As parents we seem to say this over and over; but this really did seem like a good idea.
The plan was to scour Walt Disney World for the adult-iest of adult beverages. In my mind, I was sure I’d unearth a hidden speakeasy, or sweet-talk a vendor into infusing my dole whip with half a bottle of 151. In the future, parents in need of a stiff cocktail while rushing to and from FastPass appointments would hail this article as a historical document.
That was about as much thought as I put into it. Sure, I’d be accompanied by two young children oscillating between excitement and exhaustion, and a wife loaded up like a Grand Canyon burro with illicit store-bought snacks – but they’d surely understand the importance of my mission.
Of course, nothing went according to plan. I could only find a few precious hours to conduct my exhaustive and highly scientific research, so I chose the one place that would grant me the greatest chance of success. I would have to venture into a foreign land. Or five.
The following is a semi-accurate account of my trials and travails over the course of two and a half hours on a Saturday afternoon in Epcot. All ratings are based on a scale of one to completely arbitrary and made up.
I was supposed to search, find, drink; and claim my rightful status as a folk hero. Instead I ended up reliving my early 20’s:
A little bit too drunk, and unsure how I’d spent so much damn money.
Disney’s Hardest Drinks Contender Number 1: Beer at the Promenade Kiosk
I stood at the entrance to the world showcase, completely baffled as to where to begin. Off to my right, I noticed a seemingly deserted food and beverage kiosk. “The Promenade” stretched across the service window. Encouraged by the sight of “craft beer” on the menu, I figured this was as good a kickoff as any.
I was promptly informed that they were out of craft beer. I settled for a Sam Adams Cold Snap. A cruel irony, as I wasn’t off to the hottest of starts.
Hardness Rating: Only slightly harder than mineral water.
Disney’s Hardest Drinks Contender Number 2: Margarita with Added Tequila Floater in Mexico
I immediately made a break for the border. Entering Mexico, I encountered a lively outdoor cantina. Still gulping my beer, I jumped into line and inquired about the precise amount tequila one could expect in their overpriced, family-friendly margarita.
A shot and a half.
Can I have a double?
“You can add a floater on top, sir.”
Can I have a double…and the floater?
I believe that last part may have been in Spanish, but I caught the gist. I grabbed my margarita in one hand, extra shot in the other, and grabbed the cup containing the rest of my beer with my teeth.
I then set off to find somewhere private to sit down and attempt to not look so much like I’d just fallen off a passing wagon.
With the beer finished, I poured in my shot, mixed it all around, and took a big sip.
Hardness Rating: Know when your uncle brags about still being in the same shape he was as an All-State linebacker in high school, and lifts up his shirt to prove it? A little harder than his gut.
Disney’s Hardest Drinks Contender Number 3: Shot of Jager in Germany
My wife and children made it over from Magic Kingdom just in time to meet me in Deutschland. They agreed to join me on the marvelous journey I’d began – as long as I agreed to lug around my napping three-year-old.
In Germany we happened upon a long line leading up to what appeared to be a small popcorn stand. The sign read “Trinken.” My mind said “Drinkin’.”
The cause for all the commotion surrounding the unassuming booth soon became apparent: Jagermeister.
Dozens of foggy memories from college came flooding back. As though a gift from Chief Osceola himself, I managed to strike up a conversation with a fellow FSU alum about to place his order. He agreed to secure a shot of syrupy, pepperminty devil’s juice in exchange for my credit card.
Hardness Rating: Fahrvergnugen.
Disney’s Hardest Drinks Contender Number 4: Grapefruit Beer in Germany
My new best friend also decided to charge a grapefruit beer to my card. Go ‘Noles.
Hardness Rating: After everything leading up to it…harder than booking a Super Bowl halftime act that doesn’t manage to piss someone off.
Disney’s Hardest Drinks Champion: Any Cocktail at Your Hotel’s Restaurant
The sun was beginning to set, and my wife informed me that, somehow, she and the kids weren’t enjoying themselves quite as much as I was. We headed back to the hotel.
Seeing my condition (and perhaps feeling a little jealous), my wife did what any supportive partner would and arranged for the kids to hang out at the Sandcastle club so we could enjoy dinner and a nightcap.
She treated herself to a jalapeño margarita, while I continued my streak of good decisions with a Fireball cocktail.
Hardness Rating: Attempting to get into your hotel room using that ridiculous card that never seems to work the first time, after you’ve spent a couple hours drinking in the sun and carrying 30+ pounds of dead weight on your shoulders.
So, where is the best place in Walt Disney World for a hard drink? I still don’t know for sure. But the most satisfying one will always be the one at the end of the day, that you can share…
…with the toilet at 3 A.M.