Epcot’s World Showcase is one of my favorite parts of all Disney World. Of the 11 countries represented, the Mexico Pavilion is one of the ones that I’ve spend the most time in. The Mayan temple exterior is impressive, both in the day and at night. But, there is much more to do, of course, than look at this big pyramid. Here are a few of our experiences:
Just after the entrance to the pyramid is a Mexican Folk Art Gallery and a Kidcot Fun Stop, where your little ones can color and get the country’s stamp. Just beyond that is what you see in the picture above: a darkened, beautiful marketplace: Plaza de los Amigos. It really feels like you’re outside at night. “Exteriors” of buildings even line the walls and lanterns are strung between them. You’ll find beautifully crafted Mexican crafts and keepsakes. You can even watch the artisans at work sometimes. These two are carving and painting intricate, wooden animals.I loved these bright, cheerful paper flowers!You can also shop for traditional clothing and jewelry and even buy snacks and candies from Mexico.La Princesa de Cristal sells gorgeous, handmade glass items. If you’re there at the right time, you can even watch one of the Arribas Brothers’ employees using their amazing talents. Some things in this shop can be quite expensive, but not everything. You can buy a detailed, glass character for as little as $10. (I think the Arribas Brothers’ story is so interesting. If you don’t know about them and their shops around Disney World and other Disney Parks, check out their video.)Live entertainment also performs periodically in Mexico. I absolutely love listening to Mariachi Cobre. Undercover Tourist has a great video of them performing.Also inside this building is San Angel Inn Restaurante. I have never dined here, but it is modeled after a 17th century hacienda (a large ranch, pretty much) at the base of Mayan Temple ruins. With this darkened atmosphere, next to a lit Mayan pyramid and a waterway, I think it would be a pretty neat place to eat.
The Gran Fiesta Tour ride takes your boat right past the diners in the restaurant….which brings me to our favorite thing to do here: ride “The Gran Fiesta Tour: Starring the Three Caballeros.”
This probably wouldn’t be such a favorite if it weren’t for our younger son. He was a year old when he first rode it. Most of the attractions at Disney World seemed uninteresting to him, but this one (and “it’s a small world”) were all kinds of exciting. When we visited again when he was two, he fell in love with Donald Duck (because of this ride).
The kids love searching for Donald. My husband and I love watching their faces, and we also enjoy the relaxing boat ride and the festive Mexican music. I’ve never waited in line for this attraction either, which adds to its appeal. On our honeymoon, Cast Members gave us our own, private boat!
Is Gran Fiesta Tour as impressive as Soarin’ or Spaceship Earth? No, of course not, but this little gem is worth a ride.
Caballero Donald is around for meet-and-greets in Mexico. (He usually greets guests on a little path outside, but it was raining when we were there.) Our older son loved how soft he was.
Outside of the Mayan pyramid is another dining option. We ate here with our Quick Service Dining Plan and really enjoyed it. My favorite things that I tried were Tacos de Carne (seasoned beef tacos), Watermelon Paletas, and Mango Jarritos soda. The menu describes Paletas as traditional fruit popsicles. The watermelon one tasted just like a slice of watermelon, but frozen. It was something new for me and I really liked it.
We ate our meal in the outdoor seating area and had this incredible view of the World Showcase lagoon.
What are your favorite things to do in World Showcase?
Have you experienced any of these parts of the Mexico Pavilion?