Panchito, Jose, and Donald have been a hot topic as of late — The animatronics on the Gran Fiesta Tour Featuring The Three Caballeros have had their fair share of issues over the last year. In fact, in July 2020 Jose fell face down and in January 2021, the Donald Duck animatronic toppled over.
Donald was first replaced with a tree, but then Imagineers had decided to remove all three animatronics from the ride, replacing them with cardboard cut-outs.
Fans of the ride have been wondering if they would ever get to see Panchito, Jose, and Donald as animatronics once again and now, we have some great news to share!
Disney Imagineer Zach Riddley took to Instagram this morning to share that our favorite Cabelleros have returned to Gran Fiesta Tour in EPCOT! He writes:
¿Dónde están los Tres Caballeros?
Our favorite three feathered friends have once again made their way back to The Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros in the Mexico pavilion! A shout-out to our @waltdisneyimagineering team who lovingly restored these historic Audio-Animatronic figures from the ground up using the latest technology. A big congrats on their install at EPCOT last night!
These figures have a special place in @WaltDisneyWorld history – having been part of the original opening day attraction “Mickey Mouse Revue” at Magic Kingdom. This show – filled with nearly 100 Disney characters singing iconic songs – closed in 1980 and the crew went on tour to Tokyo Disneyland as part of that park’s opening day attractions in 1983. Donald, Panchito and Jose performed abroad for 26 years until the Mickey Mouse Revue played its last show to make way for Mickey’s PhilharMagic. It was then that our design teams hatched the plan to bring these figures back home to Florida where their tour started, joining the Gran Fiesta Tour in 2015.
It’s been quite a migratory journey for this fun-loving trio, and it’s great to have them back performing for our Guests in EPCOT. Stop by and say ¡Hola!
We are so happy to hear that these animatronics are back in action on Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Cabelleros.
The official Disney description of the ride still indicates Donald has gone missing, but we expect to see all three animatronics back in action as early as today:
Donald’s disappeared south of the border, and it’s up to the other 2 caballeros from the musical trio—Panchito, the Mexican charro rooster, and José Carioca, the Brazilian parrot—to find him.
Cruise down the Rio Grande on a dark boat ride past some of the most famous sights and cities in Mexico. Is that the missing mallard climbing a Mayan pyramid in Chichen Itza?
Hilarity and hijinks ensue as the birds go in hot pursuit of their wayward friend throughout this fun-filled ride for all ages.
Inside the Magic will update you as we get information regarding the Three Caballeros.
Are you excited to see Panchito, Jose, and Donald return to the EPCOT ride? Let us know in the comments below.