So Spring Break is around the corner and you and your friends fancy an expedition to Mexico. You have worked hard to earn the money, worked out even harder to earn back your beach bodies after a mostly sedentary winter. You even bought a couple of swimsuits, but after all is said and done the plans fall through. You are left with nowhere to go until one of your friends brings up the brilliant idea of visiting a little slice of Mexico right here on your home soil by strolling the Epcot Mexico Pavilion at World Showcase Area in Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.
Now you think, “Disney World for Spring Break? Awesome!” As well you should but naturally you are still feeling some disappointment over not crossing el Rio Grande to Mexico and doubting that an attraction at Disney could come close to meeting your expectations. Rest assured that the Disney World Showcase was designed to be the closest experience to visiting a foreign country as possible – with a very cool and money-saving bonus that no passport is required. You will not only enjoy your Disney vacation for the spectacular theme parks but also for the authentic Mexican experience of the Mexico Pavilion in Disney’s Epcot Theme Park.
You may ask what the Mexico Pavilion in the Epcot World Showcase has to offer you that could even come close to a vacation in Mexico. Among the attractions offered is the Gran Fiesta tour starring the Three Caballeros is hard to top. So now you are wondering who on Earth the Three Caballeros are and what the deal is with the Gran Fiesta Tour.
The Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros
The Three Caballeros come from a 1944 Disney cartoon in which Donald Duck teams up with José Carioca, a Brazilian parrot and Panchito Pistoles, a Mexican rooster to form a Mariachi Band. These three birds guide you on a unique tour of the Mexico Pavilion that combines a real boat ride and an animated short of your tour guides in which an actual film of Mexico and its people, cities and cultures is explored. This Gran Fiesta Tour shows you everything that a jaunt to Mexico would and so much more.
Some people may remember the tour with a different title and some slight variations. Originally titled El Rio del Tiempo, or the River of Time in English, and similarly was a boat ride in the water surrounding the ruins of the Mayan temple inside of the Mexican Pavilion where it is always night. It was punctuated with fireworks but those fell out of use in 2007 along with the change in title. You’ll never even miss those fireworks because you’ll be fêted with plenty of them at Walt Disney World Resort in the later hours.
There is more to Mexican food than nachos and tacos but lucky for you and your friends trying to replace an authentic Mexican dining experience, the Mexico Pavilion offers three different Walt Disney World restaurants each providing the fresh, fabulous flavors of Mexico for your enjoyment.
La Cantina De San Angel
If tacos and nachos are your kind of Mexican fare, along with a tall frosty margarita of course, then stop by La Cantina De San Angel. This quick service restaurant offers fast but authentic Mexican meals, snacks and drinks.
La Hacienda de San Angel
For a step up in your Mexican dining adventure, eat at La Hacienda de San Angel. This restaurant offers fresh and tangy Mexican favorites such as: Taquizas, a taco trio appetizer; Arrachera, a steak entree and for dessert try their chocolate churros and sweet tamales. They also staff a Tequila ambassador on site so that guests of proper age can enjoy delicious and unique drinks with flavors that come straight from south of the border. How is that for living up to your Mexican Spring Break expectations?
San Angel Inn
For a special, more exotic meal, check out the San Angel Inn. Open for lunch and dinner this restaurant allows you to dine at the base of the Mayan ruins at the Mexico Pavilion – where it is always nighttime and always fun. The menu includes seafood dishes like Mahi Mahi, delectable desserts and specialty hand crafted blood orange, pineapple and magic blue drinks.
La Cava del Tequila
If you are 21, don’t forget to check out La Cava del Tequila for Mexican snacks and a history lesson about Tequila.
One of the other wonderful things about a trip to Mexico is the shopping. The Mexico Plaza at Epcot has no shortage of this and the Plaza de los Amigos market inside the Mexico Pavilion offers authentic Mexican handbags, art, jewelry, tequila, candies and leather crafts as well as Mexican themed Disney merchandise like wallets featuring Donald Duck wearing his poncho costume from the Three Caballeros.
While you are shopping you can enjoy the musical stylings of the Mexico Pavilion’s 12-part Mariachi Cobre, a traditional and spirited Mariachi Band. You can also explore the Mexican art gallery.
Walt Disney World Resort has worked hard over the years to keep their world showcase modern, culturally relevant and of course fun. Their Mexican Pavilion is an excellent example of this. In fact, as far as Spring Break Vacations go, choosing the Mexico Pavilion rather than the country itself allows you a truly unique experience: to sample the cultures of ten other countries whose Pavilions stand proudly in Disney’s Epcot Theme Park’s World Showcase.
Here you not only enjoy a thorough sampling of Mexico’s culture but also that of Japan, France, Germany, Italy and more if you so choose. You have nothing at all to lose with a Spring Break vacation opportunity for world exploration at your fingertips without ever having to skip over an ocean or two. The World Showcase is an amazing place to spend a Spring Break or any break, really. Explore the world in a big way and on a small budget at Disney’s Epcot Theme Parks.