I tried the unofficial monorail bar crawl at Disney World, no park ticket required. Here's where I stopped and what I drank for $160.
Disney World's resorts are full of unique bars and lounges, especially along the monorail loop.
Daring adults can tackle the iconic Disney World monorail bar crawl for a day of 21-and-over magic.
We stopped at places in the Polynesian, Grand Floridian, and Contemporary resorts.
Drinking around the world at Epcot may be the most popular bar crawl at Disney World, but it's not the only one.
Most people know about the fan-made tradition of drinking "around the world" at Epcot's World Showcase, but there's another drinking experience at Disney World.
If you're in search of a few good cocktails, you can take part in the (unofficial) monorail bar crawl by hitting up bars at each of the three resorts located along the loop: Grand Floridian, Polynesian, and Contemporary.
There are multiple lounge options at each hotel, and seating is first-come, first-served — no reservations necessary.
My friend and I tried the resort bar crawl on our recent trip to Disney World. Here's where we stopped and what we ordered.
We spent $11 on beer at Tambu Lounge.
We started our day at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort.
Famous for its bungalows, frequent Lilo and Stitch sightings, and pineapple Dole Whip, this resort is also home to several great watering holes.
Next door to the table-service restaurant 'Ohana (one of the best dining experiences at Disney, in my opinion) is Tambu Lounge.
We started here because the lounge opens at 8:30 a.m.
Some of the Disney lounges are only open in the evenings, so we thought we'd get an early start. We didn't roll up until noon, but even so, we wanted to start light.
I ordered a Kona Big Wave ($11) on draft, and my friend Cat opted for coffee at the nearby Kona Cafe. She knew she'd need energy for the long crawl ahead.
Tambu Lounge is a nice spot with views of Magic Kingdom across the Seven Seas Lagoon. If you're waiting for your reservation at 'Ohana, it's ideal for grabbing a quick beer or cocktail.
We spent $48 on cocktails at Steakhouse 71.
We had lunch reservations at Steakhouse 71 at Disney's Contemporary Resort at 1:15 p.m.
This was a little inconvenient because we had to ride all the way around the monorail loop to get to the Contemporary. The resort monorail only goes clockwise — something to consider when making your plan.
If you don't have a reservation, there's also the Steakhouse 71 Lounge, which has light bites and all the same cocktails you can get in the restaurant.
I tried two cocktails here, starting with the Citrus Blossom Groves.
The Citrus Blossom Groves ($13.50) cocktail is a nod to the citrus trees of Kissimmee, Florida, where Disney World was built.
Despite the fruity name and appearance, this was a bitter drink — and strong.
Cat ordered the Last Concourse ($14.50), a nod to the monorail concourse inside the Contemporary.
This was the sweetest drink we tried at the restaurant.
I also ordered a Curious cold brew.
The Curious cold brew ($14.50) blended bourbon and Joffrey's Coffee.
I was hoping the coffee would give me a boost for the rest of the day, but the drink was much heavier on the bourbon than the caffeine.
We spent $44 on themed drinks at Trader Sam's Grog Grotto.
The most coveted spot on the monorail bar crawl is easily Trader Sam's Grog Grotto.
The wacky and weird Tiki-themed bar at the Polynesian is in a small space with limited capacity.
It opens at 3 p.m., but you can put your name on a waiting list an hour early. The only problem is you might have to wait several hours to get called — if you're called at all.
As if by Disney magic, we got a seat here early in the day.
We didn't think we'd actually get in, but we managed to be among the first on the list. We were called into the bar mere minutes after it opened.
At Trader Sam's, you'll find all kinds of quirky drinks. Ordering the two-person Uh-Oa ($26) involves lively chants from the bartenders, awakening the Tiki Goddess up near the ceiling.
Ordering the Polynesian Pearl ($22) means bartenders will birth pearls (souvenir drink cups) from a giant clam, and the Zombie ($17.50) cocktail is delivered by an undead server. Multiple drinks trigger winds, volcanic eruptions, and even water effects (bartenders squirting you with a spray bottle).
It's the most fun place to grab a drink at Disney World.
Our drinks came with lots of fanfare.
We ordered the Krakatoa punch ($17.50), resulting in a volcanic eruption, and a Mosquito mojito ($15.50).
Our table companions awoke the Tiki Goddess with a round of Uh-Oas.
We spent $19 on a cocktail at Enchanted Rose Lounge.
Later in the evening, Cat and I found ourselves at the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, where there's a "Beauty and the Beast"-themed lounge called Enchanted Rose.
There are so many great details in the lounge.
If you go, wander into the different rooms. You'll really feel like you've stepped into a Disney-princess film.
It's also a great spot to grab light bites if you need something to soak up all the booze from the day.
I got a floral drink to match the vibes.
It'd been a long day of drinking, so we shared the Floral Bitter Beauty ($17.50), a gin-based cocktail.
The drink was nice, but it was the elegant atmosphere that set this place apart.
We ended the night by dropping $38 on exclusive drinks at A Villains Lair.
We had a surprise ending to our monorail bar crawl.
Our friends are Disney Vacation Club (DVC) members, which means they get access to an exclusive lounge at the Contemporary's Bay Lake Tower.
It's called the Top of the World Lounge – A Villains Lair, and only DVC members (and their guests) can visit.
When they asked us if we wanted to meet up with them for the experience, we immediately said yes, even though it meant going back to the Contemporary.
As the highest point on Disney World property, this lounge affords stunning views from both inside and outside.
We expected more of a villainous atmosphere.
The villain theming left a lot to be desired.
There was some Disney villain artwork on the walls, and a TV was inexplicably frozen on a single frame from "The Little Mermaid."
Other than that, we weren't getting any villain vibes.
But the drinks and food were fantastic.
Our final bill ended up being around $200 — we indulged in a lot of food and one cocktail each.
The cocktails themselves weren't unreasonably priced (for Disney). I ordered the Tower Trap ($17), another gin drink, and Cat got the Cursed Pirate ($15) with white rum.
Both drinks were strong but flavorful. It was the perfect nightcap for a trip around the monorail loop.
There are even more possible stops along the Disney monorail bar crawl.
Our monorail bar crawl hardly scratched the surface. At each of the three resorts, there are so many places to grab a drink.
At the Contemporary, don't miss the Outer Rim for stunning views of the sunset over Bay Lake. If you can snag a seat at the Contemporary's California Grill Lounge at night, you might get the best view of the Magic Kingdom fireworks — they even pipe in the music.
Over at the Polynesian, Trader Sam's drinks are also available outside at Trader Sam's Tiki Terrace. Sometimes there's even live music. You can also get a spiked Dole Whip at Pineapple Lanai.
At the Grand Floridian, you can experience cocktails from one of Disney World's most delicious restaurants, Cítricos. The lounge doesn't take reservations, so you can head over on a whim after a long day at Magic Kingdom.
Disney's monorail service also takes guests to Epcot, so you can keep the party going around the World Showcase. You can't go wrong with a beer from Germany or a marg from Mexico.
I also have some tips for a successful monorail bar crawl, starting with planning ahead.
As with most things at Disney World, a little bit of planning goes a long way.
Most of these bars don't open until late afternoon or early evening, so always check the schedule and map out where you'll go when.
Some of these spots are more popular than others.
Trader Sam's, for instance, fills up super fast. We had luck by getting there right when it opened and on a Tuesday (when Disney's supposedly less busy).
Go with friends to save money.
Drinks at Disney are expensive.
Tackle the monorail bar crawl with a friend and split each cocktail. It'll also keep you from getting too sloppy (it is a family place, after all).
Just don't bring more than two friends. Scoring bar seating gets complicated with too many people.
Finally, know your limits and have a safe way home.
Although it's lots of fun to tackle all these spots in one day, remember that no matter how fruity the drink is, you're still consuming alcohol.
Pace yourself, take breaks, eat food, and drink responsibly.
End the night early enough to use Disney World's transportation back to your resort, or call a rideshare service. Never drive yourself after a bar crawl.
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