Lou Mongello / Monday, September 17th, 2007
- The main attraction in the Mexico pavilion is "El Rio Del Tiempo." Translated to mean "the River of Time ," this attractions takes guests on a leisurely boat ride through the "Three Cultures of Mexico," from the ancient jungles of the Yucatan to present day Mexico-City. It includes Audio-Animatronics figures, humorous and educational film clips, and is accompanied by a wonderful music score. This nine minute ride also takes you through a virtual tour of Mexico , from cliff diving in Acapulco to snorkeling at Isla Mujeres.
- As you enter the towering Mayan pyramid that is the Mexico pavilion, you look over a bustling plaza, filled with canopied carts, an "outdoor" restaurant, and entrance to the pavilion’s attraction. Modeled after the town of Taxco , one of Mexico ‘s most beautiful old settlements, the Plaza De Los Amigos, or " Plaza of Friends " is aptly named. The marketplace is filled with friendly vendors who are native to Mexico . The plaza is also lined on both sides with shops like those found in Mexican towns or villages. The Colonial buildings have tiled roofs, wrought-iron balconies, outdoors staircases and hand-painted signs. Take home handmade sombreros, serapes, silver products, handmade jewelry and papier-mâché’ piñatas.
- Beyond the plaza is The San Angel Inn restaurant, where you can dine on authentic Mexican cuisine under a star-filled night sky. To the left side of the plaza is the pleasant boat ride that takes you through Mexico , past and present.
- Donald Duck is not often seen in the parks, so be sure to get his autograph and say hello (or ‘hola’) when you see him outside the Mexico pavilion. (Oh, and a sombrero is the tall straw hat, while a serape is a long, multicolored shawl, often worn by Mexican men).
- The building itself is modeled after a Pre-Columbian Aztec pyramid surrounded by lush greenery found in the jungles of the Yucatan . The temple of Quetzalcoatl (the god of life), located at the ancient city of Teotihuacan provided the model for the Epcot structure. Quetzalcoatl is represented by large serpent heads along the entrance stairs. Inside, guests can see an exhibit of artifacts from various periods in Mexican history, dine under the stars in the San Angel Inn , ride the El Rio del Tiempo boat attraction past a smoldering volcano, and shop in the plaza.
- The Mexican flag is consists of red, white and green stripes, whose center contains an eagle eating a rattlesnake. The eagle stands with its left claw upon a cactus, and a half circle of green oak (enciño) on the left (symbolizing strength) and laurel branches on the right (symbolizing victory). The red stripe symbolizes the blood that was shed during the battles for Independence . The white stripe symbolizes the purity of the Catholic faith, while the green symbolizes the fertility of the earth. The central shield is representative of the Aztec heritage. This flag was originally created in 1821, when the Independence movement had ended victoriously. "El Día de la Bandera" or the "Fiesta of the Mexican Flag" is celebrated every February 24th.
- Although the main colors are red, white and green, coat-of-arms in the center of the white stripe includes numerous other colors, such as brown, aqua, yellow, and various shades of green.
- Imagineers designed the approach to the pyramid with the lushly planted, parrot-dotted walkway on your extreme right; the idea is that you’re hacking your way through the rainforest with a machete, and you stumble across a ruin.
- The pyramid is styled after Mesoamerican architecture that dates back nearly 1,800 years.