Since Epcot underwent management changes in early 2007, the park has made a concerned effort to improve the dining options around the World Showcase area of the park. Since the summer of 2007, a number of high-profile changes have occurred. Nine Dragons and the Lotus Blossom Cafe in China have been remodeled, and the brand-new Tokyo Dining and Teppan Edo were added in Japan in the space formerly occupied by Teppanyaki Dining Room. In addition, Alfredo’s was replaced with Tutto Italia Ristorante in the Italy Pavilion (though this was a quick changeover and it is expected that this restaurant will close to remodel and expand in 2010), and a number of menus all around World Showcase have been updated with new offerings. It seems that these sweeping changes have now reached the Mexico Pavilion, where both of the long-time favorite eateries have already experienced changes or will be going under the knife very soon.
The changes that have already occurred at the pavilion are evident in the menu of the San Angel Inn. The restaurant has eliminated what they called “tourist food” such as the nachos con pollo and has gone far more upscale for both Lunch and Dinner. The Lunch menu now features meals ranging in price from $16-22, a very small price increase overall with the addition of “REAL Mexican food,” to quote a hostess at the restaurant. The dinner menu has experienced similar changes in variety, but now boasts meals ranging in price from $24-34. I applaud the effort to make this an authentic Mexican dining experience, and based on my recent visit, I can say that a number of items on the new menu were very good.
The upcoming changes in dining at this pavilion are far more comprehensive than just a new menu. The delayed Tequila Bar that was originally planned to open in late 2008 is now scheduled to open in 2010. To prepare for this addition, the Kidcot location inside the Casa Mexicana storefront closed in early January. That space will be occupied by either merchandise from another area that will be moved to make room for the Tequila Bar, or the Tequila Bar itself (my apologies, I have not been able to get a straight answer on this just yet).
In addition to these changes inside the pavilion, the Cantina de San Angel is scheduled to reopen in 2010 as a remodeled and expanded establishment with a completely new menu. Rumors indicate that this will be a more expensive counter service location with meals in the $10-15 range and that a second floor may be added, providing a fantastic venue from which to watch Epcot’s nightly fireworks spectacular. No word yet on when the Cantina de San Angel will close for these changes to take place.
While majority of this report is fact, there are a few rumored changes that have not yet been confirmed by Disney and will have to remain as rumors until Disney discloses more information. Stay tuned to WDW News Today as more information becomes available.