Pavilion Setting: The Mexico Pavilion is styled to look like an ancient Temple in Tenochtitlan, the capital of what was once the vast Aztec Empire. The structure is immense and the rich details are worth taking a moment to appreciate. Unlike the other World Showcase Pavilions, most of the attractions, shops, and restaurants are located inside one air-conditioned building. Coupled with the perpetual nighttime atmosphere, Mexico is one of the most relaxing and comfortable Pavilions to enjoy. Pay special attention to the Temple’s interior backdrop, a spectacular Mayan Temple and smoldering volcano surrounded by a rich Yucatan jungle.
Attraction Info: Mexico features the “Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros” which is similar to “It’s A Small World” at the Magic Kingdom. The ride vehicles slowly meander around the river surrounding the interior of the Pavilion with the Three Caballeros intermittently showing up to play songs or cause mischief. The ride lasts about five minutes and is best experienced when there is only a short line. If the line exceeds 15 minutes, you may want to check back later after you circle the World Showcase. It’s a ride worth experiencing, but once should be enough and you won’t be missing much if you aren’t able to squeeze it in.
Make sure to check out the hand-carved wood artwork right inside of the Temple’s entrance. Many visitors overlook it in their hurry to get inside, but it’s some of the most interesting and creative examples of native artistry you’ll find in the World Showcase. Near the entrance to the Three Caballeros ride, there is a mockup of a modern Mexican home and a variety of fun activities for kids. There is also an interactive machine here where you can act out a short scene and send a free video postcard of it to yourself and friends or family back home. Finally, check your Times Guide to see when and where the traveling Mariachi band will be playing. There’s a lot to see and do in Mexico and many visitors don’t realize how much time they’ve spent inside of the Temple because they’re enjoying themselves so much.
Dining Options: La Cantina de San Angel is the outdoor quick service location with seating that overlooks World Showcase Lagoon. The food is fresh, but portions are on the small side. The nachos are recommended, but the other items aren’t enough food for the money. La Hacienda de San Angel is the relatively new table service restaurant. The menu is limited, but many tables inside offer an outstanding view of IllumiNations. I recommend an 8pm reservation so you can enjoy IllumiNations with your meal. Finally, San Angel Inn is the restaurant inside of the pyramid that overlooks the Three Caballeros boat ride. Request one of the tables that overlooks the water. San Angel Inn has improved quite a bit over the years and is now a recommended restaurant. The one downside is that tables are close together and you’ll most likely feel like you’re dining with whoever is at the table next to you.
Drink Around the World: Mexico is most people’s favorite drinking destination, both at Epcot and in the “real world.” La Cava del Tequila, located inside the pyramid, seats about 30 people and offers more than 70 tequilas ranging in price from about $8 to more than $50. The menu includes a great number of margaritas, all of which are blended with fresh fruit and rimmed with exotic flavored salts. You’re not going to find a fresher tasting drink in the World Showcase, though they are expensive at $12 – $15. Outside, La Cantina de San Angel offers a 20 ounce Dos Equis ($7.75) as well as a number of frozen margaritas ($9.38). There’s also a dedicated margarita kiosk that sells the same frozen margaritas along with several “premium” margaritas and beer. I would recommend visiting La Cava to quench your thirst and request a to-go cup if you plan to take your drink with you. La Cava’s margaritas are far superior to what you’ll get at La Cantina or the margarita kiosk.
Character Sightings: Donald in a sombrero meets guests to the right of the pyramid.
Shopping Opportunities: There are a variety of shops and street carts in Mexico providing visitors with plenty of unique and mass produced merchandise. Piñatas, hand-crafted silver and jade jewelry, sombreros, and worry-dolls are all favorite items you won’t find anywhere else at Disney World.