When others ask me why I want to take yet another Walt Disney World vacation, or why we’re going back when we were just there, I always reply by telling them that I will quit going the day I have seen and done everything–the day it loses its magic and no longer fills me with sheer excitement and joy. For me, a Disney vacation is a week (or however many days) long high, equivalent to the few minutes of pleasure you get from eating your favorite dessert, or the few seconds of joy you get from putting on brand new socks. (Tell me I’m not the only one who loves new socks!) It isn’t news that I love Disney, but it is hard to explain to the less enchanted folks that each trip is different and each trip holds so many new experiences. It is like I am visiting an exciting new place, but also one that holds special memories and is familiar and soothing all at the same time. I know with confidence the magic will never fade. I took my husband on his first trip to Walt Disney World shortly before we became engaged. It was priceless to watch his face light-up and see his reaction to the Pixie Dust floating through the popcorn-scented air. After that trip, it was a no brainer where we would spend our honeymoon and yet, we were still met with doubt from those insisting we look for something more romantic or more “adult.” I happily explained there was nothing more magical. We have since celebrated several anniversaries at Disney World, including our fifth anniversary just last week. For each trip, we have planned a unique way to celebrate our special day. Dinner reservations at signature restaurants, specialty cruises, tours, special events – there are countless ways to honor any occasion and they never disappoint. Disney practically handed me the idea for this year when they announced the Epcot After-Hours Wind Down event, on the Disney Parks Blog, last April. We love Epcot; in fact it’s a family favorite! We love Disney dining and drinks and when you add the opportunity to stay in the park after close for a romantic and relaxing evening – this seems storybook perfect. There are four locations which offer the event: Spice Road Table in the Morocco Pavilion, Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar in the Italy Pavilion, La Cava del Tequila at the Mexico Pavilion or the Rose & Crown Pub in the United Kingdom Pavilion. Although each option sounded marvelous, my husband and I had eaten at the Rose & Crown Pub & Dining Room on our honeymoon and I thought it would be the perfect place to celebrate our anniversary. After watching IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth (Love!) we headed to the United Kingdom Pavilion and checked in for our reservation with a Cast Member standing at the front door. We were then escorted inside and were given a quaint and quiet corner booth. After being greeted by our Host, we were given a short description of the beverage and food selections we were about to experience. The offerings consisted of a beer flight and a selection of three appetizers. Everything was delicious! My favorite treat was the Scotch Egg: a decadent compilation of a hardboiled egg, wrapped in sausage and then deep fried. I’ve seen these on pub menus here and there and, although they have always sounded good, I’ve never ordered one. Big mistake! It was scrumptious and the sauce they paired it with had just the right amount of zest to combat the richness. Breakfast may never be the same in my house. After finishing our snack and flight we were asked if there was anything else they could get us and given a beverage menu. We were pleased to find out the full bar was still open and we were allowed to order what we would like at an additional cost from the event fee. Being our special night, we indulged with two of the specialty drinks: a Welsh Dragon and an English Rose. After finishing our drinks and paying our tab, we began our journey out of the park and back to our resort, shortly after eleven. Even though we knew the park was closed (except to the other patrons experiencing the After-Hours Wind Down) we weren’t expecting how incredible the finale to our evening would be. The park was empty! Fountains still spraying, lights still twinkling, music still playing, it was the same Epcot we had walked through countless times, but there wasn’t another person in sight! A little eerie at first, but completely and utterly magical! Talk about feeling important on our special day, we definitely felt like Disney VIPs. We stopped for pictures, made a wish for the years to come at the Innoventions Fountain, took countless photos of Spaceship Earth and with one last good-bye, headed out of the park. I still can’t believe how unbelievable this experience was. The price was very reasonable for the beverage and food selections offered and if you add in the one-of-a -kind occurrence of strolling through a nearly vacant park, it was well worth the $35/person price. If you have the opportunity, I highly suggest attending. We definitely felt like a prince and princess setting off to continue our Happily Ever After as we left Epcot that evening. You can make reservations for this event online or by calling (407) 939-5277. It is only offered on select nights and fills up quickly, so book early.