Visiting an EPCOT Festival is always a fun time, but it’s not cheap. Shelling out again and again at each booth can feel like your wallet is suffering the death of a thousand cuts. We can help you to quickly estimate your Flower & Garden Festival spending, letting you keep your in-park focus on the food instead of your budget.
Will the approach I’m using here be as precise as choosing every dish in advance and adding up the cost? No, it won’t — but it will be a lot faster and easier. And in the end it may be more accurate, since dish-by-dish plans sometimes run afoul of what you see and smell in the park.
Festival At A Glance
Are you not looking to make a budget but still curious about this year’s Festival? This section is for you.
Points of Interest
The 2022 Festival offers the Garden Graze, featuring 5 vegan dishes from different booths. After trying the dishes (and collecting the Passport stamps), check in at the Pineapple Promenade to collect a free Dole Whip in a souvenir cup.
- Grilled Street Corn on the Cob with Savory Garlic Spread at Flavor Full Kitchen
- Avocado Toast with Marinated Toy Box Tomatoes on Toasted Ciabatta at Sunshine Griddle
- Grilled Baby Vegetables with Hummus Cream and Red Pepper Coulis at Trowel & Trellis
- Potato Pancakes with House-Made Apple Sauce at Bauernmarkt
- Coconut Tres Leches: Vanilla Cake soaked in Oat Milk, Almond Milk and Coconut Milk with Toasted Coconut at La Isla Fresca
The total cost of all five dishes is $25.75, and you don’t need to eat them all in one visit.
The Farmer’s Feast booth is offering three different lineups. Seasonal offerings will change throughout the Festival to showcase the freshest ingredients.
- Early Bloom menu – Mar. 2 – Apr. 9
- Springtime menu – Apr. 10 – May 21
- Summer Solstice menu – May 22 – Jul. 4
Last but not least, Spike’s Pollen-Nation Exploration exploration has returned this year. This scavenger hunt activity ($9.99 for the map) is a fun way to see the festival in between sampling the booths. Check out our Festival Preview for information on merchandise, Garden Rocks concerts, and more.
By the Numbers
This year’s Festival has 21 different booths and a total of 64 dishes. The chart below should give you an idea about what pricing for the average booth looks like. Or the not-so-average booth; as always Italy may be using gold in their food because otherwise we cannot account for the prices.
Aside from Italy, it’s easy to see that most booths average $5-6 per dish. There are a few at $7, and then Hanami, Jardin de Fiestas, and Refreshment Port at $8 per dish. One thing to be aware of about Refreshment Port though; the servings are generous and poutine really sticks to your ribs. As a value proposition it’s not bad.
Something that I always find interesting to look at is how the prices relate to the type of dish. This visual breaks down the dishes by type.
One thing that sticks out is the number of gluten-friendly dishes — almost a full third of the offerings this year. It’s also easy to see that meat- and seafood-focused dishes are more expensive, as you might expect.
What’s Your Festival Game Plan?
Knowing how you’re going to approach your time at the Festival is key to understanding how to use the data I’m about to give you. I can tell you what the average cost of 12 dishes will be, or the price range to visit 5 different booths. But you’ll be the one to match that data with your strategy to give you an estimated cost.
Are you grazing or looking for meals?
Will you eat at the Festival for lunch and dinner every day? Are you going to be in Epcot for two afternoons and plan to have every family member pick a Festival dish for a snack? Different approaches will have very different price tags.
If you’ve never been before, here are a few suggestions:
- If you’re only planning on trying a few dishes here or there as a snack, don’t worry too much about making a Festival budget. Many dishes are about the price of an average Disney World snack. Unless you only want to eat at the Italy booth, lump the Festival dishes into your snack budget and call it a day.
- If you’ll be visiting in the evening and you’re not picky eaters, assume you’ll visit a few booths and order one of each dish on the menu. Lines can be long in the evening, and this strategy gives you the most food for your time in line.
- If you’ve got picky eaters, plan to visit at lunch or in the early afternoon. Since you’ll be very selective about what you order off each menu, visiting when lines are shorter will save you time.
If you’re going to be doing a mix, that’s fine. Rough out which days you’ll be grazing and which days you’ll be hitting up a large number of booths. Make separate estimates for the two styles and add them together.
How many dishes make a meal?
You’ll need to know this if you’re planning on meals, but it’s a tricky question because appetites vary (and so do Festival portion sizes). A good rule of thumb is that many people find 2 or 3 dishes and a dessert to be a decent-sized meal, even if they’re light eaters. If you tend to eat a lot, go up from there.
It’s good to think about this question here, because there’s a chicken and egg factor to Festival budgeting. The three dishes shown above cost $15.50 in total; if we use the average prices for two dishes and a dessert that’s going to be $17.50.
Does that seem a little skimpy and you want to add another entree to make a solid dinner out of it? $23.75, please. Compare this to the average quick-service meal cost of $12-16, and you may decide to let your budget dictate how much time you’ll spend at the Festival.
Most people don’t tackle the whole Festival in one go, and will come a few times if their vacation allows it. Some families think nothing of two people ordering the same dishes, while others would bemoan the wasted opportunity to try MOAR Yummies!
To get these estimates, I ran 100,000 simulations of selecting a target number of dishes or booths. The assumption is that dishes aren’t repeated, but it turns out that the results are pretty similar if you allow multiple orders of the same dish. Just be aware that if you go back to Primavera Kitchen in Italy again and again, that’s like the black swan event of budgeting.
Estimates for booths
If your strategy is focused on booths, you can estimate using the numbers on the chart below.
The range shown in the chart above will be a solid estimate of your cost. For instance, if you were planning to sample 6 different booths, you could expect the bill to be somewhere between $109 and $129 most of the time. (If you want to see the numbers including the midpoints and the 80% range, take a look at the full dataset).
Wondering what the dots above and below are for? Those are the minimum and maximum values, and the reason I included them is to make it easy to see that the trends are mostly linear. Once you’ve got a linear trend, you can just haul out the old y = mx + b, so …
If you don’t want to read the chart, it turns out that you can multiply the number of booths by $20, then add and subtract $10 to get the ends of the range. So using this method, 6*20 = $120; +/- $10 gives us a range of $110 to $130. Yes, it’s off by a dollar from what we saw reading the chart — we’ll call that rounding error.
Estimates for dishes
If you expect to be grazing and picking dishes here and there, these estimates are for you.
Just like the booths, we can take a shortcut to calculate. For fewer than 12 dishes, look at the chart. For 12 or more dishes, multiply the number of dishes by $6.50, then add and subtract $5 to get an estimate that’s $10 wide. If you’re aiming for meat and seafood focused dishes, expect to come in near the top end of the range or even a couple of dollars above. (See the full dataset)
What to Take Away
- EPCOT Festivals are fun, but can be expensive. A “meal” consisting of 2 dishes and a dessert averages $17.50 and adding a third dish brings that up to $23.75. For comparison, an average quick service meal is $12-16.
- Planning how you’ll approach the Festival and how many dishes or booths you’ll try is key to estimating your cost accurately.
- Once you’ve got that done, simple arithmetic can give you a budget number you can be confident in.
How do you like to take on an EPCOT Festival? Are you concerned with keeping your spending in check, or do you just like to avoid thinking about the bill until you’re back home? Let us know in the comments!