You may be wondering, what is there to do at Epcot in 2023? I have ONE answer for you and it’s the annual Epcot 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 Disney.
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!
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1. 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.
When are the dates for the Epcot Festival of the Arts?
This year’s Epcot International Festival of the Arts goes from January 13th to February 20th of 2023.
Inside Epcot, you’ll find Festival of the Arts experiences in both Future World and World Showcase.
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 World Celebration, World Nature, and World Discovery 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.
There are multiple interactive exhibits throughout the park, including a massive paint-by-numbers wall, animations classes, and photo opportunities.
This makes it one of the BEST Epcot festivals to experience.
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!
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.
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
- The Little Mermaid
Why should I go to the Epcot Festival of the Arts?
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.
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2. Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival
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 2023 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival runs from March 1st through July 5th this year.
The festival takes over all of the park with blooming flowers, beautifully crafted topiaries, and dozens of outdoor kitchens.
What makes the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival 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.
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.
Each night there are performances from famous bands and artists inside the theater at the American Adventure pavilion.
Why should I go to the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival?
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.
Even though the park will be more crowded during this festival, if you go during the week it’s a little easier to manage.
Recommended: What’s New for Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival
3. Epcot International Food and Wine Festival
Epcot’s biggest and most popular festival is definitely the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival.
When is the Epcot Food and Wine Festival?
Dates for the 2023 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival have not been officially announced as of writing, but the festival usually spans mid-July to late November.
Outdoor kitchens can be found all over the park!
What makes it the Epcot Food and Wine Festival unique?
This is one of Epcot’s oldest festival, meaning that people know about it well and flock to it while it’s around.
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.
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 to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival?
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.
It’s great for foodie families, or people who really love trying new things.
Recommended: 15 Easy Epcot Food and Wine Festival Tips
4. Epcot International Festival of the Holidays
Epcot’s most festive festival debuts just in time for the holidays each year!
When is the Epcot Festival of the Holidays?
As of writing the dates for the 2023 Epcot International Festival of the Holidays has not been announced, but the festival typically runs from late November through late December.
What makes Epcot Festival of the Holiday 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.
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.
In some countries they will talk about other winter holidays including Kwanza, Hanukkah, and Three Kings Day.
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.
This makes it one of the BEST Epcot festivals to visit!
Why should I go to Epcot Festival of the Holidays?
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.
This is also a great time to see Epcot all dressed up for the holidays, and explore the park when it’s cooler outside.
My Finals Thoughts on the Epcot Festivals
As you can see, there’s so much for you to do at Walt Disney World besides the rides and attraction.
Before we wrap up on the yearly Epcot events, let’s recap the dates of each festival below.
When are the 2023 Epcot Festivals?
- Festival of the Arts: January 13th to February 20th of 2023
- Flower and Garden Festival: March 1st through July 5th of 2023
- Food and Wine Festival: 2023 dates pending…
- Festival of the Holidays: 2023 dates pending…
What is one of your favorite Epcot festivals? Let us know in the comments section below.
About the Author
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.
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(Original Article Date: January 19, 2020/Updated by Editor on March 27, 2023)