PHOTOS – Is It Better to Visit EPCOT When There Isn’t a Festival?

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EPCOT’s four different festivals are great, there’s no denying. But, my personal preference is to visit on the rare days in which there is not a festival. Some folks call these days “Diet Epcot” or “Epcot Light.” I just call them heavenly.

Yesterday, I visited with my son during what is almost the final day of festival-free EPCOT. Tomorrow the 2021 EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival will open, and it will be around for a whopping FOUR months! So if you ever find yourself considering whether or not to book your Walt Disney World vacation during one of the rare times in which there is no festival at EPCOT, please consider these photos exhibit A – Z as to why a festival-free EPCOT is a good thing.

EPCOT Front Entrance 10 a.m. – March 1, 2021
EPCOT Front Entrance 10 a.m. – March 1, 2021
EPCOT Front Entrance 10 a.m. – March 1, 2021

First off, it is always good to remind you, dear reader, that generally each park will let guests in one hour before published opening, during this time of COVID-19 precautions. While most attractions do not open this early, the park itself can open up to one hour before published time in order to avoid crowding at the park gates. This is subject to change and not official policy, but our team has observed this being the case over and over again.

Mexico Pavilion 11 a.m. – March 1, 2021
Mexico Pavilion 11 a.m. – March 1, 2021 (Flower and Garden Decorations)
China Pavilion Around 11:30 a.m. – March 1, 2021
Germany Pavilion Around 1 p.m. – March 1, 2021
Germany Pavilion Around 1 p.m. – March 1, 2021 (Flower and Garden Decorations)
Italy Pavilion Around 1pm – March 1, 2021
Italy Pavilion Around 1pm – March 1, 2021 (Flower and Garden Decorations)
Japan Pavilion Around 1pm – March 1, 2021
Canada Pavilion Around 2pm – March 1, 2021
Canada Pavilion Around 2pm – March 1, 2021

Besides low crowds, another reason I enjoy festival-free EPCOT is the food. Sounds counterintuitive right? I love the lack of the food and beverage booths because then I can just focus on regular EPCOT food and beverage. The servings are larger and the price is generally a better value than the small plates at the festivals. Yesterday I indulged myself with a treat from Karamell Kuche. This sweet shop at the Germany Pavilion almost always has a line, but that was not the case yesterday. How sweet!

Which do you prefer – EPCOT during a festival or without? Let us know in the comments!

 

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Dani

Born and raised in the land of sunshine and dreams come true, Dani is a proud Orlando Native who loves sharing her hometown with others. She's worked in nearly all of Orlando's theme parks, on board Disney Cruise Line, and in hotel management. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @thisfloridalife

3 thoughts on “PHOTOS – Is It Better to Visit EPCOT When There Isn’t a Festival?

  • March 2, 2021 at 2:19 pm
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    Many of the festival dishes are wildly inconsistent in both taste and presentation. The “Drinking around the world” groups that go beyond a good time to being a nuisance seems to also have been higher in recent years. The uncrowded promenade is also a joy of non-festival times. I do like the festival of the holidays additional entertainment. Just as the festival of the arts has fun displays and unique offerings.

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  • March 3, 2021 at 2:15 am
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    We love the festivals but, like you, we tend to go on Weekdays early during non-crowd times (the locals tend to up the crowd level on the weekends). Monday’s and Tuesday’s at Epcot always seem to be the perfect time to go for us, even though we are only there once a month (7 hour drive away).

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  • March 3, 2021 at 10:06 pm
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    The festival foods are always ridiculously over priced for the minuscule amount of food you get so I’ll take the non-festival times any day of the week.

    Reply

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