Sipping Into Summer: Disneyland Resort Drinksby Lisa Stiglic, contributing writer
"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.
Now, on to the real thirst-quenchers.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!