By Soarin’ Diva
Festcot is not my term, it didn’t originate with me. As a matter of fact, I really don’t know where it came from, I have seen it mentioned online a few times and it stuck with me. Epcot is one of Walt Disney World’s four parks. The name Epcot is an acronym for Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow. The beauty of Epcot is that, though there aren’t as many exciting rides and attractions that the other three parks have, this park hosts World Showcase. This large area of the park is devoted to authentically bringing the guests an experience in eleven different countries, each one in its own pavilion. The countries in World Showcase are, in alphabetical order, America, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, Norway and the United Kingdom. None of the other parks can boast such a wide array of cultural opportunities.
Epcot also hosts festivals throughout the year in World Showcase. The first festival Epcot hosted was the Flower and Garden Festival. The Flower and Garden Festival first bloomed in 1993, twenty-five years ago. Showcasing amazing topiaries and gorgeous flowers, this is one festival I have never had the opportunity to attend, but I would really love to.
The next festival to debut at Epcot is the world-famous Food and Wine Festival. This festival, by far, is the busiest and most lucrative for the park. In 2018, the Food and Wine Festival celebrated its twenty-third year.
So, with only three festivals, why am I, as well as other’s, wondering if Epcot should just go ahead and change the park name to Festcot? Simply put, each year has seen an increase in dates that the festival’s last as well as the addition of the third festival being added on for the winter months within the last three years. In 2019, the first festival of the year will be the Festival of the Arts. The date’s for this festival will be from January 18-February 25. Now, I realize that doesn’t seem like a long time, it’s barely over a month, but following right on the heels of the Festival of the Arts is Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival. The dates for the Flower and Garden Festival in 2019 will be from March 6-June 3. That’s right, the Flower and Garden Festival starts only nine days after the previous festival ends.
The longest break Epcot will have without a festival will be between the Flower and Garden Festival and the Food and Wine Festival. Dates for the Food and Wine 2019 Festival have not been released yet, but the dates for the festival in 2018 lasted from August 30-November 12. This was the earliest the Food and Wine Festival had ever started before. Immediately following the Food and Wine Festival is the Festival of the Holidays. This is another one I haven’t had the opportunity to attend, but it seems pretty successful, featuring the sought after Candlelight Processional, the reading of the Christmas story by various celebrities. The dates for the current 2018 Festival of the Holidays are November 18-December 30. That gives roughly two months and three weeks between the Flower and Garden Festival and the Food and Wine Festival. Then the cycle starts back over, so if the Festival of the Holidays ends again around December 30 of 2019, there will be another break of about three weeks. This means, in the twelve months we have in a year, Epcot is holding festivals about eight of those months. That’s a good chunk of the year devoted to festivals.
Please don’t misunderstand me, I’m not knocking Epcot or Walt Disney World Corporation at all for holding all of these festivals. It’s actually a very smart and lucrative business move on their parts. These festivals bring in a LOT of revenue, especially the Food and Wine Festival. They would be crazy to stop holding them when they have proven to themselves how much money they can make off of them. It does seem as though they have started leaning World Showcase over to nothing but a full-time festival in recent years, however. I miss the days of being able to just stroll through World Showcase and explore the countries without having to basically walk arm in arm with total strangers because the area is so packed with festival goers.
I used to think of the Food and Wine Festival as my favorite. I’m not sure why, I’m not an adventurous eater, so I don’t really explore all of the food booths. I’m not a drinker at all, so I don’t sample those goodies at all. I just have always loved the fall season at Walt Disney World, and I do really love attending the Eat to the Beat Concert series that Epcot put’s on, during the Food and Wine Festival, so maybe that’s why I have always thought of this one as my favorite. Until this year.
This festival is so packed now that, even if you aren’t claustrophobic like I am, you start hyperventilating while trying to make your way through the throng of sardine-like packed crowds while trying not to lose sight of your party. I can’t tell you how many absolutely miserable parents of small children I saw this past year trying to navigate through the Food and Wine Festival. I applaud those there who are having the times of their lives, I really do, but I just can’t handle that kind of crowd any more. I have a new favorite festival now.
This past February, my husband and I took our first ever adult-only trip to Walt Disney World and we were able to check out the newest festival, the Festival of the Arts. And we loved it! There was no crowd, we could actually hold hands and walk side by side instead of me having to use him to plow a hole through the crowd for me. There was plenty of room to just stroll and explore. We loved the living statues, we loved the photo back-drop props available. We loved that we could actually hold conversations with the Cast Members in various countries because they weren’t so overworked from the Food and Wine crowd that they couldn’t take a breath. We loved it so much, we are heading back again in February of 2019 and we can’t wait to hit the Festival of the Arts again. We plan to explore a little more and see what else this newest festival at Epcot has to offer.
So, what do you think? Should Epcot just go ahead and either officially or unofficially change their name to Festcot? Do you wish Walt Disney World would just open a fifth park solely dedicated to festivals, or are you happy with the way they do it at Epcot? Do you think the festival season lasts too long, or are you a huge fan of all of the festivals? Have you not been able to experience one of their festivals yet, but you want to and you don’t know where to start? Contact our recommended travel agent, Patricia at All Dreams for Travel, and she can do all the work for you. Best of all, all of her services are FREE, all you have to do is click here to request a quote!
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