Mickey ears and plenty of cheers: Your ultimate guide to drinking in Disney World
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With Disney World now reopened in Florida, and me being a 22-year-old adult, I got to daydreaming about all the fun ways to (safely) drink around Disney. I haven’t been to the theme park complex in a hot minute (and I was only 18 the last time I was there). So, I decided to curate the best places to drink so that
I could you could have the most magical time on the next trip. Just a fair warning: It’s not wise to get blasted before riding Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
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Let’s start with Epcot because A) it’s the coolest park and B) it has some amazing choices for all kinds of drinks to suit your fancy. Mostly, I love the ambience, and something about walking through the World Showcase just excites me. What can I say? I am a TPG writer after all.
La Cava del Tequila
Hidden in the Mexico pavilion of the World Showcase, La Cava del Tequila is perfect for those looking for an exciting start to their drinking journey. The menu boasts more than 200 types of tequila, Mexican beer and wine, and top-shelf cocktails. Taste test with a flight of tequila, or relax with a concocted margarita. This outpost is known for its La Cava Avocado: Tromba blanco tequila, melon liqueur, fresh avocado and lime juice served frozen with a hibiscus salt rim. Um… yum?
Block and Hans
I might be biased because I speak German, but German beer always hits the spot. In Germany (in the World Showcase, that is), a beer flight is available for $10.75, which is a dang good price to me. If you don’t want to go the German route, other drinks on the list include Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale from Lexington, Kentucky, Orlando Brewing Blonde Ale and Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA from Milton, Delaware. I love a good IPA, especially when it’s warm out. Prost!
Rose and Crown
Grab a pint, mate! Settle in at the Rose and Crown to enjoy all of the charming characteristics of a British pub. As someone who lived in London for a few months, this will probably be my first stop when I get back to Disney. I think any day with a little bit of Guinness is automatically better.
There are also plenty of flight choices, from single malt to Irish whiskey. You can even try some aged Scottish whiskey, like the 16-year-old Lagavulin or the 18-year-old Macallan, but be prepared to open your wallet a bit more.
Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe
If you’re looking for an exciting start to your morning, venture over to Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe in the Norway pavilion. There, you can find Viking Coffee, which is just Baileys Irish Cream and Kamora Coffee Liqueur. Hey, it’s probably 5 o’clock somewhere in the World Showcase.
An absolute must-see is Oga’s Cantina in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Not only is it iconic, but it also has a drinks menu that is both visually appealing and tasty. I have my eyes on the Jedi Mind Trick (Ketel One Botanical Grapefruit and Rose Vodka, John D. Taylor’s Velvet Falernum, Bols Blue Curaçao, white grape juice, lime juice and grapefruit bitters) or the Fuzzy Tauntaun (Cîroc Peach Vodka, Bols Peach Schnapps, Simply® Orange with Tangerine, pure cane sugar and “Buzz Button Tingling” foam).
My friend Amanda, who has been to Disney World about 18 times, said the T-16 Skyhopper (Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Bols Melon Liqueur, kiwi and half-and-half) is tasty, too. Don’t get the Jet Juice; It’s a glorified $15 shot.
There are also some fun nonalcoholic drinks, like the Blurggfire (Odwalla® Lemonade, pomegranate juice and habanero-lime) and the Jabba Juice (Simply® Orange with Pineapple, kiwi, cantaloupe and blueberry popping pearls).
Insider tip: Richard Kerr, TPG’s loyalty and engagement editor, recommends riding Slinky Dog Dash (if you can stand the wait) after having a drink or two at the Cantina. I haven’t done it, but I’ll take his word for it.
He says whatever you do, DO NOT drink beers before Rise of the Resistance because the ride will break, and you’ll be in a two-hour line having to pee, which requires exiting and starting the line all over again. Oof.
Tamu Tamu Refreshments
Tamu Tamu Refreshments is another great drink pit stop where you can get a spiked Dole Whip. In the relentless Florida heat, anything that is cold and refreshing is a must on my list. You can get the King’s Cooler (Dole Whip Pineapple with Watermelon, Strawberry and Coconut-flavored Syrup served with Plantation Dark Rum or Parrot Bay Coconut Rum) or a simple Dole Whip Pineapple Cup with Plantation Dark Rum.
There are also a few options for beer-drinkers, including Tusker Lager, Corona Light and Safari Amber draft. Richard Kerr also said he likes going on Expedition Everest after a nice Dole Whip. I think his direct words were: “Dole whip with rum, ride Everest, dole whip with rum, ride Everest, rinse and repeat.”
Jock Lindsay’s Hangar Bar
As a long-time fan of Indiana Jones, this is a great bar to check out, especially because of its fun back story and surroundings. The bar is based on Jock, Indiana Jones’ pilot and friend, who retired and opened a bar. With some great Indiana Jones-themed drinks, this is a fun place to rest your feet after a busy day in the parks.
One that looks especially appealing is The Fountain of Youth: St. Augustine Florida Cane Vodka, Bols Blue Curaçao, white cranberry juice and sweet-and-sour. Also, Shorty’s Singapore Sling looks tasty, made with Plymouth Gin, Heering Cherry Liqueur, Bénédictine, Cointreau, fresh lime juice, pineapple juice and grenadine. You’ll pay from $12 to $16 for a mixed drink, but they offer happy hour Monday through Friday from noon to 3 p.m., which will drive the price down to $6 to $7.
The Boathouse in Disney Springs is not only situated in a beautiful setting on the water with views of Lake Buena Vista, but it also has a terrific menu full of surf and turf options. But the menu item our TPG staffer Caroline English highlighted is the blueberry lemonade with Stoli Blueberry, Deep Eddy Lemon Vodka, homemade lemonade and fresh blueberries. You know what they say. When life hands you lemons, add Depp Eddy Lemon Vodka.
I’m a sucker for some good wine as well, and The Boathouse has some solid options, like Cakebread Sauvignon Blanc from Napa Valley or Nickel & Nickel Chardonnay from Sonoma County. Be prepared to pay $16 a glass for each.
California Grill, Contemporary
The Contemporary’s California Grill also offers high-quality wines. This is a pricey excursion, with entrées starting at $37. It’s not in my budget, but rumour has it that the wine list is out-of-this-world. With red wines from wineries all over the world, any wannabe sommelier would have a wonderful time exploring how to pair jumbo scallops or oak-fired filet of beef with the perfect wine.
The Wave, Contemporary
Way back when I was in middle school, my dad and I took trips to Disney World, and we planned each day, down to the hour. I found one of these itineraries after college when I cleaned out my shelves. Ah, memories. But on one of these trips, my dad and I ate at The Wave, and let me tell you, it was amazing.
First of all, The Wave has some great, family-friendly food, but it doesn’t feel like a family restaurant. But the thing that stood out to me was how cool the drinks were, even as a kid. I got the Specialty Character Drink, which is lemonade served in a souvenir cup with a clip-on character that lights up. They still have this drink on the menu, and I still have my glowing Tinker Bell clip-on somewhere in my room.
My dad, if I recall correctly, got a drink that had light-up cubes in it. They also still have this on the menu. You can choose from either the Magical Star Cocktail (X-Fusion Organic Mango and Passion Fruit Liqueur, Parrot Bay Coconut Rum, pineapple juice and a souvenir multicoloured glow cube) or the Blue “Glow-Tini” (Skyy Infusions Citrus Vodka, Bols Peach Schnapps, Bols Blue Curaçao and pineapple juice with a sugared rim and a souvenir glow cube.
Also, the beer list is extensive, and as a St. Louis native, anytime I see Budweiser products, I’m a happy camper.
Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto, Polynesian
First of all, who doesn’t love the Polynesian? It has such a tropical vibe, and it’s right on a Monorail line, meaning it has amazing access to parks and other Disney attractions. But it’s also home to a really fun bar, Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto. For the first part, kids are not allowed inside Trader Sam’s after 8 p.m., so you can have a little respite from strollers running into your ankles.
Following the Polynesian theme, many of the drinks are island-influenced. From HippopotoMai-Tais to the Tahitian Torch, you’re sure to be enveloped in a tropical dream.
While most view Disney World as a kid’s paradise, it can also be an adult’s. With plenty of places scattered around Disney World, you can easily get your refreshing drink fix. Drink magically. Drink responsibly. Cheers.
Featured photo by Matt Stroshane/Walt Disney Resort.
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