Walt Disney World Resort ® is known as the Happiest Place on Earth but it can make adults cringe. The kids, the attractions, the characters, the crowds, the strollers are all things I hear from adults are things they worry about. When working with a vacation planner like our agents, we help take those concerns away. We walk our clients through the planning so everyone has the very best vacation. One of the things I get the best reaction from adults about is the information on where to get a good cocktail. They tend to not ask so I offer it and they are very appreciative of the information. To many, it is surprising to know there are A LOT of drink location options around the “world”. I have detailed a few of the favorites.
Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto
Located at the Polynesian Resort, this famous lounge is packed full of artifacts and interesting things to keep your eyes roaming. Soak in the Hawaiian music and the lively environment. The bar is named after Trader Sam who is the legendary “head” salesman who offers you a hard-to-pass-up deal—2 of his heads for 1 of yours—at the conclusion of Jungle Cruise in Magic Kingdom Park. All ages are welcome before 8PM but after 8, you must be 21 to enter. This is truly a little slice of paradise to relax after a day in the parks. Try the Spikey Pineapple while there, it is an Ears agent favorite!
Atop the Contemporary Resort, this restaurant has the best view hands down of the Magic Kingdom and the fireworks. Reservations are tricky to get here but the food is amazing! If there is room at the bar, they will allow you access from the Second-Floor check in desk and elevator to go up, have a cocktail and even eat dinner from there. The bar staff has been around for years and if Ray is working, you must have a Saki martini!
Located next to Tiffin’s in Animal Kingdom, Nomad Lounge has become a favorite among our crew. It is in a great location and easy to head over to the new Pandora, The World of Avatar for after dark enjoyment. Nomad has a great open air deck tucked in the lush greenery but also has an inside area to get away from the heat. The cocktails here are outstanding as is the chef’s charcuterie board!
A longtime favorite and a great place to take a break in Animal Kingdom, Dawa is located next to Tusker House restaurant. It is an open-air bar but there is a roof to protect you from the Floridian sun. Enjoy South African wines. African beer, including the elusive Tusker Lager, and specialty cocktails like Lost on Safari, while watching the crowds going to and from the Kilimanjaro Safari. Typically, the street entertainers will entertain the kids and adults alike while taking a break and enjoying a cocktail.
Tune In Lounge
A personal favorite of mine for years. The best place in Hollywood Studios to pop in away from the sun and step back in time. Located adjacent to 50s Prime Time Restaurant, it takes you back to a 1950s home. The bar staff is always super friendly and it is a very upbeat environment. 50s Prime Time is hard to get into but belly up to the bar where the full menu is available.
La Cava del Tequila
If you like Tequila, margaritas, and all things Mexican, this is your place. From flights of tequila, unique margaritas, and Mexican beers you will be sure to find something you like here. The line can be long but be patient, it is worth the wait. Many times, it is easier to grab a table and sit. If you don’t know what to order, just ask the server and they can walk you through some options. Order their guacamole, it is very good!
Tutto Gusto Wine Bar
Located in Epcot’s Italian pavilion, this cozy wine bar is your place if you love vino. Designed after an authentic Italian wine cellar, Tutto Gusto offers over 200 bottles of Italian wines plus beer and a small-plates menu of meats, cheeses, panini, pasta and desserts.
Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar
Disney Springs is a new favorite area of the resort for me and it is hard to narrow down the best places for a drink but this is certainly in the top. On the water, it is themed after a 1940s-airplane hangar turned dive bar, the ex-home of Indiana Jones’ sidekick and pilot, Jock Lindsey. Enjoy beer flights, wine or try their spirits of adventure which are one of a kind elixirs. Try the Fountain of Youth, Pancho’s Margarita or The Scottish Professor, a creative blend of Scotch whiskey and gin. I like sitting in the boat and watching the sun go down. May I suggest the Fräulein’s Flatbread? A flatbread topped with Spiced Shrimp, Smoked Bacon, Arugula, Roasted Tomatoes, and Basil Pesto is good with just about any cocktail here. Believe me, I have tried many.
An oldie but a goodie, Raglan Road is centrally located in Disney Springs. Belly up to one of 4 imported bars shipped lock, stock and beer barrel from Ireland. At Raglan Road you can choose from Irish, European and American beers, including local and craft varieties. Trouble deciding which pint to drink first? Order a beer flight instead! For the whiskey and bourbon drinkers, their specialty drinks are worth a try. I really like the Blood Orange Bourbon which is Bulleit Bourbon, Nolet’s Gin, and San Pellegrino Blood Orange. Evenings are great to visit Raglan Road as they have entertainment seven days a week, from incredible acoustic singers to Irish dancers, I have always enjoyed the music.
Honorable mentions go to Victoria Falls in Animal Kingdom Lodge. One of the best resort bars and a great selection of African wines. Narcoossee’s gets it for best beer selection. Narcoossee’s has some of the best variety of beers across Walt Disney World, even rivaling some of those craft-oriented pubs back home. Each of their 22 different libations are sourced from around the world and sorted by type, ranging from local Floridian blonde ales to heavier options. And finally, for that sporting event you do not want to miss while on vacation, best place to watch sports, ESPN Club on the Boardwalk. With tvs in every nook and cranny, you won’t miss a play.