EPCOT: How to drink around the [Disney] World | Orlando, Florida

When you think about Disney World, drinking around the world is probably not one of the first things that pops into mind, but this has been something that’s been on my bucket list for a while.  It seemed like serendipity when I had a conference scheduled in Orlando just right after my birthday.  After a bit of convincing, one of my besties and I decided to tackle on the challenge!  Based on our experience, I’ve put together a list a tips and tricks on how to survive your first Epcot bar crawl.

So if you are over the age of 21, here’s a guide on “How to drink around the world at Epcot”.  Let me know how it goes!

Margarita

Cucumber Margarita – Tequila, orange liqueur, caramel iced pineapple juice, fresh basil, cucumber and agave nectar, served on the rocks.


How to drink around the world at Epcot


Do your research

Do your research and get a feel for the different drink options and prices.  Drinking around the world is not an easy task.  We’re talking about 11 countries where you have the option to stop and drink (more if you go during the food and wine festival).  Doing your research ahead of time will help you to better prepare your liver and your wallet.  Also, don’t forget to research the park hours.  Park hours are seasonal and vary by day.  This challenge is a full day event so you will want to pick a day with longer park hours (maybe even extra magic hours) to fully take advantage of the time.

Drinks from Japan

Be prepared to pay

Prepare your wallet!  Admission to the park is currently set at $97 USD/per person (plus taxes) and drinks run an average of around $12 USD /per drink.  These are average drink prices in California, but they may not be typical prices where you are from!  Don’t forget that even though this is a bar crawl, it is a full day event so you need to eat throughout the day.   So make sure to prepare for the various expenses in addition to extra spending money for snacks and souvenirs.

Belgium Waffles

Map out your game plan

Map out your game plan taking into consideration the park hours and how many countries you plan to visit.  The most important decision will be where to start your day.  Some people like to start outside the park, while others suggest starting at the Tequila Cavern in Mexico.  I found this article from Thrillist to be very helpful when mapping out our strategy:  Epcot Bar Crawl.  We pretty much started in Mexico, and skipped every other country, doing two full loops from there.

Germany

Team Gear

I am telling you, people do not take this challenge lightly.  The only reason I became aware of the bar crawl at Epcot, was from observing groups of people wearing team shirts referencing the challenge.  Depending on the size of your group, you may either want to coordinate outfits or order custom shirts.  Since it was just myself and the bestie, we opted for coordinating shirts.  That seemed to suffice.  🙂

Japan Cats

#squadgoals

Day of Gear

Pack a hat, sunscreen, snack bars, camera, and most importantly a water bottle.  A small messenger bag or backpack is perfect for carrying all of your essentials plus any souvenirs you may buy.

Epcot

Celebratory Button

Don’t forget to pick up your celebratory button when you arrive at the park!  Birthday Button, Anniversary, Celebration, whatever the occasion, celebratory buttons are an easy conversation piece.

Mexico Fiesta

Have fun!

Just remember to pace yourself and have fun.  Don’t feel pressured to complete the 11 country challenge.  Eleven countries is a daunting task, especially if you are not used to drinking that much.  Just go with a plan in mind and an objection of having fun.  When else are you going to have an opportunity to drink in more that one country on the same day?

 

Frozen Drink MorracoimageGreen Tea DrinkFrozen BeerFrozen MartiniParis ChampagneDrinksHave you ever taken on the challenge?

XOXO

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Exploring Springfield (The Simpsons) | Universal Studios Orlando, Florida

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to explore Springfield (you know, the hometown of the Simpsons)?  While the exact location of the city is still questionable, you can find a replica located at Universal Studios in Orlando.  Having grown up on the show, I got a real kick exploring the Simpsons themed area at the park.  While I was disappointed I didn’t run into Bart or Lisa, Moe’s completely made up for it. All of the details are down to the “T”.  Walking into the bar, the resident drunk, Barney is there to greet you.  You can take a seat at the bar and order a flaming Moe.  If you’re hungry, just around the corner you can pick up a Krusty Burger or chicken from Cletus’s Chicken Shack. Just make sure not to cause too much trouble or you might find yourself detained by Officer Wiggums who is hanging just outside.

Here is a peek of the little tour that I did.  Hope you enjoy. 😊

XOXO

Kona Cafe: Breakfast at the Polynesian Village Resort, Disney World, Orlando, Florida

Kona Cafe is my favorite breakfast place when visiting Walt Disney World.  Located across from the Magic Kingdom theme park, it is easily accessible by monorail, boat, or car.  Kona Cafe is probably best known for their Tonga Toast, a banana-stuffed sourdough french toast rolled in cinnamon sugar and served with a strawberry compote.  Yum!  Now that I have your attention let’s talk breakfast. Kona Cafe offers lunch and dinner options, but breakfast is really what they do best.  During this visit we ordered a variety of items and shared.  The portions are not huge so if you go with a large appetite I would recommend that you order one dish per person to share.  The breakfast menu consists of various island flavors. The Liliko’i Juice Is fantastic.  It is a subtle and sweet blend of orange, passion fruit, and guava juice.  Guava and passion fruit complement each other so well and have the ability to transport you back to Hawaii.  The Macadamia-Pineapple Pancakes are served with a delicious macadamia nut butter and pineapple sauce. The Tonga Toast is amazing, but it’s the strawberry compote that really takes it to the next level.  It tastes almost like a strawberry smoothie.  When you taste it, you’ll want to just drink it up. 😉  Check out this recipe from the official Disney blog if you want to try to make your own: Tonga Toast.  Here are some photos from the trip.  Enjoy!

Kona Cafe Menu

Kona Cafe Menu

Liliko'i Juice

Lilikoi Juice, $4.49

condiments

Condiments: Strawberry Compote, Maple Syrup, Butter, and Ketchup

egg white omlette

Egg White Omelet: Roasted Red Peppers and Goat Cheese with a side of Fruit, $10.99

macadamia pineapple pancakes

Macadamia-Pineapple Pancakes: Served with Macadamia Nut Butter, Pineapple Sauce, and your choice of Ham, Bacon, or Sausage, $10.49

tonga toast

Tonga Toast: Banana-stuffed Sourdough French Toast rolled in Cinnamon Sugar and served with a Strawberry Compote and your choice of Ham, Bacon, or Sausage, $12.99

ham and cheese omlet

Ham and Cheese Omelet: Served with Home-fried Potatoes, $11.49

sausage

Pork Sausage

omlette

Portion view

tonga toast

Tonga Toast Inside View

Here’s an insider tip: If you don’t have time to have a sit down breakfast or don’t want to spend that much money, checkout Capt. Cook, a casual quick service cafe located downstairs at the Polynesian Resort.  While they may not have all of the same breakfast offerings as Kona, they do offer the Tonga Toast at a cheaper price, which is definitely worth a try!

Tasty treats from the Pineapple Promenade at the 2015 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival in Orlando, Florida

Here’s a look at some pineapple themed treats from the Pineapple Promenade at the 2015 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival. The pineapple sriracha hot dog was A M A Z I N G. 😍 My only complaint would be the price for what seemed to be only a 1/4 of a hot dog.  The pineapple dog was a new addition to the menu this year, which I hope they bring back for future events. It was an all beef spicy frank topped with a pineapple slaw and drizzled with a creamy sriracha. It definitely has a bit of a kick to it, but it’s quite delicious. At the promenade, they also sell a violet lemonade, which at first glance may seem out-of-place since it is not necessarily pineapple themed. I first tried this frozen treat last year and was curious as to what it would taste like since I had never tried anything that was “violet flavored” before.  I actually really enjoyed it. It’s hard to describe the flavor but I can tell you it is quite refreshing and pairs nicely with the spicy flavors of the pineapple dog. Another new addition to the menu this year was the sparkling pineapple wine. While the name of the wine enticed me, the flavor was a bit disappointing. I probably should have thought twice before ordering this since I’m not a big fan of wine. Maybe it’s just me, but this wine tasted like a semi-dry champagne with no real hint of pineapple. Perhaps this is considered a delicacy among wine connoisseurs, but I probably won’t be running out any time soon to purchase a bottle. I think I was expecting more of a sweeter flavor that you would get with a Riesling, and perhaps I cut the flavor by pairing it with the hot dog, but I just didn’t enjoy it as much as the other items. Overall, my experience with the treats at the Pineapple Promenade was good and I’m looking forward to the pineapple dog for next year. Or maybe I’ll just try to recreate it if I can’t wait and will let you know how it goes. Oh, and who can forget about the Dole Whips! They even sell them spiked with rum during the festival. Make sure to add those to your list for next year. 😉

Pineapple baby

Baby Pineapple!

image

Pineapple Dog – Spicy Hot Dog with Pineapple Chutney and Sriracha Mayo, $4

image

Frozen Desert Violet Lemonade (non-alcoholic), $3

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Sparkling Pineapple Wine – Florida Orange Groves Winery, St. Petersburg, FL, $6.25

Dole whip

Dole Whip – Pineapple soft-serve, $4.25

Check out my previous Disney World Post for all of my sweet frozen adventures around the parks!  🙂

Ollivander Wand Ceremony: Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Orlando, Florida

Have you ever been a part of a wand ceremony? I had no idea what I was stepping into when I stumbled upon Ollivander’s in Diagon Alley. It was towards the end of the day and I was walking around just taking in the sights to make sure I didn’t miss any details. There were so many small store fronts with cute displays. I peeked in through a window of what I thought was a fake store front. Looking back at me was a woman dressed in a cloak that motioned for me to come in. So, of course I did what any normal person would do in my situation, I followed the stranger into the backroom of the shop. 😜

The door closed behind me and the show began. The backroom was like a library filled with books on floor to ceiling shelves. In the room were four other individuals besides myself. A female wand keeper entered the room from the stairs. She was dressed in a cloak and hat and had a very whimsical way of speaking. She choose a young woman from the audience to step forward. She explained that she would be helping her to find her wand. We were explained that the wizard doesn’t choose the wand, the wand chooses you. She then picked through different wands and asked the guest to perform wizardly actions with the wand. Each time the action did not work it would break shelves or cause books to fall. It was both entertainingly funny and magical. Everyone in the room, although all adults, giggled and awed like kids. It was just so cute and so much fun. Once the wand chose the wizard the lighting in the room changed and whimsical music started to play. The show was officially over and we were ushered into the wand shop where we had the opportunity to purchase. The shop maintains a wide variety of wands both magical and not. The magical ones can be used throughout the Harry Potter themed areas to unlock special effects. The smile on the woman’s face, that was chosen for the performance, alone almost made the show worth it. She was so happy with her experience she ended up purchasing her wand. It was nice to see a true fan living out the movie.

Inside store front window

Wand Selection

Wand Selection

Wand Selection

Wand Selection