Discovering the Delights: Your Comprehensive Guide to Epcot’s Festivals in 2023
By James | Last updated August 18, 2023
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Walt Disney World is famous for its diverse and exciting Epcot festivals throughout the year. From the spectacular Festival of the Arts to the joyous Festival of the Holidays, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
These festivals showcase the best of Disney’s culinary and artistic talents and attract visitors from all over the world.
In this post, we’ll explore all of the festivals that Epcot has to offer in 2023, including their dates, themes, and highlights. So, grab your Mickey Mouse ears and get ready to experience the magic of Disney’s Epcot festivals!
Introduction to the Epcot Festivals in 2023
Epcot is one of the most popular theme parks in the US, known for its unique blend of entertainment, technology, and innovation. But did you know that Epcot is also home to some of the most amazing festivals?
Every year there are four Epcot festivals and in 2023, they run for 318 days. There is always something exciting happening at Epcot.
These festivals are a great way to experience the park in a whole new way. There are special events, shows, and of course, delicious food and drinks from around the world.
Whether you are a foodie looking for a culinary adventure, an art lover looking to experience the best in creativity and design, or you are just looking for a fun and unique way to spend your day, Epcot’s festivals have something for everyone.
If you have children in your group, look out for the scavenger hunts around the World Showcase. Buy a map for a small fee and when you have identified all the items, you can win a prize.
All the Epcot festivals are included with a normal admission ticket or annual pass, including the nightly concerts. However, some workshops and seminars are optional paid add-ons.
In this guide, we will take a closer look at each of the major festivals held at Epcot throughout the year. We will give you an inside look at the events, entertainment, and the food and drink offerings. So, get ready to experience the magic of Epcot like never before, and discover why these festivals have become some of the most popular events at Walt Disney World.
Epcot International Festival of the Arts
The first festival of the year is the Epcot International Festival of the Arts. It is a relatively new festival at Epcot, having started in 2017. This festival celebrates art in all its forms, from visual arts to culinary arts and everything in between.
The festival usually runs from mid-January to late February and is a must-visit for any art lover visiting Walt Disney World during this time.
In 2023 the dates are Friday, 13 January 2023 to Monday, 20 February 2023 (39 days)
One of the highlights of the festival is the Disney on Broadway Concert Series. Here performers from Disney Broadway shows perform live songs from the shows. This is a great opportunity to catch some fantastic live musical entertainment.
Some of the Broadway performers appearing in 2023 include Kara Lindsay from Newsies, Kevin Massey from Tarzan and Kissy Simmons from The Lion King.
The festival also features a variety of visual arts displays. The exhibits feature everything from classic Disney artwork to modern and contemporary pieces. Visitors can also take part in interactive workshops and classes. Here you can learn from professional artists and even create art pieces to take home.
One of the highlights of the festival is the food. Epcot is known for its diverse and delicious food offerings, and during the festival, the food is taken to a whole new level. The dishes are not only visually stunning but also inspired by famous artists and art movements.
Whether you’re in the mood for a savoury dish or something sweet, there’s sure to be something to satisfy your taste buds.
Overall, the Epcot International Festival of the Arts is a fantastic celebration of art and creativity. It is a must-visit for anyone visiting Disney World during its run. With so much to see, do, and taste, it’s sure to be a highlight of any Disney vacation.
Read more about the Epcot International Festival of the Arts.
Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival
Following hot on the heels of the Festival of the Arts is the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival. This festival is a haven for garden enthusiasts and nature lovers, as it showcases a vast array of beautiful flowers and topiaries.
The event usually runs in the Spring from March to June and features a wide range of activities, including outdoor concerts, seminars, and workshops.
In 2023 the dates are Wednesday, 1 March 2023 to Wednesday, 5 July 2023 (127 days).
One of the main highlights of the festival is the Garden Rocks concert series, which features popular musicians from the 70s, 80s, and 90s.
Amongst this year’s performers are Berlin, The Pointer Sisters, Rick Springfield and The Commodores. One of our all-time favourites is Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone who appears every year.
During the festival, guests can also interact with gardening experts, attend cooking demonstrations by famous chefs, and shop for unique gardening products.
The festival also features more than 100 Disney-themed topiaries throughout the park, including some of your favourite Disney characters, such as Mickey Mouse, Cinderella, and Snow White. These topiaries are incredibly detailed and showcase the incredible skill and artistry of Disney horticulturists.
Amongst the array of food and beverage options are seasonal cocktails, craft beers, and farm-to-table dishes. Overall, the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival is a must for anyone who loves gardens, nature, and all things Disney.
Read more about the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival.
Epcot International Food and Wine Festival
The Epcot International Food and Wine Festival is one of the most popular events at Epcot since it started in 1996. The festival takes place from late summer to mid-autumn and features the finest food and drinks from around the world.
In 2023 the dates are Thursday, 27 July 2023 to Saturday, 18 November 2023 (115 days)
The festival boasts more than 30 global marketplaces. Here visitors can sample dishes from many different countries.
Apart from the food and drinks, the festival also features culinary demonstrations plus seminars and workshops hosted by celebrity chefs, winemakers, and mixologists.
For music lovers, there is the Eat to the Beat concert series. Here you can enjoy performances by popular artists from a variety of genres. Performers in 2023 include Sugar Ray, Hanson, and Boyz II Men, among others.
The festival is a great way to experience different cuisines and cultures from around the world in one place. It’s also an opportunity to learn about wine, beer, and spirits from experts in the industry.
If you’re a foodie or a wine enthusiast, this festival is a must-attend event. Make sure to check the dates in advance and plan your visit accordingly.
Read more about the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival.
Epcot International Festival of the Holidays
Epcot International Festival of the Holidays is one of the most magical festivals at Walt Disney World and wraps up the festive season.
This festival starts in November and ends in December. It is filled with delicious food, live entertainment, and stunning festive decorations.
In 2023 the dates are Friday, 24 November 2023 to Saturday, 30 December 2023 (37 days).
During this festival, Epcot transforms into a winter wonderland with beautiful holiday decor throughout the park. Each country pavilion is decorated with unique holiday traditions and beautiful lights. This makes the park feel like a global celebration of the season.
One of the highlights of the festival is the Candlelight Processional. At each performance, a celebrity narrator tells the story of Christmas accompanied by a choir and orchestra. The narrator changes each night, but past narrators have included everyone from Neil Patrick Harris to Whoopi Goldberg to John Stamos.
This is a not to be missed event and often has long lines, so be sure to get there early.
Like all the festivals, another highlight is the food. Throughout the park, you can find holiday-themed food and drinks that are sure to delight your taste buds. From holiday cookies to hot chocolate and even holiday beer and cocktails, there is something for everyone.
If you’re looking for unique holiday gifts, be sure to check out the holiday markets in each pavilion. Here you’ll find handmade crafts, holiday decorations, and other festive items.
Overall, the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays is a wonderful way to get into the holiday spirit and experience different holiday traditions from around the world. Don’t miss out on this magical festival!
The Best Food and Beverages to Try
One of the biggest draws of all the Epcot festivals is the incredible food and beverage offerings that are available. From savoury dishes to sweet treats, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
At the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival, guests can indulge in an impressive array of international cuisine. There are over 30 global marketplaces to choose from.
Some must-try dishes include:
- Canadian cheddar and bacon soup from the Canadian marketplace
- Escargot brioche with creamy garlic and parsley sauce from the France marketplace
- Roasted Lamb Chop with mint pesto and potato crunchies from the Australian marketplace
If you have a sweet tooth, be sure to check out the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays. At this festival, you can sample festive treats from around the world. The holiday kitchens offer everything from gingerbread cookies to eggnog and hot cocoa flights.
For those looking for a unique dining experience, the Epcot International Festival of the Arts offers a variety of culinary masterpieces that are almost too beautiful to eat. This festival has amazing food options for everyone, from colourful sushi to delicious desserts with edible art on top.
And of course, no trip to Epcot is complete without sampling some of the park’s signature beverages. From craft beers to international wines, guests can sip and savour their way around the world at all the festivals.
So whether you’re a foodie or simply looking to try something new, the Epcot festivals are sure to satisfy your taste buds.
Note that, unlike parks like SeaWorld that sell food sampler lanyards which include a set number of food and drink samplers, at Epcot, you have to purchase each food or drink item separately. You can however buy a Gift Card to simplify the purchases.
Must-See Performances and Shows
One of the great things about visiting Epcot during festival season is the sheer number of performances and shows on offer. Whether you’re a fan of music, theatre, or dance, you’ll find something to suit your tastes.
Many of these concerts take place at the America Gardens Theatre near the American Pavillion and are included with your park admission.
At the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival, for example, there are concerts from top musical acts on select nights. They tend to be scheduled so that guests who have weekday annual passes can still enjoy every act.
Meanwhile, the Epcot International Festival of the Arts features a range of performances, from live music to Broadway-style shows. One of the highlights of this festival is the Disney on Broadway Concert Series. These concerts feature performances from some of the biggest names in musical theatre.
No matter which festival you attend, be sure to check the schedule in advance to see what performances and shows are on offer. And don’t forget to arrive early to secure a good spot, these shows are often very popular and can fill up quickly!
The best way to guarantee a seat at one of the concerts is to buy a Dining package. The price for the Dining package ranges from $35 to $95 depending on the restaurant. The Dining packages include a reserved seat to the concert as well as a pre-paid food and beverage voucher which can typically be redeemed for an appetizer, entrée and dessert plus a nonalcoholic beverage.
Workshop and Seminars to Attend
Epcot festivals are a great opportunity to attend workshops and seminars. These events will educate and entertain guests. They also provide a unique and immersive experience.
At the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival, for example, guests can attend cooking demonstrations, wine tastings, and mixology seminars.
Renowned chefs, sommeliers, and mixologists from around the globe come together to organize and hold these events. They provide guests with insight into the latest culinary trends and techniques.
Similarly, at the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival, guests can attend gardening workshops. Here you can learn about sustainable gardening practices and plant care from experts in the field.
The Epcot International Festival of the Arts also offers a variety of workshops and seminars. These include drawing classes, animation seminars, and photography workshops.
These events are all hosted by industry professionals. They provide guests with a unique opportunity to learn new skills and techniques in a fun and interactive setting.
Attending these workshops and seminars is a great way to make the most of your Epcot festival experience. Not only will you learn something new, but you’ll also have the opportunity to interact with experts in the field and connect with like-minded individuals who share your interests.
So be sure to check out the event schedule.
How to Get the Most Out of Your Epcot Festival Experience
Attending an Epcot Festival is an exciting experience, but with so much to see and do, it can be overwhelming. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your Epcot Festival experience:
- Plan ahead: Check the festival schedule and map before you go, so you can plan out which events, workshops, concerts and food booths you want to visit.
- Arrive early: The festivals at Epcot tend to get crowded as the day progresses. Arriving early can help you avoid long lines and get a head start on your festival experience.
- Grab a Passport: To get the most out of your visit, make sure you pick up a complimentary passport after you enter the park. It contains details of all the events, food booth locations etc.
- Pace yourself: With so much food and drink available, it’s easy to overdo it. Pace yourself by sharing dishes with friends or family, and taking breaks between tastings.
- Take advantage of the festival merchandise. Epcot Festivals offer exclusive merchandise that you won’t find anywhere else. Take some time to browse the shops and pick up a souvenir to remember your festival experience.
- Attend a seminar or workshop: Many Epcot Festivals offer seminars and workshops on topics like cooking, mixology, and art. These can be a great way to learn something new while enjoying the festival.
By following these tips, you’ll be able to get the most out of your Epcot Festival experience and create memories that will last a lifetime.
Conclusion and Final Thoughts
In conclusion, Epcot festivals offer a unique experience that combines delicious food and drink, and captivating entertainment. Whether you’re a foodie, an art enthusiast, or just looking for a fun way to spend a day at Epcot, there’s something for everyone at these festivals.
We enjoy visiting in the afternoon to catch some of our favourite music artists performing on stage at the American Garden Theatre.
Each festival has its unique theme and offerings. With so many options to choose from, it can be overwhelming to decide which festival to attend. No matter which festival you choose, you’re guaranteed to have a great time.
If you’re planning a trip to Walt Disney World, be sure to check the dates for the Epcot festivals. Take advantage of the festival passport to make the most of your visit and try as many food and drink offerings as possible.
Overall, Epcot festivals are a must-see attraction for any Disney World visitor. So grab your friends and family and get ready to indulge in some delicious food, enjoy great music and amazing art, and have a magical time at Epcot!
They are an excellent opportunity to experience unique foods, drinks, and entertainment.
Epcot’s festivals also provide a unique opportunity to experience different cultures and traditions, with performances, demonstrations, and exhibits that showcase the customs and practices of people from across the globe.
Make sure to plan your visit ahead of time, as each festival has different dates and offerings. With this guide, we hope you’ll have all the information you need to plan your perfect festival experience. See you at Epcot!