Epcot After Hours Wind Down – Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar Review

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On just the third night of the new Epcot After Hours Wind Down event I was lucky enough to grab a table at Tutto Gusto. Since this event is so new and I wasn’t able to find any information before we arrived for our reservation, I’m excited to share our experience with you! If you haven’t heard about it yet, the Epcot After Hours Wind Down is a new experience where guests are invited to stay in the Epcot two hours after closing to enjoy a snack and drink at one of four restaurants. The cost is $35 per person, and while advance reservations are highly recommended, the crowds were minimal the night we went. I’d heard rumors about rides staying open late, but this turned out to be 100% false. For the premium price you get to see a completely empty Epcot and enjoy a quiet walk out of the park.

Of course, before I whisk you away to Tutto Gusto, I should give you a quick look at IllumiNations! One of the main benefits of this after hours party is that you don’t have to worry about positioning yourself to get out of the park post-fireworks. We settled into a spot in Germany that we likely wouldn’t have chosen if we knew we’d be fighting the crowds on our way out to the parking lot.

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Immediately following the fireworks we headed for Tutto Gusto and were greeted at the podium. When we checked in we were given wristbands and immediately shown to our table. We only counted ten other patrons in the restaurant besides our party! In talking to other guests in the park during the day, it seemed like nobody had heard about it yet. Spoiler alert: get your reservations now! This event is fabulous, and I can see the day coming where it sells out nightly. As we were seated we were given a special event menu listing six different options. They included: All Bubbles Flight, Elegant Reds Flight, Piemonte Hills Flight, Seafood Flight, Vegetarian Flight, and Sweet Dreams Flight. I’m working on getting the menus uploaded for you, but in the meantime I’ll detail the three flights that we tried. Also, unlike other locations for the Wind Down, in Italy you are able to get other food items from their cold foods case. The kitchens do close during these events, so if you’re looking for a full meal, you’ll likely be disappointed.

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And now what you’ve all been waiting for – let’s talk about the food. I’ll start with the course I ordered, which was the All Bubbles. Now, while the menu is very clear and even has pictures, I just saw the name and immediately decided I wanted this course. The wine was delicious, and the snack was…interesting. The food included: parmigiano reggiano cheese, la tur, and olive di cerignola. So basically I had big hunks of cheese with bread and olives. I would have been delighted with this at lunch time, but it was a bit much at 10pm at night, and I ended up boxing up most of it to bring home. The quality and taste were excellent, though! One warning: the olives do have pits, so it’s tough to eat them and look terribly ladylike. While we noshed on our snacks, our server was very attentive and offered us several other items to go with our meal. I’m not sure if they have the same capabilities in the other Wind Down locations, but adding a cappuccino was lovely! We didn’t feel rushed at all as we talked and enjoyed our time.

IMG_2125Next up is the Seafood course, which we all agreed looked the best of the items we ordered. This was a mix of shrimp, squid, octopus, potato, celery, red onion, capers, lemon, and extra virgin olive oil all over a bed of lettuce. Of everything that we had at the table, this was the only one that could be considered a late night, light dinner. I had a bite, and if I went back, this is the course I would order. If you’re torn between this and dessert, we saw several people celebrating birthdays who received a free dessert during this after hours event. Ironically, there were only about five tables seated, and two had cake delivered. I’m not suggesting that you fake a birthday to satisfy your sweet tooth, but if those are available, I would assume other desserts are available for order. We didn’t find out, because our third flight took care of that for us!

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Our third and final flight was the Sweet Dreams. It was divine but quite a sugar rush between the desserts and sweet wine. I recommend that it be shared. What you’re looking at is a mocha, chocolate, and a strawberry dessert. Among the three I couldn’t pick a favorite. This is the perfect end to a day at Epcot, especially if you’ve already had a larger meal in World Showcase. Somewhere between this dessert and a few of the wine samples, I lost my gumption to go take long exposure night photos of the World Showcase. Originally, my plan had been to scarf down my snack and then go take photos. But as the name indicates, when we left Tuttu Gusto I was completely relaxed and ready for a quiet stroll out to the car. I’ve been in Epcot hundreds of times, but this was the most empty I’ve ever seen it… and the most magical. Sounds like a pretty good deal for $35, huh? My answer to that question is pretty obvious. We already have Spice Road Table booked for next weekend! :)

So what do you think? Will you be trying the Epcot Wind Down Event? Do you have any questions about our experience? Let me know in the comments below. I’m always happy to hear from you! As always thanks so much for reading.

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Posted on April 23, 2014

29 Responses to “Epcot After Hours Wind Down – Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar Review”

  • Are there any options for people who don’t drink alcohol? (Not that I DON’T, but it doesn’t mix well with my meds)

    • by Daisy Lauren on April 23, 2014, at 7:47 am EDT

      Hi Angel – nothing wrong with not drinking! I know a lot of people that don’t. Our server started us with a large glass of water and I can’t imagine if you turned down the wine that they wouldn’t offer you a non-alcoholic beverage at no charge. But I’m not sure. I’ll add it to my list to ask about this weekend and let you know.

  • I want to do this but we have three teens who would love the food and atmosphere but obviously won’t be drinking. I really wished they offered a discount option for folks who are underage. It is hard to justify $175 for my husband and I to drink some wine. I suppose we could send the kids back to the resort on their own (18,15 and 13) but that just seems mean. Are non alcoholic drinks included in the price?

    • by Daisy Lauren on April 23, 2014, at 7:47 am EDT

      Hi Shannon- like I said in the comment above I think they would offer you something else to drink but I didn’t ask. I’ll be sure to this weekend and report back with my results.

    • I seem to recall reading somewhere that the After Hours Wind Down was only available to 21 and up. Am I wrong about that?

      • by Daisy Lauren on April 23, 2014, at 11:47 am EDT

        Hey Scott – I don’t think kids aren’t allowed. But it certainly isn’t geared towards kids with the alcoholic offerings. I’ve heard rumblings that they’re looking to make it more kids friendly – I’ll be sure to ask this weekend and report back. I will say I didn’t see a single kid last weekend.

        • Guest under the age of 21 are not permitted at these after hours events. Children over the age of 10 may stay in the resort unattended, however I personally would look into having a Disney sitter coming to your room for children under 13. Most resorts offer this option and the pricing is actually reasonable.

          • Children ARE allowed, but there is no price break for them. I have booked for a night in June, and we have 2 kids (16 &13) and they are very welcome. I was told that they would be allowed to order any non alcoholic beverages, (smoothies and the like) and that they would welcomed. Just wanted to let you know.

  • Great report. We’re scheduled to be at Tutto Gusto in May. Can’t wait!

    When did you leave Tutto Gusto, and do you know if Disney transportation was still operating? We’ll be taking the monorail there from the Contemporary and wonder if we’ll be rushed to catch transportation back to our resort. Thanks.

    • by Daisy Lauren on April 23, 2014, at 11:48 am EDT

      Hey Brian – this is a great, great question! I will verify this weekend and report back. I can tell you that the tram service had stopped so we had to hike to our car. :(

  • Daisy,
    Great post, I’ve been waiting to here more about this new option. I’m curious about the reservations. Is there only one round of seating, or are there separate blocks of reservation times. It seems as though there should be only one round, who would want to wait around to start their winding down.

    • by Daisy Lauren on April 23, 2014, at 11:50 am EDT

      Hey Mark – for now everything kicks off at 9:20. They night we were there everyone arrived at nearly the same time and we all started leaving about the same time too. We didn’t wait at all. I’ve seen where other venues even have the tables pre-set so I think it is just one seating.

  • Thanks for the report! They probably don’t, but I’d be interested to hear if Disney has (or plans to add) any options for children. My instinct is this is just something they added solely with adults in mind since there aren’t many of those options. My children are still little (7 & 4) so I’m not sure I could justify the $35 each. I know that resort childcare could be an option, but then they’d miss the fireworks and I wouldn’t want to do that to them. It would be nice if Disney could open up a childcare center in Epcot while the adults wind down :) Hey, I can always dream, right?

    • by Daisy Lauren on April 23, 2014, at 11:52 am EDT

      Hey Tina! I have this on my list to verify this weekend. It would be nice if they had a separate event or location for kids. I have to admit it was nice to have only adults at our wind down. They could really make something if they did a late night themed character dance party for the kids while the adults had another option!

  • We are booked for August at Rose and Crown and are super excited. I also wanted to know about Disney transportation as I just realized reading this that getting back to Wilderness Lodge might be a problem.

    • by Daisy Lauren on April 23, 2014, at 11:54 am EDT

      Hey Laura! I’ll make sure we get the transportation questions answered this weekend. The Rose & Crown menu looks crazy! You get to try 4 different beers and a set menu. One of the items is an egg wrapped in sausage! I am planning to try all four – but Spice Road is next for us.

      • Awesome. We booked before the menu was out hoping it would be beer and are super excited to hear it is! Thanks for your reports!

  • Interesting review. Very different from others I have read that were not nearly as positive.

    For $35 you could get 1-2 glasses of wine and heavy apps of your choice during regular hours. Is the atmosphere a lot better at night?

  • I’m with Sarah – I’ve read a couple other reviews, one from Tutto Gusto on opening night, which happened to be an EMH night and this person hated the entire event, saying the wait staff were very pushy and the atmosphere that had been advertised was not what she experienced. The other had a mixed review of the Mexico offering (sorry, I can’t remember the name of the restaurant). I am happy to see a positive review and am curious what you find out next weekend. We are scheduled to return to WDW in November, and I doubt that we will attend this as we will have our 3 young (3, 6 and 7) boys with us, and my understanding was this was adults only, plus I’d rather experience MVMCP if we’re paying for an after hours event :) Thank you for your review – I always enjoy reading the articles here!

    • by Daisy Lauren on April 23, 2014, at 5:44 pm EDT

      Hi Sarah & Liz! I guess I just didn’t have any real expectations so I was delighted with the wine selection and the snacks. Of course, you could get better prices during the day, even better prices off property, or a weeks worth of groceries!! ;) For me it was so worth it to completely avoid the fight to get out of the park by stopping into a restaurant and then emerge into your own personal theme park. It was so magical and empty. Like we had it all to ourselves!

      But for the actual dining experience it’s surely overpriced. I think you’re paying for the convenience. For us, it was perfect. I’m always fighting with my hubby about staying for the fireworks because he doesn’t want to fight the crowds. Now he doesn’t have to! :)

  • Yea! I made reservations for this one in September a couple days ago – so glad you enjoyed it! According to Disney Food Blog, it’s a a 21 and over event. I hope it stays that way – one of the points for me is to have one thing in the whole vacation that doesn’t include crying children. I’m not complaining – I know WDW is for us all and sometimes kids get tired and cry – but a quiet break actually in Epcot sounds really nice.

    • by Daisy Lauren on April 24, 2014, at 6:57 pm EDT

      Hey Leslie – I’m with you. There is hardly anything just for adults at WDW anymore. It’s nice and I hope it stays that way.

      • Amen to something without children! Love them (mine and others) but a break is nice. We are doing the Italy event this week so I was happy to see your post. Thanks much!

  • What are the drink offerings in the other locations?

    • by Daisy Lauren on April 24, 2014, at 7:03 pm EDT

      Hi! Nothing is set in stone at this point. In Mexico it’s tequila. In England it’s beer. In Morocco it looked like one big glass of wine but I might be mistaken on that. I’ll be sure to update on it this weekend.

      • Would have been nice to get an Irish Whisky and Scotch flight in Great Britain.

        • by Daisy Lauren on April 30, 2014, at 1:41 pm EDT

          Agreed! I’m sure they’d let you add it if you could still see straight after all the beer. While the kitchen closes they are VERY clear that the bar is open until 11pm! ;)