EPCOT’s International Festivals Explained

Festival of the Holidays

World Showcase is a wonderful section of EPCOT that is great to visit during any time of year. Featuring pavilions of 11 countries that explore the culture of the represented country, World Showcase is full of sights, shops, tastes, and attractions for everyone in your family to enjoy. Throughout the year, EPCOT hosts several International Festivals that are set up across World Showcase. These festivals run for weeks at a time and with them bring new foods, exhibits, and events to enjoy. But what should you know about International Festivals? What are they and should you plan a trip around one? Read on for Epcot’s International Festivals explained.

What Are International Festivals And What Do They Cost?

International Festivals occur on a schedule that varies slightly year to year. Each festival mainly takes place within EPCOT’s World Showcase, which is located near the back of the park near the International Gateway Skyliner entrance to the park. However, these festivals are celebrated in several other areas around the park as well.  These festivals differ from Magic Kingdom’s ticketed events in that entry is included with park admission. There is no additional cost to enjoy the festivals that Epcot has to offer.

Epcot Germany
Cheers at EPCOT! Photo: Megan Woodard

Throughout the festivals you will see several booths set up, usually representing a country and selling food and beverages that are chosen to coordinate with the ongoing festival. You might also find booths selling merchandise specific to the festival, and other souvenirs. Some festivals also include specialty pop-up exhibits, shows, and performances.

EPCOT International Festival of the Arts

The first festival of the year for Epcot is the EPCOT International Festival of the Arts. This festival typically runs from mid-January to late-February each year. The Festival of the Arts has historically offered 20 food and beverage stands offering delicacies celebrating the arts, performances from Disney on Broadway, photo opportunities throughout the park, artwork for display and purchase by Disney artists and local artists, and art classes taught by Disney animators.

Festival of the Arts. Photo: Emily Murray
Festival of the Arts. Photo: Emily Murray

EPCOT’s Festival of the Arts is a great time to plan your visit to Epcot. The weather in January and February is typically very mild, and there are usually less crowds during this time of year as well.

EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival

After a short break of no festivals EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival greets guests for Spring. This festival typically is held from early-March through early-July and celebrates all things that bloom and grow. Flower and Garden Festival has had much to offer in the past including character topiaries, special gardens, a butterfly exhibit, Garden Rocks Concert Series, 20 food and beverages stands, and festival merchandise.

Toy Story Topiaries
Toy Story Topiaries at Flower & Garden. Photo: Megan Woodard

EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival

In the fall, Epcot International Food & Wine Festival begins operation. Typically running from late-July to mid-November, this is Epcot’s longest running festival. If you are a foodie, then you will definitely want to try and plan your trip during Food & Wine. Featuring over 30 food and beverage stands, International Food & Wine Festival is an excellent food tour around the world. Each booth represents a country or region, and there are several booth serving special alcoholic beverages as well. Alongside the food you’ll find festival merchandise, performances at the America Gardens Theatre, scavenger hunts, as well as some demonstrations and classes for an additional cost.

Food and Wine
Food and Wine. Photo: Emily Murray.

EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays

Last but certainly not least, EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays typically runs from late-November to late-December each year. This festival is a big celebration for all of the holidays celebrated around the world. International Festival of the Holidays celebrates by operating over a dozen food and beverage stands, holiday story-tellers performing throughout World Showcase, musical performances, the Candlelight Processional performance at the America Gardens Theatre, a holiday cookie stroll, festival merchandise, and of course lots and lots of beautiful holiday decorations.

Festival of the Holidays
Festival of the Holidays.

Do you enjoy visiting Epcot during festivals? Which International Festival is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!

Featured Image: Emily Murray.

Written by

Megan Woodard

Contributing Writer

Megan was born into a Disney family. Her first trip to Disney World was when she was only 18 months old. Now as an adult, Megan loves to share the magic of Disney with her two toddlers. Keeping up with Disney news and Disney World knowledge is a fun hobby for Megan. Disney World is her favorite place to be and continuously brings back her childhood joy.

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