The 5 Best Places to Grab a Drink in Disney World
I've been traveling to Disney World for decades and have found some hidden bars and drinking spots that you'll want to check out on your next trip.
Disney World may be a major family destination, but it's also fun for adults too. There are some famously great places to grab a drink like the Irish-themed Raglan Road in Disney Springs or the Rose and Crown Pub in Epcot Center. But the places making our list are less well known and, at least as far as I'm concerned, way more fun.
Behind Epcot Center is an entire resort area known as the Disney Boardwalk. If you take the path next to the France pavilion you can exit the park's back gate and stroll along a turn-of-the-century boardwalk filled with bars and restaurants. The Boardwalk Inn is a hotel that's home to one of the quietest little bars with one of the best beer selections on property. Bellevue Lounge is located upstairs right next to the front entrance of the hotel. It's tucked away so many people don't even know it's there. But if you find it you'll be treated to an incredible beer selection as well as a full array of mixed drinks and cocktails. The seating consists mostly of couches and armchairs which are great after a long day of hoofing it around the park.
The Wave Lounge
If you're over by the Magic Kingdom you'll be hard-pressed to find a beer or mixed drink anywhere in the park unless you're lucky enough to grab a reservation at the only two restaurants serving alcohol (for this reason they're extremely hard to get into). Instead, just hop on the monorail and make your first stop at the Contemporary Resort right next door. Most Disney experts will tell you to head upstairs to the California Grill bar and watch the fireworks, but everyone tries that, so getting a seat is usually next to impossible. Instead head downstairs to The Wave Lounge, a trendy bar attached to the hotel's other restaurant. There are little alcoves and tables tucked away for a quiet and relaxing place to sit and unwind. Funky lighting and plush stools and couches give this place a great vibe. Because it's attached to the restaurant they serve some pretty incredible wines as well as quality beers and mixed drinks.
The Germany Pavilion in Epcot
Now I know this doesn't sound like a "hidden gem," but hear me out. The Germany pavilion is a must stop for beer lovers, but usually the only place to enjoy it is inside the Biergarten buffet restaurant or on the go from one of the three counter-service locations. But if you get there early enough there are usually one or two benches inside the courtyard of the pavilion that are positioned in just the right location for the best people watching experience in all of Disney World. If you don't have kids this beats standing in line for a half hour for any ride. In the past we've been known to spend our entire day on the bench. Just kick back, watch the free entertainment go by while enjoying some incredible German beers and pretzels.
Behind the Boardwalk Inn is another hotel called the Swan and Dolphin. It's actually two hotels that are part of Disney World, but run by the Starwood hotel chain. Inside the Swan is an Asian lounge called Kimono's with a few hidden secrets. The bar serves saki, beer and cocktails, but most people also order their incredible sushi. Forget the other sushi restaurants in the Disney guidebooks, this is probably the best sushi you'll get anywhere in Disney. But the real reason to check out Kimono's is their entertainment. Every night the lounge hosts Karaoke. While some hotel guests and tourists do their best to stay in tune, the real magic happens when Disney cast members arrive later in the evening. Some of the greatest unknown singers in the world work for Disney parks. After a day performing in character and belting out the soundtrack to Frozen these singers let loose at Kimono's and can put on quite a show.
Tutto Gusto Wine Bar
Back in Epcot Center the Italy pavilion recently added some great new dining and drinking spots. If it's been several years since you've been there you should check out the Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar. Located on the left side of the courtyard this place is usually overlooked as visitors work their way to the restaurant in the back. It's so dark inside that you'll need to let your eyes adjust for a few minutes before reading the menu, but once you step inside you're completely transported out of Disney World and into a very cool Italian wine cellar. It's a great resting spot that serves some great cheese and meat platters to enjoy while drinking a flight of wines or an ice cold Italian beer.