Epcot is Festival Central pretty much all year round. Here is a look at all of them. From flowers to food, there is something for everyone.
Starting in mid-January and lasting for six weeks, enjoy Epcot’s International Festival of the Arts. This youngest of Epcot’s festivals has quickly become a favorite and a return for 2020 is planned.
In addition to culinary masterpieces dished up throughout World Showcase, guests have an opportunity to meet and interact with actual Disney artists, take part in free drawing lessons, and enjoy the performing arts with a range of musical entertainment. The 2019 highlight was the Disney on Broadway Concert Series held at the America Gardens Theatre.
Epcot’s International Festival of the Arts is also a great event for families, as many fun activities help kids discover a love for the arts. An added bonus is that it takes place during the off-season, complete with cooler weather. Here are our Unofficial tips for visiting Epcot’s 2019 Festival of the Arts.
Next up is the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival. This is the park’s longest and oldest festival. Spring is celebrated for 90 days with vibrant flower beds, floating gardens, larger-than-life topiaries, culinary experiences, and Garden Rock Concerts. This is also the time of the year when two fun scavenger hunts ($6.99, plus tax, each) are available at the park.
The Spike’s Pollen Nation Exploration runs for the duration of the festival, while the Egg-stravanza scavenger hunt runs now through April 21st. The 2019 edition of the festival is in full swing and runs now through June 3rd. Check out our tips for family fun at the festival.
The dates for the next big event, the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, have just been announced. On August 29th get ready for 87 days of gourmet food, culinary, and beverage demonstrations by celebrity chefs, and the Eat to the Beat Concert Series.
Nothing is better than the outdoor kitchen to introduce children to the cuisines of other nations. Prices for the small plates range $4-$8; if you are on the Disney Dining Plan, you can use your snack portions to pay. If your child does not like a dish, it is not as big a deal as wasting an entire meal at a sit-down restaurant.
More than 30 outdoor kitchens, most located around Epcot’s World Showcase Lagoon, are the focus of the festival, but make time for the Eat to the Beat Concerts held at the American Gardens Theater. Showtimes are 5:30 p.m., 6:45 p.m., and 8 p.m. The concerts are free of charge.
For $6.99 plus tax, you can acquire the Remy’s Ratatouille Hide & Squeak scavenger hunt game. Armed with a map and stickers, help your kids be on the lookout for hidden Remy statuettes throughout World Showcase. When you’re done, turn in the map to receive a special keepsake. Here is our review of the 2018 event.
Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival concludes November 23, 2019. Please note that the Eat to the Beat Concerts end on November 19th, in order to prepare the stage for the upcoming Candlelight Processional.
Last but not least, it is interesting to note that the festival begins on the same day that Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is set to open at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Only six days later, Epcot’s International Festival of the Holidays kicks off, running November 29th through December 30th. Eleven World Showcase nations dish up seasonal specialities, but the storytellers appearing in each of the countries’ pavilions are the daytime highlight of Christmas at Epcot.
In the evening, The Candlelight Processional, featuring nightly retellings of the traditional Christmas story—read by a celebrity narrator and accompanied by a mass choir and live orchestra—is an absolute must see.
Because there is so much to see and do, we recommend you arm yourselves with the special holiday park map and the Times Guide as soon as you arrive at the park. In the Times Guide you will find a list of all the performance times for the storytellers, the shows, and musical venues. For more details, read our write-up of last year’s events.
Is there Room for Another Festival at Epcot?
Only during the summer months, when school is out, is there no regular, returning festival. Until 2017 Epcot was home to the annual Sounds Like Summer Concert Series. During roughly two months (June through July) the America Gardens Theater rocked with live music from tribute bands. Last year, a new show debuted with Guardians of the Galaxy—Awesome Mix Live! and the show is returning for the summer of 2019. Five times a daily (early June through mid-August), guests can enjoy the music of both Guardians of the Galaxy movie soundtracks. With the Guardians of the Galaxy roller coaster (set to open in 2021) under construction at the park, it is not too far-fetched to guess that the show will return in 2020. One way or another, we feel confident that the America Gardens Theater stage will be put to good use.
For all there is to see and do at Epcot and at Walt Disney World check out The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World with Kids. If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe to our YouTube channel and sign up for our newsletter here.