1st Annual Disney Bar Crawl
I have been going to Disneyland/CA Adventure forever, but now that I’m an adult and a passholder, it’s fun to find new ways to enjoy the parks and come up with new plans for each visit. Here is the itinerary from my very first attempt at a Disneyland Bar Crawl at California Adventure!
We arrived at 9am when the park opened that day and settled in by hitting some of the rides that historically get super busy. We headed over to Cars Land and did the Radiator Springs Racers and then did a loop around the pier, did the Little Mermaid ride, etc.
Around 11am, we headed to our first stop at Cocina Cucamonga (the Mexican place on the wharf!) to get a glass of red sangria for $7.50 each and then headed over to the Lucky Fortune Cookery for an early lunch so we could have some protein before starting off on our Bar Crawl day. Pro tip: Get to the eateries before the lunch rush. We always hit the restaurants at slightly off hours (i.e. 11:15am for lunch or 4:30pm for an early start to our dinner plans) because you run into far fewer crowds and can have a much more pleasant experience! We grabbed a table right by the water to enjoy our first cocktail and lunch.
Next up, we walked just a few short steps over to Rita’s Baja Blenders (also on the wharf, in a small pop-up stand right in the middle of everything). The margaritas are awesome and are served blended with a salt rim. You can choose between lemon lime and strawberry, but I always opt for the lemon lime! Margs are $8.25 for a regular, but for an extra couple of coins, 50c to be exact, you can get the grand margarita that comes with an extra splash of liqueur. This is the perfect drink to take on the go since it comes in a plastic glass, so we took ours and headed for the backside of Paradise Pier and tried some of the games for the very first time! We bought the $5 play card, because we just wanted to try 2 games and it was a blast. Pro tip: The game to the far left is a fishing type game, and gives anyone who plays a prize! So much fun, especially to walk away with a little stuffed turtle. For the more avid gamers, you can buy larger quantities of gameplay and play more games in hopes of getting one of the large Disney related stuffed animals!
From here we walked around the park, toward the Disney Grand Californian and the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail. This is actually a really cool place to walk around complete with waterfalls, bridges and a forest like atmosphere. Great place to take photos! After this, we headed toward the Sonoma area to check out the Alfresco Tasting Terrace (on the second level above everything). Pro tip: on the weekends, the tasting terrace opens at 2pm, arrive a little bit before 2 and you will have your pick of the tables. Be warned, they have limited seating and it fills up fast! This is a great place to go when you’re looking to get away from the craziness and enjoy an incredible atmosphere and panoramic views of the park. We stayed here for over an hour just sitting and enjoying the break. We got the light whites wine flight for $18 which comes with three glasses of wine including a Silverado Vineyards Miller Ranch Sauvignon Blanc, MacMurray Ranch Pinot Gris and Fess Parker Riesling. It was a warmer day, so the white wines were a perfect choice!
It started getting pretty crowded at this point so we decided to take our adventure outside the park walls and headed for one of our favorites, Trader Sam’s Tiki Bar. But, if you’re a Trader Sam’s regular, you know that seating is hit or miss and is entirely dependent on timing and if you’re lucky enough to get there when someone has just left! Alas, there were no seats, but before you get discouraged like we almost did, we found another option! Tangaroa Terrace is a restaurant that is connected to Trader Sams, just on the other side of the outdoor patio area through a set of double doors. It looks like your typical Disney dining hall, with counter service. They have tiki-themed dining options, and I opted for the slow-roasted Kālua-style Pork Sandwich, with a side of fries and tropical slaw for $11.99. The sandwich was great and just enough for what I was looking for. Pro tip: You can order your drinks at the Trader Sam's bar right next door and enjoy them on the patio (it's the same patio just around the corner) and you get the same outdoor tiki vibe, complete with fire lanterns and a view of the resort pools. We grabbed cocktails at Trader Sams (I got my favorite, the Krakatoa!) and they still included the glow ice cube and some fun straws. Totally fun alternative if you can't get a seat next door!
Finally, after a full day of stops, we still had energy for one more, so we concluded at Tortilla Jo’s in Downtown Disney. Pro tip: Ask for the patio, in my experience it’s a much quicker wait and a better overall experience dining outdoors! Since we had just split a great sandwich a bit earlier at Tangaroa, we opted for margaritas and dessert at Tortilla Jo’s. We got the casa margarita for $9 and the mini churros. YUM. Perfect way to end the day!
You might be thinking, a bar crawl without Cove Bar or Carthay? How could you? Believe me, they are two of my all-time favorite spots, so they will be featured separately and can be integrated into your bar crawl if you eliminate something else! We just didn’t feel like waiting 2 hours at Cove Bar when we could maximize our time elsewhere. Plus, we will be at Cove Bar next week, so stay tuned!