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“Drinking Around the World” at Disney World Claims Another Victim, This Time a Child

worldshowcase epcot
Credit: Disney

“Knock, knock!” “Who’s there?” “Drunk, unruly EPCOT guests drinking around the World Showcase again!”

Walt Disney World is a place where our favorite Disney stories come to life in the most magical ways. It’s full of excitement, joy, and wonder. However, there’s a dark side to Disney World that only adults know about, and few dare discuss it out loud. Its name is the World Showcase at EPCOT.

remy's ratatouille adventure epcot

Credit: Becky Burkett

Despite being home to immaculate, highly themed parks like Magic Kingdom or Hollywood Studios, where our favorite Disney characters call home, Disney World’s EPCOT promotes a separate culture compared to its kid-friendly siblings.

Alcohol Culture at EPCOT

Although guests to EPCOT can find unique foods around the park, especially in the World Showcase, classic Disney-style rides like the Gran Fiesta Tour, and even state-of-the-art attractions like Remy Ratatouille Adventure or Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, you’ll also find a lot of drunk EPCOTians roaming the park.

Related: GROSS! Guests Turn EPCOT Fountain Into a Swimming Pool

Unlike the culture surrounding other parks at Disney World, like Animal Kingdom, EPCOT is all about two things: eating food and drinking alcohol. Combined with quarterly festivals that promote high volumes of alcoholic beverages, if there’s a situation that gets out of control, it’s usually at EPCOT.

The theme park is home to several different countries, Japan, China, and Italy, to name a few, and although you’ll find vast cultural differences in each pavilion, they all have one thing in common: alcohol! Countries like Canada, Germany, and Mexico pride themselves on their unique drinks in each pavilion, but some feel the adult beverages only take away from the magic of Walt Disney World.

The World Showcase Runs Freely with Adult Beverages

Although there’s actually a lot to do at EPCOT, many only visit the park for the World Showcase. Despite being able to meet Figment, enjoy Spaceship Earth, or hang out in the second-largest aquarium in the United States, many forgo these attractions for the free-flowing rivers of booze in each country around the World Showcase lagoon.

San Angel Inn Restaurante Dining Room

Credit: Disney

The pressure to partake in alcohol consumption around the World Showcase has become an unacknowledged part of Disney World culture, with adults flocking to the park once the sun starts to set, ready to hit up Garden House in the Japan Pavilion or grab a beer in the United Kingdom or Germany Pavilions.

Although Disney doesn’t promote the concept of “drinking around the world” out loud, they don’t do much to ensure some guests aren’t over-served. They seem to encourage it as they host specific annual events that center around heavy consumption of alcoholic beverages like the International Food and Wine Festival.

Related: Drinking Around the World at Disney is Becoming a Problem

Alcohol is one of the most popular buys in EPCOT, specifically in the World Showcase. La Cava de Tequila in Mexico, Les Vins des Chefs de France in the France Pavilion, and many others heavily push boozy beverages onto adults, who don’t always consume and act accordingly or reponsibly.

Past Issues at the World Showcase in EPCOT

The problem of belligerent drunk people at EPCOT isn’t a new one. In fact, it’s been an issue many have talked about for a long time. As culturally, most view EPCOT as an adult-type park, it isn’t uncommon to find someone who’s had one too many losing their Norway pavilion school bread in the bathroom sink.

As each pavilion from Mexico to Canada serves a vast, mind-boggling array of alcohol, fights, vomiting, and even death-defying stunts have become common around the World Showcase. In recent years, we’ve seen guests climb the pyramid in Mexico, take baths in fountains outside of the France Pavilion, fight in Morocco, and there have even been some who’ve tried to make their way down into World Showcase lagoon.

Disney 100 celebration EPCOT

Credit: Disney

I can’t tell you how often I’ve witnessed guests completely ignoring park rules while obviously intoxicated. Last spring, I caught a group of four fist-fighting in the Japan Pavilion while one was vomiting. Their kids were standing there clueless about what to do. The behavior is gross and unbecoming of what Disney World is supposed to be. Worse, because we view EPCOT as a drink-friendly park, adults often forget that it’s Walt Disney World and kids are present. 

The Latest Incident at EPCOT

The drinking culture at EPCOT has manifested into what we see in City Walk on a Friday night at Universal Studios Orlando. Sometimes, it’s quickly becoming an unsafe environment for families and children. That may sound like an overreaction, but consider what Reddit user u/Tight_Data_9939 had to say about their most recent trip to the World Showcase.

“During food and wine, a group of drunk college guys actually got screaming angry at my FOUR year old child who had one of those Mickey light up wand/swords,” the guest recalled. “Was my child hitting them or in their space? No. My child had his wand on… that’s it.”

Related: Disney’s EPCOT Welcoming New Rides In World Showcase? Here’s What We Know

“One guy said he was too wasted for the lights and threw his beer at my child and yelled at him,” they continued. “Now bc he was so wasted he missed by a mile… but seriously?!? You are 20 HE WAS FOUR!!! And he was being a good boy too, just playing with his wand minding his own business to the side.”

Rose & Crown Pub Interior

Credit: Disney

“We turned right around,” the guest wrote. “Told a nearby cast member and just left the park. We were near the international entrance and just left out there as we felt it was time to get our child out of there. We have never taken any of our children to food and wine nights since—daytime yes.”

Inside the Magic, who originally posted the story, went on to explain that others in the comment section were quick to voice their displeasure and condemn the unruly, and illegal reported behavior.

epcot france pavillion

Credit: Disney

ITM also pointed out that the poster, who claims that a drunk guest hurled a beer at their child, went on to suggest that Walt Disney World should seriously consider limiting alcohol consumption around Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and especially EPCOT.

“Generally speaking, the worst behaviour I see is typically by people who are wasted in the parks,” they argued. “I am so tired of this. I wish Disney would ban alcohol or at least limit it with some sort of counting connection to your ticket (of course they won’t bc it’s a major revenue stream).”

“Drinking Around the World”

Although this is alleged behavior, it isn’t surprising if it did happen. EPCOT’s culture, especially surrounding “Drinking around the world,” has become a problem for many guests visiting Walt Disney World.

Margarita on the rocks Choza de Margarita

Credit: Disney

Each of the eleven pavilions within the World Showcase seems to offer a slew of alcoholic beverages. The goal of the trend, to literally drink around the world, means that guests would consume an alcoholic beverage from all eleven World Showcase countries: Mexico, Norway, China, Germany, Italy, the American Adventure, Japan, Morocco, France, the United Kingdom, and Canada. That’s a lot of alcohol.

Related: The Ultimate Guide to Drinking Around the World at EPCOT

Matters are made worse when events like Food and Wine or the International Flower and Garden Festival heavily promote exclusive, specialty drinks that people feel they must enjoy before they’re gone. Disney’s perceived promotion or denial of over-indulgence by guests to the World Showcase at EPCOT directly correlates with increases in poor guest behavior, leading many to call for an end to alcohol sales at Disney World.

Fife & Drum Tavern Sign

Credit: Mealtrip.com

It’s a sad notion as the pavilions around the World Showcase have so much more to offer than alcohol. The American Adventure has great barbeque and education regarding America’s history. The Norway Pavilion offers interesting facts regarding Viking culture. The Morocco Pavilion even has an incredible market complete with amazing foreign fare at Spice Road Table. There’s so much to see and do; it’s difficult to understand why anyone would want to spend their time in the World Showcase under the influence, much less assault a child.

About Michael Arnold

Michael is a father, husband, and an Army Veteran. Michael spends his weekends at Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando checking out new merchandise and food. Michael is a graduate of the University of Alabama and has an education background in Public Health. You can find Michael riding Pirates of the Caribbean over and over again or binge watching new Marvel and Star Wars content. Han shot first. Thor is the strongest Avenger. Roll Tide and Wash Your Hands!

17 comments

  1. The Reddit incident didn’t happen, if it did, not like it was presented. Pushing an agenda because you don’t like alcohol being served at epcot

    • Were you there? Did you see it? My guess from past experiences it could have happened.

    • How can you say it didn’t happen? We were there end of Dec. 2020 and my daughter had a beer spilled all down her back. Another night coming back to our resort a drunk was shrieking obscenities because he didn’t get another drink before leaving because he was so wasted. Disney bands can track everything else, cut these people off! If you can’t behave DONT go.

      • It’s true. I’ve spilt beer on a child every time I visit Disney. Not intentionally, mind you. It just… happens. Call it destiny. Call it a cosmic joke. Call it my very own EPCOT attraction. But for seven years running, without fail, my frosty beverage finds its way onto some unsuspecting toddler.

        First year? Magic Kingdom. I was mesmerized by the castle and the parade, pint in hand, when BAM! Little Timmy got a Bud Light shower. My bad. Second year? Animal Kingdom. I was trying to snap a pic of the Tree of Life, juggling my beer and my camera, when WHAM! Little Susie’s Mickey ears were suddenly drenched in IPA.

        Year three was at Hollywood Studios. You’d think by now I’d learn, right? Wrong. I was lost in the world of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Feeling that Jedi spirit, I gestured wildly with my drink hand. SPLASH! Young Padawan Luke (yes, his name was Luke, I asked) was anointed with stout. May the force be with him.

        Year four? EPCOT. Was attempting to “Drink Around the World”. Didn’t even make it past Mexico. José Carioca plush toy? More like José Corona-soaked toy. Five? Back to Magic Kingdom. Spilled a craft ale on a mini Elsa during the “Let It Go” fireworks. Let it go, indeed.

        Year six was at a Disney resort. Thought I’d be safe. Just chilling at the pool, right? But there was a little Ariel, swimming her heart out. My Pilsner and her inflatable float? Not a great combo.

        Now, year seven. I thought I had it down. Wore one of those beer helmets. Hands-free, baby! But fate, she’s a cruel mistress. Got startled by Goofy coming up behind me. My head jerked, both tubes unleashed their payload. Twin streams of amber glory on a duo of DuckTales fans.

        So, why do I keep going back to Disney? For the magic? For the memories? Nah. It’s because somewhere out there is a child, my eighth beer target, blissfully unaware that their Disney trip is about to get a little… wetter.

        Please, if you see me there, hold your kids close and your ponchos closer. The Beer Spiller of Disney is on the loose. And to all the kids I’ve drenched before? I’m sorry. Your parents probably hate me. But hey, makes for a great story, right? Cheers! #DisneyDrenchedKids

      • We can say it didn’t happen the same way you read tabloids about aliens and believe they didn’t happen.

        You take real life experience and common sense and the BS starts popping out easily. Or you believe everything you read like a gullible clown.

    • Might have, might not have. Seen plenty of drunks misbehaving at Epcot over the years. Too bad there isn’t a way to cut people off after 2-3 drinks.

  2. This us exactly why Magic Kingdom should stay a dry park. Let the kids have a place where they can have fun and parents shouldn’t have to worry about this happening. We skipped Epcot our last trip because when we went back in 2020, for my youngest son’s first trip, my son was in his stroller and this drunk guy was walking backwards, and I said excuse me multiple times, and he ran right intonour stroller (small umbrella stroller) and fell right on top of my son, and thought it was funny. He spilled his beer on my kid, and didn’t even apologize. We had to leave to get my son cleaned up, and missed the rest of the day, so our stroller could dry out.

  3. Drunk adults should be immediately removed by Disney cast members / security. Sadly, I know of no way that Disney can stop people from drinking too much if they are inclined to do so. Unless, of course, the park goes to “no alcohol”, which would not only tick off lots of people, but also cost Disney a lot of money.

  4. I was there October of 2014. Its an ongoing thing. Drunk patrons in the Italy pavilion attacking kids for trying to play in the fountain and take a picture. I addressed her, and they calmed down but not many castmates can address these issues

  5. you can drink all over the park and put up with rude people when they get intoxicated but you can’t have one place in the park with all the area they have out of the way for people to smoke. That is why the europeans don’t go to Disney anymore, they smoke and it didn’t bother anybody, I don’t smoke but it never did bother me because they were out of the way. They should have one place in the Park to smoke without going out of the Park to do itHey I know smoking is bad for you but so is drinking harmful to, so what is good for one is good for the other but disney makes money on the adult beverages.

  6. EPCOT was just fine with limited alcohol. I haven’t been back in 14 years, after going at least once a year in the 80s and 90s. I was in my 20s and 30s and didn’t miss getting drunk there ever. These stories and crowds and genie + are reasons I’ll never be back.

  7. Disney a long time ago sold a shirt saying I drunk my way around the world, Please we all call it the drinking park

  8. You sound like a soft ass liberal. Get over yourself.

  9. Epcot has always been known as the Adult Party Park. Disney has been trying to change that by adding more family attractions. Lets face it, World Showcase has little to offer young children. Rat, Frozen, 3 Caballero’s. It is geared towards adults. Once you cross the bridge it is all about food and Alcohol

  10. Why does Disney not serve alcohol say till the evening only and then only if you are dinning in a restaurant where you can only say have 2 drinks max. Maybe try one restaurant each evening of your stay there is no need to serve alcohol all day especially to people that can’t handle it.

  11. Maybe those who want to “Drink Around the World” should be issued a card that needs to be punched when purchasing an adult beverage!

  12. It’s part of a larger problem, adults with zero self control thinking that Disney World is for them instead of children.

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