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The Mexico Pavilion in World Showcase welcomes you in from the hot Florida sun. This pavilion provides a cool place to relax and a constant twilight sky to shop or dine under. The Mexican marketplace offers many souvenirs to choose from. If you love Mexican food, you will enjoy the chips and salsa, tacos, nachos, and carnitas.
(For those who have never visited Walt Disney World, the World Showcase in Epcot features 11 countries Disney guests can visit and immerse themselves in. There is no other place in the world quite like it, where you can experience so many cultures at one time. Each country features several restaurants and numerous shops. Only a few offer a movie featuring scenic views and famous landmarks of the country. There are a few rides throughout the park visitors can enjoy. The architecture is amazing! You really do feel like you have stepped into a different place when you travel around World Showcase.)
The central focus of the Mexico pavilion is a 36-foot pyramid based off of a Mesoamerican pyramid. There are steps leading up to the entrance doors. The pyramid is based on the architecture of the Maya, Aztec, and Toltec pre-Columbian civilizations. On the outside of the pyramid, you will find Aztec carvings and colorful serpent heads. To the right of the main pyramid, is a walkway resembling the Yucatan jungles of Mexico. The inside of the pyramid is based on the Spanish Colonial period. You will notice many black wrought iron fixtures, fountains, and red-tiled roofs.
There is one ride in the Mexico pavilion. The Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros is a slow boat ride that features Donald Duck, Panchito, and Jose Cariocas. The animation is taken from the 1944 Disney film The Three Caballeros. First, the boat passes between the smoking volcano and the San Angel Inn Restaurante. This will give you a different view of the pavilion and restaurant. Next, you will travel through an Aztec temple representing the pre-Columbian time period. Around the corner is a Spanish Colonial fiesta featuring animatronic dancing dolls (think It’s A Small World) and a skeleton mariachi band. Finally, scenes of Acapulco and a nighttime celebration in Mexico City, complete with fireworks, represent modern-day Mexico.
There are two table service restaurants, two quick service/casual eateries, and one lounge in the Mexico pavilion. Each one has a large selection of margaritas, tequila, beer, and wine.
- San Angel Inn Restaurante – This table service restaurant is located inside the pyramid. It is past the marketplace and towards the back of the facility. It is modeled after a 17th-century hacienda at the base of Mayan ruins. This is a very romantic restaurant. Just like the rest of the interior of the pyramid, you feel as if you are dining under the stars. Candlelight is the only thing to see your menu by. While you eat, you can watch a smoldering volcano and pyramid that are directly across from the dining area. The San Angel Inn serves appetizers like tortilla soup and chips and salsa. The entrees feature steak, chicken, and fish. For dessert, you can choose from the cheesecake, vanilla flan, and Mexican sorbets. Also, they serve higher-end margaritas.
- La Hacienda de San Angel – Located across from the Mexican pavilion pyramid is another table service restaurant, La Hacienda de San Angel. It is on the water of the World Showcase lagoon. During the nightly fireworks show, Illuminations, guests are able to view the show from inside the restaurant. For appetizers, queso, guacamole, and pork empanadas are on the menu. As far as entrees, they serve steak, seafood, carnitas, and ribs. To satisfy your sweet tooth, they have caramel apple empanadas, Mexican sorbets, and chocolate mousse. Also, they serve higher-end margaritas, beer, and wine.
- La Cantina de San Angel – This quick service eatery is next door to La Hacienda de San Angel. It also offers views of the fireworks show, Illuminations. In addition, both indoor and outdoor seating are offered. On the menu, you can find tacos, nachos, salads, and empanadas. For dessert, they offer churros with caramel sauce. One of the drink options is a traditional Mexican soda.
- Choza Margarita – This is ultimately a margarita stand that offers several food options. As far as frozen margaritas, you can choose from strawberry, passion mango, lime, or the Fiesta, which is a combination of all three flavors. Also, signature margaritas and beer are on the menu. Finally, you can choose from tacos, empanadas, or guacamole if you are hungry.
- La Cava del Tequila – This intimate lounge is found inside the main pyramid and to the right as you enter the marketplace. You can choose from over 200 margaritas, beer, and wine. They have a few appetizers on the menu: chips and salsa, chips and guacamole, and jalapeno queso, or a trio combo.
The Mexico Pavilion is a treasure trove of interesting souvenirs and knick-knacks. There are individual shops and also a central ‘marketplace’ in the middle of the pavilion. The marketplace has an open air, evening feel to it as well, just like the San Angel Inn Restaurante.
Inside the Pavilion
- Plaza de los Amigos – This shop is in the middle of the pavilion. Pinatas, sombreros, food items, ceramics, and baskets are sold from individual carts. Look up and you will see a starry sky. Since there are so many interesting things to look at, this area is always bustling. Day of the Dead is a huge theme with a lot of the items for sale. Also, of course, Coco merchandise is abundant. This part of the pavilion is a great place to escape the heat and cool off for a while. Who knows? You may find something you can’t live without!
- La Tienda Encantada – This shop is also fun to browse through. Once you enter the main shopping area inside the pavilion, walk down the left ramp. This shop will be on the left side of the pavilion. Here you will find jewelry, purses and bags, clothing, scarves, and belts.
- La Princesa de Cristal – This shop is also on the left side of the pavilion. It is located between La Tienda Encantada and the entrance to the Gran Fiesta Tour boat ride. Here you can find crystal and glassware, glass figurines, crystal Disney characters, tiaras, and Christmas ornaments. Also. there is a glass blower in the shop who makes the figurines while you watch him work.
Outside the Pavilion
- El Ranchito del Norte – Located across from the pyramid and by the lagoon, this shop sells sombreros, maracas, pinatas, t-shirts, and caps. This is the place to go if you are needing a quick souvenir from the Mexico pavilion and don’t have a lot of time to shop inside the main pyramid.
- Ring Carvers Booth – This is a simple booth that is right next to El Ranchito del Norte. It is located by the lagoon and across from the pyramid. You can have a name or initials carved into a brass, sterling, or 14K gold ring.
Character Meet and Greet
Donald Duck is available every day for autographs and pictures to the right of the Aztec pyramid. He is wearing a colorful sombrero and serape. The background is made up of stones, Aztec carvings, and statues. Also, there is a Photopass photographer available to take your picture. Jose Carioca and Panchito make an appearance every now and then but, unfortunately, are not on a regular schedule.
Mariachi Cobre is a mariachi band that plays seven 25 minute performances throughout the day, 5 days a week. They play on the steps of the Aztec pyramid. Other times, they may be under the awning by the El Ranchito del Norte shop. Interestingly, this group has been playing in World Showcase since day one! That is a lot of performances! I love the sound of a mariachi band, and these guys are awesome! Definitely be sure and catch one of their shows while you are in Mexico.
The Mexico Pavilion has a Coco-inspired ‘Remember Me’ exhibit. It features paper mache figures, sugar skulls, and papel picado, the colorful flags that have lattice-work designs. The ‘Remember Me’ exhibit is a celebration of Dia de Muertos, or Day of the Dead. Pre-Hispanic art pieces that are on loan from different museums are on display to tell the history of how the Day of the Dead celebration started. Don’t miss the exhibit centerpiece, The Bridal Couple, created by the Linares family. Their family has been in the paper mache business for over 300 years!
The Kidcot Station is located inside the Aztec pyramid, through the entryway of the Plaza de los Amigos, down the left ramp, and to the left. You can have your passport book stamped and signed by a castmember who is native to Mexico. Also, they will usually write something in Spanish. Then your child can decorate the page with stickers that come with the book.
Flower and Garden Festival
The Flower and Garden Festival is a wonderful time to visit Walt Disney World. There are many character topiaries in each country which adds to your journey through World Showcase. As you can probably guess, The Three Caballeros are the featured characters for the topiaries in Mexico. Orchids, which are native to Mexico, are featured on the walkway to the right of the pyramid.
Penny Press Machine
The penny press machine in the Mexico Pavilion is located right outside of the La Tienda Encantada shop inside the pyramid. To find this machine, enter the main marketplace and go down the ramp on the left. The store and machine will be on your left. It costs 51¢ to have a penny pressed. There are 3 designs to choose from: Mickey wearing a sombrero, Duffy the Bear wearing a sombrero and serape, and Mickey wearing a sombrero in front of the Aztec pyramid. In addition, they all say ‘Mexico’ and ‘Epcot’.
- Mexico is one of the original countries to be included in the World Showcase. It opened October 1, 1982, along with EPCOT and 9 other countries.
- Illuminations, the nightly fireworks display, is controlled from a small technical office on top of the Mexico Pavilion.
- During the Christmas Storytellers performance, the Mariche Cobre perform Christmas songs and dancers ask children to join in their performance.
- Mexico is one of the countries that host the Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure, a 30-45 minute interactive mission finding cool clues to solve.
- The Mexico Pavilion is strategically placed at the entrance of World Showcase to show the camaraderie between Mexico and the United States.
- Watch the smoke rising up from the volcano to spot a Hidden Mickey!
- The temple, El Castillo, located in Tinum, Yucatan, Mexico inspired the design of the Mexico Pavilion. El Castillo was built by the Mayans in between 800 and 1100 A.D.
What is your favorite thing about the Mexico Pavilion? Have you tried the San Angel Inn Restaurante? If so, what was your experience there? Leave a comment and let me know if you enjoy this pavilion.