Dining out can be quite expensive, especially when you’re on holiday and you’re dining out for most meals. You might not want to go to a fast food restaurant, but you don’t really want to pay full price for a table service meal. One way to save money on a late lunch or early dinner is to find happy hour or early bird specials at restaurants or bars in the area. Or if you’ve been at the parks all day and are looking for a late-night bite to eat, look for a late-night happy hour often starting after 9:00 pm.
Historically, happy hour gets its roots from the United States Navy. In 1913 some members of the crew of the ship USS Arkansas would meet to smoke at a regularly scheduled time which they deemed to be “Happy Hour”. Later, having a drink before dinner became common during the prohibition. People would have a cocktail at an illegal speakeasy before dining at a restaurant where alcoholic beverages were prohibited. Now, after a traditional workday (after 5:00 pm), employees will stop for a drink after work to unwind and relax before heading home for the day.
Nowadays, happy hour doesn’t just mean having an alcoholic beverage or two at the bar after work anymore. By sitting at the bar or at a table in the bar area, you can often enjoy some of your favorite appetizers or even entrees for a fraction of the regular price. Some locations will even offer a discount on the entire meal for dining within the happy hour or early bird window of time. Other venues might offer discounts on activities during that specified timeframes as well. Many locations will, at the very least, offer discounts on traditional wines, beers, and cocktails.
Often Happy Hour or Early Bird specials begin as early as 3:00 pm and end as late as 7:00 pm and run Monday through Friday. Some happy hours only last for one hour from 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm Monday through Thursday, while other locations will have a full day of happy hour pricing, usually Tuesdays or Wednesdays. Occasionally you will find happy hour pricing beginning again at 9:00 pm and ending at close as well.
You’ll want to verify with each location for their current, up-to-date happy hour special offers, prices, times, and days the discount pricing is offered as promotional pricing is subject to change.
Pro Tip – if it’s getting close to the end of the happy hour promotional pricing time and you’re planning to stay a bit longer, but you still have a full drink in front of you: order another round of drinks before happy hour time ends and request the server to bring it when you’re finished with your current beverage.
Remember to bring your driver’s license, passport, or state ID if you are ordering alcohol as the drinking age is 21 years old in the USA. Additionally, children are often not permitted in the bar area, so inquire if happy hour pricing is ONLY located in the bar area or if you are able to receive the discounted pricing at a table outside the bar if you have minors with you. Also, remember to base your server’s tip amount on the full price of the item – not the reduced pricing.
Some awesome happy hours around Central Florida we’ve found:
- Andretti Karting & Games offers happy hour specials 4:00pm – 7:00pm, Monday – Friday on cocktails, wine, beer, and bowling.
- Black Angus Steakhouse offers early bird special pricing on select menu items with rolls, soup or salad, one side and a dessert 11:00 am – 5:00 pm seven days a week.
- Dave and Busters offers specialty pricing on a selection of beer, wine, cocktails, and appetizers Monday – Friday from 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm and Sunday – Thursday from 10:00 pm – 1:00 am. They also offer run specials for sporting events as well.
- The Catfish Place of St. Cloud has an entire menu of full special entrees with side dishes available from 3:00pm – 6:00 pm daily.
We hope you will find this information helpful as you plan your trip to Florida! With the money you save on food and drinks, you can enjoy an extra souvenir or another attraction. Or you could always spring for that dessert you’ve been eyeing.
Happy Hour. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Happy_hour. Retrieved October 24, 2019
Orlando Promotions. Andretti Karting and Games. https://andrettikarting.com/orlando/promotions/. Retrieved October 24, 2019
Menus. Early Bird Specials. Black Angus Steakhouse. https://blackangusorlando.com/menus/early-bird-specials/. Retrieved October 24, 2019
Specials Going On Now. Dave and Busters. https://www.daveandbusters.com/us/en/about/locations/orlando. Retrieved October 24, 2019
Menus. The Catfish Place of St. Cloud. http://thecatfishplacestcloud.com/menu/. Retrieved October 24, 2019.