We were about halfway around the World and the sun was starting to get low in the sky. We made our way to the Japan pavilion to wander through the Mitsukashi Department Store and buy some strange snacks to send to our son, Matt.
Dried crabs and mochi purchased, we explored the Bijutsu-kan exhibition gallery which houses long-term exhibits on Japanese art and culture. The show building here in Japan is just mammoth. It was meant to have some sort of an indoor coaster featuring Godzilla, but the sponsor, Fuji film, pulled out and it never happened. An all too familiar story in Epcot, unfortunately.
The current presentation at the gallery, “Kawaii Life”, features a look at Japan’s “Culture of Cute.”
We circled back around to the department store because tucked way back in the corner you’ll find a sake bar. I just love a hot sake, but it wasn’t chilly enough for that. We got a cold dry sake long with a beer I had heard good things about. It’s a type of Hefeweizen brewed in Japan. Who knew?
Instead of swilling in the bar, we took our beverages outside. Japan has gorgeous garden and Koi ponds surrounding a peaceful sitting area.
Again, because of the festival, people were sticking the the main walkways so we were completely alone in this oasis.
Our next stop was Italia! It was looking luminous in this fading light.
This is another pavilion that includes a small bar, tucked away in a cave like setting, Tutto Gusto.
This place is a little gem of bôite, however, it is way over priced. We chose a wine flight with very skimpy pours and a plate which consisted of two itty bitty panini and salad.
That’s just a regular sized toothpick in there, for size comparison.
While everything was tasty, it was so paltry for the price, it just wasn’t a good experience. We certainly weren’t looking to load up on food, but after tax and tip this one stop cost nearly forty dollars! Even a Yuegling here is eleven bucks. That’s just crazy. We’ll be skipping this next time, unless something changes.
By the time we finished up, the sun had set completely. We made our way over to the German Platz. The detail here is meticulous.
What we lost in Italy we gained in Germany. There is a tiny walk up window here that serves up hearty portions of tasty german fare at a reasonable price.
While Jeff ordered our eats I snuck in to the Biergarten Restaurant. So naughty!
I love German food and would really like to experience this place, but unfortunately it’s a buffet. While it’s obvious that I love to eat, I don’t enjoy feeling like I have to load up and over-do it to get my money’s worth. Just looking at all those pans of food makes me feel totally overwhelmed. Bummer, if it was à la carte I would be all over this. They also have entertainment throughout the night. Not while I was there though.
Meanwhile, back at the platz.
My goodness, everything was so flippin’ good. The Nudel Gratin was amazing with that thick, toasty layer of cheese! Mein Gott! All this deliciousness was just over twenty dollars. Bargain! This was officially the end of my eating, but Jeff was lured into another of the Food and Booths.
I turned my attention to a drink in China that is near legend in Disney circles. The Tipsy Ducks in Love. This tasty beverage (dessert) is a combination of coffee, black tea, and chocolate syrup, topped with a generous pour of Jim Beam bourbon. It is usually finished with whipped cream but I thought that was a bit much. Gotta have some temperance, you know.
This drink has been sold at the Joy of Tea stand for years, but doesn’t appear on the menu. They just have a little placard on the counter. You might be curious about the name. Me too. The drink is described as a Hong Kong Style Yuan Yang. This is a reference to Mandarin Ducks, the symbol of conjugal love in Chinese culture. The birds usually appear in pairs and the male and female look very different. This same connotation of a “pair” of two unlike items is used to name this drink because coffee tea together is unusual. The Tipsy addition is all American. Thanks, China! It was so yummy!!!!
My friends, we have arrived at the last drink of the evening! Our final tipple of the night would be back in the UK at the Rose and Crown. We saluted our victory with a couple drams of Jameson whiskey. I have a life tip for you: when the bartender asks if you want to make it a double for just two dollars more, you say “yes, sir”.
So, how did we do on our quest? Well, we didn’t follow the rules of one snack and one drink each in every country. That may have killed us. We did, however, have some sort of taste from every country except America, (cause why bother?) and Morocco. We just missed that one. Here’s our tally. I’m not sure if I should be proud or deeply ashamed.
- Mexico– Two Margaritas and Queso & chips
- Norway-One Aquavit and School Bread
- China– One Tipsy Ducks
- Germany-One Dunkel, Brat, Nudel Gratin
- Italy– One Wine flight, Panini
- United States-nada
- Japan-Sake, Beer
- France– Two Slushy Drinks, Wine, Escargot
- United Kingdom– Two Bumble Bees and two whiskies
- Canada– One Beer, cheese soup and Filet
- Bonus: Two craft beers, South Korean pork lettuce wrap and rice drink
We took our hooch up to my new favorite spot to view Illuminations, Canada. Once again we were completely alone up here.
This spot is a dozen steps up from the walkway, so while it’s farther back. it’s a completely clear view.
After Illuminations, the park is officially closed. This is when the throngs of people all stream out to the busses. We instead took a post- Illuminations stroll in the opposite direction. This was one of the most magical nights of our trip. Being in World Showcase with practically no one else there was just so lovely. The pavilions look so beautiful at night. I skipped and twirled all around the whole lagoon. Hey, I had a lot to drink. I’ll leave you with the photos I snapped and won’t burden you with any more commentary.