There are countless books about the history of Walt Disney World and the life of Walt Disney. I’ve read many of them and appreciate behind-the-scenes details on the beloved theme parks. On the other hand, many tend to start sounding the same when you’ve seen a lot of them. It’s time for something completely different! Our saviors are Rhiannon and Drunky, who recognize there’s more to a Disney trip than the rides and characters. Once you’ve ridden Space Mountain a gazillion times and hugged Mickey, what else can you do? Their new book Drinking at Disney: A Tipsy Travel Guide to Walt Disney World’s Bars, Lounges & Glow Cubes provides the answer. I love well-themed bars and restaurants at home with cool atmospheres; why not visit those at Disney World?
You may wonder about purchasing a book by an author with the nickname of “Drunky”, but stick with me here. This colorful and entertaining title is more than just a guide to all the drinking establishments at Disney World. It’s also a fun way to remember past experiences at the parks. This isn’t just a manual for getting drunk and creating havoc in the parks. Let the crazy fraternity guys climb up on a World Showcase pavilion and wave their flag! You have better things to do. That’s a real event, by the way. Many have already discovered the diverse spots for craft beers, fancy mixed drinks, or unique wines on property. The key is being a discerning guest with an eye for a unique experience. Drinking a Bud Light from the Fife and Drum Tavern at the American Adventure is a rookie move.
What makes this book click is the interplay between Drunky and Rhiannon on each page. He’s technically the author and she’s the editor, but Rhiannon has plenty to contribute. In fact, she even takes over the pages for the wine bars like La Maison Du Vin in the France pavilion. It’s just enjoyable to hang out with this pair, even if you’re sitting in St. Louis a long way from the parks. On a related note, you should definitely follow Drunk@Disney and Rhiannon on Twitter. If not, you’re missing out on lots of entertaining commentary and photos drinking at the parks. There’s similar banter in this book within a structure that’s easy to follow. It’s light yet still provides good info on what’s available. I’ve missed a lot of solid craft beer options during my visits that won’t be skipped next time we go.
Drinking at Disney is split into 12 chapters with the largest covering bars and lounges at the resorts, Epcot, and Disney Springs. The resorts section spans more than 120 pages and should be valuable for locals seeking out new hangouts. I may never find time to see the creepy clown at the Leaping Horse Libations near the Boardwalk Villas. In fact, I didn’t know this place existed until now. I’ve expanded my horizons without having to stumble around the resorts late at night. The beer listings include the alcohol content, which are essential for parents traveling with kids. The last thing you want to do is pick up a 9% Unibroue La Fin Du Monde at the Canada Beer Cart without realizing your error. That would not lead to a pleasant rope-drop the next day.
Each bar and lounge also gets a rating for quality and value to pinpoint the true highlights. It helps newbies to avoid stopping at the Mexico Margarita Stand (1/5 rating) when you’re steps away from La Cava Del Taquila (4/5). Each person’s tastes will vary, but I have few qualms with most of the ratings. Drunky’s grumpy thoughts against craft beer notwithstanding, these are smart opinions. There is a danger for some in losing their favorite hidden oasis because of this book. The Dawa Bar in the Animal Kingdom is barely seen by most in Harambe Village as they run to Kilimanjaro Safaris. While downing a Dawa Bloody Mary may be unwise before riding Expedition Everest, it’s cool to have the option. Pro tips are provided in pink on each page, and they’re helpful to both novices and experts.
Drinking at Disney is a book that I only realized we needed after I read it. It works as a tool for your next trip and as a coffee table book for time between vacations. There are even “drinking plans” near the end that veer from obvious territory. For example, there’s a three-hour plan through the Port Orleans resorts that ends at the Boathouse in Disney Springs. There are also ranked lists that include the “Worst Bars to Take a First Date”, “Best Bars to Have a Break Up”, and the best bars overall. This isn’t a resource for every Disney guest, but there’s enough to make it click for many. The light-hearted style strikes just the right note and draws plenty of laughs. It’s the kind of book that I’ll return to regularly, and that’s a rare treat in any genre.
Learn more about Drinking at Disney at the Bamboo Forest Publishing website.