“Eggxactly” What Epcot Needs

The White Rabbit looks a little more like Humpty Dumpty on this wall in Epcot. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.
The White Rabbit looks a little more like Humpty Dumpty on this wall in Epcot. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

In a previous post, I wrote a fairly blunt article about the fact that the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival was anything but “#Epcot Fresh” as the Twitter feed would like you to believe. I didn’t do that to be mean-spirited, but to simply say, that there really is a need to take this annual event to a whole new level.

While we were walking through Epcot on that day, we decided we would try the Eggstravaganza 2016 egg hunt through World Showcase. We obtained a map and set of stickers for about $5. There are twelve eggs you need to seek out. You don’t have to seek them all out to get the egg keepsake, but we wanted to make it happen.

Maps you use to direct your experience hunting for eggs throughout World Showcase at Epcot. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.
Maps you use to direct your experience hunting for eggs throughout World Showcase at Epcot. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Working clockwise, we were over it by the time we got to the Outpost. It really wasn’t very fun. Part of it was that the eggs were fairly small. The Mickey Mouse one was in a location that really was poorly thought out. We carried out the task and completed it fully, but didn’t find much fulfillment in the task.

Cute eggs, though the plastic was thinner than even a traditional plastic egg. Still, I couldn't say no to Mr. Toad. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.
Cute eggs, though the plastic was thinner than even a traditional plastic egg. Still, I couldn’t say no to Mr. Toad. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

All the while, I thought about a very different “Eggstravaganza”. Last year I was in Tokyo during their Spring celebration. They know how to throw something that really gets people excited.  Look at some of these amazing eggs:

More than the White Rabbit, we've got an entire Wonderland entourage. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.
More than the White Rabbit, we’ve got an entire Wonderland entourage. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.
Forget Lady and Tramp topiary, these guys are so cute! Photo by J. Jeff Kober.
Forget Lady and Tramp topiary, these guys are so cute! Photo by J. Jeff Kober.
Dumbo and Timothy is a good example of how features are added to the egg to make them more like the character. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.
Dumbo and Timothy is a good example of how features are added to the egg to make them more like the character. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.
Simply amazing! Photo by J. Jeff Kober.
Simply amazing! Photo by J. Jeff Kober.
Would you not want this as a retail piece to take home with you? Photo by J. Jeff Kober.
Would you not want this as a retail piece to take home with you? Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Tokyo also does that same egg hunt with a map you purchase along with a prize at the end. But there are lines of people queued to dedicated kiosks that sell these maps. That’s how popular their egg hunt is. Added to this is a parade that is beyond amazing. Crowds gather big time to experience this event:

This parade makes you want to put on an Easter bonnet. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.
This parade makes you want to put on an Easter bonnet. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Even decorations are added throughout the park:

Now this is a flower and garden display! Photo by J. Jeff Kober.
Now this is a flower and garden display! Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Some might say, “Well, Tokyo does this because they have a local crowd they have to draw to the park.” That’s the same purpose as to why Epcot has been doing Flower and Garden. Yes, there are out-of-state folks coming in from up North and elsewhere, but Flower & Garden along with Food & Wine are both intended to draw in your local/regional tourist, as well as keep your annual pass holders having a reason to renew.

Some might say that this kind of theming belongs more to the Magic Kingdom. Well, make the event more Epcot-like, but do something! You’re already doing the eggs. Why not do them really well and make something of it. Right now the exercise seems like an afterthought. Afterthoughts are not what brings guests back into your park. You need to invest for something truly memorable.

Do you agree? What would you do to make the annual Flower and Garden Festival really #EpcotFresh?

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