Disneyland celebrated Three Kings Day last year, to great success, and they are set to do so again on January 4-6, 2013. What is Three Kings Day? It is a Catholic holiday known as Epiphany Day.
In Spain and some Latin American countries, Epiphany day is called El Día de los Reyes (The Day of the Kings), i.e., the day when a group of Kings or Magi, as related in the second chapter of the gospel of Matthew, arrived to worship and bring three gifts to the baby Jesus after following a star in the heavens. This day is sometimes known as the Día de los Tres Reyes Magos (The day of the Three Royal Magi) or La Pascua de los Negros (Holy Day of the Black men) in Chile, although the latter is rarely heard. (Source: Wikipedia).
In Spanish tradition on January 6, three of the Kings: Melchior, Gaspar, and Balthazar, representing Europe, Arabia, and Africa, arrived on horse, camel and elephant, bringing respectively gold, frankincense and myrrh to the baby Jesus. Children (and many adults) polish and leave their shoes ready for the Kings’ presents before they go to bed on the eve of January 6. The next morning presents will appear under their shoes, or if the children are deemed to have misbehaved during the year, coal (usually a lump of hard sugar candy dyed black).
Most towns in Spain arrange colorful parades representing the arrival of the Reyes Magos to town so children can see them in their camels or carriages before they go to bed. Sweet wine, nibbles, fruit and milk are left for the Kings and their camels. In Spain children typically receive presents on this day, rather than on Christmas, though this tradition has changed lately, and children now receive presents on both days. In Spain the Epiphany bread/cake is known as Roscón and in Mexico as Rosca de reyes.
So how is Disneyland going to commemorate Three Kings Day? They will hold the event at the Big Thunder Festival Arena, in Frontierland, at Disneyland Park for a 3-day celebration of this Hispanic holiday commemorating the 3 gift-giving kings, on January 4, 5 and 6, 2013.
The celebration at Disney’s tribute will feature merry mariachi music, colorfully clad dancers and scenic displays depicting holiday rituals.
The Big Thunder Festival Arena will be brightly dressed up for the occasion in cheerful colors, hanging papel picado banners and fresh flowers. You will see statues of the Three Wise Men bearing gifts, as well as little toy-filled shoes left out by hopeful children the night before in anticipation of gifts from the kings.
Hot Entertainment and Hot Tamales!
Enjoy live performances throughout the celebration as the Ballet Folklorico Dancers swirl and sway in their voluminous, jewel-toned skirts and the sounds of the Grammy®-winning Mariachi Divas delight your eardrums. Some of your favorite Disney Characters will be dressed in their fiesta best, ready to party with you!
Little kings and queens can color in the Three Kings or customize their own paper crown with sparkling “jewels.” Then get a heavenly new look with a face-painted sun, moon or star!
And what holiday would be complete without something delicious? While enjoying the festivities at the Big Thunder Festival Arena, try the cake known as Rosca de Reyes (King’s Bread) — or other treats, such as chimichangas and apple slices with caramel dipping sauce. During the Three Kings’ Day Celebration, Rancho del Zocalo restaurant is featuring several seasonal specials, including sweet corn tamales with pineapple and cajeta, bunuelos and Abuelita Mexican hot chocolate.
Due to weather conditions, entertainment is subject to change without notice. Menu options may also change without notice.