Disney addresses the number one complaint of Epcot guests: not enough festivals.
For some time, it has seemed as if the Walt Disney World Resort’s Epcot park was host to one “International Festival” after another, and one festival would start soon after the previous festival had ended. Still, enough guests complained about a perceived lack of festivals that Epcot is adding one more, a festival that will fill all remaining dates in the year that do not already have a festival: the new “International Festival of Non-Festival Festival.”
A history of festivals
In fact, the first Epcot festival was begun in 1994 because of overwhelming guest opinion. “We love the flowers and gardens at Epcot,” a typical guest comment card would read, “but we really can’t enjoy them too much because it’s not a festival.” Thus the International Flower and Garden Festival was created.
Guests were happy, but not completely satisfied. “What about all the food and wine you have here? Don’t they deserve a festival?” guests complained, and Epcot created the International Food and Wine Festival in 1995.
The International Festival of the Arts was created last year, shortly after Epcot renamed its long-running “Holidays Around the World” as the International Festival of the Holidays.
But that wasn’t enough. Guests who visit Epcot between festivals felt deprived.
“Why should we miss out just because of when we visit?” Epcot guest Larissa Harlan asks. Harlan, a 29-year-old resident of New Haven, Connecticut, admits to visiting Guest Relations to request more festivals on many occasions.
“I enjoy Epcot, and I’ve been here many times. But it seems that every time I visit they’ve either just finished one festival, or there are signs advertising an upcoming festival. Where’s the festival for the rest of us?”
Festival after festival after festival
Park officials have listened, and today announce that the International Festival of Non-Festival Festival will be in effect on every day that one of the other festivals isn’t running. In a press release, the park says that the Non-Festival Festival will feature extensive signage as guests enter the park, welcoming them to the event, and not much else.
Harlan is satisfied. “It may be that nothing else about the experience is different. But at least it’s a festival.”
Epcot officials are now said to be tackling the next most common guest comments, including complaints about too much walking and people who miss the giant wand.
Will you visit Epcot to experience the International Festival of Non-Festival Festival? Comment below!
Cover photo: DepositPhotos.