Epcot Festivals – 5 Ways to Make the Most of The Experience!
1. Avoid Table Service Meals During the Epcot Festivals (Maybe…)
2. Make a Day of the Experience
If you know you’ll be touring one of these special festivals, I highly recommend looking into the event schedule before you arrive and as soon as you enter the park. If you plan it right and are willing to make a full day (or multiple days) out of the offerings, you can experience so many different realms of entertainment that you may have never experienced or expected from a theme park in the past. Check out the lineup of events, pick something unique, and you’ll enjoy your day in the park more that you likely expected. If you don’t know what’s going on, pick up a Festival passport as you enter the park and the events of the day and the vast variety of offerings will be listed in the book. It’s completely free to guests and makes for a great little souvenir and an even better way to document your chosen dining locations with the included stickers for marking your journey.
Just for example, at this years Flower and Garden Festival (2018), guests are invited to take part in a variety of special events including but not limited to:
-The Epcot Gardens of The World Tour- A three hour tour with a Disney Horticulturist host through a variety of gardens and displays on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday!
-Tea Garden Tours in the United Kingdom Pavilion- Special tour offerings for the season guided by a Disney cast member. Typically the tours are presented by Twinings of London and are offered in 3 different iterations. I’ve heard nothing but excellent reviews of the offering!
3. Don’t Overlook the Little Things
The garden is a come as you please offering and does not require guests to wait in a lengthy line, and as result has nearly infinite repeatability. For me, it’s highlight of the trip, and as someone who rarely enters the gardening realm, it’s quite the production to witness first hand.
4. Don’t Overlook the Merchandise
As a typical rule of thumb when visiting the parks, I tend to avoid typical t-shirts and ordinary theme park souvenirs. There’s nothing inherently wrong with them, but after you’ve been to Disney as many times as we have, some of the merchandise tends to get repetitive. I know that sounds horribly conceited, but I don’t intend for it to. We tour the parks not because we’re rich or have some special discounted offer from Disney (even though we may wish that was a reality), but rather because it’s what we’ve grown up doing and enjoy more that just about anything else. We have a passion for this place and all that it offers, but we experience nearly everything through out of pocket costs. We work normal jobs, live many hours from the parks, and don’t really have any tie-in to the Disney company directly. We write about this place because it’s the place that has created so many memories for us over the years and if I can share just one way in which you can experience those same incredible memories with even one person, the end result is more that worth the time put in.
With all of that being said, Flower and Garden Festival and other festival merchandise is the sole exception to my personal barrier against t-shirts and non unique souvenirs. The festivals bring with them something new and different every year. There are outdoor decorations, special posters, and unique merchandise that you may never see again. To me, that takes a seemingly ordinary souvenir and attaches a memory of the time spent at the event to that item or element of your vacation of a lifetime. That’s exactly what I look for in a souvenir. I don’t look for something trivial but something that takes me back to a moment with friends or family that I can keep for generations. That’s part of the reason I recently got into photography. Capturing a moment is sometimes worth more that any words could ever describe to some. It’s a snapshot of a time that took your breath away or a moment that you may inadvertently relive time and time again and tell stories about for years on end. Those special types of souvenirs attach heart to a seemingly ordinary object in a way that brings a certain level of joy into each and every day of your life. No matter how trivial that time may seem or whatever minor tasks may fit your busy life upon returning home.
5. Prep With a Gift Card for the Event
If you buy a gift card, it’s easy to slide it in a pocket or in the back of a phone case or something similar and have it within reach as you walk from pavilion to pavilion or from outdoor kitchen to outdoor kitchen. Inevitably, especially at Flower and Garden Festival and Food and Wine Festival, you’ll want to stop for a snack at many different locations in order to try a taste of a variety of offerings that have debuted for the year. Instead of digging through a purse or pulling out a wallet every time you want to buy something it’s a touch easier to grab a gift card and hand it to the cashier. There’s nothing to leave at the counter or to drop as you pick up your food and if you wait to buy your gift card on property for select festivals Disney even offers small gift cards attached to bands for easy access. Here’s a glance at what they look like > Disney Gift Cards (not a sponsored link).
Personally, I see this as a great option for teenagers or older kids as well. That way the adults of your group can designate how much money they can spend, put it on the card, and let them pick and choose what they want until the funds run out. You don’t have to worry about them running up a bill on your Magic Band or asking for money time after time and overall it could make things a touch easier for everyone.
As always, if you have thoughts, concerns, questions, or even some tips of your own to share, don’t hesitate to reach out to us on Facebook or your favorite social media platform. Give us a follow while you’re there, and we’ll keep the conversation going in the future. We’re not the largest Disney community, but we’re one that’s there and one that listens. Thanks for reading and have a wonderful day wherever you are!
Ready to Plan?
Need help planning your vacation? Let our friends over at Destinations to Travel (FREE – no obligation quote request form below) help you out at no additional cost to you! Their services are free and a great way for you to help out the site at no extra cost to you! Here’s a closer look at why I recommend an Authorized Disney Travel Planner!
Last but certainly not least, if you’re starting the planning process, a great place to start are with some of our top planning articles! Looking for dining? Check out Disney World Dining Tips For 2018. Want to start with some more tips? 44 Excellent Disney World Tips for 2018 or Disney World Planning Guide and Tips For 2018 are a great place to begin! Looking to save money on tickets? Check out our friends over at The Official Ticket Center for great deals that even made it into our 2018 Discount Disney World Ticket selections and another great way to help us create more content through your contributions at no additional cost to you! You’ll probably even save money along the way.