What You Need to Know About Epcot’s Yearly Festivals

Epcot at Walt Disney World is a park undergoing a complete transformation, yet in the midst of change there are four things that remain the same- the yearly festivals that are put on by the park.

If you’ve ever visited Epcot during one of the four festival seasons, you’ll know that this is when Epcot truly comes alive with great food, fantastic drinks, unique entertainment, and a fun atmosphere.

If you’re still wondering what each of the festivals is all about and trying to choose which one to attend, then you’re going to want to keep reading!

Epcot Flower and Garden Festival Map and Passport Lady and the Tramp Topiary Garden
Lady and the Tramp Topiary Garden in Italy Pavilion

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Epcot’s International Festival of the Arts

Each year in January and February, Epcot puts on the International Festival of the Arts. This festival celebrates a variety of arts from painting to culinary arts.

Epcot Festival of the Arts Signage

When is the festival?

This year’s Epcot International Festival of the Arts goes from January 17 until February 24, 2020. Inside Epcot, you’ll find Festival of the Arts experiences in both Future World and World Showcase.

Epcot Festival of the Arts POP Eats Chicken Art

All activities are subject to change, so be sure to grab a times guide on the way into the park to be sure you know when various opportunities are.

While Future World activities will open with the park opening, World Showcase will not start their day until 11 a.m.

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What makes Epcot Festival of the Arts unique?

The Epcot International Festival of the Arts is one of the most unique opportunities at Walt Disney World.

Epcot Festival of the Arts 3D Art Chalk of Frozen Characters

There are multiple interactive exhibits throughout the park, including a massive paint-by-numbers wall, animations classes, and photo opportunities.

For someone interested in great food, Festival of the Arts is really the pinnacle of Disney festival dining. The culinary arts are represented in almost 20 different outdoor kitchens and a new food stroll!

Epcot Festival of the Arts POP Eats Cake

To see all of the food options be sure to pick up a festival passport when you enter the park.

Festival of the Arts is also a great time for unique entertainment. Throughout World Showcase you’ll find various musical and variety acts, but the real stars come out at night.

Festival of the Arts Japan Chirasi Sushi and Haupia Pearl
Festival of the Arts Japan Chirasi Sushi and Haupia Pearl

Inside the theater at the American Adventure pavilion you’ll be treated to a performance by Broadway stars who have been in a multitude of Disney on Broadway shows including:

  • Mary Poppins
  • The Lion King
  • Newsies
  • The Little Mermaid

Why should I go?

Because Festival of the Arts runs in the cooler months in Orlando, this makes for a great time to explore Epcot and all that the festival has to offer.

This also means the park is less crowded making it easier to get around and do everything.

Read: The Best Time to Visit Walt Disney World

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

Epcot disney flower and garden festival with goofy and daisy topiary

Spring comes alive at the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival. Here flowers are all in bloom and fresh foods are at the forefront.

When is the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival?

The 2020 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival runs from March 4 through June 1. The festival takes over all of the park with blooming flowers, beautifully crafted topiaries, and dozens of outdoor kitchens.

Epcot Flower and Garden Festival one-day itinerary with colorful topiary.
Epcot Flower and Garden Festival

What makes it unique?

The Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival is unique because of the types of entertainment offered, the food created, and the masterpieces of flower beds and topiaries created around the park.

Even though this festival runs through some of the warmer months in Orlando, if you go earlier in the festival, you’re sure to see the flowers at their prime and enjoy a beautiful Florida day.

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival Japan Frushi
Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival Japan Frushi

As of writing this, the menus and food kitchen locations have not been announced, but there are typically dozens of outdoor kitchens each with a unique spin on classic dishes.

We also love the Flower and Garden Festival merchandise which is typically bright and colorful, and can be found throughout Epcot.

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival Merchandise
Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival Merchandise

Each night there are performances from famous bands and artists inside the theater at the American Adventure pavilion.

Why should I go?

If you’re a fan of flowers and bright Florida days this is the festival for you!

Epcot filled to the brim with millions of blooms, and delights around World Showcase are sure to bring a smile to your face.

Canada Victoria Gardens at Epcot in Walt Disney World
Canada Victoria Gardens at Epcot in Walt Disney World

Even though the park will be more crowded during this festival, if you go during the week it’s a little easier to manage.

Read: What’s New for 2020 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

Epcot’s biggest and most popular festival is definitely the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival.

Epcot Food and Wine Festival 2019 Theme Park Alone
Epcot Food and Wine Festival

When is the Epcot Food and Wine Festival?

Dates for the 2020 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival have not been officially announced as of writing, but the festival usually spans mid-August to late November.

Outdoor kitchens can be found in both Future World and World Showcase!

What makes it unique?

This is Epcot’s oldest festival, meaning that people know about it well and flock to it while it’s around.

Epcot Food and Wine Festival Burger
Epcot Food and Wine Festival

Throughout World Showcase and Future World, you’ll find over 25 outdoor kitchens, each with a unique theme and serving up some pretty delicious options.

The Food and Wine Festival is also a great spot to learn a little more about the kitchen and learn from celebrity chefs on a panel or a cooking demonstration.

Epcot Food and Wine Festival
Epcot Food and Wine Festival

Each night in the American Adventure theater you’ll be able to enjoy live music from some of today’s and yesterday’s hottest bands.

Some of the artists are more popular than others so be sure to plan accordingly if you’re wanting to get a seat inside the theater.

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Why should I go?

This festival seems more like a tradition than anything else. It’s truly part of the Epcot experience, and it’s something every Disney fan should experience at least once.

Epcot Food and Wine Festival Parties with young man and woman dancing with Chip and Dale

It’s great for foodie families, or people who really love trying new things.

Read: 15 Easy Epcot Food and Wine Festival Tips

Epcot International Festival of the Holidays

Epcot’s most festive festival debuts just in time for the holidays each year!

Epcot International Festival of the Holidays

When is the Epcot Festival of the Holidays?

As of writing the dates for the 2020 Epcot International Festival of the Holidays has not been announced, but the festival typically runs from late November through late December.

What makes it unique?

The Epcot International Festival of the Holidays highlights different holiday traditions from around the world, and showcases them in the form of food, entertainment and decorations.

Epcot Festival of the Holidays 14 Park Entrance with Topiary Goofy Holiday Decor

Throughout World Showcase you’ll find quite a few holiday kitchens featuring unique dishes from around the world that go with each countries’ holiday traditions.

In each country you’ll be able to watch their version of Santa talk about his or her routine on Christmas Eve, along with being able to get photos with each of them.

Disney Holidays with Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus
Christmas at Epcot: Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus

In some countries they will talk about other winter holidays including Kwanza, Hanukkah, and Three Kings Day.

Epcot Festival of the Holidays

A big draw for this time of year is the Candlelight Processional, which tells the story of Jesus along with a full band, choir, and celebrity narrator.

Why should I go?

The big reason to go to this festival is for the Candlelight Processional. This is an event many people wait all year for, then wait for hours at Epcot in a line to get a seat inside the theater.

Epcot Candlelight Processional 1 Chandra Wilson of Greys Anatomy
Epcot Candlelight Processional 2015 Chandra Wilson of Grey’s Anatomy

This is also a great time to see Epcot all dressed up for the holidays, and explore the park when it’s cooler outside.

When are the Festivals at Epcot
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What is one of your favorite Epcot festivals? Let us know in the comments section below.

About the Author

Megan DuBois Theme Park Writer

Megan is a theme park expert and frequent traveler to magical places. She covers all things Disney and Universal and runs marathons for fun.

She thinks you can tell a lot about someone by the name of their signature lipstick, and hers is NARS Dragon Girl.

You can follow her adventures on Instagram and Twitter.

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