Disneyland itself is famously dry, but an abundance of options is only a short walk away.
With the exception of Oga’s Cantina in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and the ultra-exclusive Club 33, alcohol is neither served nor permitted in Disneyland Park. (The Saturday Evening Post asked Walt Disney about the policy in 1956, to which he replied, “No liquor, no beer, nothing. Because that brings in a rowdy element.”) Although Magic Kingdom Park in Orlando’s Walt Disney World serves alcohol at all sit-down table service restaurants, the policy has not extended to the sister park in Anaheim, California.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t find a good drink when visiting the Happiest Place on Earth. Draught beer, fine wines, and lively cocktails are all within easy reach at Disneyland Resort, which includes Disneyland Park, California Adventure, Downtown Disney, Disney’s Grand Californian Resort & Spa, Paradise Pier Hotel, and the Disneyland Hotel. And fear not, teetotalers: We have zero-proof favorites as well. Read on for the best of every drink in Disneyland Resort and what to pair with each.
Best Cocktails: Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki BarDisneyland HotelGet ready to be transported. Trader Sam’s isn’t just a bar, it’s an experience. The moment you walk into the tiki joint, you’ll find a vibe that’s different from any other watering hole on Disney property. It’s not simply the multicolored mood lights, or the blaring surfer tunes, or the delightfully kitschy Polynesian decor. It’s the people sharing genuine laughs with the bartenders and the effects that demand your attention and sense of humor. Yes, this bar has effects. Dare to order one of the specialty drinks and you’ll be rewarded with more than a rum-filled concoction. Lights will flash, thunder will boom throughout the room, paintings of tropical landscapes will transform with animations of erupting volcanoes, bartenders will spritz everyone in the bar with “cooling rains.” Imbibing at Trader Sam’s is a wild time, and the drinks themselves—heavy on the rum and pineapple—are both strong and delicious. For bonus points, pop next door to Tangaroa Terrace for rum-spiked Dole Whips.
Pair it with: Panko-crusted long beans with togarashi aioli
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Best Soft Drink: Carthay Circle LoungeDisney’s California Adventure
Fountain drinks can be found at nearly every dining establishment in Disneyland Resort, but for something special, treat yourself to the Rose Petal Soda at Carthay Circle Lounge. The light floral notes—never overpowering or perfume-like—make each sip feel like sitting down at a spa, which is a particularly valuable sensation when attempting to escape the Southern California heat. Don’t forget to nibble on the garnish, a sugar-glazed rose petal. Carthay Circle’s specialty is classic cocktails, but if you need a little cool-down between stiff drinks or simply aren’t in the mood to hit the sauce before riding a roller coaster, this soda is definitely your jam.
Pair it with: Duck confit empanadas with jalapeno-mint salsa
Best Beer: Ballast Point Brewing CompanyDowntown Disney
With nearly 30 draughts to choose from, here is your one-stop shop for a brewski: Ballast Point in Downtown Disney. The beer menu is conveniently split into sections for different palates: Hops, Hops, & More Hops; Rich & Malty; Crisp & Bright; Tart & Sour; and Barrel Aged. Check in with the host downstairs before heading upstairs, where you’ll face a tough decision between chilling in the air-conditioned restaurant or heading outside to the open-air patio. The sunny patio is mighty tempting, but if you’re a diehard suds fan, be warned that a few pours are available in the restaurant only, not at the patio bar.
Pair it with: Bavarian Pretzel with beer cheese (of course) and mustard made with Fathom IPA
Best Wine: Napa RoseDisney’s Grand Californian Resort & Spa
This is the best place on Disney property to indulge in grown-up grape juice. While the extensive selection primarily showcases California wines—especially those from Napa Valley vineyards—there’s no shortage of options from France and other parts of western Europe. Certified sommeliers are on hand to select the perfect vintage to pair with your meal, and given the food menu changes with the seasons, it never hurts to hear suggestions from a pro. The restaurant offers dozens of choices for wine both by the bottle and by the glass. To enjoy your vino without reservations, take a seat in the Napa Rose Lounge, where the full food and wine menus are also served.
Pair it with: Braised wagyu beef cheeks if you’re drinking red, hamachi crudo if you’re drinking white
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Best Milkshake: Smokejumpers GrillDisney’s California Adventure
Yes, I’m saying the milkshakes at the place next to the Soarin’ Around the World ride are better than the ones at the classic Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor on Main Street, USA. Even better than the shakes at Flo’s V8 Cafe. The specialty milkshakes at Smokejumpers Grill are easily the best. For the “Get Your Ears On” celebration in honor of Mickey Mouse’s 90th birthday, this aviation-themed eatery had a Confetti Cake Shake that incorporated sprinkles, whipped cream, vanilla ice cream, and chunks of yellow cake to create the dreamiest of milkshakes. You’d think cake in a shake wouldn’t work, but the consistency was a surprisingly sippable mix of textures that I polished off at an embarrassingly rapid pace. When there’s no birthday to commemorate, Smokejumpers offers a Cobbler Shake that’s topped with the kind of seasonal fruit you’d find in, well, cobbler.
Pair it with: Campfire chili made with black beans and bison
Best Smoothie: Surfside LoungeParadise Pier Hotel
Most theme park smoothies are dispensed from a vat full of premixed ingredients. Thankfully, this isn’t the case at the Surfside Lounge in the lobby of the Paradise Pier Hotel. The Tropical Smoothie is a mellow blend of cantaloupe, strawberries, bananas, honey, and yogurt. The smoothie is sweet enough for kids, nutritious enough to fuel you through the first few hours inside Disneyland, and provides a merciful contrast to the many corn dogs, chimichangas, and turkey legs that await in the parks. Pro tip: Share the smoothie and avocado toast with a buddy. Half of each is plenty filling, and because the toast is topped with two poached eggs, there’ll be no debate over who gets to break the yolk.
Pair it with: Avocado toast topped with braised pork belly, poached eggs, and chili oil
Best Tea: Steakhouse 55Disneyland Hotel
For tea time in Anaheim, look no further than Steakhouse 55 at the Disneyland Hotel. The equally decadent and delicate afternoon tea experiences are designed to make guests feel like British nobility. When making reservations, choose from the Classic, Premium, or Kids Tea Party—all three come with tea sandwiches, large Mickey-shaped scones, sweet treats such as cookies and cupcakes, and unlimited access to over a dozen loose-leaf teas and herbal infusions. The Kids Tea Party also includes juices, milk, and hot chocolate, whereas the Premium Tea Party opens with sparkling wine and a salad, continues with tea sandwiches and such, then concludes with chocolate truffles.
Pair it with: Traditional scones and tea sandwiches
Best Coffee: Oga’s Cantina
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland
There are two main coffee sources in Disney Parks: Starbucks and Joffrey’s, Disney’s proprietary coffee brand. Both will get you through the morning, but for something with more kick, your best bet is to hit up Oga’s Cantina bright and early for the Black Spire Brew. While the cantina is known for being the only place in Disneyland Park where guests can purchase and consume alcohol, booze-free beverages are available as well. The mixture consists of cold brew (Joffrey’s, of course), honey, falernum, passion fruit, and citrus. Those who like their caffeine spiked should try the Spiran Caf, which combines coffee, overproof rum, and orange marmalade, topped with vanilla whipped cream and citrus zest.
Pair it with: Rising moons overnight oats with dragon fruit and yogurt
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