Cinco Ways to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo at Walt Disney World
As many of us celebrate Cinco de Mayo I think about Walt Disney World, and how I would celebrate if I were there today. With so many options, Walt Disney World is a great spot to have a fiesta for Cinco de Mayo! The natural choice would be to pay a visit to the Mexico Pavilion at Epcot and taking a relaxing boat ride through ancient ruins in search of that cantankerous Donald Duck, and then do some shopping in the Marketplace, followed by a photo with Donald Duck in his Mexican garb. But don’t forget all of the culinary opportunities to take in the Mexican culture in celebration of the Mexican victory over the French in 1862. How many of you knew that is why we enjoy bottomless margaritas and nachos to celebrate on May 5th?
Uno: Eat in Mexico
At the Mexico Pavilion in Epcot you have several eateries from which to choose. Inside the pyramid there is the San Angel Inn with the lovely nighttime setting in the middle of an outdoor Mexican marketplace. Here you can watch the peaceful boats float by on the Rio del Tiempo. A menu of Mexican specialties, including the three course “Traditional Mexican Dinner” ($36 or a table service credit on the Disney Dining Plan) with Tostados de Tinga (pulled chicken served on tostado chips), Tacos de Pescado (fried fish tacos) and Crema Bavaria (a Bavarian Mousse—seems like that belongs at Biergarten, at least the flavorings reflect Mexico) is sure to help you get into the spirit for Cinco de Mayo. Across the walkway and set on the World Showcase Lagoon is La Hacienda de San Angel. A variety of Mexican dishes are served here in a beautiful setting with a great view of the lagoon and the rest of World Showcase—time it right and you can view Illuminations from the restaurant. La Hacienda also has a special vegetarian menu. If you don’t have a reservation, or are seeking a more casual dining experience, La Cantina de San Angel might be more your speed. The outdoor seating on the lagoon is one of my favorite places to dine. Nachos and tacos make up the menu here.
Dos: Drink in Mexico
What fiesta would be complete without a little tequila? La Cava del Tequila is located inside the pyramid to the right in the Marketplace. This establishment serves dozens of Tequilas (check out the popular Tequila flights), along with some mixed drinks including specialty Margaritas like cucumber, hibiscus, avocado and jalapeno. La Cava also offers some small food options, mainly tortilla chips with dips. Try the combo to get a taste of all three dips: guacamole, salsa and queso con jalapeno. Outside the pyramid is the ever popular Margarita Stand. Frozen margaritas are their claim to fame, but they also offer some Tequila shots and flights, along with Dos Equis Beer.
Tres: Visit Coronado Springs Resort
This moderate resort is themed to the American Southwest and northern Mexico, and was named after 16th century explorer Francisco Vazquez de Coronado. Coronado searched for the Seven Cities of Gold in those areas that Coronado Springs Resort is themed to represent. Unlike Francisco who was not successful, you don’t have to search far for some Mexican and Southwest inspired dishes at the resort. In the main building “El Centro” you will find the table service Maya Grill and the counter service Pepper Market. The Pepper Market’s a la carte menu features build your own burritos, fish tacos, nachos, quesadillas, and fajitas all served with black beans and Mexican rice. At the Maya Grill, only open for dinner, you can enjoy tacos, Mexican inspired fish dishes and the Fiesta de Coronado, a mixed grill dish for two inspired by several Latin American cultures with sirloin steak with chimichurri, chicken al pastor, seared chorizo and roasted vegetables (and requires two table service credits if you are on Disney’s Dining Plan, or $51 out of pocket).
Quatro: Find Mexican Food in Other Locations
The Mexico Pavilion and Coronado Springs are not the only locations serving up Mexican food in the World. If you don’t have park tickets you can head over to Downtown Disney for several options to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. Paradiso 37 in the Pleasure Island section has a menu filled with Mexican and Mexican-inspired dishes. You can choose from burritos, Yucatan style cerviche, or the Mexican Dipping Trio (guacamole, chile con carne, and spinach queso) to name just a few. Even my favorite sandwich shop, Earl of Sandwich, gets in on the act with a Chipotle Chicken Avocado sandwich and a Baja Chicken salad or wrap for a little taste of Mexico. If Cinco de Mayo finds you in the Magic Kingdom head over to Adventureland and Tortuga Tavern or Pecos Bills (also in Frontierland) for their enormous Taco Salad.
In my opinion, I saved the best for last. What Cinco de Mayo “banquete” would be complete without a churro? And, what Walt Disney World vacation would be complete without a churro? So, it must be that eating a churro in Walt Disney World on Cinco de Mayo is the ultimate celebracion! I know it is my favorite Mexican treat on a Disney vacation.
How would you celebrate Cinco de Mayo in Walt Disney World?