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Guests board a small boat very much like the ones found at It's a Small World and pass in front of an Aztec pyramid with an active volcano (which erupts at random times) in the background. Guests will then travel through various dioramas with projection screens of scenes from Mexico. One of the scenes bears a great likeness to It's a Small World having doll-like animatronics singing the song's theme. Near the end of the ride, shopkeepers (which are simulated on screen) will try and bargain with riders, desperately trying to sell their products to the rider and constantly following the boat. The finale takes place in Mexico City where life sized marionettes are seen dancing and fireworks can also be seen illuminating the night sky.
El Rio del Tiempo closed on January 2nd, 2007 to undergo its transformation into Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros. Not much of the ride changed other than the projections, the dioramas were kept the same and the marionettes at the finale were removed.