Toast to New Memories Under the California Sun
It's not really the Happiest Place on Earth without cocktails. If you want to close out a full day at Disneyland by clinking glasses, it can be done—just maybe not in the place you're picturing. Many people use "Disneyland" as a catch-all term for both the Disneyland park (like Orlando's Magic Kingdom) and California Adventure, the adjacent park. Although the former is mostly dry, alcohol is served at California Adventure. Most of the spots that serve alcohol also have plenty of menu options that kids will love.
What's Disneyland's Alcohol Policy?
Only one establishment in all of Disneyland serves alcohol: Club 33, an exclusive restaurant that's only accessible to a limited number of members and their guests. It's so secretive that you might not even notice the low-key entrance when you stroll past it in New Orleans Square. Unless you can pull some serious strings, don't count on getting in.
Furthermore, guests are not allowed to bring alcohol into Disneyland or California Adventure. If security sees booze in your bag at the screening station, they'll make you remove it before you go into the park.
Disney is strict about ID. Expect to be carded, even if you look well older than 21.
What About California Adventure?
Although Disneyland proper is basically dry, California Adventure has a bunch of different choices for visitors in search of adult beverages.
Grab a craft beer at Bayside Brew while you linger over a meal at Paradise Pier. It's a quick-service stand separate from the rest of the food stations and in the center of an area with a bunch of food options, so it's a great place to find lunch for even picky kids. You can walk around with your beer so the family doesn't have to sit around and wait for you to finish.
Cove Bar is about a two-minute walk from Bayside Brew, located next to the entrance for Ariel's Grotto right on the Pier, looking out at the massive Mickey's Fun Wheel. It's a waiter-service restaurant with an extensive bar menu of wine, beer and elaborate cocktails. The menu even includes a kid-friendly lemonade mocktail, so no one gets left out.
If you're looking for a luxe spot that replicates an upscale California winery, venture over to Mendocino Terrace in Pacific Wharf, not far from the Pier. The restaurant serves a ton of wine varieties—both from California and around the world—as well as beer and cheese plates. It's probably the least kid-friendly of the drinking options. Stop by if you're on an adults-only evening trip to the park.
There are a few other options inside the park, too, including the Carthay Circle Lounge on Buena Vista Street (not far inside the park gates) and the Cozy Cone Motel in Cars Land, which serves vodka drinks made with limeaid or lemonade—as well as booze-free versions of these drinks and plenty of other options kids will love.
Want to combine dinner, drinks and a show? Consider making reservations for one of California Adventure's World of Color dining packages, which give diners passes to enter reserved viewing areas during the nighttime light and music show.
Any Other Options?
Don't overlook the alcohol options at Disneyland resorts. Trader Sam's Enchanted Tiki Bar at the Disneyland Hotel is a fun take on island-style tiki bars, decorated with all the flourishes and details that make Disney so great. The Grand Californian, accessible from within California Adventure, has a few lounges and restaurants that serve cocktails, and it's open to guests and non-guests alike.
Nearby Downtown Disney also has a wide range of full-service restaurants and bars that are appropriate for the whole family.