Being on vacation, or even just a random Tuesday, calls for a glass of vino. If you’re like me, you treat yourself to a quality glass of wine to toast special moments, pair with a nice meal, or as a way to slow down and savor. There’s a staggering amount of options for venues at Walt Disney World to enjoy a glass, or even a bottle, of wine. Here’s your best bets for enjoying wine at Walt Disney World
Wine Bar George
Not only does Wine Bar George have the largest selection of wines in all of Walt Disney World, but any wine on the menu is available to purchase by the glass or even just a 1 oz pour if you’re wanting to try a little. This is also a great way to try that super expensive wine that appeals to you, but the Disney Park Hopper tickets you purchased are convincing your wallet otherwise. The staff at Wine Bar George are always friendly and happy to impart their incredible wine knowledge should you seek it. And while the wine may be the star here, you’d be remiss to skip the food which is specifically crafted to pair well with wine.
One of Disney Springs’ most unique architectural features is Chef Jose Andres’s Jaleo. Inside Jaleo you’ll find fresh traditional Spanish cuisine and tapas, and lots of creative twists as well. Spanish wine is a treat because of its traditionally dry character. Of course, sangria is everyone’s favorite Spanish-inspired beverage and Jaleo offers a few varieties. You can even order a pitcher of Sangría de lujo tinto prepared tableside.
Disney Resort Hotels
Jiko and Victoria Falls Lounge: Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge – Jambo House
Welcome to one of the world’s largest collection of South African wines. It is impressive if not overwhelming. Although you can devour a great meal at Jiko, there is also a small bar immediately to the right as you enter. This is a great option if you’re wanting to simply sip on a delectable South African wine, though seats at the bar fill up fast and are often occupied by those waiting for their table. Another option is Victoria Falls Lounge, which has a nice selection of South African wines.
Sanaa / Lounge: Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge – Kidani House
Over at Kidani Village you can dine at the only restaurant that has a view of the beautiful animals on the savanna. Sanaa is a popular spot, and the lounge is a great option too. Here you can enjoy a variety of South Afrian and other regional wines. There’s also a wine flight if you really want to get into the South African experience. Sit back and take in the views of the savanna. And, be sure to refer to Kidani Village as “Ki-Dani” Village in my honor – please and thank you.
Geyser Point: Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
Any wine lover knows the Pacific Northwest region of the United States is home to some fabulous wine. Geyser Point has a respectable selection of wines from this region, which is the area that inspired the theme of Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. The food menu and the stunning atmosphere make it a must-do. Sipping on a glass of wine with a view of Bay Lake is hard to beat. Sit back and enjoy the lakehouse vibes.
Ale and Compass Lounge: Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
Once upon a time this sleepy little lobby lounge was pretty unremarkable. Then the fairy godmother granted little Ale and Compass a fancy refurbishment and now it’s the belle of the ball. Enjoy wines from nearly every major wine region in the world. It’s a veritable wine cruise around the world. Every appetizer on the menu seems to be a hit with anyone who dines there, so grab one or two, sit back in your posh lounge chair and set sail on a relaxing voyage.
Citricos Lounge: Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort
All the attention may be on the new Enchanted Rose Lounge, but we must not forget Citricos Lounge. It is somewhat of a hidden gem. I love journeying upstairs to the second level of the Grand Floridian lobby and tucking into the back corner. There you’ll find Citricos, casually elegant. The bar is forgotten by many guests since it sits inside the restaurant, not a very prominent location. The atmosphere is perfect for savoring a glass of wine while taking in views of the Grand Floridian grounds from above.
Tutto Gusto: Italy Pavilion – Epcot
The wine bar inside the Italy Pavilion, Tutto Gusto, is the quintessential wine bar experience available in any Walt Disney World theme park. Of course I am partial to Italian wine, it’s my favorite region of wine. Thanks to Italian regulations there’s less sugar and additives, leaving the wine pure and thus reducing the negative side effects of wine. So sop up the Italian experience at Tutto Gusto like a piece of soft warm Italian bread sopping up olive oil.
Weinkeller: Germany Pavilion – Epcot
This little gem is beloved by many Walt Disney World fans. Tucked in the left corner of the precious German town square, the Weinkeller is a wine shop with a walk up counter at which you can order a glass of German wine or wine flight. What makes this such a great atmosphere is that Weinkeller’s walls are lined with wine bottles. There are a few high top tables great for gathering and lingering as you sip on your German wine. There’s also a little cheese plate you can order, which is a good overall value.
Note for all the above Epcot wine spots: If you do decide to buy a bottle of wine at one of the shops, Disney Cast Members will send the bottle to the front of the park for you to retrieve on your way out–you’ll just need to know if you are exiting from the main park exit at the front of the Epcot or at International Gateway in World Showcase (near the Epcot Resort Area Hotels).
Les Vins de France: France Pavilion – Epcot
Enjoy some French wine while being surrounded by French wine bottles and other lovely merchandise. At Les Vins de France you can savor one glass of wine or explore French wine with a flight. Don’t forget the champagne, because any wine lover knows champagne is only champagne if it comes from Champagne, France.
Brown Derby Lounge: Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Brown Derby Lounge sprung up as an idea from one of the Brown Derby restaurant’s managers who wanted a solution for guests who entered the restaurant looking for a bar. This outdoor terrace style lounge is a treat when the weather is nice and the Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away stage show isn’t blaring right next door. I love ordering a Cobb Salad and a glass of Sauvignon Blanc while sitting on the shaded patio and watching guests go about their day at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. I do desperately miss the old background music, but alas it is still a lovely spot. The wine list is fairly impressive for being an outdoor lounge in the middle of a theme park, a good mix of domestic and international wines.
Baseline Tap House: Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Baseline Tap House is themed as a California corner pub that occupies a former printing house. Everything is on tap here including over 15 different California craft beers and two cocktails, and two Californian wines. The wine selection is the most limited of any location featured in this list, but I love the accessibility of Baseline. It is generally very easy to grab a drink here without a long wait and it’s a great stop before or after Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Plus, the giant Bavarian style pretzel with beer cheese fondue served here is basically a Disney’s Hollywood Studios icon.
Nomad Lounge: Disney’s Animal Kingdom
I may have saved the best for last. Nomad Lounge is the undisputed king of the jungle, er, I mean, king of all theme park lounges. It’s lush, it’s detailed, it’s inviting, the music is chill, the bartenders are gracious, and then there’s the outside seating area overlooking the river and bridge to Pandora. The menu is one of the best drink menus ever to be put together for a theme park bar, so it’s hard to pass up one of the handcrafted cocktails, but the wine list should not be overlooked. Since Nomad Lounge is connected to Tiffins restaurant it has an impressive selection of international wines. Nomad Lounge is all about the joys of travel, so take your taste buds on a trip to some of the world’s best wine regions.
Tips and Tricks
- The State of Florida allows restaurants and bars to re-cork a bottle of wine you have purchased to take home with you. If you’re looking to have two or more glasses it will most likely save you money to order a bottle, and you can enjoy a glass or two back in your hotel room, or home if you’re local.
- Ask your servers for their recommendation, but be prepared to share with them your preferences (sweet, dry, fruity, even just white versus red).
- Having some nibbles of food with your wine not only keeps you fueled, but also changes the way the wine tastes. Experiment with different flavors.
- Be sure to hydrate. My rule of thumb is one glass of water per glass of wine.
- My favorite wine tip of all: who cares about year, varietal, and all that other wine snob stuff, if it tastes good to you, drink it!