7 Things Walt Disney World Insiders Love About Drinking Around Epcot

World showcase
Credit: Disney

Drinking around Epcot means different things to different people. It may involve casually tasting cocktails from your favorite bars, refreshment stands, and restaurants around the park, or it may be something more. Consider eleven countries, eleven adult beverages, and a whole day to complete a little known challenge that many Walt Disney World insiders love. It’s commonly known as Drinking Around the World, and though it has been around for a while, a growing number of insiders are now getting involved.

The challenge takes place at Epcot’s World Showcase. To participate, you must drink an alcoholic beverage as you visit each pavilion, beginning in Mexico or Canada and making your way around. Naturally, this can be enough to put the casual drinker out of commission by the sixth country, but by keeping well-hydrated and pacing slowly, insiders find the challenge easy to manage. If you’re wondering why anyone would go through the trouble of facing this challenge, consider the following seven reasons.

7. Vast Selection

Let’s face it. You won’t find the variety of drinks in one bar that are offered at Epcot’s World Showcase. Each pavilion serves signature beverages hailing from its country of origin. You’ll be able to taste tequila in Mexico, sake in Japan, cabernet sauvignon in France, and stout in United Kingdom. Of course, the selection is much broader than just a few signature drinks on a restaurant menu. The pavilions also feature lounges, wine bars, pubs, refreshment stands, and the like to give everyone an opportunity to enjoy their favorite libations. Ultimately, if variety is the spice of life, then insiders who drink around the world love that the World Showcase is quite spicy.

6. Pairing Drinks with Cuisine

Part of the fun of drinking around Epcot is pairing favorite beverages with delicious cuisine. Naturally, it’s difficult to consume eleven drinks and eleven snacks without suffering more than a little bloating, so that may be out of the question. However, some pavilions offer irresistible food and drink combinations that can’t be passed up. Imagine a hefeweizen beer and a soft pretzel from Germany, a cabernet with your brie from France, or nachos and margaritas from Mexico. With the variety of restaurants found in the World Showcase, you can pair your favorite beers, wines, and cockails with beef, chicken, seafood, and more. Those who aren’t certain about what makes a delicious pairing should ask cast members for recommendations.

5. Enjoying Friends and Family

Insiders love to drink around the world in groups. Sharing the experience with friends and family builds memories to share throughout the years. Walt Disney World exists to bring love ones together for magical experiences, and drinking around Epcot doesn’t disappoint. In addition, insiders need trusted friends to help ensure that they’re meeting the challenge in a safe and responsible way, not to mention to share laughs with as they travel the world in a day.

4. Enjoying Responsibly

Many park guests enjoy the relaxation of a few drinks while at Epcot, as evident by those toting cups of beer throughout the park on any given day. Make no mistake, however, that those drinking around the world can really add up. It’s important to always remember and respect Epcot’s family friendly atmosphere during the challenge. Additionally, make sure you drink plenty of water and eat plenty of food. Insiders also love that they can drink without worrying about how they’ll get back to their resort, since Walt Disney World provides reliable transportation up to an hour after the park closes.

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3. Souvenirs

Who doesn’t enjoy collecting souvenirs at Walt Disney World? By the sheer number of Mickey ears you can spot in the crowds, the answer must be very few. Insiders drinking around Epcot prove to be no exception. Many drinks are available in souvenir cups for those willing to pay extra, such as the tall, plastic mugs found at beer stands along the promenade in Canada, Germany, and Norway. Those who take their participation seriously may even order or make “Drinking Around the World” t-shirts. The shirts usually feature graphics on the back representing the nations in the World Showcase. As you visit each pavilion, ask the cast member who serves you to sign their name with a marker below the corresponding country. The result is a souvenir commemorating the event for years to come.

2. Culture Exchange

Disney insiders love experiencing the traditions and cuisine of the nations represented in the World Showcase. The exchange of culture is somewhat amplified while eating and drinking, since they engage our senses beyond sight and sound. While tasting the flavors of France, Germany, or Japan, it’s not uncommon to feel closely connected to them. Some insiders imagine that they are actually visiting the faraway nations. Also, cast members jump at the chance to talk about culture; it’s part of the reason they’re working at Epcot. So feel free to ask questions; a few drinks will certainly loosen your tongue.

1. Sense of Accomplishment

Lastly, insiders love the drinking around the world challenge because it offers them a sense of accomplishment. Obviously, this doesn’t rank highly compared to life-changing successes, but it is a small triumph, nonetheless. It takes perseverance, steady pacing, and careful planning when setting out to drink around the world. Many pitfalls can arise along the way, and a host of rookies who have attempted the feat have failed to succeed. Insiders love the pride of filling their t-shirts with signatures, winning the challenge, and enjoying themselves along the way.

About D.W. Noonan

D.W. Noonan was blindsided by the magical universe of Walt Disney when he married a dedicated Disneyphile in 1994. His wonderful wife dragged him into countless days of binge-watching great Disney films. As children began showing up in the Noonan home, D.W.'s growing passion for all things Disney led him to vacationing with his family in Walt Disney World each year and taking a journey to visit Disneyland. He is especially proud of his two teenage daughters, who danced for Disney Performing Arts at Walt Disney World in 2015. Though D.W. lives in Maryland, he longs to hear these familiar words when he returns to the resort: "Welcome home."