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The Wisdom Of Walt Book Review

Published October 13, 2015 by ltdjosh

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Anyone that knows me knows that I’m very skeptical about “self-help” things. Anything proclaiming to help you achieve a greater level of success, wealth, fame, etc makes me want to cringe. So anytime I get a book to review that I define as a self-help type of book, I go at it with a raised eyebrow and, unfairly, a biased mind. However, this is the second book that I have reviewed in this category that has truly blown me away. The first was Joe Pardo’s “31 Life Changing Concepts” book (see my review here). The second is an amazing book by author Dr. Jeffrey A. Barnes entitled “The Wisdom Of Walt: Leadership Lessons From the Happiest Place on Earth”.

Obviously since I’m writing on a website titled Disneyways, I love all things Disney. This book really stood out to me simply based on the title. However, I had no idea just how amazing and life-changing it could really be. I’ve spent years learning and reading about Walt Disney’s life: how this determined young man from Kansas (and Missouri and Chicago and California) wouldn’t let anything stand in his way; how he fought through many obstacles to get where he was; how he turned hardships into life lessons. I honestly thought I had a pretty good impression of who Walt was until I read this book. Dr. Barnes delves so much deeper into Walt’s life and uncovers just some of what made Walt into Walt Disney. For instance, how he took his personal tragedies and turned them into professional successes. Each chapter of this book uncovers another little nugget of pure gold that can really help the reader accomplish his or her goals in a very realistic and easy to understand way.

The format of this book is very different from any other book I have read. In the introduction, Dr. Barnes lays out what he calls his “guidemap” explaining how the book works. Under the chapter title you will find a quote from Walt Disney, going back to the original source for the inspiration of that chapter. Second, you’ll find a story about Disneyland, taking it all back to where everything really began (and alluding to what Dr. Barnes was doing when he came up with the concept of this book: teaching a course on the History of Disneyland). Third, you have the actual lesson to be learned in that chapter. Fourth, you have what Dr. Barnes calls a “Souvenir Stop”. Much like leaving at the end of a long day at Disneyland, this is a time for you to gather a treasure to take home with you, always to remind you of your journey. And last, you have the hand stamp. Much like when you are visiting Disneyland and decide to head out for a bit, only to come back a the end of the day, the hand stamp shows where you have been and where you are going. Obviously, I don’t explain it nearly as well as Dr. Barnes does, but these are the essences of “The Wisdom of Walt”. The book isn’t simply a random collection of thoughts and principals, but something with great order and civility, something to inspire each and every person that enters into it, similar to Disneyland Park itself.

Some of the amazing life lessons that can be taken from this book and, indeed, from Walt’s life include: Sitting on a park bench, telling stories, building a berm, using forced perspective (my absolute favorite), creating e-ticket experiences, waiting in line, and having a next, always. No matter where you turn in this text, you are guaranteed to come away with something. And at the end of each chapter there are exercises designed to really make you think, rather than just simply reading and being complacent. These thoughts can be compiled in a list and set to the side to be browsed at your leisure and to remind you of your journey. This is definitely a book I will reference for years to come as I continue to ‘listen to your “walter” ego’. Thank you Dr. Barnes. And thank YOU Walt. For everything.

To purchase your copy of “The Wisdom Of Walt: Leadership Lessons From the Happiest Place on Earth”, click here.

To learn more about Dr. Jeffrey A. Barnes, author and speaker extraordinaire, click here.


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Joshua Snyder is an avid Disney fanatic. He recently moved back to Indiana after spending 2 years living his dream in Orlando, FL. When Josh isn’t dreaming about the parks, he’s helping people plan their dream vacations. As a Dream Designer with My Mickey Vacation, Josh loves helping people make their Disney dreams come true. He is also the senior writer and head of the writing team at Living The Dream Podcast. Josh can be reached at joshua.snyder@mymickeyvacation.com for travel agent inquiries, or at joshua.livingthedreampodcast@gmail.com for all other inquiries.

Portobello Italian Restaurant Disney Springs Review by guest author Sharon Judy

Published September 10, 2015 by Disneyways.com

Recently I enjoyed my first visit to Portobello at Disney Springs! It was my first time dining at this lovely little place. I was in the company of the Central Florida Lady Bloggers group.

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As we came through the door were  warmly greeted and offered a signature drink… Honey Lemonade. This is made with locally sourced honey from Winter Park Florida. I am here to tell you this was SO good. Usually I am not a fan of lemonade because of its tartness but THIS lemonade was so smooth and sweet that I had 2 glasses!  I asked our wonderful hostess Emily if you are able to get a to-go glass if you were just strolling by and did not have a dinner reservation. She said “absolutely just come on in!”

The smoky smell of this restaurant is wonderful. They make wood fired pizzas that are amazing. I sampled the Margarita Pizza and Mushroom Pizza. Both were very tasty and had that lovely smoky taste.

  
Next our hostess Kristy brought around Goat Cheese and Radicchio Crustinis. This was crunchy and savory and sweet all at the same time. They were so good that I actually I ended up eating 4 of these little Crustinis of goodness!! I probably would have eaten more but figured I really needed to share with the rest of our group.

We had a buffet of meats,cheeses and all the fixings. Can just I say… I didn’t want to stop eating?!

  
  
  
The food was so delicious and the level of customer service we experienced was top notch.

Portobello at Disney Springs – I look forward to visiting again soon!!!!

Disclaimer: In exchange for time and efforts in attending this event and reporting my opinion within this blog, Portobello Italian Restaurant provided me with complimentary food and drinks. This did not influence my opinion and all thoughts are my own.

A Note from Krista:
Sharon Judy is not only a regular contributor to Disneyways – she is also the official hair stylist of Living The Dream Podcast as well as WorldSecrets.TV and Disneyways.com! Sharon is a licensed cosmetologist by the State of Florida. She works in the Grand Floridian, Yacht and Beach Club, and other resorts on Disney property.  She has a magical, pixie-dusted touch that she carries into her own salon as well. Contact her today via her facebook page for a consultation and appointment!

Walt Life ~ Addiction Subscription Review! By Guest Author Terri Miller

Published June 27, 2015 by wdwhints

Introducing: Walt Life Addiction Subscription!

Everybody loves surprises! Especially surprises that come in boxes and you know some Disney magic is inside! From the Creators of Walt Life, I’d like to introduce you to the Walt Life Addiction Subscription!

How does it work? Well, you choose a subscription plan ($34.95/month), Walt Life goes shopping, and you receive a box full of Disney surprises!
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Addiction Subscription Review

We received the Summer Fun! box earlier this month. Included was a Mickey Mouse Popsicle Mold, an Ariel Travel Mug, and a Disney Trivia “Games on the Go” CD! All of it packed with party confetti to boot!

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The trivia CD is so much fun to listen to and try to be the first to shout out answers! It’s great for moms to ‘play’ with their kids while running errands. It would also be a great way to pass the time if you’re on a road trip!

The popsicle mold is fantastic. Just pour in your favorite juice, freeze, and you’ve got home-made popsicles! Kids love them… and grown-ups do too! (I found it’s easiest to pull the popsicles out of the mold if you let it sit outside of the freezer for about 5 minutes.)

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I found the Walt Life Addiction Subscription to be full of surprises that the whole family can enjoy! Except for the Ariel Mug… I claimed that all for myself. Shhhhh! It’s okay for adults to have their own fun, right?

It’s Even More Fun to GIVE than to Receive!!

What’s the best part about Walt Life’s Addiction Subscription? You can choose to purchase a Box to be sent to our Soldiers overseas! It’s a great way to let our American Heroes know that we’re thinking of them and wonderful way to thank them for their service to our Country!

Learn more about the Walt Life Addiction Subscription here! Join the Addiction Subscription Community on Facebook here.

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Terri Miller is the founder of WDW Hints – where she and her team love to research the lesser known things about Walt Disney World and then share those finding with their readers! Feel free to visit the WDW Hints Facebook page and say Hello!

“The Complete Walt Disney World 2015” by Julie and Mike Neal – A Book Review by Samantha Jolicoeur

Published June 24, 2015 by jpmdo

 

The Complete WDW Book

This is not the first time I have read the Neal’s books, and much like their previous years’ books, this one did not disappoint. With extensive details and photos that immerse the reader into the magic, you will find yourself turning page after page!

As a mother of 3, two of which being 1 year old twins, I do not find much time for myself these days and, to my dismay, I am not too hip on the latest news going on with the World, Walt Disney World, that is. I used to pride myself in “being in the loop” and staying on top of news, but it just isn’t feasible these days. I knew, with my upcoming trip, I wanted to get some additional information from more than the Internet. I wanted something reputable, and I knew this book would be a fantastic place to start.

I put the children to bed, finished up the daily chores, and got comfy with the book. Needless to say, I read it all in one sitting, long into the early hours of the next morning. I could not get enough of the detailed information and color photos. ALL of the photographs in their books are in full color and taken by the authors – how amazing is that?

I found only one Tinkerbell-sized error in the book and that was mentioning that 8+ guests will be charged an automatic 18% gratuity on their table service bills (page 360). The correct information regarding this policy is actually 6 or more guests, infants included.

Onto the pleasantries, and this book is chock full of them! Julie and Mike include so many details of each and every aspect of the Walt Disney World Resort. I love how they incorporate their own preferences and opinions. I am always looking for true reviews, in lieu of basic, every day knowledge. It made me feel like I was speaking with the authors, not just reading a book about Disney.

The book is laid-out in a way where you can find any topic very easily: organized by Parks, Accommodations, new information, MyMagic+, Characters, and so much more! They go through the very best of each Park, and then a more in-depth review is done later within the chapter. Above and beyond the detailed explanations of each attraction, you will find Hidden Mickey tips and other special secrets. Personally, I am a fan of the Tips and Facts – you can never soak in enough Disney trivia! There is also other useful information, such as approximate wait times based on time of day, and an example of the best course of action to conquer your Park day. With their vast Park knowledge and experience, I would bet that their plans are top notch!

There truly is not one piece of information you will NOT find in this wonderful book. From where to find ATMs to where to eat the best steak. It is easy to find the information you are looking for, as well, if you are not keen on reading the entire book (although, I do not recommend that). Each section is color-coded, there is an A-Z section that approaches almost every relevant Disney subject, and, finally, an index at the end of the book to direct you to the exact page discussing the topic you are looking for.

I would recommend this book to each and every person, Disney-newbie or veteran, young or old. I have read many different Disney travel guides, books, trivia and, so much more, but this is the very best of the best. They have kept up with the very latest information, and you seriously cannot beat their tips and advice. Children will love to read this book along with you and learn all about the attractions before experiencing them. You will be able to help them get an idea of what to expect before the trip, plus there is information regarding scare factors.

Not that you’ll need help doing so, but this book will increase your excitement about your upcoming trip! You won’t have to worry about whether the information is up-to-date, because these books have been coming along yearly for quite some time now, and I do hope they continue! You can purchase their books online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

“There is more treasure in books, than in all the pirates’ loot on Treasure Island” – Walt Disney

My Magical Red Carpet Evening: Walt Before Mickey Movie Premiere

Published June 22, 2015 by Disneyways.com

One of my dreams came true this month. Since I wasn’t able to take you all with me, I have been wondering how in the world I could put it in to words in an attempt to convey what it was like. I’m just a regular person – not really special in any way (the Skyway Film Festival was open to the public!) but, I felt very privileged and honored to “walk on the red carpet” in June of 2015 for the World Premiere of the film, Walt Before Mickey.

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Not only was I able to check this once in a lifetime experience off the bucket list – but it also involved Disney. Somebody pinch me!

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I want to thank my good friend Adria, President of the World Chapter of the Disneyana Fan Club, for sending over these questions regarding the recent movie premier that several of our club members attended Walt Before Mickey. Her email inspired me with a format to put all of this together in words and pictures for you today.

As a reminder, this film is based on the book “Walt Before Mickey” and covers the early years of Walt Disney’s career. Shot in Florida, Walt Before Mickey, which stars Thomas Ian Nicholas, Jon Heder, David Henrie and Jodie Sweetin, chronicles the life of Walter Disney from his childhood in Missouri to his start as an animator. Directed by Khoa Lee as his first feature length film,  this amazing movie is based on the book by author Timothy S. Susanin- and forwarded by Diane Disney Miller (Walt’s daughter).

1.) What was your first impression when you arrived at the premiere? The Manatee Performing Arts Center is spectacular, newly remodeled, and comfortable. A very nice lady on staff explained to me that this chandelier is an original – used in the film Gone With the Wind! This beautiful, important fixture looked right at home in this space.

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2.) Was there a lot of pomp and circumstance? Yes, I thought so. The door was held open for us by gentleman in elaborate costumes, looking much like the one Ponce de León may have worn when he discovered Florida. What a nice touch!

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3.) Where there a lot of people? How many would you estimate? Yes! I have read that there were 500 people there.

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4.) Did you get to meet the producer, director or any of the actors or actresses? Yes. I have known Arthur L. Bernstein and Armando Gutierrez (Executive Producers) for quite some time. We have communicated by phone, facebook, and I have interviewed them in the past. Meeting them in person and getting to hug them (finally) was like seeing old, familiar friends.

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5.) What did you think of the movie? I LOVED this movie.

6.) What did you like? The actors did an amazing job and there was SO much attention to detail. The authenticity was incredible. Much of the clothing really was from the early 20th century and great care was taken to care for these costumes. We were all amazed to learn that it was filmed so close to home.

What didn’t you like about it? I know there is a lot of red tape involved, but I would love to see this movie be released nation wide. Every Disney fan should see it.

7.) Any other thoughts you’d like to share? I am just so thankful for this beautiful evening, all the new friends I have met, and how kind everyone was.

8.) If an opportunity like this present again in the future would you like to attend? In a heartbeat!

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Match The Species – Poop Treats at Disney’s Animal Kingdom by Guest Authors Amber and Jacquie Montes de Oca

Published June 19, 2015 by jpmdo

**UPDATE: Disney discontinued these treats and they are no longer available.**

What do Disney, sweet treats and poop have in common? Our favorite topics of conversation!

When we heard there were new treats at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and they look like animal poop, of course we had to find out more about them and better yet… taste them!

So we started our journey by arriving at Disney’s Animal Kingdom then made our way to Africa.

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We then found the location… Zuri’s Sweets Shop right across from the new Harambe Market.

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And there, among the other sweets… Match the Species Treats (animal poop)!

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Of course we had to try all four. And this is what we thought:

Elephant Poop: Chocolate peanut butter fudge with sweet rolled oats and yellow coconut flakes.

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J: I could tell right away it tasted like peanut butter, then the oats and coconut made their appearance. It’s dense and cakey. Yummy

A: To me it tastes like peanut butter and coconut. It’s a bit hard to bite into.

Hippo Poop: Chocolate fudge caramel brownie with peanut butter and rolled oats.

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J: Very similar taste as the Elephant Poop, except for the coconut. Also dense and cakey. Feels a bit heavy when you pick it up.

A: Same thought, very similar to the Elephant Poop.

Cotton Top Tamarin Poop: Pretzel pearls coated in chocolate peanut butter fudge with sweet rolled oat flakes.

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J: Again, similar taste to both the Elephant and Hippo Poop, however this one is harder to bite into.

A: Also similar taste as the two above, however this one has that extra pretzel taste. Watch your teeth… hard to bite into.

Giraffe Poop: Rolled chocolate fudgy brownie and freshly made caramel.

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J: This one was my favorite. Soft brownie texture and more of a chocolate taste.

A: I liked this one the best as well. Soft and rich.

In conclusion, although it’s a bit disappointing that three of the four tasted almost the same, this is definitely a fun thing to get if anything for the topic of conversation and it definitely will be fun for both kids and adults!

About the authors:

Jacquie is an annual passholder and Disney fan who visits the parks often with her oldest daughter Amber. She is a freelance social media strategist, consultant, advisor, and content creator for Living the Dream Podcast.

 Amber Montes de Oca is a huge Disney fan. She’s an annual pass holder and loves to visit the Disney parks often. Her hobbies are singing, acting, and drawing. She has a BA from the University of Central Florida.

Top 5 Reasons to try American Q ~ by Sharon Judy

Published May 28, 2015 by Disneyways.com

So many people love a great Bar-B-Que restaurant – and there are tons to choose from in the Disney area. So why should you try American Q Restaurant at the B Resort near Disney Springs?  

 

I could probably go on forever, but for now, here are my top 5 reasons!

1. Excellent Guest Service!

Our waitress made sure that we were well taken care of the whole evening. She kept our glasses full and would check back to make sure our food was to our liking. She was great about giving us suggestions on what to order, including letting us know her favorites and why she liked them. Our cowboy carvers were also kind, sweet, and very knowledgeable about what they were carving. 

  

  

 

The meats and chicken you will eat here are locally sourced with no hormones or steroids, and they are all grass fed. Even the eggs they use at American Q come from free range chickens.  

 

Chef Justin let us know that he makes frequent trips to the farms to make sure the food is up to the quality that they expect. When you visit American Q on Swine and Spirits Wednesdays you will enjoy pork from a pig that was chosen very carefully and has come from the same bloodline as the last pig. That way the meat has a consistent quality and taste – every time you visit.

2. Lots of Choices for Picky Eaters!

It all starts with the ’51 Ford F1 Flatbed Truck Buffet. How cool is that?!

There are unlimited soups, salads, baked potato and meat carvings that you can choose from – and it’s all you care to eat. What is especially nice is the cowboy carvers bring the meat to your table to enjoy. Wednesdays at American Q brings the Swine and Spirits menu. Guests can enjoy the buffet and a complimentary beverage that changes out weekly is also included in the price. There is also an additional carving of Tangerine and Whiskey Brined Suckling Pig.

Even if buffets aren’t usually your thing,  there is a regular menu to choose from as well. I had the Texas Bark Beef Brisket. It was so good! It had an excellent smoky beef flavor and was fork tender. 

My daughter Emily had the Q Burger with pepper jack cheese and cross cut fries. This burger was huge – definitely big enough to be shared -and it came out cooked to perfection!

3. They have a wonderful selection of adult beverages!

We sampled the Moscow Mule, Carribbean Passion Picante and Pineapple Mojito.

    

My absolute favorite is the Moscow Mule. It has a very distinct ginger flavor that I love. It is made with vodka, pickled ginger juice and ginger beer, but the ginger flavor was not overpowering. It reminded me of a not so fizzy gingerale with a kick. The other 2 drinks are on the sweeter side.  The Pineapple Mojito is exactly like you would expect it to be, with the flavor of pineapple and mint. The Caribbean Passion was very sweet and fruity – with a spicy flavored finish.

4.Valet parking is free with dinner!

Now who wouldn’t love that? When you are seated, your server stamps your card that the valet driver gives you. After your meal, just hand this back to your valet driver, and he will fetch your car. No need to get caught in the rain.

5. Super cute and elegantly rustic decor!

I love that the buffett is on a flatbed truck!!! It feels like you are right at home on an upscale farm.

   These were my top 5 reasons to visit American Q – but be sure to give them a try so you can come up with your own list! Please visit American Q on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AmericanQ

Movie Review: Disney’s Tomorrowland

Published May 22, 2015 by Disneyways.com

Ever since I first heard about this movie at the D23 event back in November – I could NOT wait to see it. Since then, they have started showing previews inside the Imagination theater in Epcot! If you are in the parks – be sure to check out this preview in 4D!

This amazing Disney movie from Brad Bird is a mystery adventure starring George Clooney. Even if you think you have seen George Clooney – you may never have seen him like this. He is funny, and surprisingly endearing. He really made the character of Frank come alive.

The story goes that a former boy-genius Frank (Clooney), who is now a bit angry and disillusioned, and Casey (Britt Robertson), a bright, optimistic teen bursting with curiosity about science, embark on a danger-filled mission to unearth the secrets of an enigmatic place somewhere in time and space known only as “Tomorrowland.” What they must do there changes the world—and them—forever.

This movie is BEAUTIFUL – visually appealing in ways I never could have imagined. Go see it in theaters if you can to really get what I am talking about here! In short – I loved it – and I would totally go see it again. Tune in to the Disney Parks Podcast for a full review from Tony and myself.

Don’t forget that the official Tomorrowland App with Apple Watch integration is now available to download HERE! 

Other awesome links:

Website and Mobile site: www.Disney.com/Tomorrowland

Like Tomorrowland on Facebook: facebook.com/DisneyTomorrowland

Follow Tomorrowland on Twitter: twitter.com/DisneyPictures

 

Celebrating Cinco De Mayo – Disney Style! – By Guest Author Josh Snyder

Published May 4, 2015 by jpmdo

Ay amigos! It’s that time of year again. Time to celebrate Cinco De Mayo. For those of you that are too Central Florida bound to make it to Mexico to celebrate, you can have your own special celebration, right here in Walt Disney World. Head over to EPCOT to start your festivities. There are several different ways to do this. Here’s a list of my top 5 (plus an extra one for adults only).

5. Meet Donald Duck at Mexico – this is an often overlooked character meet and greet, since it’s a little off the beaten path. However, Donald shows his true Mexican love in a great sombrero and Mexican-inspired outfit. He can be found beside the Mexico pavilion on a little off-street.

4. Sombrero Time – take time to try on sombreros. While you’re doing this, take pictures to capture the moments, like Krista has done below. This is a great opportunity to get out of the sun and enjoy a wonderful time with friends (or even by yourself). Post your picture on Facebook, then challenge your friends to do the same thing (maybe even come up with a contest to see who can make the wackiest face).

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3. Lunch at La Cantina De San Angel – for a great way to celebrate without actually going inside the Mexico pavilion, stop by La Cantina De San Angel outside for a quick bite with a Mexican flare. This a counter service location, and the service is pretty quick and always yummy. I recommend the Tacos De Barbacoa. It’s delish!

2. Dinner at San Angel Inn Restaurante – this excellent restaurant is located inside the Mexico pavilion and has seating that overlooks the beginning of the Three Caballeros boat ride (similar to the Blue Bayou Restaurant and Pirates Of The Caribbean at Disneyland). The atmosphere is set to remind of you twilight in Mexico, which is always the right time for a fiesta. This is a very popular restaurant and reservations are HIGHLY recommended.

1. Gran Fiesta Tour starring The Three Caballeros – this ride is the ultimate in Mexican celebrations. Take a fun boat ride through some of the history and sites of Mexico, while in search of Donald Duck, along with Jose and Panchito. This is a great ride for the whole family. It’s indoors, you’re seated the whole time, and it’s nicely air conditioned (great for those hot and humid early summer/late spring days).

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BONUS HIGHLIGHT: For adults, there’s a great little place in the Mexico pavilion called La Cava Del Tequila. That’s right, it’s a TEQUILA BAR and it’s AWESOME!!! Make sure to check this out for some “adult libations”. You can also pick up Kahlua chocolate truffles in the shop outside La Cava. Perfect for some adult alone time at home.

I hope this helps you to enjoy Cinco De Mayo while on your festive trip to Walt Disney World. I know it helped me.

 

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