Turned Away at the Border: San Angel Inn at Epcot

Without a doubt, my family’s favorite restaurant to eat at in Epcot is the San Angel Inn Restaurante in the Mexico Pavilion. We visit Walt Disney World once or twice a year and we always make a reservation there, even though this seems to be one of the less popular restaurants.   Well, recently we visited Disney World for a few days during what we thought would be a “light” time of the year, and we did not make a reservation. The Flower and Garden Festival was going on (which we expected) and the park levels were at an all-time high for that time of year (which we did not expect).

Turned Away at the Border: San Angel Inn at Epcot rsz_img_2745 The Mexico Pavilion in the distance The Mexico Pavilion in the distance

The Mexico Pavilion in the distance

We arrived in Epcot around noon, after an early morning flight and we were starving! The food offerings at the Flower and Garden Festival did not appeal to our kids, and the lines were LONG. So, we headed over to our old standby, the San Angel Inn.   As we were shuffling down the entrance ramp at record-low speed behind other families, I had an inkling that we were in trouble. We walked up to the hostess and asked how long the wait would be for a family of five. She said they were not taking walk-ups today, and that we could try and make a reservation by calling (407) WDW-DINE. I was in shock!

I right away took out my phone and checked the My Disney Experience App. There was nothing available for that day. Now we were all STILL starving and also extremely disappointed that we would not get to eat at our favorite restaurant during this short trip. But don’t worry, this story gets better!

Turned Away at the Border: San Angel Inn at Epcot rsz_1img_1558 rsz_1img_1558

Spoiler alert….happier times are on the horizon!

The kids were the first priority, so we walked outside, bought two huge cookies and fed them their dream lunch.   Then my husband waited in the super-long line at the Mexico Flower and Garden Booth while I checked the My Disney Experience app for the following day. I immediately saw a 5:15pm reservation available and I snagged it! By the time my husband returned with several shrimp tacos and a much-needed margarita, the kids had finished their “lunch” and were happily watching the ducks swim in the lake against the beautiful Flower and Garden backdrop.

Turned Away at the Border: San Angel Inn at Epcot flower garden flower garden

My kids never would have stopped to enjoy this view if we hadn’t been turned away from our “go to” restaurant that day

While our little vacation got off to a slightly rocky start, the unexpected rejection at the San Angel Inn made us realize a few things:

1) If you can’t get the dining reservation you want, keep trying even up to the day before or same day.

2) My family is NOT the only one who likes the San Angel Inn

3) Serving cookies for lunch might just make my husband and I candidates for parents of the year (in our kids’ minds anyway).

Have you ever been turned away from your “go to” Disney restaurant?  What do you do when you can’t get into your restaurant of choice?

Longtime Disney fan, DVC member, wife, and mom of two teenagers. Currently living in NJ until I retire early and move to the Disney Bubble permanently!


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