Bienvenido a Mexico
Epcot. One word conjures so many images. From Walt Disney’s concept of an Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow to the innovative, high paced Future World, to a World Showcase that exemplifies that it is indeed a small world after all. World showcase begins and ends in Showcase plaza, and you can set off on your world travels from any direction you wish. Today, we are heading left. First stop: Mexico. As you approach the Mexico Pavilion, you begin to get a sense that you aren’t in Walt Disney World anymore, Toto. The lagoon glitters to your right, and the breeze seems to carry with it the music of Mariachi Cobre mingled with the sweet scents of Limey margaritas. You can almost taste the Empanadas as you venture further, knowing that something amazing awaits you.
To the left, a Mayan pyramid rises before your eyes. You aren’t in Tulum, but it feels as if it belongs there. With each step you climb, you realize that is no ruin from 600 AD, despite the history you will soon come face to face with. Right inside you see visions of the rich culture and artistry of a nation. Just wait though, for the magic is only beginning!
As you travel further into the pyramid, a bustling Mexican marketplace called Plaza de los Amigos emerges. Bathed in perpetual twilight and sitting on the banks of El Rio del Tempo…the River of Time. There are street vendors selling the local arts and crafts, shop lined streets, a Tequila bar called Cava del Tequila, a fountain that seems to have its own stories to tell, and a restaurant with authentic Mexican fare. San Angel Inn is a recreation of another restaurant with the same name that has been in business in Mexico City since 1692.
The Mexico Pavilion is also home to the delightful attraction, Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros. This river excursion sails right past the diners in San Angel Inn and keeps on going, hitting many of Mexico’s most popular destinations. Meanwhile, Donald duck does what he’s best at: finds himself in humorously sticky situations. You could truly sit by the fountain, shop and dine in this marketplace all day, but there is more to see.
Outside of the pyramid, there are even more shops and restaurants. Another table service location sits on the banks of World Showcase Lagoon and hosts one of the most glorious spots to watch Illuminations due to its floor to ceiling windows. Right next door is a quaint, open air, quick service restaurant called Cantina de San Angel. Walt’s vision of a place where people come together to live, work, play and learn wasn’t quite realized in the sense he had intended. The heart behind it was realized, though. The Community of Tomorrow grew to encompass the whole world and show that each member of the community, no matter where they come from, has a beauty we can all appreciate. Mexico is only the beginning.
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