The Countries of World Showcase- Part 1: Mexico

April 19, 2010 at 2:50 pm | Posted in Disney Travel, Disney Travel Planning, Epcot, Mexico, Walt Disney World Resort, World Showcase | 4 Comments
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I find the countries of World Showcase to be fascinating. I love strolling through each country, learning about the history and culture and speaking to the cast members who originate from these countries.

This is the 1st blog post in a series. Travel around World Showcase with us as we explore each country’s pavilion. First up is MEXICO!

Hola y Bienvenidos a Mexico! We’re beginning our tour around World Showcase by going counter-clockwise! You begin your journey into Mexico by entering a tall pyramid modeled after an actual Aztec Temple of Quetzalcoatl at Teotihuacan, Mexico. Quetzalcoatl was traditionally known as the god of the morning and evening star.  Later he became known as the patron of priests, inventor of books and of the calendar and as the symbol of death and resurrection. He himself is depicted along Disney’s priests’ steps.  Inside you will find a huge gallery of cultural artifacts from different periods of Mexican history. From there, you will enter into an outdoor” colonial Mexican plaza, Plaza de los Amigos, where it is always twilight! Listen to the festive music, enjoy a drink in La Cava del Tequila or sit down for a delicious traditional meal in San Angel Inn.

Located in the back of the Plaza, you will find a smoking volcano and a Grand Mayan pyramid that rises above an indoor lagoon. There are colorful carts and shops offering all sorts of Mexican wares: Mexican jewelry, Kahlua, pottery, clothing and leather goods. There’s usually a strolling mariachi band, Mariachi Cobre, so you can partake in the sounds of Mexico as well. Kids can purchase their World Showcase passports here as well as enjoy the Kidcot Funstop, where they can color a mask and then add on to the mask in each country of World Showcase.

One of the more relaxing rides in Epcot is located in the Mexican pavilion- the Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros. This ride is an update of the old El Rio Del Tiempo attraction and is usually a walk-on attraction, and while it’s not very exciting, it is entertaining and also serves as a great place to get off of your feet and cool off! It features Donald Duck, Jose Carioca and Panchito from Disney’s 1944 animated film “The Three Caballeros.”  The storyline has trouble-maker Donald disappearing en route to the Three Caballeros performance in Mexico City. The other caballeros go in search throughout Mexico for their friend! You can enjoy all sorts of Mexican scenery throughout the ride, even “fireworks”! You begin the ride in Mexico’s 1st century, sailing through a rainforest before you enter a Mayan pyramid and sailing into a temple. You will experience a Day of the Dead celebration and pass by Acapulco’s famous cliffs before you finally make it to Mexico City, where the Three Caballeros can finally perform!

Outside of the pavilion (to the right-hand side if you are facing the pavilion), you will find Donald Duck, dressed in his Mexican finest. He is there frequently throughout the day! Make sure that the kids have their autograph books ready and that you have your camera ready!

San Angel Inn is Mexico’s table-service restaurant. This restaurant overlooks the plaza and the boat ride, and it is very romantic as it appears you are dining in a moonlit courtyard. In the “distance”,  you will hear a rumbling volcano. The food is delicious and traditional. You can enjoy tortilla soup and a mouth-watering steak as well as churros and flan for dessert. San Angel Inn is open for lunch and dinner, and the Disney Dining Plan is accepted here. Reservations are recommended.

La Cava del Tequila is the newest (and one of the most fun) additions to Epcot. Opening in 2009, La Cava is a refreshing change to the Mexican pavilion and it celebrates the history and heritage of tequila. You can enjoy 70 different types of tequila (those over age 21) as well as margaritas and tapas-style appetizers. The resident “tequila ambassador” will educate guests on the history of tequila. Be prepared as La Cava is very popular, and it only seats 46!

Currently closed until fall 2010 for refurbishment, La Cantina de San Angel is great for a quick bite. You can enjoy nachos, tacos, churros, frozen margaritas and more. Once this establishment opens this fall, it will showcase a new type of dining experience at Epcot. You will find it to be a quick-service dining location at lunch and a table-service restaurant at dinner. This will greatly expand the number of people able to dine in the Mexican pavilion, and it will offer both indoor and outdoor seating. Find quick-service Mexican food at Taqueria Del Lago on the promenade.

Make sure you also take a look at Animales Fantasticos, Spirits in Wood: ” – In villages surrounding the city of Oaxaca, Mexico, artisans create fantastic wood carvings of animals, humans, and beasts. Their work is prized for the way they freely mix reality with magic. This modern folk art is also unique for the way it blends traditional with contemporary themes. In just a few short decades, Oaxacan woodcarving has become recognized as an important expression of how ancient cultures interact with a modern world.”

“Oaxacan parents tell stories to their children about fantasy animals that live in the nearby forests. Most of these magical creatures are mis-chief makers and the children are warned to stay clear of them. Today, these fantasy animals have emerged from the woods. They have been set free by the artisans who captured them in the branches of the trees. These brightly colored animals have traveled far from their home in Southwest Mexico, but bring with them their legendary playfulness.” (Quotes from the display, October 2001)

Shopping is a delight in the Mexican pavilion. You can bring home kids favorites such as sombreros, maracas and paper flowers. You can also find silver jewelry, as Mexico is well-known for its quality silver. You can find traditional pottery, glassware and decorative gifts as well leather goods, clothing, tequila, blankets and more.

Have a great time strolling through the land of Mexico! Adios!

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4 Comments »

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  1. Very nice Lea enjoyed reading it. Can’t wait to read the others.

  2. I LOVE La Cava!!!! IT is such a fun place!!!!!!!

  3. The Mexico Pavilion is my favorite. Love the food and atmosphere. Thanks for the information on the estimated date of completion for La Cantina…that should be a very nice addition! I enjoyed the post and can’t wait for more!!!

  4. I will visit anywhere named “La Cava del Tequila” whether it’s on Disney Property or in deep south central LA. Sign me up!


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