Handcrafted Animales Fantásticos at Epcot’s Mexico Pavilion
It’s Latin American Heritage month here at Disney. To celebrate, the perfect place to be is at Epcot in the Mexico Pavilion. The handcrafted Animales Fantásticos are a must see at the World Showcase.
Located right in the entrance hall of the Plaza de Los Amigos is the Gallery of Mexican Folk Art. Here, you’ll find the Oaxacan wood carvings also called Animales Fantásticos or alebrijes.
It should be noted, these handcrafted, colorful woodcarvings, also known as alebrijes are originally created by the Jiménez family of Oaxaco, Mexico. They’re carved out of copal wood.
Plaza de Los Amigos
The Mexico Pavilion in Epcot is a pre-Colombian pyramid surrounded by a lush replica of the Yucatan jungle.
Inside the pyramid is the Plaza de Los Amigos, a group of small shops that sell crafts and goods similar to those you’d find in a traditional Mexican market.
The kiosks sell Mexican jewelry, leather goods, pottery, clothing, and more. There is also a strolling mariachi band to fill the air with the authentic music of Mexico. You might feel like you’re really in Mexico.
The handcrafted woodcarvings known as alabrijes originated in Oaxaco, Mexico. Manuel Jiménez singlehandedly made them more known worldwide.
At this time, they are sought after and collectible pieces. The figurines you will find in the entrance hall of the Mexico Pavilion were originally carved by Manuel and his sons, Angelico and Isaias.
For generations, families in Oaxaca, Mexico passed down stories about the magical, fantastical, brightly colored creatures. These legends are the inspiration for the elaborate copal wood carvings you’ll see at the Gallery of Mexican Folk Art.
Interestingly enough, each intricate carving is one of a kind and has its own personality. They’re designed based on the unique spirit found within each piece of wood.
Lastly, the enchanting display of Animales Fantásticos at Epcot in the Plaza de los Amigos is certainly a sight to behold. They make a lovely, unique gift to bring home from your Disney vacation.
Make sure you stop by to see the handcrafted Animales Fantásticos at Epcot’s Mexico Pavilion. You never know what kind of magical creature you’ll spot.
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