Worst Theme Park Idea Ever: Disney Value Resorts BAR CRAWL

by on October 19, 2016 22 Comments

Filed under: Adults, Beyond the Parks, Dining, Drinking, Walt Disney World (FL)

We here at TouringPlans strive to constantly give our readers everything you need to know in order to save time and money on your Disney vacation. This past week alone, the Grand Poohbah of TouringPlans, Len Testa, had a fascinating look at The Best Walt Disney World Ticket and Hotel Prices, Liz Mangen explored the oft overlooked Walt Disney: Marceline to Magic Kingdom tour, and Daisy Lauren had an incredible look at the Disneyland’s in California and Tokyo. Not to be outdone, the think tank over at the SATURDAY SIX headquarters have decided to finally take on the conundrum that faces all vacation planners: how exactly does one achieve the very best Disney vacation?  Now, many inside-the-box thinkers go with the obvious answer, “Do The Things That Are Great.” Ride the best attractions, see the best shows, and eat at the most unique dining experiences. But to that we say Nay, Nay. Instead we are going to reverse engineer the problem by looking at all the truly awful ideas and explain to you Dear Reader, why you should not do them.

That, in a nutshell, is the raison d’être behind the Worst Theme Park Idea Ever series.

CHAPTER ONE: Walt Disney World Bar Crawls

No one likes Walt Disney World bars and lounges more than us*. With so many incredible choices available both inside the Disney parks and resorts, various “bar crawls” have popped up over the years. There is the famous Seven Seas Lagoon Monorail Bar Crawl, featuring bars such as Mizners, Tambu Lounge, and the Outer Rim. Drinking Around the World at EPCOT’s World Showcase is super popular, and you can’t forget the nearby EPCOT resort area bar crawl with places such as Crew’s Cup, Belle Vue Lounge, and Todd English’s bluezoo. One of the more underrated bar crawls is over in the Port Orleans area, where you enjoy a cocktail at Mardi Grogs and Scat Cat’s Club at French Quarter before strolling over to Riverside for a drink at Muddy Rivers before capping the night off with a performance of Yehaw Bob at the River Roost Lounge.

Yes, no doubt there are several incredible bar crawls at WDW but the question must be asked**, what is the worst?

WELCOME TO THE DISNEY VALUE RESORTS BAR CRAWL

Stop 1: The Drop Off at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort

We begin our journey at Disney’s awesome Art of Animation Resort. Because we grew up on films such as The Little Mermaid and The Lion King, it is a true blast to the past walking around and seeing all the theming dedicated to some of our favorite movies. We also love checking out all the great details of the resort, such as the signed animator’s sketches on Animation Hall’s chandelier. Unlike the moderate and deluxe categories of WDWhotels, the value resorts  only have one bar each, and they are all located in the main pool area of each resort.

AoA’s bar is the cleverly named The Drop Off, as it sits directly next to the largest pool on Disney property, the Big Blue Pool. As theme park bloggers, when we go to Disney bars, we generally gravitate to drinks exclusive to that particular bar or – even better – served in a souvenir cups. Unfortunately, The Drop Off had a strictly by the books drink menu and no souvenir cups.  We went with a Banana Cabana mixed drink, solely because it looked the  most colorful, along with a Kona Longboard draught beer.

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The Drop Off pool bar at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort. (photo by Brandon Glover)

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Banana Cabana (Cruzan Mango Rum, Coruba Coconut Rum, Bols Creme de Banana, with Orange and Pineapple Juice and a float of Grenadine) at The Drop Off. The Mickey straw was an extra $0.69. (photo by Brandon Glover)

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Kona Longboard draught. (photo by Brandon Glover)

STOP 2: Petals at Disney’s Pop Century Resort

One of the neat features of Art of Animation is the ability to easily walk over to nearby Pop Century.  In a recent article on some of the best Family Friendly Desserts at WDW, we discussed how much we like going to Pop Century just for the food court. We also love taking the walk down memory lane in the lobby (where else can you see pop culture icons such as Star Wars, Elvis, and Wendy’s Where’s the Beef woman in one place?) and no other resort has free arcade games.

Petals pool bar did have one big difference over The Drop Off, it has its own exclusive drink. The Lava Lamp is “a groovy mix of Bacardi Limon, Blue Curacao, Sweet-and-Sour, Sprite, and a float of Grenadine.” It was ok, nothing worth going out of your way for.

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Petals pool bar at Disney’s Pop Century Resort. (photo by Brandon Glover)

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Lava Lamp. (photo by Brandon Glover)

While at Pop Century we did have to stop inside and get a sloppy joe.

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Sloppy Joe at Everything Pop food court. (photo by Brandon Glover)

STOP 3 Grandstand Spirits at Disney’s All Star Sports

We had to get an Uber*** for a drive over to our next stop, the wild wild west of Disney’s All Star Resorts. Located to the East of nowhere, the All Stars sit down the street from possibly the most expensive and least clean McDonald’s in the United States. You can walk to all the pool bars at the three All Star properties (Sports, Music, and Movies) but it is nothing like the gingerly stroll from AoA to Pop, so get your walking shoes on. We parked at Sports, so our first bar was Grandstand Spirits.

There were actually several sports related drinks on the menu, including the Slam Dunk and the Major Leaguers Colada, but we went with the Bases Loaded featuring Sky Vodka, Midori, DeKuyper apple puree, sweet & sour, with a splash of Sprite. We also went with a great tasting Black Cherry Lemonade that had Grey Goose Cherry Noir Vodka, Odwalla Lemonade, fresh Lime Juice, and Grenadine topped with Sprite. The Black Cherry Lemonade was one of the drinks that was on the menu at every single one of the bars we went to. Strangely enough, the Major Leaguers Colada looked exactly like the normal Pina Colada that was also on every single bar menu that we went to except Grandstand Spirits. Hmmmmmmm…..

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Grandstand Spirits pool bar at All Star Sports. (photo by Brandon Glover)

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Bases Loaded. James Bond would have spat it out, but it is perfectly passable for anything labeled Worst Idea Ever. (photo by Brandon Glover)

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Black Cherry Lemonade (Grey Goose Cherry Noir Vodka, Odwalla Lemonade, fresh Lime Juice, and Grenadine topped with Sprite). (photo by Brandon Glover)

STOP 4 – Singing Spirits at All Star Music

We then walked over to Singing Spirits, whose menu was exactly like The Drop Off and only contained  the most basic of drinks. We went with the Frozen Moscato Colada and a Lynchburg Limeade. Both were unremarkable, but we did like heading into the Intermission Food Court and getting a Pub Burger. You have to like any burger that is served on a pretzel roll and is topped with house-made beer cheese, onion strings and a fried pickle. The pool area at All Star Music also gets bonus points for having The Three Caballeros, something we loved about Coronado Springs too.

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Singing Spirits pool bar at All Star Music. (photo by Brandon Glover)

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Frozen Moscato Colada (Skyy Infusions Moscato Grape Vodka, Bols Blue Curacao, Blended with Pina Colada Mix, Topped with Passion Fruit-Mango Foam). (photo by Brandon Glover)

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Lynchburg Limeade (Jack Daniels Tennessee Whiskey, fresh Lime Juice, and Sweet-and-Sour with a hint of Peach). (photo by Brandon Glover)

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Pub burger. (photo by Brandon Glover)

STOP 5: Silver Screen Spirits at All Star Movies

Our last stop was over at All Star Movies’ Silver Screen Spirits and we finally found something interesting. The bar offers three “sharable” drinks that are served in a giant margarita glass (which you can’t keep.) The three choices are Take Two!, the Stunt Man, and our choice the Director’s Cut with 2oz Chutty Shark, 2oz Malibu, 3oz lime juice, 3 oz agave syrup and 10oz of pineapple juice.

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Silver Screen Spirits pool bar at All Star Movies. (photo by Brandon Glover)

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Director’s Cut.

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Perfect size for sharing! (photo by Megan Stump)

CONCLUSION: Why is the Disney Value Resort Bar Crawl a bad idea? Simply put, it’s a value resort bar crawl with deluxe resort prices. No drinks in souvenir cups. No special effects, or fun chants like you would get at Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto. The theming of the bars themselves is – at best – minimal. In fact, there is so little going on at any of these bars it made us think for a second of It’s a Wonderful Life, when George Bailey entered a bar and saw how life would be different if he had never been born…

“Hey look, mister. We serve hard drinks in here for men who want to get drunk fast, and we don’t need any characters around to give the joint “atmosphere“. Is that clear, or do I have to slip you my left for a convincer?” – Nick, It’s a Wonderful Life

One thing all the great bar crawls at Disney have is that “atmosphere.” Whether it’s the detailed backstory and effects of AbracadaBar, the gorgeous woodwork of Territory Lounge, or the intimate feel of La Cava del Tequila, WDW is filled with fantastic options to have a great night out with friends doing your own bar crawl. In fact, with the new and improved Disney Springs now quite operational, we’re looking forward to a new bar crawl featuring the shine bar at Art Smith’s Homecoming, Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar, and any combination of the bars at The BOATHOUSE, Morimoto Asia, Paradiso 37, Raglan Road, or Frontera Cocina. Heck, even T-Rex Cafe has an awesome bar area with some interesting drinks!

With so many options to choose from, the Disney Value Resort bar crawl is not just a bad idea, it is the Worst Idea Ever.

FOOTNOTES:

* Well, maybe that Drunk@Disney guy likes the bars more, but that’s it!

** It absolutely did NOT have to be asked.

***Yes, a typical bar crawl has you walking to each location (hence, the “crawl”) but since we can use monorails to get from The Contemporary to the Poly, we’re gonna cheat a little on this one too.

Posted on October 19, 2016

22 Responses to “Worst Theme Park Idea Ever: Disney Value Resorts BAR CRAWL”

  • Look at me, I’m makin’ angels!
    I can’t wait to see what other awful ideas you have planned for future blogs.

  • It is a terrible idea as Disney is family orientated, cannot believe they think this a good idea. I will certainly end up as a drunken bar crawl for some. Terrible idea. I for one will make sure me and my family – children stay nowhere near.

    • Kill Joy!

      We don’t have kids and love spending time at the Lounges, and drinking a bottle of wine each at Cali Grill and drinking around the World/Monorail/Epcot Resorts/DHS/AK.

      Disney World has as much adult orientation as it does Family.

    • My in-laws drink and are excellent parents.

    • I will certainly end up as a drunken bar crawl for some.

      ^ooh, that sounds like fun. Let me know what dates you’re visiting 😉

    • If only all parents would keep their children out of bars. We love children. We have two sons (now grown) and my wife is a preschool teacher. However, we go to bars for a break from kids, not to have kids running willy-nilly all around us. There are times when adults need a break from kids, but at Disney, and increasingly at local establishments, we find kids bellied up to the bar with the adults. And I mean actually *sitting* at the bar. Call me old fashioned, but I have a problem with that.

    • Sue, this bar crawl isn’t an actual Disney attraction. These guys just had fun checking out some of the least appealing bars on the WDW property and reported their findings.

  • The bars at Art of Animation and Pop Century look like proper stand alone pool bars at least, which brings them up closer to the moderate & deluxe resorts. Whereas the All-Stars always just looked like a kiosk stuck on the side of the food court.

  • “Chutty Shark”?

  • A Derek Burgan masterpiece on not a Saturday or the end of the month?! I must be dreaming. Great way to start the day!

  • Awesome! Speaking of good bar crawls, has anyone else experienced less tequila-y margaritas at La Cava del Tequila? We love that place, but last time the drinks were really watered down. I’m hoping it was just a one time thing!

  • Another fact is that they’re all outdoor bars/pool bars. Definitely lacking in the atmosphere/comfort of the Deluxe and Moderate locations. Nothing like drinking alcohol in 99% humidity with the smell of chlorine all around…

  • Fun article! Love the “worst ideas” concept! So many possibilities… What’s next?????

    • How about Chapter 2 revealing the best worst places to regroup with your family? Like… right in the middle of a crowded path, directly in front of a ride exit, or on a narrow side walk. Move over!

  • “Out you two pixies go! Through the door or out the window!” –Nick

  • Petals is a really fun bar. I’m a licensed professional so I might right. Automatically. The real question here is was that a picture of @derekburgan consuming the drink for 2??????

    • That pictures includes ace staff photographer Brandon Glover and the director of SATURDAY SIX security, “Tricky” Ricky Stump. Ricky’s job on photoshoots is to keep the crowds away and to enforce the “no autographs” rule.