Epcot is pretty much year-round festivals now, and that isn’t a bad thing.
With different themes and entertainment options, there’s sure to be a Epcot festival or special event for nearly every guest.
In 2020 (for obvious health and safety reasons), Epcot turned its festivals into modified events and even slightly changed the names.
For example, Epcot International Festival of the Arts became, “A Taste of Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.”
The “Taste of…” festivals dropped entertainment, eliminated workshops, and revamped full-blown events into mini-festivals that still offered themed-outdoor kitchens.
But, now, the seasonal festivals are back in full force (with a few exceptions here and there).
Let’s take a look at what you need to know about Epcot festivals.
Epcot festivals calendar (past and present)
Here are the most recent dates for each Epcot festival:
- Festival of the Arts: January 14 — February 21, 2022 (2023 Dates TBD)
- Flower and Garden Festival: March 2 — July 4, 2022
- Food and Wine Festival: July 15 — November 20, 2021 (2022 Dates TBD)
- Festival of the Holidays: November 26 — December 30, 2021 (2022 Dates TBD)
And here’s a look at past festival dates:
Festival of the Arts (debuted in 2017)
- 2021: January 8 — February 22
- 2020: January 17 — February 24
- 2019: January 18 — February 25
- 2018: January 12 — February 19
- 2017: January 12 — February 20
Flower and Garden Festival (debuted in 1994)
- 2021: March 3 — July 5 (ran as the “Taste of…” festival)
- 2020: March 4 — June 1 (ended on March 15 when Disney World closed due the pandemic)
- 2019: March 6 — June 6
- 2018: February 28 —May 28
- 2017: March 1 — May 29
Food and Wine Festival (debuted in 1995)
- 2020: July 15 — November 22 (ran as the “Taste of…” festival)
- 2019: August 29 —November 23
- 2018: August 30 — November 12
- 2017: August 31 — November 13
- 2016: September 14 — November 14
Festival of the Holidays (debuted in 2017)
- 2020: November 27 — December 31
- 2019: November 29 — December 30
- 2018: November 18 — December 30
- 2017: November 19 — December 30
- 2016: November 25 — December 30 (Epcot held Holidays Around the World from 1996 through 2016 before transitioning to Festival of the Holidays)
What are the Epcot festivals (and how many are there)?
Nowadays, Epcot seems to always have a festival happening. If you want to experience a festival at Epcot, you’re in luck because they are basically year-round now.
The nice thing about these festivals is that anybody can attend with valid theme park admission and a theme park reservation (that you can make via the Disney Park Pass System).
Better yet, the festivals add more fun and food options to the park!
Get all of the details about the festivals in the guides below.
Festival of the Arts (mid-January through late February)
The Festival of the Arts is probably the festival with the best weather, and second to only the Flower and Garden Festival for beautiful things to look at.
It has the vibe of an upscale farm and art market paired with cool and fun foodie offerings.
And, while all festivals offer merchandise, this festival has a lot more things to purchase since the World Showcase Lagoon is literally dotted with tents and kiosks of various artists sharing their wares.
Unfortunately, it’s a super short festival, but a favorite for good reason. You definitely want to try and take advantage of the Festival of the Arts as much as possible.
Festival of the Arts Highlights
- Food Studios
- Chance to meet Disney artists and purchase their art
- Chalk artists
- Paint-by-number mural for all guests to participate
- Disney on Broadway Concert Series (and accompanying dining packages)
- Artful photo-ops inspired by famous artwork
- Figment’s Brush with the Masters scavenger hunt
- Animation Academy (draw Disney and Pixar characters)
- Wonderful Walk of Colorful Cuisine
Flower and Garden Festival (early March through early July)
The was the first festival to ever debut at Epcot and the park never looks more lovely than it does for the International Flower and Garden Festival.
Dozens of topiaries, expansive plantings, and butterflies galore paint this park into a rainbow of color.
And don’t forget the food!
If you want to attend, the earlier in the season you can go you’ll find better weather (it can get pretty warm by the end).
Flower and Garden Festival Highlights
- Outdoor Kitchens
- Topiaries in the shape of beloved Disney and Pixar characters
- Garden Rocks Concert Series (the past couple years the festival has presented local Orlando bands at the America Gardens Theatre for health and safety reasons)
- Spike’s Pollen-Nation Exploration scavenger hunt
- Eggstravaganza Scavenger Hunt (only available during select dates for Easter)
- Walk-through butterfly house
- A variety of gardens and trails
- Garden Graze
Food and Wine Festival (mid-July through mid-November)
The Epcot International Food and Wine Festival is THE festival if food and wine are your thing.
And, as you can imagine, it is also the most popular.
Avoid the weekends for slightly less crowds and be prepared for waits at the food kiosks.
But go hungry … very hungry.
Food and Wine Festival Highlights
- Global Marketplaces
- Eat to the Beat Concert Series (the past couple years the festival has presented the “America Gardens Bandstand” featuring local Orlando bands for health and safety reasons)
- Remy’s Ratatouille Hide & Squeak scavenger hunt
- Emile’s Fromage Montage
- Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend
Festival of the Holidays (late November through late December)
The International Festival of the Holidays is the shortest festival of them all.
Typically running from Thanksgiving through the end of December, this festival showcases a celebration of the holidays across the entire World Showcase.
You’ll find all sorts of ways to explore international holiday customs as well as taste culinary selections from around the world.
This festival is also home to the extremely popular Candlelight Processional.
Festival of the Holidays Highlights
- Holiday Kitchens
- Candlelight Processional (and accompanying dining packages)
- Olaf’s Holiday Tradition Expedition scavenger hunt
- World Showcase Storytellers
- Joyful! A Celebration of the Season (gospel, R&B group)
- Living with the Land holiday overlay
- Spaceship Earth holiday lighting composition
- Holiday Cookie Stroll
How do the Epcot festivals compare?
There are a few similarities and differences between each festival. Let’s take a look!
|FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS||FLOWER AND GARDEN||FOOD AND WINE||FESTIVAL OF THE HOLIDAYS|
|Time of Year||Winter||Spring into Summer||Summer into Fall||Fall into Winter|
|Length||About 1 month||About 4 months||About 4 months||About 1 month|
|Celebrations||Culinary, performing, visual arts||Gardening, horticulture, botany||Fine food and wine||Global holiday traditions|
|Menu Items||Colorful global cuisine and drinks that imitate art||Fresh food and beverages from around the world||Authentic global cuisine and beverages||Seasonal global food and drinks|
|Main Entertainment||Disney on Broadway Concert Series||Garden Rocks Concert Series||Eat to the Beat Series||Candlelight Processional|
|Scavenger Hunts||Figment’s Brush with the Masters||Spike’s Pollen-Nation Exploration and Eggstravaganza||Remy’s Ratatouille Hide & Squeak||Olaf’s Holiday Tradition Expedition|
|Food Passport Strolls||Wonderful Walk of Colorful Cuisine||Garden Graze||Emile’s Fromage Montage||Holiday Cookie Stroll|
What can I expect if attending a festival at Epcot?
Theme park tickets are required for entry
All Epcot festivals are included with the price of your admission, however, there are select events within each festival that may require an extra ticket. The guides above will walk you through all of those.
You might have to eat on a trashcan
Many people that attend the festivals find themselves checking out at least 1 of the dozens of food kiosks scattered throughout the park.
What they may not expect is that there aren’t a lot of places to actually sit and eat what you buy.
More standing tables have been added over the years, but when it’s crowded, you may find yourself at a trashcan.
There is a pretty common “joke” about people eating off the tops of trashcans…which people will do.
No, it isn’t pretty, but it can be tricky to hold that fantastic flight of beers AND eat the plate of goodies all at once.
We don’t say this to scare you, but rather to prepare you. Don’t order more than you can hold and eat at once. Keep a good attitude and if you can, share your table with a stranger.
You should probably avoid the weekends
The festivals at Epcot are especially popular with locals, so for the lowest crowds whenever possible avoid the weekends and weekday holidays.
Last minute reservations may be easy to snag
If eating on a trashcan isn’t your thing, it is often fairly easy to snag last minute Advanced Dining Reservations at Epcot during the busy festival days.
So many people opt to eat at the kiosks that there is often availability at the restaurants.
Are there dining packages available?
While not directly related to the festivals, there are two Epcot dining packages available that (for a heftier price) provide guests with a heartier meal and reserved viewing for the nighttime show.
Check out our write-up on the fireworks dining packages at Epcot and our Magic Kingdom dessert party comparison guide for more details.
- All about the Fireworks Dining Packages at Epcot
- Harmonious Dining Package vs. Disney Enchantment Dessert After-Party
Frequently asked questions
How does the Disney dining Plan work with festivals?
At this time, the Disney Dining Plan is currently suspended. But, Disney has confirmed the Disney Dining Plan will return at some point in the future.
In the past, some festival items were eligible for Snack Credits. It’s unclear if this will continue whenever the Disney Dining Plan returns.
What are the pros and cons to each festival?
Each festival is unique and special in it’s own way, but there are pros and cons to each. Here’s a quick breakdown.
Festival of the Arts
- Pros: Purchase Disney art, meet Disney artists, see Broadway performers, food and drinks are very good
- Cons: Much too short of a festival, especially as one of our favorites
Flower and Garden Festival
- Pros: Gorgeous topiaries, learn about horticulture, fresh food and drink offerings including worthy plant-based options
- Cons: Even though it runs for about 4 months giving guests a chance to enjoy, it’s still too long
Food and Wine Festival
- Pros: Great for wine fans, a lot of global marketplaces
- Cons: Falls during a hotter time of year, crowds can be overwhelming, only a few good booths, too long
Festival of the Holidays
- Pros: Candlelight Processional, learn about global holiday traditions, World Showcase Storytellers
- Cons: Super short, not many vegetarian/plant-based offerings, more sweet than savory menu items
What about the Festival Center?
The Odyssey Events Pavilion, which was historically used as the Festival Center during many of the festivals, now houses the “Epcot Experience” giving guest a glimpse at the future of Epcot. Sometimes a festival booth can be found here.
For more on Epcot events and future additions, check out our what is coming to Epcot page.