Our next installment in the Disney Dining Review series is going to be La Hacienda de San Angel in the Mexico pavilion at Epcot. Again to touch base we are going to be extremely critical in our 5 category ratings so we can find the best of the best place to have a meal in Disney World.
There was nothing spectacular about the restaurant’s atmosphere but it was also clearly set up to provide one of the best views of Illuminations you can get. The tables almost all have a great view out of the huge windows overlooking the lagoon and aren’t to closely packed together. The chandeliers are the highlight of the overall atmosphere at La Hacienda, depending on which room you are in the atmosphere changes slightly and it is reflected in the chandeliers. The main dining room (where we ate) had stars hanging from the ceiling that lit up the room as the rest of the lagoon went dim which was a very nice touch. Overall nice but nothing spectacular atmosphere wise.
The absolute biggest draw of this restaurant without a doubt is it’s location right on the lagoon for Illuminations. As the lights dim and the star chandeliers from the restaurant go dim the ambiance is unrivaled at Epcot. The huge windows provide a view of Illuminations that can only be rivaled by sitting outside at Rose & Crown. Eating here during Illuminations is an unbelievable experience but if you are unable to eat late enough to view the show no worries you will have a great view of World Showcase Lagoon. This restaurant might have the best ambiance of any of the Epcot restaurants. This easily will get a perfect score.
I have heard and read many negative reviews about the service at this restaurant, but we had a complete opposite experience. It was pouring down raining about 45 minutes before our reservations so we decided to check in early and see if we could be seated. We were seated within about 5 minutes of asking to be seated and that is with asking for window seats! We weren’t seated directly at a window but one table away which made no difference due to the awesome windows. Once we sat down we were greeted instantly by our waitress and brought chips and salsa. Our drinks were brought out very quickly and our appetizers and entrees were spread out perfectly (nothing more irritating than having entrees show up when you just started your apps, but they did it perfect). Our waitress didn’t do anything that was above and beyond but was very prompt and attentive.
Obviously if you aren’t a fan of Mexican food this may not be the place for you, but if you are open to a variety of different mexican dishes, they’ve got it! The options are different however from your usual Americanized Mexican, you wont find burritos and quesadillas here. Don’t be afraid of the menu and take a chance everything we saw around the restaurant looked delicious! Ultimately they will lose a few points on Menu options because we know many won’t be happy that they can’t go to a Mexican restaurant and find a burrito on the menu, but that is why we love it.
The food was outstanding! We ordered the restaurant signature item the “La Hacienda” for two and it was one of the best meals I’ve had at Disney and one of the best values as well. We got a huge bowl of rice, a huge bowl of beans, and massive amounts of Chorizo, chicken, steak, veggies, and corn. All of the food, which was MORE than enough food for two was $49.95 and it truly was one of the first times at Disney that we have left food on the table because there was just so much of it. The meat was perfectly seasoned and very tender, and the veggies were cooked to perfection and extremely fresh. For apps we got the taquiza (the taco trio) which featured beef, chicken, and pork tacos topped with different sauces that matched the filling.
The pork taco or chilorio topped with cream and queso fresco was both of our favorite on the plate and maybe for the whole night, I think I could have eaten 10 of them. The free chips and salsa were very good as well and a nice touch to get something free at Disney. The chips ended up being my undoing, I ate far to many and was KO’ed during the La Hacienda for two. As for the drinks, as you can imagine they had a nice margarita menu. We both ordered a margarita and they were very good as usual at the Mexico pavilion but we were more focused on the food than the drinks…the food was that good! Overall the food was a very different style of Mexican but maybe the best I have ever had, and we eat Mexican ALOT! It is Mexican though and is fairly simple so it will lose a point or 2 just because I cannot give a Mexican dish the same score as a perfectly prepared steak or seafood dish.
La Hacienda de San Angel is an absolute must do at Epcot, especially during Illuminations. The drinks were outstanding, the food was amazing, and all at such a great value. This is one that we will come back to time and time again. The atmosphere was nothing spectacular but if you time your meal right it can be incredible and eating here can be an experience rather than just a nice meal. If you can I can’t stress enough to try to eat here during Illuminations at least once.
Overall Score: 41.5/50
Thank you for reading and please share your experiences at La Hacienda with us!
Follow us on Twitter @thewdwblog