2nd Annual Disney Bar Crawl
It's time for the day I have been waiting for....our 2nd Annual Disney Bar Crawl! Last year was such a hit, and frankly, just an incredible amount of fun, so we decided that this is now an annual tradition.
We arrived around 9am and did some stuff in Disneyland right as the park opened, which usually means, no crowds! Pixar Fest had just started so it was fun to check out some of the cute Pixar themed food options, like this nutella filled UP poptart. We also walked around Tarzan's Treehouse and we were the only people in there! Perfect timing.
Stop 1: We headed over to California Adventure to wander around a bit, and made our first stop at Smokejumpers Grill (next to Soarin') for a beer. I opted for the Columbia Street Amber Ale to start the day off right, and we grabbed a seat on the outdoor patio to enjoy our first round.
Pro tip: This eatery opens at 10:30am, which makes it one of the earliest establishments where you can get a drink.
Stop 2: After a little walking around, we headed over to our next stop, the Cozy Cone Motel to get something to eat and our next round. We grabbed Vodka Pomegranate Limeades and to eat, we opted for the 'Meatball Cone-frontation' which is a special Pixar Fest menu item with turkey meatballs in a habanero derby sauce with cheese crisps and spiral pasta smoke stacks. The combination of the vodka limeades and the spicy meatball cone was incredible!
Pro tip: Cone number 3 is the place to be! This is the location out of the 5 orange cones that serves alcoholic drinks and food. Don't forget to get your AP discount on the food!
Stop 3: Time to beat the heat and head indoors to Hearthstone Lounge at the Grand Californian Hotel. We grabbed two seats in one of the alcoves by the bar, which was nice and a little away from the main dining area. This is one of our favorite places to grab a cocktail, so they certainly did not disappoint. We opted for the Smokey Turkey cocktail (a long-time favorite) and the Walk the Plank, which is a new addition and super strong. Both were excellent!
Pro tip: You can easily access the Grand Californian Hotel through California Adventure, through the exit near the Grizzly Peak rapids ride. This saves you a ton of time, and you don't have to exit the park and walk all the way through Downtown Disney.
Stop 4: Finally, time for our all time favorite Disney bar, Trader Sam's of course. Let's be honest, I've been here more times than I can count now because it's one of my all time favorite bars. The ambiance is second to none, and the food and drinks never disappoint. We waited in a reasonably short line to get in, and got a great table inside. We got a few rounds here since we planned to stay here a bit longer, including the Krakatoa Punch, Pago Pago Cocktail, Shipwreck on the Rocks and the Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Rum. The drinks are always on point, and so beautifully presented! Additionally, they just came out with some new menu items, and the Chicken Teriyaki Bowl is amazing, filling and a great deal. It comes on a bed of rice and veggies, with diced chicken breast, teriyaki sauce, togarashi aioli and wonton chips. YUM!
Pro Tip: Make friends with people who look like they're about to leave or have already paid. Sometimes trying to get a table can be tricky, but we asked some people who had just paid their bill if they were leaving soon, and they let us stand next to them while they finished up so we could grab the table quickly. Also, Trader Sam's gives AP discounts on food - don't forget to show your pass!
Stop 5: The last stop of the night was Tortilla Jo's in Downtown Disney for chips and salsa, and of course, margaritas! We like coming here and spending some time chatting about our day. They also will give you unlimited chips and salsa refills!
Pro Tip: Ask to sit on the patio, there is usually never a wait if you go during off-peak hours. And the ambiance is great!
I'm already getting excited for the 3rd annual bar crawl next year!