A Trip Around The World: Mexico

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Today is the first in a new series taking a grand tour around the World Showcase in Epcot. I’m always curious when folks enter this section of the park if they head right towards Canada or if they go left towards Mexico. As a kid we always went to the left under the assumption that the average day guest went right on instinct. (Not to mention the rides were to the left!) So it only made sense for me to start our tour with the lovely land of Mexico.

I always like to start these posts with a photo that really encompasses the land. You can see the detail of the main show building in the below photo. Modeled after an Aztec Temple, there are intricate details on every inch of this building. (Remember – you can click any photo to see a larger image)

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But getting back to the beginning – when you first enter the land on your right there is a counter service restaurant before you reach the main show building. I have eaten at La Cantina de San Angel several times, and they make mean nachos! The seating is all outdoors, which can make it tough temperature wise during the summer months.

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However, you can’t beat the view! The main reason I threw my fisheye lens in my bag was for this shot – and it still doesn’t really capture this epic view. You can see the entire World Showcase from this one spot. It is worth strolling in just to take a look.

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Heading back towards the temple pictured at the top of the page you’ll notice these heavy door handles when you enter the building. Details like this are all over the World Showcase and show the thought that went into creating the different lands.

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Once inside you’ll see a large open room that looks like it could be the inside of that temple. It is a bit darker inside, but I lightened the photo to make it easier to see. Around the room are different displays of art and life in Mexico.

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In the photo above you’ll notice a large round piece in the middle of the room. The below photo is a closer look at the center of that feature.

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On the other side of this large piece is a Kidcot station. This is one of the busiest stations, as most people wander in to ride Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballero. I took this photo just as the pavilion was opening, and you can see there is already a line.

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Just past this Kidcot station you’ll enter the Plaza De Los Amigos. Under this archway are a beautiful night sky and a festive Mexican market brimming with all sorts of goods.

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Below is the view looking down onto the market before entering. The entire area is one of the most beautiful in all of Epcot. To enter you have your choice of heading down ramps either to the right or the left of the fountain.

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Here is the view down the right ramp heading down into the market.

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There are so many items throughout this pavilion to purchase, including hand painted carvings, Mexican blankets, tequila, and so much more. The below photo just shows a small selection of the items offered. Does anyone else remember when they used to sell paper flowers here? I wonder why they stopped?

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Below is a distant look at a cart in the pavilion. These are though the entire center area selling various Mexican goods.

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Below are the signs for the three businesses that line the walls of this pavilion. The top two are a Mexican silver store and a Arribas Brothers location. The third sign is maybe the busiest bar in all of Epcot! La Cava Del Tequila stays busy from opening to close and often has a line snaked outside its door!

La Tienda EncantadaLa Princesa de CristalLa Cava del Tequila

Of course, below is the sign that marks the entrance of Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballero. This ride was changed from the more traditional El Rio del Tiempo back in 2007. I’m personally a big fan of the change and almost never skip this ride when heading to Epcot. The ride seldom has a line, which is nice!

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All the way at the end of the pavilion is San Angel Inn. This is our equivalent of Blue Bayou found in Disneyland. Guests look on at another Aztec Temple in the distance while boats lazily drift by from the ride dock.

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Here is a closer look at the dining room. While it is worth visiting for this stunning view, I’ve never heard anyone rave about the food, and my personal experiences have been less than stellar. The dining room is very tightly packed, and the food just wasn’t anything special. It is a shame, as this could be an amazing place! Your mileage may vary, of course!

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Heading back outside as you exit you’ll notice a little alcove just past the temple. This large area is used for character meet and greets (or just neat family photos). As you can see from the photo below, it is set back a bit, giving it enough room to really look tropical and isolated back there.

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Past this to the right you will see La Hacienda de San Angel. This is the most recent addition to Mexico and an excellent table service restaurant. The food isn’t typical Mexican fare, and keep in mind it can be pricey. However, it might be worth it for the excellent view of IllumiNations!

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Just past this you will find an outdoor Mexican market selling a small selection of the Mexican goods found inside the temple. There is also a small cart for a ring carver set up in this area.

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Past this is the last, but certainly not least thing to see in Mexico – the Margarita Stand! This stand is open year round, selling some excellent margaritas and shots. Especially the frozen choices can be very refreshing on a hot day!

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And that concludes our tour of Mexico. I hope you’ll join me to tour Norway! Did you have fun visiting this land? Did I miss your favorite detail? Please let me know in the comments below, and as always thanks for reading!

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Posted on December 3, 2013

25 Responses to “A Trip Around The World: Mexico”

  • What an excellent overview of Mexico. Epcot is our favourite park as we absolutely love World Showcase. We will be visiting again in March from the UK and your article has got me very excited! Looking forward to reading all the others!

  • by daffystardust on December 3, 2013, at 7:16 am EST

    My family and I ate at San Angel Inn in December of 2012 and everyone enjoyed their meals. I was concerned when I made the ADR because of all of the poor reviews I’d seen on line, but at least for that day the restaurant delivered a good meal. I wouldn’t compare it with the better meals I’ve experienced in World Showcase, but I did enjoy it.

    • I dined at San Angel Inn for lunch in September and also feel its bad reputation is not wholly deserved. The food was tasty, and the service was stellar–although the latter comment may be helped by the fact that the place was pretty empty. Plus, I got to dine with a view of water and a pyramid! It’s expensive (as is La Hacienda, which I’ve also enjoyed), but that comes with the territory at Walt Disney World nowadays.

  • Great photos in this overview! Mexico is one of my favorite pavilions in EPCOT. The menu is limited, but I think the food is pretty good at the La Cantina de San Angel. We’ve gone there a few times and also enjoyed the view. My only gripe is with the change to the boat ride. It did probably need an update, but it shifts the entire tone to add the characters. The ending is also a big let-down. Still, my daughter really liked it, so I can see why they made the change.

  • Great post! Looking forward to the rest of the series.

  • Great article and photos! This is going to be an amazing series and I’m hoping you get most, if not all of the countries in by the time of our next trip at the end of January! Although I’ve been through World Showcase many times, things are always changing and now, with two small children, my husband tries to rush through some of the countries too quickly because “the kids don’t really care.” I would spend hours poring over the details, but I get dragged away! It will be nice to brush up on the highlights and ‘not to miss’ areas of each country before we arrive! Thank you for this!

  • by Stephanie Brueckel on December 3, 2013, at 12:31 pm EST

    My family and I are headed to Disney in February and we were already looking forward to World Showcase, so I am very excited about this new series! Thanks for a great post and photos! Can’t wait to see Norway next.:-)

  • I am excited for this series, my family has never made it past china on the one side, and france on the other side. So all the ones in between are a mystery. Looking forward to the next ones!

  • Really enjoyed this – can’t wait for the other countries!

  • Also I miss the paper flowers too!

  • This is my favorite place for people watching in WDW. It’s also so pretty. I’m always amused by the number of people who try on the huge sombrero, considering how many other heads must have worn it before.

  • No pics of the boat ride? Love the ride as its very peaceful and relaxing. Kinda reminds me of “If You Had Wings” with the projected scenes.

  • Hi Everyone- I always read your comments! :) I haven’t responded this time because we ran off the Disneyland Paris for an amazing week!! Thank you for all the kind words. I have to admit I haven’t tried San Angel Inn for about the last two years. Maybe (hopefully) it has improved? We’ll have to put it on the list to try soon.

    And Rann – you’re so right! To keep these streamlined I’m skipping the rides / shows in different lands. I’d never be able to pick just a couple photos to represent them! Maybe I could work with the Youtube channel on posting videos? I’ll look into it. :)

  • This post is a great idea! When I went to EPCOT 3 years ago I never knew the Mexican pavilion had so many things in it so didn’t think to go inside. I’m going back next year so will definitely explore all the World Showcase has to offer.

    • Danielle- the very best part of World Showcase is the music, even better than the food, because it is free! And Mexico has a band second to none that performs on a schedule near the Margarita Stand. But be forewarned, Margarita + Mexican Music + a beautiful day = missing the rest of the World Showcase. LOL!

  • Really enjoyed this first post and look forward to reading the rest of the series. I’m bringing my family down to Disney in November. I’ve been there a few times but my wife and kids have never been before, so refreshing my memory with these posts is really going to help me add to their experience.