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A Mesoamerican pyramid serves as the centerpiece of the Mexico pavilion
Land World Showcase
Opening date October 1, 1982
Number of Attractions 1
Number of Restaurants 5

Mexico is a pavilion located within World Showcase at Epcot. It is located between the World Showcase entrance and Norway.


A Mexican pavilion was planned for World Showcase since the area’s initial development, although early plans show Mexico situated across the lagoon (where the Canada pavilion sits today) from the plot it would eventually be built on [1]. At the outset, the planned pavilion was to include two restaurants, as well as an attraction named “Las Tres Culturas de Mexico” [2]. Although well developed, the plans for the Mexico pavilion boat ride were initially going to be pushed back to EPCOT Center’s “Phase Two”, and be built at a later date [2]. At this point in the pavilion’s development, the load area and lagoon were to be constructed, with the idea that the ride itself would be built in the future [2]. These plans changed however when Germany’s Rhine River Cruise attraction was cancelled along with the Japan pavilion's Meet the World show. Compounded by the fact that the plans for an Equatorial Africa pavilion were also shelved, Disney had a capacity issue. With no other rides in World Showcase, the area would not have enough attractions to meet its expected guest capacity [2]. As a remedy for this situation, Disney decided to make Las Tres Culturas de Mexico an opening day attraction, changing the attraction’s name to El Rio del Tiempo. In order to complete the attraction (and pavilion) on time, the rides length was shortened by 40% and moved completely inside [2].

Despite the late starting point of the project, the Mexico pavilion opened with the rest of World Showcase on October 1, 1982 [3]. Unlike the other World Showcase pavilions, Mexico was designed to be enclosed within a single building (aside from the small lakeside cantina). When the pavilion was complete, it consisted of two restaurants, one proper shop, and one attraction. The centerpiece of the pavilion is a large Mesoamerican pyramid (early plans for a glass walled "old-meets-new" pavilion had been altered early on) [1], which was based on designs from the 3rd century AD. The interior of the pyramid was designed to look like a Mexican village, based on Taxco de Alarcón, at twilight [4]. Besides initially housing El Rio Del Tiempo, the Mesoamerican pyramid also housed the San Angel Inn restaurant, which was based on a restaurant in Mexico City (of the same name), that opened in 1692 [2]. Also within the pyramid were various stalls and stands in the Festival Marketplace [2] which sold different souvenirs. Outside of the pyramid is the Mexico pavilion’s aforementioned lakeside restaurant- Cantina de San Ángel.

El Rio Del Tiempo became the Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros in 2007.

Following its opening in 1982, for a number of years the Mexico Pavilion saw a relativity small number of changes. Throughout its history, the shopping stalls located within the pyramid have changed, and more lights were added to the marketplace [2]. Furthermore, in the mid 1990s, a second store was added to the pavilion's interior [2]. The most substantial change to the pavilion however, came on January 2, 2007 when Mexico's only attraction El Rio Del Tiempo closed [5]. The attraction was updated and renamed, eventually reopening as the Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros on April 6 [6]. On the Gran Fiesta Tour, guests travel through many of the same scenes as El Rio del Tiempo, however they now feature HD screens which allow guests to follow José Carioca and Panchito Pistoles (from the 1944 Disney movie The Three Caballeros) as they search around Mexico for Donald Duck.

On August 31, 2009, La Cava del Tequila, a a tequila bar opened inside the Mexico pavilion [7]. Subsequently, in 2010 Cantina de San Ángel closed for refurbishment. At this time, the original 1982 building was demolished, and a larger building was constructed in its place [1]. When the establishment reopened, it consisted of two restaurants, the table service Cantina, and the new table service restaurant La Hacienda de San Ángel [8]. Also in 2010, a new Donald Duck meet and greet was added to the Mexico pavilion [9].

On November 12, 2017, Choza de Margarita opened in the Mexico pavilion [10]. The outdoor margarita stand replaces the former stand that was removed during the expansion of the Norway pavilion in 2015/2016.

Current Attractions

Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros- On this indoor boat ride, guests follow Panchito Pistoles and José Carioca (from the 1944 Disney movie The Three Caballeros) as they search all of Mexico for Donald Duck. The Gran Fiesta Tour replaced El Rio Del Tiempo in 2007.

Former Attractions

El Rio Del Tiempo- On this indoor boat ride, guests could take a relaxing tour to see both the history and the diverse culture of Mexico. El Rio Del Tiempo opened with the rest of the pavilion on October 1, 1982 and it closed on January 2, 2007. El Rio Del Tiempo was replaced by the Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros, which uses many of the same scenes as its predecessor.


The Festival Marketplace inside the Mexico pavilion. Photo Credit: Harshlight.

The Mexico pavilion is home to five different dining options. All five restaurants serve Mexican cuisine and drinks.

San Angel Inn- Located inside of Mexico's Mesoamerican pyramid, the San Angel Inn is a table service restaurant. From their table (which is set in eternal twilight) guests can see parts of the Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros.

La Cantina de San Ángel- Specializing in tacos, Cantina de San Ángel opened with the pavilion in 1982. The counter service restaurant is located on World Showcase Lagoon, across from the pavilion's pyramid. In 2010, the counter service restaurant closed for refurbishment and the original building was demolished. When the establishment reopened in a new, larger building, it was divided into two restaurants. One was still called Cantina de San Ángel and remained a counter service restaurant, while the other was named La Hacienda de San Ángel which provides a table service meal.

La Hacienda de San Ángel- Located on the World Showcase Lagoon, La Hacienda de San Ángel offers guests an indoor, table service restaurant with great views of World Showcase.

La Cava del Tequila- A tequila bar where guests can talk to "tequila connoisseurs" as they try various tequilas, margaritas, and Mexican appetizers.

Choza de Margarita- This outdoor stand specializes in margaritas.


Festival Marketplace- Located within Mexico’s Mesoamerican pyramid, the Festival Marketplace is home to all sorts of stands which sell authentic Mexican merchandise. Guests can also find Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros merchandise here.

La Tienda Encantada- Located within the Festival Marketplace, this shop sells clothing and accessories.

La Princesa de Cristal- Located within the Festival Marketplace, this Arribas Brothers shop sells crystal and glassware.

Live Entertainment

Mariachi Cobre- This authentic mariachi band can often be found playing outside in the Mexico pavilion.

Fun Facts and Trivia

  • A Ring Carver stand is located within the Mexico pavilion [11].
  • Both the Moctezuma Brewery and the San Angel Inn contributed money to the construction of the Mexico pavilion [12].
  • At one time, flamingos could be found near the bridge in the Mexico pavilion. They have since been removed [13] [4].
  • Vice President of Walt Disney World (and eventual Disney Legend) Bob Allen dedicated the Mexico pavilion in 1982.

The Mesoamerican Pyramid [4]

  • The Mesoamerican pyramid is modeled after the Aztec Temple of Quetzalcoatl found at Teotihuacan.
  • Quetzalcoatl, the Aztec God of priesthood, learning and knowledge, is represented by the serpent heads which are found on the pyramid’s exterior.
  • The carving located at the bottom of the pavilion’s stairs is called a stele.
  • The entry way to the interior of the Mesoamerican pyramid is designed to look like a Mayan Ceremonial Hall. Here, various art exhibits are displayed.
  • Inside the pyramid, guests can see a Sun Stone (an Aztec calendar).
  • The Illuminations firework show is actually controlled out of a small office located at the top of Mexico's pyramid.
  • The interior of the pyramid is designed so that guests feel as if they are exiting the mayor's residence as the enter the Plaza del Los Amigo (which houses the pavilion's Festival Marketplace, the Gran Fiesta Tour entrance and the San Angel Inn [14].


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