IF TRAVELING CLOCKWISE AROUND LAGOON
A showcase of
Mexico featuring a spectacular stepped pyramid inspired by Meso-American
Mexico is the first country encountered if heading around the World Showcase
in a clockwise direction, or the last in an anti-clockwise direction.
As with the Canadian pavillion at the opposite end of the World Showcase,
the entrance to the main area of the Mexican pavillion is up a short flight
of steps. Guests that use a wheelchair or ECV, or are pushing a stroller
can bypass the stairs via a small path that enters and exits just to the
right of the main pavillion entrance.
Mexico is dominated by a spectacular stepped pyramid which was inspired
by various examples of Meso-American architecture from around the 3rd
century. Reproductions of ancient carvings adorn the pyramid, including
a serpent head representing the ancient god Quetzalcoatl.
Mexico's various shops and attractions including the El Rio del Tiempo
boat ride (Mexican for the "River of Time") are all located
within the pyramid itself, which is fully air conditioned and a good place
to head for when the daytime temperature starts to rise.
Also within the Mexico pavillion is the Plaza de Los Amigos, which contains
a number of small shops ranging from quite exclusive through to comparatively
Mexican artwork is featured in the Art of Mexico exhibition.
Mexican food is served at two restaurants. The San Angel Inn Restaurant
inside the pyramid is a romantically dimly lit full service restaurant,
offering traditional Mexican food, whilst at the edge of the lagoon, the
Cantina de San Angel is a burger and fast food counter serving amongst
other things tacos and chili.
The Cantina is an excellent place to watch the nightly Illuminations firework
display held on the World Showcase Lagoon.
As with all of the World Showcase pavillions, Mexico has it's fair share
of live entertainment at various times throughout the day. You're most
likely to encounter it in the form of a Rhythmic percussion ensemble playing
to passers by at the base of the pyramid.
The various shops, restaurants, the El Rio de Tiempo ride and the street
entertainment are all closed for business until 11:00am.
Norway follows Mexico on the clockwise tour around the World Showcase
Lagoon, but in between the two pavillions is a small mail-drop box on
a lamp-post in case you want to send some last minute postcards.
Landscaping of the Mexico pavilion represents two regions
of the country: the jungle and the desert. Facing the Mayan temple, you
see plants and flowers typical of the jungle surrounding the building.
This section of the Mexico pavilion, with its several varieties of palm
trees, is the most tropical area represented at Epcot. Heating systems
hidden among the plants are used during the winter months to protect them
from the cold and frost. One of the most notable plants in this area is
the floss silk tree, located near the steps to the left of the temple.
These showy trees present springtime blossoms and, in other seasons, an
odd-shaped fruit hanging from its bare branches.
Epcot gardeners take great care to make this landscape look unmaintained
as if it were a genuine jungle. We wanted to steer clear of creating
a perfect landscape and use irregular spots of colorful flowers
to give it a more exotic look, says Eric Darden, Walt Disney World
Unlike most Mexican restaurants in the United States, you'll not find
nachos, "Mexican pizza" or hard-shell tacos at the San Angel
Inn in Epcot, because, says manager Richard Debler, they are not authentic
Mexican dishes. And Debler was trained in his family's restaurant in Mexico
Chocolate may sound like an unorthodox ingredient to use with chicken,
but the mole poblano prepared according to a San Angel Inn recipe combines
chile ancho, chile passilla, green tomatoes, ground tortillas, coriander
seed and 11 other spices with cocoa for a rich sauce in which chicken
is simmered until tender. Fresh tortillas are made every day and served
with beef, chicken and cheese fillings, as well as fresh salsa verde.
In the Cantina de San Angel, just outside the pyramid entrance to Mexico,
quick entrees and snacks such as churros (donuts rolled in cinnamon and
powdered sugar) are available, as well as Mexican beer.
Outside, this pavilion features some of Epcot's most breathtaking set
designs, in the form of churchlike cantinas and Aztec pyramids. (The far
end of the country also houses a garden filled with vegetation native
to Mexico's tropical regions.) Inside, you'll find interesting exhibits
on native sculpture, a tranquil boat ride called El Rio del Tiempo ("the
River of Time") and an enormous plaza filled with shopping and dining
options, including the much-lauded San Angel Inn Mexican restaurant. Lighting
is dim and a bit foreboding, but the atmosphere is always friendly.
The easygoing river ride offers a relaxing, musical journey through Mexico's
mystical past (without the revolutions, of course) and tourist-centric
present. You'll see traditional costumes, old-world celebrations, landscaping,
artwork and more--all of it set to enjoyable Latin music.
The golden sun shines brightly here in Mexico. Thrill to the ancient temples
and pyramids and bask in the glow of the moonlight as boatloads of people
make their way up and down the waterways of this ancient and prosperous
civilization. Try some Mexican cuisine - there is none better - and be
sure to take your time shopping in the vast outdoor markets! This is a
land of celebration, of incredible heritage and strong independence. Bien
As you turn into World Showcase, the Pyramid sits high in the skyline.
It is modeled after an Aztec Temple of Quetzalcoatl (the god of life)
at Teotihuacan. Quetzalcoatl is represented by large serpent heads along
the entrance stairs.
Upon entering the building, you see a gallery of artifacts from various
periods of Mexican history. You walk into a formal portico and then a
colonial plaza where you experience an evening at a festive marketplace.
El Rio del Tiempo - The River of Time, a short but pleasant boat ride,
is sometimes called the Mexican It's A Small World because of it's upbeat,
repetitive theme song and small audio-Animatronic dolls.
Animales Fantasticos - The new exhibit in the Mexican pavillion!
"The Spirits in Wood - In villages surrounding the city of Oaxaca,
Mexico, artisians create fantastic wood carvings of animals, humans, and
beasts. Their work is prized for the way they freely mix reality with
magic. This modern folk art is also unique for the way it blends traditional
with contemporary themes. In just a few short decades, Oaxacan woodcarving
has become recognized as an important expression of how ancient cultures
interact with a modern world."
"Oaxacan parents tell stories to their children about fantasy animals
that live in the nearby forests. Most of these magical creatures are mis-chief
makers and the children are warned to stay clear of them. Today, these
fantasy animals have emerged from the woods. They have been set free by
the artisans who captured them in the branches of the trees. These brightly
colored animals have traveled far from their home in Southwest Mexico,
but bring with them their legendary playfulness." (Quotes from the
display, October 2001)
San Angel Inn - dine in the shadows of an ancient volcano, San Angel
Inn is overflowing with atmosphere.
Deb's Mini Review - Folks rave about the Mole Poblano, grilled chicken
breast served over a bed of chicken morsels, carrots, chayote chiles,
with the classic sauce of spices and a hint of chocolate.
For me, San Angel has never been inspiring. I have had lunch 3 times
here in the last year and feel it's an overpriced restaurant. There
are better values for lunch at other Epcot restaurants.
Cantina de San Angel - located outside the Pyramid. This is
counter service Mexican food that also will cater to vegetarians.
In addition to Mexican fast food, you can also visit the Frozen Margarita
Deb's Mini Review: A good place to grab a quick bite which caters
to vegetarians. The outdoor seating keeps you in an Epcot state
of mind :)
Mariachi Cobre - a 12-piece band entertaining with exhilarating rhythms
and classic Mexican melodies. Members play violins, guitars, trumpets
and more. The group entertains both inside and outside.
KIDS AND CHARACTERS
Each of the World Showcase Countries has a special "KIDCOT"
area that provides an opportunity for your child to interact with a
native of the country you are visiting.
Epcot PassPorts are great fun for kids as they have them stamped at
each pavilion around World Showcase.
The Festival Marketplace has very low lighting and also many items to
distract your children. Keep a close eye on them here!
Disney Characters appear "On Holiday" in their sightseeing
bus around World Showcase. Check your Daily Epcot Guide Map for times
Artesanias Mexicanas -Home decor is the theme for this shop which includes
pottery, glassware, and decorative gifts.
El Ranchito Del Norte - A changing collection highlighting the various
stores in the plaza.
La Familia Fashions - Looking for silver? check out this shop!
Plaza De Los Amigos - Clothing, blankets, crafts, toys, leather wallets
and handbags, candy, tequila, and more.