EPCOT EMH For Offsite Guest

Hi there! Working on choosing parks/days for a week-long trip starting Oct. 29th and I have a question for y’all. Day 1 (Sunday), will most likely be a half day (starting around 3 or 4pm) so I am eyeing EPCOT because it has evening EMH until 11pm. My concerns are:

  1. I am planning to stay off-site and I’m not sure how much of WS will be unavailable to me. If I mostly want to just leisurely eat, shop, and enjoy the scenery in the late evening, I should be able to do those things as an off-site guest, right?
  2. This is during the Food and Wine Festival and the Crowd Calendar specifically says that it doesn’t take this into account, so I’m unsure about crowds (current level predicted to be at 5). Will it be crazy busy at this time of year at EPCOT because of the festival?
  3. Last time I was at EPCOT (early Feb of this year) I went on a Saturday (crowd level was 6 or 7, I think). As the evening wore on, the number (and volume level) of the guests drinking around the world rose dramatically. I was not prepared for this, haha! As a single gal traveling solo, I found myself just a wee bit uncomfortable in some parts of WS (Italy was pretty rowdy, and I almost got knocked over by a bunch of drunk guys while waiting in line at the Norway bakery!). I’m curious if Sunday night would be any better than Saturday…or will it be even worse because of the festival and the extended hours?

Anyone have thoughts on this? Seems a shame to go to a park that closes at 7 or 8pm on a half day, when I could cram in 3 or 4 extra hours of fun at EPCOT! But I want to actually enjoy myself, not spend the evening being clobbered by partiers.


Food and Wine gets crowded as the day goes on. I am not sure how they sort guests for F & W.

Not everything will be accessible during EMH-evening. Some shops & restaurants close at normal time. I tried to find a list of non-attractions but came up empty.

I think it would still be worth your time though, even if only a few things are available. Epcot at night, like all the parks, is great.

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I think that during F&W the level of intoxication is generally a bit higher, because there are so many more different drinks to try, and so many people go specifically to drink. The lateness may also contribute to that, but I’d say it will probably be less busy just because it is EMH and people will tend to leave after Illuminations.

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Hmmmm…That is all helpful, but I’m still torn about how to spend that first half day! My second choice would be AK… ut I’m confused. TP is showing AK open only until 7pm the entire week of my trip, but predicting River of Light shows at 7:30. Is that accurate? Seems odd to me that RoL would be scheduled to start a whole 30 minutes after closing. If AK were to be open a bit later, I might consider spending my first evening there and leave WS for a weeknight evening with a lower crowd level (like Wed. Nov 1st, which is currently showing a crowd level of just 2).

I think they probably will extend AK hours nearer the time. F&W will mean a lot of people around and Pandora will still be hugely popular, as evidenced by people struggling to get fps for FoP into September.

However the timing of ROL seems plausible. They do that for Fantasmic too.