There are four amazing festivals at Epcot every year. If you are able to visit during one of these times then you will be able to not only participate in the fun activities that festival is offering, but you will also have the opportunity to enjoy workshops, seminars, food pop-ups, and more. But how do you decide which festival to plan your trip around, if any? Let’s take a dive into each one.
Epcot International Festival of the Arts
The International Festival of the Arts is the newest Festival to come to Epcot. It runs from mid-January until mid-February.
It features visual artists, where you can see Master Disney Artists at work, and purchase Disney artwork. It also has workshops and seminars where visitors can learn about drawing and art work. They have workshops like animation and pixelation, and show visitors how to do these things. Many of these seminars are free, but are first-come first-serve, so make sure you plan your day accordingly, if you want to participate!
For the Culinary Arts, there will be new foods all around the park with items only available at the Festival. These items are not only tasty, but they are beautiful to photograph as well.
The Performing Arts is a pop-up of multidisciplinary performances throughout the park. This includes live statues, sidewalk art, and many more surprises.
There is also a concert series. Every two weeks a new pair of Disney on Broadway stars will perform some of Disney on Broadway’s greatest hits. This used to be just on the weekends, but it is now every evening at the America Gardens Theater. This is a free event, but if you want to ensure that you see your favorites artist, you can purchase a dining package.
Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival
There is a small break between the Festival of the Arts and the International Flower and Garden Festival. It usually begins in early March and goes until late May or early June.
The most well known piece of Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival is the themed topiaries throughout the park. The artists spend many hours making these topiaries. There are beautiful flower displays, but also they have created characters out of flowers. There are also many gardening exhibits, ones where you can even learn how-to garden!
It wouldn’t be an Epcot festival without outdoor kitchens! Make sure to take a trip around the World Showcase to see what items are featured that year.
Lastly, there is the Garden Rocks Series. These are usually artists with name recognition, and again if there is an artist that is a must see for you, make sure you grab a dining package!
Epcot International Food & Wine Festival
There is usually a Festival break during the summer, but once Labor Day rolls around, so does the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. It runs from the very end of August until early November. If you’ve ever wanted to eat and drink your way around Epcot, this is the festival for you!
There are Global Marketplaces all around the World Showcase, most of these marketplaces feature signature food dishes from a specific country, and many are paired with a beer or wine as well. Remember to leave room for these treats, because there are 30+ booths to visit.
if you want to enhance your visit further, there are food and beverage seminars for adults and kids. In recent years there was a candy sushi making seminar for children which was a big hit. It was free, but you did have to reserve your spot in advance, so make sure to check out the schedules as soon as they are released. There are also plenty of events and seminars for adults including cheese seminars and wine tastings. If you fancy yourself a foodie, or just really enjoy learning about food and wine, make sure to check out the VIP Grand Tasting Events. These do cost extra, but you may see your favorite celebrity chef.
Every evening of the Food and Wine Festival there will be a musician or musical act at the American Gardens Theater, so make sure to check the schedule if you want to listen to one of your favorite acts perform.
Epcot International Festival of the Holidays
Last but certainly not least is the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays. If the holidays are your favorite time of year, this may be the Festival for you. It runs from mid-November until the end of December.
There are of course Holiday Kitchens throughout the World Showcase, offerings are usually Holiday favorites from that country or area of the world, and may also feature a holiday beverage.
In the 11 countries that make up the World Showcase they will each have their own special theme that during the Festival that highlights their heritage and holiday traditions of that country.
One of the most popular features at the Festival of the Holidays is the Candlelight Processional. It is a retelling of the Christmas Story which features a choir, orchestra, and a celebrity narrator. Previous narrators have included, Neil Patrick Harris, John Stamos, Auli’i Cravalho, and many many more. This is a free experience, but many guests line up hours in advance for the most popular narrators, and are not guaranteed entry. There is the option to purchase a dining package, but make sure you still line up about 45 minutes in advance of your showing to make sure you get a good seat. There are also 3 performances in one night, so make sure to keep that in mind when booking your dining package, or if you are planning on waiting in the stand-by line.
For the music piece there is something called Joyful! A Celebration of the Season which is performed daily at the Future World Fountain Stage. It is a performance of Christmas and Kwanza Songs performed by the Joyful vocal ensemble.
As you can see there are many festivals at Epcot, and many opportunities for you to find the one that is best for you. Please remember that you need a valid park ticket to attend these festivals, and all food and beverages either cost extra or you can use your dining plan credits. Have you ever been to a Festival at Epcot? If so, what was your favorite experience? If not, which Festival do you think you would enjoy most? Until next time, have a magical trip!