EPCOT is renowned for its educational experiences that celebrate cultures, technology, innovation, and international cuisine. Throughout the year, EPCOT hosts a series of special events known as EPCOT Festivals.
These festivals offer guests the opportunity to explore unique themes, enjoy live entertainment, participate in interactive activities, and indulge in a wide array of culinary delights.
Walt Disney World’s EPCOT currently features 4 major festivals that take place at different times throughout the year: the EPCOT International Festival of the Arts, the EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival, the EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival, and the EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays.
There are roughly only 35 days during the year when EPCOT does not have a Festival ongoing.
Every festival is unique and offers something for everyone!
EPCOT International Festival of the Arts
This festival celebrates the arts in all their forms, including visual arts, culinary arts, and performing arts. Guests can explore art exhibits, watch live art demonstrations, and even try their hand at creating their own artwork. The festival also features Broadway-style performances, art-inspired food and beverages, and unique merchandise for art enthusiasts.
The festival typically takes place after the holidays in January spanning a few weeks into February. While other EPCOT festivals last several months, the EPCOT International Festival of the Arts is the shortest festival, lasting only weeks. . Throughout the park, guests are treated to a wide range of artistic displays, live performances, interactive activities, and delectable culinary offerings.
Typical dates: Mid-January to Mid-February, for 38 days.
As EPCOT’s newest festival, the first Festival of the arts was in 2017.
One of the highlights of the Festival of the Arts is the visual arts component. The park transforms into a vast outdoor gallery, showcasing artwork from both renowned and emerging artists. Visitors can explore art exhibits featuring various mediums, including paintings, sculptures, photography, and mixed media. The displays often encompass a diverse range of styles and themes, allowing guests to appreciate the breadth and depth of artistic expression.
Guests also have the opportunity to meet and interact with the artists themselves, gaining insight into their creative processes and inspirations. Many artists offer live demonstrations, allowing visitors to witness their techniques firsthand and learn about different artistic styles.
The Festival of the Arts showcases a variety of live performances at the American Gardens Theater stage, located in the American Adventure Pavilion. Also throughout the World Showcase are talented musicians and singers with their awe-inspiring performances. You may see singers belting out Disney songs in their native language or broadways-style music numbers. There is something to see and enjoy everywhere.
True to EPCOT’s reputation, the Festival of the Arts presents a delectable selection of culinary offerings inspired by the fusion of art and food. The festival features various food booths known as “Food Studios,” where guests can indulge in artfully presented dishes that are as visually appealing as they are delicious. Each dish is often crafted with a creative twist, incorporating elements of color, texture, and presentation that pay homage to the artistic theme of the festival.
In previous festivals, we have seen booths devoted to color, making sure that every dish featured all seven colors of the rainbow, and even a booth devoted to the modern pop art of Andy Warhol. Who’s he? Remember the famous painting of the can of tomato soup? You can just imagine what that booth features…
In addition to the food, the festival also offers specialty beverages, including art-inspired cocktails, craft beers, and non-alcoholic options., even ones with edible glitter!
The Festival of the Arts provides numerous interactive experiences that allow guests to unleash their own creativity. Workshops and seminars led by professional artists and Disney Imagineers offer opportunities for guests to learn new artistic techniques, such as painting and drawing. These hands-on activities are suitable for all ages and skill levels, ensuring that everyone can participate and create their own works of art.
In addition to the static displays, there are often interactive art exhibits that encourage guests to become a part of the artwork. For the last few years guests have experienced an immersive mural painting where guests choose a color and paint numbered squares, giving them the ability to be a part of the art themselves!
Throughout the festival, guests can explore unique merchandise locations offering a wide array of art-related items. From limited-edition prints and sculptures to apparel and home decor, these exclusive offerings allow guests to take a piece of the festival home with them. Many of the festival merchandise items feature artwork created specifically for the festival, making them coveted souvenirs for art enthusiasts and Disney collectors alike.
All EPCOT festivals have a character “host”, and the EPCOT International Festival of the Arts is typically hosted by our favorite spark of imagination, Figment.
The EPCOT International Festival of the Arts is a celebration of creativity, imagination, and cultural expression. By showcasing various forms of art and providing opportunities for guests to engage with the artists and their work, this festival offers a truly immersive and inspiring experience. Whether you’re a seasoned art aficionado or simply appreciate the beauty of artistic expression, the Festival of the Arts at EPCOT is sure to ignite your imagination and leave you with lasting memories.
EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival
The EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival is an enchanting annual event that pushes the limits of horticulture. This festival celebrates the beauty of nature, showcasing breathtaking floral displays, intricate topiaries, and interactive gardens.With its combination of stunning visuals, educational experiences, and outdoor entertainment, the Flower & Garden Festival offers a delightful and immersive experience for guests of all ages.
The festival typically takes place in the springtime, spanning several months. Throughout the park, vibrant colors and fragrant blooms fill the air, creating a captivating atmosphere for visitors to explore and enjoy.
Typical dates since 2021: The Wednesday in the week that bridges February and March (1st Wednesday in March or the last one in February) to the 4th or 5th of July, for about 125 days.
The first Flower and Garden Festival was in 1994, this is the oldest Walt Disney World Resort’s EPCOT festival.
Topiaries and Gardens
One of the highlights of the Flower & Garden Festival is the impressive topiaries scattered throughout the park. These topiaries are meticulously crafted living sculptures, featuring Disney characters. From Mickey Mouse and his friends to iconic Disney princesses, these topiaries bring a touch of magic and fantasy to the festival.
In addition to the topiaries, EPCOT transforms into an outdoor garden paradise. Themed gardens and floral displays are scattered throughout the park, showcasing a wide variety of plant species, including tropical plants, bonsai trees, and exotic flowers. Visitors can wander through these beautiful gardens, taking in the captivating scents and visually stunning displays.
Throughout the festival, horticultural experts and Disney gardeners are available to answer questions and share their expertise. They provide valuable information on plant care, gardening techniques, and the unique challenges of cultivating plants in different climates. Guests can also attend gardening workshops and demonstrations led by experts, where they can learn practical gardening skills and get hands-on experience.
The Flower & Garden Festival offers an enticing array of culinary delights, with outdoor kitchens set up throughout the park. These kitchens serve a variety of fresh dishes that incorporate seasonal ingredients and garden-fresh produce. From small plates and snacks to full meals and desserts, the festival’s culinary offerings cater to a wide range of tastes and dietary preferences.
Guests can savor the flavors of global cuisines, including international dishes inspired by different countries and regions. The food offerings often feature creative twists and innovative presentations, reflecting the festival’s focus on both horticulture and culinary arts. The festival also provides opportunities for guests to learn about edible gardening and sustainable farming practices through interactive displays and demonstrations.
Entertainment and Live Performances
The Flower & Garden Festival offers a vibrant lineup of live entertainment and musical performances. Outdoor concert series, known as the Garden Rocks Concert Series, feature renowned artists and bands from various genres, including classic rock, pop, and country. These concerts take place at the America Gardens Theatre and are included with park admission, allowing guests to enjoy live music while surrounded by the beauty of the festival.
Merchandise and Souvenirs
Guests can explore merchandise locations dedicated to the Flower & Garden Festival, offering a wide variety of garden-inspired items and souvenirs. These include gardening tools, planters, seeds, and books on gardening and horticulture. Additionally, festival-themed apparel, accessories, and collectibles featuring beloved Disney characters and festival artwork are available for purchase.
The main character host of this festival is often Orange Bird.
The EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival seamlessly combines the beauty of nature with the magic of Disney, creating an enchanting and educational experience for visitors. With its stunning displays of floral artistry, educational exhibits, delectable cuisine, live entertainment, and engaging activities for all ages, the festival offers a delightful celebration of the wonders of nature and the joy of gardening.
EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival
The EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival is a highly anticipated annual event held at EPCOT. This festival celebrates the culinary arts, showcasing a diverse selection of global cuisine, fine wines, craft beers, and creative cocktails. With its delicious food offerings, beverage pairings, culinary demonstrations, and live entertainment, the Food & Wine Festival provides guests with a gastronomic journey around the world.
The festival typically takes place in the fall, spanning several months. The EPCOT International Food & Wine is actually the longest festival during the year, spanning from July to November. During this time, EPCOT is transformed into a global marketplace, featuring numerous food and beverage kiosks, interactive experiences, and culinary demonstrations.
Typical dates since 2021: The Thursday in the middle week of July to the the Saturday after Veterans Day in November, for about 128 days.
The first EPCOT Food & Wine Festival was in 1996. For the first 4 years, the festival ran for 45 days (Oct-Nov), then the length began to be increased every couple of years until it reached 86 (Aug-Nov) days in 2019. After coming out of the 2020 shutdown it debuted with its new length.
The heart of the Food & Wine Festival lies in the festival booths. Throughout the park, temporary kiosks are set up, each representing a different country or region. These outdoor kitchens offer a wide range of small plates, tapas-style dishes, and specialty beverages that showcase the flavors and culinary traditions of various nations.
Guests can embark on a culinary adventure, sampling delicacies from countries around the world. The menu items often include traditional dishes as well as creative fusion creations. From sushi and tacos to cheese platters and desserts, the festival provides an extensive array of flavors and textures to satisfy all tastes and dietary preferences.
The majority of the booths are set up around the World Showcase.
In addition to the diverse food options, the Food & Wine Festival showcases an impressive selection of beverages. Guests can enjoy a variety of fine wines, craft beers, and artisanal spirits from different regions. The festival often features exclusive wine and beer flights.
Eat to the Beat Concert Series
As part of the festival’s entertainment lineup, the Eat to the Beat concert series features popular musical acts performing live at the America Gardens Theatre. The concerts take place on select nights throughout the festival and cover a wide range of genres, including rock, pop, country, and R&B. Guests can enjoy these live performances while indulging in the flavors of the festival, creating a memorable and immersive experience.
This concert series is a mix of local artists and major names like Boyz II Men, Joey Fatone, 98, Smash Mouth, and more!
Guests can explore merchandise locations dedicated to the Food & Wine Festival, offering a wide range of culinary-inspired items and souvenirs. These include kitchen gadgets, cookbooks, aprons, wine glasses, and festival-themed apparel. Additionally, festival-specific merchandise featuring iconic Disney characters and festival artwork is available for purchase, allowing guests to commemorate their experience.
Naturally, the Disney host for the EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival is none other than the tiny chef, himself, Remy from Ratatouille!
The EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival is a culinary extravaganza that celebrates the art of gastronomy and the diversity of global flavors. With its extensive offerings of delectable cuisine, fine wines, and interactive experiences, the festival provides an unparalleled opportunity for guests to indulge their taste buds and expand their culinary horizons. Whether you’re a food enthusiast, wine connoisseur, or simply enjoy exploring different flavors, the Food & Wine Festival at EPCOT promises a truly memorable and delicious experience.
EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays
The EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays is a joyous and festive event held annually at EPCOT. This festival celebrates the holiday season by showcasing the rich traditions, customs, and cuisines from around the world. Through enchanting storytelling, live performances, seasonal decorations, and delectable treats, the Festival of the Holidays creates a heartwarming and immersive experience for guests of all ages.
The festival typically takes place during the winter months, spanning several weeks from November through to the end of December. EPCOT is transformed into a winter wonderland, with stunning holiday decorations adorning every corner of the park. Guests are greeted with vibrant lights, festive garlands, and beautiful ornaments that capture the spirit of the season.
Typical dates since 2021: The Friday after Thanksgiving to 30 December, for about 35 days.
The first Festival of the Holidays was in 1996.
Storytelling and Cultural Presentations
One of the highlights of the Festival of the Holidays is the storytelling and cultural presentations that take place throughout the park. Various countries are represented at different pavilions in the World Showcase, where guests can learn about unique holiday traditions and customs from around the world from Holiday Storytellers.
Talented storytellers share engaging tales and legends that highlight the significance of the holiday season in different cultures. These presentations provide fascinating insights into the diverse ways people celebrate and commemorate this special time of year. Guests can immerse themselves in the rich storytelling traditions and gain a deeper appreciation for the global tapestry of holiday customs.
The Festival of the Holidays offers an array of culinary delights through its Holiday Kitchens. These temporary food booths are scattered throughout the park, each featuring traditional and seasonal dishes inspired by various countries and regions.
Guests can indulge in holiday favorites and international delicacies, savoring the flavors of the season. From savory dishes to sweet treats, the festival’s culinary offerings cater to a wide range of palates. Many dishes are prepared with traditional recipes and ingredients, providing an authentic taste of holiday cuisines from around the world.
In addition to the delectable food, the Holiday Kitchens also offer festive beverages, including hot cocoa, specialty coffees, seasonal cocktails, and non-alcoholic mocktails. These drinks complement the holiday flavors and add to the festive atmosphere.
Live Entertainment and Performances
The Festival of the Holidays presents a captivating lineup of live entertainment and performances that celebrate the joy of the season. Throughout the park, talented musicians, singers, dancers, and theatrical groups take the stage, offering heartwarming and lively shows that reflect the holiday spirit.
The Candlelight Processional is the highlight of the festival with a choir arranged in the shape of a living tree of people singing beautiful Christmas carols as the story of Christmas is narrated by a guest celebrity narrator. Neil Patrick Harris famously narrates some of the Christmas program each year!
Guests can explore merchandise locations dedicated to the Festival of the Holidays, offering an array of holiday-themed items and souvenirs. These include ornaments, collectibles, apparel, home decor, and seasonal accessories. The merchandise often features iconic Disney characters in holiday attire, as well as festival-specific artwork and designs. It’s a perfect opportunity for guests to find unique gifts and keepsakes to commemorate their holiday experience at EPCOT.
The hosts for this festival are often the adorably rambunctious Chip and Dale!
The EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays is a heartwarming celebration of the global traditions and customs associated with the holiday season. Through storytelling, live entertainment, culinary delights, and immersive experiences, the festival invites guests to embrace the joy, warmth, and spirit of the holidays. Whether you’re seeking cultural insights, delicious cuisine, or simply a festive atmosphere, the Festival of the Holidays at EPCOT is a truly magical experience for the entire family to experience on your Disney vacation.EPCOT Overview Pages:
- World Celebration
- World Discovery
- World Nature
- World Showcase
Have comments or questions, be sure to leave them in the Comment Section Below!
This MDT Post By: Erin Schreiver
Erin is a MilSpouse who loves going to Walt Disney World with her family, pin trading, and collecting Minnie ears and coffee mugs! Check out her bio.
Planning a Disney Trip? Want to get the best military discounts that are available? Feeling a little confused? See Our Great Disney Discount and Planning Info:
- Disney Veteran & Military Discount Eligibility Guide
- The Military Family’s Walt Disney World Comprehensive Vacation Planning and Preparation Guide
- Military Disney Tips Disney Packing Checklist
- Disney Military Tickets – Your Start to Finish Guide
- Resorts/Hotel Overview Page
- Dining Overview Page
- Transportation Overview Page
- Technology Overview Page
- Shades of Green, WDW’s Military Only Resort
Military Disney Tips' Recommended Disney Travel Agent
Ears of Experience Disney Only Travel Agency. Military family owned and operated! They know all the ins and outs of Disney military discounts!