4 Reasons to “Eat” Around the World At Epcot’s World Showcase
For those of you who are die hard Disney Parks fans, you may have heard of a growing trend at Epcot called “Drinking Around The World”. While, for a certain audience, that can be an incredibly entertaining experience, Disney tends to frown upon the “game”. However, there is a clever alternative slowly making its way into the parks called “Eat Around the World”.
For those of you who don’t know, “Drink Around The World” was essentially a challenge to stop at each of the 11 countries represented throughout the World Showcase and sample a form of alcohol at each and every stop. As you can imagine, it doesn’t always end well. Thankfully, with the growing trend towards food and garden related festivals in Epcot, eating at each of the countries instead of drinking is slowly growing in popularity.
Now, I don’t recommend you eat a full meal at every single country represented, because that may have entirely different consequences of its own (although I may try it one of these days!). Instead, make an effort to try a taste of some food item or share something with friends or family as you go. By the end of your experience you may have an entirely new form of entertainment and something to look forward to each and every time you visit Walt Disney World. While that sounds simple, it truly is an experience that can change the way you view the park. So, with all the details covered, here are my 4 simple reasons to “Eat Around the World!”
-It’s Fun for the Whole Family!
There’s just something special about sharing a meal with family. I’m not sure if it’s the fellowship or the food (we can’t forget the food!), or just spending time with those you truly care about the most. However, for some reason a meal at Walt Disney World isn’t just a meal but rather an experience all on its own. For many, its even the highlight of many of their vacations over the years. It’s one of those things you just have to see to believe but somehow that simple joy of sharing stories from your day in the parks or hearing each person’s favorite part of the vacation up to that point makes a meal at Disney one of the best ways to truly create wonderful memories for those of all al ages. Everyone can participate in a meal, the offerings are second to none (especially at Epcot) and the food is extraordinary at nearly any location. (granted there are a few exceptions… feel free to ask questions in the comments below and I’ll be sure to answer them!)
-You Get to Broaden Your Horizons
While Epcot was never originally designed to be a cultural experience, in a way that is part of what it has developed into over the years. Originally it was a learning experience and would essentially be the “City of Tomorrow” in Walt Disney’s eyes. While that vision never truly became a reality, Epcot still remains a learning experience. No matter where you decide to eat or what you intend on trying, being surrounded by and experiencing the cultures represented in The World Showcase really opens your eyes to the vast enormity of the world around you. In my own opinion there’s no better way to experience a culture that by experiencing something as essential to daily life as their food. Food in many cases creates a greater backstory of the entire country. Traditions develop over time, but food is usually something that stays true to its roots.
Epcot’s representations aren’t always spot-on, but at the same time by expanding your pallet to new and unique offerings you get to learn what you like and dislike in a very first hand type of opportunity. At the end of the day you can say, at the very least, that you tried something new and who knows, it may end up being something you end up going back to for years to come. Take that leap of faith and try something new no matter how simple it may be!
As many of us know, patience is key to a successful Disney vacation. If you don’t pack anything else, pack your patience. It’s the one tip that is found in every Disney guidebook and the key to enjoying a Disney vacation (shameless plug… check out my book, The Adventurer’s Guide to Walt Disney World, on Amazon). However, Eating Around the World is the rare exception to that rule. You really don’t have to be patient. Chances are, the only line you’ll have to wait in is the short line for the next food item on your list. You can sit down in the off the beaten path nooks of the World Showcase, enjoy a nice snack and relax in the Florida sunshine until you’re ready to move to you’re next destination. It really is a freeing experience, you don’t have to wait an hour for the next item on your “list” and many times you get to explore parts of Epcot that you may have overlooked in the past.
Recently, even I stumbled across something I had never experienced before in the Morocco Pavilion! It may not be a completely new show or a completely new attraction, but may be just a little detail that you had simply overlooked or never noticed in the past. To me, that’s one of the best parts of the Disney experience. There’s always something new to see and no matter how hard you try, there is no way to see it all. The parks are constantly changing and developing as was the vision from the beginning and thatkfully those little changes often times keep us coming back. Changes allow new memories to be created and new adventures throughout a place we all have grown to love.
-You Can Experience Dinner With a Show!
Lastly, there’s just something special about dinner and a show. Of course, Disney offers their own “dinner shows in Morocco, Germany, etc. but those aren’t necessarily the ones I’m referring to. What I’m talking about to is the “show” that the World Showcase becomes. After experiencing a few locations, you start to realize that at Epcot you can never have the same view twice. One day you can be sitting in China staring out over the World Showcase Lagoon as the sunlight twinkles on the water and then 4 hours later you can experience the nighttime magic of Illuminations from the exact same spot.
China is just one of the many spots where this is true. You can eat at Monsieur Paul and have a completely new experience and a completely different view from any seat in the house. You can eat outside at Rose and Crown and experience one of the best views of Illuminations at night or slip inside for a journey over sees to an authentic British pub. You never know what experience you’re going to have on any given day and that makes the destinations all the more interesting.
I’ve been asked hundreds of times why I keep going back to Disney above any other vacation destination and that may just be one of the many reasons. It’s never the same experience, but at the same time it’s always a wonderful experience that I’ll never forget. Every once in awhile you have to try something new, and I highly recommend “Eating Around the World!”
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