When most people hear the words Walt Disney World it evokes some type of feeling. It is a place of nostalgia, a place where dreams come true and memories are made. Walt Disney always wanted his parks to be ever changing and evolving along with current technologies and trends. Disney World does a great job keeping up with this motto but when you really think about it, us frequent park guests kind of do the same with each vacation. Over the 46 years that the park has been open so much has changed but I’m sure you have as well. Now you are looking at it through a whole new light, watching your kids’ faces light up the first time they see the castle or maybe a trip with a spouse or friends while you take on the epic challenge of drinking around the world at EPCOT. As your Disney experience evolves from childhood into adulthood you take on a whole new view of things. Maybe you skip the kiddie attractions, appreciate the top of the line service more, and maybe you appreciate the opportunity to relax and enjoy an adult beverage in paradise after spending the money for this amazing vacation.
Over the years Disney has really expanded their adult appeal. While the resort remains extremely family friendly they also realize that adults with no children make up a third of their guests per year. I’m sure they also know that after spending a small fortune and 10 hours in a hot park with small children you may need a drink or two. Almost everything at Disney can get planned well in advance but there are just sometimes you need an adult time out. As brief as it may be you should treat yourself, take a few minutes to break the itinerary and drink a cold beer in the hot sun. If you are on a tight schedule between fast passes, dining reservations, and catching transports I always follow this motto: If you are going to take time to enjoy a beer, make it a good one. That being said, here is a list of the top eight “can’t miss” beers on property. Some of them are pretty hard to find on your local liquor store shelves so relax, enjoy and truly appreciate the time people put into these beverages to get them into one of the best vacation spots in the world.
8. Oskar Blues G’Knight Imperial Double IPA – Raglan Road at Disney Springs
This is a a double IPA which means it’s heavy on hops and has a higher ABV or “alcohol content” than your basic domestic beer. A normal domestic is about 4.6% while this beer packs a punch at 8.7%. While it still has the bitterness of a classic IPA it also has hinted undertones of passion fruit, raspberry, pineapple and citrus . This beer hails from a craft brewery in Longmont, CO. This is also a cast favorite of the majority of bartenders at Raglan Road….one of the original bars in Disney Springs.
7. Kona Fire Rock Pale Ale – Oasis Bar at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
The newly created Oasis Bar has most of the same offerings as the rest of the pool bars at Disney’s deluxe resorts . However, while most offer the classic and popular Kona Longboard the offerings at the Poly offer a variety from the highly rated Hawaiian brewery. Fire Rock is a crisp Hawaiian style pale ale . It’s far less hoppy than your traditional IPA. It almost tastes as if Yuengling Lager (the first American brewery) and the newly popular Fat Tire had a love child. It definitely has a very classic amber taste and appeals to a wide variety of palates.
6.Toasted Coconut Porter – Raglan Road-Disney Springs
The Toasted Coconut Porter from Orange Blossom Brewing Company in Orlando, Florida makes you proud to support an original local craft brew that took a risk and nailed it. It’s very hard to make a fruit taste infused beer as appealing and impressive as they did. It also has a slightly higher ABV (5.25%) than your classic domestic. It’s your traditional dark brown porter with subtle hints of coconut and dark grains that make it both suitable for the tropical months of summer and warm enough to be a winter favorite.
5. Spaten Optimator Doppelbock Bier – Biergarten in EPCOT
When you visit Germany in World Showcase you expect great beer and this German classic won’t disappoint. Brewed by Spaten-Franziskaner this dark and nutty doppelbock really has a strong ABV. Coming in at 7.60% it will impress even the most discerning beer drinker. It’s smooth so you don’t really realize the strength that this beer has. It has a medium body that really appeals to everyone and has some light caramel hints that disguise it’s strength.
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4. Victory Golden Monkey – American Pavillion in EPCOT
Hailing from Downingtown, PA this Belgian style Tripel really makes you appreciate a Belgian style beer while in “America”. This beer truly has it all. It has the rich notes of fruit and spice and finishes somewhere in between dry and sweet. This beer has an extremely high ABV at 9.5% so you should not underestimate this offering.
3. Mo’ara High Country Ale – Pandora in Disney’s Animal Kingdom
There are two beer offerings in the new land of Pandora at Animal Kingdom and two places to get them. When exploring the brand new land of Pandora you can either go to Pongu Pongu or Satu’li Canteen. While Satu’li Canteen is a quick service restaurant it still offers seating, alcohol, and fabulous selections. Terrapin Brewery in Athens, GA brings you the exclusive offerings at Pandora. Both choices are fairly light and classic. Beer enthusiasts should try both, neither will disappoint. The Mo’ara High Country Ale is a bit darker and has a stronger flavor than the Grog Ale, their other offering. If you like your beer a bit darker you should select this one over the other.
2. Hawkes Grog Ale – Pandora in Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Also from Terrapin Brewery in Athens, GA this blue/green colored beer is very appealing to the eye. It is smooth and classic, and will lure in a wide variety of different palates while invoking that special “Disney feeling” that only green beer in Pandora can bring as a new Disney favorite. If you are in the majority that prefers the classic American domestic beers that you are familiar with then you will love this selection. It’s light enough that you will not venture outside of your comfort zone while letting you enjoy and introduce subtle new tastes that only crafts can provide.
1. Kungaloosh Spiced Ale – Asia, Animal Kingdom
Thirsty River Bar in Disney’s Animal Kingdom offers a true hidden gem with this unique beer. Kungaloosh Spiced Ale from Concrete Beach Brewery out of Miami was the most surprisingly amazing beer I have probably ever experienced at Walt Disney World Resort. If you truly appreciate a unique beer then you may want to step outside of your comfort zone because I guarantee you will be impressed. No matter what kind of beer you normally gravitate towards, I cannot imagine anyone not giving this beer the credit it deserves. Take a sip, you will completely understand.
Every trip that you take to this magical place is a unique experience. It all depends on things like who you are with, the attractions and shows you choose to experience, and where you decide to stay and dine. It can be tiresome, hectic, and expensive but it will always be worth every bit of it. So when you choose to relax and take it all in then raise your glass and say “cheers” to another amazing vacation.