If you’re going to survive the long days Disney demands, you’ll need caffeine. Here’s what to get — and what to avoid — if you’re serious about your coffee and tea.
Sticky-hot heat and crowded parks call for iced coffee. But take note: the beverage sold as "iced coffee" at Joffrey's outposts all over the Disney grounds is not what you're looking for. It's super sweet, like melted coffee ice cream. Skip it.
Too much adventure? Good old Starbucks is nothing if not consistent, and there's one in every park. If you're looking for a true iced coffee, this is your best bet.
- Hot tip: There are small coffee shops near the monorail stations at Epcot, Magic Kingdom, and the Transportation and Ticket Center for a pre-park caffeine fix.
Best bet for tea:
Royal Anandpur Tea Company offers a surprisingly wide range of good teas, including four variations on green tea and a low-caffeine Silver Needle white. Critic Bill Addison liked his ti kwan yin oolong so much that he brought it with him on a roller coaster — and got off the ride still holding his cup. Need something cold, sweet, and gimmicky? There's also a frozen chai, which comes topped with whipped cream in the shape of Mickey's head.
Best bet for coffee:
Find 100% Kona coffee — straight from one of the world's very best coffee regions on Hawaii's Big Island — at Kona Cafe inside Disney's Polynesian resort. A French press pot for two goes for $7.99.
What you need to know about Starbucks:
There's a Starbucks inside each park at Disney, though they're generally hidden behind cutesy not-Starbucks branding. See: Main Street Bakery in Magic Kingdom, Fountain View in Epcot, Creature Comforts in Animal Kingdom (where a portion of proceeds from each flat white sold goes to conservation efforts), and Trolley Car Cafe at Hollywood Studios. It's worth noting that Starbucks locations inside the park are a relatively new development; it's also worth noting that Starbucks is your best bet for a standard cup of coffee.
Caffeine that comes with Epcot's price of admission:
Club Cool at Epcot's Future World offers an opportunity to sample eight of Coca Cola's soda oddities from around the globe. Only one of them, Inka Cola from Peru, contains caffeine. (And it tastes like bubblegum.)
Kenyan press pot coffee is available at Animal Kingdom restaurants Sanaa, Jiko (which also has a strong selection of specialty teas), and Boma.
Bongos Cuban Cafe has strong Cuban coffee with steamed milk in Disney Springs.
Moorish coffee (flavored with cinnamon and nutmeg) and Moroccan mint tea are available at Tangierine Cafe in Epcot's Morocco pavilion.
The Joy of Tea stand in Epcot's China has an impressive selection of hot or iced teas.
The espresso at Les Halles in Epcot's France pavilion is pretty good. Bonus: It's open at 9 a.m., while most of the World Showcase doesn't get started until 11 a.m.
Trattoria al Forno, an Italian restaurant on the BoardWalk, is a great pit stop. The pressed coffee is good, and there are three regional espresso roasting styles available: northern, central, and southern.
Joffrey's Tea Traders Cafe has a large variety of loose-leaf teas as well as select iced, frozen, and boozy options. A "master tea smith" is on site to answer questions and host demonstrations.
Want fancy coffee? Head to Victoria and Albert's for vacuum-press brews.
- Want fancy tea? Get afternoon tea at the Grand Floridian. Set menus range in price for the Mrs. Potts tea ($13, for children) to the Yorkshire service ($175 for two, comes with caviar and Champagne). Teas are brewed by the pot and a robust selection is offered. The sandwiches, scones, and pastries are fine.
Where to get not-awful caffeinated booze:
Joy of Tea's "tipsy ducks in love," which blends coffee, tea, bourbon, and chocolate, topped with whipped cream.
Baileys and Kamora coffee liqueur make it into the Viking coffee at Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe in Norway.
There are traditional, iced, and frozen variations of the classic Irish coffee at Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant in Disney Springs's The Landing.
- A small menu of caffeinated after-dinner cocktails at Jiko includes the Cape Town, with South African tangerine liqueur, Kahlua, dark creme de cacao, and coffee.