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Other standouts include the Tequila Daisy, which features an edible flower, and a pungent Bloody Mary that is served with a sprig of dill and a dehydrated tomato slice dipped in horseradish.(Photo: Arthur Levine)
But the only ones getting sloshed at the California theme park are the animatronic buccaneers. That’s because the no-booze policy that Walt Disney established in the 1950s remains in effect to this day.
Thrill seekers looking for some liquid courage before they board the roller coaster at the adjacent Disney California Adventure, however, would be in luck. There are bars and lounges at the resort’s second theme park as well as at its hotels and the Downtown Disney dining and shopping area.
There is nothing pre-packaged here. Half the fun is watching mixologists craft the drinks using fresh ingredients.
The lounge’s most popular beverage is the Carthay Diamond Manhattan, which is served on the rocks using a spherical ice cube, finished with a splash of vermouth, and topped with tart, dark cherries. Other standouts include the Tequila Daisy, which features an edible flower, and a pungent Bloody Mary that is served with a sprig of dill and a dehydrated tomato slice dipped in horseradish.
Barragan says that attention is lavished on details such as the glassware, so that patrons feel like they could be hobnobbing with Clark Gable and Mae West in their Hollywood heyday. “They are all made of crystal to make the ‘clink’ appealing and sexy.
” The lounge has a limited, but appealing menu of appetizers such as Vietnamese beef tacos with pineapple-mint salsa.
Based on the Jungle River Cruise’s legendary “head” salesman, Trader Sam’s is the resort’s most whimsical place to get an adult beverage.
The tiki bar is tricked out with special effects such as volcanoes that magically explode when certain drinks are ordered. The tropical concoctions include the HippopotoMai-Tai, which is made with orange Curaçao and almond syrup, and the massive Uh Oa!, which is loaded with rum, passion fruit, grapefruit juice, lime juice, and cinnamon.
Fair warning: Downing one of Sam’s drinks might mysteriously make your head shrink. Pacific Island-inspired dishes such as ahi poke are also on the menu.
Napa Rose Lounge, Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel
As you might expect, the Napa Rose Lounge offers a large selection of wines by the glass from California as well as cocktails and other drinks. Located inside the acclaimed Napa Rose restaurant, the atmosphere is chic and modern.
To accompany the beverages, the lounge serves tempting desserts (chocolate truffle hazelnut cake served with banana foster compote anyone?) and small, savory plates such as pizetta.
The outdoor outpost serves IPAs, ales, and stouts on draft along with snacks such as a cold cut plate.
Uva Bar, Downtown Disney
Located outside in the heart of Downtown Disney, the Uva Bar is abuzz with the area’s live music and bustling crowds. Guests can dine al fresco on dishes such as manchego salad, gyros, and fish tacos.
Hearthstone Lounge, Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel
Located off the grand lobby of the national lodge-like hotel, the small lounge extends the ambiance with its rustic, but elegant Arts and Crafts style. Guests can choose from an impressive selection of beers and wines and warm up by the fireplace.
Among Hearthstone’s more intriguing mixed drinks are a Godiva chocolate martini and a Blue “Glow-tini” that includes peach schnapps, pineapple juice, and vodka illuminated by a glow cube. A limited menu of appetizers includes pork belly bao and chicken quesadilla.
Situated on the second floor of the Wine Country Trattoria, the outdoor terrace overlooks Route 66 at Radiator Springs. “Disney family” wines, served by the glass or as a flight, are the highlight here.
Among the California wineries represented are the Lasseter Family (which includes Pixar honcho John Lasseter), Fess Parker (who portrayed Davey Crockett), Kurt Russell (who was a child star in Disney films), and Skywalker (from Star Wars auteur George Lucas). Patrons can nibble on small plates such as flatbread and risotto bites as they sip their wines.
Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen, Downtown Disney
The bar inside Ralph Brennan’s really gets hopping each evening when live jazz fills the air. Drinks at the New Orleans-themed eatery include a Creole Pear Mojito and Louisiana Lemonade, made with citrus rum and raspberry liqueur.
During brunch, the restaurant serves bourbon-infused mint juleps to go along with dishes such as beignets and jambalaya.
The retro lounge serves classic cocktails and offers bar bites such as truffle macaroni and cheese and buffalo chicken wings.
The full Steakhouse 55 menu, which features delicious steaks and chops, is also available.
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