Please welcome back our very special Guest, Mike of My Dreams of Disney! Mike, along with his wife and daughter, is an avid Disney fan. What started was an online repository of the memories of his trips has grown into a site where you can find trip planning, reviews and occasional contests. You can find Mike on Facebook and Twitter, over at Chip & Co., at The Disney Moms, and aboard Magical Blogorail Red. Thanks for joining us today, Mike!
Epcot’s World Showcase is composed of eleven different pavilions positioned at different locations around the appropriately named World Showcase Lagoon. The country that we are going to focus on, Mexico, is the first country that you will come to if you travel in a clockwise manner and enter the World Showcase from Future World.
An original country of Epcot when it opened on October 1st, 1982, Mexico is one of my family’s favorite pavilions. There is a little bit of everything here, and generally we find something that everyone will enjoy!
- The Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros is one of our favorite boat rides in all of Disney World. It has an “its a small world” vibe to it as you travel around Mexico looking for Donald Duck, but in addition, it is cool to see some of the old world styling of Mexico displayed for your amusement. We really like this attraction!
- In addition to the attraction, we love the open air market feel that we get as we enter the center of the Aztec pyramid which serves as the home for Mexico. Also, there are a lot of cool shops that you can purchase gifts from inside. The lighting is subdued, so it is a nice place to take in a romantic dinner.
- Speaking of dinner, inside the pavilion is the San Angel Inn. We have never eaten at the Inn, primarily because I am the only true fan of Mexican food in our family. However, that isn’t a big drawback because even though we haven’t eaten there, I have enjoyed the smell of the food that they serve when we ride the Three Caballeros!
- Outside the Pavilion is La Hacienda de San Angel. This is a new casual dining restaurant. It has been open now since around September 2010, but it is strategically placed by the Lagoon for great seating locations for the IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth fireworks show.
- There is also the counter service restaurant outside — Cantina de San Angel that is a good quick service place to grab some food, and lastly, for the drinkers in the audience, inside you can enjoy the La Cava del Tequila tequila bar!
A lot of people take a quick look in Mexico, but move past it fairly quickly. Mexico is a pavilion that will reach out and entice you, if you just take a moment to look around and absorb all that there is to see. You may even find a great place for a cool picture with Donald Duck! This picture was taken in Mexico over on the side entrance to the pyramid. We were literally alone with Donald, and I was able to take over 12 pictures of Sophie and Donald and get his autograph!
In addition to photos, the thing I like best about Mexico — besides the ride — is the atmosphere inside the pavilion. It is so cozy, so inviting, it really does feel like you have been transported to a cool spring evening in a remote Mexico location!
When you next travel to Epcot’s World Showcase, take your time, explore Mexico, and allow the Disney magic to capture you and take you out of the hear and now and into a different time and place. You really won’t want to come back!
Squidoo has an excellent unit study on the country of Mexico. It includes language lessons, cultural costume crafts, authentic recipes and meal suggestions, Mexican music and dance, and lots of literature and story book suggestions. Visit Viva la Mexico for full lessons.
Today, make an Ojo de Dios, a traditional Mexican craft that marks the first five years of a child’s life. The Ojo de Dios, or God’s Eye, is an ancient symbol made by the Huichol Indians of Mexico and the Aymara Indians of Bolivia. Per custom, the central eye is made when a child is born, adding yarn each year until the child turns five. DLTK’s Crafts for Kids offers this simple how-to.
You will need:
2 popsicle/craft sticks
yarn in different colors. (Red, green and white are the colors of the Mexican flag.)
What to do:
Glue the sticks together in the shape of a cross and let dry. Going in the same order around the sticks each time, wrap the yarn once around each stick. Continue several wraps until you’re happy with the first layer of the eye.
Snip the first color of yarn and tie on a second color. Repeat the process with the second color and then a third, fourth and fifth as desired.
SCHOOL SUBJECT: Social Science / Art
SKILL LEVEL: Elementary