Upon reopening, all of the Disney World parks are operating at reduced capacity, and guests are required to secure a Disney Park Pass reservation to enter.
For the most part, we’ve encountered manageable crowds and wait times at the parks, although Disney’s Hollywood Studios has regularly felt more crowded. But, spoiler alert, that’s NOT the park that stresses us out the most during the weekend.
Upon reopening on July 15th, EPCOT also launched the 2020 EPCOT Food and Wine Festival. In previous years, we’ve regularly seen EPCOT crowds balloon on weekends during the festival as lots of locals visit the park on these days.
And it looks like the trend of hitting up the festival during the weekend has held steady because EPCOT has been pretty crowded on Saturdays and Sundays. Which makes sense, since Disney has reported that locals have made up about 50% of their attendance since the reopening. So, if you don’t want to deal with longer wait times and crowds, then you may want to skip this park on the weekend.
We stopped by EPCOT this Saturday to check out the newly opened Spain and The Alps festival booths. And it was pretty jarring to see just how much more crowded the park felt on Saturday compared to our weekday visits!
In Mexico, there is a cap on the number of guests that can enter the Pavilion’s pyramid in order to promote distancing. On our weekday visits, it’s been pretty rare for the pyramid to hit capacity, and when it does, guests have been asked to queue outside.
But on Saturday, the pyramid didn’t just reach capacity — it was so crowded that even the queue was full. Cast Members in Mexico were turning guests away from the line and told them to try back in 20 minutes.
And the crowds didn’t disperse much even after we passed through Mexico. The line for the China Food and Wine booth was so long, we couldn’t even see the booth from the end of the queue! With the distancing measures in place, lines have been deceptively long — but even so, this is much farther back than we’re used to seeing the queue compared to our weekday visits.
Inside the World Showplace — home to four festival booths — all of the tables were taken and we saw guests sitting on the floor throughout the building.
And it’s not just the Food & Wine booth queues that get inflated — the wait times for attractions at EPCOT have also been longer on the weekends. For example, on Sunday, August 30th at 4PM, the longest wait times were Frozen Ever After at 55-minutes and Test Track at 65-minutes.
By comparison, on Wednesday, August 26th at 4PM, the longest wait times were Test Track at 20-minutes and Frozen Ever after at 30-minutes. So, it seems the weekend crowds aren’t strictly flocking to the Food and Wine festivities!
After experiencing the mid-week crowds at EPCOT, it was definitely jarring to take a trip to the park on Saturday! With that being said, if you plan on visiting Disney World during the Food and Wine Festival, we recommend you try to visit EPCOT on a weekday and avoid the park on the weekends if at all possible. Trust us, we’ve been there!
We expect that these crowds will lighten up once there’s no longer a festival taking place at EPCOT. But as of right now, the EPCOT Food and Wine Festival does not have a set end date. We will continue to keep you posted on the situation and please let us know if you have any questions.
Have you been to EPCOT since the park reopened? Share your experience in the comments!