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 [Read more…]

Photo Tour! Re-Imagined Restaurants and Lounges on the Disney Magic Cruise Ship!

Remember when we told you that the Disney Magic cruise ship was about to get a full makeover?? Well, today we have an awesome photo tour for you!!

The Re-Imagined Disney Magic

The Disney Magic – The original cruise ship of the Disney Cruise Line – first set sail in 1998. Fifteen years later, she has just launched again after a lengthy stay in dry-dock where she spent her time being “re-imagined.”

Re-imagining is more than simply being refurbished or refreshed. Some spaces around the ship were entirely redesigned while others were enhanced. She sure is a beauty!

Disney Magic

Since the re-imagined areas are primarily public spaces, this, of course, means that some of the dining areas and adult lounges were re-imagined or refreshed as well! Though some spaces, already timeless, remained unchanged or just refreshed.

Let’s have a look inside this amazing vessel and see what’s new!

Carioca’s

The biggest update to the dining scene on the Disney Magic is the addition of Carioca’s.

Carioca's Entrance

What was previously Parrot Cay now pays homage to one of Donald Duck’s [Read more…]

Coming Soon! New Dining Options and Nightlife on the Disney Magic Cruise Ship!

Fun news from the Walt Disney World Monstrous Summer event this week!

New dining and entertainment options are being introduced to the Disney Magic Cruise Ship during a dry dock refub, which will take place in Spain this Fall 2013! We’re super excited about a special surprise that we mention at the bottom of this post!

More Magic Coming to Disney Magic!

The Magic was launched in 1998 with the latest in technology and imagineering at the time. But since the Disney Dream and Fantasy have taken to the seas, Disney’s decided it’s time to do some upgrades on the oldest ship! Let’s take a look…

Re-Imagined Dining on the Disney Magic

We love that the dining and restaurants on the ship will get a refresher!

NEW! Carioca’s
The Brazilian-themed Carioca’s will replace Parrot Cay on the Magic, and will bring an energetic atmosphere reminiscent of Rio de Janiero.

Adding to the dining experience, the concept will change from day to night with vibrant colors. Savor the Latin-infused flavors from the menu during day time buffet meals and table-service dinners.

Carioca's!

At night, windows will reveal “city” scapes and flickering lanterns will illuminate the room.

Animator’s Palate
The ever-popular Animator’s Palate will get a slight makeover bringing in new technology (larger, high-def flat screens). The “Drawn to the Magic” black-and-white-to-color show will continue throughout the meal, but new friends like Rapunzel from “Tangled” and Remy from “Ratatouille” will join the ranks of Disney characters represented.

Animator's Palate transformation!

The popular “animation magic” show from the Fantasy will be added here as well — where guests draw their own characters that come to life on the screens! 

Animation Magic coming to Animator's Palate!

New! Cabanas
Many guests rely on the come-as-you-are Topsider Buffet on the Magic for casual eats during the day. During the Magic’s refurbishment, this restaurant will be upgraded and expanded into Cabanas! This casual spot will be treated with an Australian and Finding Nemo theme, similar to [Read more…]