One of Walt Disney World's Parks, Epcot features something called the World Showcase. The World Showcase makes up the back half of the Epcot park and is a big loop which circles a lagoon and features eleven individual stops, each themed after a different country. Each stop contains buildings which have been given facades resembling classical architecture from their respective countries which contain shops, restaurants, shows and even some rides themed around the culture of the area.
Specifically, one thing you can get at each of the World Showcase's eleven stops is an alcoholic drink or cocktail native to that country. Because this is America, and when we are presented with anything even remotely resembling a gauntlet of culturally stereotypical bullshit and drinking, we roll up our sleeves and get ready to represent ourselves poorly to people of other nationalities, an immensely popular custom known as Drinking Around the World exists.
Drinking Around the World is a time honored tradition where you go to Epcot and attempt to get one drink at all 11 countries in sequence within a single day.
The last time I was at Disney world I was maybe 17 and thus not old enough to participate in the challenge unlike my cousin, who at the time was also underage, but managed to get a beer at the Germany portion of the showcase by hitting on the native speaking server in fluent German. Though only technically a drink at one stop, he was at least participating in the spirit of the occasion by doing something which objectively speaking is morally questionable but is kind of awesome. Returning as an adult I decided it was time to undergo my rite of passage as an obnoxious American, and get tremendously drunk at Epcot on overpriced culturally thematic alcohol. I was going to drink around the world so that my wife could photograph it and I could write about it later.
Thus Druncot 2017 was born.
It was at the very first stop of the day that I discovered I had made several key mistakes in my drinking around the world preparations.
- Mistake number one: I had gotten so used to paying for everything with the braclet they give you to charge things to your room that I had neglected to bring my wallet to the park that day. If I wanted to even attempt this, I was now going to have to force my wife to buy my booze for me like a delinquent teenager. Not off to a great start
- Mistake number B: By the time we finished with the various other Epcot attractions and got to the World Showcase it was already 3:30pm and we only had until 6:00pm until our dinner reservation, meaning due to poor planning, I had inadvertently given myself about two hours to complete all 11 stops before we had to start walking to get to dinner.
- Mistake number the third one: Apparently it is quite traditional for challengers to the World Showcase to accessorize for the event. There were dozens of groups there wearing matching shirts that said things like "Drink, Drank, Drunk" or "Bippidy Boppidy Booze" on them. I did not come into this event with the coordination or pre-preparation of these other people. While they had a color matched support team of co-participants all I had was one disapproving wife that was annoyed she had to buy my drinks for me.
It was at this point that a decision would have to be made. Realistically, I had come with no I.D, had given myself about a third of the time I should have, and was woefully unprepared in the insufferable t-shirt department. The smart thing to do would be to just write it off as a poor job planning and enjoy the rest of the day at Epcot as normal rather than spend a ton of money and likely make myself sick. It really made the most logical sense to just forget the whole thing.
Fuck it; frozen strawberry margarita in Mexico and we're of to the races.
I got massive brain freeze because they don't allow you to ride the Three Caballeros boat ride with a full beverage for some reason and I had to chug the last 2/3 of it.
A the second stop, Norway, I came to the conclusion that due to how short a time period I was trying to cram this world tour into, volume might become an issue. It was going to get real gross if I had to drink something around 12oz of liquid at every single stop. To conserve space, I decided to get a shot. Because I'm smart like fox.
This was a liquor from Norway called Linie Aquavit. I saw it described as being similar to vodka. I clearly am no type of expert on alcohol but it was urine yellow, tasted like eggnog and went down like fire which is distinctly noting like vodka in my experience. Considering that it's a drink for people who live in longhouses and are vikings* I guess it was fine.
*I know nothing about Norway
In China, I had a Tsing Tao beer. Tsing Tao I believe is Chinese for "Tastes like generic beer". That was culturally insensitive and I apologize. The fact that I'm an unsophisticated piece of shit doesn't mean I should be disrespectful to the language.
(The beer was mediocre though)
Up next was Germany. By this point I was starting to feel the first three hit me. I was feeling pretty good, but doing the math and realizing I'd only made it about a third of the way through I was starting to get a little worried that I'd misjudged how much time I was going to need to make it through all 11 stops.
Still more concerned with the volume of liquid I was putting into myself rather than the alcohol content (because I'm smart). I decided to get a shot here too. We were on a schedule here people. Mix those alcohols up in the stomach and get a move on.
This was some sort of honey flavored bourbon from Germany and it might have been the best of the drinks I got that day. I got too drunk to remember to write it down so I could look it up later though.
Ah, Italy, the home of my people. I do of course use that phrase loosely, unless they open an exhibit in the world showcase for the People's Republic of New Jersey this is as close as I'm going to get.
You know what is a great follow up to mixing a bunch of different beer and liquor in your stomach over the course of an hour? Sangria. They had nothing but wine at the drink pavilion in Italy and I hate wine, so I settled for wine Jr. I don't know if it was the alcohol I'd already consumed continuing to hit me, the addition of more alcohol, or the infusion of yet a third ingredient in the devil's mixture I'd already put into my system, but things started to go off the rails in Italy.
First, I waited about ten minutes to get in and take a picture in what I think was supposed to be a glamorous pose, sprawled lavishly across the base of this fountain of Neptune. The result, as you can see looks more like I'm the worlds shittiest mime, pretending to fall in slow motion into the fountain while also drinking something that tastes like dish water. After that I decided that I was getting too drunk and needed to soak up some of that alcohol. Positive that it was well known that cannoli are the best absorbents of alcohol to help slow the decline into ruin I insisted on getting one in order to do damage control, I guess?
It was a good cannoli, though ineffective.
America. Land of the free, home of the Atlanta Braves and producer of some of the shittiest shit beers on the planet. By the time we reached America, the halfway mark for the World Showcase I was in rough shape. I had consumed a margarita, two shots, a beer and a glass of sangria between the hours of 3:30 and 4:45 and was nearing a tipping point.
By tipping point I am not referring to a physical limitation of my body to consume alcohol, I mean a point at which I would no longer be able to maintain the composure to pass off as a sober, casual attendee of a theme park where people bring their small children. I don't condone dangerous binge drinking, I was never going to drink an amount I felt was unsafe, but we were in Disney goddamn World, I also don't condone drinking to a point where you become a sloppy piece of shit that everyone around you has to deal with. Especially when there are about twenty four year olds who just saw Donald Duck for the first time and don't need that shit ruined for them by some idiot stumbling past yelling in a bad version of the accent native to whatever country he just came from.
Perhaps it was fate that interceded on my behalf that day, because as it would turn out, one of the kiosks at America was closed; the kiosk that sold a selection of craft beers from breweries around the country. This, meant that my only option for drink in America was Coors Lite. Coors lite is to beer as a bunch of pool noodles tied together with shoelaces is to a high end speedboat: Sure it's technically in the same category but the only situation in which you choose one over the other is if the alternative is that you die at sea.
I may have decided to try and go for a few more stops, if anything even remotely enjoyable had been available at America, but that Coors Lite defeated me. There was no way I'd make it to the end with only one more hour to go and retain enough composure not to become an embarrassment to myself and my poor wife who was dutifully putting up with all of this like a trooper.
That trash water drained me of any remaining resolve I had to continue the Druncot challenge, much as I imagine it drains millions of other Americans of their ambitions on a daily basis. The unrivaled shittiness of that Coors had me asking "What's the point?" Indeed, what was the point of anything? If beer could be this terrible, was there really anything right in the world? Probably not.
And so, after six stops on the World Showcase, Druncot 2k17 came to an unsatisfying and anticlimactic end.
While my shot at Druncot glory may have been cut down in it's prime by poor planning and the ability of the good people at Coors to make and distribute the worst beer known to humans, it just means that for the future, I'll be armed with the lessons learned in my first attempt.
Some day I will return to Disney World as a Magnificent Conqueror and on that day I shall write another shitty blog post about it.
Because I feel like it should be included; The above was done for fun, and written about in a joking manner, but at no point would I have allowed myself to go beyond a limit where I would have put myself or someone else in danger.
The entire reason I stopped in America was that it would have been irresponsible to continue on just for the sake of having a complete adventure to write about later. I stopped well within my limit for conducting myself appropriately and I would never condone anyone doing something unsafe.
In short, alcohol is for people who can handle themselves like adults. Don't be an asshole.