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How To Survive EPCOT’s Festival Season

EPCOT is host to several unique and entertaining festivals that each focus on different topics throughout each year. The beginning of the year kicks off with the EPCOT Festival of the Arts, followed by the EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival in the spring, the EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival in the fall, and the EPCOT Festival of the Holidays during the holiday season.

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Each festival offers up unique experiences, including booths that serve exclusive food and beverage options, special entertainment, merchandise, events, and more. Guests can easily spend days enjoying all that each festival offers, and certain tips can help them have the best experience possible at any EPCOT festival!

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Avoid Weekends – No matter the festival, EPCOT will always be busier on the weekend days when more locals and those from further away can travel and visit the Park. This equates to lengthy wait times for attractions and special experiences, including food booths and entertainment. While the weekends are certainly doable and have all of the enjoyable offerings from each festival, Guests who can visit during the weekdays are sure to be able to see and do more, thanks to lower crowd levels.

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Arrive Early – The other way to make the most of a day visiting an EPCOT festival is by arriving early. The festivals are technically spread throughout the entire Park; however, most food booths and entertainment can be found in World Showcase, which typically does not open until eleven. Guests should plan to arrive early at EPCOT, enjoy some experiences in Future World, and be ready to check out their first festival stop right when it opens at eleven.

Check Menus Beforehand – The EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival typically features dozens of food booths that each serve up several foods and beverage options for Guests to enjoy. Since the food booths are so popular, they are now present at every EPCOT festival, meaning there are virtually endless tastes to sample throughout the year. With so many options, Guests are smart to check out the menus at home before heading to the Park and having a general idea of which booths they would live to visit and which items they would like to sample. This time-saver helps Guests narrow down their options and ultimately save time while at any of the festivals.

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Hydrate – One of the biggest mistakes that Guests make in Walt Disney World is not hydrating enough to combat the extensive walking and heat in the Florida sun. This problem is often exacerbated at EPCOT and the festivals where Guests tend to indulge in alcoholic beverages more than elsewhere. A great rule of thumb to remember in EPCOT is enjoying a glass of water with each beverage sampled from any booth. This simple act can help Guests to stay feeling their best and spend more time enjoying the festivals.

Take Time To Explore – Guests also need to pace themselves when visiting festivals to avoid the risk of eating or drinking too much too quickly and fading out early in the day. To ensure that Guests can last an entire day at a festival eating, drinking, and enjoying the offerings, they need to make sure that they pace themselves, and a great way to do so is taking time to explore. Each of the eleven pavilions in World Showcase features beautiful details that play out through architecture, stores, entertainment, fountains, and more. Taking the time to explore each pavilion in EPCOT can help Guests enjoy an entire day at a festival.

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Visit The American Adventure – Another way to avoid burning out early in the day at an EPCOT festival is embracing the ideal rest stop- the American Adventure. Located in the American Pavilion, the American Adventure is the perfect attraction for Guests to enjoy to recharge. It’s indoors in pumping air conditioning, features comfortable seats in a dark theater, and runs for nearly a half-hour, making it at least a wonderful attraction to enjoy and, at best, the perfect spot to take a midday nap and recharge to continue enjoying a festival.

End the Night Right – The final tip to end a great day at any festival in EPCOT is getting some timing right. Every night in EPCOT ends with fireworks on World Showcase Lagoon that begin at Park closing. For example, if the Park is set to close at nine, all festival offerings will close at nine, and the fireworks will begin simultaneously. Guests who are looking to enjoy the fireworks truly should make sure to save one final booth for last and get online five minutes before the fireworks are set to start. This ensures that they will have enough time to order one last bite and beverage before the booths close that they can then enjoy while watching the fireworks for the perfect ending to a festival day.

EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival (Credit: Disney)

About Caitlin Kane

Caitlin Kane first started visiting Walt Disney World when she was two years old, and despite spending most of that trip quarantined with the chicken pox she managed to fall in love with the place. Visiting WDW every year since, she especially loves learning all about the history and small details of the parks and eating/drinking her way through the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival each fall. When she's not in Disney, Caitlin lives in New York and spends her time counting down the days to her next trip.