January 23, 2012

Disney World-Let's Have a Drink

Many of our friends are surprised by the fact that we go to Disney World as often as we go and usually it's because they're unaware of all the great adult options available. Granted, it's Disney World so yeah, there's a ton of kids and family friendly things to do but to be totally honest, we prefer to go without children. Yup. I'm nevergoing to be Mother-Of-The-Year so I don't mind confessing that I'd rather be at a children's paradise without my children.

One of our favorite things to do when child-free is drink. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a lush but I do enjoy a good cocktail. Good cocktails are much more easy to come by at Disney than you may think. Magic Kingdom is the only dry park (ironic considering they have the Pirates of the Caribbean). You can get a drink at both water parks(which seems a bit odd to me) and at just about any restaurant in Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios and Epcot. Epcot really is the big one when it comes to drinking. One thing I look forward to every year (really, I swear I'm not a lush) is Disney's official Wine Walk. It's $20 for six 2oz tastings. The tastings are split evenly between three country pavilions-Germany, France and Italy and to be honest, in my experience Germany is the only pavilion that is a stickler on the 2oz amount...the other two countries are very generous. You can go to any one of the three countries and purchase the "passport" which is just a card that each country stamps when you've had their tastings. If you're a light weight like me, don't worry, you're not required to drink all six tastings in the same night. You can spread it out over the course of your trip-if you have park hopper tickets, it really works out great because you can spend the day doing whatever you like in any of the parks and then end it with a night cap in Epcot-just be sure to look into the park hours first. Whether or not you decide to buy the official wine walk, be sure to try the Rosa Regale in Italy (the official red wine for Italy on the Wine Walk). I'm not big into reds but it's a totally unique fizzy fun red that is superb. Of course the rest of the country pavilions have their own libations. If I was into beer, Germany would be the pavilion to go to. One of my annual must dos is to try a different sake each trip in the Japanese pavilion. The cast members (Disney's word for employee) there have taught me more about all the various versions of sake than I ever thought possible.

(my aunt and I enjoying the wine walk...we didn't get around to it until the last night of our vacation and ended up drinking all six tastings in about an hour and a half)

Also, if you do one of the three dinner shows-Hoop Dee Doo Musical Review, Spirit of Aloha Luau, or Mickey's Backyard BBQ, some alcohol (beer, sangria and sometimes wine) is included in the price of the meal and unlimited. If you're looking for high end wines, try one of the other signature restaurants such as Artist's Point in Wilderness Lodge or California Grill at the top of the Contemporary Resort (tip: book your dinner at California Grill for an hour before fireworks...usually 8pm...and you'll be able to watch the fireworks from the balcony of the restaurant while they broadcast the music and story just for you).

(my cousin and the drink he purchased at the Spirit of Aloha Luau...he got to keep the coconut monkey)

Last, if you're interested in drinking your way around the world, is the Food and Wine Festival scheduled this year from Sept 28th-Nov 11th. Disney brings in world renown chefs of all kinds and builds additional temporary pavilions which combine with their permanent countries to represent more than two dozen nationalities, cultures, cuisine, drinks and entertainment. There are mixology classes, cooking demonstrations from some of TV's most famous chefs, wine tastings and lots of live music. It's basically a 45 day party. Some of the classes, demonstrations and events will require a reservation and separate fee but we went for the first time this year and had a blast with just our regular park admission (best use of our dining plan snack credits ever-only on food, not permitted on alcohol but it's always good to have something more than just bubbly in the tummy). Stop at a DVC booth and pick up one of the free Food and Wine Festival Passports-they list all of the country pavilions and what food and beverages each station will have. We managed to try at least one thing from almost all of the countries represented. Be aware, however, that the food and wine festival does bring a ton of locals-especially on the weekends. It's a different atmosphere during those six weeks than we had ever experienced at Disney World...not better or worse, just different.

(our very first trip...before kids...the "glowtini" is a favorite-the plastic ice cube can be solid blue, flashing blue or flashing multi-color)

Most importantly, whether you have children with you or not, drink responsibly. Don't drink and drive, no matter how close your resort is and don't be obnoxious. It's the happiest place on earth-don't ruin it for someone else.


JG said...

Oh the glowtini. I do miss that!