Skip to main content

The Manual may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

Where to Drink At Popular Amusement Parks Around the Country

After a few bouts with hours-long lines and the costume-wearing residents of the happiest place on earth, you’re gonna need a drink. Fortunately, many of the most famous amusement parks have adult-only getaways.

The most legendary of them all is Club 33. This members-only bar functions like a speakeasy and gilded society all in one. The first opened in 1967, right next to Walt Disney’s Victorian-themed apartment in the sprawling southern California micro-planet otherwise known as Disney Land.

club 33
Mxreb0, CC BY-SA 3.0/Wikimedia

With exorbitant memberships fees (well into the five-figures) and annual dues nearly as steep, Club 33 isn’t for all (or even most, let’s be real). But that’s kind of the point, as it was originally modeled after the high-end VIP lounges on display at the New York World’s Fair in the mid-1960s. The original location underwent a remodel in 2014, but it’s still home to outlandish things like large props from old movies and a harpsichord that’s allegedly been played by both Paul McCartney and Elton John.

Is it worth it? Having never been, I can’t say. The cocktails are rumored to be divine, made from some of the most coveted spirits available. Like any good bar or award-winning restaurant, Club 33 relies on the wisdom of industry veterans to turn out inch-perfect classics and inventive new drinks. As recently as 2011, the waiting list to get in was reported to involve a wait of roughly 14 years.

Located in Club 33, there’s a bar called Salon Nouveau and a restaurant that goes by Le Grande Salon. Being a showpiece, the club requires some showpieces. It’s been reported the place houses some extremely rare bottles, like a Johnnie Walker The John Walker, of which there are only two bottles known in the states). The drinks program, social media suggests, is among the best out there.

One of the main draws, of course, is the exclusivity. That element feels all the more dramatic smack dab in the middle of one of the most popular family vacation destinations on the planet. It’s pretty hidden, too — deliberately so — tucked away right near the Pirates of the Caribbean ride in New Orleans Square. Club 33 is completely outrageous and we Americans can’t get quite enough of that sort of thing.

club 33
MediaNews Group/Orange County Register/Getty Images / club-33-disneyland-Getty-Images-1032105734

The popularity of the original club has spawned sibling versions in Disney projects in both Tokyo and Shanghai. There’s also a similar club at Disney World in Florida, which opened a few years back. Naturally, there are other places to get hooch on or just beyond park grounds, but nothing nearly so extravagant, secretive, expensive, and unshared.

What about other parks? Club 33 is the crown jewel, but you can still get a good cocktail at popular amusement parks all over the place, minus the membership obstacles. Trader Sam’s is open to the masses, a tiki bar just outside of Disneyland in the park hotel. There’s the Rose & Crown, an English-inspired pub that’s part of the park’s Epcot Center in Florida. Then, of course, Epcot itself is a boon for drinkers, as you can drink your way around the world if you see fit, stopping in the different country areas to try “local” concotions, beers, wine, and more.

At Six Flags, while the kids take in some hurl-inducing rollercoasters, the parents can sneak away to a beer-friendly spot like Metro Pub at Six Flags Magic Mountain. At the Mall of America outside of Minneapolis, distractions abound at Nickelodeon Universe. Adults can imbibe in several spots throughout the massive mall, including FireLake Grill House, Crave, and the over-the-top Sugar Factory.

At the ever-popular Busch Gardens in Virginia, visitors can relax with a pint at Brauhaus Craft Bier Room, touting 30 rotating draft beers. In short, there’s usually a bar in or around the places your kids want to visit most. And a good drink after a long day of activities can keep a family vacation from becoming the stuff of a National Lampoon film.

Editors' Recommendations

Mark Stock
Mark Stock is a writer from Portland, Oregon. He fell into wine during the Recession and has been fixated on the stuff since…
A brief history of the whiskey sour cocktail (and how to make different versions)
Learn to make all these recipes of this historical drink
George Dickel Whiskey Sour

What is a whisky sour? The whiskey sour cocktail officially dates back to the 1860s, but sailors in the British Navy had been drinking something very similar long before that. On long sea journeys, water was not always dependable, so to combat that, spirits were often used. Scurvy, too, was another danger on these journeys, so lemons and limes were consumed to help prevent the disease (incidentally, this is also one of the reasons why British folk are called ‘Limeys’).

Finally, sugar and water were added for taste. At this point, the drink is probably starting to sound familiar. (Grog, the rum-based favorite of pirates across the seven seas, is made from the same components, substituting whiskey for the sugarcane-based spirit.)

Read more
How to make a crowd-pleasing shrimp scampi
Have a restaurant-style meal right at home
Shrimp Scampi with Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus

 

Garlicky and buttery, shrimp scampi is equally delicious by itself or with pasta. An Italian American creation, versions of shrimp scampi can be found in many seafood restaurants. But shrimp scampi is actually quite easy to make at home -- the key is good quality shrimp and fresh ingredients. Keep reading our guide and find out how to make shrimp scampi right at home in your own kitchen.
What is scampi?

Read more
A Victorian glasshouse inspired these luxury Scotch whiskies
A Victorian glasshouse inspired these luxury Scotch whiskies from Glen Grant
glen grant glasshouse collection jpg

Another high-end whisky release is on the horizon, with renowned Scotch distillery The Glen Grant releasing three new expressions as part of its Glasshouse Collection. The collection brings together some of the oldest aged whiskies in the distillery's cellars, inspired by the glasshouse of the brand's founder, James Grant, which was built in the 1880s.

When Grant traveled the world, he brought back botanical specimens kept in the glasshouse for study. Now, the brand is taking this inspiration for three of its carefully preserved and curated scotches. The Glasshouse Collection consists of a 21-year-old, 25-year-old, and 30-year-old single malt scotch. This collection will be the final one from Master Distiller Dennis Malcolm before he retires from his sixty-year career in the whisky trade.

Read more