In attempting to capture the spirit of the Mexican people, Imagineers turned their attention to the origins of that spirit. The resulting pavilion is derived from, elements of each of the major pre-Colombian civilizations–the Mayan, the Toltec, and the Aztec–as well as from the Spanish influence that has shaped their architecture and design.
The pyramid you enter to visit Mexico is a composite of Mesoamerican motifs dating back to the 3rd century, emphasizing the Aztec style. Once inside, you find yourself in a gallery showcasing Mexican arts and crafts. The Sun Stone–or Aztec calendar–marks the way to the Plaza de los Amigas (Plaza of Friends), an open air marketplace brimming with activity. This market and the adjoining restaurant are placed in a nighttime setting in order to be more authentic to the operating hours of a typical Mexican market. The Spanish-tinged Cantina de San Angel is based on the San Angel Inn of 1692.
–p. 78, The Imagineers,The Imagineering Field Guide to Epcot at Walt Disney World