We’re back with everyone’s favorite theme park advent calendar: a daily countdown of our favorite drinks at Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, and SeaWorld building anticipation to the Big Day.
Criteria: Drinks can be alcoholic or nonalcoholic. Drinks can come from any venue on property. Bonus points awarded for atmosphere where the drink is served. Any drink with glow cubes is immediately disqualified. Ready? Let’s go!
DAY ELEVEN: Key West Kiss at Shark’s Underwater Grill (SeaWorld)
SeaWorld has definitely had some challenges over the recent years. But one thing they do really well is provide one of the most laid back atmospheres of any theme park, anywhere in the world. The park is Orlando’s second oldest – behind the Magic Kingdom – and it is full of lush, tropical gardens and shady pathways. A great respite inside the park is Sharks Underwater Grill and Bar.
The bar itself is unique in that it is a mini aquarium. The countertop is clear, allowing you to look down and see the fish and coral. The bar area provides a good view of the large shark tank that makes up the entire back wall of the restaurant. It is always cool and dark inside, making it a great place to take a break. Right now with Mako construction in full swing, this bar offers all day, every day happy hour! Plus annual passholders get a 10% discount on top of happy hour pricing.
Recent menu changes at the restaurant and bar have had some hits and misses. The removal of Landshark Lager beer, for example, is a miss (come on, Landshark…. at a shark themed bar… that’s a no brainer right?). But other items like the lobster bisque and the tuna poke are quite the catch (it’s a seafood pun, get it?). There are four signature cocktails offered here. While not the most substantial offerings there is one that stands out.
The Key West Kiss is the strongest and tastiest drink of the limited specialty drink menu. A refreshing, but potent blend of Bacardi Rum, Midori, vodka, peach schnapps and pineapple juice, is poured into a tall hurricane glass and garnished with an orange slice and cherry. The flavors are tropical to say the least, yet it is not overly sweet. The sweetness of the Midori and peach schnapps are kept at bay by the vodka and rum. This is a great drink to enjoy while gazing at the sea life around you, or take it to go and stroll through the Key West area of the park where you’ll find Dolphin Cove and Stingray Lagoon. It’s a great way to toast a day of relaxation and fun at SeaWorld.
Ingredients: Bacardi Rum, Midori, vodka, peach schnapps, and pineapple juice.
Previous Drinks of Christmas:
DAY TWO: Dufftoberfest at Duff Brewery
DAY THREE: Godiva Chocolate Martini at Mizner’s Lounge
DAY FOUR: Blood Orange Side Car at Swizzle Lounge
DAY FIVE: Imperial Pilsner at Morimoto Asia
DAY SIX: Smoking Gun at Emeril’s Orlando
DAY SEVEN: Mint Julep at BOATHOUSE
DAY EIGHT: Bees Knees at The Cowfish
Interested in theme park drinks? Then do we have a eBook for you! The Walt Disney World Bars and Lounges eGuide by Brian McNichols. Over 250 pages and containing well over 400 photos, this eGuide takes you through EVERY bar and lounge on WDW property (trust me, Brian has the kidneys problems to prove it!) Also included? Recipes for some of your favorite WDW drinks. Ratings, descriptions, and photos for each of the 70+ bars and lounges. Talk about the perfect Christmas present!
Special thanks to crack staff photographer Brandon Glover, the always charming Dani from This Florida Life and Megan Stump for their invaluable assistance with this article. Be sure to also check out Brandon on The Park Blogger podcast with co-hosts Aengus Mackenzie and Brian Carey.