Epcot Food & Wine Festival 2015 starts now!

Friday, September 25, 2015 1:18 PM

I said I wasn't going to go the first weekend, but having worked a ton this week and wanting to get out, I was there already by 11 today. It wasn't bad, but it's going to be silly crowded today.

First impression after a quick lap is that they have totally upped the game. The "side street" between Imagination and World Showcase has a bunch of new venues, and there are two now at the south tip of the Innoventions building. Not sure, but my hope is that this significant increase in capacity helps. The problem is that I'm sure certain favorites are still going to dominate the lines (Canada, France, Belgium, Ireland, among others). For me personally, there's way more on the menus that I'll eat, and by that mostly I mean there's a lot more chicken. The butter chicken with naan at Africa is amazing. I also had the Brazilian cheese bread at, well, Brazil. Also amazing.

I see a lot more lunch trips in my future...

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Friday, September 25, 2015 4:08 PM

Going for the first time this year, can't wait (although my Epcot day is my last day.)

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Friday, September 25, 2015 5:47 PM

My favorite time of year! Pro tip: Get as much eating as you can stand during the day, as locals swarm in the evenings.

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Friday, September 25, 2015 8:05 PM

And don't mistakenly think, as we did, that you can walk around and get your drink on through the Extra Magic Hours.
Nope. Come nine o'clock the only sound you could here was the shutters on all the booths slamming shut.

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Friday, September 25, 2015 9:06 PM

RCMAC said:

Come nine o'clock the only sound you could here was the shutters on all the booths slamming shut.

This has always cracked me up. For a company looking to grind out every penny of revenue/guest spending, it amazes me how you can set your watch to all of the Epcot food and drink stands closing up shop within seconds of the first Illuminations fireworks blast.

Epcot closes at 9pm or 9:30pm almost every day of the year. It's not that late. Would it kill them to keep a few drink/food stands open a little past Illuminations in hope for a final shot of revenue? Perhaps they have it all figured out; but it is funny when Illuminations ends, it's like "ok Epcot's closed, everyone get out!!"

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Friday, September 25, 2015 9:14 PM

Jeff said:

Pro tip: Get as much eating as you can stand during the day, as locals swarm in the evenings.

Totally agree. I'll add weekends too, which even during the days can get crowded. Don't even bother Saturday nights.

Plus, anyone over the age 30 knows that day drinking is the best kind of drinking anyway. Well, second to airport drinking, of course...

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Friday, September 25, 2015 11:31 PM

Hanging n' Banging said:

Epcot closes at 9pm or 9:30pm almost every day of the year. It's not that late. Would it kill them to keep a few drink/food stands open a little past Illuminations in hope for a final shot of revenue?

I feel pretty safe assuming that, if they aren't doing it after all these years, they have a truckload of data and/or experience telling them that the return on investment isn't there.

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Saturday, September 26, 2015 11:56 AM

That what I was thinking. If keeping them open made them money, they would keep them open.

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Saturday, September 26, 2015 12:04 PM

I almost wonder if, in this case, it's more an operational thing.

Do we really believe that there's not enough money to be had with the post-Illuminations crowd to keep things open?

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Saturday, September 26, 2015 12:43 PM

Or especially at F&W, anyway.
The night we were there it was just jammed and with Extra Magic Hours to continue the festivities, we thought they were leaving a boatload of money in all of our pockets. We planned the day to do rides, get a nice dinner, then drink around the world a couple of times. We got about half way around and it was closing time! Extra Magic was rides only, and we had done them twice. So we monorailed on out there. Still fairly drunk, but not nearly as planned....

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Saturday, September 26, 2015 12:52 PM

Gonch's theory is along the line of what I'm thinking also.

Operationally, they want a set closing time. Yes, they can make some more money the other way, but then when do you close? When a certain number of people leave? When receipts fall below a certain level? With an operation that size I think it makes sense to just say 10pm. Boom. That's it. Don't let the mouse kick you in the ass on the way out.

Especially with EMH involved, it's much easier to figure out who should still be allowed in the park if there aren't a lot of people lingering around world showcase.

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Sunday, September 27, 2015 1:11 AM

^That there.

My impression has been that part of the purpose of a show like Illuminations* is to gather most of the people in the park together and have them focused on a spectacle, then thank them for being at the park and letting them know the entrance is that-a-way.

* I love Illuminations. My visits to Epcot Food & Wine Festival consist of eating and drinking our way "around the world", making sure to end up in France with good seats for the show and a bottle of wine.

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Sunday, September 27, 2015 3:28 PM

Illuminations is my favorite night show at any park. It never gets old. And now it has MOAR LAZERZ!!11!

It's an interesting question about why they don't go later. There are 10 o'clock closings on Friday and Saturdays through the end of F&W. Some of the stuff in the Future World side of the park closes well before then. As someone else mentioned, if they could consistently stay open later and make more, I imagine that they would.

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Tuesday, November 17, 2015 9:56 AM

I went to closing night of this year's festival last night - and overall as Jeff said, it really was the best year I can remember in some time. I probably did 5-6 weeknight after work visits, and despite some pretty thick crowds, it's always a good time and Disney can move people through those food lines as fast as they can on some of the high capacity attractions.

In years past I have gone to the last night of Food and Wine, and there would inevitably be some items (both food and drink) that were sold out for the season. But with that, you could often count on some larger than normal food portions in that last hour as they looked to clear the inventory. Not so last night however on either end of that; nothing was sold out and no extra helpings on plates. Still a great time and enjoyed saying goodbye for another year. Sad that it's over for another year, but my wallet is happy.

Last edited by BrettV, Tuesday, November 17, 2015 10:17 AM
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