Most of us are familiar with (and/or participated in) Drinking Around the World at Epcot’s World Showcase. But why should the East Coast have all the fun?
For those of us who call Disneyland home, there are some obvious and not-so-obvious spots to grab a drink when visiting the Happiest Place on Earth. Of course there is no alcohol allowed in Walt’s Original Park, but that still leaves the Resort Hotels, Downtown Disney, and Disney California Adventure. Not only are there plenty of options, but this is a great way to get acclimated and see a lot of the Resort over the course of a few hours (or day).
I personally like to start at the Disneyland Hotel, work my way through Downtown Disney, and conclude in DCA. But here are my absolute favorite places to cool down and drink up.
It was hard to pick just three, but no list would be complete without shout outs to Napa Rose Lounge and Carthay Circle. Personally, I like to head to these spots for dinner, but both have excellent drinks and delicious bar food menus if you want to pop in for a bite without having a full dinner.
Insider Tip: Sit at the bar at Napa Rose Lounge. The service is quicker and the bartenders are more than happy to talk to you about what they’re making and share stories of famous bar guests they’ve served.
3. Uva Bar
Located outside my favorite Downtown Disney restaurant (Catal), Uva Bar is my favorite spot to grab a glass of wine in the evening and take in the DD atmosphere. Especially after a long day in the Parks, Uva can be a welcome retreat after a long day.
Insider Tip: Although it does share kitchen space with Catal, Uva Bar actually has its own full menu (although it doesn’t take reservations) and holds its own against its more well-known neighbor. I love their lamb burger!
2. Alfresco Terrace
Possibly one of the most hidden spots in DCA, this is my favorite place to grab a drink in the Park. Located on the second story of Wine Country Trattoria, this small patio bar has its own wine list and appetizer menu. They also feature tasting menus of the Disney Family of Wines – which is a great way to sample a few before settling on one for a full glass. This is my favorite place to go at dusk and watch the lights of DCA (in particular, Cars Land) come on.
Insider Tip: Ask the host at the bottom of Wine Country’s stairs if Alfresco is open – its hours vary and sometimes there can be a wait. And remember: last call inside DCA is one hour before Park closing.
1. Trader Sam’s
Of course #1 is the most popular – and well-known – bar on Resort property. So popular that Disney World’s Polynesian Village resort recently opened their own version! This bar is filled with fun connections to the Jungle Cruise and some drinks that spark their own Disney Magic. The cast members here are always very enthusiastic, and you can’t help but feel like they enjoy being “in on the joke.”
Insider Tip: This small bar in the Disneyland Hotel fills up fast and wait times for a spot inside can easily exceed two hours at night. Instead, retreat to Trader Sam’s in the afternoon when you’re taking a break from the Parks. Sam’s also has a surprisingly good (but small) Polynesian-inspired food menu and can easily replace one of your meals.