You know Disney’s famous castle at Magic Kingdom, and you’ve seen the Star Wars takeover at Hollywood Studios. But the best Disney theme park for adults is the highly underrated Epcot. At Epcot, the rides are mild and educational, but you can drink from 11 am to 9 pm everywhere from Japan to the UK. Here is a complete guide on how to enjoy your day at Epcot.
Disney’s on-site hotels can be overpriced, but if you’re going to Epcot, it’s worth splurging. You definitely don’t want to drive to the park, and getting an Uber or cab back might end up being an expensive hassle.
The on-site resorts offer constant transportation to and from the park, so you can be one drink away from blacking out and a helpful Disney employee will still get you back to your hotel. When you stay on-site, you’ll also get a Magic Band you can link to your credit card. So you can charge your food and wine without running the risk of leaving your actual credit card at the bar in Mexico.
Download the app
The My Disney Experience app has everything you’re going to need for a successful day at the park. You can link your ticket, your dinner reservations, and check standby wait times for all rides and attractions at the park. You can also use the app to sign up for available Fast Pass entrance to rides, which allows you to skip the long standby lines.
Get there early for the rides
Though the rides at Epcot are nothing to write home about, if you want to get the most out of your $100+ ticket, you’ll want to get there when the park opens at 9 am. Depending on which rides you are most interested in, you can probably squeeze in 3 or 4 before the World Showcase opens at 11 am. If you can get a Fast Pass entrance to at least one or two of them, you’ll be in much better shape.
Some of the most popular rides include:
- Spaceship Earth, which is the one in the giant Epcot ball. It’s a slow interactive ride that takes you through the history of man. It’s especially nostalgic now since the history of man will probably soon come to an end.
- Test Track puts you in the driver’s seat of a crash test car, zipping through a track full of speed and hairpin turns. It’s probably the closest thing Epcot has to a roller coaster.
- Soarin’ is another popular attraction, which has been updated to take you Around the World. You’ll experience the sights, sounds, and sensations of flying over the Great Wall of China and around the Eiffel Tower.
- Mission: SPACE is another interactive thrill ride that simulates a space mission, complete with weightlessness (and possibly vomiting). It does the same thing as the Gavitron at your local amusement park but with an immersive video.
If you still have time for rides before you begin day drinking, there are more rides and shows including The Seas with Nemo and Friends and Ellen’s Energy Adventure. Just remember that as soon as the clock strikes 11, it’s time for the World Showcase.
Conquering the World Showcase
The World Showcase is a series of countries represented around the lake where the fireworks show takes place at the end of the night. At each country, you will find iconic monuments, delicious food, and typical alcoholic drinks from each country. You’ll also be happily greeted by people who are from each country. Disney doesn’t mess around with authenticity.
Preparing to drink around the world
Because you’re probably not used to drinking for 10 hours straight, you’re going to want to come prepared. I suggest having a hearty breakfast before you go to the park, because the park doesn’t have many options. Unless your idea of a good breakfast is a $4 croissant. You should also hydrate plenty before and during your drinking around the world journey.
Kicking off your drinking
The most important rule of Epcot is that you start in Mexico. I can’t imagine anything worse than starting in the UK with a beer, drinking through 8 other countries, and then ending your night with a tequila shot.
You can only get tequila shots at La Cava del Tequila which is inside the Aztec pyramid. You can get one shot or a whole flight of regular tequila, premium tequila, or mezcal. Of course, you can also get cocktails.
Here you’ll also find one of the only two rides in the World Showcase: the Gran Fiesta Tour. So you can take your tequila buzz on a boat ride through the Mexico Pavillion.
Next up is Norway, which is designed to look like a traditional Norwegian village. Since I last visited Epcot, I’ve been to almost all the countries represented there, and seeing the large stave church at the Norway pavilion definitely took me back to Oslo’s Norwegian Museum of Cultural History, which features the exact same kind of architecture. Ironically, when I went to Norway, I also met a guy who had worked at Epcot.
The Norway pavilion features the brand new Frozen Ever After ride, which replaced the country’s previous awesome Viking ride, Maelstrom. No one was happy about that: not Epcot fans, not Norway, but I guess your kids will probably be into it.
In Norway, you can get a Carlsberg (which is technically from Denmark, but whatever) and a disgusting shot of Aquavit which is around 80 proof and tastes like hell on earth. But you can wash it down with a cute Viking pastry, which helps.
The next stop on your world tour is China. This is a good place to start getting some real food in you (if you didn’t start with tacos in Mexico). You can get spring rolls and a plate of fried rice with your plum wine. At the Joy of Tea stand outside, you can also get decent cocktails, like the Mango Gingerita, which is a fruity rum-vodka concoction.
China also features the Reflections of China 360-degree video which can provide you a break if you need one. But know that it’s 14 minutes long and you have to watch it standing. So you’re better off taking a nap on the floor outside the park’s version of the Temple of Heaven.
Next up is Germany, which is not only one of the best drinking countries at Epcot, it’s one of the best drinking countries in the world. The Germany pavilion is designed to look like a traditional German town, and like a traditional German town, it features a large beer garden where you can get your fill of sausage and beer. If you’re feeling a little classier, they also have a wine bar, where you can get wine flights with a cheese pairing. Germany is awesome, so just do both.
Once you’re done in Deutschland, take a few steps and you’ll be in Italy, where you can frolic in Venice’s Piazza San Marco. This is one of the countries where you can stop to have a fancy dinner at Tutto Italia, or just get some prosecco to go while you sit on the replica of the Trevi Fountain. Epcot is a great way to see all of Italy’s highlights in person.
The American Adventure
The American Adventure is the most boring pavilion at Epcot. But if you’re the kind of person that eats at Friday’s when they’re on vacation in Europe, then you may want to stop here for a burger. If not, you can grab some popcorn and a Sam Adams before you make your way to the next country.
The Japan pavilion has a lot of food and drinking options. You can sit down at Tokyo Dining or grab something to go at Katsura Grill, where you can get everything from sushi to teriyaki. Japan also has some great drinks including sake, sake cocktails, and traditional Japanese beer. The green tea slushy cocktail is pretty amazing.
Japan is also a great place to do some shopping. Each of the pavilions has stores with traditional goods from each country. You can get ponchos and sugar skulls in Mexico, cuckoo clocks in Germany, and clothing literally everywhere. But in Japan, you can also buy candy. That’s right. All those weird amazing things you can only get at 7/11 in Tokyo are also for sale in the Japan pavilion at Epcot. Stock up!
After Japan is Morocco. This is the only pavilion that the country’s government helped design. And they did a spectacular job. So much so that when I visited Morocco in real life, I kind of felt like I was at Epcot. There is absolutely no difference between the restaurant at the Morocco pavilion and traditional restaurants in Casablanca or Marrakesh. The detailed mosaics that cover the fountains and walls of the Morocco pavilion were done by Moroccan artisans.
In this pavilion, you can walk around the replica souks and buy scarves, ceramics, rugs, and leather goods. Just like the real Morocco, except that your rug won’t smell like camel shit. Though Morocco doesn’t have signature drinks, the pavilion has a full bar, which is ironic, since they don’t actually drink much in Morocco due to their faith. As a throwback to my trip, I drank wine, which is the only thing we were allowed to buy bottles of while we were there.
By the time you get to France, if you’ve done the rest of it right, you might think you’re actually in Paris. The France pavilion is another excellent place to eat. Whether you’re dining at the elegant Chefs de France bistro or at the gourmet sit-down Monsieur Paul, you’re going to be eating well. But unless you have reservations, you probably won’t be eating at all.
Fear not, drunk one. You can get counter service at Les Halles Boulangerie-Patisserie where you can get all the baked French goods your body can handle, from croissant sandwiches to mousse cake. In France, you can have wine or champagne, but I highly recommend their frozen cocktails. You can’t go wrong with a Grey Goose slushy at 8 pm.
At the end of your night, you’ll be in the UK. Here you can enjoy all the Guinness and IPA your drunk little heart desires at the Rose & Crown Pub. If you’re desperately hungry, you can get fish and chips. But you’re right next to France. Why would you do that? Though the pub gets packed at night, you can enjoy the live piano until the fireworks show at 9 pm.
I’ve heard rumors that there is a Canada pavilion, as well. I’ve never actually seen it myself. But according to the map it’s right after the UK. There’s a steakhouse there that you’ll probably just get kicked out of for being a hot mess.
And that’s how you travel to 11 countries in one day thanks to the magic of Disney.
Get the GPS-guided version of this article on GPSmyCity here.