EPCOTPlanningThe ParksTips

Surviving EPCOT During a Festival: How to Manage the Crowds

We love the festivals at Walt Disney World at EPCOT. Each season brings new and exciting cuisine, entertainment, and decorations throughout EPCOT.

The festivals each provide something fresh. Flower and Garden focus on the beauty of EPCOT with unique flowers and topiaries throughout the Park. The Festival of the Arts is dedicated to all art forms. Talent painters, singers, designers, chefs, and more come to share their talents with Guests at EPCOT. Over the holidays, Guests will learn about the holiday transitions of different countries worldwide as Festival of the Holiday transforms EPCOT into a winter escape full of holiday decorations, music, and the beloved Candlelight Processional. Finally, the year wraps up with the original festival of Food and Wine. As you can imagine, this festival focuses on bringing unique cuisine and flavors to the Park.

Although we love all of these festivals at EPCOT, it can take a lot of work to enjoy them when the crowds start to build. We have learned a few essential tricks to navigating EPCOT during the festivals. We use these to both enjoy the festival and manage the crowds. We hope they will help you do the same.

EPCOT Monorail, Spaceship Earth
Credit: V Mills

Go Early

Our first trip to managing the crowds and enjoying the festivals at EPCOT is to go early. EPCOT has been opening at 9:00 a.m. lately. The food booths typically open closer to 11:00 a. With this in mind, ensure you can hit the festival right when it opens.

Not only will the crowds be lower during this time, but the food will be fresh, the lines will be short, and you will be able to experience more in a shorter period. The World Showcase is also beautiful early on in the day. You can enjoy the reflections of the World Showcase Lagoon.

Early afternoons and evenings in the World Showcase get extremely busy. There are more relaxing times to be visiting the festival. The walkways will feel extra crowds as the lines from the festival booths take up some of the extensive walkways.

Going early can avoid some of those longer lines and more crowded areas.

Germany pavilion epcot

Skip the Weekends

If you want to be able to enjoy EPCOT and the festival, consider skipping it during the weekends. From Friday evening through mid-Sunday, EPCOT becomes highly crowded. Locals and Annual Pass holders use the weekend to experience festival delights.

Because of this, the World Showcase and EPCOT overall begin to feel highly crowded. To avoid this, consider visiting during the middle of the week. You will find a lower crowds level, allowing you to enjoy more of the festival and EPCOT.


Have a Plan

Ensure you have an overall plan when you attend EPCOT for a great day. By having a plan, you can navigate the Park more successfully. Remember, EPCOT is a huge Disney Park. Because of this, you will want to ensure your plan doesn’t have you crisscrossing a lot.

Before heading back to World Showcase, try to focus on one area, such as World Nature, World Celebration, or World Discovery. Doing this will keep you from having to navigate your way through crowds of people. Know where your must-do attractions are located and plan a path to get to them.

A plan is also essential when experiencing a festival. Know what is offered at the different booths and prioritize what you want to ensure you enjoy. Having a list will help you know where you want to stop.

You won’t want to spend time navigating the crowd when EPCOT gets busy. Create a must-do list to ensure you get done what you want.

Disney Skyliner
Credit: Disney

Head Out

As the afternoon starts, EPCOT will start to become busier. If you want to survive a festival at EPCOT, consider taking time to leave during the middle of the day. EPCOT can feel extremely hot during the middle of the day, especially in the World Showcase.

To enjoy more of what the festival has to offer, take time to take a break from the Park. Head back to your Resort, ride the skyliner for fun, or visit a nearby Resort. No matter what rest means to your group, remember that a fantastic way to manage crowds is to take a break from them when they are at their peak.

Le Cellier Steakhouse

Schedule a Meal

A fun part of the festivals at EPCOT is the food that everyone can sample at the different food booths. You can try more cuisine because the portions are typically a good sharing size, perfect for eating less while experiencing more.

Although you might think you will snack worldwide, we would also suggest having a table-service meal planned for supper. After navigating EPCOT for a while, it will be nice to sit down and relax. EPCOT has numerous options to choose from when it comes to sit-down meals.

Take time to navigate the menus so you can find an option that is perfect for your family.

The four festivals that take place throughout the year at EPCOT are fantastic. They create energy and excitement in EPCOT. Even though we love the festivals, we still take time to manage the crowds. This might be leaving the Park for a few hours, finding a nice place to sit and relax, or doing a few EPCOT rides at the front of the Park away from the World Showcase.

Consider your travel party and determine which fine options will be the best for your group. These are some of the top ways to manage the crowds at EPCOT during a festival. We hope that they will help you as well during your next trip.

Related: Ride EPCOT’s Top Rides with Low Waits



Jennifer Retzlaff

Jennifer became a lifelong Disney fan during her first trip to Walt Disney World in 6th grade. From that moment, Disney became a big part of her life. She quickly started to introduce her love of Disney to her family with a Disney honeymoon and then family trips when her youngest was 18 months old. She loves the magic that Disney brings to people through theme parks, cruises, and adventures. As a teacher, she tries to bring Disney magic into her classroom to help kids believe that “If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It.” She is also part of the Magic Vacation Planner team as a personal travel advisor. With this team, she can now help others plan magical vacations. She loves bringing her love to Disney to readers with How to Disney.

Related Articles


Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker