Club Cool at Epcot

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About a month ago I took a vacation to beautiful sunny central Florida, which you're required to call both beautiful and sunny.  Not only did I get to visit my retired parents in Del Boca Vista Phase 2, but I also got to visit my favorite place to vacation and my former employer, Walt Disney World.  Of all the places there the one I love most and visit most frequently is Epcot.  What does this have to do with soda?  Well, as you can see by the photo above, they have a place called "Club Cool" formerly known as "Ice Station Cool."  I looked all over to try and find when this place actually opened but to no avail.  I want to guess it was around 94, but for all I know it may have been earlier. 

Other than being a huge advertisement for Disney sponsor Coca-Cola and a place to sell Coke branded merchandise, Club Cool has various soda fountains that offer visitors a chance to taste different flavors from around the world.  Some good, some...worst soda in the world.  So we'll get to the part you care about, the reviews.  Grab your disposable shot glass sized Coke cup and prepare for around the world soda excitement.

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Okay, first up from Mozambique is Krest Ginger Ale.  I like this one, it's a standard ginger ale but really sweet.  Ginger ale is the rare drink which I can deal with being either dry or really sweet, and having quite the sweet tooth I'm fond of this one.  Verdict:  Buy a pack!

Second, Fanta Kolita from Costa Rica (that kinda rhymes).  This one was great, really unusual in that I couldn't tell you what kolita is exactly.  I don't want to call it a fruit punch but that's the closest thing I can think of.  It's also red like fruit punch.  This one is also very sweet and a great fruit soda.  Again, I couldn't tell you what fruits, but it's tasty.  Verdict:  Buy a pack!

Third, and the most infamous soda for us at The Soda Jerks, and anyone who has been to Club Cool and/or the World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta, is Italy's Beverly.  Beverly is the most disgusting drink I've ever tasted.  Let me give you an example of it's infamy and level of gross.  One of the big things that frequent Disney visitors get sucked into is pin trading.  This started in 2000 and was an off shoot of Olympic pin trading.  Essentially pins are sold at Disney, some common, some rare, and you trade with other pin collectors to get the ones you want.  Back when I worked for Disney in 2001, my friends and I were into this for a bit.  One of the rarest pins is the "wet paint" which was a pin version of the wet paint signs that are in the parks.  It's essentially Donald Duck screaming at one of his nephews for touching paint and getting caught "red handed."  Well, there was a guy who had one who once offered anybody a trade that he'd give them his wet paint pin if they took a large sized cup from one of the quick service restaurants, filled it up with Beverly and chugged it.  At the time, and even today, this pin goes on ebay for 200 bucks.  Nobody would drink it. So what is Beverly?  It's billed as a grapefuit soda, with no sweetness whatsoever.  It's extremely bitter and tastes like every awful medicine you had as a child.  Although I've had it before, I drank it once again for the benefit of this site.  Verdict:  Do not buy!

Number four is a welcome relief from the last one, Mezzo Mix from Germany.  It's a very sweet, kind of flat cola that is intended to be mixed with beer, at least according to the little sign over it.  I can't imagine cola and beer being mixed, but maybe some day I'll try it for the good of all 9 of our readers.  For now I can tell you it's decent on it's own.  Verdict:  Buy a pack!

Half way there, number five is tied as my favorite of them all, VegitaBeta from Japan.  This one is marketed as a vitamin drink.  It tastes like a flat, and by flat I mean this has zero carbonation, orange drink.  Almost a not-as-sweet version of Hi-C Orange Drink you'd get at McDonald's.  According to it's Wikipedia page, it's beta carotene, sugar and water.  It's tasty to me, whatever is in it.  Verdict:  Buy a Pallet!

Kinley, my other favorite, is our sixth drink and comes from Israel.  This one is easy to explain, it's lemonade soda.  It's also insanely delicious.  Once when I went on vacation during my high school years, I filled a water bottle up with Kinley and took it home, nursing it for a year until I went back.  Yes it got flat, but oh was it good.  That and VegitaBeta are the two I look forward to drinking the most whenever I get a chance to go in to Epcot.  Verdict:  Buy a Pallet!

From Mexico comes drink number seven, Lift Apple.  It's apple soda, not as sweet as Manzanita Sol (which I'll review some day) but still pretty sweet.  Overall though it's nothing too special and isn't any better than dollar store apple soda.  Verdict:  Buy a pack!

Finally, our eighth and final drink, China's Smart Watermelon.  Watermelon soda isn't a common flavor, and it has the potential to be good as I do enjoy things flavored like watermelon, although not real watermelon because I find it to be bland.  In that sense, this soda is fairly accurate because it is bland.  The watermelon flavor is decent, but it does need some more sweetness to it.  Verdict:  Buy a bottle!

So there you have it, reviews of all the drinks at Epcot's Club Cool.  If you're ever there, try it out, it's usually pretty busy, as any place with free drinks would be, but worth the wait.  As a side note, the Japan pavilion is the only pavilion in World Showcase that sells soda native to their country, so if you're a wanna-be Soda Jerk, then stop by there to pick up some unique flavors as well.

-Mike