Earlier this month, I accomplished something that I had only ever dreamed of doing: I successfully “Drank Around the World” at Walt Disney World’s Epcot park. 11 countries in 11 hours with 8 of my favorite people. Needless to say, I had a blast. So here is my itinerary for use by the few, brave souls who believe they are up to the challenge!
First of all, I should say that we didn’t follow the World Showcase in either order around the circle. We rode rides, met characters, ran to meal reservations; the whole experience was more important to me than sticking to any prescribed order.
Secondly, it’s also important to note that we completed this challenge during the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival, which ran from mid-September to mid-November this year. Therefore, we had a more diverse number of drinks to choose from, although we tried to stick to the drinks available year-round whenever possible.
So let’s dive into my day of “Drinking Around the World at Epcot!”
We began the day in Norway at 11am on the dot. I’ve always thought this pavilion was especially charming, and the Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe is no exception. The most obvious choice here is a Carlsberg, which they pulled for me while a few of the girls supplemented our hurried breakfast with amazingly flaky pastries. (Tip #1 – Eat a good breakfast. Your body will thank you for it.) Carlsberg is basically your run-of-the-mill pilsner; it was light and refreshing on a hot, Orlando morning. One of my bridesmaids went a little out-of-the-box, ordering an iced Viking Coffee that she seemed to enjoy. You can also get an Aquavit Glacier Shot, but I wouldn’t recommend it. (Tip #2 – You might want to consider not taking shots today. You have a very full, boozy day ahead!)
After taking a quick stroll through a mini museum dedicated to Frozen, we backtracked to Mexico where La Cava del Tequila opens each day at noon. Yes, you can get sugary frozen margaritas outside of the replica Mayan pyramid, but for a few extra bucks, you can get very authentic drinks with legitimate tequila. (Tip #3 – Enjoy slowly. These can knock you on your butt if you aren’t careful!) If tequila isn’t really your thing, or you’re worried about making it to all 11 countries, order your margarita frozen instead of the assumed on the rocks; there is a noticeable difference between the two. I enjoyed a frozen Blood Orange margarita with a spicy rim and a hint of sweetness. Of the group, we ordered a variety of flavors (Wild Passionfruit, Pineapple, Hibiscus), and they were all fantastic albeit strong!
From Mexico, we hopped back in a clockwise direction and stopped for lunch at the German pavilion’s Biergarten Restaurant. (Tip #4 – Eat regularly.) The lunch buffet is a much better value than the dinner buffet in my opinion, they have the best, most interactive hourly entertainment in the entire World Showcase, and after sucking down that margarita, you’ll need a little something on your stomach. They also have ample German alcohol to choose from, including a beer list (I went for the Schöfferhofer Weizen because I am such a wheat beer girl), shots of Jägermeister and Apple Berentzen (see Tip #2), and flights of beer and German white wine. Prost!
After lunch was when our country order started to get a little squirrely: we backtracked again to China on our way back to Future World for some FastPass+ fun! My sister and I shared the Canto Loopy because when else would we ever be able to find a drink with cantaloupe juice as the main ingredient? The cantaloupe juice actually did a really good job of masking the bitterness of the vodka, and it was one of my favorite drinks of the day! The Joy of Tea stand also offers a Mango Gingerita made with vodka and rum and a Peach Snap! with schnapps, but I personally thought my choice was the best.
Between meeting Belle (my favorite of the princesses) and waiting in line to see Aurora, we stopped at Les Vins des Chefs de France to imbibe. In my humble opinion, France has the best drinks in the World (Showcase)! For such a small food stand, it has a great variety of alcohol, and every option is spot on. I decided on the Grand Marnier & Grey Goose Orange Slush, but the Grey Goose Citron Lemonade Slush was equally fantastic. Are they a bit pricey? Yes. Is there a ton of alcohol in them? Probably not. Would I still encourage you to try it? Wholeheartedly. But if the slush doesn’t sound like your kind of drink, I would also highly recommend the Kir Royal, a champagne cocktail. Basically, it’s hard to go wrong in the France pavilion. (Tip #5 – At this point, you’re almost halfway through! Make sure you’re staying hydrated throughout the day, especially with that gorgeous Florida sun beating down on you.)
Perhaps the opposite of France as far as drink options are concerned was our next stop: Canada. The Popcorn in Canada stand has some beer selections, both draft and bottled, as well as something called a Torontopolitan. This is where Canada’s International Food and Wine Festival stand got the better of me. (Tip #6 – The drinks are too expensive to buy something you don’t want to drink. There are always other options!) I love ice wine, which is why I immediately gave up on Canada’s usual drink options for a chance to try a La Face Neige Apple Ice Wine. I will say it was slightly disappointing in size. (Tip #7 – Items sold at the International Food and Wine Festival stands are meant to be bite- and sip-sized. Expect to pay way more than usual for these mini plates and drinks!) However, to be fair, it was very crisp and sweet like its cousin, apple juice.
Now, I know, we’d just passed the UK pavilion to get to Canada on our way back to Future World, but Winnie the Pooh and Tigger were too much to pass up, so we tromped back, took our photos, and stopped inside the Rose & Crown Pub. Yes, you can get drinks outside at the beer cart, but don’t! The inside of the pub has such a noisy, old, authentic feel that it’s worth the wait, plus you can get a lot more inside than Guinness in a can. You have to get a pub blend in the United Kingdom whether it be a Black & Tan (my dad’s drink of choice) or a Snake Bite (the drink I lived on during my month-long stint in Ireland).
After our final venture to Future World of the night, we started back at Morocco. If you want an alcoholic slush, the Spice Road Table is the place to be. However, it had a line, and I had a dinner reservation to make, so instead I settled for a sangria at the Tangierine Cafe, something that I would not recommend you do if you’ve done a better job of sticking to your schedule. (Tip #6 – Come up with a “one drink an hour” schedule and stick to it! It will make the end of your day so much easier to manage.) I’m almost positive the sangria came out of a bottle, meaning there were no fruit pieces, no authentic sangria flavor, and an okay glass of wine.
Our experience a short walk away at the Japan pavilion was much more rewarding. You can get sake cocktails at the outdoor drink stand, but I would definitely suggest heading inside the Mitsukoshi Merchandise store. In the corner, they have a little sake bar set up that gives you a more complete drink experience. Plums have never been my favorite fruit, but I felt like I had to try the plum wine, and it actually wasn’t too bad. Very sweet, a little tart, overall not a bad drink. I also had a taste of the plum wine sake, which was obviously very similar but had more of a kick at the end. And similar to Canada, the portions were very small here.
We had dinner reservations at Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria, which was our main reason for skipping the Italy pavilion all day. For my drink with dinner, I stayed very much inside my comfort zone and went for a bellini. It’s a classic, and if you’ve checked out the ABC’s of An Aspiring Heroine, you know that it’s my favorite drink! It was the perfect time for some amazing pizza and a chance to regroup with everyone about the day that we’d had. Italy has tons of options, including a huge selection of wine, a few beers, and much-better-than-Morocco sangria, which the rest of the table enjoyed during dinner.
Let’s just say I deeply regretted saving the American Adventure pavilion for the very end of the night. We’re talking I ran up right before the IllumiNations fireworks show began, which was such a mistake. I had waited all day for a Red Stag Lemonade, and when I got to the window, they were only able to coax a few sips out of the slushie machine. What I had was great, which just made it even more depressing. However, International Food and Wine Festival to the rescue! They were able to give me an Mmmhops, which I don’t have a picture of because they wouldn’t let me take the glass bottle. For those of you wondering, yes, that is Mmmhops as in a play on Mmmbop because HANSON BREWS BEER NOW. Who knew? I certainly did not. Disney only sells it during the International Food and Wine Festival, so I was extremely lucky!
And that finished off my epic adventure “Drinking Around the World!” I am such a Disney fanatic (also on the ABC’s of An Aspiring Heroine!), and this whole experience just goes to show how much Disney has to offer everyone, from toddlers to over 21’s. I would seriously recommend drinking through Epcot’s World Showcase to anyone who even remotely enjoys alcohol. With so many countries, there is a drink for everyone!