Walt Disney World
Walt Disney--The Man
Trip Planning Tips
The Mexico pavilion resembles a Mesoamerican pyramid. The nightly fireworks show "IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth" is controlled from a small office atop the building. The office's window is barely visible from street level, but can be seen at an angle.
Visitors enter through a display of Mexican artwork, the "Animales Fantásticos" art collection. The main room is the home to a twilight-lit Mexican marketplace--with great Mexican toys--called Plaza de los Amigos. At the edge of the plaza, a restaurant, San Ángel Inn, overlooks an indoor lagoon. To the side of the plaza, a boarding area leads to a boat ride, Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros.
Gran Fiesta Tour takes guests through the landscapes, city-scapes, and cultural traditions of Mexico. There is an erupting volcano, tropical vacation destinations,and a celebration scene--played out with dolls similar to those found in It's a Small World. Through out each scene the Three Caballeros--Panchito, Donald Duck, and José of Disney's musical film by the same name, from 1945--pop up in 'window' projections making them part of each scene. Panchito and José are traveling through Mexico trying to find Donald--and the rides finale is a concert given by the now re-united Three Cabelleros. This is not the first Disney ride to use extensive projection windows as part of its show. Magic Kingdom's If You Had Wings attraction used 42 projections as part of its presentation.
Before Gran Fiesta Tour, the Mexico pavalion's boat ride was titled El Rio del Tiempo, or in English River of Time. During this boat ride, passengers meandered through various scenes from Mexico's history. The scenes were filled with doll-sized Audio-Animatronic figures clad in authentic folk clothing, who were singing, dancing, and playing music. The ride began on a quiet river under an evening sky. It passed a volcano and continued on to scenes of native inhabitants. The ride continued with scenes of swimming, jumping into the ocean and relaxing at a bar. Boats would pass a Mexican shop, where merchants talked directly to the riders and tried to bargain with them. The finale was a fireworks filled night sky in modern day Mexico City, with oversized marionettes dancing in a carousel. This voyage is essential still intact. The major change brought to the ride by the 2007 refurb was the addition of The Three Caballeros into the existing ride scenes.
Pics: Top Left--Window on-top of Mexico pavilion used as the Illuminations control room, Middle Left--First scene from Gran Fiesta Tour, Bottom Left-- Gran Fiesta Tour projection scene with Donald Duck, Right column--The Three Caballeros posters found at the rides loading dock, Bottom row--Plaza de Los Amigos with authentic Mexican goods for sale.