Top 5 Places to Relax With a Drink at Disney World
Most people don't think of Disney World as being a place to sit back and relax with a dry martini or a nice Bordeaux. But Disney World actually offers several unique opportunities to enjoy a cocktail and shed the stresses of your park touring day.
Now, we know there are a few "typical answers" here--grabbing a beer at Rose and Crown Pub in Epcot's UK, of course, and "drinking around the World" at Epcot's Food & Wine Festival, for sure, but we'd like to entertain you with a few of our out-of-the-way favorites that might not always immediately spring to mind. Here are our top five:
- Dawa Bar, Africa, Animal Kingdom Theme Park: Animal Kingdom's Dawa Bar is tucked into a corner of Africa between the river and the Tusker House Restaurant. This gem of a spot ranks high because of its staff and the feeling generated by this little oasis in the middle of typical theme park madness. The bartenders are top notch and have been known to spontaneously whip up warm and cozy drink specials when the weather turns chilly, and the place somehow oozes the feel of your favorite pub-on-the-corner, even though you're in the middle of a huge theme park surrounded by folks you'll never see again. If you have the time to stop by, go ahead and order one of the bar's many imported African beers, then sit back, relax, and watch everyone else scramble for their fast passes!
- Jellyrolls, Boardwalk: Although Jellyrolls is still crowded, it still ranks at the top of our list for great places to relax with a drink at Disney World. This long-standing dueling piano bar (that means there are two pianists playing requests together) offers the opportunity to listen to extraordinarily talented musicians and take part in a fun and interactive atmosphere at the same time. The only food you can get is popcorn, and cigarette smoking is still allowed in the bar, but there's no better place to have an evening of good, clean fun in Walt Disney World. Be sure to request some Journey for us!
- Jiko, Animal Kingdom Lodge: Okay, we had to sneak a fine dining restaurant in here somewhere--there are just too many to choose from! Jiko is one of our favorites, offering a calm, understated atmosphere far away from the hectic fun of the theme parks. Tucked into the ground floor of the Animal Kingdom Lodge, this upscale restaurant offers some interesting dining options for any appetite as well as several South African wines. One of the least frequented of the fine dining establishments in Disney World, Jiko still seems like a diamond in the rough.
- La Cava del Tequila, Mexico, Epcot: Specializing in gourmet margaritas and tequila flights, Epcot's newest addition is a wonderful spot to escape the heat of sunny Florida, cozy up into a booth, and enjoy a sip of your favorite Mexican concoction. Hungry? Grab one of the many tapas-sized appetizers available. Click here for the full La Cava del Tequila menu!
- Tambu Lounge, Polynesian Resort: This place is top notch when it comes to service. The bartenders are always attentive and willing to make sure your drink is the best they've made that evening--but what we like about this place are its specialty drinks. Disney World has instituted an unfortunate one-for-all menu at all of its resort lounges and pool bars, leaving specialty drinks--the truly charming part of hotel bars--out almost entirely. The Polynesian, however, holds onto its legacies like the Backscratcher and Lapu Lapu with an iron fist. Thank goodness! The best medicine here is to order one of these timeless classics, settle into a comfortable wicker chair in the lounge, and enjoy the live Hawaiian music and lovely views of Cinderella Castle.