Nightlife around Disney World?
October 6, 2018 9:46 AM   Subscribe

I have to go Disney World with a bunch of families. I don’t have any interest. What bars are outside the Disney World complex that are reasonable to get to by Uber? Bonus if there’s a indie/cool whatever district in Orlando (I am sure there is!). There’s got to be a place the staff themselves unwind close by though. I’m open to other adult things to do besides bars, I just don’t like having to sit in a theme bar and order a Mickeytini or whatever.
posted by geoff. to Travel & Transportation around Orlando, FL (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Disney World is intentionally isolated, so if you're staying on property, there is no such thing as a reasonable Uber. There are/used to be some fairly adult oriented bar type places in whatever they are calling Downtown Disney these days, though.

(You'd want to go all the way to downtown Orlando or even further to really find what you're looking for unless a bar in a strip mall next to a Walgreens is really better than anything on the property)

All that said, if you've never been to the theme park before, give it a chance. I was quite certain I'd hate it but in the end it was actually a reasonably decent experience, though my visit was in February 2002 when crowds weren't really a thing. I wouldn't do it again, but it was worth going once.
posted by wierdo at 10:48 AM on October 6, 2018 [3 favorites]

I agree with what weirdo said. It is isolated. I had to go to Disney for a work conference (!!!) and found the bars on property were relatively decent for winding down. I was surrounded by adults taking a breather and the staff was wonderful. Prices weren't great but not as bad as I thought.
posted by juliplease at 11:18 AM on October 6, 2018 [1 favorite]

Yeah, it is pretty isolated.

If you like dueling pianos, Jellyrolls is on-property (at the Epcot Resorts) and actually worth going to. It's one of the only 21+ places on property, the drinks are pretty standard bar fare (no "mickeytinis" that I know of), and the performers are a ton of fun. It's possible some drunks will request they sing a Disney related song, but that's the minority (and they have fun with it if they do).

I'd also second looking at Disney Springs (f.k.a. Downtown Disney), there's a lot more adult appropriate stuff there (including many restaurants that are run by outside people renting space there).
posted by tocts at 11:29 AM on October 6, 2018 [3 favorites]

Animal kingdom has an awesome bar on the way to the yeti ride. Epcot has booze everywhere (ya drinking around the world is a thing). Downtown disney has a ton of bars and restaurants, including a margarita bar where you can grab and walk with your drinks. Staff members hang out at the park or go to universal or hang out at places on I drive on SIN.
posted by chasles at 11:37 AM on October 6, 2018 [1 favorite]

Except for in the actual Magic Kingdom, there's plenty of booze available at Disney without a side of Mickey.
posted by lyssabee at 12:19 PM on October 6, 2018

Go to the Polynesian Resort, sit outside on their terrace with a mai tai, and chill! Disney is a pretty great place to drink. It has something for everyone.
posted by cakelite at 2:12 PM on October 6, 2018 [2 favorites]

the Orlando city museum.
eatonville is nearby and you can pick up a walking guide at the hurston museum (zora neale's house is no longer there but you can visit her best friend 's home.
posted by brujita at 2:26 PM on October 6, 2018

Although my wife and I aren't drinkers, we always go to Disney Springs at least one night each trip to Disney World and enjoy walking around, seeing street performers and exhibits, and stopping at Raglan Road, where there's Irish Dancers, great food and loud music. But we drive to DW so we have a car.

You can also Google "bars in disney springs". And this USA Today article talks about bars at Disney. There's also WDW Magic Forums where you could post your question, maybe in the "WDW Restaurants and Dining" forum.

Also, I'm not sure if you would agree that Disney Springs is outside the WDW complex. Disney pretty much dominates the area, but D/S is open to the public. We park in a parking garage and then drive back to our Disney accommodations.
posted by forthright at 4:14 PM on October 6, 2018

If you like alcohol and video games, Player One is right down the street from Disney Springs. It's pretty well done as far as these things go.

Or, drive 30 minutes to downtown Orlando or Winter Park for many dining and debauching options. We're talking Florida, so you might want to get specific of what kind of bar you prefer. There's smokey divey karaoke bars and fancy wine bars and everything in between. For music -- the Social is a downtown, and House of Blues is in Disney Springs.

Or you could just take the monorail around the park and hang out at the empty hotel bars, and bend the staff's ear about Disney palace intrigue.

Or go to Epcot Mexico, drink at La Cava del Tequila, then take the lazy river Donald Duck ride around the volcano. Repeat until happy.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 6:25 PM on October 6, 2018 [1 favorite]

Orlando is a town of theme parks, but when you've had it up to your ears with the Disney theme, the area around Universal Studios is a different vibe, but still very accessible and Uberable. Last couple of times we've been in Orlando my husband the ex-Chicagoan has made it a point to get Giordano's deep dish pizza, the onply place outside of the midwest he'd encountered the chain. So just google around, you may be surprised what you find.

That said, we didn't have much luck with a "real Orlando" kind of quest, I remain unaware of a downtown area with non-chain businesses that caters to locals and features local arts/chefs/etc so I'll be interested whether such a thing turns up in this thread.
posted by aimedwander at 7:13 PM on October 6, 2018 [1 favorite]

Seconding drinking “around the world” in Epcot. The tequila bar in the pyramid in “Mexico” was especially great and we (childless) had so much fun generally in Epcot we didn’t even make it to all the countries. They staff the “countries” with people from those places sometimes and we had nice chats with people in “Germany” and “France” about our past travels there. I remember it being very easy to spot and skip the few Disney themed things there.
posted by notheotherone at 11:20 PM on October 6, 2018 [1 favorite]

aimedwander, that's basically what downtown Orlando and some of the bits north of it are. There's plenty of drinking to be done around Church Street Station. The more..Bohemian..stuff is a bit further north along Orange avenue or thereabouts, IIRC. (I was up there earlier this year, but it's been a full decade since I've had an opportunity to do much exploration)

The downside is that the I-4 construction has made the whole area around downtown Orlando a damn nightmare, doubly so if you are driving your own car.
posted by wierdo at 12:57 PM on October 9, 2018

Give Disney a try. I went for a trip once and was amazed at how orchestrated everything seemed. Like just as I was starting to get bored sitting outside an attraction waiting for someone, some ambush entertainment or like a band playing ragtime tunes would go by. It really is an amazing feat of engineering, both of the physical space and of the human attention span. A neat thinkg to see, even if not fully enjoy.
posted by WeekendJen at 11:46 AM on October 10, 2018

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