Start Your Tour of Mexico inside the Heart of a Pyramid

When entering World Showcase from Future World you have two directional choices. You can tour clockwise and start in Mexico or you can tour in a counterclockwise direction starting in Canada.

Today we're going to visit Mexico, which is one of the more unique pavilions in World Showcase. What makes this pavilion different from the others is that aside from the outside dining on the lagoon and a few shops, the rest of the pavilion is inside the Mesoamerican pyramid that is the centerpiece of the pavilion.

Welcome to MexicoWelcome to Mexico

The pyramid rises 36 feet into the air and is modeled after an Aztec Temple of Quetzalcoatl at Teotihuacan. The large serpent heads along the entrance stairs represent Quetzalcoatl, the god of learning and knowledge. (A little bit of trivia - there is a small room at the top of the pyramid where Illuminations: Reflections of Earth is controlled each night).

A Stunning Pyramid in Mexico Welcomes GuestsA Stunning Pyramid in Mexico Welcomes Guests

As you enter the pavilion's pyramid you find a new display called La Vida Antigua, which is a collection of arts and artifacts from the El Rio del Tiempo: The River of Time - the original attraction in the pyramid when Epcot opened in 1982.

Each piece in La Vida Antigua is displayed with a card that tells its story and how the Mesoamericans used the piece. Items on display include a 1,400 year old idol of the Maize God, a drinking vessel for chocolate, and a vessel used for concocting alcohol.

Aztec CalendarAztec Calendar

After viewing La Vida Antigua, you'll enter the heart of the pyramid, which was built to look like a Mexican marketplace at twilight. The marketplace was inspired by an actual town and features several shops. You'll also find La Cava del Tequila where you can choose from 70 varieties of tequila, or just grab a margarita. Either way, it's a win-win.

Guests looking to dine in Mexico will find several options, including the San Angel Inn which sits on the edge of the water in the shadow of a volcano. This restaurant is a "sibling" to the Mexico City restaurant of the same name (which dates all the way back to 1692).

A Marketplace in Perpetual Twilight AwaitsA Marketplace in Perpetual Twilight Awaits

If you're looking for something a bit more casual, head outside and stop by the Cantina de San Angel which sits on the shores of the lagoon. It's a quick service restaurant with great views of World Showcase, and good food. Next door to the Cantina de San Angle is the table service restaurant La Hacienda de San Angel.

And of course we can't forget the main reason why most people visit the Mexico pavilion - other than the margaritas - the Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros.

Dolls Dance in the Festival of ChildrenDolls Dance in the Festival of Children

The Gran Fiesta Tour replaced the original attraction, El Rio del Tiempo, which took guests on a journey through ancient, colonial, and modern Mexico. In its current format, guests float past the Mayan pyramid and the back of the San Angel Inn dining room and then enter a tunnel where Jose Carioca and Panchito appear on a video screen and introduce themselves, only to discover that the third member of their band - Donald Duck - has gone missing.

The attraction features live-action footage from Mexico and animation inspired by the 1944 film The Three Caballeros. Donald shows up in several scenes throughout the ride, including climbing the steps of a Mayan pyramid, cliff diving in Acapulco, and as a pinata during the 'it's a Small World'-inspired scene where Audio-Animatronic dolls dance at the Festival of the Children. And all the while, Jose Carioca and Panchito chase after him on their magical flying serape.

Mexico Pavilion at NightMexico Pavilion at Night

While the ride might be the main draw of the pavilion, there are definitely some hidden gems once you step inside the pyramid.

Thanks so much to Traci C. for this fantastic look at the Mexico Pavilion. What is your favorite part of the Mexico pavilion? Leave us a comment!

Kristen K. wrote on Wed, 10/02/2013 - 14:21:

Kristen K.'s picture

I love the eternal twilight inside this pavilion, and the boat ride is one of my youngest daughter's favorite attractions.

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