Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida is the most magical place on earth. Sure, it’s cliche, but it’s true, too. World travelers or not, we’re total Disney lovers. Recently, we’ve developed a Disney Strategy (we have lots of Disney Strat, which you can read about in our guide: How to Do Disney) to maximize Disney magic, while saving as much money as we can on park tickets. Here’s how it works: in between park days, we get our Disney fix on the cheap by bouncing between the free stuff at Disney World. You know – the things outside of the Disney World parks, that you don’t need a park ticket for. In this case, we’re talking about the Walt Disney World resorts! Driven by a need to experience that Disney magic on a budget, we developed a Disney Resort Bar Crawl that will get you that boozey Disney fix, all without entering a single park. Oh, and it uses Disney’s free transportation, of course. Everyone knows about Drinking Around the World at Epcot – and a few folks have probably even heard of the Monorail Pub Crawl – but we’ve developed a huge, comprehensive Disney Resort Bar Crawl, all without needing a park ticket. Disney World on a budget? Check. Disney magic galore? Check. Boozy Disney for adults fun? Um, check! Grab your ID and leave the kids behind – you’re going to have a blast on this Disney Resort Bar Crawl!
Table of Contents
- 1 Disney World on a Budget & Disney Outside of the Parks
- 2 Disney World for Adults: Why we Love the Disney World Bars
- 3 Things to Know About the Walt Disney World Resort Bar Crawl
- 4 How to Do the Disney World Resort Bar Crawl
- 5 Disney Bar Crawl Stop #1: Siestas Cantina at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort
- 6 Disney Bar Crawl Stop #2: Disney’s Boardwalk
- 7 Disney Bar Crawl Stop #3: Beaches & Cream at Disney’s Beach Club Resort
- 8 Disney Bar Crawl Stop #4: The Gurgling Suitcase at Disney’s Old Key West Resort
- 9 Disney Bar Crawl Stop #5: Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar at Disney Springs
- 10 Disney Bar Crawl Stop #6: Muddy Rivers at Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside Resort
- 11 Disney Bar Crawl Stop #7: Territory Lounge at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
- 12 Disney Bar Crawl Stop #8: Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto and Tiki Hut at Disney’s Polynesian Resort
- 13 End Your Disney World Resort Bar Crawl with Fireworks!
- 14 Printables: The Disney World Scavenger Hunt & Disney Resort Bar Crawl Directions
Disney World on a Budget & Disney Outside of the Parks
We love Disney World and I wish we could go every year! The only problem? Our budget doesn’t love our Disney habit! Way back when I was a cast member at Disney World, I could go to the parks every single day for free. I could hop on a free bus, pull up to any park I wished, and stroll in just to grab a Mickey Bar or take a castle selfie before hopping right back home. I miss it so much. But that was a few years ago, and these days, I have to pay to visit Disney World just like everyone else. And oh, it hurts. It’s so freaking expensive. Like, worth it? But expensive. Y’all Disney lovers know what I mean, right? Luckily, you don’t have to go bankrupt to enjoy an amazing day at Disney World.
The parks aren’t the only places that Disney magic abounds. Every Walt Disney World resort and Disney World bar is filled with the magical theming and happy cast members you’d expect, totally decked out to transport you from Orlando to a world of magic. And best of all, not all of the Disney World resorts come with a huge price tag. In fact, the All-Star Resorts, Pop Century, and the Art of Animation are often cheaper than booking a hotel off of Disney property! In the off season – from January to March, which is when we always go – you can usually grab a room in a Disney World for under $100 (psst – book during the fall sale in October for the biggest discounts). In addition to a place to stay on Disney property, you’ll get all of the perks of staying at a Disney Resort, like free parking, free Disney World transportation, and best of all, Extra Magic Hours!
As a bonus, we’ve designed our Disney Resort Bar Crawl to overlap with our epic 75 question Disney World Scavenger Hunt, one of the best things to do at Disney for adults. In our FREE Disney World Scavenger Hunt, you’ll find a whole section devoted to the Disney World resorts – and many of them overlap with the Disney World Resort Bar Crawl! Drinking, Disney, and a ridiculous scavenger hunt? That sounds like my idea of a fun day out, y’all. I just wish I could get a re-do on my bachelorette party….
Surprisingly budget-friendly accommodation isn’t all Disney Resorts have to offer either. Most of them feature a quick service food court as well as a phenomenal signature dining experience, and ALL of them feature the best thing to get through your family vacation: a bar. Yes folks, Disney for adults is every bit as magical and wonderful as Disney for umm .. not-adults.
Disney World for Adults: Why we Love the Disney World Bars
So, there are bars, and then there are Disney World Bars, which are on their own sphere of existence. Disney World is home to some truly amazing bars, full of delicious unique Disney drinks. As with everything Disney touches, the bars at Disney World are totally themed, expertly designed, full of delicious drinks, and incredibly fun. Drinking at Disney is one of our favorite things to do at Disney World for adults. But with so many Disney World bars to choose from, which one should you visit? The answer is all of them.
Okay, not all of them. You’d end up in a hospital.
But you can hit a whole bunch of them at once by doing a well-planned Disney bar crawl, like the one we’ve designed. There are few other well-known Disney pub crawls. Of course there’s drinking around the world at Epcot, but you have to go into Epcot. Then there’s the Disney Monorail Bar Crawl, which is easy but … tiny. And not representative of the best Disney World bars, in our humble opinions. We took the Monorail Bar Crawl and pumped it up and added roughly a zillion other awesome Disney Bars. We set out to include not just the hotel on the Monorail line, but the Disney Springs bars, the Boardwalk, and a bunch of the best Disney Resort bars, too! Not only do you not have to go into the Disney Parks to do our Disney pub crawl, but you don’t even have to be a Disney Resorts guest, either!
In planning our Disney Resorts Bar Crawl, we did our best to drink ourselves under the table … just for you! Ok, no, it was totally for us. You guys are just a bonus. We examined almost every Disney World bar that didn’t require a park ticket, and drank as much as we possibly could (you know, like for research). Then, we took the best bars of the bunch and mapped them out using free Disney World transportation, for that Disney World on a budget vibe. After much careful research and evaluation (and a LOT of drinks), we constructed this roadmap to the ultimate bar crawl through the Disney World Resorts!
Things to Know About the Walt Disney World Resort Bar Crawl
Here’s what you need to know before setting off with your besties to explore the wonderful world of Disney World bars.
- You don’t need to pay for anything other than drinks to pull this Disney pub crawl off. No park tickets, no entrance fees. Not even parking! We’ve worked it all out for you to be as budget-friendly as possible.
- We designed the Disney World Resort Bar Crawl to be accessible for non-Disney World guests. If you ARE doing the parks, there are certain perks we won’t mention (like parking at your own resort, or entering a park for a break). You should be able to do this bar crawl without being a guest at a resort or visiting the Disney World parks at all.
- Pretty much every form of Disney World transportation comes about once every 15 minutes. This could mean reaching your destination could take up to an hour if you have a transfer. Allow plenty of time to get from point to point. Generally though, that’s a good thing, because pacing yourself between delicious Disney drinks is safer and probably better for your liver.
- If at any point, you don’t want to follow our transportation instructions, you can always take Mears, the on-property Disney World cab company. Just ask a friendly cast member for assistance.
- You will be visiting flicsome Disney Resort pools, but you ARE NOT allowed to swim there unless you are staying at that resort! Pool hopping/pool crashing is taken very seriously at Walt Disney World, and will result in being kicked off of the whole property, not just the resort. Don’t do it. (Also, side note? Drunk swimming is dangerous. Be safe.)
- This Disney activity is 21+ and for adults only. I mean, I hope that’s clear, but just in case, let me reiterate. Leave your kids at the resort (or in a park)! This is a Disney for Adults activity!
How to Do the Disney World Resort Bar Crawl
Now that we’ve gotten the basics out of the way, let’s talk logistics.
- When to Start: We recommend beginning the Disney Resort Bar Crawl at around noon. If you don’t mind judging eyes, start as early as 11AM to allow extra time. You’ll be drinking well into the night to complete the bar crawl (or however much your body will allow you).
- Where to Park: Park at the free surface parking at Disney Springs. It’s kind of a weird spot to park, I know, but it’s the only free parking on Disney property. Walk the long distance to the Town Center area, where you’ll find the bus terminal. Note: if you’re lucky enough to be a guest staying at a Disney World Resort, park at the Ticket & Transit Center, which is a good central hub for Disney World transportation.
Step one is to take the bus to Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort so your Disney World Resort Bar Crawl can begin!
Disney Bar Crawl Stop #1: Siestas Cantina at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort
After parking your car at Disney Springs, hop on a bus to Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort, the first stop on our journey. At Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort, you’ll be starting out your day of drinking with some Mexican-themed poolside refreshments.
Walk through the lobby and ⅓ of the way around the lagoon (counter clockwise) you’ll reach “The Dig Site,” a big heated pool sitting at the feet of a giant Mayan pyramid. Sorry, you can’t have a go on the waterslide. Next to the pool is one of Disney’s Coronado Springs’ bars: Siestas Cantina. The other (far more posh) bar on site, Rix Lounge, unfortunately doesn’t open until 4, but don’t you worry. Siestas offers everything that Rix Lounge does for slightly cheaper (except a margarita flight, but maybe if you ask really nicely Siestas will give you one).
Our favorite drinks at Coronado Springs are the Mango Blueberry Basil Margarita, the Passionfruit Margarita, and the strawberry mango Margarita Fiesta. Sooo … margaritas.
After your delicious Margarita, walk back to the bus stop you were dropped off at (at the entrance of Disney’s Coronado Springs) and take the bus to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Once at Hollywood Studios, walk to the right of the gates, where you’ll find the ferry. That’s right. You’re going to take the boat to the next bar.
Disney Bar Crawl Stop #2: Disney’s Boardwalk
The Boardwalk, like those in the real world, has a lot to offer in the way of booze, food, games, and shopping. This is the point where we offer you a choice: margaritas, beer, or fruity and frozen cocktails by the pool? Or screw it, do all three. Here are your Choose-Your-Own-Adventure options.
- If you’re feeling the Margarita vibe and want to keep it going, check out Joe’s Margaritas, a little drink stand located smack dab in the middle of the boardwalk. Their drink options are: Classic Marg, a margarita made with Patron (ooh you fancy huh?), and Strawberry or Watermelon Margaritas. It’s a simple stand, but you can’t go wrong with it.
- In a beer mood? Head to The Boardwalk Grille. They brew their beers in house, so this is the only place on the property to enjoy them. The best part of this place? Their beer flights include SEVEN beers for the INSANE price of just $8.50! That’s cheap even for bars not at Disney World. This beer flight is my favorite budget-friendly Disney drink.
- Want to keep the pool bar vibe going? Walk toward Disney’s Boardwalk Inn and find their pool bar, The Leaping Horse Libations. You’ll notice a different selection of frozen drinks here, and you’ll probably want all of them. Something to keep in mind is Leaping Horse has the same menu as most of Disney’s bars, so you will see this menu one more time on this crawl. One reason it’s included here is the carnival theme is pretty rad.
Whatever your drink is, once you’re done walk to the end of Disney’s Boardwalk (the side with the ESPN Store) and continue along the path until you cross the bridge. Here you reach the next stop: Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resort.
Disney Bar Crawl Stop #3: Beaches & Cream at Disney’s Beach Club Resort
Know what I mean? Beaches & Cream? I’d understand if you’re confused at first. This isn’t, strictly speaking, a bar. It’s an ice cream shop. But this place serves up some delectable adult floats at their to-go counter (so no lines, yay). Your delicious include:
- Guinness Vanilla Float
- Guinness and Mint Chip Float
- Rainbow Sherbet and Pineapple Cider float
- S’mores: a decadent concoction of liqueurs, ice cream, marshmallow, hot fudge, and graham cracker. It’s Disney S’mores … for adults!
Take your drink of choice out on the deck and admire the Beach Pool, which is hands down Disney World’s best pool (there’s even a freaking shipwreck). Resist the urge to jump in, though. You’ll get kicked out.
Once you’re done with your drink, walk toward the water and find the lighthouse. That’s the stop for the ferry. Take the ferry back to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Once at Hollywood Studios, head to the buses and grab a ride to Disney’s Old Key West Resort.
Disney Bar Crawl Stop #4: The Gurgling Suitcase at Disney’s Old Key West Resort
Old Key West is a Disney Vacation Club Resort with a Margaritaville vibe. So like, old white dudes in Hawaiian shirts. We’re not exaggerating, either: they were playing Margaritaville when we visited, and nearly every guest was an old white dude wearing a Hawaiian shirt. It’s not exactly our vibe of choice, but don’t worry, The Gurgling Suitcase is worth a stop.
The Gurgling Suitcase bar itself is a hole in the wall spot that seats less than ten people. You’ll find a big menu of yummy fancy cocktails and frozen drinks, and some draft beers. Our pick is the Pina CoLAVA: raspberry Bacardi, Pina Colada mix, and raspberry syrup. It’s surprisingly not as sweet as it sounds, but just as addictive as you’d expect. For those of you who remember when they had that amazing Raspberry Pina Coladas at Animal Kingdom about 5 years ago, this is it! Ooh, I just dated myself, didn’t I?
Right outside, you’ll find the boat dock. Take a ferry back to Disney Springs, where you started. No, you’re not done yet, don’t you worry….
Disney Bar Crawl Stop #5: Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar at Disney Springs
Right off the dock you’re greeted with an old airport hangar, which happens to be one of my favorite bars on Disney World property! If the name Jock Lindsey rings a bell, it’s because Jock happens to be Indiana Jones’ personal pilot. The bar is decked out like a huge hangar from the 40s and has all sorts of Easter Eggs from the Indiana Jones movies (and even Star Wars). One of my favorites is a crate that’s marked “RTO-D2.”
The bar itself serves up drinks inspired by regions of the world Jock has flown with his trusty co-pilot/pet python, Reggie. With a menu that includes everything from Shanghai Slings, Pisco Sours, Scotch flights, and Long Island Ice Teas, there’s something for everyone here. But good luck choosing! The most popular drink comes from the glowing green jug on the counter: Reggie’s Revenge, a sweet tooth inducing mix of Midori, mandarin vodka, and tropical juices.
Feel free to explore more of Disney Springs at this point. Since you’re not going in the park, this is a good opportunity to pick up a Disney souvenir or shop or grab a Mickey Bar or whatever.
Once you’re ready to go, head back to the boat landing and take a ferry to Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside Resort.
Technically this isn’t an alcoholic beverage (I hope) at Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside Resort. Forgive me. Photo Credit: “Morning Resort Coffee” (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) by The Mr and The Mrs
Disney Bar Crawl Stop #6: Muddy Rivers at Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside Resort
Once you arrive at Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside Resort, head to the pool where you’ll find Muddy Rivers, the last pool bar on our list. Muddy Rivers is one of the rare pool bars that has a unique menu. This bayou themed bar serves up Mardi Gras inspired flavors. I recommend the very boozy Hurricane, but a lot of people opt for the All That Jazz, which contains three drinks floating on each other. Be careful not to stir up the flavors with it though – it’s most Instagrammable pre-stir!
After a drink and a beignet or two (they’re the bees knees!), schlep your way to the lobby. After you exit, hang a right to get to the bus terminal and catch the bus for Magic Kingdom. From there, you can either bus OR ferry to my favorite resort, The Wilderness Lodge. Sorry to get you so close to the castle, only to make you leave again.
Disney Bar Crawl Stop #7: Territory Lounge at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
You’ll probably be arriving at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge at or around sunset. But don’t worry: the gorgeous inside of the Wilderness Lodge is even more jaw-dropping than the scenic outside. It won’t take you long to figure out why I love this resort so much. It’s basically a California mountain lodge. Everything is dark wood, Native American inspired prints, or straight up trees and rocks. And the Wilderness Lounge is home to one of my favorite Disney restaurants: The Whispering Canyon Cafe. This is the best place to stop for dinner on the Disney Resort Bar Crawl for budget-friendly and unlimited food. Yes, bottomless bbq. It’s delicious, and the restaurant full of fun, Disney themed ridiculousness! Think 50’s Prime Time Cafe attitude meets the Liberty Tree Tavern’s food. Be sure to put your name on the waitlist while you go grab a drink. Oh, and while you’re eating, don’t forget to ask for ketchup. Psst: that’s one of the items on our Disney World Scavenger Hunt, along with the Hidden Mickey challenge in the lobby. Get your FREE copy of our Disney World Scavenger Hunt!
Inside Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, You’ll head to the Territory Lounge, a bar with a frontier theme that serves up a variety of beers, cocktails, and Pacific Northwestern wines. Their beer list contained the best beer we had at Disney: The Nib Smuggler from Funky Buddha. It’s a cocoa nib and vanilla bean chocolate milk porter. But sadly, it’s seasonal. Womp womp.
After you’re done relaxing in the quiet Territory Lounge (or eating at the rowdy Whispering Canyon Cafe), head to the back of the resort. Past the pool, you’ll find the landing to the boats. Take a boat to one of the Disney World monorail resorts: Disney’s Contemporary Resort.
There’s a nice bar here – and it’s one of the stops on the Monorail Bar Crawl – but we’ve found that it’s hard to get into at night (because it offers an amazing view of the fireworks in Magic Kingdom!) so give it a try if you like, but officially, we’re moving on.
Find the monorail on the fourth floor of Disney’s Contemporary Resort and hop on. Get off in two stops at my favorite resort: Disney’s Polynesian Resort.
Disney Bar Crawl Stop #8: Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto and Tiki Hut at Disney’s Polynesian Resort
Downstairs at Disney’s Polynesian Resort, you’ll follow signs for Trader Sam’s, one of the most beloved bars in all of Disney. You might have heard Trader Sam’s described as one of the best and most fun Disney World bars; if not, you’re welcome. It’s incredible!
You’d think there should be some gigantic entrance to this epic, amazing Disney bar, right? Wrong. Trader Sam’s is located at the end of a crappy little hallway behind a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it door. This isn’t a complaint though, because we totally dig the secret, hidden vibe. It reminds me of the (now way too crowded) Smuggler’s Cove in San Francisco. And it kinda shrouds Trader Sam’s from the masses, keeping it one of the best kept Disney World secrets.
Once you enter the door you’re greeted by a host and escorted into the tiny, dark Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto. The bar kind of looks like a storage room for The Jungle Cruise props. The reason for this is if you’ve ever ridden the cruise, you might remember the shrunken head dealer named, you guessed it, Trader Sam. The menu has playful twists on classic tiki bar cocktails – for instance the Zombie Shrunken Head, a classic Zombie cocktail served in a souvenir shrunken head mug… by a zombie!
The stiff drinks and themed decor aren’t the reasons why Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto is our favorite Disney World bar. The real reason? This is a Disney World bar that you might hear casually referred to as a ride! What we mean is this: each drink has a different experience associated with it. Order a Zombie Shrunken Head and your waiter comes out of the back moving like an extra from The Walking Dead. Order an Uh Oa and awaken the Tiki Goddess, who will take her wrath out on the entire bar. Order the Hurricane and you’ll find yourself whipped with wind and rain. Sit in one of the “cursed seats” and about an hour in, you’ll find you’ve slowly been lowered to be eye level with the table. Surprise! Psst – these experiences are all items on our epic 250-point Disney World Scavenger Hunt! Get your FREE copy of our Disney World Scavenger Hunt!
It’s experiences like this that keep people laughing and drinking all through the night. We recommend sitting at the community table in the center of the room. We met some other vacationers (and one off duty cast member!) and were all friends after a couple of drinks and a few hours of company! We chose Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto as the last stop on the Disney World Resort Bar Crawl for a reason: you won’t want to leave! It’s hands down the best and most fun Disney World bar, and we know you’ll love it as much as we do.
There’s no better way to end your Disney Resort Bar Crawl than by watching the fireworks at Magic Kingdom! Photo credit: “The ’Big Bang’ at Wishes – Magic Kingdom” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by hyku
End Your Disney World Resort Bar Crawl with Fireworks!
At 9PM, take your drink onto the deck or the beach at Disney’s Polynesian Resort. Trust us, you won’t be the only one. From here, look out over the water to Magic Kingdom, where you get a clear view across the water of the nightly fireworks spectacular and listen to the music on the speakers outside the Polynesian Resort. During our last show, we said a tearful goodbye to “Wishes,” which will be playing its swan song soon. Whatever the new show is, I’m sure it will have the words “dream” and “believe” and “magic” in it several times and I can tell you from experience that the drunker you are, the more likely you are to cry. I’m not the only one who always tears up during the fireworks shows, right?!
After the fireworks show, your amazing night of Disney bar crawl fun is over (that is, unless you’re still up for another few drinks at Trader Sam’s).
I’m sure by now you’re a combination of drunk and exhausted, so let’s get you back to your hotel. If you’re staying at a Disney World resort, take the Monorail back to the Ticket & Transport Center to get a bus back to your resort.
If you’re not staying at a Disney World resort, outside Disney’s Polynesian Resort is the bus to Disney Springs, which you’ll take. In my opinion, this is the perfect time to get some drunk poutine and a dessert at Disney Springs. If you parked at Disney Springs and you have a DD, have a great night! If you didn’t assign a DD, take an Uber or a Lyft home – Disney Springs is easily accessible from any hotel close to Disney World. NEVER drink and drive. Always be safe! What’s that Disney Cast Member motto again? Oh yeah … Safe D Begins with Me!
Printables: The Disney World Scavenger Hunt & Disney Resort Bar Crawl Directions
If you’re anything like me, you need to have a list of written instructions for anything more complicated than “Take a bus and then get off the bus.” The Disney World Bar Crawl is pretty complicated when it comes to remembering which transportation to take to what resort, and since you can’t just pull up Google Maps for private Disney transit, we’ve designed a handy printable for you! Sign up here to download a printable copy of the Disney Resort Bar Crawl directions, or enter your email below.
And while you’re downloading and printing stuff, don’t forget to print out a copy of our epic 75 question, 250 point Disney World Scavenger Hunt to take with you on your Disney World Resort Bar Crawl! They’re designed to go hand in hand: the drunker you get, the more likely you are to do ridiculous things just to score a point. There’s a whole section in the Disney World Scavenger Hunt devoted to the Disney World Resorts. And y’all … it’s free! In our humble opinion, this is the #1 thing to do at Disney World for adults!
We’d love to hear from you. Have you been to any of the bars on our Disney pub crawl? Are we missing your favorite Disney bar? Do you have a ridiculous story to share about your drunk Disney Scavenger Hunting shenanigans? Leave us a comment below!
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