Friday, March 4, 2011

The Tea enthusiast at Disney

What does a tea lover do at a Disney Resort? Well, that depends on what side of the country you’re on. One side has a great selection of tea to drink, and one, frankly, does not.

Now I am not talking about the horrid drink they call iced tea. I can’t drink that stuff (I need cream and sugar, remember?) I am talking about the “wake up in the morning and drinking a hot tea with milk and sugar” tea. Granted, it is often so blasted hot in either park that you don’t typically -want- to drink a hot beverage. But tea is perfect in the morning, and afternoon tea is fine in an air conditioned building.

Let’s start off with Disneyland in beautiful Anaheim, California. There are about three places to have tea in the park in the morning. One is Riverbelle Terrace, where the dinning is over the counter. You can have tea, but it’s Tetley.
Now I am no fan of Tetley, mostly because of the physical tea. Look at it, it’s all powdery. One might as well drink instant tea. The brew is also nothing to rave about.
Fine, how about the gorgeous Carnation CafĂ©? They are a sit down restaurant, and I absolutely love going there. The food, service, and atmosphere are great. The coffee, from what I’ve heard, is also delicious. The tea? It’s Tetley. It is actually a little amusing, because when you request hot tea, they bring out the works. Milk and a slice of lemon, and honey are brought out just in case. So why does Disney serve the cheapest tea they can purchase?
The last place you can go is to the Blue Ribbon bakery on Mainstreet, where all sorts of specialty coffees are available. But tea? Well you can have hot tea, for about three bucks. And it’s also Tetley. And that is really it for breakfast in Disneyland’s Magic Kingdom. Lesson to be learned? Bring your own tea to Disneyland.
I am starting to think Mickey mouse must not be a big tea drinker.

Now Disneyworld? Oh ho ho ho! That’s a different story. Despite being so bloody hot and muggy in Florida, their tea selection is so much better. First, if you are in the Animal Kingdom, you can head down to the Royal Anandapur Tea Company.

You can have hot tea – but it's usually blistering hot in Animal Kingdom. So while you have a great selection of hot, you can have the cold too. I once had an Iced Masala Chai there, and I have never again had its equal. Highly recommended. How about a high tea? Well, at the Grand Floridian, at the Garden View Lounge, they pull out all the stops for their high tea. I haven’t been yet, but it is a must do for my next trip down.

As for buying tea, well you have a few options. In Disneyworld, specifically, you can head over to England in Epcot and buy some Twinning’s tea (yum) in all sorts of British staple flavours. You could also head over to Downtown Disney where the Spice & Tea Exchange just opened last November. Located in Mickey’s Pantry, it looks like you can blend your own teas! *squee* Oh hum, pardon me. Though, you might not have to since they have over 40 blends available. Still, who knows how many of those are black tea.

Now, in both Disneyworld and Disneyland, there are teas available to buy in most large or culinary specific shops. There are some assorted teas, but my favourite is Disney Wonderland Tea, The Mad Tea Party Blend. Every time I’ve been to a resort, I have always made sure to stock up in case I was low. I don’t think I ever want to be without this tea on hand. You would rightly assume this is a tasty tea, eh?

It contains Indian Black Teas, Safflowers, Calendula Petals, Ginger Bits, Apricot Bits, Peach and Apricot Flavors. The main star I would have to say would be the Apricot/Peach. Unlike the weird peach tea I wrote about earlier, the safflowers and calendula balance the citrus. It means this drink is complex and smooth enough that it ends up working beautifully. The tin is also fun and in character of the Alice in Wonderland characters. Here is the Mad Hatter's guide to make Tea:

How to make Hot Tea
(a.k.a Uncold Tea)
by the Mad Hatter

Start at the beginning (and when you come to the end...stop). Use 1 teaspoon per 8oz of water and steep for 3 to 4 minutes (we recommend your clock be two days slow). Move down the table and get a clean cup.

This is a great summer drink, and I can’t figure out why Disneyland doesn’t serve this tea instead of the icky Tetley tea.

Disney used to sell this tea online, but it looks absent for the moment. Surely they will sell it once again! If you don't mind getting a whole bunch of teas that include the Mad Tea Party Blend, you can get the Alice in Wonderland Tea 6 pk.
Meanwhile, if you go to a Disney resort, you can pick one up in store!


  1. The tea company I worked for blended all of Disney's Teas; although we were never allowed to request them for the shop because they were signature blends for Disney. Pfft! Apparently the Princess Blend is fantastic - rooibos with Strawberry and Vanilla!


  2. @Annie, that's so cool! Sucks about the unwillingness to share though. I have an inkling that I will come back from Disneyworld loaded up with tea :P

  3. Wooo the Mad Hatter would have the best tea, it simply makes sense.

    No he's not Mickey, but he IS mad, and that is something that tea connoisseur have in common... aka "Mad" about TEA!

    This must be a good tea, and I hope my sister can part with one cup :P


  4. AnonymousMay 06, 2012

    does anyone know where i can buy Disneys Vanilla Roobios tea?

  5. AnonymousMay 13, 2012

    Do you know what the Alice in Wonderland Tea Shop is called in the California Disneyland?

  6. I missed the tea part of Mickeys pantry but did get a large assortment of the the and my favorite is the mad hatters, I’ve been trying to find it online and can only find it as part of a gift set! I’m running out and won’t be back until September! Oh my! What will I do !!!!!