This weekend I had quite the adventure on a kid-free weekend at Walt Disney World (WDW) Resort. Yes…KID-FREE! Many people don’t realize the fun you can have when you do Disney World “grown-up style”. Being a Florida resident has many perks and one of the perks I’m just getting into is being an annual passholder at WDW. Right now it’s International Food and Wine Festival (FWF) at Epcot. This is a great festival of food, wine, beers and all things edible that takes place every fall at WDW Epcot. I’ve only had the passes for a couple of months so I’m a FWF novice. (to get the nitty gritty details check out fellow blogger and friend Themepark Hipster) It’s fall and the weather here has been great for the most part, so it’s the perfect time to enjoy the beautiful landscaping and take in the sights.
What I’ve discovered in the last month or so is that I’ve been missing out! Epcot is an awesome playground for adults and FWF makes it even more awesome. Most people know there are all kinds of interesting foods and wines offered by the many different country kiosks throughout the park. However many people miss out on some unique experiences offered by the classes and demonstrations. There are wine classes, specialty dinners, spirits classes, and many others. This past weekend I signed up for a Mixology class presented by three awesome Bartender/Mixology Aficionados from the BEAM Company (yes, like Jim). I’m definitely not a whiskey drinker at all but they managed to make 2 out of 3 drinks that I have every intention of making again at home.
I went solo and ended up having a great time. When you’re by yourself people tend to talk to you at random which makes it all the more entertaining. This was my kind of night school. Our instructors were welcoming, funny, and very knowledgeable. I’ve been using a cocktail kit I received as a gift a few years ago and I really had no clue what my tools were called or how I was supposed to use some of them. I also learned that the little double-sided funnel I called the “measuring thingamajiggie” is actually called a jigger. Who knew??? It was only $15 to sign up and it was well spent. I learned some handy tips for my drink making, I had 3 potent drinks to taste, and I got a cocktail manual with some other recipes. I’d say that was money well spent.
I spent the rest of the evening going from country to country sampling wines. I had a Chinese Riesling and a very good Brazilian Moscato and several others, but those two were my favorite. That’s how you do Disney Grown-Up Style. I reserved a room at the Swan and Dolphin hotel so all I had to do was hop on the boat taxi once I was done sipping for the evening. You can also catch a boat or walk to the Disney Boardwalk area where there are dance clubs and bars and you can keep the party going. This trip I was too pooped to party but maybe next time I will spend some time on The Boardwalk. i sat on the water’s edge and watched the fireworks display that marks the closing at Epcot each night. Epcot Food and Wine is definitely on my new favorites list. There’s one week left and with any luck I’ll get to partake in one more class before it’s over.
When you’re doing Disney grown-up style it’s a great chance to go and explore parts of the park you wouldn’t ordinarily see, check out one of their many shows, or eat somewhere a bit fancier than you would if you had your children in tow with you. I spent a few hours in Magic Kingdom the next morning just being a kid again. I visited Belle’s Chateau where they have a show with her friends. Somehow I was volunteered to play the part of the singing wardrobe…that’s what I get for singing out loud LOL It was all good fun though. I even got my very own picture with Princess Belle.
1. Reserve your spot early for classes and demonstrations.
2. The various kiosks take credit cards but it helps your budget if you get a gift card and put a designated amount of money on it so that way you limit your spending.
3. If you are going for an evening of drinking be safe and have a designated driver or stay at an area hotel where transportation is provided.
4. Keep an open mind and try things that are outside of your comfort zone. You couldn’t have convinced me I’d like any form of whiskey until I took this class!
5. Get in touch with your inner child. When we’re in parent mode we don’t have that luxury. Take advantage of those moments where you can revert even if just for a day or 2.
Looking to create your own outdoorsy adventure? Check out these helpful links:
Visit the Photo Gallery for pics!
**Sidenote for my Single Ladies: Don’t let being single deter you from exploring and trying new things. You will miss out by putting everything on your back burner simply because you don’t have anyone to go with. I’m recently single and I’m a single mom with shared custody of my son which is also a concept I’m still getting used to. On those occasions where I find myself home alone and bored I hop in the car and make the hour drive over to Orlando. There’s always something to do or explore somewhere at WDW so I’ve already gotten my monies worth out of my passes. If you’re trying to keep yourself entertained and you live within a reasonable distance of a theme park, that’s definitely a good option to entertain yourself.
–Outdoorsy Diva, Lauren G.