I have kids. We love amusement parks. And sometimes, there’s alcohol at them.
After visiting an Universal Hollywood with the kiddos again a couple weekends ago, being teased about the beer selection at most of those this past weekend when out with my cousin and Disneyland mentioning they’re redoing Ariel’s Grotto (I’ve eaten there. I have a daughter.) into a bar, here’s my loose, informal rankings on best of the parks to drink in.
*Note: I’m not including six flags or train towns or those others that may serve beer but I haven’t enjoyed any there and there’s so many versions of these across the country I don’t want to judge all based on one. And, I don’t believe Hollywood Studios had Baseline bar when I was there, nor any alcohol, so I drank nothing before riding on the one that had the Alien thing or Indiana Jones stunt show.
- Seaworld (San Diego)
This was about 6 years ago and I barely remember it, but it was just stumbling into a stand that sold beer. And it was a prop counter over a kegerator. Honestly, I’m pretty sure it was Karl Strauss (this was before Untappd for me), but it was not very memorable and I just randomly found it and was unclear about whether I could bring it into the show so I downed it quick, which those that know me know that means slow, and went in. And it was the only kiosk I noticed the rest of the day. And I’m including it because unlike Six Flags, I’m likely not ever going to another.
Again, I know there’s going to be a bar welcoming people to Pixar Pier, but last year and the Taste of California booths, or I believe it was only one booth, had beer. And it was craft (I tried to find it on untappd but didn’t). However, before that it was the same deal, a slightly bigger stand than Seaworld that sold Karl Strauss beers. But I know this will be the one jumping up the list soon.
- Universal Studios Los Angeles
They’ve got macros and Florida Beer Company brews masquerading as Harry Potter Beers or Duff. But it’s fun to pretend. Imagination helps here. Still, they’ve got tons and tons of the popular convenience store brands. And it’s fun to have beers then run up that mountain of stairs from the bottom level to the main level. And if you’re walking through city walk, you’ll pass KARL STRAUSS.
- Universal Studios Orlando
They also have all those macros and Florida Beer company, but they also had at least 1 craft brew there (CB Craft was the one I had there). And they might have had more in the monsters café or other spots. But they also have Cigar City right outside in their city walk. That’s a plus.
There isn’t much here to choose from in terms of locations, with the Knight’s Table restaurant being the one with the best selection aside from the hotel bar and restaurant that is right outside the park. But they sure embrace their San Diego-ness (Carlsbad, I know) with Stone and some other locals. There was even a 21st Amendment there. None of the rides is very intense, so this is a good location for drinking because kids can do it all pretty much on their own while you drink and relax.
They also embrace their San Diego-ness…with KARL STRAUSS!!! Well, and some others, but they have beer everywhere. Since it’s a place without rides except the overhead gondola thingy, it’s a perfect place for drinking. And they know it. Stone, Ballast, Mission, they’ve got a good selection and it’s not limited to eateries. They’ve got kiosks everywhere. And sometimes, it helps to have a beer when you’re walking around everywhere trying to not be sad about the animals.
I think we all knew this one. Drink around the world without leaving the park people. Just don’t do it before Mission Space.