You may have heard of Drinking around the World in Epcot, but did you ever consider doing a monorail pub crawl? There are three resorts on the monorail loop – the Contemporary, the Polynesian, and the Grand Floridian. All of them have unique and fun bars that are worth checking out. After running the Princess half marathon it seemed like a good way to celebrate!
We decided to start at the Polynesian for two reasons. The first was that we were staying at the Contemporary, so that would put us there at the end of our journey. The second was so we could head to Trader Sam’s first, right around when it opened at 4pm. Trader Sam’s is a small space and can get very crowded.
There were 8 of us on this drinking adventure, and I had made shirts for everyone to wear. They were each puns on their favorite Disney characters – for example, mine said “Look like a Beauty, drink like a Beast.” There was also “Drinking Beauty,” “Under the Influence,” “You’ve got a Drinking Friend in Me,” and “I’m gonna drink it!” to name just a few. We got a ton of compliments on our shirts – one of the security cast members even told me they were the best Disney shirts he’d ever seen!
There was already a wait at Trader Sam’s when we arrived a little after 4pm, so we put our name in and decided to hit up Tambu Lounge in the meantime! This is the bar right outside of Ohana. If you’ve ever seen the fun drinks there, like the one in the pineapple, you can get them here! Nothing wrong with making two stops at the Polynesian 😉
We all ordered different tropical drinks here. You have to love when they come served not only in a cool glass, but with a pineapple too. That above in the Pina Colada. We also enjoyed the Smoked Turkey
(Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon, Red Stag Black Cherry Bourbon, Grenadine, and Odwalla Lemonade with a hint of Hickory Smoke, garnished with Luxardo Gourmet Maraschino Cherries), a Mojito, the Backscratcher (Bacardi Superior Rum, Myers’s Original Dark Rum, and Passion Fruit Juice topped with Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey and a Bamboo Backscratcher), Tropical Macaw (Coruba Coconut Rum, Melon Liqueur, Pineapple Juice, and Cranberry Juice), the Island Sunset (Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum, Coruba Coconut Rum, and Peach combined with our Guava-Passion Fruit Juice) and an Acai-blueberry vodka lemonade.
I will say that the one downside to Tambu was that we did not have great service. I know that we are a group of 8 so I’m usually pretty lenient with the server – it’s a lot! He came and said he’d take half of our orders and then come back for the other half. Okay, no problem. Well, the first four drinks took about 20 minutes, and he didn’t come back until he brought them and then took the other 4 orders, which then took another 20 minutes. The first half of our group had their drinks and were halfway through or done by the time the second half got theirs. You’d think he could have come back and taken the order right away so it’d be close to the same time at least. Because of that some of us waited about 45 minutes before even getting a drink, so that was a little frustrating. Luckily this was the only place we encountered less than stellar service!
We actually had to go down and re-put our name in for the Trader Sam’s wait because of how long Tambu took, but it all worked out in the end and we made our way to Trader Sam’s! It’s a small area with open seating, so it was a bit of a struggle to find a place for everyone to sit, but we squished in and made it work. If you’re not familiar, Trader Sam’s is a tiki bar that’s really unique – certain drinks trigger “effects” around the room and it’s kind of an interactive experience. I really love it and get super into it.
Jason and I had been waiting for this moment to order the Nautilus (Barbancourt Pango Rhum, Appleton Estate Reserve Rum, Combier Crème de Pêche de Vigne Liqueur, Tropical Juices, and Falernum). It’s a drink meant for two that is served in a giant ship that you have the option to take home, which we did. It was really tasty, super fun, and triggers an effect in the room.
Two of our other friends shared the Uh-Oa (Myers’s Original Dark Rum, Bacardi Superior Rum, Orange, Passion Fruit, Guava, Pineapple, and Grapefruit Juices, Falernum, Cinnamon, and fresh Lime Juice). It’s another one meant for two that comes served on fire and triggers another effect in the room. Our party also enjoyed the Dark and Stormy (Gosling’s Black Seal Rum, fresh Lime Juice, Ginger Beer, and Falernum), Spiky Pineapple (Barbancourt Pango Rhum blended with Pineapple Soft-serve) and the Kona Longboard Island Lager.
After two drinks at the Poly it was time to get classy and jump on the monorail to head over to the Grand Floridian. Definitely a different vibe here! Mizner’s Lounge is on the second floor towards the back of the main building. There was a band playing classical and jazzy Disney music right outside. We had a friendly, great server, and they have a dish of nuts and stuff out so you can snack as well.
The drinks were of a different style here too, but no less delicious. I went with the Grand Cosmopolitan (Purity Vodka, Grand Marnier 100, and Cranberry Juice). Our party also had the Grand Cocktail (Ketel Citroen Vodka, Pomegranate Liqueur, Cranberry Juice, and Soda Water), a Manhattan, and a couple of Ace Pineapple hard ciders.
At this point food seemed like it would be a good idea, so we headed down to the quick service location, Gasparilla Grill. And it turned out the timing was really good, because the Magic Kingdom fireworks were about to start! So we were able to watch them from right outside Gasparilla. It was a really nice little break in our pub crawl.
The Wave Lounge
Last stop was the Contemporary, so it was back on the monorail! One thing worth mentioning is that monorail hopping is just a little more inconvenient now because they are doing bag checks before you get on the monorail. So every time we got on the monorail we had to go through security. But we made it back to the Contemporary and headed to the Wave Lounge! It was pretty empty and we had a whole little section to ourselves.
Jason and I ordered the specialty cocktail there, which is the 7 Seas Lagoon (Skyy Vodka, Parrot Bay Coconut Rum, lime and pineapple juices, soda water, and agave – garnished with boba pearls and Swedish fish). This was so delicious and fun! Jason tried to duck out on me after a few sips, but luckily I had another friend willing to help finish it 😉
Much of the group was done by that point and stuck to water, but there was also a Magical Star cocktail, another blueberry vodka lemonade, and a beer. And those of us in it for the long haul may have gone back up to our room in Bay Lake Tower for a bottle of champagne, too! Hey, we ran a half marathon (or spectated it) – it was time to celebrate!
Overall this was a super fun way to spend an afternoon/evening at Disney. I don’t visit the resorts as much as I would like and there are lots of hidden gems. I think the Polynesian is the best spot for some fun drinking, but I really loved my drink and the more chill atmosphere at the Wave Lounge. I’d gladly visit any of these spots again!
Enjoyed this post? Check out the Best Drinks in Disney World and Bar Hopping at California Adventure!
Which stop on the monorail pub crawl looks like the most fun to you?