Sipping Into Summer: Disneyland Resort Drinks

by Lisa Stiglic, contributing writer
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"I don't know why but I've always loved the idea of summer, and sun, and all things hot." -Olaf, from Frozen

Disney's favorite snowman got it right. Summer is just around the seasonal corner and in Southern California that means some hot days ahead for guests planning a visit to the Disneyland Resort. Luckily, both theme parks and surrounding hotels have some cool beverages for guests of all ages to help beat the heat.

I'll start with the basics. Throughout the Resort, guests can always find Coca-Cola products which also include bottled water, fruit juices, and lemonade. And, for the caffeine lovers, the fourth Starbuck's on property will open soon in Downtown Disney which will allow another venue for sweet, syrupy refreshments available as well as some different iced tea varieties.


Soda products and water are easy to find and quick to grab when on the move to the next queue. Photo by Lisa Stiglic.

Now, on to the real thirst-quenchers.

Disneyland Park

Just upon entering Adventureland stands one of Disney's most beloved attractions, and its adjoining beverage bar—The Enchanted Tiki Room and the Tiki Juice Bar. Since I'm not a Dole Whip fan, I usually opt for the straight pineapple juice—chilled and tart. However, some guests seek out the Dole Whip float, which is Dole Whip plus pineapple juice, a tantalizing thirst-buster complete with colorful umbrella. (I'll let you in on a little secret. If the line seems too long, pop in through the turnstile and purchase your beverages in the holding area for the Enchanted Tiki Room attraction. Once you buy your items, you can just exit back through the turnstile).

Trek through Adventureland and enter New Orleans Square to follow the queue straight up to the Mint Julep Bar on the backside of the French Market (near the railroad). Guests are usually lined up for the mouth-watering Mickey beignets (another story) but the mint julep deserves its own recognition with its sparkling fresh taste with a hint of lime. The beverage is also available for purchase inside the French Market.


Kids of all ages will love the honey candy added to the Honey Bee Frozen Lemonade. Photo by Lisa Stiglic.

If you're on your way to cool off on Splash Mountain, swing by Hungry Bear Restaurant which offers a sweet version of a frosty drink, the Honey Bee Frozen Lemonade. Although I was expecting something more elaborate—this frozen pink lemonade was basically topped with canned whipped cream and an added honey stick—it was still refreshing.

Disney California Adventure

Okay, one park down and one to go. I took a few days off in between, then headed over to Disney California Adventure. I seem to find myself back at Cars Land's Cozy Cone Motel every time I stop in at DCA. This time, I focused on the beverages offered and there were plenty including a "Route" beer float (with souvenir glass), and Ramone's "Pear a Dice" soda concoction made up of Sprite and desert pear syrup with a touch of mojito flavoring. I chose Red's Apple Freeze, which is frozen apple juice with a bit of marshmallow syrup and a dollop of mango foam. It was frosty and phenomenal.


Red's Apple Freeze is available at Beverage Cone #4, and is also available in a souvenir cup. Photo by Lisa Stiglic.

I knew I had to try a milkshake somewhere in the Resort. Carnation Cafe on Disneyland's Main Street has a few varieties from which to choose. Likewise at Flo's V8 Cafe in Cars Land, there are chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, or all three as a Neapolitan combination. But if you want to do it right, you go straight to the source: Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop.

Located on the Pacific Wharf, a Disney mock-up of San Francisco's famed waterfront, Ghirardelli enticed me with the Sea Salt Caramel Quake Shake. This decadent, dessert drink consists of vanilla ice cream infused (or mixed) with caramel chocolate candy, a fresh banana, and topped with whipped cream, sea salt, and gooey Ghirardelli caramel. For this research, I brought along a friend who is a bit of a sea salt and caramel connoisseur. While we thoroughly slurped every drop, the lack of saltiness and buttery caramel made the drink resemble a rich chocolate milkshake—which isn't a bad thing but a bit misleading for those expecting the strong salt/caramel combination.


Ghirardelli's milkshakes come in three sizes. The medium Sea Salt Caramel Quake Shake was plenty for the two of us. Photo by Lisa Stiglic.

Resort Hotels

And, saving the best for last, what would a Disneyland drink article be without the jungle gem of Trader Sam's Enchanted Tiki Bar at the Disneyland Hotel? Inspired by the world-famous Jungle Cruise, Trader Sam's combines a festive atmosphere, familiar corny jokes, and some crazy, tasty drinks for guests young and old. My husband and I attempted several visits to the establishment but the line was always too long for our time frame.

We eventually struck out on a late afternoon adventure and found ourselves inside the enchanting dwelling. Okay, it was a hut — with a lot of Tiki masks, neon lights, pounding drums, and cast members spraying us with water. I loved it. Although known mostly for its alcoholic beverages, there are a few selections for the non-drinkers and/or kids.


The non-alcoholic Skipper Sipper may not be the prettiest drink, but the combination of tropical fruit juices, agave nectar, lime juice, and mint are delightful. Photo by Lisa Stiglic.

Overall, the Disneyland Resort offers a plethora of selections for thirsty guests, so grab your sunglasses, your sunscreen, and your iced libations to help beat the California heat this summer. As Olaf says, "Let's bring back summer!". The Hyperion Theatre's newly added drink holders are a perfect spot to secure your frosty indulgences check out Olaf's new show: Frozen - Live at the Hyperion in Disney California Adventure. Cheers!

 

Comments

  1. By MadasaHatter

    Mmmmmmmmm. Now I'm thirsty. I have a few things to try now.

    As a fan of the real Mint Julep I have always felt that that one was WAAAAY too sweet (my sister loves them) so that is the only thing I would add. It seems like most of the Virgin Drinks fall short since the main ingredient in almost all of them is....well....booze! Ha!

    I also think the Enchanted Tiki Room is always more festive with a beverage, float or whip. They do let you take them in....love that!

  2. By ralfrick

    Minor Point, but Pacific Wharf is actually inspired by Cannery Row in Monterey. Of course, Ghiradelli Square itself is in SF.

  3. By DisneyGator

    Thanks for the fun article! As a non-drinker (and going as far to say an "alcohol hater" due to history), I really liked this. While I usually stick to water while in the parks, the Honey Bee Lemonade and Red's Apple Freeze both sound like something I need to try. I may give the Pear a Dice a try as well.

  4. By wwu1990

    Quote Originally Posted by MadasaHatter View Post
    Mmmmmmmmm. Now I'm thirsty. I have a few things to try now.

    As a fan of the real Mint Julep I have always felt that that one was WAAAAY too sweet (my sister loves them) so that is the only thing I would add. It seems like most of the Virgin Drinks fall short since the main ingredient in almost all of them is....well....booze! Ha!

    I also think the Enchanted Tiki Room is always more festive with a beverage, float or whip. They do let you take them in....love that!

    I've never had a real mint julep so thought this one was pretty refreshing, not too sweet. The Trader Sam's drink was sweet but not a problem for me. Ha! Thanks Todd!

  5. By wwu1990

    Thanks for the input. The Red's Apple Freeze was really good! I tried to go back for the "Pear a Dice" but they were already out of it so maybe try that and let me know how it is! Cheers!

  6. By wwu1990

    Thanks for your input. Before Boudin revamped the restaurant (entry/exit was a mess), the display window had the history of Cannery Row with original photos and such. It was quite interesting. The tour is still fascinating but now with Ghirardelli, the Wharf has the feel of SF waterfront.

  7. By AVP

    Quote Originally Posted by wwu1990 View Post
    Thanks for the input. The Red's Apple Freeze was really good! I tried to go back for the "Pear a Dice" but they were already out of it so maybe try that and let me know how it is! Cheers!

    I love the Pear a Dice soda, but find the addition of flavored syrups to Sprite is way too much for me. I usually ask them to make mine with soda water instead of Sprite, and it's plenty sweet. If you really want the lemon/lime, you could do half-and-half.

    Adrienne

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