Sorry for the short hiatus but I (Kristen) just got back from a wonderful week long vacation from the very sunny Walt Disney World Resort in FL. I MUST tell you about the amazing wine adventures I had so you can re-create them at home!
First up: EPCOT
It was my pleasure to attend this year’s Flower and Garden Festival hosted at the EPCOT park. The park was filled with small food and drink stands selling seasonal beverages and farm fresh samples. Heralding the warm weather, this festival brought out the best that nature had to offer. Each country in EPCOT’s World Showcase presented a booth selling the foods and drinks from their heritages and Disney provided booths to represent the sunny state of Florida. At these booths, is where Disney does their best to impress and where I found most of the fun wine concoctions during my trip.
Elderflower Watermelon Sangria – Mexico
Comprised of Watermelon juice, elderflower liqueur (like St. Germain), and -I assume-white wine. Disney did not give out their recipe however, I highly suggest experimenting at home with your favorite sweet white wines or maybe even sweet rosés. Disney’s version tasted like iced liquid jolly ranchers! It screamed hot, sweet, summer!
Pomegranate Mimosa – Spice Road Table Restaurant in Morocco
Classic Mimosa with a kick! It was made of Sparkling White wine, Pomegranate juice, and a splash of Orange Liqueur (like Triple Sec). Disney’s mimosa had a tart and very subtle sweetness. Try tweaking the ingredients to suit your palate by checking out this helpful article about which orange liqueur is best for your cocktail.
Plum Wine Slushies- Japan
This sweet frozen beverage is simply Yuzu Plum Wine that’s been mixed with shaved ice. I highly recommend this on a hot day for our friends who enjoy super sweet treats. Plum wine brands like Fu-ki can be found at large liquor stores with international imports. Remember not all plum wines are the same and range in sweetness so you may have to do some further experimenting to find which brand you love.
Sparkling Pineapple Wine – Pineapple Promenade Stand
Tropical Fruits have slammed their way into the wine industry! This bubbly treat comes from Florida Orange Groves Winery in St. Petersburg, FL. It was definitely a fun surprise for my palate. The spritzy bubbles are great and not overly fizzy like other champagnes. The pineapple flavor is slightly sweet but not over powering. It’s like drinking classy bubbly pina juice. This Florida winery even has a shop on their website that delivers a bottle to you!
Next Stop: Hollywood Studios
The classic and famous Mama Melrose’s Italian restaurant in Disney’s Hollywood Studios park was serving up some amazing Sangria from another European country: Spain! The Beso Del Sol brand Sangria is unique and satisfying. Where most sangrias are sweet and known to be more juice than wine this one stands above. I was literally shocked to find out that this sangria was not very sweet at all but still packed juicy fruit flavors and hints of spice. Their red sangria is perfect for our dark red wine lovers who aren’t looking for a sugary sweet summer drink.
Moving on to: Disney Springs
For those of you who haven’t been to Disney World in a while, I am proud to report that what used to be “Downtown Disney” is now completely renovated and rebranded with a new name:”Disney Springs.” Don’t worry, your favorite stores still exist like World of Disney but I swear it’s like walking into a massive expensive villa on a island getaway. It was here that I stopped by one of my favorite vendors – Mickey’s Pantry
This shop and others around the Disney Park (like Port of Entry in EPCOT) had a grand display of Disney wines ranging from brands specifically made for the parks to brands that we all love BUT they all have one thing in common – a Magic and Fairytale theme.
Our friends who produce the Once Upon a Vine brand practically own the store and have a rightful spot to shine in Disney. They were closely followed by (the queen!) Rosa Regale from Banfi, Fairytale Curvee from Iron House Vineyards, and Songo d’Italia imported by Banfi. Both Fairytale Curvee and Songo d’Italia are specifically made for the Disney company and are apparently the rock star wines at all Disney Weddings and Resort hotel stays. Check out our articles on Once upon a Vine and Rosa Regale for an in depth review on their wine.
Last but not least: Animal Kingdom
Animal Kingdom does their best to accurately represent the continents of Asia and Africa in their jungle park. It was my great surprise to discover that not only do their restaurants sell beverages that originate from those areas but wines too. In the African division of the park, the marketplace sells a wide variety of South African wines!
Popular brands like Goats do Roam and Protea were represented along with fun brands like Chakalaka and Porcupine Ridge. I was happy to discover that none of these wine brands were commissioned for the Disney company and instead the park aims to shine light on the major wine making industry in South Africa. I encourage you all to try the amazing wine blends and varietals of South Africa and let us know what you think! I recommend the Chenin Blanc.
My fellow wineos it’s probably obvious by now that I already have a deep love for Walt Disney World but I honestly recommend visiting the parks even if it’s just for the culinary and wine experience. The menus and drinks are constantly changing and the quality is always magically delicious.
and remember! Don’t forget to add a little pixie dust to your next glass.
Feature image credit – Walt Disney World Photopass Downloads
Flower Festival image credit – Walt Disney World Photopass Downloads
Red Beso del Sol Sangria glass image credit – Beso del Sol Facebook photos
Mickey Mouse image credit – Walt Disney World Photopass Downloads