#AskIt – Should Epcot Go To Year-Round Festivals?

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The Epcot 2018 International Food and Wine Festival begins for this year on August 30. If feels to you like there’s nearly always a festival with food and drink kiosks at Epcot, that’s because it’s true. In 2018, we have:

  • Festival of the Arts – January 12 to February 19
  • Flower and Garden – February 28 to May 28
  • Food and Wine – August 30 to November 12
  • Festival of the Holidays – November 18 to December 30

So other than June, July, and practically all of August, and the first two weeks of the year, there is always a festival at Epcot. And the lines between what makes one distinct from another are ever more blurry. There are booths for purchasing snack-sized food and wine offerings and live entertainment on the American Gardens stage at all of these.

With the Guardians of the Galaxy coaster and the Ratatouille attraction at least two years out, we’re asking:

Should Epcot just officially give up its original vision and keep the kiosks up year-round?

  • No (57%, 182 Votes)
  • Yes (43%, 138 Votes)

Total Voters: 320

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What is your ideal number of days in the year for festivals at Epcot? What would you do to keep them unique and something to look forward to every year? Talk about it in the comments.

Last week, we asked you which acquisition has Disney put to the best use in its theme parks and on the cruise line. The biggest vote-getter was Pixar, which makes sense. Marvel is still tied up in contractual problems east of the Mississippi – this is why Marvel Super Hero Island is at Universal’s Islands of Adventure. And Star Wars, while it’s got a good presence in Hollywood Studios and merchandise shops everywhere, is more of an anticipation than a reality at this point.

We also put out a flash poll on our Twitter account earlier this week. Walt Disney World has added live actors to Pirates of the Caribbean for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween party. We asked what other Magic Kingdom attraction could be plussed this way. Of our four choices, Haunted Mansion, Carousel of Progress, Frontierland Shootin’ Arcade, and Swiss Family Treehouse, Haunted Mansion was the runaway hit. Our own Guy Selga reminded us that Disneyland actually did this once and it was super scary–so much so that they stopped. Even David Davies agreed, and I thought the only thing that scared him is when I make changes to WordPress on the fly.  Other suggestions were it’s a small world and Jungle Cruise (with actors to interact with the skippers). I think my favorite was Tiki Room meets UP! A Great Bird Adventure. This had some great comments on Twitter, so keep the conversation going here with more ideas.

Laurel Stewart

Laurel has been visiting Walt Disney World since 1971 when she was negative-15 years old and running the Disney races since 2007. Her favorite attraction is Big Thunder Mountain.

5 thoughts on “#AskIt – Should Epcot Go To Year-Round Festivals?

  • August 22, 2018 at 11:11 am
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    I think it would be great if it was like a year round world’s fair. Then they can change up the festival depending on the season, like they do now. It would be really important, though, for them to actually change the offerings with each version of the festival/fair to keep things fresh.

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  • August 22, 2018 at 12:19 pm
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    Remember the line in “The Inredibles” — “When everyone’s super, no one is?” Well I think it’s like that at Epcot — when every day’s a festival, no day really is. The festivals were supposed to be unique happenings to draw people when attendance was generally lower at the parks. Now there’s almost nothing unique or interesting about a “festival day.” Oh sure, the subject matter may officially change, but each one follows essentially the same idiom.

    I believe they need to go the other way and reduce the number and/or length of the festivals to make them truly interesting and unique. I no longer have any desire to visit Epcot simply because one of these festivals is going on.

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  • August 22, 2018 at 1:20 pm
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    Years ago, a festival was more of a rare occasion. Now with the addition of new festivals (not complaining!) and more festival dates, you can go almost any time of year and hit a festival. It’s not as unique anymore. I’m not sure if it is a good or bad thing, because it does let more people enjoy the festivals, but on the other hand it makes the festivals less special. I liked the setup of the Festival of the Arts in 2017, when it ran Friday through Monday, and Tuesday through Thursday were non-festival days. That made it easy to see “Festival Epcot” and “Classic Epcot” in one trip.

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  • August 22, 2018 at 3:04 pm
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    I suspect that the festival kiosks pull more people into world showcase and therefore will most likely not go away. I would actually like to see 1 or 2 more festivals with expanded offerings at the kiosks such as folk art or clothing from different countries. Maybe a music festival with music from different nations at each country. Finally, if all the food kiosks were permanent I worry that the selections would not change with time, thus removing the fun for regular visitors like myself.

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  • August 23, 2018 at 11:43 am
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    Although I definitely hear the viewpoint of the commenter who wrote that “when every day is a festival, no day is”, I find that the festivals increase the kid-friendliness of Epcot. I’ve been known to describe Phineas & Ferb (which my kids love) as “the thing that kids do while their parents shop”. While I love the multi-cultural market experience, I also feel like the more programming there is in World Showcase, the easier it is to spend time there with kids. (And yes, eating your way around the booths counts as “programming” as far as kids are concerned!)

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