Walt Disney World vacations appeal to many people: families, couples, groups of friends, extended families. One thing that I love about a Disney vacation is to spend time at the resorts—each one has its own appeal and charm. And depending on who I am traveling with that can take on different characteristics. Recently on a trip with several girlfriends we took some time to visit some of the lounges and bars at various resorts which was a nice way to unwind after a day in the parks. Disney’s resort hotels have some excellent lounges and some great signature drinks. Just remember that Disney transportation is available to get you where you need to be—and there are always Minnie Vans, Uber and Lyft. Here are 10 to look for on your next vacation:
10. Honeysuckle and Lavender Lemonade
Found at Rix Sports Bar & Grill at Coronado Springs resort this combination of floral and fruity in a cocktail is a nice refreshment. Rix itself is very spacious and nice to cater to the convention crowd, but you may find it loud if there is a popular game being played. The Lemonade features Cathead Honeysuckle Vodka, Lavender bitters, Basil simple syrup and fresh lemon juice.
9. The Category 5
Over at Hurricane Hanna’s Waterside Bar & Grill at Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club you can find an appropriately named drink, the “Category 5” named for the most devastating of Hurricanes. You won’t be devastated by this fruity concoction however. Featuring Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum, Crème de Banana, Peach Schnapps, Orange and Pineapple Juice, a splash of Grenadine and a float of Gosling’s 151 Rum this is the perfect poolside beverage. If you are not a guest of the Yacht or Beach Club you won’t be allowed into the amazing Stormalong Bay Pool area, but you can still access Hurricane Hanna’s from the walkway along the resort path to enjoy your Category 5.
8. Huckleberry Punch
I love it when a cocktail fits the theme of the resort where it is being served, and the Geyser Point Bar and Grill at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort has several. My first choice to enjoy in this beautiful open-air setting with views of Bay Lake is the Huckleberry Punch made with 44 Degree North Mountain Huckleberry Vodka, Bols Crème de Cassis, fresh lemon juice and cranberry juice—sweet yet tart. Coming in second is the Apple Mule with Crown Royal Regal Apple, DeKuyper Pucker Sour Apple, and fresh lime Juice topped with Fever Tree Ginger Beer—plenty of Apple flavor for that Pacific Northwest theme with a touch of warmth.
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7. Dole Whip with Rum
Dole Whip friends you are in luck! The Dole Whip served with rum can now be found at several resorts around the Walt Disney World property. At the Polynesian Resort you can get this boozy version of your favorite pineapple soft serve at both the Pineapple Lanai and Trader Sam’s. Art of Animation serves it up at the poolside bar “The Drop Off.” And if you are visiting the Boardwalk you can find the Dole Whip with Rum at Boardwalk Joes.
6. Krakatoa Punch
Guessing by the name many of you know this is one of the many signature cocktails served up at Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto and Tiki Terrace at the Polynesian Village Resort. This “legendary” lounge serves up a lot of fun whether you are seated outside on the beautiful terrace with live music, or inside the very lively Grotto with special effects and very entertaining bar tenders and servers. The Krakatoa Punch is made with Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum, Pyrat XO Reserve Rum, Orgeat (Almond), Sam’s Gorilla Grog, and Hibiscus Grenadine. And you have the option to purchase your souvenir tiki mug. If you order inside the Grotto take note of the special effects when you order up your Krakatoa Punch.
5. Grand Cosmopolitan
If you are looking for a little bit quieter and more refined lounge experience you may want to monorail away from Trader Sam’s and over to Mizner’s Lounge at the Grand Floridian. Here everything has an air of Victorian charm, and listening to the live orchestra just puts it over the top. Here I chose the Grand Cosmopolitan Purity Vodka and a splash of Cranberry Juice topped with Grand Marnier. Seems like the perfect cocktail for this resort.
4. Nola Cola
The Nola Cola is my choice for the pool bars at both Port Orleans Resorts, French Quarter and Riverside. It just seems like the perfect themed drink for these resorts that are themed after New Orleans. Muddy Rivers at Riverside and Mardi Grogs over at French Quarter are smaller bars located by their pools, but they serve up some fun drinks themed to New Orleans. The Nola Cola is Bayou Spiced Rum, pineapple juice and Monin Desert Pear blended with raspberry puree. Other fun drinks include Front Porch Freeze, Gata-Melon Juice, and All That Jazz.
3. Mt. Kilimarita
One of my favorite resorts to visit even if I’m not staying there is the Animal Kingdom Lodge. The architecture is amazing, the Cast Members and Cultural Representatives are phenomenal, and the animals on the savanna are breathtaking. I encourage you to pay a visit to the resort and spend some time there, and make a stop by the Victoria Falls lounge. Another pretty setting for some great drinks themed to the resort. You can choose from the Victoria Falls Mist or the Nyami, Nyami, but my choice is the Mt. Kilimarita (as corny as the name may sound). This is an African Margarita with Patron Silver Tequila, Van der Hum Tangerine Liqueur, Sweet-and-Sour with a splash of cranberry juice.
2. Lapu Lapu
Back at the Polynesian resort, you can’t resist the pull of the signature Tiki drink served up in the Pineapple. This classic cocktail is served at the Tambu Lounge located on the second floor of the Polynesian’s Great Ceremonial House where seating near floor to ceiling windows provides great views of the resort and across the Seven Seas Lagoon to the Magic Kingdom and Cinderella’s Castle. The Lapu Lapu is a combination of Myers’s Original Dark Rum and Tropical Fruit Juices served in a fresh Pineapple topped with Goslings 151 Rum. Honorable mention goes to the other Tiki favorite the Backscratcher.
My number 1 selection goes to the HippopotoMai-Tai (tongue twister of a name, especially after you’ve had a few) from Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto at the Polynesian. This lounge is just so much fun and the drinks so appropriate to the theme (not to mention tasty) it deserves two mentions on this list. The HippopotoMai-Tai is Coruba Dark Rum, Bacardi Superior Rum, Bols Orange Curaçao, Orgeat (Almond), Organic Agave Nectar, and fresh Lime Juice. It is a generous pour and a very tasty take on the Mai Tai. And that souvenir “glass” is absolutely adorable—a little ceramic Tiki head (mine is smiling at me from my desk right now to remind me of the fun at Trader Sam’s.
What are your favorite grown-up beverages at Walt Disney World’s Resort Hotels?