Bar Hopping with Julian, Chapter One
Petals at Disney's Pop Century Resort // 28.3504° N, 81.5430° W
For the better part of the last decade, the evil elixir of life that the rest of the world calls alcohol and I have had some crazy nights. I've slept in bushes, ended up on rooftops four stories high, and broken countless items that didn't belong to me (and those are the mild memories). But nothing quite compares to the magic of drinking around the Walt Disney World Resort.
I can’t even begin to count how many times I've told one of my Disney bar stories and got a confused “There's booze in Disney World?” look in return. For those of us who have had the privilege to sip the devil’s nectar in the shadow of those great mouse ears, well, we've all got our favorite bars in mind. And I’m sure most of us have probably experienced the chaos that is drinking around World Showcase in Epcot, and if not, don't worry…we will get to that eventually.
From here on out, my job is not to convince any of you that my favorites are better in any way, shape, or form. It is simply to share with you the stories of an old cast member, and to give recommendations of incredible bars and drinks on Disney property. So, here's hoping some of you guys are inspired to take a break from the fast-paced rides, shows, and meet-and-greets, and join me for a cold one at one of Walt Disney World’s many great watering holes.
Now, on to the good stuff. For my first post, I struggled with what drink to write about. I struggled to pick just one of the many bars to focus on. I've shared so many memories in so many of them. I have been kept company by so many drinks there, but once I really sat down and thought it over, the option was actually quite clear: Bacardi Mojitos from Petals Pool Bar at the Pop Century Resort.
I know, I know… The bar itself isn't the classiest, or the best themed, or even inside for that matter. And I know the Bacardi Mojito is a simple drink that’s served resort-wide at most, if not all, Disney World bars, but I had to. I HAD to. I've consumed more of those mojitos by that pool than most people have consumed water in a lifetime.
Back when winning prizes at arcades was still a thing in Florida, those mojitos elevated me to a realm of mental aptitude that allowed me to clean shop. I’d leave with armfuls of arcade prizes that I’d hand out like a thin Santa Claus to my niece and nephew.
There's a fuzzy memory that sticks to my brain like a quick flashback in a movie. I'm sitting behind the wheel of some crazy tank game where you had to defeat a giant sea monster, I believe. (And possibly giant wasp?) I’m sure someone out there knows what I'm talking about. The name of the game escapes me. Anyway, I'm sitting there, 6 mojitos deep and yelling at a complete stranger who could not have been more than 12, telling him to hold his own. "I can't kill this squid all on my own, boy!” Luckily the kid (as far as I can remember) laughs in my face and proceeds to get a higher score than I do. It turns out I was shooting at a tree for 3 minutes straight. I mean, if that isn't first post material then I don't know what is.
That being said, I recommend everyone take a bus ride down to Pop Century Resort, relax by the pool with a refreshing mojito, and when that blistering Florida sun overpowers your will to swim, then proceed into the arcade and have yourself one heck of a night. (Just don't yell at kids, please.)
Julian "Papa Teasly" Blanchard
P.S. To the kid I was yelling at… If you’re reading this, sorry little dude.