The Never-Ending Saga of Plant Donald in EPCOT

There are moments throughout history that seem to capture the eyes of not only the nation, but the entire world. You know those kinds of stories — they’re the ones that your grandkids will ask you about, and you nod your head and respond, “Yes…I was there.”

Gran Fiesta Tour

There likely has never been a more peculiar set of events transpire on a Disney World ride than what we’ve seen on Gran Fiesta Tour over the last eight months. If you’re just catching up and are wondering, “Why are they making such a big deal out of a boat ride in the Mexico Pavilion,” first of all…great question. Second, allow us to take you through what may be the most bizarre, entertaining, and downright hilarious set of misfortunes we’ve encountered.

Our story begins in July of 2020, shortly after the theme parks at Disney World reopened. The first malady fell on José Carioca, whose untimely stumble caused him to vanish without warning from the band’s headliner concert. A lonely and solemn bouquet of flowers were there in his place.

José went M.I.A. last summer!

Our fears that José flew the coop to head up to that big “Gran Fiesta Tour in the sky” quickly subsided when just a few weeks later, José returned and each of the Three Caballeros were able to once again sing their little bird hearts out as a band.

“Dude, we’re getting the band back together!”

But tragedy would soon befall on the group once again! This time, Donald Duck vanished overnight, and was replaced by none other than…a plant. Wearing a sombrero.

The one, the only…Plant Donald

Perhaps Disney thought we wouldn’t notice the difference, but our team has some sharp eyes! We were able to deduce through scientific observation that the imposter in the corner was NOT in fact Donald Fauntleroy Duck, but rather a mere common houseplant.

Plant Donald would soon be removed, once again prompting more questions than answers as to the whereabouts of the Mexico Pavilion’s resident Fab 5 member.

Not only did Donald go missing, but Plant Donald did, too!

In late January, rather than bring Donald Duck back in his original form, all THREE Caballeros were replaced by cardboard cutouts.

Cardboard cutouts replaced all three “birds of a feather” on Gran Fiesta Tour

Did Panchito take the group into hiding before he suffered the same fate as his co-stars? Or did all three birds return, only to be “paralyzed” in fear that they may be replaced by flora once again?

Perhaps Donald, Panchito, and José went into hiding…MAYBE they’re hiding in plain sight, so to speak. After all, is it just a coincidence that shortly after the cardboard cutouts appeared, a trio of familiar looking topiaries appeared in preparation for the 2021 Taste of EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival?

Three Caballeros Topiary during Flower & Garden

We were relieved to see their smiling faces after such a harrowing time.

So, it looks like the Three Caballeros may be taking their show on the road, but hopefully they return to the main stage inside the Mexico Pavilion at the end of their “tour.” Until that day comes, you can count on us to deliver the latest breaking news out of EPCOT as we get to the bottom of what has gone “aFOWL” at Gran Fiesta Tour.

Even MORE characters are vanishing from EPCOT! Could this be the next hot-button case for us to cover?

What do YOU think is afoot on Gran Fiesta Tour? Put on your detective hats and drop your guesses in the comments below!


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