. On our last visit, I ordered the Iced Irish and Portobello Beauty- both were fantastic
- Dockside Margaritas: Handcrafted margarita outpost
- Morimoto Asia: Head to the rooftop for a Japanese inspired cocktail- love the ones made with sake
Epcot’s World Showcase
I’d recommend starting your journey around the world in Mexico. The drink options are better on this side of the Showcase and worth enjoying before you have a few in you 😉
- Mexico: Don’t waste your time getting a margarita at the quick service stand, head inside the pavilion to La Cava del Tequila for specialty margaritas and a tequila flight. The blood orange and pineapple margaritas were our favorites
- Norway: The cart outside of the restrooms and the bakery offer Danish Carlsberg beer and a Scandinavian liquor called Linie Aquavit Glacier, which is served by the shot. As someone who enjoys spirits more than beer, I’d gravitate toward the shot- it’s flavored with herbs and tastes a bit like licorice
- China: The Joy of Tea booth offers specialty cocktails, which are all pretty sweet. We tried the Canto Loopy (cantaloupe juice and vodka), Green Tea Plum Slush, and Tipsy Ducks In Love (which tasted like chocolate cake and a lot of bourbon). Next time, I’d probably go for the Canto Loopy since it’s a little less complicated than other options
- Germany: In addition to solid German beers to choose from, the Wine Cellar shop has a nice selection of German wines and offers wine and cheese tastings
- Italy: Head to the Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar to try a flight of Italian wines. Other drink options in Italy I’d recommend: Capri Natura Lemon Liqueur or Villa Marzia Limoncello
- America: I’m not a beer drinker so I skipped America, but with the addition of Block & Hans, you can try craft beers from around the country
- Japan: Get the plum wine at the Kabuki Café stand or opt for the sake tasting inside the pavilion to try three different kinds of sake
- Morocoo: We didn’t stop here, but trust me- we made up for it with how many drinks we had in France. I’ve heard Morocco used to be limited in terms of drink choices, but that changed when Spice Road Table opened. If you’re stopping here, try the sangria
- France: You have to try the Grand Marnier Orange slush. Is it sweet? Yes. Is it served in a plastic martini glass from a kiosk? Yes. Is it touristy? Yes. But, ultimately is the drink delicious? Yes. It’s so good, we ordered several of them
- United Kingdom: The Rose & Crown pub offers a lovely selection of British beers. I’m always a fan of Strongbow on tap, but the Cider & Dark (Strongbow with a shot of Crème de Cassis) was delicious. Another drink not to be missed here is the Snake Bite (Guinness and Strongbow layered)
- Bonus tip: Grab a spot for IllumiNations outside of the UK- it’s the perfect spot to watch the show
- Canada: We skipped this country in favor of a second drink at the UK. Canada really only offers one cart that sells beer, so its drinking appeal is limited if you’re not visiting during the Wine and Dine Festival
What are your favorite drinks at Disney World?
And remember- if you do decide to drink while in the happiest place on earth, try to be mindful of those on family vacations and enjoy responsibly.
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