Article and photos by Florida Diva
In the far back corner of the Aztec Pyramid that houses the Mexican Pavilion at Epcot, you’ll find The Gran Fiesta Tour. This gentle boat ride takes you on a leisurely tour of Mexico with Donald Duck, Jose Carioca and Panchito highlighting the culture and scenery that its famous for.
As the two other birds chase and search for Donald, you go along for the ride. You spot him cliff diving in Acapulco, climbing Chichen Itza in The Yucatan or para-sailing along The Pacific Coast.
You even float through a little village that’s whimsically reminiscent of It’s a Small World as you hear the rhythmic sounds of a mariachi band.
Eventually your journey ends with the three amigos reunited and fireworks lighting up the night sky.
Although this attraction is tame in comparison to some, it has the classic Disney charm that makes it more than just a promo for Mexico. In fact, it’s the only ride attraction in The World Showcase that has integrated Disney characters in any way.
Although I’m a huge fan of Epcot and the Pavilions, it does have a certain disconnect- at least from the traditional charm of the characters that started it all. I think that Mexico deserves a tip of the sombrero for their efforts to include one of Walt’s original characters in their showcase.
Overall, this casual cruise through Mexico is worth the usually short wait and gives a relaxing glimpse of the country that sits farthest south on our continent.
This ride is handicapped accessible and is suitable for all ages.