This post brought to you by Christina Wood of Pixie Vacations, the preferred Disney vacation travel planner of The Disney Blog.
There are a ton of great places to eat on Disney property and I’ve tried most of them (and I’m working on the ones I haven’t!), but what if you just want drinks and a quick, sweet snack later at night? The good news is, most restaurants have a bar attached or nearby that serves the restaurant’s menu. I’ve compiled a list here which is by no means complete, but I think it’s close to the best choices for a quick late night nosh on property.
5. Brown Derby Lounge in Disney Hollywood Studios (pictured above).
Confession: This location, part of one of my favorite signature restaurants, is kind of a cheat: You’re not exactly in the restaurant. Instead, you’ll eat outside in the lounge area, a pretty little walk-up place that lets you people watch and snack. It’s especially nice in the early evening, when you’re “snack” hungry but want something a little more upscale than a Mickey Bar or a carrot cake cookie. Bonus: If you want something that’s not sweet, they have great tapas-style plates.
4. Rose and Crown Pub at Epcot’s UK Pavilion.
Well, it’s a British-style pub so it’s kind of a given that you’ll find great beers on tap plus a lively crowd that gets even livelier after dark, but if you’ve got a hankering for something sweet, try the Sticky Toffee Pudding. It’s a caramel, moist, pudding-like British tradition that deserves your attention right now if you haven’t tried it yet. Oh, and don’t share. I mean, share your beer if you must, but keep the dessert to yourself.
3. 50s Prime Time Café at Hollywood Studios.
I’m going to be honest: Hollywood Studios has, with some exceptions, pretty bad quick-service. It’s one of the reasons I always recommend that guests book a table-service meal there since the food is generally light years better at these locations. But say you’ve just got a hankering for something sweet or a little late-night drink? At 50s Prime Time Café desserts are appropriately old-fashioned, such as Boston cream pie and thick, delicious shakes, and the drinks run the gamut from straight up whisky to fun and fruity. Grab that drink with the umbrella in it and sit in one of “grandma’s” comfy chairs while you watch some old shows on the TV.
2. Citricos/Mizner’s Lounge at the Grand Floridian.
This location, like the Brown Derby, is also kind of a cheat, because the bar is actually not connected to Citricos itself, but a few steps away. Never mind that technicality. You can still order from Citricos elaborate dessert menu and enjoy items like the warm chocolate banana tort, but you also get one thing Citricos doesn’t have: A live band. This lounge is cozy and the drinks are strong, so bring your a friend, settle in, and be happy for Disney transportation.
1. California Grill at the Contemporary Resort.
Okay, it’s my favorite restaurant on property and I’d happily eat here (twice, three times) each trip, but if you can’t get a reservation for the restaurant, did you know you can get the full menu in the lounge? The only catch is that you may have to wait while other diners finish. Want to get in faster? Go to the California Grill check-in desk on the second floor at 5:00 pm and you’ll probably be able to walk right up. Try the full menu or just dessert. I swear by the delicious banana fritters with chocolate and salted caramel dipping sauces. Add a nice drink, some good company, and watch the fireworks. If you’re lucky, you’ll get Karl as your waiter, the absolute best there is on property–his wife mans the bar so expect some tasty drinks as well.
I hope this list has inspired you to take a break on your next trip and enjoy some adult beverages and a well-deserved dessert. After all, you’re walking all day long! Why now indulge a little bit?