Located inside the pyramid of Epcot’s Mexico pavilion sits one of the most fun, yet often overlooked, attractions at Epcot. Upon entering the massive pyramid, guests will have the opportunity to admire Mexican artifacts before heading into the “outdoor” marketplace. The perpetual twilight adds to the atmosphere of the marketplace. Beautiful strings of lights shine above San Angel Inn Restaurante. To the left of the restaurante, you will find Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros, a charming boat ride which gives guests a glimpse into the Mexican culture.
Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros has long been one of my favorite Epcot attractions, even before The Three Caballeros arrived at this attraction. As a child, I remember riding El Rio del Tiempo, as the attraction used to be called, many times. After disembarking our boat, we would stop to see the glass blowers as they created fascinating works of art, before getting back on the ride, which rarely had any wait at all. I enjoyed the beautiful Mexican scenery of the attraction and the mariachi music. In fact, I still find myself singing the song from El Rio del Tiempo quite often.
In 2007, El Rio del Tiempo was refurbished to incorporate Donald Duck, José Carioca, and Panchito Pistoles into the attraction. In the new version of the attraction, guests follow José and Panchito as they search throughout Mexico to find Donald. Along the journey, guests will float past mariachi bands, cliff divers, chefs, and many other scenes showcasing the wonderful culture of Mexico.
Of course, no Gran Fiesta Tour would be complete without attending a fiesta! In my favorite part of the attraction, you’ll find audio-animatronic dolls designed in a similar style to those of “it’s a small world.” A mariachi band of skeletons, ready for El Dia de Los Muertos, play their instruments atop a bridge over the water. Children dance and play with piñatas in the village alongside the water. If you look closely, you’ll notice one of the piñatas resembles Donald Duck.
In 2015, Disney refurbished this attraction once again, this time adding the original audio-animatronics of The Three Caballeros from the Mickey Mouse Revue attraction which ran in the Magic Kingdom from the park’s opening in 1971 until 1980. In addition to The Three Caballeros singing their famous song of the same name, the Gran Fiesta Tour finale features fireworks over the water. Upon the end of your cruise, I’m sure you’ll find yourself wanting to take another tour of the Mexican culture. Luckily, the short wait time, if any at all, usually experienced at the Gran Fiesta Tour makes it so easy to ride this attraction again and again!
Next time you’re at Epcot, be sure to make your way to the back of the Mexican pavilion for one of the best attractions in the park. If you just can’t wait until your next Walt Disney World vacation to experience the culture of Mexico with The Three Caballeros, take a look at the ride video below!
check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!
Here is the map of our Blogorail Red | Overlooked Experiences at Disney
- 1st Stop – The Delightful Life | The Most Surprising Thing your Kids will Enjoy in World Showcase
- 2nd Stop – Main St. Insider | Overlooked Attractions: Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros
- 3rd Stop – Dad for Disney | Hall of Presidents – An American History Lesson at The Magic Kingdom
- 4th Stop – Disney Mamas Exploring One Man’s Dream at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
- 5th Stop – Disney in Your Day | The Trails in Animal Kingdom