Quick Trip: Drinking around the world in 12 hours or less
For my (not so) little sister’s 21st birthday, all she wanted to do was drink around the world at EPCOT as a family. The gift that keeps on giving. And we didn’t need any convincing. We spent a total of almost 12 hours at the park and let me tell you, it was a blast. It was also much more difficult than I anticipated. It’s an adventure I highly recommend! Our celebration gave me some valuable insight, however, about how to make the most of the trip of a lifetime.
1. Be prepared.
We ate a HUGE, beautiful breakfast (thanks to our amazing neighbors) before we went. Like any drinking event, laying a base is crucial. On top of that, we brought refillable water bottle so we could always have water on hand. Water fountains are surprisingly difficult to find at the parks, but they are there. When you see one, fill up, and make sure to keep drinking water throughout the day.
On that note, bathroom breaks will be quite frequent so it’s good to know where they are. They’re located in every other country. And surprisingly, I found them to be very small and crowded. So just plan accordingly…
2. Stay at Disney
Don’t drink and drive friends. And don’t make someone the DD. It’s so worth the extra money (shoutout to mom and dad) to spend the night at a hotel near the park. We were super fortunate to stay at the Disney's Beach Club Villas, right on the boardwalk. It backs up to EPCOT and was a 5 minute walk from room to park and approximately 8 minute stumble from park to room.
3. Travel backwards
The added benefit of staying at the hotel was that we didn’t have to use the main entrance to the park. We came in a top-secret, super VIP entrance in the back. (Not really, it was just less crowded). This put us in France first (the ninth country if you start clockwise from the main entrance), which was significantly less crowded.
We traveled in this order: France, Morocco, Japan, took the boat over the Canada, Mexico, China, Germany, Italy, USA, Canada (again), and UK.
Our order was mostly determined by which food we wanted to eat and what rides we had fast passes for, but it worked well for us!
4. Go all out.
Everyone there will be wearing ears or matching t-shirts or some getup that is only acceptable at Disney. My suggestion? Don’t miss this opportunity. It’s so much fun. My sister made us matching Mickey ears (which we got so many compliments on). It made pictures fun and just got us excited from the time we started getting ready. My mom created the most amazing lanyards with my sister’s face on them. They prominently featured Aubrey’s baby picture next to a more current photo with the words “Aubrey is FINALLY 21!” On the side she added each country’s flag and we brought a hole punch in to mark off each country we visited. The rules were simple: you must consume alcohol in every country to get hole punched.
5. Drinking is the main objective.
We went on two rides: Soarin and Mission Space. They were fun and made possible by fast passes, but we all agreed that we wouldn’t have waited in line for either. And eating lunch at Mexico, downing a huge margarita and then being launched into “space” is not recommended. I needed a lot of water and a few minutes to return back to Earth after that one. EPCOT’s rides are definitely fun, but I would plan to ride them early in the day, or not at all. It severally cuts into your drinking time. But that’s just me.
6. Divide and conquer.
Have the group get different drinks so you can sample a little of each. These drinks are gooood, y’all. Here’s some of our favorite:
France: We started strong in France. Five Grand Marnier & Grey Goose Orange Slushes started the morning off right at 11am. No complains here.
Morocco: It was at this point I began to realize how truly dangerous this could be. There were so many incredible options, so we all got one and shared. A Sultan’s Colada (Rum, Pineapple / Coconut Juice and Almond Liqueur), a Habibi Daiquiri (Rum, Strawberry, and Orange Blossom Water) and my favorite was some strawberry, banana, peach, rum deliciousness that for the life of me I cannot find on any menu or website. But it existed.
Japan: A big thumbs down on the apple saki drink. Tasted like a jolly rancher. But we checked off a country.
Chocolate Stand: So this isn’t a country, but this drink man, so good. It was a frozen pumpkin spice latte made with chocolate liqueur. We all were in heaven.
Mexico: Either the mango frozen margarita or the sangria. They both pack a punch, so you’ve been warned.
Norway: All about that Viking Coffee. It’s made with Kamora Coffee Liqueur and Baileys Irish Cream and is the most delicious way to get a second wind.
China: To be honest, we were dragging at this point— still full from Mexico and it was getting dark, so we all shared one beer. It was a low point for us.
Germany: You have to drink beer in Germany right?! The Schöfferhofer Pink Grapefruit Hefeweizen was a crowd pleaser, but with the setting sun and cooler evening, I really loved the Dunkel!
Italy: I’ll admit I totally ordered wrong here. I got a beer, but luckily my team had better ordering skills than me. The Limoncello Mule was incredible. And we all loved the Peach Bellini. And by all means, get the pizza. It was delicious and a perfect snack to push me through the rest of the countries.
USA: Ok, I hate that my favorite drink was in America. I wanted to be all cultured, but I must say the Bourbon Frozen Lemonade was to die for. I had planned to share with my mom, but pretty much downed the whole thing on my own. I’ll be dreaming about that drink for awhile.
Canada: Again, I dumbly opted for beer when I should have gone for the boozier drinks. Chris got the Ottawa Apple (Crown Royal Maple Whisky with an apple infusion and cranberry juice) and Aubrey got the Blueberry Banjo Frosty (Van Gogh Acai-Blueberry Vodka, White Cranberry Juice, and Blueberry Infusion). MMM.
UK: At this point, it was getting a little chilly, so beer seemed like the best option. I got the Golden Pub Blend Imperial Pint which is half Harp beer and half Bass beer. Chris got the Welsh Dragon (Peach Schnapps, Melon Liqueur, Creme de Menthe, Orange Juice, and Pineapple Juice. Twas good.
7. Eat too.
The food was pretty good— nothing life changing, but we were definitely stuffed. We did sushi in Japan, guacamole and empanadas in Mexico, macaroons in France, pizza in Italy, flash-frozen chocolate chocolate mousse and maple bourbon cheese cake in Chocolate land (we named it that), and molten lava cake in the UK. Snacks around the world are much better than meals, in my opinion. Plus then you leave room to drink more.
Overall, it was an incredible day. We had so much fun and I highly recommend it. A HUGE thank you to my parents for making the day happen and for being the coolest to drink with.