Epcot as an adult: eat, drink, and be merry

two women holding wine glasses

It had been almost 20 years since I’ve been to Epcot and the first thing that struck me was the availability of alcoholic drinks. They might have always been there when I was little, or maybe I’ve just been conditioned by Disneyland, where Club 33 is the only place you can have a drink.

The second was how Disney is still clearly embracing Eisner’s vision that they’re not about theme parks and movies, but about making dreams come true. Everything is shiny and polished and wonderfully surreal. There was no feeling that you were in a place where thousands of people go.

We entered the park early, through the less crowded back entrance accessible by hotel boat. We made a bee-line for the most popular rides and were able to get into Fast Track with only a 20 minute wait (and no Fast Pass). This personally was one of my favorite rides. I love speed and thrills, but tend to get a bit queasy on roller coasters. This ride minimized jarring and included an outdoor stretch where you get up to high speeds around tight corners.

We even checked out the Club Cool that various sites had suggested as a place to grab a free carbonated beverage. Some recommended bringing in a water bottle to fill and carry with you throughout the day. Honestly, I don’t know how anyone would feel comfortable doing that – the dispensers are clearly set up for about 3-4 oz at a time. For someone to stand there and try to fill a bottle would be the height of tackiness.

Our real goal for the day was to eat really good food and possibly sample wine as we wandered through the various countries. We did a late lunch at the San Angel Inn in the Mexican Pavillion. I was surprised at HOW GOOD the food was. My Pollo a las Rajas was incredibly tender with lots of flavor. I also appreciated that the wine selection offered several Spanish options which kept pricing down and flavor up. And I’ll admit, I’m childish enough that I was delighted we were seated by the balcony overlooking the Gran Fiesta Tour where we could watch the boats pass by.

After lunch we began to wander around the countries, stopping first in Germany. There we made the error of doing the Wine Walk. For $20 you get to taste two pre-selected wines in Germany, Italy, and France. Don’t do it! You’re not saving much money and you won’t actually be trying the wines you want.

Germany was the worst. I think we sampled the Valckenberg Madonna Spatlese and Madonna Liebfraumilch. I’m not someone who despises all sweet wines. I actually quite love yquem. But I do need my sweet wines to have flavor, and not feel like a shot burning down my esophaugus. The Liebfraumilch was the sweetest but had a little flavor. The Spatlese was just bad. Neither were finished.

a woman holding wine glasses
a woman holding two glasses of wine

We then wandered into Italy were we sampled some Ecco Domini pinot grigio, completely inoffensive, and some Banfi Rosa Regale sparkling red, which I do actually like.

France was more exciting, although again, the selections they picked for us were not what I would have wanted. Since Jeanne was new to the world of champagne, I did use the opportunity to grab us glasses of Moet & Chandon to sip in the French courtyard with the Napolean Crème Brulee that she picked up. (I did wish I had been closer to the stand that offered Nicolas Feuillatte blue label brut, but a good time was still had by all).

At this point, we were pretty happy and tired, so we decided to skip the fireworks and return to the hotel.



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Heels First is the travels and tribulations of two twenty-something frequent fliers jumping into the world of travel. Join Keri and Jeanne as they tackle mileage runs, elite status, and of course–the perfect travel accessories.


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