Annnnd we’re back in EPCOT for the grand reopening and the first day of the Taste of EPCOT Food and Wine Festival. Last week we took a detailed look at all of the changes at Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom.
Now, we’re live in EPCOT for the park’s Reopening Day to check out all of the new processes and changes! And don’t forget, the Taste of EPCOT Food and Wine Festival kicks off TODAY. You can view the full menus here.
Note: We have already checked out the park for a Cast Member preview. You can read more on our first day back in the park below.
Follow along with us today as we will be updating this post with new information!
Like at the Cast Member Preview, parking was every other space.
From there, we were routed up to the temperature checks. We scanned our MagicBand but touchpoints are not active at the gate.
Once in the park, we were greeted by a few Cast Members under Spaceship Earth!
One of our other reporters entered from the International Gateway.
This entrance had a bunch of Cast Members greeting guests.
Some of them were waving flags from the World Showcase countries!
Crowds and Wait Times
Crowds were present in EPCOT but not dense.
You were definitely around people, but there was plenty of room to stay socially distanced.
The longest a wait time got was Test Track which reached one hour mid-day.
Other wait times fluctuated between 5 minutes and around 45 minutes.
Since we rode the Skyliner in over World Showcase, we got a glimpse of construction in the France Pavilion. We’re excited to ride Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure when it opens!
In the EPCOT Experience, we noticed that Spaceship Earth: Our Shared Story and the Mary Poppins attraction are conspicuously missing from the presentation.
Disney later confirmed that these projects have been postponed.
Taste of EPCOT International Food & Wine
We got to swing by the Taste of EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival when it surprised us by opening at the Cast Member Preview, but today it’s the official first day of the fest!
If island flavors are your thing, then swing by Islands of the Caribbean!
We’ll always say yes to Jerk-spiced Chicken.
At Earth Eats, you can get a little bit of Flower & Garden AND a little bit of Food & Wine!
This booth features healthy dishes loaded with fruits and veggies.
Mexico had some real winners this year. Does a Ribeye Taco sound good to you? Then you’re in luck!
Plus, can you really pass up three margarita options?
China has had some BIG Best of the Fest options in years past, and we were sad to see them MISSING from the menu!
The new options weren’t bad though, and we may have found a new contender!
The Africa booth definitely has a limited menu, but that doesn’t stop it from being one of our favorites!
You won’t find flavors like these anywhere else in the fest!
Refreshment Outpost is home to the lovable Spike the Bee Sipper!
And you can load him up with Frozen Lemonade, which sounds like a win to us!
The Germany booth is usually a winner for us.
After all, we will NEVER pass up a Bratwurst and a Beer!
Though we weren’t wowed by the food at the Italy booth, we were BIG fans of the drinks;
It would be pretty hard to get us to pass up two different types of Sangria though!
You might not think that seafood-lovers need to head straight to a booth called Hops & Barley.
But they DO! Just don’t be surprised if you make a little eye contact with your meal!
If you’ve been hanging out with us for the past few festivals, you probably know that the Funnel Cake Stand has been killing it.
This year is no different. The Street Corn Funnel Cake was so good that it almost immediately shot into Best of the Fest territory.
Japan is back this year with Tempura, a Sushi Bowl, and Frothy Ramen.
This booth is typically one of our favorites and it certainly doesn’t disappoint this year!
Sadly, the Brazil booth pulled our favorite Seafood Stew off of the menu this year.
But it still had some delightful options!
There’s one new booth at the festival this year! Step inside World Showplace to check out Mac & Cheese.
Did someone say four types of Mac & Cheese? Sign us up!
Desserts & Champagne is a super interesting booth that blends sweets and science. We’re looking at Cake Pops, Champagne, and Frozen S’mores at this spot!
You can find this booth inside World Showplace along with a few others!
Appleseed Orchard was a new booth last year; well, it’s back! This time you can spot it in World Showplace!
There is a drink at this booth that’s supposed to taste like Frozen Apple Pie. Does it? You’ll have to decide for yourself (or check out our review)!
Also in World Showplace, you can swing over to Wine and Dine featuring Festival Favorites!
This booth has winning dishes from years past, so head over to take a walk down memory lane.
One of our favorites from past Food & Wine festivals has returned to the Canada booth. Get ready to chow down on some Canadian Bacon & Cheddar Soup.
It’s cheese AND bacon. How can you pass that up?
Refreshment Port has some classic staples to add to the festival line-up this year.
If you like Traditional Poutine or Pineapple Dole Whip, you might want to chart a course for Refreshment Port!
If you’re looking for a totally Instagrammable booth, you’ll want to swing by Shimmering Sips. Plus, their drinks are delish!
If you like POG Juice and Mimosas, then do we have news for you! You gotta try the Tropical Mimosa!
The Hawai’i booths was one of the first that we got to try this year…
…and it might be one of our favorites! We’re saying ALOHA to those Kalua Pork Sliders!
Joffrey’s has brought back some seriously tasty sips from the Flower & Garden Festival this year.
We can always count on Joffrey’s for a pick-me-up!
If you REALLY can’t choose what to eat, you don’t have to! Check out our BEST of the FEST list!
There were added tables around so that guests can remove their masks to eat and drink the festival fare.
Cast Member Preview
When we arrived this morning, Cast Members and guests were directed into the EPCOT parking lots.
Parking is every other space like we’ve seen in the other parks.
First, it’s off to the temperature check tents. Like the other parks, AdventHealth professionals administer the checks using handheld infrared thermometers.
The Recheck Tents for those who exceed the maximum temperature reading were air-conditioned.
Lines throughout this area were distanced and Security had a similar process to Magic Kingdom. We were asked to remove umbrellas and metal water bottles and to carry the rest of our items through the scanners. When the scanner detected too much metal, we were asked to dump our bags into a bin for a no-touch search.
After you’re cleared from the two screenings you can head to the gate. Notice the A Taste of Epcot International Food & Wine Festival posters!
Since this is the Cast Member preview, we were checked in using a tablet instead of the usual system. The gate area had plenty of distancing stickers as well.
Like the other parks, EPCOT has Relaxation Stations where guests may remove their masks. We spotted one near Mission: SPACE.
These spots have limited capacity and distanced seating.
The first EPCOT character we spotted was Joy from Inside Out. She was smiling and interacting with us from the other side of a fence near a grassy area.
We saw one of the new World Showcase Promenades with Goofy headed on a stroll…
…and Mickey and Minnie following right behind in a cute automobile.
A Taste of EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival
Some aspects of the 2020 EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival are still in use. We spotted the Bambi topiaries near MouseGear.
Not everything has stuck around though. The flower beds that typically line the waterways in Epcot during Flower & Garden have been removed.
Surprisingly, some of the festival marketplaces for A Taste of EPCOT Food & Wine were open today.
There are tables near the booths where guests can remove their masks to eat.
The guidebook to the festival is available digitally.
We were excited to find you CAN still get the Spike the Bee Sipper that was introduced for Flower and Garden.
First thing when we entered, we noticed that Future World construction is still very present.
Barriers and directional signs still wind through the area.
Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind looks much the same as it did prior to the closures.
Though it was supposed to close for refurbishment a few months ago, Spaceship Earth is open in its current form.
The queue was arranged for social distancing and there were guiding stickers on the ground.
The interactive elements of Project Tomorrow were unavailable and there were distancing stickers throughout the space.
Test Track was a pretty popular ride today. At one point we saw the distanced queue reach a listed wait of 45 minutes.
The distancing stickers continue into the indoor queue.
Guests still walk through the interactive segment of the queue but the actual interactive build-a-car activity is unavailable.
Instead, the room acts as regular queue space.
When loading, it appeared that Cast Members were loading one party per car.
Since we didn’t make our own car, the scoring screen was unavailable in the post-show area.
The interactive experiences in the area were unavailable too.
Soarin’ Around the World
The Soarin’ Around the World queue has been extended into the seating area nearby to allow for social distancing.
In this area, some seats have been marked as unavailable.
The interactive screens were turned off as we made our way through the queue. This could just be for the preview or they may remain off for the official reopening.
The preshow area was marked for social distancing and had plexiglass barriers installed.
The full preshow played.
Inside the attraction, we noted that several seats were locked and unavailable for guest use.
Frozen Ever After
The Frozen Ever After queue stretched pretty far out of Norway with social distancing. A Cast Member was stationed at the end of the line to designate where guests should line up.
Pin Trading Headquarters
Pin Trading Headquarters had a designated entrance and exit.
As a reminder, we will be updating this post throughout the week, so be sure to check back!!
When do you plan to return to Disney World? Let us know in the comments below.