Saturday, April 20, 2024

Aztlán, Mexico’s newest amusement park, opens in the capital

Several years in the making, Mexico’s newest amusement park, Aztlán Parque Urbano, opened its doors on Wednesday in the heart of Mexico City.

The park’s 85-meter high Ferris wheel, its Montaña Jurásica roller coaster and its other attractions are located in the second section of the capital’s massive Chapultepec Park, which includes the Museum of Natural History and the Papalote Children’s Museum.

Mexico City mayor Marti Batres inaugurating Mexico City's Aztlan Parque Urbano
Mexico City Mayor Martí Batres attended the park’s inauguration Wednesday, marking the first time the site inside Chapultepec Park has been open to the public since 2019. (Victoria Valtierra Ruvalcaba)

Aztlán sits on the site of the old Chapultepec Fair, an amusement park popular from its opening in 1964 until it closed in 2019 following an accident on the Quimera roller coaster.

Portugal-based Mota Engil and Thor Urbana, a Mexican real estate investment and development firm, invested 3.6 billion pesos (US $214.8 million) into the new park, according to the newspaper El País.

The project came into being after a survey of chilangos was carried out to determine how the land should be used after the previous amusement park had its license revoked in 2019. Construction began when current Morena presidential candidate Claudia Sheinbaum was Mexico City’s mayor.

Originally scheduled to open last August, the new park boasts themed attractions, family-friendly rides and cultural experiences.

The Aztlán 360 Ferris wheel offers panoramic views, while a hand-painted, two-story carousel and bumper cars provide nostalgic fun. Thrill seekers can test their courage on the Montaña Jurásica or a 50-meter-high freefall tower.

The park also incorporates Mexican history and culture into its entertainment options. A 720-degree immersive panorama experience showcases the Mexica worldview and the grandeur of Tenochtitlán, the Mexica capital upon which Mexico City was built.

Mexico City's Aztlán Parque Urbano amusement park
The park combines wow-factor immersive experiences, a roller coaster and other rides for thrill seekers, but also plenty kid-friendly activities like this ride, named Fury on Wheels. (Aztlán Parque Urbano)

The park also features a virtual-reality haunted house recreating the Hospital de San Pablo, the former name of the Hospital Juárez in the historic downtown and home to one of Mexico’s most famous ghosts, La Planchada. There are traditional fair-style games with prizes and many features for children.

Chapultepec Park is just one of several of the city’s cultural mainstays being given new life this year. Other attractions expected to open in the coming months include the Dolores Olmedo Museum — relocated from Xochimilco in southern Mexico City, its collection contains works by Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo — as well as a new location of the Cineteca Nacional.

Admission to Aztlán is free, with single rides costing from 35 to 120 pesos and unlimited passes costing 625 pesos for adults and 350 pesos for children.

Eateries onsite include Señor Burger, serving American classics, and Los Titanes del Taco, offering over 30 varieties of Mexico’s most famous dish. Additional restaurants and franchises will open soon.

The park is accessible via Metro Line 7’s Constituyentes station, with only a short walk to the “floating” causeway that leads to the park’s entrance.

Aztlán Parque Urbano — named after the mythical land where the Mexica and other Nahua peoples are said to have originated — can receive 15,000 visitors per day. It is open from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday and on Monday during vacation periods and holidays.

With reports from Milenio, Obras por Expansión, El País and El Universal

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