So this year, I was enough blessed to have my 21st birthday during fall break, and me being the Disney addict that I am, I decided to spend my milestone birthday drinking around the world at Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival. I adore Disney and have enjoyed the theme parks on more occasions than I care to admit, but I had never had the privilege to enjoy the Food and Wine Festival until this past weekend.
“Drinking around the world” basically entails going to every “country” and trying a speciality cocktail. Almost all the countries have some type of mixed drink, and all have a craft beer and speciality wine. On a typical day at Epcot, that would mean that you would make a stop at a total of 11 countries, beginning in Mexico and ending in Canada. During the Food and Wine Festival, there are 30 stops to make, including countries and speciality kiosks like Craft Beers and Desserts and Champagne. As you can imagine, getting all the way around the world at Epcot during this festival is a marathon and requires an immense amount of skill.
My family, friends, and I – there were 13 of us total – decided to drink around the world on Saturday. We spent the morning doing all the things that regular non-drinking visitors do: riding rides and meeting characters. So, we didn’t actually make it to our first stop, Hawaii, until 5 in the afternoon, which is the perfect time for happy hour. Generally, the food and drinks ranged from $4-$11, which by Disney standards is more than reasonable. My family and I shared the food, while I got my own drinks; I mean, it was my 21st birthday after all. I got to try things that I probably wouldn’t have had otherwise, like sake in Japan (which tasted like perfume, and not in the good way), but I mostly just had regular mixed drinks with vodka. Although there was a lot of people there and the lines seemed endless, they moved very quickly, allowing everyone to have something from every country. There were some that I missed, like pretty much all of the UK because I’m not a huge beer drinker, but other people I was with told me they tasted good. Overall, my favorite drink was the La Passion Martini Slush, which was a frozen martini with Vodka, Grey Goose Le Citron Vodka, Cranberry and Passion Fruit Juice. My favorite food was the bite of the Kalua Pork Slider with Sweet and Sour Dole® Pineapple Chutney and Spicy Mayonnaise that I had before my sister decided to steal it from me.
In general, if you’re looking to go and make it a point to eat and drink something in every country of the Food and Wine Festival at Epcot, I would advise that you have an eclectic enough pallet to experience the variety of food and drinks they have to offer. I would also advise that you go early and when the parks are not full, with your best bet being on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. If you’re looking to drink more than anything, I would advise that you walk quickly and find the kiosks that fit your preferences. Also, it helps if you really like beer or wine, because they have some kind at every country. Personally, I was just looking to drink some fun drinks, eat some good food, and spend some time with my amazing family and friends. To me, that is the most successful way to drink around the world, and I wouldn’t have wanted to spend my birthday any other way.