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Review: Epcot After Hours Wind Down Event at La Cava del Tequila

Welcome to Epcot, After Hours! The Epcot After Hours Wind Down event kicked off on Thursday, April 17, at 9:20 pm (immediately following “IllumiNations”).

Illuminations Torch

Illuminations Torch

This 21-and-over event features small plates and drinks at the guest’s choice of four restaurants on select evenings: Rose & Crown Pub & Dining Room, Spice Road Table, Tutto Gusto, and La Cava del Tequila.

When we announced this event a couple of weeks ago, we got a LOT of diverse points of view in the comments from our readers. Many were concerned that the price for the event ($35) was too high. Others were excited for the opportunity to stay in Epcot after hours, enjoying one of their favorite — often crowded — hot spots!

I attended the Wind Down at La Cava del Tequila in Epcot’s Mexico Pavilion. Let’s see how it went!

Mexico Pavilion After Hours

Mexico Pavilion After Hours

I’ll start with a rundown of my food and beverage experience specific to La Cava, and then we’ll talk about the event itself — what’s good and what could use some improvement. There’s a lot to share, so let’s dive in.

La Cava del Tequila

La Cava del Tequila

La Cava del Tequila

A group of about 10-12 guests gathered for the evening. Walking into an adults-only situation was a refreshing experience — granted, that’s something you typically have at La Cava, but there was a bit of a different feel.

Some of that had to do with the settings in front of us: a tequila flight, a small vodka shot (to “open” our senses, as we learned later), and a Mezcal tequila shot, along with a small bottle of water.

Tequila Flight

Tequila Flight

The lights were up a bit, too, for what we were about to experience. With the covers over our glasses, we all knew to wait to begin (which gave us a nice opportunity to meet the folks around us).

Covered Glass of Tequila Blanco

Covered Glass of Tequila Blanco

We soon found out that we were going to experience something truly unique: a tequila tasting led by Hilda Castillo. This is similar to what was done during the first Food and Wine Festival tequila tasting events, for those of you who have been.

Hilda combines knowledge, passion, and fun to help you feel comfortable and appreciate more of what you’re tasting.

Hilda, Tequila Ambassador

Hilda, Tequila Ambassador

The walls of La Cava are a classroom of sorts, and Hilda showed us how the wall mural displays the tequila process.

La Cava Wall Mural

La Cava Wall Mural

La Cava Wall Mural

La Cava Wall Mural

La Cava Wall Mural

La Cava Wall Mural

With her guidance, we experienced the characteristics of each tequila through color, aroma, and taste: an incredibly strong (I mean, WOW!) Blanco (White tequila), a Reposado (Rested tequila), and an Anejo (Aged tequila).

Because I am no Hilda (though I would like to be when I grow up!), I’ll offer these descriptions below that were provided at our settings.

Tequila Blanco description

Tequila Blanco description

Tequila Reposada description

Tequila Reposado description

Tequila Anejo description

Tequila Anejo description

With every visit to La Cava, I feel a little more comfortable with the world of tequila, because someone is always willing to share their knowledge with you. But I am still VERY much a novice, and found this presentation to be a huge bonus.

Nearing the end of the presentation, our small plates were served so we could sample the cuisine and the flavors paired with the tequilas. From left to right you’ll see Tostada de Tinga (shredded chicken tostada over refried beans with a wonderfully spicy chipotle sauce), Ceviche Acapulqueño (a zesty shrimp cocktail), and Tlacoyo de Puerco (marinated pork served over a grilled corn dough).

Small plates at La Cava

Small plates at La Cava

Chicken Tostada

Chicken Tostada

Shrimp cocktail

Shrimp cocktail

Marinated Pork

Marinated Pork

Something I really liked about the event at La Cava is that it was full of bold flavors, from the spices in the food to the strength of the tequila, and I say that as a compliment to the chef and to those who made the choices offered in the tequila flight.

From a flavor perspective, this was a very full experience; a continual build. Basically, I shouldn’t have any sinus congestion for the next month ;) .

Bar at La Cava

Bar at La Cava

While I only attended La Cava, we did receive a bit of info about two of the other events from our friend @Mealtrip:

It seems crowds were also on the small side at Rose & Crown Pub and Tutto Gusto (10-12 people each). We also learned that our friend, The Hat Lady, was at Rose & Crown; however, we have since been informed that this was unique to the first evening.

The Hat Lady Performance Area

The Hat Lady Performance Area

However, from what we understand it appears that the style of presentation that we enjoyed at La Cava – and really, it’s what made the event at La Cava so enjoyable — is unique to La Cava.

Tutto Gusto did not have a presentation, though it seems they had the most food available out of the three locations.  The uniqueness of Spice Road Table is obvious: outdoor seating by which to enjoy the views of a practically-empty World Showcase (on non-Extra Magic Hour nights, anyway… more on that in the next section).

After Hours Event Overview — What’s Working:

There was obviously a lot that I enjoyed at La Cava as you can see written above, specifically that they provided an experience outside the norm of what we can enjoy during regular hours. We’re curious to hear about any highlights at the other events. Here’s another thing I feel this event has going for it:

ADULTS ONLY

I touched on this briefly above, but this was a vibe unlike any that I’ve experienced at Disney World previously. Much as I enjoy seeing all the wee Princesses and Pirates, I liked the idea of an adults-only event option from the onset. Still, I hadn’t realized how enjoyable and refreshing it would be.

I arrived as a solo guest and had a terrific time, thanks to the great people I was seated with and next to. It did have a little of that “wind down” after a long day feel.

Update: Unfortunately, we heard word today that it may not be adults only for very much longer. The Disney website now states that prices are “per person” instead of “per adult,” and La Cava will be offering smoothies for kids.

After Hours Event Overview — What Needs Work:

FOOD AVAILABILITY

It seemed to me that those of us at and around my table would have enjoyed having more food available in addition to our plates. While I went in understanding the whole “small plates” thing, when I considered that we were drinking straight tequila, there was a need to… “soak things up” a bit.

The full bar/beverage menu was offered for the event, but we weren’t able to order more food. My kingdom for some of that La Cava Chips & Queso!! I wish that or some close equivalent had been included in the price. With tax and gratuity at 20%, I came in at just under $45 (the gratuity is not preset — you add what you wish with suggested percentages, similar to typical Table Service receipts). Just a note: La Cava does not accept Tables in Wonderland during regular hours or for this event.

Would have loved the opportunity to order Chips and queso

Would have loved the opportunity to order Chips and queso

EXCLUSIVITY

The evening I attended coincided with Extra Magic Hours (EMH) for Resort guests. The regular bar (ordering only, not seating) remained open for EMH, and unfortunately it did rob the Wind Down of its feeling of exclusivity. It’s tricky, because these are Resort guests paying for Resort perks, so I get that aspect; but speaking from the perspective as a guest at this specific event, I would prefer that the venues remain exclusive. I walked away feeling really curious about how it would be on a non-EMH evening — I imagine it would make a big difference.

I should note that at La Cava we were given a chance to offer this and any other feedback at the end of the night, so it will be interesting to see if and how the event grows and changes.

The Wind Down after the Wind Down

Though it has nothing to do with the official event, I must say that a highlight was my stroll on the way out of the park. I’ve never experienced World Showcase quite this way. At one point I realized there was no one in front of me, so I looked behind, and there was no one there, either. It was still and quiet, except for what is normally background music brought to the forefront. I know it sounds cheesy, but I honestly stopped and thought, “I will never forget this.”

But I did snap a couple of pictures… you know, in case I forget ;) .

Walking from Mexico

Walking from Mexico

Norway Pavilion

Norway Pavilion

The path to China

The path to China

So there you have it: our unbiased and full review of the new Epcot After Hours Wind-Down event. Can’t wait to hear what you think in our comments section.

Did anyone experience any of the Wind Down Events? We’d love to hear your thoughts, reactions, and stories.

Other Posts You May Enjoy:

41 Comments

  1. Adelbert says:

    I’d be interested to know if any of the Wind Down venues have options for vegetarians.

  2. Mandi says:

    Got very excited for this when it was announced, and booked at my beloved Tutto Gusto immediately for my trip in early May. Now I am torn between this and the Illuminations Sparkling Dessert party! Waiting to see a review on TG to make my final decision…..

  3. SusieBea says:

    Good and honest review. Thank you!

  4. Amy says:

    I have not attended this event, but I wanted to comment on that late night stroll out of the park. My man and I had a leisurely dinner at the last seating of a Word Showcase restaurant a number of years ago. I can’t even remember which restaurant, but what I DO remember, is that we were some of the last people out of the park and it seemed to be completely empty, other than us. It was totally magical and romantic (it even felt a little naughty) and something I’ve never forgotten. I was excited about the Wind Down, but I’m not sure when I can make it. The next two trips to Disney are during the Food and Wine Festival (one trip as it starts, one trip as it ends) and I think I will have my fill of culinary experiences, but it’s on my list for something to try in the future. I think I’ll try to book it for a non-EMHs day based on this review. I’m looking forward to more reviews of this event so I can make the best choice for me when the time is right. Thanks for the info.

  5. Hmmm. Do they offer any special viewing spots for IllumiNations before you start? The price point still strikes me as high, but that would increase the value.

  6. Marci says:

    I loved your review Wendy and honestly, when I first heard about this I was so excited to do it! I hope they extend it and do it more often. I thought it was just going to be an event where you go into the restaurant/bar and order whatever you want.. so knowing that you are served what they want to serve is a little different.. but I REALLY like the fact that at La Cava someone was there guiding you through the dining/drink experience. I think it would be nice if all of the locations did that. To me, that makes the value of the experience a little bit better and you feel like you are getting a little bit more for your money. Great photos of the food btw! That ceviche looks amazing! (I love ceviche!). Thanks again!

  7. Mike K says:

    Thanks so much for your review of this event. It is an event that I definitely considered attending when I first saw it mentioned here on the Disneyfoodblog, but was hesitant of the cost and what you got for your $$$.. Based on your review and what food and drink I saw at La Cava, I can see now you do get some bang for your buck:)!!! My wife and I along with two close firends have attended the last two F&W Festival Tequila Pairings lunches and just loved the entire event from start to finish (Hilda is GREAT!!), so it’s nice to see that Disney decided to gear this event towards the F&W Festival event, save a little less food. I hope that Disney will stretch this event later into fall, so we will be able to attend in October when we come down for the Food & Wine Festival this fall. BTW, I love the after hours aspect of this event, as well. A great opportunity for some super photos and also just to soak in the park with no external distractions. Thanks again, Wendy!!

    PS Can’t wait to see the Review on Tutto Gusto and Spice Road Table for this event

  8. Michelle says:

    I would like to see an alcohol free pricing option. I don’t drink but still want to experience the food (which looks & sounds amazing) and the atmosphere. I feel like $35 is reasonable but if I am not drinking alcohol it would be nice to have a somewhat less expensive tab. Looking forward to experiencing EPCOT after hours on our next trip.

  9. Michele says:

    Thank you for the review!

    I just wanted a quiet moment with my husband – not a group learning experience. Doesn’t sound like this event is for me.

  10. Tricia says:

    Still sounds interesting to me. Really hoping for more reviews from the other locations.

  11. Alan says:

    Why did it take 30 years to think of this? A great idea!

  12. Lauren says:

    reat review, thanks! I am really looking forward to a wind down event on my next trip! This one looks great but I am definitely not a tequila fan. Now I just need to decide which of the other 3 to book!

    Are there any plans for the disneyfoodblog to review any of the other locations for this event?

  13. Mike Venere says:

    Still am quite skeptical about the price for what seems to be a limited event. And I sort of thought the food would be in sort of a buffet style to choose as you would please….not here is your food, bye!
    I am sure Hilda was great and the presentation at others will be as well.
    Now this was during extra magic hours, what would happen if you were staying at a resort like Carib Beach….would bus transportaion still be running over 2 hours after the park closed?

  14. Janet Sala says:

    I will be at Spice Road Table Wind Wind Down event on Saturday, May 17th. I am interested to find out about that. One of the reasons I chose Spice Road Table over Cava del Tequila is thinking that I would need to experience Illuminations near the venue. I’d rather do that near Morocco rather than near Mexico. That said, I will probably stop by Cava during EMH on Friday, the 16th, but just meander over there later on–now that I know it will be open!

  15. Sarah says:

    I’m a little so-so on this based on the review. On the one hand, I think it’s great that they added the whole presentation to this event- I think that definitely helps with giving you a bit more bang for your buck. On the other hand I’m pretty disappointed in the food offering. Like the previous commenter I was thinking they would have a larger variety of food in a buffet style to accommodate all tastes (similar to the dessert parties)- especially when they’re not making a description of the limited menu readily available to those who are trying to choose the best place for them to go.

    I’ll definitely be curious to see reviews of the other options and how they compare.

  16. Vanessa Alaimo says:

    I will be doing this on Thursday at Rose & Crown though per my husbands request which doesn’t have EMH. Do we know the menu yet for that restaurant? I agree with the non alcohol aspect as well since we are doing it with my parents and they don’t drink. I am excited that the Hat Lady plays during it! We also made dinner reservations there at 7:15 in order to watch Illuminations in a good spot so we will prob be at Rose & Crown for 4 hours but we really love that place. : )

  17. Steff says:

    I love the idea of these being like the presentations at the Food & Wine Festival — it’s kind of a shame that’s only happening at La Cava del Tequila (our group was considering Tutto Gusto or Spice Road).

    Do you know if the one you went to was a special “First Time Ever” event — will La Cava always feature a tequila presentation like this? I’d happily pay $45 for the educational aspect; I’m not sure how I feel about it for just alcohol and light snacks.

    Hopefully this one will go over well and the other After Hours events will become similar…

  18. Margo says:

    I love the idea, we will be going to the Tutto Gusto event in June and I am waiting to hear more about the Rose & Crown event. We might add that one for a second evening. I might go just to hear the Hat Lady though.

  19. Amber Jordan says:

    My husband and I went to La Cava last year just to try the jalapeno margaritas! We heard they were fantastic. We waited in line for about 30 minutes, but we didn’t care. Oh my goodness, when we made it to the bar, I was so excited and fascinated watching the bar tenders make the drinks. The bartender will ask you how spicy you want it. I have to say that I messed up. My Texas arrogance, where everything is bigger and better and we do things extra spicy, jumped into high gear and said, “make mine extra spicy.” Four jalapeno’s later, I had my drink. It was chilly outside and I sweat like was running a marathon. I even added water when I was half way finished, no bueno. The jalapeno margarita was phenomenal, just be careful about your spice level and your Texas ego!!! ;-)

  20. Marc says:

    We are planning on attending, but just need to pick the restaurant. Luckily, we will be staying within walking distance of Epcot. If Disney transportation ends one hour after the park’s closing, how are folks suppose to get back to their resort?

    If the event itself is only 30-45 minutes long, then definitely doesn’t seem very relaxing. If the event is longer, almost seems that you would need to be staying at an Epcot resort, driving your own/rental car, or hoping that taxis are in the parking lot.

  21. Epcyclopedia says:

    Greetings from someone who did the Tutto Gusto Wind Down on Friday!

    Notes: It’s nothing like the one described above at La Cava. Tutto Gusto has 6 flight/food pairings choices to start you off, and then allows full access to the menu. One couple who came in after us commented they wanted something “more substantial” and the waiter got them a sandwich custom made, by letting them choose the meat/cheese/etc..

    There is also a vegetarian option in the 6 choices. Each choice comes with 3 pours of wine paired to the food. 1 is “bready” with sparkling wines, 2 are “meaty” with an emphasis on the meat offerings, 1 is seafood, 1 is the vegetarian and has a crap ton of food, and the final one is dessert with dessert wines.

    We ordered the vegetarian and dessert offering and split it between two people – it was plenty of food. We ordered an additional drink of limoncello just for fun – but many others in the restaurant were ordering stuff off the menu. Many couples got additional glasses of wine and a few got a bottle. There were at least 12 people there – enough to make it seem alive but not full or too busy. There was one couple with two kids – no idea how that’s handled. We joked the parents got their wine flights.

    The regular menu ordering is just assumed/accepted, not something to request specially. The standard day menu is handed to you along with the flight/pairing listing.

    Everyone had wristbands, and they went out of their way to direct those leaving Tutto Italia away from the location.

    There was no presentation. Just come in, eat, drink, depart and wander World Showcase.

    If you want food and the option to eat more and be very leisurely, it seems Tutto Gusto is the choice for that of the offerings. Cava has the formal presentation and apparently closed menu, Rose and Crown appears to have a single flight choice and no further menu offering, and well.. Spice Road is just not worth it during the normal hours I cant imagine it would be for this.

  22. Carter says:

    Wow Disney, really? I was so excited when I first heard this, and when I first read the review…but it won’t be adults only now? I doubt I will be trying this out. If i get seated next to a screaming kid pounding on the table, I would quickly be asking for a refund. Does Disney really think there will be a backlash if they offer a late night event, revolving around alcohol, in a bar, and don’t allow children? Sometimes Disney needs to use some common sense and stop pandering to the soccer moms who are going to complain because little Caiden and Olivia can’t come along. And what is with all of the people looking for non-alcoholic pricing? This is an event that is as much about the alcohol as the food. They need to make the money to cover the cost of hosting the event…and plus, its a limited ticket event. Here’s an idea…if you don’t drink, this probably isn’t the event for you. There’s plenty PLENTY more to see and do throughout Disney World that don’t involve drinking.

  23. Nicky says:

    Great to hear about the vegetarian options at Tutto Gusto, I would love to hear more about what was offered- I’m guessing lots of bread, pasta and cheese!
    I too am disappointed that children will be allowed to this event- it would make a great little night out ‘away from the kids’ for a night or just generally appeal to those of us that don’t have children and fancy a night where we can let our hair down a little.
    I can’t believe the only place on property you can do this is at Jellyrolls. (And I don’t mean make an embarrassment out of yourself by drinking too much) ;)

  24. Epcyclopedia says:

    Bleh, ya’ll want me to type a lot don’t you? Well, I’ll type out the food cuz it’s short and sweet but the wine names get complicated and tedious really fast.

    “All Bubbles”

    -Parmigiano Reggiano
    -La Tur
    -Olive de Cerignola (sp? my photo is fuzzy)
    (Picture, not mentioned, Breadstick)

    “Elegant Reds Flight”

    -Salametto
    -Prosciutto de Parma
    -Robiola
    (Breadsticks)

    “Piemonte Hills Flight”

    -Salametto
    -Gorgonzola
    -La Tur
    (Breadsticks)

    “Seafood Flight”

    -Insalata di Mare (Shrimp Squid, Octopus, Potato, Celery, Red Onion, Capers, Lemon, EVOO)
    (Breadsticks BREADSTICKS!!)

    “Vegetarian Flight”

    -White Asparagus (Looks like penne with oregano.. it is not..)
    -Eggplant Caponata
    -Marinated Artichokes
    -Bruschetta di Capri
    (No breadsticks)

    “Sweet Dessert Flight”

    -Mocha Tiramisu
    -Marscapone Strawberries
    -Chocolate & Nutella Cake
    (There are all “shooters” and there is no breadstick)

  25. Wendy says:

    Adelbert – Hi! Per Epcyclopedia (comment further down the stream) it looks like Tutto Gusto offers a vegetarian selection.

    Jenn – Thanks for your question – I didn’t think to mention that in the post. There are not pre-arranged spots for Illuminations with this event.

    Mike V – thanks so much for your question – I’ll be researching transportation questions to see what I can find out. The evening I went was Extra Magic Hours, so it wasn’t a problem for anyone, but I’ll see what I can discover for non-EMH nights.

    Steff – while things are always subject to change, I understand that La Cava intends to have a presentation each night, though it may not be Hilda every night (she did say that she has worked with the other presenter for 14 years, if I’m recalling correctly, so I’m sure everyone will still enjoy :) ).

    Marc – I’ll see what I can find out about the resort busses — thanks! We were able to stay at La Cava from 9:20 to 10:45, so it was just about an hour and a half.

    Epcyclopedia – Thank you, THANK YOU!! It was great to read your review and receive the information.

  26. catherine says:

    I’ve got la cava booked, but I will cancel if they allow kids. I have about 3 weeks to see what’s up with that.

  27. Glory says:

    We’ll, we were going to check into this until you mentioned that kids may be allowed. Why would they do that? How about staying in the hotel so your kid can get some sleep and allowing some kid free patrons a break? Yes, I have 3 boys and, no, I wouldn’t even consider being so arrogant as to think anyone wants kids at an event like this. If you want to come, have them stay in one of the Kid’s Clubs where they can actually have some fun….I really don’t want to listen to Angry Birds or Candy Crush on the iPad when I paid to have a nice quiet evening with my husband. Yes, some kids, like my guys, can sit quietly at a table but this is still not the time or place for kids. Ok….rant over. Sorry!

  28. Carter says:

    Amen, Catherine. Maybe if enough people make it an issue, they will reconsider the policy. It’s bad enough I’ve had a number of meals and lounge experiences lessened by out of control kids. I definitely don’t see the need to allow them here. It’s a shame, because I would surely buy tickets to this.

  29. Carter says:

    Glory-Glad to see even parents are with us on this. I didn’t even think about the time of this either. Can you imagine what shape kids are going to be in that late at night, after a day in the park? Good Lord! And forget about hoping parents have common sense. As someone already reported, they were at one of these after hours events where someone brought children. Unreal.

  30. Epcyclopedia says:

    Note on transportation:

    Park operations has to call the park “clear” before transportation ends and before they bring in the really big equipment for the night (big trucks with tanks to spray down the walkways, there’s also one with bug spray they use for pest control). Every single area and attractions has to call in and report – and if for some reason an area doesn’t report they call and find out or go to look and see for themselves.

    Now, it may not be a bus, it could be a simple transport van or even a security vehicle. But Disney wont strand you at the parks.

  31. Epcyclopedia says:

    On that note – on the night of my Wind Down we had to stop and wait on our way out near Mexico because the World Showcase “Food Truck” was being driven out of the park at the park gate there by Mexico.

    So you will get to see some backstage going-ons if you stay later. Nothing major – crews in reflective striped vests starting to prep for work on the world showcase pavilions. Little troupes of janitors. The Joeffrey’s coffee people soaping down and power spraying the floor of their coffee kiosks – etc.

  32. Patrick Riley says:

    I posted my initial impressions of this event on the earlier thread, but after reading Wendy’s review, I would add the following, totally unrelated, points:

    1) My wife and I attended this event on the inaugural night and were seated next to Wendy and the meal trip editor. While it was interesting to put faces to the names we read on their blogs, what really added to our enjoyment of the evening was that we had that typical Disney experience of making fast friends with strangers. For us that experience usually materializes because everyone is just so happy to be at Disney and having a good time, but this had something else. It wasn’t because of who they were, but that we were all there for a new experience of our shared love of food and beverage. I think its pretty easy for Disney to make their “magic” for the kids, they do it all the time, all day long. But to make an evening magical for a 40-something married couple, not so easy. They hit this one out of the park. And my point of all of this is: Please, please, please, Disney, keep this event ADULTS ONLY. Our six year old princess was safe back at the Yacht Club with her grandmother. I have no reservations about this. If she were there, that late at night, after a full Disney-day, she would have been bored, disruptive, and would have ruined it for us, and most likely, every other guest. Children do not belong in a bar, for a tequila centered event, after hours. Period. Even the perfectly behaved, well-mannered ones that are happy to sit silently through a 60 minute presentation on something they have no knowledge of or interest in (and no, my lovely princess is decidedly not in that category….nor is any child).

    2) Non-drinkers? Also, not your event. Seriously, if you want to eat, make a dinner reservation. This is a tequila drinking event. Asking for a nonalcoholic option simply so you can experience something unique makes as much sense as me complaining that Disney should offer a 5K course option to the Disney Marathon because I can’t or don’t want to run 20+ miles but still want to wear the medal and attend the after party.

    3) I consider myself very well versed in the subject of tequila, and found very little of the formal presentation to be anything other than confirmation that I do, in fact, know quite a bit about the subject. The ability to speak with Hilda afterwards about some more advanced aspects (lowland vs highland agave production, distillation and mashing processes, etc) was (for me) worth the price of admission.

    4) The tequilas (and mescal) offerings may not fall into an “elite” category, but they are extremely well regarded and most likely rate in the to 10% of their respective classes. I’m currently completing a Food & Bev certificate through Cornell, and from the business side of things the 4 pours and three tapas bites seem a reasonable value. Add to the fact that its Disney, I would expect a HIGHER price. Throw in a presentation from one of the most knowledgeable tequila ambassadors that I have ever met, and again, thats a BARGAIN (to me).

    5) More food options to purchase afterwards MUST be added, Disney. Seriously, you don’t want to give someone more options to spend money? I did mention we had been drinking, right? Yes, we were already in for the $35 (x2), but we still managed to add to our tab with two more specialty margaritas and a healthy pour of our favorite tequila, Don Julio 1942.

    My wife did manage to be the one person to obtain off-menu munchies. When asked by an attendant if there was anything they could get her she asked for some fresh guacamole. When told this wan’t really an option, she smiled and rephrased the request; “I need to have some fresh guacamole”. When this request (I know, requests are supposed to be phrased as questions…but hey, that’s why I love her) wasn’t clearly understood, she repeated it, again with a smile, and added the word “now” at the end. Voila. Fresh guac and chips arrived within minutes. So, we know you can do it. Please add more food options.

    6) The pork that appeared in the tapas trio was masterfully prepared with a pasilla chili sauce. It was sublime. Possibly the tastiest thing I put in my mouth during the entire trip (and thats saying something, as we sampled nearly everything offered throughout the WS festival kiosks). The ceviche was as close to perfection as any I’ve ever had.

    7) Leisurely strolling hand in hand through an EMPTY WS was surreal. We’re middle aged adults, but I truly felt like a teenager who was trespassing into some exclusive other-worldy environment. I fluctuated between glancing over my shoulder thinking we should pick up the pace before we were caught and conversely wanting to slow down and make that feeling last until we were physically removed by security. “If I live to be a hundred, will I ever have this feeling/experience again,” went through my head more than once as we made our way back to the International Gateway.

    8) Having a few days to let the memories process, and not being influenced by a fairly thinned blood stream, I would still highly recommend this event to anyone interested in tequila, mexican cuisine, and looking for a unique, adults-only Disney event. Heck, I’d do it again (but absolutely NOT if kids are present.) And I would definitely recommend this over eating a bunch of desserts for $50.

  33. Clare says:

    My DH and I are visiting WDW for our first trip in August, and I’ve tentatively booked us in at Tutto Gusto (I don’t drink beer or tequila, but wine makes me very happy!) as we love Italian food.

    The biggest reason we would spend $35+ per head on this is the fact it is a child free environment. Take that away? Nah, we’ll cancel it pretty quickly. We don’t have children. We recognise that spending a holiday at WDW means there will be lots of kids around, but we were jumping at the chance for an adult only event. That’s where the value was for us.

  34. Jen says:

    Hi everyone, I have been on the fence about this since I first saw it. It ranged from Awesome, to No way to Should I even consider it. I think on nights with extra magic hours it would be a bust.

    The review by Patrick Riley really nailed it for me. I think it sounds amazing. I agree (and I am a parent) this is no place for children period.

    Our trip is during food and wine in November and we are self proclaimed foodies. I am sure any other time of the year I would want more food options available but hopefully that late at night I will be full from the day full of eating everything we can handle. This sounds to be the perfect late night snack. I really wish my hubby was a tequila guy so we may end up at one of the others instead of La Cava (MY FAVORITE) so reviews on those are anticipated!

    Thanks for all the wonderful reviews everyone!

  35. Nikki says:

    Thank you Epcyclopedia for the Vegetarian option information at Tutto Gusto! That experience sounds much more my style than the Cava del Tequila one, as I always enjoy good food and wine. Unfortunately, I am not going back to Disney until February. Will the event still be offered then? Thanks!

  36. Mealtrip says:

    @Patrick Riley – Awe… thanks for taking the time to write all of that, and it was great meeting you two as well!

    I totally agree with everything Patrick mentions in his write up. In the same way that the Tutto Gusto event and the La Cava event offer slightly different experiences to choose from, the series as a whole was to be different because of the initial suggestion that they would be adult-only events.

    I’ve had similar experiences to Patrick at some of the Food and Wine Festival events, such as the signature dinners, and various other special “add on” type of events… which are adult-only, but mostly because they are cost-restrictive. When the event hits the $129 to $199 price point, you don’t see too many children, and you know that everyone at the event has an interest in either all things Disney… or the subject matter at hand, be it an African wine tasting or an Irish-themed dinner.

    You instantly have a connection with everyone there, and it’s a refreshingly different 90 minute experience than the other 2,800 minutes spent with your children over the course of a typical Disney weekend getaway. Please don’t misunderstand, I love seeing all the little smiling faces in the parks. Disney couldn’t exist without children. It was just nice knowing that even the smallest option of something different was available.

    The Disney Cruise Lines cater to adult-centric interests, both onboard and on land where those under 18 years of age are not allowed. Fantasy’s “Quiet Cove”, the Senses Spa & Salon, Palo’s sommelier-led afternoon wine-tasting courses, and Europa’s skyline lounge… just to name a few.

    Eventually, we may see areas and events like this in the parks as well, that are not adult-only because of their cost, but because Disney says their adult-only. I don’t think it will be this series though. The adult-only verbiage has been removed from the booking page of the site, and various juices and smoothies are being made available in place of the alcoholic beverages.

    Still, I would hope that the time and nature of the After Hours lounges would suggest that they are intended to be smaller setting, end-of-day, wind down events… and that everyone gets to experience that “wow… I’ll always remember strolling in an empty, quiet, dimly lit World Showcase” feeling during their stay. It really is a very cool bonus to the event series.

  37. catherine says:

    If this is going to be a family event, it should have something for kids other than just juices. I know a lot of families won’t pay $35 for their kiddos to drink juice, but some will. The La Cava event has a presentation and it is not for children. Bored children won’t be happy there. They’re kids; if they get bored, they’ll try to find something to do.

    I’m still going to check…I believe I can cancel up to the day before. I’ll probably decide quite awhile before that, though.

  38. Jackie says:

    @Patrick Riley & @Carter

    I’m pretty annoyed now that they changed it to “all are welcome.” I sent an email to guest relations. I may want a refund. How many people jumped at the chance to enjoy an adults only 90 minutes. Listen, I Love WDW, nice place. I go alone as a gal b/c I feel safe, but I don’t want to be subjected to children at THE BAR @ 10 PM. What is that? What happened to children being seen & not heard. I was REALLY looking forward to this event, now it’s a big let-down.

  39. Jackie says:

    THEY ARE ALLOWING CHILDREN. Whether they will be there or not is another story, but per guest relations it is no longer a 21+ event.

  40. Betty says:

    This sounds like a wonderful experience but I am a little concerned about howyou are going to catch the buses to your resort at 11:30 at night if you are the only ones left in the park. Do they take that into consideration?

  41. Barb says:

    Went to La Cava this evening and had a great time! We were seated at the bar and got to interact with the bartender, which was very fun! Good crowd of people there, no kids, though my 19 year old came with us and no body seemed to mind that sort of “kid” in the building. Food was great, and the presentation was very informational for someone like me who does not drink much tequila at all. Everyone was very friendly and it was so nice to be able to walk through Epcot at night! Oh, and you CAN order chips and queso now! Yum! We tied the Avocado Margarita which was also wonderful! Overall a great experience that I would recommend to anyone!

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