Review: La Hacienda de San Angel in Epcot’s Mexico Pavilion, Walt Disney World

I’m gonna be honest. On my last few trips to La Hacienda de San Angel, the cost just wasn’t worth the experience.

But on this visit, things were a bit different. Maybe it’s because I ordered the things I was confident in, or maybe it’s because I had a killer window table and view of IllumiNations. Or maybe it was just the margaritas. (But I’m pretty sure it was the soup. More to come on that.)

But no matter how it happened, this was a night to remember! An expensive night to remember, but a night to remember nonetheless.

Wanna hear about it??


Start your adventure by heading into Epcot’s World Showcase and swing by the Mexico pavilion. Step up to the archway bearing this sign at the entrance, and you’ll have found the check-in podium. It’s hard to miss.

The check-in podium is underneath this sign!

La Hacienda Sign

Once inside, you’ll receive a pager and take a seat in the waiting area if there’s one available. We were dining on a steamy day and would have appreciated a larger place to hang out. Our table wasn’t quite ready when we arrived, but that was probably due to the fact that we asked for a spot by the window.

We weren’t in a hurry, however. So taking a load off was kind of nice. We’d made a 7:30 reservation with the hopes of seeing the 9:00 fireworks, so we knew we had some time to kill. And we were seated soon enough.

One thing that La Hacienda got right straight from the beginning is the ambiance. Simply put, this is a gorgeous restaurant.


Inside the Restaurant

The soaring ceilings, heavy furniture, and warm-colored tile floors give a homey feeling to the spot, which totally makes sense. This is La Hacienda, after all. You’re dining in a residence-turned-restaurant. (For more of the backstory, you can see one of my earlier reviews.)

The whimsical hanging lights — both the punched metal star sconces and the paper lanterns — are just beautiful! As the light wanes, they become even more breathtaking, lighting the space with a candlelight-like glow.

One of the Main Dining Rooms at La Hacienda

Another View of the One of the Dining Rooms

Seating is a combination of booths and tables with chairs.



Booths line the center of the room, as you can see from an earlier pic. But some of my favorite booth seating is elevated and along the back wall. This is a cozy way to enjoy the view of World Showcase.

Booth and Artwork

Booth Seating

And speaking of the view…here it is! As I mentioned, we waiting for a little while to get this window-side table. And it was totally worth it. Check out our stellar [Read more…]

Guest Review: Maya Grill at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort

It’s an out-of-the-way restaurant that you might have overlooked, so join guest author Rebecca Dolan with a review of Maya Grill at the Coronado Springs Resort in Walt Disney World!

Maya Grill has never been high on my priority list. Even after all these years of Disney trips, I always figured why go to Maya Grill when I can get my Mexican fix at Epcot’s San Angel Inn? Well, I finally broke down and took the plunge, and San Angel is still the way to go.


As the signature restaurant of the Spanish-colonial inspired Coronado Springs Resort, Maya Grill evokes the cities of the ancient Maya. You’ll find it towards the back of the main building – just head left off the entryway and continue past the Pepper Market.

Maya Grill Sign

The restaurant is centered on a stylized Maya pyramid, under which bubbles a fountain.

Tables around Pyramid

Tables around Pyramid

The walls are decorated with artistic representations of Maya life. Try to get a table near one of the large windows overlooking the hotel’s central lagoon.

Dining Area

Dining Area

Wall Art

Wall Art

Tables by the window could offer a view

Tables by the window could offer a view

I was surprised to encounter a wait when I arrived at the hostess desk, as Maya Grill isn’t exactly one of Disney World’s most in-demand restaurants. Luckily, I’d made a reservation, despite assuming I wouldn’t need one. So, you might find it worthwhile to make one just in case.

Once seated, my companions and I found the restaurant too loud for our taste. The live entertainment, a gentleman singing and playing the guitar with other canned instruments, was deafening and we strained to hear our conversation. So, this is not the place to go for a quiet evening.


As was expected, the meal started with a basket of chips and salsa. The chips were thick and sturdy, perfect for getting a big scoop of dip without any breakage.

Chips and salsa while you peruse the menu

Chips and salsa while you peruse the menu

The menu consists of pretty typical Mexican fare, like nachos, tacos, chimichangas, and fajitas. There’s a small but clearly marked vegetarian section, and the abundant gluten free options were interspersed but highlighted throughout the whole menu. My non-spicy-food-eating grandmother appreciated the “North of the Border” section of the menu, which offered simpler fare.



First up was the queso fundido appetizer, served with flour tortillas for scooping. Unlike the liquid-y chile con queso you’re probably used to, queso fundido is more like the middle of a mozzarella stick: stringy, gooey and most easily eaten with a fork or plucked with a bit of tortilla. Though a bit salty, it’s hard to go wrong with a big bowl of cheese.

Queso fundito and accompanying tortillas for scooping

Queso fundito and accompanying tortillas for scooping

Next were orders of [Read more…]

Dining in Disneyland: NEW! Viva Navidad Snack Cart at Disney California Adventure

This year Disney California Adventure is featuring a brand new holiday festival called  Viva Navidad.  It showcases Latino holiday traditions with music, food, and fun!

Viva Navidad!

The colorful celebration has taken over the Paradise Garden area of Disney California Adventure and has some really fabulous food offerings now through January 6, 2014.

I recently visited the new snack cart, which is located just to the left of Goofy’s Sky School.

Viva Navidad Snack Cart

Here you can find a handful of authentic Mexican treats that make for a perfect snack while watching the Viva Navidad Street Party.  The menu features three traditional snacks as well as Abuelita Hot Chocolate, assorted Coca Cola Beverages and some specialty cotton candy.

Viva Navidad Snack Cart Menu

My absolute favorite item were the Bunuelos with Cajeta. I was lucky enough to try these delicious little crisps [Read more…]

Guest Review: Dinner at La Hacienda de San Angel in Epcot

Guest Author Katie Roth returns this week with a review of La Hacienda de San Angel in Epcot’s Mexico pavilion. Go ahead and grab a margarita!

La Hacienda de San Angel is special to both my husband and I for sentimental reasons, because this was one of the first restaurants we dined in for our honeymoon. While I wasn’t too impressed with this restaurant during that reservation, I was willing to give it another shot.

The views out of the windows are breathtaking, and if nothing else, I could get a great margarita.

Orange Mango Fire Margarita at Epcot's La Hacienda de San Angel


La Hacienda is located directly across from the temple pyramid that is the focal point of the Mexican pavilion. The entryway can be somewhat hard to miss, especially if you are in the throngs of a major crowd with strollers!

Just look for the sign in the picture below. There is a hostess stand underneath the sign where check-in is required to gain access to the restaurant.

The check-in podium is underneath this sign!

We arrived at the restaurant over 30 minutes before our reservation time just to check in, and to our wonderful surprise they seated us early! We were directed to the foyer/lobby area that contains beautiful blue lanterns. Another hostess in the foyer directed us to our seats.

Lobby area.

The restaurant atmosphere is relaxed with an afternoon siesta feeling and is elegant without being stuffy. The decorations are subtle – at least much less subtle than stereotypical Mexican restaurants – with patterned ceilings, clean walls, star lanterns dangling from the ceiling, and wrought-iron accents.

Booth and Artwork

While it’s not as scenic as a volcano or Mayan river with a Mariachi band playing in the background (San Angel Inn) – it did set a pleasant atmosphere for a meal.

Dining Room at La Hacienda.

The wall of windows overlooks the lagoon and the rest of World Showcase. If you’re able to get a window seat during IllumiNations, it is a great place to watch the show!

A wall of windows provides a great IllumiNations Fireworks view

When we arrived at 5:30 PM, there were hardly any other diners there; but by 6:00 PM the restaurant was packed. After our meal, my husband said “They don’t need a volcano here! The food is the main attraction!” Needless to say, our meal this time around was OUTSTANDING!


I’m not a margarita person (tequila – bad experiences – won’t go there), but I made a promise to myself to be adventurous on this trip, so I went with [Read more…]

Friday Happy Hour: New Margaritas at La Cava del Tequila in Epcot

As you know, La Cava del Tequila in Epcot’s Mexico pavilion is one of my favorite pit stops on my way “around the World.”

And I was excited to see a few new margaritas on the menu when I made my last visit a few weeks ago!

A Frozen Coffee Margarita has been added for $13 (building on the popularity of their regular coffee margarita), and an Azuñia Organic Skinny Margarita is now on the menu at $14!

Skinny Margarita Close-Up

La Cava Skinny Margarita

I’ve become a bit of a connoisseur of skinny margaritas recently, since so many of them are popping up on menus around the country. (By the way, the reason they’re called “skinny” is because they’re supposed to have fewer calories than other standard margaritas — usually due to the lack of sugary margarita and sour mixes as fillers.)

Most are sharp and biting, and some are slightly metallic, but I haven’t really found one that I love. So I was interested to see what La Cava could do with [Read more…]

Guest Review: Lunch at Epcot’s San Angel Inn

Welcome back guest author Catie Hiltz with a review of lunch at the San Angel Inn inside Epcot’s Mexico pavilion.

While in Disney World over Spring Break, my husband, parents and I dined at San Angel Inn, the restaurant inside the Mexico Pavilion pyramid at Epcot’s World Showcase.

I have always walked by the restaurant wistfully, thinking “I wish I could eat there;” and this time, I actually got the chance to do just that!

San Angel Inn is housed here, in Mexico!


We arrived at 1:20 pm for our 1:30 pm Advance Dining Reservation. We weren’t seated until 1:40 pm, which gave us time to roam around the pavilion and take in our surroundings!

San Angel Inn Dining Room

And we had a chance to check out [Read more…]

Guest Review: Tortilla Jo’s at Disneyland

Bienvenidos once again to intrepid DFB reporter Shayne Newell, who brings us a guest review of Tortilla Jo’s in Disneyland’s Downtown Disney district.

Tortilla Jo's entrance

We recently celebrated my husband’s 40th birthday at the Disneyland Resort. We are from Texas, so we are always hesitant about eating Mexican food outside of our home state. However, we had heard good things about Tortilla Jo’s here on the Disney Food Blog, so we decided to give it a try.


The sign near the hostess stand at Tortilla Jo’s reads, “Bienvenidos, Mi Casa es Su Casa,” which translates to “Welcome, My House is Your House.” We had an early lunch reservation at 11:30 a.m., so the restaurant was practically empty when we arrived.

Tortilla Jo's bienvenidos

Nonetheless, the atmosphere of the waiting area felt homey, with brightly colored tiles, ceramic pottery, wooden furniture, and lots of [Read more…]

Review: San Angel Inn Restaurante

Well, we finally did it. After dreading a trip back to Epcot’s San Angel Inn in the Mexico pavilion due to a couple of bad meals there, we booked an ADR. It was more a “we have to go because I write a food blog” thing than an avid desire to give the restaurant another chance, but…as it turns out…we’d been missing out for far too long.

Atmosphere has always been the main selling feature of San Angel Inn. Located inside the Epcot Mexico pyramid with seating along the Gran Fiesta Tour river, this restaurant offers a fun ambiance that you just won’t get anywhere else (besides Blue Bayou in Disneyland, maybe!).

Because the Mexico Pavilion’s pyramid is home to the set-up of a Mexican village in the evening, the restaurant is in a perpetual state [Read more…]