Thursday, April 28, 2011

Wine at Disney World, Orlando, Florida

I had to do a brief post for those that are waiting to travel to Disney World, and aren't sure if you'll get to capture in some of that childhood fun with a taste of adulthood.  I can definitely say that for the first time in my life, my recent visits to Disney World (in Orlando, FL) have been exceptionally different than times past.  This may be because I'm older, the company, or the fact that I actually stopped to enjoy an alcoholic beverage here and there... but nonetheless, I was thrilled for these experiences. 

As I've gotten older, I really enjoy EPCOT.  Visiting the countries - going in and out of air conditioning when it gets too hot - is perfect.  Plus, almost every country has a signature menu or beverage listing that you can indulge in.  Gone are the days where there are many little children around to watch them fly on the dumbo ride (that's at Disney World) and in are the days where we eat, drink, and laugh all day long (while watching other families struggle with little kids).  =)  What's there to do at Disney as an adult, you ask?  Please, allow me to share some of my experiences!  Seriously, I can tie wine into every-day living no matter what!  (My family is going to be thrilled I'm sharing these pictures with you...)

(Photo by my grandfather)

First, I'd make a brief decision on what kind of alcohol you'll be enjoying throughout the day.  For example, the day that we went, we stuck to mixed drinks because it was incredibly hot and I wasn't sure how beer or wine would make me feel out in the Florida sun.  Second, also make sure that you drink plenty of water.  You pay a lot of money to get into EPCOT, so enjoy the day... don't drink it away!  That being said, there were some incredible mixed drink options:

Orange & Lemon Alcohol Slush
Orange = Grand Marnier
Lemon = Vodka

Carbonated Raspberry Flavored Vodka (shown with my uncle)
Orange Slush (shown with my aunt)

Both of these beverages were served outside of France.  If you want my expert opinion, grab the drinks outside of France and sit inside one of the French cafes while enjoying some of their pastries.  Absolutely marvelous way to spend a hot afternoon.  Oh!  And I was told that the restaurant at France is to die for - very classy and dressy.

French Restaurant at EPCOT
(Photo from Google Images)

We also indulged ourselves in margaritas outside of Mexico.  They were splendid!  A hefty $9 to $12 (depending on your choice of tequila), but you received a good quantity and could opt for several flavors.  This drink was incredibly refreshing to sit out and watch the Monorail go by!

Margarita Hut at EPCOT -- TOTALLY worth the stop
(Photo from Google Images)

We also attempted a plum-wine green tea slush from Japan (I think it was Japan...).  I have to admit, I was not a fan.  The thing was incredibly sour.  I took one sip of that and passed it along, but it's there for those that are interested in trying something new!

Green Tea Plum Wine Slush Hut
(Photo from Google Images)

The Plum Wine Green Tea Slush 
(Photo from Google Images)

Italy was the hot spot to find some good deals on wines.  We spent some time in this wine shop:
It also featured a lot of wine goodies - like cork holders, cork screws, coasters, etc.  I really enjoyed this shop.  Additionally, Germany featured some great Rieslings and Gewurztraminer.  We were all incredibly attracted to the Affentaler Rieslings - I think the bottle had something to do with it:
(Photo from Google Images)

Germany at EPCOT
(Photo from Google Images)

Or if you need that California Wine Country kick, wait the line out for Soarin' (or grab a Fast Pass in the early morning to return at a later time).  As my aunt says, this ride is worth a day at EPCOT.  Although it only lasts a few minutes, the ride lets you float around the entire state of California, including Wine Country.  (You'll flight right through some hot air balloons!)  It definitely was a bit surreal to see all those sights after living there for about 2 years. 

Soarin' - the Ride Over the Golden Gate Bridge
(Photo from Google Images)

Regardless - my point is this: you can find wine everywhere!  Even at Disney.  And, I must put a small tab here that EPCOT features their International Food & Wine Festival every year from September through early November.  I'm going to try to make it a point to get there this year and do some wine investigation.  Hopefully, there will be more on that in the future!  Cheers!

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