Orlando seems like a lifetime ago now and I am already desperate to go back. Both myself and DJ are complete Disney kids, I would go every year if I could physically afford it, so many people misjudge Disney World as just the theme parks and cannot quite understand the obsession, but it is honestly so much more than that. Yes, theme parks are outstanding, and yes Disney magic is 100% real, but there is also so much more alongside the parks, for our visit this time we were lucky enough to stay on site which allowed us to make full us of all the facilities, including the many bars and restaurants, whatever cuisine or theme you fancy, I guarantee you will find it somewhere inside Walt Disney World. After a long day in the parks (or half way through the day if you are us!) it is essential to chill out with a cold beer or cocktail, so here is our guide to the best bars in the Walt Disney World Resort, Orlando.
1. House of Blues, Location: Disney Springs
Disney Springs is full of bars, but the House of Blues is our favourite. The restaurant itself sells damn good food, I’m talking a kilo of tater tots topped with chilli cheese and pulled pork, but outside they have a bar that sells cocktails and various Ales, where they also have different acoustic artists playing each evening which goes perfectly with the warm Florida evenings. Attached they also have a gig venue, so if you are heading there it is worth seeing who is playing, as they often have quite well-known artists.
2. AbracadaBar, Location: Disney’s Boardwalk
This bar is special and completely encompasses Disney magic and the immense details that are put into everything they do. Based on Disney’s Boardwalk, Abracadabar is somewhere you could visit plenty of times and discover something new, from changing paintings to secret signs in the wallpaper and of course hidden Mickeys, this immersive bar is a must when exploring Disney. Talk to the bar staff to discover all the secrets that this sophisticated bar holds.
3. Sanaa, Location: Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
Based inside the hotel, not the theme park, Sanaa offers cocktails with a view, and that view is the sunset of the “African” savannah, with a wonderful view of the Giraffes, Zebras and Kudus. Google the estimated time of sunset and head over just before to grab your seat before you are transported from Orlando to the plains of Africa. Sanaa also has a restaurant that serves East African cuisine with Indian Flavours.
4. The World Showcase, Location: Epcot
This may be slightly cheating as it is multiple bars, but for those that are not aware, the World Showcase is inside Epcot and is divided into countries of the world, each of which replicates their most famous landmarks, traditions, cuisines and drinks, it is something I never appreciated as a child, but now I adore it. When else will ever get to drink in Germany, Mexico, Japan and France in one afternoon? Each country serves their traditional drink and it will be served by a native of that country.
5. Jelly Rolls, Location: Disney’s Boardwalk
If you are looking for a full evening’s entertainment head to Jelly Rolls, there is a ¢20 admission free but you will be in for a musical treat! Jelly Rolls is a duelling piano bar that works on requests, from classics to current and a few Disney songs thrown in for good measure, it is a whole lot of fun!
6. Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto, Location: Polynesian Resort
We didn’t actually visit here as we run out of time, but I had to include it in as it was recommended by so many people. The Tiki inspired bar serves a whole bunch of fruit and rum cocktails, including the infamous pineapple dole whip. Aside from its delightful drinks and atmosphere, this bar is a must because if you head out to the Tiki Terrace just before 9 pm you can watch the Magic Kingdom fireworks without any of the crowds from the park!
All of these bars are open to both guests staying off or on site, so if you have time I really recommend exploring what Disney has to offer outside of the Theme parks. Also if you are off site, we found Uber to be incredibly affordable in Orlando, much more so than the cabs, so getting back to your hotel or villa should not be an issue.
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