Adults

25 Drinks of Christmas Countdown – Day 21: Maelstrom Margarita at La Cava del Tequila

by on December 21, 2014

The Christmas season is my absolute favorite time of the year. Growing up, one of the little things I loved most was getting an Advent calendar and counting down the days until Santa would be coming down the chimney. As I grew older, I had to leave Advent calendars in the rear view mirror,* but I still miss that daily countdown building anticipation to the big day. So, we’re going to start a virtual Advent calendar here at TouringPlans. For 2014, we are going to countdown our favorite drinks at Walt Disney World and the Universal Orlando Resort.

Criteria: Drinks can be alcoholic or nonalcoholic. Drinks can come from any venue on property as well as the Disney Cruise Line. Bonus points awarded for atmosphere where drink is served. Any drink with glow cubes is immediately disqualified. Ready? Let’s go!

DAY TWENTY ONE: Maelstrom Margarita at La Cava del Tequila (Epcot)

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You are the not the first to drink this, nor will you be the last. Maelstrom Margarita at La Cava del Tequila. (photo by Brandon Glover)

 

One of the biggest stories of the theme park year was Maelstrom being shut down to make room for a ride based on the movie Frozen. News of the change became a worldwide trending topic on Twitter with guests from across the globe posting their own #SaveMaelstrom pics. Opening in July of 1988, many WDW guests have never known an Epcot without Maelstrom. Norway’s neighbor in World Showcase is Mexico, home of La Cava del Tequila. Paying tribute to the beloved attraction, La Cava unveiled the Maelstrom Margarita. This new drink is one of the few bright spots of this entire ordeal, so let’s raise a toast to one of the most unique rides in Disney history. Here’s to the Vikings, trolls, polar bears, oil rigs, and even the six minute Spirit of Norway film most of us walked by without watching. You are all in our hearts forever, and shall not be forgotten.

Ingredients: Premium Ambhar Tequila blanco, mango puree, orange liquor, and agave nectar. Served with blueberries, habanero peppers, basil and Tajin chili powder on the rim. (The rumored secret ingredient of a dash of tears from a Disney fanboy has not been confirmed.)

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25 Drinks of Christmas Countdown – Day 20: Dragon Scale and Wizard’s Brew at the Hopping Pot

by on December 20, 2014

The Christmas season is my absolute favorite time of the year. Growing up, one of the little things I loved most was getting an Advent calendar and counting down the days until Santa would be coming down the chimney. As I grew older, I had to leave Advent calendars in the rear view mirror,* but I still miss that daily countdown building anticipation to the big day. So, we’re going to start a virtual Advent calendar here at TouringPlans. For 2014, we are going to countdown our favorite drinks at Walt Disney World and the Universal Orlando Resort.

Criteria: Drinks can be alcoholic or nonalcoholic. Drinks can come from any venue on property as well as the Disney Cruise Line. Bonus points awarded for atmosphere where drink is served. Any drink with glow cubes is immediately disqualified. Ready? Let’s go!

DAY TWENTY: Dragon Scale and Wizard’s Brew at the Hopping Pot (Universal Studios Florida)

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Dragon Scale brew inside Universal’s Diagon Alley. (photo by Brandon Glover)

 

We’re getting closer and closer to Christmas Day, so it is no surprise that some heavy hitters of the theme park drinking world are starting to come out. As we begin our final countdown to the big day we have our very first dual nomination, Dragon Scale and Wizard’s Brew at The Hopping Pot. Just as the Hog’s Head Brew is exclusive to Hogsmeade Village, Dragon Scale and Wizard’s Brew can only be found inside Diagon Alley. Dragon Scale is a malty lager, making it a great choice in the Florida heat, whereas Wizard’s Brew is a sweet stout, with flavors of chocolate and coffee. The beer tap for Dragon Scale has a dragon draped around it, similar to the iconic one standing atop Gringotts Bank, and is one of those fantastic details that sets the Wizarding World apart from lands in any theme park.

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25 Drinks of Christmas Countdown – Day 19: La Fin du Monde Ale in Epcot

by on December 19, 2014

The Christmas season is my absolute favorite time of the year. Growing up, one of the little things I loved most was getting an Advent calendar and counting down the days until Santa would be coming down the chimney. As I grew older, I had to leave Advent calendars in the rear view mirror,* but I still miss that daily countdown building anticipation to the big day. So, we’re going to start a virtual Advent calendar here at TouringPlans. For 2014, we are going to countdown our favorite drinks at Walt Disney World and the Universal Orlando Resort.

Criteria: Drinks can be alcoholic or nonalcoholic. Drinks can come from any venue on property as well as the Disney Cruise Line. Bonus points awarded for atmosphere where drink is served. Any drink with glow cubes is immediately disqualified. Ready? Let’s go!

DAY NINETEEN: La Fin du Monde Ale at the Canada Pavilion (Epcot)

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A La Fin du Monde in front of the Hotel du Canada in Epcot. (photo by Brandon Glover

 

La Fin du Monde is a beer for people who enjoy their beer. With a 9% ABV, La Fin du Monde packs a punch, but is light enough and full of flavor so that you are not overwhelmed. It is a Belgian Trappist-style tripel beer, with aeromatic hints of apple and clove. The taste is champagne-like, with flavors of light bananas, pear, cinnamon, and orange peel. While La Fin du Monde is available at several locations on WDW property, there’s only one place for us, the outdoor beer cart at the Canada Pavilion in Epcot. Why? La Fin du Monde is the premier beer from one of Canada’s most famous craft breweries, and is hard to find out draught even outside of Walt Disney World. So what could be better than enjoying one in it’s native county?  We love to mix it up when Drinking Around The World, as there are so many unique and interesting options across World Showcase, but trust us when we say to order the La Fin du Monde over the LaBatt Blue in Canada each and every time.

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25 Drinks of Christmas Countdown – Day 18: Buffalos and Bacon at The Cowfish

by on December 18, 2014

The Christmas season is my absolute favorite time of the year. Growing up, one of the little things I loved most was getting an Advent calendar and counting down the days until Santa would be coming down the chimney. As I grew older, I had to leave Advent calendars in the rear view mirror,* but I still miss that daily countdown building anticipation to the big day. So, we’re going to start a virtual Advent calendar here at TouringPlans. For 2014, we are going to countdown our favorite drinks at Walt Disney World and the Universal Orlando Resort.

Criteria: Drinks can be alcoholic or nonalcoholic. Drinks can come from any venue on property as well as the Disney Cruise Line. Bonus points awarded for atmosphere where drink is served. Any drink with glow cubes is immediately disqualified. Ready? Let’s go!

DAY EIGHTEEN: Buffalos and Bacon at The Cowfish (Universal CityWalk)

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Buffalos and Bacon at The Cowfish. (photo by Brandon Glover)

 

The Cowfish was the final piece of Universal CityWalk’s recent renovation, and it has immediately become the restaurant of choice for many theme park fans. The Cowfish has surprised pretty much everyone with its innovative menu, unique burgers, and their signature Burgushi concept (which includes sushi using burger components, and sandwiches using sushi components.) Come for the food, but stay for the drinks as The Cowfish offers an amazing amount of cocktails, imported beer, and spiked shakes. Our recommendation? Buffalos and Bacon.Why? Because what drink doesn’t get better with bacon? Ingredients: Buffalo Trace bourbon, cherry liqueur, angostura and orange bitters, honey, candied bacon

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25 Drinks of Christmas Countdown – Day 17: Balsamic Grande at Disney Cruise Line’s Palo

by on December 17, 2014

The Christmas season is my absolute favorite time of the year. Growing up, one of the little things I loved most was getting an Advent calendar and counting down the days until Santa would be coming down the chimney. As I grew older, I had to leave Advent calendars in the rear view mirror,* but I still miss that daily countdown building anticipation to the big day. So, we’re going to start a virtual Advent calendar here at TouringPlans. For 2014, we are going to countdown our favorite drinks at Walt Disney World and the Universal Orlando Resort.

Criteria: Drinks can be alcoholic or nonalcoholic. Drinks can come from any venue on property as well as the Disney Cruise Line. Bonus points awarded for atmosphere where drink is served. Any drink with glow cubes is immediately disqualified. Ready? Let’s go!

DAY SEVENTEEN: Balsamic Grand at Palo (Disney Cruise Line)

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Balsamic Grand at Palo. (photo by William Hirsch)

 

There were many aspects of the Disney Cruise that I sailed on earlier this year which gave me a better understanding of why so many people become “addicted” to cruising. One of the areas that stood out to me the most was the overall level of service that guests receive while on the ship, and the pinnacle of that service was at the ship’s upscale Italian restaurant Palo. To summarize: an amazing dining experience, one of the best I have had anywhere, land or sea. The signature cocktail of Palo is the Balsamic Grande, and it is the perfect drink to begin the journey you are about to take within this gorgeous restaurant.  Ingredients: 5 fresh strawberries, divided, 1 1/2 ounces agave nectar, 1/2 ounce balsamic vinegar (aged 8 years), and 5 ounces Grey Goose Vodka Muddle strawberries with agave and balsamic vinegar in a mixing glass. Add vodka and ice; shake and strain into chilled martini glass.

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25 Drinks of Christmas Countdown – Day 15: Burnt Orange at Todd English’s bluezoo

by on December 15, 2014

The Christmas season is my absolute favorite time of the year. Growing up, one of the little things I loved most was getting an Advent calendar and counting down the days until Santa would be coming down the chimney. As I grew older, I had to leave Advent calendars in the rear view mirror,* but I still miss that daily countdown building anticipation to the big day. So, we’re going to start a virtual Advent calendar here at TouringPlans. For 2014, we are going to countdown our favorite drinks at Walt Disney World and the Universal Orlando Resort.

Criteria: Drinks can be alcoholic or nonalcoholic. Drinks can come from any venue on property as well as the Disney Cruise Line. Bonus points awarded for atmosphere where drink is served. Any drink with glow cubes is immediately disqualified. Ready? Let’s go!

DAY FIFTEEN: Burnt Ornage at Todd English’s bluezoo (Walt Disney World Dolphin)

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Fire and Ice: Frost-bitten rum cider and a Burnt Orange at Todd English’s bluezoo. (photo by Brandon Glover)

 

One of the true best kept secrets at Walt Disney World are the bars and restaurants at the Swan and Dolphin hotels. Todd English’s bluezoo at the Dolphin has hands-down the most creative menu on property, specializing in unique drinks that taste as good as they look. Today we are going to spotlight the Burnt Orange. Ingredients: Herradura blanco tequila infused with brûléed orange and muddled with agave nectar, Grand Mariner, and orange juice. Topped with a flaming orange. The brûléed orange, that is spectacularly lit aflame, contains a special sugar created by the restaurant’s pastry chef, which then becomes part of the Burnt Orange’s flavor profile when drinking. The Burnt Orange is one drink worth going out of your way to try, but it is just one of the many headliners on the bluezoo bar menu.

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25 Drinks of Christmas Countdown – Day 14: Hog’s Head Brew at the Hog’s Head

by on December 14, 2014

The Christmas season is my absolute favorite time of the year. Growing up, one of the little things I loved most was getting an Advent calendar and counting down the days until Santa would be coming down the chimney. As I grew older, I had to leave Advent calendars in the rear view mirror,* but I still miss that daily countdown building anticipation to the big day. So, we’re going to start a virtual Advent calendar here at TouringPlans. For 2014, we are going to countdown our favorite drinks at Walt Disney World and the Universal Orlando Resort.

Criteria: Drinks can be alcoholic or nonalcoholic. Drinks can come from any venue on property as well as the Disney Cruise Line. Bonus points awarded for atmosphere where drink is served. Any drink with glow cubes is immediately disqualified. Ready? Let’s go!

DAY FOURTEEN: Hog’s Head Ale at the Hog’s Head (Islands of Adventure)

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Hog’s Head Ale.

 

Our latest entry comes from the Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade Village.  Hog’s Head Brew is exclusively made for Universal by the Florida Beer Company. The brew is amber in color, with a slightly off-white head. The taste is surprisingly good for a theme park beer, with hints of a good Scottish ale while having a crisp taste. The Hog’s Head pub itself is ripped straight out of the pages of JK Rowling’s novels, and also played an important role in the film series as it was where the Hogwarts students formed Dumbledore’s Army in Order of the Phoenix.

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25 Drinks of Christmas Countdown – Day 13: A Pint of Guinness at Raglan Road

by on December 13, 2014

The Christmas season is my absolute favorite time of the year. Growing up, one of the little things I loved most was getting an Advent calendar and counting down the days until Santa would be coming down the chimney. As I grew older, I had to leave Advent calendars in the rear view mirror,* but I still miss that daily countdown building anticipation to the big day. So, we’re going to start a virtual Advent calendar here at TouringPlans. For 2014, we are going to countdown our favorite drinks at Walt Disney World and the Universal Orlando Resort.

Criteria: Drinks can be alcoholic or nonalcoholic. Drinks can come from any venue on property as well as the Disney Cruise Line. Bonus points awarded for atmosphere where drink is served. Any drink with glow cubes is immediately disqualified. Ready? Let’s go!

DAY THIRTEEN: A Pint of Guinness at Raglan Road (Downtown Disney)

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A pint of Guinness at Raglan Road. (photo by Brandon Glover)

 

There are many places on Disney property where you can get a pint of  Guinness, but only one place in our hearts, Raglan Road at Downtown Disney. Despite the large venue, Raglan Road does an amazing job at recreating an authentic Irish pub experience. The live entertainment is among the best on property and the menu consistently delivers with interesting and unique takes on traditional Irish standards. Come for the drinks, stay for the food, stay even longer for the off-the-charts atmosphere, Raglan Road is a true gem of Walt Disney World.

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25 Drinks of Christmas Countdown – Day 12: Sugar Cane Mojito at Dawa Bar

by on December 12, 2014

The Christmas season is my absolute favorite time of the year. Growing up, one of the little things I loved most was getting an Advent calendar and counting down the days until Santa would be coming down the chimney. As I grew older, I had to leave Advent calendars in the rear view mirror,* but I still miss that daily countdown building anticipation to the big day. So, we’re going to start a virtual Advent calendar here at TouringPlans. For 2014, we are going to countdown our favorite drinks at Walt Disney World and the Universal Orlando Resort.

Criteria: Drinks can be alcoholic or nonalcoholic. Drinks can come from any venue on property as well as the Disney Cruise Line. Bonus points awarded for atmosphere where drink is served. Any drink with glow cubes is immediately disqualified. Ready? Let’s go!

DAY THIRTEEN: Sugar Cane Mojito at Dawa Bar (Animal Kingdom)

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Sugar Cane Mojito at Dawa Bar.

 

We absolutely love Animal Kingdom, and one of our favorite parts of the park is the recently expanded Harambe section. The Dawa Bar is our go-to area in Animal Kingdom for drinks, and is conveniently located near two other things we adore in Harambe, Festival of the Lion King, and the live Burudika band. The best bet at Dawa? An old classic: a Sugar Cane Mojito.

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25 Drinks of Christmas Countdown – Day 10: Bay Lake Sunset from Top of the World Lounge

by on December 10, 2014

The Christmas season is my absolute favorite time of the year. Growing up, one of the little things I loved most was getting an Advent calendar and counting down the days until Santa would be coming down the chimney. As I grew older, I had to leave Advent calendars in the rear view mirror,* but I still miss that daily countdown building anticipation to the big day. So, we’re going to start a virtual Advent calendar here at TouringPlans. For 2014, we are going to countdown our favorite drinks at Walt Disney World and the Universal Orlando Resort.

Criteria: Drinks can be alcoholic or nonalcoholic. Drinks can come from any venue on property as well as the Disney Cruise Line. Bonus points awarded for atmosphere where drink is served. Any drink with glow cubes is immediately disqualified. Ready? Let’s go!

DAY TEN: Bay Lake Sunset from Top of the World Lounge (Bay Lake Tower)

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Bay Lake Sunset at the Top of the World Lounge.

 

We love Disney’s Contemporary Resort for many reasons, but one of our favorites is straight out of a real estate agent’s handbook: location, location, location. Located mere steps away from the Magic Kingdom, it’s impossible to be closer to the Most Magical Place on Earth. One of our favorite things to do at the Contemporary is head over to the Top of the World Lounge at the Bay Lake Tower DVC wing. With a breathtaking view of MK, the Top of the World is home to several signature drinks, including the Bay Lake Sunset cocktail. Ingredient list: Stoli Vanil vodka, Parrot Bay coconut rum, and pineapple juice with a splash of grenadine.

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