For Limited Time Magic this week Walt Disney World is holding a week-long celebration of Cinco de Mayo in the Mexico pavilion at Epcot. Festivities include two special shows: Mexican Music and Epcot Marionetas, special food at the sit down restaurants, and special appearances of The Three Caballeros! I wasn’t too excited about the special shows or food…but the chance to meet Panchito and Jose Carioca, that I could get excited about! I decided to avoid the crazy Cinco de Mayo crowds yesterday and went to check it all out today and have my own Seis de Mayo celebration.
I arrived at the park late, around noon, since World Showcase doesn’t open til 11, the Crowd Calendar had Epcot has a Best Park, and it was supposed to be pretty empty.
First stop was at La Cantina de San Angel for lunch. Being from California I am a bit of a Mexican food snob, so I had never really eaten there before. I tried bites of this and that a couple of times when other people got food there and I’d had margaritas, but never really ordered my own meal. I thought today was the day to try it out! I ordered Nachos and a Kid’s Meal with Cheese Empanadas for my meal along with Churritos with caramel sauce for dessert. I have to say, I was really impressed with my meal! The Empanadas were really delicious and had more cheese than I expected. The nachos were huge and had a lot of toppings although they weren’t as good as I had hoped (although my boyfriend who was with me loved them). We also both really like the Churritos. I enjoyed them more than the churros they sell at carts around the park and thought the caramel sauce, although very watery, added a lot to the flavor. As we ate I looked around at other people’s food and thought the tacos (both chicken and beef options) looked amazing. I’m really anxious to go eat here again!
After lunch we went to check out the special shows. First we saw the Mexican Music. While it was fairly entertaining and the musicians were talented, it wasn’t anything spectacular. We only watched for a few minutes before deciding to listen from the queue to greet The Three Caballeros. While we were waiting the Epcot Marionetas came out. They were…interesting. It was a man on stilts dressed as a Dia de Los Muertos style Puppeteer with a big box that soon revealed two marionettes (that were live people also made up like the Puppeteer) who danced around to canned music playing from a stereo. Most of their act seemed to be dancing around while guests took pictures with them. It was interesting to watch while we were in line but not something I would have gone out of my way for.
Finally it was time for what I was most looking forward to…The Three Caballeros! It was clear that all three characters were very happy to be out together and were having a great time entertaining guests. When it was our turn Panchito and Donald made a big show of fighting over me. This included Panchito trying to walk off with me while Donald chased us and pulled us back. They also danced around and gave out lots of hugs and kisses. It was so much fun! I really like when multiple characters meet in a group and can interact with each other; it makes for such a fun experience, and it only adds to the fun when rare characters are involved.
To wrap up the Seis de Mayo fun I had to take a ride on Gran Fiesta Tour. I adore this ride and go on it almost every time I visit Epcot. It’s such a fun, silly trip through Mexico on the hunt for Donald. I requested the front row like I usually do, both because my legs are just a bit too long to sit comfortably and because I want an unobstructed view of the gorgeous Mexico scenes. I know Disney receives a lot of criticism for over-use of screens, but I think the combination of screens and physical sets and props is well done. I also noticed on this ride that a few things that had been broken were fixed; for example, the Donald pinata that had been stationary began moving up and down again. It always pleases me to see rides getting minor things taken care of without needing a complete overhaul.
That was the end of my Seis de Mayo celebration. I have to say I really enjoyed this Limited Time Magic. Meeting rare characters is always fun, and even though the shows weren’t fantastic, it was something new and different, which I always appreciate. I hope more events are like this in the future.