If you missed it, here is Day 1 of my Disney Trip.
Epcot Center was easily my favorite theme park at Disney World. I loved the space rides and innovation rides at this park. And I absolutely LOVED the World Showcase theme which showcased different countries with restaurants featuring foods from the host country. For example, one of the countries featured was Mexico, and it literally feels like you are walking around in Mexico where women are dressed in a traditional Mexican dress. Of course, there were some amazing Mexican restaurants to choose from. Mexico was my favorite country out of all those featured.
1510 North Avenue of the Stars
Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
We started our day at 11 AM and took the boat just outside The Dolphin Resort to Epcot Center. It was about 20 minutes by boat, or you can walk and you'll probably get there faster.
I was in awe when I saw this ball, I just call it the "big ball." 🙂
Spaceship Earth is a must do that focuses on how human beings evolved. I have such vivid memories of this ride from 20 some years ago.
Mission: Space was awesome with simulators, I love rides with simulators! Four people were assigned to a group and then blasted off to space (not literally, of course). The mission here was to land on Mars. My role was that of a COMMANDER (YUP) and my husband was an Engineer. Haha! He wanted to switch with me, but I refused... lol!
FUNNY STORY: My nephew, Nikhil, who is 6 years old recently went on this ride and actually believed he landed on Mars. The poor kid was all upset because he wanted to go back to earth. LOL! His parents eventually told him he was on earth... I thought that was hilarious!
My husband wanted to go on the Test Track which basically shows you how every car is tested... braking, making sharp turns, etc. I was a bit scared on this ride since we were in an actual car doing 60 mph on a sharp curve without a hood. The lady next to me had her eyes closed the entire time... it was just funny. Definitely do this!
At The Land, Soarin was my most favorite ride at Epcot. OMG, I had so much fun on this. The idea of the ride is to feel the rush of this free-flying hand gliding adventure as you experience the four seasons and beauty of California... the Golden Gate Bridge, the Pacific Ocean, the Mountains, etc. This ride was exhilarating, I loved it!
Mexico was our first stop in the world showcase and definitely the best.
RESTAURANT REVIEW FOR SAN ANGEL INN
I was so hungry by the time we got to Mexico we decided to do a sit down lunch at San Angel Inn and it was well worth it.
San Angel Inn Lunch Menu.
RECOMMENDED TO: Couples, Romantic Dining.
As you walk inside see how this is setup so you really get a feel of Mexico.
This restaurant was so gorgeous. The ambiance was extremely romantic, totally my kinda place.
I loved the lanterns hanging from above. It brought back memories of my trip to Puerto Vallarta, this is exactly what it looked like.
We started off with complimentary chips and salsa. The salsa was okay.
My husband got the Classic Margarita which was super smooth and a little strong. He was definitely a little hit afterwards and it was still afternoon.
I tried something new and went for the Fiesta Mix which was a frozen Margarita with lime, pineapple, and mango... it was DELISH, not terribly strong, and so pretty.
My husband and I were limited in terms of entree choices since we only eat chicken, shrimp, and salmon. We both ended up ordering the same dish - the Enchiladas Verdes con Pollo served with rice and black beans. I loved the black beans combined with the cream sauce from the enchiladas. The shredded chicken was well cooked, tender, and very flavorful. This dish was sensational. I honestly believe this was the best Mexican restaurant I have ever dined at. This dish was comparable to Dos Caminos - Dos Enchiladas, however Disney's version was way WAY better. Loved it!
2 Entrees + 2 Drinks ~ $70 (includes tax + 18% suggested tip by the restaurant)
We then headed on a boat ride at Mexico. It was calm and soothing.
This picture was taken just outside Mexico, the lake is so pretty.
Next up was China. This was really pretty from the outside and the food prices here were quite reasonable compared to other countries.
So true! I loved this saying and I hope I succeed in living by it.
Germany was another favorite of mine. It simply looked like an image out of a Hansel and Gretel storybook, remember that?
Of course they had to have Werther's Original - I bought a few and they were soooooooooooo good! And guess what, there was no High Fructose Corn Syrup in it.
This lady was making chocolate dipped strawberries glazed with caramel - these looked so good, but I just ate in Mexico so I skipped buying any.
Every single item here was made with Caramel. Looking at the pictures, I really regret not buying some dessert here. SUCKS!
So cute. Does Germany really look like this? If so, I need to put that on my travel to-do list - soon.
Italy was pretty. This piazza reminded me of my honeymoon. I really felt as though I was walking the streets of Italy.... so romantico!
I thought they did an okay job with the representation of America, it was kinda old school, but still my favorite country in the whole world! 🙂
France was another favorite of mine with perfectly clean cobblestone streets... so European, loved it!
BAKERY REVIEW FOR BOULANGERIE PATISSERIE
Of course, I had to get dessert in France, where else? A couple hours later we stopped at Boulangerie Patisserie.
RECOMMENDED TO: Couples, Casual Dining, Kid Friendly, Small Groups.
Look at the variety of desserts. I was in pastry heaven!
My husband selected a dessert here, I was quite surprised actually since he takes no interest in desserts. He chose the Napolean and it was out of this world. Someone sitting next to me saw me with the Napolean and actually expressed to me how good it was.
The Napolean comprised of a bunch of thin flaky buttery wafers with layers of cream in between. The cream was light as air, yet there was a slight crunch in every bite. Wonderful! Thanks to my hubby for ordering it because I was leaning towards the Creme Brulee - I know kinda boring!
I ordered a coffee which was pretty strong because I was in France. I ended up using 5 Coffeemate creamers to lighten up my coffee. Eventually the coffee was delicious. 🙂
My hubby enjoyed a Cappuccino which was really good.
The whole experience at France was great... the ambience, the music, the people watching. It really felt as though I was sitting at some cafe in Paris sipping coffee, minus the smoking. Sorry, I had to slip that in. 🙂 Observe the architecture, the windows, the balcony, it is all so French.
The prices were quite reasonable at this Patesserie...
1 dessert + 1 coffee + 1 cappuccino ~ $10. Awesome deal!
VERDICT for Boulangerie Patisserie: 5 / 5 - FABULOUS!
Supposedly this restaurant at France, Les Chefs De France, is one of the top rated restaurants at Disney. I wanted to dine here, but there weren't too many vegetarian/chicken/salmon options, and my husband doesn't care for Mac n Cheese, one of the dishes on the menu. Oh well!
Just outside Morocco this beautiful lady was belly dancing with so much grace to Habibi which means sweetheart. Click on the video to view. I found it funny that all the little boys ran up to dance with her, and not a single girl. I guess the testosterone kicks in when they are really young. 🙂
RESTAURANT REVIEW FOR THE TANGERINE CAFE
Later on that night just before the fireworks, we stopped over at Morocco, The Tangerine Cafe, for some middle-eastern food.
RECOMMENDED TO: Casual Dining, Groups, Kid Friendly.
I ordered the Veggie Platter and unfortunately I made a reallllllllllllly bad choice. The falafal was horrible, dry, and hard. All the side items were freezing cold and the bread was cold too. It was hard to taste the flavors, they all tasted lemony. Considering how flavorful Moroccan food should be, this place sucked for a lack of a better term.
My husband ordered a Falafal Sandwich and his food was just as awful. We should have started off wtih one entree to see what it was like. Oh well. I should have gone to China or Germany for some real food... well hopefully someone else can learn from my mistake.
2 entrees + 1 coke ~ $23
VERDICT for The Tangerine Cafe: 1 / 5 - HORRIBLE!
And then the best part of the evening were the fireworks at 9 PM. The IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth.
I loved Epcot Center. The rides, most of the food, the ambiance, the lampposts at night, it is a beautiful theme park. The World Showcase theme was very impressive. How cool is it to feel as though you are dining in another country without actually having to go there. Based on my travels I can definitely say Mexico, Italy, and France were exactly how I've witnessed them to be. My husband and I were able to cover the entire theme park in 1 day, however if you have children you will need 2 to 3 days to cover Epcot Center.
In addition, since this was a last minute trip I barely had time to research. I was under the impression that all restaurants at Disney were amazing, SO NOT TRUE! Review the restaurants ahead of time and do some research of your own. Also, ask other tourists for suggestions, people are always happy to help. The Chinese restaurant, Lotus Blossom Cafe, got some pretty good reviews and is quite affordable for Disney standards.
Also, it would have been nice to see some representation from South America, perhaps Brazil, Argentina, or Venezuela. Venezuelan food is amazing in my opinion. And what about India? Disney should consider making an Indian Pavilion with the Taj Mahal, playing some sitar music in the background, and serving some great Indian food - just a thought! Or maybe even something more along the lines of French Polynesian (Tahitian Islands), it would be pretty cool to dine over crystal blue water on a lagoon or something. I'm just bursting with ideas! 🙂