1. Trader Sam’s
Okay. By now, everyone and their mother has heard of Trader Sam’s in the Disneyland Hotel - it’s not exactly a secret. Unfortunately, that means that it’s now nearly impossible to get into the bar because there are always so many people trying to do so at the same time.
If you are fortunate enough to get a seat at Trader Sam’s, you’re in luck - because you are about to enjoy some of the best boozy drinks in Disneyland. Hopefully, you’re like us and like your tiki drinks to taste like candy. Because they do. Plus, collectible tiki cup souvenirs? Uh, ok!
Service is usually pretty slow and you sometimes have to fight for a table, but we highly recommend the crispy green beans and lettuce wraps, and pretty much every drink on the menu is a total winner. Our favorites include the Lost Safari (now a secret menu drink), the Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Rum, and the Shipwreck on the Rocks.
2. Carthay Circle
You can either make a dining reservation for Carthay Circle (located at the end of Buena Vista street in Disney California Adventure) or you can try to grab a seat at the lounge on the bottom floor.
The ambience is really sophisticated - the building is modeled after the theater where Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs first premiered, and the inside has been designed as a throwback to the golden age of 30s and 40s Hollywood. It’s dark and moody and elegant, and the drinks follow suit. We recommend the gin and tonic, the Pimm’s punch, and the pear martini.
Located in the Grand Californian Hotel, Hearthstone has a laid-back elegance, and offers indoor and outdoor seating. The menu is nearly identical to the soon-to-be-defunct Cove Bar (though Hearthstone has this bar snack mix that is TO DIE FOR), so if you’re looking for a Cove Bar drink without a Cove Bar wait, check Hearthstone out.
We like to come here when we’re feeling overwhelmed by the park crowds. Sometimes you can take your drinks to the Grand Californian lobby and listen to the piano player who is frequently playing familiar Disney tunes.
4. Tortilla Jo's
If you’re in Downtown Disney and find yourself in need of a drink, you can’t go wrong with Tortilla Jo’s. There’s rarely a line and who doesn’t love air conditioning and Mexican food, right?
We highly highly highly recommend the Peach Tree Mojitos (we dream about those Mojitos), and the tableside guac!
5. Cove Bar / Lamplight Lounge
We assume once the renovation is done for Pixar Pier, the Lamplight Lounge (which is sadly replacing our beloved Cove Bar on June 23) will have generally the same menu, meaning generally the same delicious assortment of boozy drinks and those famous lobster nachos.