Sunday, March 3, 2013

Disney World: Dinner Downtown & Epcot Spirits

As I mentioned yesterday, I spent last weekend in Orlando going to a spring training game and then Epcot before catching the last flight back home on Sunday night.

After the game, I got ready to "hit the town," which I learned in "Disney Speak" is typically either a fancy hotel dinner, the Boardwalk area or Downtown Disney. My plan was to walk around Downtown Disney and then head over to Boardwalk. Well, that of course didn't happen.

First, Downtown Disney is much different than I remember. It was a little Vegas-ish with people walking around with alcohol and ridiculous waits to get into *any* restaurant, nevermind one that had something vegetarian. Even the wait to eat at the bar was insane.

I tried to head over to Boardwalk and find something there for dinner, but the wait for the bus insane. So, three hours later and being very frustrated, I finally found a seat at the bar inside the Raglan Road Irish Pub. Even more exciting was that I found some vegetarian comfort food -- Raglan Risotto.


The next day, Epcot was much better.

It's my favorite park, and I got to go on all my favorite rides. Then, I took some time to enjoy the delicacies of some of the countries. I was determined to have a glass of champagne (despite it being $12) and croissant in France.

I've had better champagne, but I have not had a better croissant. It was light, flaky and buttery -- but not greasy. It was perfect.

A bunch of my friends insisted that while I was there I had to try a Grand Marnier "slushie." I insisted that I don't like drinks like that. But, after watching almost everyone in the park walking around with one, I gave in.

Wow. It was absolutely fabulous -- not too strong, not too sweet. Definitely going to try to recreate this over the summer.


 Rounding out the showcase, I knew I had to try the whole-in-the-wall (literally) tequila bar in Mexico called, La Cava del Tequila. It was not exactly what I was expecting, but interesting nonetheless. They have more different kinds of margaritas and tequilas than you can imagine. You wait in a winding line, like the ones for the rides, to order your drink, and then if you are lucky, you can find a seat and order food. If you're not, like I was, you pay for your drink and squeeze your way out of there to find a place to enjoy your cocktail. 

They had a special promotion for a $5 shot of a tequila I had never heard of if you follow them on Twitter. Being the social media gal I am, I of course followed them and ordered it. Their shot comes with a tomato-based chaser that was out of this world. I think I liked that better than the tequila and certainly better than the margarita.


Ah, yes, the margarita. Well, here's the thing with me and margaritas -- I like them until I taste them. This happens all the time. I ordered the cucumber margarita, and it was good, not too strong and not too weak. But, after a few sips I had my fill. So, yes, I threw out a $13 drink. The rim was lined with a slightly spicy mixture that was very good, and that I think I enjoyed more than the drink. 

I happened to be lucky in the fact that the Epcot Flower and Garden show was going to start in a week, and they were already prepping some of the areas. The landscaping, as always in Disney, was just beautiful. Being the editor of a trade publication that covers the pet industry, I think this was my favorite: 



One of my favorite rides has always been The Land. The research they are doing about the planet and the food supply is just incredible. I was always fascinated by the innovative ways they figured out how to grow plants, fruits and vegetables. 






Could you imagine having this in your backyard? Fresh fruits and vegetables all year! My family finds it funny that of all the times I've been to Disney when I was a kid, this is what I loved the most -- not Cinderella's castle or space mountain, but instead learning about the Earth and environment. 

What's your favorite part about Disney?


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