lost weekenders


The 5 Best Places to Get Your Drink On in the Disneyland Resort

disneyland hotel trader sams enchanted tiki bar

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.

carthay circle disneyland

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.

hearthstone grand californian disneyland

3. Hearthstone

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.

tortilla jos downtown disney

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!

cove bar paradise pier

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. 

Going from Day to Night in Disneyland

Basics, BeginnersKelseyComment

We talk a lot about how to get the most out of your Disney day because we genuinely want people to love Disneyland as much as we do. If you’re in it for the long haul, taking on a 16 hour day might feel impossible, but it’s not! It’s all in the way you prep. Here’s how we go from Disney day into Disney night.

California Adventure Lockers



Getting a locker might feel like a waste of money, but it’s one of our biggest tips for successful Disney day. It holds all our extra jackets, souvenirs, sunscreen, snacks, and generally anything we don’t want to lug around with us.

Carrying a lighter load all day will allow you to go longer, I promise. And carrying around a huge backpack is no joke. It’s heavy, plus it’s difficult to get on to most rides. Trust us, let the locker do the work for you, and carry a small bag.

There are lockers in each park. In Disneyland they're on Main Street, and in California Adventure they're on Buena Vista Street. However, we always opt for the lockers located just right outside the park, to the left of Disneyland if you're looking at the main gate. This way, we're not dependent on going back to a certain park to grab our stuff. We can just swing by on our way to the tram as we head out for the night. Also keep in mind that California Adventure typically closes earlier than Disneyland, so be wary of grabbing a locker there.

There are three sizes of locker. Standard, large, and jumbo.We tend to opt for the large or jumbo size so we can fully stuff with souvenirs and jackets. 

This leads us to...

The Locker Bag

Not to be dramatic but we live and die by the locker bag. It’s a weekender bag we stuff with all our essentials to be non-stop comfy which is IMPORTANT YOU GUYS. The locker bag allows us to change as the sun goes down and it starts to cool off. This is crucial. Kat and I are usually wearing dresses, so when it starts to cool down, if we change into jeans and sweatshirts, we can make it until midnight if we pair it with some carbs and sugar.

Here’s how we pack the perfect locker bag:

  1. Sunscreen

  2. Extra sunglasses

  3. Pepto tablets

  4. Tums

  5. Ibuprofen

  6. Water

  7. Energy drinks

  8. Camera batteries

  9. Rechargeable phone battery

  10. Blotting powder

  11. Hair ties

  12. Protein bars

  13. Extra socks and underwear (I cannot even begin to describe how nice it is to change into new socks and underwear going into night time)

  14. A full change of “opposite” clothes. So if we’re wearing dresses we bring a pair of jeans and a shirt and jacket, and vice versa.

  15. And extra pair of shoes (changing shoes feels SO GOOD).

Tortilla Joes


After we change, pop some tums and ibuprofen, and put away our sunglasses, we’re just about ready to transition to take on the night. But before we can do that, we generally require a bit of a break.

This is when we’ll head over to Downtown Disney and check the lines at Tortilla Joes and Trader Sam’s. Taking some time to chill out and have a drink (and guac duh), we’re ready to take on the night.

One of the best ways to usher in the night? Head over to Cars Land in California Adventure and watch the neon lights flash on with ceremony every night exactly at sunset. It’s the only time you’ll see everyone in an entire Land just stop in their tracks.

It’s magic.