Disney Panama magic moments parade

Disney Panama – an Epic Fail of Panama Proportions 6

So…I just got dealt some huge irony. I got more Irony than Iron Man and Jeremy Irons. Heck, I got handed more irony than Jeremy Irons playing Iron Man while mining iron. This irony would make for it’s own song by Alanis Morissette. You see, I wrote this blog about Disney coming to Panama. And it was a huge success (the blog). Up until the day Disney Panama arrived I was still getting loads of traffic. I felt an endorsement deal from Nike, McDonald’s, or possibly a Wheaties box cover was on the horizon…and then the Disney Panama Magical Moments parade happened.

The Disney Panama parade was scheduled to start at 1pm on the Cinta Costera this past Sunday. All lanes were closed to car traffic, it was like there was going to be an F1 race or something. The bridges across the Cinta were all going one direction. And by that I mean people were going across the bridge in the same direction, not acting/singing/dancing to the band, One Direction.

We arrived shortly before 1pm and walked along the Cinta trying to find food vendors. It was like the movie Dude, Where’s My Car, but with food vendors.


At one point a friend tried to get water but the line was dreadfully long and figured he could wait for the next vendor…which never came!

A few minutes later we crossed over the Cinta, hoping there would be more food/beverage vendors along the path. Well, there’s hope, and then there’s despair. We found one food vendor selling burgers at a break-neck pace, and by break-neck I mean I would break someone’s neck to get some food in less than 45 minutes.

It was seriously terrible and it turned terribly serious.

There was not enough water available to the masses. The few vendors around were either running out of drinks, or had insanely long and unbearable lineups under the hot Panama sun. Many people didn’t even bring their parasol (thankfully we did). The nearby Yacht club started doling out water to people begging for it. BEGGING FOR IT! Fricken ridiculous. We figured there was too much of a vendor fee to be within the parade gates and many potential vendors opted not to pay that money.

At approximately 3pm there was still no sign of the Disney “Magical Moments” crew, or Mickey, Donald, Goofy, Woody, or Buzz…and I could REALLY have used a Buzz at this point!

Disney Panama with a buzz

To infinity…and the BAR!

Maybe some were having magical second thoughts about their magical moments waltzing down the magical Cinta in 40 degree heat.

Anyway, it was hot. It was packed. It was dry. It was terrible. This is how we felt…


We got tired of waiting. Actually, we got tired of seeing marching bands. I think every marching band in Latin America was there. Possibly even One Direction snuck a cameo in there. I wouldn’t know though, I was busy trying to get food almost the whole time.

So, sin comida, we decided to leave. Easy right? Nope.

After an unsuccessful attempt at buying spiraled meat on a stick, we decided to depart and tried to cross back over the Cinta, as did many others. The “officer” told us we couldn’t. They prevented people from leaving, and people were not too happy. The officers were adamant we couldn’t use that bridge and we had to use the other one WAY down there. Sigh, SMH. So we walked to the other bridge and forced our way across through the oncoming chattel.

We crossed back over the Cinta and then tried to exit the gates to leave the “official desfile” area. Nope. Not allowed. Only allowed to enter. Go down further to the left or right. WTF, let me leave this hell-hole!

So we walked further down to the next exit/entrance. And once again they were prohibiting exit. Fuck this, we’re leaving. Cheli put her head down, elbows up and stormed through the oncoming crowd and I followed, avoiding eye-contact with any of the dozen “officers”. Side note, Cheli would make an excellent blocker in football. Anyway, we got past the gates and through the oncoming people and I heard an “officer” shout “Senora, Senora”! Presumably at us going the other way. Sorry buddy, today I’m just a dumb gringo that doesn’t speak a word of Spanish.

We got to the metro station and there were still hundreds of people flocking to the parade. We wanted to say “don’t go”, but I’m sure that would have fallen upon deaf Mickey ears…plus today, I’m just a dumb gringo that doesn’t speak a word of Spanish.

After a great blog post with lots of traffic, we had a terrible day at the Disney Panama parade where there was, ironically, lots of traffic. Thankfully, we weren’t the only ones that saw things were basically a disaster.

As you all know I try to put a positive spin on things. So, as our friend put it; Panama beat Disney on this day. Panama 1 Disney 0. Congrats Panama!

Later Dudes!


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6 thoughts on “Disney Panama – an Epic Fail of Panama Proportions

  • Randy Hilarski

    We are so glad that as soon as we entered we turned around and got the hell out of there. My agoraphobia was kicking in big time. This is the second time I had a bad experience on the Cinta Costera. Never again will I attend an event here where they have fences set up.

    • Panama Dude

      Randy, “Never again will I attend an event here where they have fences set up.”, that’s a good rule to live by anywhere! You didn’t miss a thing, besides, Ana’s probably a whiz and can photoshop herself into some pics :). In all honesty it probably wouldn’t have been that bad had we been able to 1) eat, and 2) leave when and where we wanted to. Hopefully they file this one under “lessons learned”!

  • Amy Doherty

    Yeah we heard pretty late that it was THE Christmas Parade in which Disney had a part. The Disney portion wasn’t slated to start until 2:30 and in all honesty it did start before 3. Fortunately we did not attend as we saw the sidewalks shut down while trying to walk our dogs. I happily watched the tv reporting in the comfort of our living room. I have to say that it reminded me of the 4th of July in Washington DC – folks don’t do that either! It is exactly the same. Tight security long lines squelching heat, long porta-potty lines, outrageous prices for drinks, sun stroke victims being shuttled out by paranedics and then the 2 hour trek to get home via car, metro, whatever. It was always bad but after 9/11 got worse due to the heavy security controls. Just not my cup of Ron Abuelo!

    • Panama Dude

      Ron Abuelo would have made this event so much more tolerable! You know, it’s funny, if it were a typical Panama Parade I know it would have started late, but I also know there would be plenty of food and beverages. It’s not like Panamanians don’t know how to do a parade, I think the Disney aspect just caused some chaos. Oh well, Carnivales is coming 🙂