The Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California is one of the most family-friendly destinations in the world. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t adult beverages to be found. When you need a break, here are the best spots to enjoy a drink at the Happiest Place on Earth.
Last year I fulfilled my “Lifelong Disney Dream” of getting to “Drink Around the World” at Epcot. Margaritas in Mexico! Champagne in France! Beer in Germany! It was so darn fun. And although I am not a huge drinker, it did make me wonder if throwing back a few cold ones at other parks would be just as awesome.
Because let’s face it. When you’re running around a crowded theme park, sometimes mommy just needs a drink.
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So we ventured over to the Disneyland Resort and scouted out the best spots to grab a cocktail. (Public Service Announcement: Please drink responsibly! There are kids on board.)
Because when you think Lightning McQueen, you think vodka. No? Well, think again!
Right in the center of Cars Land, located in Disney California Adventure, is the Cozy Cone Motel – five giant cones serving up snacks such as churros, ice cream, popcorn and sodas. You’ll find a pleasant surprise at Cone 3. There are two vodka drinks to choose from: Vodka & Lemonade or Vodka & Pomegranate Limeade.
Fans of Disney California Adventure know this is the place to go for adult beverages! With numerous places to choose from in this San Francisco-themed dining area, you’re covered. Two of our favorites are Rita’s Baja Blenders, serving up frozen margaritas, and Sapporo beer at Lucky Fortune Cookery.
If wine is your thing, enjoy a glass at Mendocino Terrace or Wine Country Tattoria, both located in Pacific Wharf.
Just like the early California pleasure piers this section of Disney California Adventure is modeled after, there are plenty of places to grab a snack or a drink as you stroll along the boardwalk. Located near the Silly Symphony Swings, you’ll find Bayside Brews.
Choose from six craft beers on tap and fresh-baked soft pretzels at this quick-service dining location. It’s a great place to grab a cold one in the mid-day heat.
Upstairs from Ariel’s Grotto on the other side of Paradise Pier is the Cove Bar. This is a really nice full-service outdoor boardwalk bar, and the perfect spot to watch the nightly World of Color light show if you can get the timing right! The problem is – there is always, always a line to get in. So while the views are spectacular and the drinks are good (I hear), you need to decide if experiencing the Cove Bar is worth the investment of time it will require.
Visit Downtown Disney any night of the week and you’ll find it hopping. That’s because this entertainment district is a mecca for locals as well as those visiting the parks. You’ll find a myriad of great dining locations – almost too many to list! But if you are on the hunt for a unique place to stop for a drink, here are some of my favorites.
The Uva Bar is located right in the center of it all – literally. It is an outdoor bar located on the promenade, perfect for people watching and enjoying the warm evening air.
Get your sports fix at the ESPN Zone, Downtown Disney’s premier sports bar and restaurant. Sip a beer while watching any of over 100 TVs playing up to 30 sports programs at once. (And even if you have to go to the bathroom, you won’t miss a thing: TV monitors hang strategically above every stall!)
Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen delivers Creole and Cajun specialties in a 2-story building reminiscent of the French Quarter, with outdoor patios and balconies and nightly live jazz. Adult beverages include the Hurricane, Louisiana Lemonade, and beers from New Orleans breweries. Ralph Brennan’s also features an assortment of wines by the glass.
Disneyland Resort Hotels
There are three hotels on-property in Anaheim, and each has a great variety of lounges and restaurants. Here is my top pick at each one if you are looking for a spot to enjoy a drink.
Surfside Lounge – Stop in to Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel for a cocktail. As the name implies, this laid-back lobby lounge has a light and beachy feel.
Napa Rose Lounge – Although reservations are highly recommended to dine at the Napa Rose, the Grand Californian Hotel’s signature restaurant, no reservations are needed to enjoy its cozy lounge. With inside and outside seating, plus a big fireplace, this is the perfect spot to relax with a nice glass of wine.
TravelingMom Tip: If you visit Disney’s Grand Californian during the holidays, be sure to take some time to walk through the hotel’s lobby. It is one of the most beautifully decorated areas of the entire Disneyland Resort at Christmastime!
Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar – If Disneyland’s Jungle Cruise and Tiki Room attractions got together and started serving cocktails, you’d get Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar.
Located near the pool at the Disneyland Hotel, Trader Sam’s is a tropical oasis where colorful cocktails are served in a lively bar with adjoining tiki-lit terrace. Shipwreck on the Rocks, Krakatoa Punch and the Shrunken Zombie Head are a few cocktail names, so you get a pretty clear idea of the place’s exotic theming!
Trader Sam’s welcomes children until 8:00 p.m. but is restricted to guests 21 and over thereafter.
Last and in this case least – Disneyland. There is no alcohol for sale in Disneyland. Why? Because when it opened in 1955, Walt Disney did not want it there, plain and simple. And so it has remained booze-free (with the exception of the exclusive Club 33) for more than 60 years.
Healthy Tip for This Destination
As you can see, there is no limit to the number of unique and wonderful drinks you can find at the Disneyland Resort. So my tip is: MODERATION! Unlike Drinking Around the World at Epcot, this guide is in no way intended to encourage anyone to hit every spot in one day. So pick one or two and enjoy!
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