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The best places to get buzzed at Disney World

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If you’re foot-slogging the parks and looking for a place to chill, we’ve got you covered — these are the best bars within the realm where you can wind down and grab a cold one.

Walt Disney World

Magic Kingdom

Up until six years ago, the Magic Kingdom was a completely dry state. In 2012, the expansion of Adventureland and the opening of the “Beauty and the Beast”-themed restaurant Be Our Guest ended prohibition with the introduction of French wine and Belgian beer.

Late last year, Tony’s Town Square Restaurant, Liberty Tree Tavern, Skipper Canteen and Cinderella’s Royal Table hopped on the booze train. Recently, the Plaza Restaurant, the Crystal Palace and the Diamond Horseshoe also joined the list.

For a true bar, skip off-campus to the Seven Seas Lagoon at the Polynesian Village Resort. The lobby’s Hawaiian-style Tambu Lounge serves up sushi and strong cocktails like the Lapu Lapu ($14), a rum and tropical juice cocktail served in a fresh pineapple.

Downstairs, you’ll find Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto. Named for the shrunken-head salesman on the Magic Kingdom’s Jungle Cruise, the small lounge is packed with artifacts and artworks that periodically come to life. Favorite cocktails here include the Shrunken Zombie Head: rum, tropical juices, falernum and cinnamon, served in — of course — a souvenir shrunken-head mug ($25). Warning: Things get interesting in the lounge when anyone orders one. It gets busy at peak times, but the outside Tiki Terrace is a pleasant place to wait with a cold one.


This is the park to come to for adult brews, featuring the national dining and drinks of 11 countries. If you’re there for the annual Epcot International Food and Wine Festival (Aug. 30 through Nov. 12), pop-up booths offer drink specials and tastings.

These days, it’s passé to “drink your way around the world” here. Instead, immerse yourself in a country’s signature potion. Tequila lovers should make haste to the pyramid in “Mexico,” which holds a lesser-known gem called La Cava del Tequila. With more than 200 tequilas to choose from — as well as tequila relatives mezcal, sotol and raicilla — the best way to start here is with a tequila flight ($23). If that’s too intense, there are some exotic margaritas in a variety of flavors like jalapeño, avocado, minty pineapple or blood orange (from $13.50). Enjoy with salsa, guacamole, queso and chips ($5 to $10).

Also highly recommended: A trip to the “UK,” where you can settle into the authentic British pub Rose & Crown. Show your British know-how by asking for a refreshing, off-menu snakebite — lager, cider and an optional shot of black currant cordial.

Animal Kingdom

Anyone who has ever been lucky enough to go on a safari will throw themselves on the African Tusker lager ($8.50) served at Dawa Bar, a bamboo-hut oasis in the Harambe village area of the park. Sip the light, refreshing drink while watching the river on one side and the lively African dancing on the other. This convivial bar also features South African wines and cocktails that include the Lost on Safari rum punch ($11.75).

Hollywood Studios

The recently opened Baseline Tap House is designed to look like Figueroa Printing Company, a real life mom-and-pop business that had a longstanding relationship with Disney Studios. There’s also a quaint outdoor terrace with some shady trees for sipping alfresco. Drinks revolve around Californian beer and cider on tap (from $8.50) as well as two wines also on tap ($9 each).


This waterside area is a short stroll from Epcot and a boat ride from Hollywood Studios, and features a variety of retail and dining.

The old-timey AbracadaBar is billed as the secret haunt of turn-of-the-century magicians until it mysteriously vanished, never to be seen again . . . until now. The nostalgic decor features dark wood, cozy booths and damask wallpaper. Some of the cocktails feature magic tricks, like the Conjurita margarita ($12.50) that changes colors as it’s mixed, while the Elixir ($13) contains absinthe (you’re only allowed to order two of those).

For a change of pace, check out the sister Swan and Dolphin Resort, which is a recently renovated Marriott property. The new Phins bar inside the Dolphin lobby is elegant and modern, and its signature Smoke n’ Roses cocktail ($19), with bourbon, maple syrup, cherry and lemon, comes presented literally smoking in a big glass box.

On Sundays, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the bar’s Proud Mary menu offers “brunch in a glass” — try the Hail Mary, a bloody mary inspired by Shula’s Steak House, a restaurant also in the hotel. It comes with filet mignon, lobster claw, barbecue shrimp and steak sauce ($30). For more details: SwanDolphin.com

Disney Springs

What started out as Downtown Disney — a slightly cheesy shopping area with G-rated nightclubs — has transformed into a lively retail district. There’s no shortage of places to dine and drink here — 57, to be precise, from Irish pubs to Asian fusion, quick bites and margarita stands to celebrity chefs and fine dining.

One of the more intriguing new bars is Enzo’s Hideaway, tucked inside Maria and Enzo’s Ristorante, a southern Italian trattoria that’s designed to look as if it was converted from a spectacular 1930s-era airline terminal (who thinks these places up?). Enzo’s Hideaway, a tunnel bar tucked away at the bottom, is supposed to be a rum-running speakeasy from the days of prohibition, and comes complete with hidden entrances and an extensive whiskey and rum selection, as well as a cocktail menu labeled “Giggle Water.”

If wine is your thing, visit Wine Bar George, an airy wood-and-brick space featuring more than 130 wines curated by master sommelier George Miliotes, one of only 249 people in the world with that titled distinction. Miliotes is often on hand to lead guests through the choices, gleaned from around the world and featuring both established and up-and-coming areas, like Oregon, Slovenia and Lebanon.


And then they mentioned the Dark Side...

Universal Orlando

Islands of Adventure

Football fans, take note: Backwater Bar has the only TV in the park and it’s football all the way on Sundays. The theme is tropical, with stone floors and wood beams, and pitchers of sangria ($20).

At the Three Broomsticks restaurant in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter park, skip the Butterbeer and order a pint of their own Hog’s Head Brew ($8.99), a Scottish-style red ale. At the back of the bar, there’s a small patio with shade and great views of the back of Hogwarts castle and the river — a little-known oasis from the madness.

Universal Studios

Step into Springfield and the faithfully reproduced Moe’s Tavern over in the Simpsons’ corner of the park. Enjoy a Flaming Moe ($8.99) or a Duff beer ($8.99), brewed locally and exclusive to the park (though it tastes somewhat like Budweiser).

Continue the fun across the way at the Duff Brewery, a cool outdoor bar and beer garden with shade and waterside views, plus topiaries of the Seven Duffs — Tipsy, Queasy, Surly, Sleazy, Edgy, Dizzy and Remorseful.

Universal CityWalk

Universal’s dining and retail metropolis is directly opposite the theme parks, and has a Times Square vibe with chain restaurants (Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., Margaritaville) alongside specialty outlets, such as the newly opened Voodoo Doughnut.

For outdoor drinking fun, head to the Lone Palm Airport at the seaplane parked by the bridge. There, Jimmy Buffett’s plane, the Hemisphere Dancer, is the centerpiece for a relaxed waterside Tiki bar. Obviously, the signature drink is a margarita ($11); sip while the kids play in the sand, a k a Parakeet Beach.

Universal’s hotels


The Universal Studios on-site hotels are all close together and offer some great bars, from Hard Rock’s plush Velvet Bar to Sapphire Falls’ rum-obsessed Strong Water Tavern. Later this month, the high-rise Aventura hotel will open the area’s first rooftop watering hole, Bar 17 Bistro. The 17th-floor spot has panoramic views of Hogwarts, the theme parks and Orlando proper. Go at sunset to sip on fancy frozen drinks while the park’s lights go on, and consider yourself refreshed.

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