Good, Better, Best: Disney Drinks

The best part about visiting Disney as an adult is arguably the drinks – well that and actually enjoying your nap time.

Whether you love craft beer, wine, cocktails or frozen drinks, there’s something for everyone. Here’s a quick rundown on my top picks from our June trip. I’d love to hear which ones are your favorites and what to try next.

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Good: White Wine Sangria from Spice Road Table

We started our lunch at Spice Road Table (more on that later) with a pitcher of white wine sangria. Since I usually go with red, I wasn’t sure what to expect. What we got was fruity, delicious and perfectly refreshing in the Orlando heat. Much to my relief, the sangria was tasty but not overly sweet. Aside from the orange slice and maraschino cherry garnish, there wasn’t fruit in the drink itself, but our sangria had a noticeably fruity flavor. Here’s hoping it was infused, not artificial! An unexpected highlight was the pitcher the drinks came in. It was a small detail, but sipping sangria from a handcrafted pitcher while looking out over the lake was a wonderful way to relax. Even if you’re not staying for a meal (which I will recommend on an upcoming blog post), Spice Road Table is still worth your time – even if it’s just for a glass of sangria and some hummus.

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Better: Shochu Squeeze from Tokyo Dining

Since I’m picky about what I eat, I always read menus ahead of time. Sometimes I pick out my drinks months in advance and other times I just order what’s speaking to me at the moment. The latter was the case during our dinner at Tokyo Dining. I picked the first cocktail listed – the schochu squeeze with grapefruit. I’ve had soju before, but never schochu. It wasn’t until writing this post that I learned schochu is “a distilled Japanese beverage made from rice, barley, sweet potatoes, buckwheat or brown sugar.” I also learned it contains 25% alcohol by volume, more than sake but less than vodka.

The schochu came in a tall glass with ice, which was paired with half a grapefruit and a juicer. I’m a tactile person, so I loved the opportunity to juice my own grapefruit, and I also liked the option of choosing how much juice I added to the drink. (I added it all.) The result was crisp, refreshing and a perfect complement to the sushi and tempura we ate for dinner. This drink was light, and despite the higher alcohol content, didn’t have an overbearing alcohol flavor. I’m a big fan of La Croix and Spindrift, which is what this drink reminded me of…except with alcohol.

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Best: Parlor Trick from AbracadaBar

Whiskey and good theming have a special place in my heart, which is why our experience at AbracadaBar wins this round of “good, better, best.” You’ll notice I said experience – not just my drink. AbracadaBar is inconspicuously tucked between Flying Fish and Trattoria al Forno on the Boardwalk, but the small lounge is steeped in Disney lore and carries its own weight with theming and décor. The story goes that in the 1930s AbracadaBar was the lounge of choice for magicians performing on the boardwalk. They gathered regularly at the establishment, swapping tricks and drinks with one another until one day when it mysteriously vanished. Just as unexpectedly as its disappearance, AbracadaBar recently reappeared complete with vintage artifacts, a mystifying mirror and show posters whose subjects are also known to vanish from time to time.

We took a quick Lyft ride from Pop Century to the Boardwalk Resort, and then popped into AbracadaBar for a pre-dinner drink. I ordered the Parlor Trick  (Four Roses small batch Bourbon, simple syrup, a splash of soda water). Hal had a Magic Hattan (Hudson Manhatten Rye Whiskey, Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth) followed by a draft beer. The drinks were excellent and made with care, but next time I think I’ll branch out a little bit. Pepper’s Ghost (Ciroc Pineapple Vodka, Habanero Lime) sounded fun, even though I don’t always love vodka.

While we relaxed at the bar, we met a nice couple from Boston and swapped dog stories. The low-key theming and uncrowded, kid-free environment made us feel like we were at a cool bar instead of Disney World. Even though I absolutely love Disney World, it can be nice to step away from the chaos for a few minutes while still experiencing great customer service and fun back stories. We also overheard the bartender explaining how each element in the patterned wallpaper represents a magician’s tool. I know Abracadabar has the reputation for being underwhelming, but we loved the relaxed atmosphere and intricate, albeit subdued theming. We’ll definitely be back for the strong drinks and chill vibes.

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