With news dropping that Walt Disney World’s Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will be opening sooner than expected in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney Parks fans were left wondering: How will the August 29th grand opening of Galaxy’s Edge impact Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival, which historically begins the last week of August?
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Will Galaxy’s Edge Impact the Epcot Food and Wine Festival Dates?
Food and Wine typically opens in late-August, and crowds descend upon World Showcase immediately. In fact, opening weekend and closing weekend tend to be the busiest times for Food and Wine. With dates for Food and Wine still unannounced, it’s unclear whether the Festival will open before the gates of Black Spire Outpost in Galaxy’s Edge. Our preliminary research and hotel bookings indicate that Food and Wine will likely start no later than early September and may well begin even earlier (mid-August or the last week of August).
As such, with Galaxy’s Edge set to open on August 29, we’re looking at near-simultaneous openings for Star Wars and the Epcot Food and Wine Festival.
Will Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival be more crowded because of Galaxy’s Edge?
One of the busiest weeks at Food & Wine is the first weekend and the week that follows it, so the Festival will be crowded no matter what. But how will Galaxy’s Edge (and its massive crowds) impact Food & Wine? We expect that crowds at Epcot will grow as guests who traveled for Galaxy’s Edge — but who normally would not have traveled for Food and Wine — decide to spend time in World Showcase. For example, you’ll have the typical Food and Wine crowds exacerbated by all of the guests flooding Disney World for Galaxy’s Edge. As for how much the crowds will swell beyond Festival norms remains to be seen.
What will Food & Wine crowds be like later in the Festival season?
In a typical year, the very end of Food & Wine would also see a rise in crowd levels, but we suspect crowds will remain steadily above normal for the duration of the Festival — including the later weeks when historically numbers were slightly lower. This is because Galaxy’s Edge is expected to remain a massive draw for guests for months after its opening — including a second wave of guests who travel for Galaxy’s Edge when Rise of the Resistance opens.
How can I plan ahead for a crowded Festival?
If you’re planning a visit to Food & Wine regardless of the fear that crowds will be larger than ever, you’ll want to plan ahead. Start your Festival day right as the booths open — at 11AM. Avoid weekends if you can because those tend to be busier than weekdays. When you plan your Food & Wine booth tour, start at the back of World Showcase rather than at the booths near or in Future World — those will get busy more quickly.
Once you’re at the booths, you’ll want to plan on spending more time in those booth lines than in previous years, so build in extra time for the Festival — even spreading it out over multiple days (each starting right at 11AM) if you can. And don’t forget to get the DFB Guide to Food & Wine. We’ll help you solidify your plans and make the most of the time you spend at the Festival.
What do you predict will happen with Galaxy’s Edge and Food & Wine crowds? Join us in speculating in the comments!