The Disneyland Half Marathon takes place Labor Day Weekend; Friday, Sept 3 – Sunday Sept 6, 2010. When considering a road race, or Disneyland, drinking is probably the last thing on your mind. That is, unless you happen to have your priorities in order.
It’s not such a stretch, really. Runners are profoundly social, and keen on instantaneous reward. There are few races that do not feature some manner of beer garden at the finish line. Ironically, the Disney race happens to be one of those that does not. What the Disneyland Resort does have, however, is a delightful collection of themed bars and adult attractions within a reasonable limping distance.
Including the hotels, there are over thirty Disney watering holes at the Disneyland Resort (attempts to gather an exact count have been unsuccessful given the high number and inescapable allure of each). Visit the Comprehensive Disney Bar List and Review, and check out one of the highlights inside Disney’s California Adventure below:
The Cove Bar – Ariel’s Grotto, a character-themed restaurant, houses, hides really, one of the most glorious drinking venues in the world. Overlooking the lagoon and Paradise Pier, location-wise, the Cove Bar rivals the wine deck on the Eiffel Tower (the one in Paris; not referring to another Disney attraction). The open-air, horseshoe-style bar offers a variety of fine food, snack and beverage options, for as long as they decide to keep it open. Despite being an extraordinary idea, Disney appears squeamish about having this full bar inside one if their parks, and are rather blithe about its function. The Cove Bar is not on the park map, nor does it appear in any Disney literature, or anywhere on the website. Worse, there are no discernible hours, or even days of operation. Even if you have the sand to wade through the congealed mass of children, to ask the teenage hostess at Ariel’s, the answer will be, at best, a guess. The only effective means of determining the bars status is to walk back and forth between the Karl Strauss Beer Truck and California Screamin’. You will save yourself a load of walking once you learn to spot other patrons performing this same ritual. Pick a spot on the Pacific Wharf patio, where you will have easy access to beer and Rita’s Baja Blenders, and watch for individuals in your demographic walking toward Paradise Pier with a sense of purpose spawned by need for drink rather than roller coaster. If they do not return, exasperated, and get directly in either the beer of Rita line, then there is a good chance the Cove is open.
The Cove Bar features a wide vodka selection, including Absolut, Stolichnaya, Russian Standard, and naturally Grey Goose. Disney may not be keen on promoting the consumption of alcohol, but they certainly are no strangers to the up-sale.