The EPCOT Festivals are some of the most exciting and popular events that take place at Walt Disney World. They’re adored by adults and kids alike. This makes them a great choice for family vacations. You and your kids are sure to make memories that will last a lifetime.
There are a huge variety of things to explore at these festivals, and it can sometimes seem a bit overwhelming. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to tell you everything you need to know about these festivals.
We’ll take a look at each of the festivals that happen each year at EPCOT and guide you through everything you need to know.
The EPCOT Festivals At A Glance
The EPCOT Festivals are four separate events that happen throughout the year. Each one has a different theme and is well worth experiencing. They all take place at the EPCOT theme park, which is part of Walt Disney World in Florida.
All of the EPCOT Festivals have a food and drink element. This means that you’ll find food and beverage booths at various locations around the park. The menus are designed exclusively for each festival.
So, you’ll be able to enjoy food and drink items that are only around at a certain time of year.
During each festival, there’s usually a unique show at the America Gardens Theater. These shows typically also have dining packages that will guarantee your admission.
Each EPCOT Festival features unique entertainment, merchandise, and activities.
Useful Tips When At An EPCOT Festival
As you probably know, Walt Disney World is incredibly popular and busy. During the annual EPCOT Festivals, it gets even busier. The park tends to get the most crowded on weekends and evenings. So, if you want to avoid crowds, it’s best to go at day times during the week.
Another thing to bear in mind is that the Food and Wine Festival can get a little rowdy. This means it might not be the best choice if you’re going to a festival with young children.
Anyone can attend one of the festivals as long as they have a valid theme park admission. You also need to make a theme park reservation which you can do by using the Disney Park Pass System.
EPCOT International Festival Of The Arts
The International Festival of the Arts will run from January 13 to February 20, 2023.
The Festival of the Arts is usually the best festival in terms of weather. It also has lots of beautiful things for you to see. It’s great for foodies with lots of exciting menu items to try. However, the main attraction is the art market.
All of the EPCOT Festivals have their own merchandise, but the Festival of the Arts stands out in this department. The World Showcase Lagoon features various kiosks and tents. Here, artists sell unique merchandise.
It’s one of the shortest festivals but also one of the most popular.
International Festival of the Arts highlights
- Meeting Disney artists and buying their work
- Food studios
- Chalk artists
- Animation Academy, where you can draw Pixar and Disney characters
- Participating in a paint-by-numbers mural
- Artful photo-ops
- Figment’s Brush with the Masters Scavenger Hunt
- Wonderful Walk of Colorful Cuisine
Why is the Festival of the Arts unique?
The Festival of the Arts is unique in many ways. The World Showcase features many different musical acts for you to enjoy. There are lots of interactive exhibits around the park where you can get involved.
If your kids are interested in the arts, then they’ll have the chance to learn new skills in the animation classes. They can also learn to draw their favorite Disney characters.
There’s also plenty of great food to be had. There are typically around 20 outdoor kitchens with one-of-a-kind menus.
Why should I go to the Festival of the Arts?
January and February are the coolest months in Orlando. This makes exploring the park a breeze. You don’t need to worry about the kids getting tired out from the heat.
The Festival of the Arts also tends to be slightly less busy than the other EPCOT Festivals. So you won’t have to contend with the crowds quite as much.
EPCOT International Flower And Garden Festival
The 2023 dates for the EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival have yet to be confirmed. However, it usually runs from early March through early July.
The EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival was the first festival to be held at EPCOT. It’s been a popular attraction ever since.
During the festival, the park explodes into a rainbow of color and light. There are many topiaries, butterflies, and expansive paintings for you to take in.
As with the other festivals, there’s also plenty of delicious food on offer.
International Flower and Garden Festival highlights
- Spike’s Pollen-Nation Exploration Scavenger Hunt
- Lots of trails and gardens to explore
- Garden Rocks Concert Series
- Topiaries shaped like Disney and Pixar characters
- Outdoor kitchens
- Eggstravaganza Scavenger Hunt
- A walk-through butterfly house
- Lots of themed merchandise
- Garden Graze
Why is the Flower and Garden Festival unique?
The Flower and Garden Festival is unique due to the sheer beauty of the park whilst it’s on. The park is transformed with stunning topiaries and flower beds. There is also amazing entertainment and great food.
The merchandise at this festival is also really unique. It tends to be colorful and bright, which really reflects the overall look of the festival.
This festival gives you a chance to see famous bands performing at the American Adventure Pavilion. It truly is a diverse experience!
Why should I go to the Flower and Garden Festival?
The Flower and Garden Festival gives you a chance to experience beautiful floral displays in the Florida sun. The World Showcase is literally brimming with flowers, and it’s not to be missed.
If possible, you should try to go to the earlier part of the festival. The weather is cooler, and it’s usually a bit less crowded.
EPCOT International Food And Wine Festival
The 2023 dates for the EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival haven’t been announced yet. It typically runs from mid-July through mid-November.
As you can probably guess, this EPCOT festival is all about food and drink. It also tends to be the most popular and busiest of the four festivals.
Although food and wine are the focus, there is also lots of entertainment and many activities to enjoy.
International Food and Wine Festival Highlights
- Emile’s Fromage Montage
- Global marketplaces
- Eat to the Beat Concert Series
- Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend
- Remy’s Ratatouille Hide & Squeak Scavenger Hunt
- Lots of themed merchandise
Why is the Food and Wine Festival unique?
If you’re a foodie family, then the Food and Wine Festival will not disappoint you. It usually has more than 25 outdoor kitchens featuring unique themes and innovative menus. These kitchens are dotted around Future World and World Showcase.
This festival is ideal if you and the kids are interested in learning some new cooking skills. There are often celebrity chefs there to give you tips and several cooking demonstrations to attend.
Aside from the amazing food and wine, there’s also live music each night. The performances take place in the American Adventure Pavilion and feature both new and old artists.
Why should I go to the Food and Wine Festival?
The Food and Wine Festival is a Walt Disney World celebration like no other. It combines everything you love about Disney with delicious cuisine from around the world. If you go during the later part of the festival, the weather is also a lot cooler.
EPCOT International Festival Of The Holidays
The 2023 dates for the Festival of the Holidays have yet to be confirmed. However, it usually runs from late November through late December. It’s the shortest EPCOT Festival of all.
It’s a world celebration that takes place over Thanksgiving and Christmas. During the festival, you have the opportunity to learn about international holiday customs. There’s also an abundance of international cuisines for you to try at this EPCOT Festival.
International Festival of the Holidays highlights
- World Showcase storytellers
- Holiday kitchens
- Holiday Cookie Stroll
- Candlelight Processional
- Joyful! A Celebration of the Season
- Spaceship Earth holiday lighting composition
- Living with the Land holiday overlay
- Themed merchandise
Why is the Festival of the Holidays unique?
The Festival of the Holidays showcases holiday traditions from around the globe. This comes in the form of entertainment, decorations, and food. The holiday kitchens pair unique dishes with different international holidays.
You and the kids will be able to learn about the Christmas traditions in other countries. You can even witness Santas from other cultures talking about their Christmas routines. Afterward, there are opportunities to take photos with them.
For countries that don’t celebrate Christmas, there are other holiday themes. There is food and performances based upon different holidays such as Hannukah, Three Kings Day, and Kwanza.
The highlight of the Festival of the Holidays is the Candlelight Processional. This is the greatest draw and one of the most popular events out of any of the festivals.
There’s a full band, a celebrity narrator, and a choir. Together, they tell the story of Jesus through a magical procession.
Why should I go to the Festival of the Holidays?
The main reason to go to the Festival of the Holidays is the Candlelight Processional. It’s a unique and mesmerizing experience that your kids will never forget. Just remember, this event is incredibly popular, and it’s hard to get a seat. Make sure you plan it well in advance.
Still, this isn’t the only reason to go to this EPCOT Festival. The food and other entertainment are also well worth experiencing. As the festival takes place over the holiday season, the weather is also a lot cooler than it is during some of the other festivals.
What’s the least busy day to go to EPCOT?
Special events such as festivals make EPCOT one of the busiest theme parks on earth. This often leads to long queues and wait times. Still, there are some days that are less busy than others.
Generally, Mondays are the quietest days at EPCOT. This makes Monday the best day to visit if you want to avoid huge crowds. However, the park will still be busy due to its popularity.
Which countries are represented at EPCOT?
Currently, the EPCOT World Showcase Pavilions feature 11 different countries. These are China, Norway, Mexico, Germany, Japan, France, Morocco, the USA, the United Kingdom, Italy, and Canada.
Each pavilion showcases the different cuisines and cultures of the various countries. This makes for a fun and educational experience for the whole family.
How big is EPCOT?
EPCOT is over 300 acres in size. This makes it twice the size of the Magic Kingdom at Disney World. It’s also one of the most visited destinations on the American continent. The parking lot spans 141 acres and can accommodate 11,211 vehicles.
Overall, EPCOT is the second biggest park at Walt Disney World. The biggest park is the Animal Kingdom.
What does EPCOT stand for?
EPCOT stands for Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow. Walt Disney conceived the idea in 1966. He wanted to use the park as a planned community that would be a center for urban living and enterprise.
His plans included industrial areas, residential areas, an urban city center, schools, and transportation systems. This original idea gradually evolved into the park that you see today.
More about our TFVG Author
A seasoned traveller, Dad, and avid sports tourist, James foundered The Family Vacation Guide to share his expert vacation experiences- especially when it comes to being a travelling family man.
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