Beer, wine, and mixed drinks can be purchased at Disneyland in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, plus Disney California Adventure, the three hotels, and Downtown Disney. Here’s our guide to the best beer and mixed drinks available throughout Disneyland Resort.
While it’s not as popular as Drinking Around the World at Epcot in Walt Disney World, leisurely afternoon spent exploring the various Disneyland Resort bars is a lot of fun. Plus, all of these bars are within a short walk of one another given Disneyland’s condensed footprint, so it’s easy to hit them all in one day.
Some of the mixed drinks here might be off-menu at some locations, but they’re listed because the bartenders at the given location do a great job with these drinks. We try to give a couple suggestions for each location so that you don’t have to order a random drink off what I “lovingly” prefer to as the Generic DisneyParks® Drink Menu®.
I loathe this menu of sugar-water and vibrantly color concoctions meant to appeal only to vacationers who don’t regularly drink. It is the epitome of what is wrong with the contemporary Disney theme parks: homogenization that has replaced unique experiences in the name of saving a few bucks because bean-counters either don’t understand the “Disney Difference,” or think most guests won’t notice, anyway.
More importantly, if you’re someone who has the mental and physical fortitude to partake in a bar crawl of Disneyland Resort, you will be largely unimpressed by these drinks. Plus, consuming more than a couple will make you sick to your stomach from an overdose of sugar.
Because of this, we make recommendations that are either unique to each specific stop on our tour, or are drinks most bartenders at the locations in question know how to make. Order these, or order something else you enjoy that the bartender knows how to make. You order drinks off the Generic DisneyParks® Drink Menu® at your own peril.
Obviously you should use your head when consuming alcohol. Eat a big early-lunch before you start, make sure to stay hydrated, and spread out your drinking. This is enough fun that it should be an all day event, so take your time. We recommend starting at around noon and concluding late in the evening.
Every good bar crawl needs a good name, and we’re fresh out. Epcot has “Drinking Around the World,” which is a very solid name, but nothing spectacular for Disneyland sticks out like that. In lieu of something better, I’m going to call this the Disneyland Drinking Debauchery. Sounds a little more risque than it actually is, but I like alliterations.
It’s scientifically proven that the best place to start the Disneyland Drinking Debauchery is in Disney California Adventure. Laugh if you want, but there is a very good reason for this: DCA has some attractions that are enhanced with alcohol. Seriously, it’s like adding bacon to a cupcake. The cupcake is great on its own and you never knew it could be enhanced with bacon, but now that it has, wow.
These alcohol-enhanced attractions are Incredicoaster, Silly Symphony Swings, Goofy’s Sky School, and the Golden Zephyr. In other words, the stuff on Paradise/Pixar Pier. “Science” is needed here because you need to consume the perfect amount of alcohol to enhance these experiences. Drink too little, and they’re the same as they normally are. Drink too much, and it’s Upchuck-City. Population: everyone in your general vicinity.
Okay, let’s get started with the fun!
Oga’s Cantina – Located inside Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, this is the only place you can order alcohol inside Disneyland (for now) without joining the highly-exclusive Club 33. Since you probably won’t be doing that, Oga’s Cantina is your go-to option, which is actually slightly disappointing–all of the drinks are premixed and pretty light on alcohol.
We think Oga’s Cantina is worth visiting if only for the fact that it’s the closest you’ll ever get to stepping foot inside Mos Eisley Cantina. Our recommendation here is to stick with beer. Alternatively, for a fun mixed drink option, go for the Fuzzy Tauntaun. It’s fruity, but the citrus flavor is not too sweet. Moreover, the Buzzz Foam contains a natural numbing agent, that will literally make your mouth tingle.
Ultimately, though, we recommend starting over at the next stop in DCA and getting a bit of a real buzz before back-tracking to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge to enjoy the ambiance in Oga’s Cantina. Read our full Oga’s Cantina Star Wars Land Bar Reviewfor more thoughts & photos of the entire drink menu–and the interior of this cool outer rim establishment for scoundrels and other notorious patrons straight from the Star Wars universe.
Disney California Adventure
Carthay Circle Lounge – Part of the all-new Buena Vista Street, Carthay Circle contains a restaurant and two lounges. The first lounge, 1901, is available only to “upgraded” Club 33 members. The other lounge is where you’ll be stopping, and it’s no slouch, either–this is arguably the best bar in all of Disneyland Resort. The decor is classy and elegant, and most importantly, the lounge has its own unique menu. There are several great options on this menu, with different types of custom ice (seriously) to boot.
My personal favorite is the Carthay Manhattan. Sarah enjoys the Carthay Club Mojito. The Aviator Cocktail is a good, strong drink, too. Be careful when you step into Carthay Circle Lounge, as this could be the first and last stop on your Disneyland Debauchery Drinking tour. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as the drinks here are seriously good. Read our full Carthay Circle Restaurant Review for more.
Alfresco Tasting Terrace – This location is a secluded area upstairs from Wine Country Trattoria, and is now available exclusively to Annual Passholders. Our favorite thing about Alfresco Tasting Terrace is the setting–the views from this seating area into Cars Land are phenomenal.
Of course, if you’re not an AP, this doesn’t do you much good–but there are great drinks down below at Sonoma Terrace, which is open to the general public. These are all wine bars, so I’d caution against straying from wines and beers. We’ve never had a good mixed drink here. It features more tasting plates and a robust drink menu, as you can read in our Alfresco Tasting Terrace Review.
Bayside Brews – Bayside Brews is located near the Silly Symphony Swings, Golden Zephyr, and Goofy’s Sky School. Unsurprisingly, it serves beer. Although it’s just a little stand, it is notable because it serves good beer as compared to other beer stands in Disneyland. We recommend grabbing a Ballast Point Grapefruit Sculpin IPA or whatever the Karl Strauss seasonal beer happens to be. The Torpedo IPA is definitely your best bet, and possibly the best beer you can find at Disneyland Resort.
We highly recommend grabbing your brew from Bayside Brews, and then heading over to the actual bayside, to the secluded seating area under Silly Symphony Swings. Enjoy your beer there in peace while looking out over the water, and then head upstairs for the ride of your life on the swings!
Lamplight Lounge – The next stop has transformed several times since we first published this bar crawl guide to Disneyland. For most of its existence, it was Cove Bar, an ordinary open-air lounge overlooking Paradise Bay. It received modest enhancements when Cars Land and Buena Vista Street debuted, which upped the atmosphere and improved the menu.
It exploded in popularity. Beyond DCA becoming more popular, a contributing factor was undoubtedly viral images of Lobster Nachos and colorful drinks on Instagram and Pinterest. Disney then expanded the seating area, nearly doubling the size of the lounge. Shortly after that, the transformation of this area into Pixar Pier was announced, and this became the Pixar-inspired Lamplight Lounge. The existing lounge consumed the adjacent character restaurant, again doubling the venue’s size.
Lamplight Lounge is significantly more expensive than its predecessor, but it’s nevertheless home to a spectacular menu. We love the brunch here, and when it comes to the normal lunch and dinner menu, there is one thing you should absolutely order here: the Lobster Nachos. These are “a zen-like experience that makes you feel like there are little angels massaging your taste buds and tickling your stomach…a religious experience.” (Read our Lamplight Lounge Review for other food recommendations.)
There are a variety of specialty drinks here, many of which feature an interesting presentation. If you want something that photographs well, go for one of these (the Server Room Chill is pictured above). Our recommended options for good and potent drinks are the Teaser, Sunrise Spectacular, Nectar in the Rye, and the Short. Lamplight Lounge also has around 10 beers on tap, so pick one of those if you’re not down with mixed drinks.
Flo’s V8 Cafe – The latest addition to our list is quite possibly the best stop of all. If you’ve paced things really slowly, you might be here around sunset. That’s the perfect time to drink at Flo’s! Grab a Racer 5 IPA and head back to the outdoor seating area at the back of the restaurant. Here, you have a perfect view of the Cadillac Mountain Range and Radiator Springs Racers.
There’s nothing quite like an early evening enjoying a beer and watching the cars fly by one of Imagineering’s masterpieces. You might just find yourself ending your debauchery here, as you get “stuck” at this spot for a couple of hours. Make no mistake–even though you’re not missing the mission, this is a noble feat.
GCH Craftsman Bar – This new venue scores huge points for its food menu, which is superlative. The nachos are a great shared starter, the Forest Mushroom Pizza is a rich shared entree, and the Maine Lobster Quesadilla is absolutely spectacular. It’s the perfect spot for a late afternoon dinner and drinks.
The ambiance is also incredibly relaxed, with daytime sunlight dotting the setting. At night, there’s live music, which is a nice touch. The low-key lighting provided by the Arts & Crafts lanterns and popcorn lighting is also quite nice. Read our full GCH Craftsman Bar Review for more.
Hearthstone Lounge – Hearthstone Lounge has a pretty good selection of beers, with a lot of the standard choices available elsewhere from Karl Strauss and Sierra Nevada. You can also find some choices from Sam Adams and New Castle, among others.
Here, we definitely recommend sitting at the bar or at least ordering from the bar. We’ve had inexperienced servers here in the general seating area who simply recommend “any of the good drinks on the menu” with the menu being the Generic DisneyParks® Drink Menu®. I typically opt for a Sierra Nevada here, whereas Sarah usually experiments with whatever “bartender’s choice.” These drinks have always tasted great, but beware, they can pack a punch!
Napa Rose is more well known for its world class wine collection, so if you’re into wine, you might go that route. Rather than taking my advice on that, ask the bartender or a server. All of the servers here are sommeliers, meaning they know a heck of a lot more about wine than me!
Trader Sam’s – Enchanted Tiki Bar – After World of Color, the perfect way to cap off the evening is at the best bar in all of Disneyland Resort, Trader Sam’s. If you want a thorough review of Trader Sam’s, read this review where I offer heaping amounts of praise to Trader Sam’s. The CliffNotes version: Trader Sam’s is the coolest bar in Disneyland, with an intimate (47 person capacity) location that is packed with an astonishing amount of detail, interactive elements, and some fantastic drinks.
Some of these drinks include the Adventurers Club Kungaloosh (a Walt Disney World classic), the HippopotoMai-Tai, Shrunken Zombie Head, Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Rum, Shipwreck on the Rocks, and the Uh Oa! The Uh Oa! can be shared by 2-4 people, has a cool tableside presentation, and is our favorite drink at Trader Sam’s. Trader Sam’s does serve some good beers as well, but this is one location where you should stick to mixed drinks because they’re really that good. It’s the perfect conclusion to Disneyland Drinking Debauchery.
Other Stops – There are other places you can stop, but chances are, even with taking it slow and spreading out the festivities over the course of the entire day, eight stops will be the limit (or even too much) for most people. The stops above are our picks for the best drinking spots in Disneyland. However, since we heavily weigh ambiance, there might be some additional or alternative places that might appeal more to you personally, depending upon your preferences. Here’s our list of the best of the rest:
Club 33, Disneyland (park)
Ballast Point, Downtown Disney
Black Tap, Downtown Disney
Uva Bar, Downtown Disney
Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen, Downtown Disney
Steakhouse 55, Disneyland Hotel
Surfside Lounge, Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel
Of this list, if you somehow are invited to Club 33, go there for sure (read our Club 33 history post). Their Mint Julep is exceptional and the bartenders there know their stuff. The Downtown Disney locations can be fun, but many of these locations can be found in other cities throughout the country. Steakhouse 55 is a restaurant comparable to Napa Rose–the lounge is worth visiting for the layer cake alone. Surfside Lounge only makes the list so there’s a location on the list from all Disneyland Resort “areas.” It’s actually a terrible choice because it’s awkwardly located in the lobby.
By following the tips above, your Disneyland Drinking Debauchery will be high on fun and good libations, and low on upset stomachs and the nefarious type of debauchery. Remember to drink in moderation and be courteous to fellow guests, as Disneyland is a family vacation destination, not your local college dive bar!
What are your favorite Disneyland Resort drinks? If you have any tips or drink recommendations for Disneyland Drinking Debauchery? Do you agree or disagree with our bar crawl advice? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!