Continuing with Part II of two things you should NEVER do with kids at WDW – Part II focuses on the Drink Around the World at Epcot World Showcase Challenge. I don’t think any explanation is needed as to why this activity should only be done on an “adults only” WDW trip.
Part II – Drink Around the World at World Showcase Challenge
A favorite activity of many Disney vacationing adults is “drinking around the world.” The World Showcase at Epcot is made up of eleven distinct areas, each themed like a country during an important time in their history. You’ll find unique gifts and fun shows, along with the occasional ride. I believe the most enjoyable part of the World Showcase is the food and drinks from each of the countries represented. Each offers food authentic to their country along with international beers, wines and cocktails. The goal of drinking around the world is to consume an alcoholic drink in each country before (or while) moving on to the next. Yes, at least eleven drinks in all.
I will admit I am not a heavy drinker and you might say a “light-weight” when it comes to consuming lots of alcohol, nor do I promote people drinking in excess – I believe that in order to “drink around the world” there should be lots of sharing and snacking! Not everyone can continue to consume alcohol with the 100 degree sun beating on them. Eleven drinks are a lot and you can have just as much fun drinking at every other country or just the particularly “good” ones. You don’t want to crawl all the way back to the monorail at the end of the day – stay within your limits – this is a challenge that you can practice on every trip. Definitely do not try to do this during the Food and Wine Festival when they add in all of those additional country kiosks!
You must also take into consideration what this challenge can cost. A beer at Epcot can cost up to $8. Mixed drinks and frozen margaritas can be as much as $10 each; wine just slightly cheaper. One alcoholic drink at each of the eleven pavilions can cost $100. To save money and for the sake of endurance, consider sharing drinks at several of the countries. It’s easy to share – all drinks are served in plastic cups and all of the kiosks and counter service locations will gladly provide an extra cup.
Here’s an example of what’s available in each country:
La Cava del Tequila, attached to the San Angel Inn restaurant, seats 30 people and offers more than 70 tequilas that range in price from $8 to over $50. The menu also includes a great number of margaritas, all made with fresh fruit and rimmed with exotic flavored salts, costing about $10 each. The variety of beers offered include Tecate, Dos Equis, Sol, and Bohemia and cost between $6.25 and $7.25. The frozen margaritas at La Cava are $9.25 and specialty margaritas are $12.50. Outside, La Cantina de San Angel offers Dos Equis beer ($7.50) as well as a number of frozen margaritas ($8.99). These margaritas at LaCantina de San Angel are very full of sugar and drink mix and most likely not a good choice if you are in for the long haul. They also offer a coffee-flavored margarita, passion fruit margarita, and a raspberry-lime margarita. Also outside, a margarita cart serves Dos Equis ($7.50) and several margarita concoctions. Most of them are similar to what you’ll find at La Cantina – Margaritas ($8.99) flavored with lime, strawberry, mango, or a rainbow combination of several flavors. They are large and heavy on sugar and artificial flavoring. The kiosk also offers a “premium” margarita made with Patron Silver, Blue Curacao, lime juice, and rimmed with exotic lemon grass salt for $12.50. This margarita is similar to what you would receive at La Cava. While it is on the expensive side, it’s also a better overall value than the $9 sugary option.
Kringla Bakeri og Kafe serves Carlsberg Beer ($8), Viking Coffee ($8.25), and Bailey’s Coffee ($7.25). Both are coffee drinks with either Bailey’s Irish Cream or Kamora coffee liqueur. There is also a beer cart that serves Carlsberg Beer in a cup for $8 or a souvenir stein for $11.25, wine by the glass $5.50 to $7.50. You can also try the the Linie Aquavit shot ($8.75) if you’re looking for something a little different and don’t mind hard liquor shots. The main flavor comes from caraway. Aquavit has been produced in Scandinavia since the 15th century and the brown color comes from sherry casks that are transported across the equator (linje) two times before being sold. Scandinavians are known for “drinking snaps,” which refers to taking a quick shot of Aquavit chased with a sip of beer. You may want to share a Carlsberg and each take a shot of Aquavit.
The Lotus Blossom Café serves bottles of Tsingtao ($5.75), Yuengling Traditional Lager ($5.25), Budweiser ($5.25) and a plum wine ($5). Yuengling is not exactly “Chinese” in origin, so the thought would be to go with the Tsingtao for the sake of authenticity. Outside in the Pavilion is the Joy of Tea Stand. You will find the same choices here as well as a variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktails. The newest recommendation here would be the Tipsy Ducks in Love cocktail which is described as cold tea and coffee blended with bourbon and chocolate ($8.50). They also offer a non-alcoholic version for $5.50. If you are a lover of frozen drinks, try the Green Plum Bao Bing, made with plum wine and green tea. The Joy of Tea kiosk has quicker service then the Lotus Blossom, so stop there unless you finding yourself in need of a snack!
AFRICA REFRESHMENT COOLPOST
Adding this stop will also add an additional drink (bring the number to 12) to your list since this stopover is not included in the 11 countries of the World Showcase. This is just a small area with a cart that sells refreshments, ice cream, cookies, and other assorted beverages. If beer is your drink of choice, the Coolpost offers a Safari Amber for $6.25 and a Land Shark Lager for $6.25. Safari Amber is brewed by Anheuser-Busch exclusively for the Disney Company and there are only a few select places inside of Disney World where you can purchase it (it’s most common at Animal Kingdom), so it may be a stop you would really like to make.
Sommerfest and a beer cart sell a variety of German beers and wines. For beer, they have Altenmunster Oktoberfest ($7.50 or $10.50 in a souvenir stein), brewed by Allgäuer Brauhaus AG in Germany. There is also a Radeberger Pilsner ($7.50). Germany does switch out beer varieties more often than the other Pavilions and they generally do a good job. If you are adventurous you can order a “flight” of three different beer varieties to get a taste of more then one beer. At the wine bar near the fountain they have a variety of choices which includes the Gunderloch Reisling Spatlese, a delicate and slightly sweet white wine. Wine options change often, but you can usually choose three 2 oz. tastes for about $9.
The drink cart in Italy features the extravagant Peach Bellini and Limoncello ($10 each), a variety of wines by the glass ($6-$11 or so), and a bottle of Birra Moretti beer served in a plastic cup for $6.50. Everyone seems to recommend the Limoncello, which is an intriguing lemon liqueur from Italy. If lemons aren’t your thing then the Bellini is the way to go!
UNITED STATES (THE AMERICAN ADVENTURE)
The emphasis is on beer at the United States Pavilion, served at both the Liberty Inn counter service and Fife & Drum Tavern, which is a small kiosk. You’ll find Bud Light ($5.50) and Sam Adams Boston Lager ($6.25), both served in plastic cups. You won’t find mixed alcoholic drinks or wine in America.
Japan is famous for its sake, which is available at a tasting bar inside the Mitsukoshi Department Store, at the Kaki Gori kiosk outside on the promenade, and at the Yakitori House counter service. There is also Kirin Ichiban beer ($5.75) sold at Yakitori House and Kaki Gori, as well as a plum wine ($5.25) and sake ($5.25). If you are already feeling the effects of your trip around the world, you might want to consider not having a sake tasting. If you’re up for it, you can get a sake tasting flight at the sake bar in the Mitsukoshi Department Store. You’ll have the opportunity to try three different sakes ($15).
Morocco offers a kiosk serving frozen drinks similar to those found a t Mexico’s promenade counter service. These frozen concoctions are full of lots of ice and sugar. Flavors include the Moroccarita (lemon-lime), Habibi Daiquiri (strawberry), and Sultan’s Colada (coconut and pineapple) each cost around $8. There is a sangria offered for about $7. The kiosk and the Tangierine Café also serve Casablanca Beer ($5.95) imported from Morocco. The Tangierine Cafe also serves a variety of other mixed drinks and wines. Lines are often long during peak times so rather than get in line to wait for a drink, head to the back of the Cafe where there is a separate counter that serves spiked coffees. This is a good spot to make a choice if you find yourself needing a little pep by the time you reach Morocco.
France is a favorite for wine enthusiasts visiting Epcot. The kiosk in the France Pavilion serves a variety of wines and champagne by the glass ($6-$12), Kronenbourg 1644 beer ($6), and a Grey Goose Citron Lemonade Slush and Grand Mariner Orange Slush ($9 each). Both of these have been reported to taste like liquid candy. Neither has a lot of alcohol. For about $15, you can purchase a taste of “Nuvo Vodka,” described as the only sparkling vodka. If you’re looking for something different, this may be your best option. Next to the entrance to Impressions de France is a wine bar that serves wine and champagne by the glass or in various “flights.” This spot is often very crowded because it does offer a better variety and is located close to the exit of Impressions de France letting a couple hundred people out right next to it every 15 minutes or so. There is a beer offered – the Kronenbourg 1664 which is a European Pale Lager brewed by Brasseries Kronenbourg in France.
The United Kingdom offers the only real “bar” other than La Cava at the Mexican Pavillion – the Rose and Crown Pub. The Rose and Crown has a large menu of alcoholic beverages, and the reported favorite is the Welsh Dragon (a mix of peach schnapps, melon liqueur, crème de menthe, orange juice, and pineapple juice). The pub also serves a large variety of beer, single malt scotch, and wine. The Pub is almost always crowded, but run quite efficient by friendly bartenders who deliver your choices quickly. Outside, the Yorkshire County Fish Shop counter service serves pints of Harp Lager and Bass Ale ($7.50 each). Bass Ale is described as the “true” English Pale Ale. There is also a beer kiosk outside next to Rose and Crown that serves Harp Lager ($8 or $11.25 in a souvenir stein), Guinness ($7.75 or $11 in a souvenir stein), Stella Artois ($8 or in souvenir stein for $11.25), Strongbow Cider, and shots of Jameson ($8.75).
Canada lacks a counter service location, so your choices are the full bar at the impossible-to-get-a-reservation-at Le Cellier or the kiosk outside in the Pavilion. Canada serves Moosehead beer along with Labatt Blue and Molson. The kiosk also offers a “Torontopolitan ($8.25),” which is made with iceberg vodka, orange juice, chambord, and cranberry juice. It’s a refreshing drink that is usually heavier on the alcohol content than other countries. A little further down you may also run into the “Refreshment Port,” which is similar to the “Refreshment Coolpost.” Here, you’ll find a frozen Barcardi Mojito ($8.25) that is similar to the frozen margaritas you’ll find elsewhere. It isn’t exactly “Canadian,” but by this time you most likely won’t care!
In conclusion, be sure to consume a bottle or glass of water every two or three Pavilions since the heat, coupled with the alcohol can really wear you out. I suggest using an official “Drink Around the World Passport,” available for purchase for $10. It’s a real looking passport with pages, stickers, and stamps and the person serving your drink will be happy to take a moment to say hello and sign their name in your book.
If this is a challenge you decide to take on, be sure to know your limit – you can always come back another day to finish!