This past weekend marked the first time the Disneyland has celebrated Dia de Reyes, also know as Three Kings Day. This special event is celebrated at the end of the Christmas season marking the occasion when the three kings, or three wise men, followed the star to Bethlehem to deliver their riches to the Christ child.
Disneyland celebrated the event in Frontierland with special menu items, activities, performances, and character greetings. We started our day off at Rancho del Zocalo Restaurante for a holiday feast.
Rancho del Zocalo Specialty Eats
The restaurant was offering four special menu items for the event: a Tamale Platter, a Carne Asada/Tamale Platter, a Sweet Corn Tamale dessert, and Mexican Hot Chocolate.
Since Rancho del Zocalo is a counter service cafeteria type restaurant, we grabbed our trays and ordered one each of the entree specials. We also ordered a Sweet Corn Tamale, a fruit platter, and Chips con Limon. After paying for our meals, we set out to find a table that would allow us to see some of the decor and watch the festivities.
First up was my husband’s Carne Asada & Tamale platter. It came with one chicken tamale, carne asada, flour tortillas, rice, beans, and sides of sour cream, guacamole, salsa, and lettuce. He ate the whole thing, so I’m going to assume that he enjoyed it.
After the main items were gone, he scooped up the rest of the sides with the Crispy Chips con Limon, which I have to say was a fantastic idea. We’d never purchased these chips before and they are a great snack. You can buy a bag of them for $3.29, and for an additional .99 cents you can get a side of salsa. So, if you’re ever in Disneyland and get a craving for chips and salsa, this is the place to go.
My tamale platter consisted of two chicken tamales along with the rice, beans, and sides of guacamole, sour cream, salsa & lettuce. Overall I enjoyed it, although I would have liked to have had more chicken in my tamales. My favorite part was using those yummy chips to scoop up rice and beans.
Because my boys aren’t big Mexican food fans, we promised them some “kid food” later. We did however order them a Tropical Fruit Platter from the dessert counter to hold them over. And I am happy to report that I have found the best fruit platter I’ve ever seen in the Disneyland Resort!
The Tropical Fruit platter consisted of pineapple, mango, kiwi, blueberries, strawberries, cantaloupe, and honeydew. A great variety of fruit, and at $4.59 I thought it was very reasonable for a healthy snack. This is a regular menu item, so the next time you’re feeling like you need a healthy treat at Disneyland, head over to Rancho del Zocalo.
After we finished our entrees, we dug into the Sweet Corn Tamale, which I really enjoyed. The special dessert was made to order, so we actually got to watch the cast member plate it, which was kind of fun!
The tamale was perfect for sharing; it was moist and sweet and topped with cajeta (caramel) sauce as well as a pineapple-mango-kiwi relish. Surprisingly the relish had a bit of a kick to it. I wasn’t a big fan, but lots of guests around me were devouring it.
Dia de Reyes Activities and Shows
After finishing our mid-day feast, we headed over to see the special activities there were being offered in honor of Dia de Reyes. There was face painting, coloring sheets, and crown decorating tables, which had jeweled sticker sheets to help you bedazzle your holiday headware. Both children and adults could participate in the activities free of charge.
There were also some very special guests and the Dia de Reyes meet and greet area. The Three Caballeros traded off with Mickey and Minnie who were dressed in their best traditional garb.
After visiting with The Three Caballeros (we didn’t want to stand in line for Mickey & Minnie, too long!), we got lucky and ended up right in the middle of a mini parade type performance of Mickey and Minnie on their way to their meet and greet in Zocalo Park.
They started off with some dancing and were accompanied by some performers in beautiful Mexican dresses. They greeted everyone as they walked and the dancers showed off some pretty fancy moves.
In addition to all of this fun stuff, Zocalo Park featured live music by The Mariachi Divas who have been performing at the Disneyland Resort for the past 9 years. They can be seen regularly at the Pacific Wharf at Disney California Adventure as well as in Downtown Disney.
There was also a colorful display of traditional Dia de Reyes items in the park.
More Specialty Eats
And for the grand finale, there were also two food carts getting in on the Dia de Reyes Celebration. The pretzel cart was selling Rosca de Reyes while the churro cart offered Strawberry filled churros. Because I was “on the job” I had to try both of them.
The Rosca de Reyes was actually not my favorite treat of the day. It was very bread-like (think fruity dinner roll) and not as cake-like, which I thought it might be. It was however very pretty and fun to try.
Topped with candied fruit bits to make it look jeweled, the Rosca de Reyes features a whole hidden almond inside. It’s tradition that the person who finds the almond will have good luck. My husband was the lucky one!
Next up was my family’s favorite. The Strawberry Filled Churro.
This tasty treat was your standard Disneyland Resort churro (only shorter) served up warm filled with sweet strawberry goo. It sort of reminded us of a Strawberry Churro topped with cinnamon. Needless to say, it was devoured in just a few seconds. I’m thinking that this item needs to become a regular resident in the Disney Churro carts. Pretty yummy! (Editor’s Note: Strawberry Churros can be found from time to time in Disney World as well!)
The Dia de Reyes celebration ended yesterday. It also marked the last day of the Disneyland Resort Holiday Season. Overall, I felt that the celebration was very well done. The food offerings were great and the entertainment and activities were so much fun.
I’m really hoping that this year kicked off an annual tradition and that Disneyland continues to celebrate Dia de Reyes in the future. It’s unique events like this that make Disneyland so special.
Did you get a chance to visit the Dia de Reyes event at Disneyland? Would you be interested in Disneyland bringing it back next year? Tell us in the comments below!