#10 High Octane Refreshments – Disney’s Hollywood Studios – Tucked back in the corner of Streets of America across from the Studio Backlot Tour, this outdoor walk-up offers a variety of frozen and specialty cocktails (I like the Rum Runner!) as well as wines and beers, both bottled and on tap. There are several small tables, but with the afternoon sun beating down, I had a hard time finding some shade. Note: This location has been closed to make room for the new Star Wars and Toy Story Lands.
#9 Cookes of Dublin Patio – Downtown Disney – Watch the crowds walk by at this little spot next to Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant. I like to grab a pint here and relax after hours of shopping. And it may be one of the few places in America that serves a proper pint of Magner’s over ice, a perfect refreshing beverage for a warm day. It’s also a great place to meet up with friends without going into a restaurant. You can grab a bite from the Cookes counter and bring it out to the patio.
#8 Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar – Italy Pavilion, Epcot – Just like the name says, this is a cozy, somewhat dark wine “cellar” that also offers small plates. They have a nice selection of Italian wines, meats and cheeses as well as a few dishes from the Tutto Italia kitchen. It’s a must-do for every wine lover.
#7 Tune-In Lounge – Disney’s Hollywood Studios – This would rate much higher on my list except for the fact that there aren’t really tables to sit at since it serves as the “waiting room” for the 50’s Prime Time Restaurant. The bar has a dozen or more seats and you can actually order off the restaurant menu and dine here. The rest of the room is decorated to look like a mid-20th century suburban rec room, complete with black & white TV screens playing clips of old shows. They have nice drinks here like Dad’s Electric Lemonade and Grandma’s Picnic Punch and I do like the atmosphere.
#6 Tambu Lounge – Polynesian Resort –This iconic bar next to ‘Ohana restaurant features delicious tropical beverages like the Lapu Lapu served in a fresh pineapple. A visit to this lounge is a tradition with many long-time Disney guests, whether they’re staying at the Polynesian or hopping off the monorail from the Magic Kingdom.
#2 & 1 – Perhaps not surprisingly, Epcot boasts a tie between my personal favorites: La Cava del Tequila (Mexico Pavilion) and the Rose & Crown Pub (United Kingdom Pavilion). They are both wonderful places to escape from the hot Florida sun or just to relax over drinks and conversation.
Honorable Mention: One of my favorite cocktails, the Yak Attack, comes from the Yak & Yeti restaurant in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park. I couldn’t include it on this list, however, because it’s really not a lounge – just a service bar inside a restaurant. Do stop in and get a Yak Attack to go or, if you’re lucky, you might be able to enjoy it at one of the few stools at the bar.
There are other places I need to try, but it’s hard not to visit my favorites and there’s never enough time to do everything! I hope you’ll make time to enjoy some lively libations on your next visit. Leave comments here and let me know your favorite spots. Happy and safe travels!