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Cocktails and Day Drinking at the Disneyland Resort with Jason T. Smith

Updated: Dec 18, 2023


Show Summary

Wondering where to find the best cocktails in Disneyland? You're in luck! We sat down with Jason T. Smith, a cocktail connoisseur who's spent years exploring the Disneyland resort and its alcoholic offerings.


Find the best locations to get your day drink on, including the best places to get craft cocktails in the parks. We also touch on the many locations to get wine and beer in both Disneyland and California Adventure.


So, get your glass ready for a boozy journey through Disneyland!


Jump To:


Chapters and Time Stamps

0:00 Intro

18:50 Drinking in Cars Land


Show Transcript

Welcome to the Park Magic podcast, your place for insider tips for your next Disneyland Adventure. Whether you're a first-timer or first time-in-a-while visitor, we're here to unwrap the secrets to creating and simplifying your dream Disneyland vacation.


Robyn:
Cocktail and Tiki Expert Jason T. Smith

Welcome to the Park Magic podcast, where we give you insider tips to help you plan your next Disneyland adventure. And I am so excited. I've got Jason T. Smith. He is a cocktail expert; literally, people fly him in from other parts of the country to talk, especially Tiki. He knows every cocktail in the park, and he's going to be sharing with us the best tips for being able to get your little bit of a buzz on at Disneyland. So, Jason, thank you. Can you tell us a little bit about how much you love Disneyland and cocktails?


Jason:

Well, first, I've been going to Disney World because I grew up in Ohio since I was four years old. And then my wife and I moved to California in 2000 and started going to Disney recently. We had a Magic Key pass, and we didn't even live in California anymore. But we went enough from Las Vegas that we had a blast. And really, because of having the pass, every time we went into town, maybe two or three days in the park, we really worked the cocktails around ballparks, but mainly California Adventure.


So, there's only a couple of spots in Disneyland where you can't walk around with them, like you can in California Adventure. So we would work our whole day like, "Okay, we're gonna ride this, this, and this, and then have this cocktail because it's right next door, you know?" So I've got all kinds of good tips and tricks about how to get into places, how to order, what to order, gotta-go stuff like that


Robyn:

Well, and it was so different going with you because I'm like such a writer-holic. I was like, "Go, go, go," and you're like, "Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. No, we haven't gone to Trader Sam's." It was definitely a different experience, but I had a great time getting to do all of the cocktails and everything. I think the biggest thing that people don't know about Disneyland is that you can't just walk around in Disneyland with alcohol. There's only a few places.


Jason:
Yes, They Do Serve Alcohol at Disneyland!

Disneyland California Adventure is a whole different animal, yes, but there are two places right now, more coming, to get cocktails, and that is Blue Bayou. Well, three if you're getting a Club 33, yeah. And I would say probably the best cocktails in the ballpark would be at Club 33.


Robyn:

Definitely, those are the best cocktails, some of the best cocktails I've ever had.


Jason
Blue Bayou: Hurricanes, Wine, and Beer

Oh, this cantina is, I would say, the main place because Blue Bayou only has one cocktail. They've got wine and beer. And it's a decent hurricane, it is by no means a real hurricane. And most people think the red sugary drink they get, a real hurricane isn't. It's like Applebee's version of a real hurricane. A real hurricane has four ounces of rum, passion fruits or lemon juice, and that's it.


Robyn:

And I'm pretty sure that's not the ingredients for the wine.


Jason:

No but they have really good rum in Blue Bayou, you know, of course, you go to buy it for dinner. It's all about the atmosphere, sitting on the water, watching the boats go by, and having a pretty decent drink that they're calling the hurricane.


Robyn:
Oga's Cantina: Delicous Batch Cocktails

Or the wine and beers, it's not an extensive selection. It's not like you're going to be able to get it like Napa Rose, which is the really high-end restaurant that's in the Grand Californian. But there's, you know, a couple of things. But I think if you want to get a better drink than Oga’s, it's really the place to go right now.


Jason:

So there are a couple of other places Disney has figured out, and some of the bars I frequently figured out how to batch cocktails. Yeah. So they're on tap. And so typically people think of beer on tap. This is actually pouring out the entire cocktail on tap. And I went to one of my favorite Tiki bars that I've gone to for 10 years. And I was just there a couple of months ago, and I watched the guy pour a drink that I heard the guy next to me order from a tap. I thought, 'Well, the drink I ordered was from a tap because it was good.' And then I started talking, and he goes, 'No, no, your first drink was from the tap.' I go, 'What?' So they do the drinks in the little kegs and whatnot. Disney, sorry, bar, and they last a day and a half because they're so popular. I'm sure Disney is the same way. But that's how they figured out how to really kind of move people through. That's kind of Disney's old model. How many people would get on and off this ride, you know, now this restaurant, in and out of this bar. And so if you have these things batched on tap, it's not the pour ingredient or next ingredient or third ingredient shaker, shaker, shaker. And so their drinks, I like them. Some people don't like them, but my favorite is the outer rim. It's essentially a margarita. But it's a little bit better than a normal Margarita. And they use the black salt because everything about elegance is to make it look kind of as spicy as possible. And so the black salt is very cool. And so I like that one and the fuzzy Taunton.


Robyn:

I love the fuzzy. I think I don't actually love the drink so much as I love the effects that you get from the bubbles.


Jason:

Yeah, so they use an ingredient that makes your lips go numb and your tongue going on in a fun way.


Robyn:

Not in a scary way!


Jason:

Yeah! I can’t feel my face.


Robyn:

But that could happen over at California Adventure because there's a lot more alcohol.


Jason:

Oh yeah. So the outer rim is patrolling silver, pomegranate liqueur, lime juice, cane sugars out with exotic fruit puree, and then rimmed with black salt. So that's good. Now, at Oga's, here's the big tip, Lena, and everybody, get your pen and paper. You don't need to make a reservation. If it so happened to you, one was 60 days out. I've never snagged one, and we went for a full year, never snagged one there, and never snagged one for Clear Sam's, and we drank there every single time without fail. Granted, if you have a family of 20 with you, it's gonna be a little trickier.


Robyn:

I always break those bigger groups up into groups of four or less. Six is always a stretch, especially at Oga’s. There's not a lot of seating.


Jason:

If you have a reservation, you actually get to sit down.


Robyn:

If you walk up, you stand. And after being at Disneyland all day, that's usually the last thing I want to do is stand, so it's usually to get a drink, to get out for us, which is exactly what they want you to do.


Jason:

But here's the big tip. If you go later in the evening, Galaxy's Edge, it's kind of quiet. And on the app, you do that walk-up, and it'll tell you some dumb time, 30, 40, 50 minutes, and then usually within 10 minutes, they’re like okay, you're up.


Robyn:

But then you do have to stand in another line after that.


Jason:

It's usually pretty quick. But the people that say that, I talked to a friend recently who has been there many times, maybe had a pass, had never been in. I'm like, wait, what? I might just, at the end of the day, kind of work your way over there like evening cocktails. And there's no one really over there compared to, let’s say, 1 pm.


Robyn:

Now, this doesn't really work at 1 pm. And it doesn't really work at 6 pm. You see, you have to go home, take a little nap, come back. You do have to go during a lower period. And if you try this, like the week between Christmas and New Year, it probably is not going to work, no matter what time, because it's going to be so busy. But as long as you, especially if you're on a weekday during off-peak time, you walk-up reservations, not only from this, for a lot of the reservation places, and a really great option.


Jason:

There, you can get souvenirs, essentially ceramic Tiki mugs. Yeah, three different drinks. And so when you look at the menu, if you don't know that, you're gonna be like, 'Why is that drink $40?' It's because you get to take the ceramic mug home. So, the alcoholic one is the Yub Nub. And love, you might love this alcohol. But if the first ingredient in any cocktail is Malibu pineapple, I'm just out. I'm out.


Robyn:

Public service announcement: If you ever meet Jason, don't ever order Malibu. Here's like a 30-minute speech he will give you.


Jason:

But it's a fun drink. It's akin to an Applebee's cocktail. And it's a good mug. It's the Mug of Endor. And then if you want a non-alcoholic option for the kiddies, or I actually liked the drag, it isn't fun, it is the Cliff Dweller, and then the mug's a pug. And it's adorbs. But then if you're real, you want to carry a big thing home, you get the beer flight, which comes in Rancor teeth, which comes in four teeth and a holder. And when it's in the box, in the Styrofoam, it is gigantic. But it's an awesome thing to take home. And we have some friends over, throw like candies in each of the teeth. Like, it's such a cool piece to have, whether you have a home bar or not. It's just a fun piece to have. So if you'd like beer, at least get up your flight, and want to take on the Rancor teeth. So there you go. There's your tips.


Robyn:

It's kind of a great atmosphere. If you are like old school Disney, if you want you and your kid on Star Tours, there was like a little robot, and he was like, 'It's my first time,' and he would take you. That guy is kind of like a little DJ, and it's kind of fun. It's definitely an atmosphere bar. It is, you know, as far as like it's got a lot of really great theming, but I don't spend as much time there because I usually don't get reservations, and I don't like standing. But they're coming out with Carnation, Cafe Orleans, and River Belle Terrace, all have alcohol coming up soon.


Jason:

There is much theming involved in those, so to speak. But when you go to the places that are themed, like Oga's, and we're going to talk about Trader Sam's, make sure to look up, you know, people always kind of look at their high level. Yeah, and especially at Trader Sam's, look down, there are things that are low, things that are high. So if you really want to be enveloped, make sure you look all the way around you. But one thing, and correct me if I'm wrong, when I first started going to Oga’s, because I always said to my wife, 'Why don't you play the cantina song?' Yeah. And then the last time I was there, I heard it. I'm like, 'Oh, enough people must have complained. How can you have this bar and not have a Cantina song, that’s crazy.' But yeah, it's fun. Like I said, I don't mind standing there, and all the bartenders are great. I'm jonesing for an Outer Rim cocktail right now.


Robyn:

I know now I really want a drink. Yeah, it's a little early.


Jason:

I'm gonna see you later.


Robyn:

So, California Adventure is if you're from Disney World coming to Disneyland for the first time, California Adventure is the Epcot of the Disneyland Resort. So, it is the place where you can get a lot more options for alcohol. And there's lots of beer, lots of wine, lots of champagne, sparkling wine options. There are some places with really great cocktails. So, Jason, what are your go-tos in California Adventure? What are your tips for that?


Jason:

Well, as I was taking notes last night, I think there's 19 places to get alcohol. I might have missed one or two, but I mean, that's a heck of a number. And all of it is to go. So, if you fast pass and something, you gotta shoreline, do it. But if you know, you're going to allow it, you're going to stand away with a cocktail. You know.


Robyn:

If you've never been to Disneyland, you're allowed to have drinks in line; you're just not allowed to take those drinks on the attraction. So, if you have a drink and it's time for you to get on the attraction, they will make you throw it away beforehand. There's no, 'Let me put it someplace,' you have to throw it away. So, if you're going to do it in line, just make sure you're ready to chug if necessary.


Jason:

And a lot of places, even the smallest places, will have a beer or a seltzer like Angry Dogs, which obviously is a hot dog place that has one beer. No selection, you either like that beer or you don't. Award Winners has beer and seltzer. There are three selections, so you know, those are not your deepest cuts. But if you're standing there getting a dog and you want a beer, boom, you are right there.


Carthay Circle: Delicious High End Cocktails

If you want to sit down and have good cocktails, it's Carthay Circle. And such an extensive menu compared to a lot of places. Like it takes a lot when you're in the menus online or on the app, it takes a while to scroll through all the cocktails there. It's one of our favorite spots to relax and have a cocktail or two because also now this is one of the places that's using a little bit better ingredients, a little more esoteric than some of the places. You know, I've been cocktailing not all my adult life because I grew up country pumpkin, but the last 30 years for sure. And I still enjoy it when I get to a place where I've got to look up what the ingredient is. And I know a lot of stuff, but there's still, you know, bars that are pushing the envelope, are trying new things, and most people don't, and you're like, 'What's that?' You know. But yeah, so they have wines, they have after-dinner drinks, and they have classic cocktails, and they just have such a great selection. They got a pretty decent Mai Tai, a great Daiquiri. Now here's a little tip for those of you who are not the biggest drinkers: If your daiquiri is strawberry and frozen, that really isn't a daiquiri. That's like it's another drink that stole the name. A daiquiri is just rum, lime, and sugar shaken, served straight up in a coupe glass. That's a daiquiri.


Robyn:

I don't think I've ever actually had a daiquiri then.


Jason:

Variations like they have the Hemingway daiquiri, which adds grapefruit juice and Maraschino liqueur. So, it keeps it kind of dry and tart, whereas the regular one's just rum, lime, and sugar. And they also have the Aviation cocktail, which is the big gin cocktail. If you like that, they've got a good one here. That's a really good sidecar. That's great. So it's kind of the beginning of the epicenter of the park. So you can, you know, like, 'Okay, well, I'll meet here at 4 pm for drinks,' you know. And you can get reservations for that relatively easy compared to Trader Sam's and Oga's.


Robyn:

Now, Carthay Circle actually has kind of like two locations in the same place. So, there's the Alfresco Lounge, which has some seating outside, but you might get seated at the bar inside, and then they have the restaurant that's upstairs. So, if you're trying to get food at the same time, make sure you compare both venues before you make the reservation. I really liked the Alfresco Lounge; they have my favorite dessert. Have you ever had an ice cream sundae with caramel and chocolate, but it's got caramel popcorn in it.


I went to order the hazelnut crunch. And the server was like, no, no, you don't want that one. And then the cocktail that I like is probably too sweet for you. Because you know, I like little kid drinks, I drink the chicken nuggets at the cocktail world. And so I love pimps' punches. Oh, yeah, it is one of my favorites and has been my favorite for like a long time. It's just I don't know why they always add the best strawberries on top.


Jason:

Whatever you like, you like, but I always try to educate my friends who are like, 'I like Malibu Rum.' And I always say, 'Malibu.' I'm just saying, Malibu ain't really wrong. Yes, based on actual laws, and actually, I change their name. And so if I see friends drinking coconut rum or pineapple-flavored rum, there are actually decent rums out there that are made with actual coconut, actual pineapple, not chemicals.


Robyn:

There's a lot of options, and Carthay Circle is modeled after the theater that Snow White did. It's got a lot of history, a lot of great pictures. From now on I would go to the bathroom, even if you don't need to go to the bathroom because there's some really great pictures in the stairwell up to the bathroom. But even if you don't go on a full-on meal, I love Carthay Circle, one of my favorite places to eat in the park. It is more upscale, but it's the nicest restaurant where you can wear shorts and Mickey ears.


Jason:
Lamplight Lounge and Magic Key Terrace

Speaking of, I don't wear sleeves too often, so most of these bars are okay for me. We're going to talk about one that I would go find a shirt with some sleeves on it. But let me tell you about things that aren't that good, things that you can skip, okay, that people will tell you are awesome. And I have plenty of years' experience drinking cocktails to tell you. There was nothing wrong with a drink, but I don't remember anything I drank that night. And usually I'm like, 'Oh my god, I kind of like I would have it.' And I know it's not the greatest Margarita, but I do have an outer rim right now. I would not go have a drink at the Lamplight Lounge. If it's nighttime and you're sitting there, the show's going on, or just the lights, it's a great location for that. Not bad drinks, but not like I'm so excited.


Robyn:

People rave about the lobster nachos. Ten years ago, they were raveable; they are very hit or miss if they come even just a little bit cold. They're not good anymore.


Jason:

We only went a third time, you know, for me, once shame on me, because my mom was with us and she wanted some place to sit that was shaded and then a nice view. And I'm like, 'Alright, we'll go up there.' The first time they had this trio of gin drinks, one was pine-flavored wine. It was so good. My wife hated it, but I loved it. Yeah, don't have that trio anymore. But the service was always horrible, so the drinks were not that—I mean, I liked them, but the service was never good. And, one night, we waited over an hour to get bad service. And that really ruins it right there.


Robyn:

Now, it is important to know, any of these sit-down locations for cocktails, you need to budget an hour to 90 minutes. You would think that they would be turning really fast, but the servers are very busy. And you just have to keep your expectations low. I found this especially true at Lamplight and at Blue Bayou.


Jason:
Pym's Test Lab: Cocktails and Characters

Now, the big tip in California Adventure is about Pym's.


Robyn:

So many great things! The food in the Test Kitchen is great. And then they've got the labs, which have cocktails. So, you can order drinks with your meal. But there's also a little bar. And I love sitting at the bar because you just hang around there. You get to watch all sorts of Avengers walk by, you know? You're just having your cocktail and the war scrolls by, or Loki scrolls by. It's super fun. It's great people-watching too.


Jason:

And the great thing about Pym's is, it's right across from Guardians of the Galaxy. Yeah. And so, if you've never gone, you can preorder a lot of food and a lot of drinks on the app. And then you say, 'I'm here, make it.' So, as you step onto your car in Guardians, you've clicked the order, boom. As you step off, you go, 'I'm here,' because it is just right across the way. And then you walk up like you order a cocktail. You never have to wait one second for, you to play it right now; if you just walk up, it can only take a couple of minutes because, again, they're on tap. But we drink there the most because it's right in the middle of the action, easy to pick up and go. And like, don't die for a cocktail. Let's go right there. So, we love drinking at them's because it's just so easy.


Robyn

And if you just want the cocktail I would order from the labs, you'll be faster. Pym's Test Kitchen, they really should have mean two different things. It might say like the next mobile order is available in three hours. That doesn't mean that you can't order just the booze from the labs.


Jason:

Then the bonus tab, which has nothing to do with booze, but getting a soda, a Diet Coke in there. They have the 'build your own' machine for you. So yeah, that's only in a couple of places, and that's one of them. So I'm a big Diet Coke drinker, and so that's one of the places besides getting cocktails. We always get Diet Coke because I can make it exactly the way I want to.


Robyn:

Now, I think I heard somewhere that it's like a special, like a vanilla Sprite because it's only available in this location, not available anywhere else.


Jason:

I don't know that again, 'cause I like my cocktails. I like a little more on the dark side, more lemon diet coke kind of guy than vanilla. Although I will have it every once in a while. But yeah, so Pym's is a good spot, any like you said. You sit there and just watch all the action of the event. You're walking around, just so great. So, this is a perfect spot. Some things are built right. You know, in terms of flows and stuff like that, that in that spot is perfect. I want to go there now. Let's go. This is making me Jones. Let's go. And like I said, a lot of places have the Cozy Cone Motel, and number four has beer and cocktails, Flo's has beer and Seltzer. Hollywood Lounge has a bunch of cocktails, and that's kind of off by itself.


Robyn:

It's like way back in the corner. but it's not as busy which is great. And there is some seating around there. It's close to Monsters Inc. So it's a great place, or if your kids are playing on the band stage there in California Adventure it's going to be over there.


Jason:

And as of this recording, they're changing over that area.


Robyn:
Beer and Margaritas in San Fransokyo

Yeah. There's an area that's got a ton of seating. It's kind of like in between Cars Land, and like over by the Pixar pier. It used to be called Pacific wharf. Now it's called San Fransokyo. And it's BMX themed and there are some specific cocktails but all of those locations really serve alcohol.


Jason:

Yep, to go a different way in the park over Smokejumpers Grill. The one really good thing about that compared to everything else is a frozen rum and coke.


Robyn:

My mom’s totally done the frozen rum and coke.


Jason:

So, talk about adult cool treats for the day. Now they do that at Adorable Snowman frosted treats. However, not really a lot of booze in the boozy ones, and just has blue curacao. I mean, blue curacao isn't all that potent. Yeah, you know, it's got a nice flavor to it. I'll drink gaming blue, so you can get it there. But if you want our true frozen adult cocktail, go to Smokejumpers and get the rum and coke. Really good.


Robyn:
Bayside Brews: Beer at Pixar Pier

And if you've got a beer lover with you, there's beer in all of the dining locations. But there is a specific location, Bayside Brews, that has a much wider 'like-to-go' tap. That's over by Boardwalk Pier, unless you're disagreeing and you find someplace else is better.


Jason:

No, I fully agree with that. And as I teased earlier, I don't like to wear sleeves too often. Yeah, only not wearing any right now. But if I was going to Napa Rose, even just for a drink? I would absolutely go find some sleeves.


Robyn:
Napa Rose: High End Cocktails and Food

It is literally the nicest restaurant in the entire resort. There is nothing more high-end. So, if you're looking for someplace really fancy for your foodie, then that's going to be where you want to go. It is expensive. And in the mornings, it is a Princess Breakfast Adventure, which is 125 bucks per person, for the most part. You know, if you're there for the food and not characters and you're going to go in the evening, they have a really expensive venue. I've never been there for cocktails though.


Jason:

Here's what's funny. I've never had dinner there for cocktails, but to tell you how good they are? The cocktails are incredible. How good the skippers, which are the bartenders at Trader Sam's, I am friends with a bunch of them. That's where we drink together. We go to Napa Rose to drink, so the skippers like to drink there. And so, the cocktails — and now we're to that point where it's a way higher end, there is zero Malibu on this menu. And it's all good stuff. And just a good variety from gin to vodka to rum. Oh yeah, this was a monk with Appleton rum and chartreuse. Chartreuse is a very much acquired taste, but I love it. My wife doesn't. Just a whole gamut of boozes featured in cocktails. So, it's such a nice place to sit down, find your sleeves, find your sleeves, and go there and Hearthstone Lounge to get a big, long cocktail list. Good cocktails, that's where I hang out with the other bartenders from around the park.


Robyn:

And just to clarify, those locations are all in the Grand Californian. So they're kind of connected to the park. There's an exit door in California and Redwood Challenge Creek. So, it's in between there, and you can exit out that way. You can also enter from Downtown Disney or from the actual hotel's entrance. Grand Californian, in general, is something I usually take a first-timer to walk through, especially if you're around Christmas time. Their lobby is stunning and worth the walk just because it's so beautiful.


Jason:

And I gotta say, gotta say it: there are a lot of nooks and crannies in that place. We call it the lobby, but the grounds are so far from the lobby; everywhere you go that has a leather seat, they're so comfy. And we discovered this about halfway through our year of having a pass, where, like, there's this corner no one's ever in. Yeah, we wanted to take a break and enjoy the really good air conditioning. We'd sit in there, and didn't have a drink or anything. Just, we happened to find it by accident. Like, 'Oh, this chair is comfy. I'm gonna sit here.' And that became our new kind of rest spot. We needed just that blast of cold air for, like, five minutes and wanted a really comfy seat. All right, I think we've saved the best for last.


Robyn:

Yes, so we're not talking about anything at the last Disneyland Resort because right now it's kind of in limbo. There's not really much, there's not anything worth walking over there. But the Disneyland Hotel has the place to get cocktails, and the place that I think that is probably nearest and dearest to Jason's heart, because it is Tiki-themed, and he is all about the tiki.


Jason:
Trader Sam's: A Tiki Lovers Paradise

Yeah, I was at Trader Sam's the first or second week it opened. I wish I could remember exactly, but it was right there without my wife, and I texted her from the bar. So back then, and before anyone knew about it, you could just waltz in at any time of any day if you're out at the bar, have a drink. And so, that first time I was there, I was with a couple of friends who live locally. And I texted my wife, and she goes, 'Well?' and I go, 'I think I'm gonna get a cocktail and sleep here.' Like right in the bar because a good tiki bar needs a few things: drinks for sure, of course, atmosphere, and also, meaning the decor around you. Some Tiki bars do want to include if they have a little magic and the music; it all plays a part in it. So even when I go to the bathroom, speaking of bathrooms, Trader Sam's is probably the prettiest Tiki Bar bathroom in the world. I even told my wife that. She goes, 'What?' I just call the wallpaper, the light scones. I mean, just everything in the bathroom is so nice. Now, here's your tip because nowadays, it ain't so quiet.


Robyn:

It is busy all the time. All the time. It's rare. I've only been there one or two times but it's not been full.


Jason:

Yeah, do not, do not try to go on Friday and Saturday night, like at 7 pm, unless you love standing in line for three hours.


Robyn:

Yeah, because that's literally how long the wait will be two to three hours.


Jason:

There’s a few times we walked because we're like, Okay, we've been here a million times. Nope. You know, I'm not gonna wait three hours if you fashion yourself a day drinker, or if you haven't become one because when you walk in at 11:30am sit, right, the bar No wait. And they say there's a 90 minute wait, but during the day, since people aren't beating down the doors, like they would be on a Friday, Saturday night, but again, people who don't get the reservations, 60 days out, they don't even bother. I'm like, Okay, I walk up again, not Friday, not Saturday night, but I walk up on normal times, normal unions and just put our name in. And, you know, 20 minutes, a half hour, that's when I go into the gift shop in the hotel. You know, that's where I spent some of my time buying some goodies. But the nice thing is they tripled, quadrupled the size when they added the outdoor patio, and gorilla terrace so you can get the same drinks outside. However, there's a lot of magic inside.


Robyn:

Yes, a different experience. So, if you're going for the ambiance, you need to ask to sit inside. It is still beautiful outside; you can watch kids play in the pool. And they also have the loaded dole whips there as well, so you can get dole whip with a shot of rum in it. It's very nice to get, like tiki torches out there. It's great. But inside is a completely different world.


Jason:

A whole new world. But it seems so appropriate for that moment. Yeah, so you want to go inside because magic happens if you order three drinks, and I will not ruin the magic. So no spoiler alert needed. But if you order Krakatoa or, or Shipwreck, yes, yeah, that's what I don't drink most because I'm not a bourbon drinker. But here's the big tip: if you're facing the bar dead center, you have to sit on the right side someplace, whether at the bar or at the two tops, or the Four Tops. Because most magic happens on both sides. Yeah, the Shipwreck only happens on the right.


Robyn:

And if you ask your bartender, if I order a shipwreck, will I be able to see it? They will answer your question without ruining the magic. It's a small bar, there's not a lot of places to sit. But you can see everything except for the shipwreck, the shipwreck is the one area where you need to have a specific seat.


Jason:

And bonus tip. If you go live with everything, Disney, if you go in the month of December, the magic still happens. But now it has become winter magic. So the tikkis will have little Christmas hats, little Santa hats on them. So definitely if you've been there before, not during the holidays, definitely stick your head in that Christmas time because it is a whole new world again, because it's very tropical and magical and Christmassy.


Robyn:

It's really... It's so much fun. There is a 90-minute wait. And during busy times, they are very strict on the 90 minutes. For me, it's so loud; I can't do more than 90 minutes. But if you're going when it's quiet and people aren't ordering as many of the magic drinks, then it's not. Then I could stay there for hours.


Jason:

I'm the other way. I could sit there for five hours, yeah, and drink and talk. And here's your next tip. No, write this one down. If you'd like a tiki drink not on the menu, this is the rare place where the skippers will make other tiki drinks, and they all have their Rolodex of their specialties. So definitely have something from the menu to taste what they've created for it. But then, go off, and let me tell you, if you are a drinker and you like booze, get the zombie; that's my favorite drink there.


Robyn:

And that one as a souvenir mug.


Jason:

Yeah, so the zombie has a souvenir mug, the Mai-Tai has a souvenir mug, and the shipwreck has a souvenir mug. The Uh-Oa has a souvenir bowl that Krakatoa punch has the best souvenir ball. Because as you drink you see the crack of Toba? It's awesome. But the zombie will kick your ass.


Robyn:

I saw somebody post that like how do I know how much more the souvenir mugs are versus the regular drink prices.


Jason:

That's one thing; they don't put prices anywhere on that menu, I think. But that one for sure, I think it's like, nowadays it's like 40 some with a mug. But the other tip is, you can come home and sell the mug for about what you paid for it with a drink in it. And so essentially, your drinks are free. That's what I do all over the world.


Robyn:

Jason and I actually became friends because he is one of the world's leading experts on eBay. If you're looking to kind of get more information, you should follow him for that. Or he's also got a tiki channel that he's been growing, and he's got so much knowledge when it comes to Tiki. So fun to listen to him talk about the history and all of these different things. And remember, you've been walking all day and might be hot, so those drinks can hit you a little bit harder. And it is a bummer if you only have two days in the park and then you're hungover for one of them. So, you know, make sure you pace yourself.


Jason:

But also, you can walk off your cocktail calories. Yeah, good. Yeah, you do day drinking, and before you will take a little afternoon nappy nap, get back to the park and walk those calories off. It's like I didn't have any drinks. And then, he got the mugs you can resell, and then you can pay for your drinks. And it's like they didn't even exist, but they tasted good.


Robyn:

If you're going for cocktails, Trader Sam's, Carthay Circle, and Oga's are the priority places. And there are lots of really great restaurants in the Anaheim area that offer great cocktails as well. So, don't feel like you're limited to just the resort.


Don't Forget Downtown Disney

But if you're not somebody that wants to leave or you don't have a car, there's a lot of really great restaurants in Downtown Disney as well.


Jason:

Oh yeah. And they all have booths like black tab, Ballast Point cocktails, wine, beer, and Seltzer. If you're having dinner in Downtown Disney, plenty of options there. We just get those and walk right over to Trader Sam's because that's the other side of Downtown Disney from the park.


Robyn:

And Trader Sam's does have food as well, you know. They've got like a little, they've got several things. I'm gluten-free, so I only had a couple of things there. But I've had good luck there. The food's pretty decent.


Jason:

We tend to work our meals around there, too. Since we're sitting there, ya know, we're gonna be there for a couple of hours having cocktails, we'll definitely get our food there. But yeah, I have spent quite a bit of time at Trader Sam's for like 13 years or something like that. I have spent a lot of hours there.


Robyn:
Using Picky Mickey from ParkMagic to Find the Perfect Cocktail

And then, if you're looking for a cocktail or wine and beers, a shameless plug on park Magic for picky Mickey tool, you can actually go into picky Mickey and say cocktails, beer, wine, or alcohol, and you can search, and it will show you exactly in the park what alcohol is available in each location. So it's not like going to beer and then finding out that that place only has IPA or only has Coors Light. You can see exactly what's available. And you can see the cocktails that you really want to try. So you have a list.


Jason:

I made those lists myself anyway. Yeah, I'm a nerd that makes spreadsheets for everything.


Robyn:

Even have walking directions so you can click on it and it'll give you a Google Map walking directions.


Jason:

47 Steps to the other way.


Robyn:

Crazy that the Disneyland app doesn't do that. They just show you the map, which is really helpful if you know the parks, but if you don't know the parks, it's a little less helpful.


Jason:

Oh, yeah, definitely got to have a walk. And one last thing I just thought about: all the food-type festivals that come to California Adventure. They were all little small houses, little kiosks. Yeah. And they'll have cocktails just for those different times. So you're not just beholden to the actual restaurants and snack downs. If they're having any festival, like the Food and Wine, the Chinese New Year, or any of those, there'll be specialty cocktails just for that. And the Christmas one, I don't remember exactly what it was, but man, there was a good Christmas cocktail. That leaned a little on the sweet side for me, but it was so good. I was like, 'Yeah, I've never had one of those before.' So keep that in mind. If you're there any of those times, make sure you check out, besides the food offerings, the cocktail offerings because they'll be different than anyplace in the park.


Robyn:

It used to be that Disneyland was a dry park. Now, that is not really the case. Disneyland, you still kind of have to sit down, but California Adventure, there are so many options. This episode has been helpful. Drink responsibly, drive responsibly, of course. But if you want to get more Tiki information, you can follow Jason. What's the best way? What's the best channel for them to follow you at?


Jason:

Well, probably my Tiki group on Facebook, which is Polynesian pop Tiki collectors.


Robyn:

And then you can find him on Google, Jason T Smith. He comes up; he's a big guy with a long beard, you know.


Jason:

No hair!


Robyn

You can't miss that, I was gonna skip that part.


Jason:

Because there's a lot of Jason Smith in the world. So yeah, it definitely separates me from the pack a little bit. Jason T Smith and Tiki, you'll definitely find me.


Robyn:

And then, if you want to know more about the app, you can go to ParkMagic.com. There's a link at the top where you can click on Picky Mickey and learn a little bit more about our food finder.


Thanks for listening to this episode of the Park Magic podcast. For more tips and planning tools designed to help simplify your Disneyland adventure, visit ParkMagic.com. If you enjoyed today's episode and want to hear more tips, be sure to subscribe to the Park Magic podcast. And don't forget to leave us a review; your feedback helps us spread the magic even further. Leaving a review could also help you! Each month, we will be selecting one reviewer to win a one-hour planning session with Robin. Winners will be announced at the end of the first episode of every month. Thanks for tuning in, and remember that we are here to help you have a less stressful and more magical trip to Disneyland.


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