Despite Disney having a reputation as a kid-centered wonderland, it certainly makes an effort to offer experiences adults can enjoy (and of course, pay money for!) In this article, I’ll dive into my favorite bars across the Walt Disney World resort so you can have all the information you need to enjoy a relaxing Disney World vacation! Though these are based on my own personal preferences, I still take into account the feedback I get from friends and other Disney guests, so you can trust that the list is up to date and accurate! Without further ado, here are the best bars at Disney World, starting from my top pick.
#1 Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto – Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
As the theme of the resort suggests, Trader Sam’s is a South Seas inspired tiki bar filled to the brim with Polynesian character. The entire bar transports you to a completely different place, and if you didn’t know any better, you wouldn’t remember you are at Disney World. Though I’m not the biggest fan of tropical flavors, the drink menu has tons of great picks, highlighted by the Uh-Oa! This drink is meant for multiple drinkers, and includes an incredible mix of rum, orange, passionfruit, guava, lime, cinnamon, and Falernum syrup. You’ll also be treated with a surprise when you order the drink, which may or may not involve a particular animatronic that used to be located in the Magic Kingdom’s Enchanted Tiki Room. We’ll leave it at that to ensure you still get the full experience when you order the drink!
It should be noted that Trader Sam’s only allows kids in between the hours of 4pm and 8pm, though kids activities are available at Lilo’s Playhouse nearby if you really want to enjoy a full night. Be warned that the bar (since it’s the best!) is incredibly popular, and may require a long wait to get a table inside. The bar also offers a few snack foods which pair nicely with the drinks, including pork tacos, dumplings, and sushi rolls.
#2 Oga’s Cantina – Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge – Hollywood Studios
Oga’s is the closest you’ll ever get to feeling like you’re in the Mos Eisley Cantina from the Star Wars films. The atmosphere is truly unique, and the drink options definitely match the theming. Many of the drinks will pop, fizz, or bubble to add to the alien effect. The drinks I most commonly hear as favorites are the Outer Rim cocktail (pretty much a margarita) and Bespin Fizz, which is served with dry ice to keep it bubbling the whole time you’ll be drinking it!
Since the bar is located in the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge area, it is difficult to snag a table for without a reservation. If you can’t manage to get a reservation and still really want to visit, try checking in later at night for an opening.
#3 Nomad Lounge at Tiffins – Discovery Island – Animal Kingdom
The next-door Tiffins restaurant in one of the most underrated spots across the entire Walt Disney World Resort. The African and Asian offerings feel very exotic, yet still extremely delicious. The attached Nomad’s Lounge has a similar feel and flavor. This bar is the first on the list that feels like a more traditional lounge setting, despite the intricate theming. It feels relaxing and familiar, which is a great contrast to the hectic pace of the theme parks. You can even grab a spot at the balcony facing the edge of Pandora to enjoy a great view outside with your drinks.
The “The Nomad Lounge” has a great mix of cocktails and beers, many of which are imported straight from Africa and Asia. Even if you’re a more straight-forward drinker and prefer beer, you’ll have tons of interesting options to choose from. I, however, highly recommend trying out the Annapurna Zing for a tangy mix of gin, mint, and ginger beer – served with a flower on top.
The theming of the Nomad Lounge enhances the experience by including the stories of Imagineers in the menu itself. Imagineers explored Africa and Asia while planning out the park, and the notes they took truly enhance the drinks inspired by their adventures.
Overall, there are tons of drinks to choose from, including beer or wine flights if you’re looking to taste more options. The lounge also has a fairly expansive food menu, all of which is excellent. The mix of amazing food, drink, and atmosphere make the Nomad Lounge a must-do when you are visiting Animal Kingdom.
#4 Raglan Road – Disney Springs
Since most of the list so far has been awesomely-themed bar experiences, we need to ensure that Raglan Road gets a mention. As the number 1 seller of Guinness in the world (outside of the United Kingdom), Disney Spring’s Raglan Road Pub is sure to be an amazing experience for all visitors. The bar itself includes a variety of drinks on tap you might expect (like that good ole’ Guinness), but also has a plethora of interesting cocktail options to choose from.
What makes Raglan Road so great is the live music. As an Irish Pub, you’ll get to experience the live singing, dancing, and violin playing from talented performers who clearly love what they’re doing. It’s a great spot to end a night of shopping at Disney Springs.
#5 La Cava de Tequila – Mexico Pavilion – EPCOT
The first entry into the list from EPCOT comes in surprisingly low. Though EPCOT is overall the clear winner for drinking and dining, the only spot that truly rises to the top as an elite bar is La Cava de Tequila. This spot is located inside the pyramid in Mexico and is known by many as one of the best spots in the world. While working at Disney, I always heard rumors that it’s Neil Patrick Harris’ favorite bar, which wouldn’t surprise me.
Given the bar is in Mexico and has “Tequila” in the name, there shouldn’t be any surprises on what it serves. This means tons of top-shelf options, including many rather expensive shots I can’t afford to try out. Aside from straight tequila, there are lots of great margarita options, including the fan favorite La Cava Avocado. You can grab chips and salsa, queso, or guacamole to pair with your drinks for an overall amazing experience.
The bar itself is fairly small and relatively popular, so keep that in mind when traveling around the World Showcase. You can check in at the bar itself and, while waiting, explore the rest of the beautiful pavilion.
#6 Scat Cat’s Club – Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter Resort
This jazz bar is an awesome mix of New Orleans theming, music, food, and drinks. The atmosphere of the lounge is, as most of the others on this list, impeccable. It’s a laid back spot to enjoy a performance while sipping on some excellent southern-style drinks like The Big Easy. The bar also offers a rum flight, multiple beer options, and plenty of cocktails.
What enhances the pick is the nearby beignet stand at the resort. You’re just steps away from a tantalizing dessert once you’re wrapped up with the bar. Be warned that you’re not allowed to bring the beignets into the club (powdered sugar goes everywhere!), but the bar itself serves alcohol-infused beignets. Though I prefer to keep my food and drink separate, most guests love the booze-beignets!
You can easily visit the Port Orleans resort by hopping on a boat from Disney Springs. It’s a relaxing 15-minute ride down the canal to the resort, which can be a great change of pace from the rest of a park-filled vacation. Boats run almost all night, so you’ll easily be able to make it back to Disney Springs at the end of the night.
#7 The Dahlia Lounge – Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort (Gran Destino Tower)
This bar is located at the top of the Gran Destino Tower and offers breathtaking views of a large portion of the Disney World Resort. This includes viewing of fireworks at Magic Kingdom or EPCOT, and lots of comfy outdoor seating where you can relax and enjoy your drinks. There is also plenty of space inside the bar itself, which includes a modern Spanish theme.
Drink options focus heavily on wine. There are many Spanish wine options available in 1-, 3-, and 5-ounce pours. Or, if you’re feeling particularly thirsty, you can purchase an entire bottle. The wines are paired with an expansive tapas menu highlighted by the Spanish Charcuterie. There are many specialty cocktail options available as well.
Overall, the food is great, the drinks are good, and the view is spectacular. Since it’s somewhat out of the way of most parks and Disney Springs, I think the Dahlia Lounge often flies under the radar as one of the best bars across Disney property. If you have an opening during the day or evening of your trip, it’s well worth visiting!