Walt Disney World is literally designed to make you thirsty. You’re walking a dozen miles a day in the hot Florida sunshine, and Disney’s all too happy to meet your hydration, caffeination, or inebriation needs with a four-dollar bottle of water, a seven-dollar cup of coffee, or a seventeen-dollar cocktail. What they won’t do is let you take your valuable beverages on any of the rides or shows. (If they did, no doubt those decades-old “it’s a small world” dolls would be asking you to spare a dram.)
But because Disney World is the land of dreams come true, let’s wish upon a star for a minute that you could sneak a few sips on the attractions. Here are some magical pairings, three from each park:
Peter Pan’s Flight: Well, a flight, of course. But our protagonists are all underage (or, in one specific case, rejecting the concept of age altogether), so let’s keep this one kid-friendly. Apple juice, ginger ale, and a spot of tea.
Pirates of the Caribbean: I’d recommend the rum, but it’s always gone.
The Hall of Presidents: You’re going to want coffee to stay awake (and to cope with the powerful air conditioning—I think they gave Warren G. Harding the code to the thermostat, and he’s in league with Big A/C). Or you’re going to want straight vodka to give you the courage to shout “war criminal!” after each president is introduced.
Gran Fiesta Tour (Starring the Three Caballeros): I can vouch from, uh, personal experience that this ride is much more fun after a couple shots of tequila.
Spaceship Earth: I like to go chronological here: ferment your own beverage for the hunter-gatherer scene, pack some wine for Greece and Rome, a little mead for the Middle Ages (inasmuch as they’re there…), and for that scene with Steve Jobs in his garage—I don’t know, Red Bull?
Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure: Regrettably, we are all out of wine. So maybe some chamomile tea to manage the stress of getting a virtual queue spot for this brand-new ride, or there’s always perspective—fresh out, I take it.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Millennium Falcon Smuggler’s Run: Grab a blue milk at the nearby stand if you like [insert indetermine fruity flavor here] or a green milk if you prefer [insert different (?) indeterminate fruity flavor here].
Toy Story Midway Mania: This one’s a competitive ride, so you don’t want alcohol clouding your focus. And you want your right arm muscles to move at lightning speed during the bonus round, so this is a time for a double-shot latte.
Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway: The pure chaos of this new ride requires equally chaotic imbibing. Maybe one of those middle-school numbers where you mix all the soft drinks together?
Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Kilimanjaro Safaris: See those elephants at the watering hole? Take a cue from them and hydrate with H2O!
Avatar Flight of Passage: I honestly have no idea what they drink on Pandora. Maybe it’ll be a plot point when Avatar 2 comes out later this century. In the meantime, though, you’re going to want something in a travel tumbler: those banshees do not come with cupholders.
Expedition Everest: Internal Disney canon consistency would suggest that creatures of the yeti/abominable-snowman type enjoy snow cones, so steer away from those. If you’re hoping for something more authentic, perhaps check with a bartender whose experience of the Himalayas isn’t limited to central Florida.
Photo courtesy Flickr user Peter Lee (CC BY-NC 2.0)
Josh Parks graduated from Calvin in 2018 with a BA in English literature and violin performance, and he completed an MA program in medieval studies at Western Michigan University in 2020. He is currently a student at Princeton Theological Seminary, which means his plans to be in school forever are working out well. When not writing, he can be found playing violin, drinking coffee, making excruciating puns, and trying to learn Old French.