For most of the year, you can walk into Epcot on any given day and there will be a festival happening. In fact, Epcot is becoming more and more known for their incredible festivals. The food, the music, the merchandise, the atmosphere…the list can go on and on. Although it seems impossible, here is a ranking of all Epcot festivals.
1. Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival
The International Flower and Garden Festival is the best festival that Epcot has to offer in my opinion. Beautiful topiaries of all your favorite characters can be found all over Epcot, there’s delicious food and so much more. You can experience it from March 2, 2022 to July 4, 2022.
Topiaries of your favorite characters and beautiful flowers as far as the eye can see! Every country in World Showcase is decorated with a lovely flower display that is unique to each country. The topiaries of characters are also unique to each country. For example, Anna and Elsa can be found in Norway, Snow White is in Germany, Lady & The Tramp are in Italy, etc.
Goodness Garden Butterfly House
One of the coolest things to do at the International Flower & Garden Festival is The Goodness Garden Butterfly House. There are many different species of butterflies to look at. You can even learn about the life cycle of a butterfly from the egg to the caterpillar to the cocoon to the butterfly. There are so many beautiful butterflies and flowers inside of this tent. It is a peaceful getaway from all the excitement from the park. Many times, if you stand still, a butterfly will land on you- making for a perfect photo opportunity.
Spike’s Pollen-Nation Exploration
Another fun thing to do during this festival is Spike’s Pollen-Nation Exploration! First, head over to Port of Entry or World Traveler at International Gateway and purchase your scavenger map for $7.99 plus tax. The map is shaped like a flower and there are different locations pictured on each of its petals. The goal of the scavenger hunt is to correctly identify each of the plants that Spike the Bee is visiting and pollinating. Once you complete the map, return it to one of the participating merchandise locations to claim your prize. It changes every year but last year, guests received a set of plates of their choice!
Garden Rocks Concert Series
This popular concert series brings some great performers to the America Gardens Theater in the American Adventure Pavilion. Concerts are performed at 5:30pm, 6:45pm and 8:00pm each night. Admission is free with regular park admission to Epcot. This year, dining packages are available for an additional fee. With this package, you can enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner at select Epcot restaurants and guaranteed seating at one of the Garden Rocks Concert performances that same day.
Every Epcot festival is known for their incredible eats! There are over 20 outdoor kitchens set up, each offering the freshest flavors of spring. A fun way to sample some unique treats is to do the Garden Graze. It is a fun food stroll that allows you to enjoy five festival specific foods. You’ll need a Festival Passport booklet (available at select merchandise locations) and you’ll need to get it stamped at the five locations listed in the booklet after you purchase the item. Once you’ve collected five stamps, head over to the Pineapple Promenade Outdoor Kitchen to redeem your prize!
2. Epcot International Food and Wine Festival
The Food and Wine Festival comes in at the number two spot on this list. It usually runs from August to mid-November and offers some of the most incredible dishes that are guaranteed to leave you wanting more! Fun Fact- debuting in 1995, this was Epcot’s first festival!
Seminars & Demonstrations
Not only are there delicious stops all around World Showcase to get some great food, but there are also places to watch how it’s made! There are Culinary Demonstrations and Wine and Beverage Seminars for the foodies to enjoy! These seminars and demonstrations are offered at an additional price, and some get you up close and personal with famous chefs while others teach you the best food and wine pairings.
Eat to the Beat Concert Series
This popular concert series features bands from the ‘80s, ‘90s and sometimes even the ‘00s at the American Gardens Theater in the American Adventure Pavilion. This concert is also free with valid park admission. Concerts are held Sunday through Thursday at 5:30pm, 6:45pm and 8:00pm and Friday and Saturday at 6:30pm, 7:45pm and 9:00pm. Eat to the Beat also usually includes dining packages at select Epcot dining locations that include a meal and a guaranteed seat to the show.
Remy’s Ratatouille Hide & Squeak Scavenger Hunt
This is a fun scavenger hunt for guests of all ages! Head to Port of Entry, Pin Central or World Traveler at International Gateway to pick up your scavenger map. Guests participating in this fun event will use their map and walk around World Showcase to find 15 hidden Remy statuettes. With all scavenger hunts, bring your completed map to Disney Traders to choose a prize!
Emile’s Fromage Montage
This is a fun way to sample some of the most delicious food at the festival. In order to do this, you must pick up a complimentary Festival Passport from select merchandise locations. With this “food crawl”, you will sample a variety of cheese dishes. Once you have purchased and tried each cheese dish from select Global Marketplaces listed in the Festival Passport, you will receive a stamp. Head over to Shimmering Sips once you have collected all five stamps to receive a specialty prize that is unique to the Food and Wine Festival.
3. Epcot International Festival of the Holidays
Coming in at number 3 on this list, is the Festival of the Holidays. This is such a fun and exciting festival that is sure to get you in the holiday spirit during the most wonderful time of the year. There are delicious holiday treats and lots of fun things to do! The Festival of the Holidays typically runs from the day after Thanksgiving until December 30.
Holiday Cookie Stroll
This is one of my favorite things to do during the Festival of the Holidays. Not only is it a really fun Christmas activity, but you get to eat delicious cookies! Pick up a complimentary Festival Passport to get started. From there, you will walk around World Showcase looking for the cookies that you need to try in order to collect your stamp. Once you have tried all five cookies and collected a stamp for each one, stop by Holiday Sweets and Treats to receive a special completer cookie and (maybe a few more surprises)! This year, guests received a specialty cookie, a peppermint sundae in a souvenir cup and an ornament! Each cookie costs $2.50 and is well worth the money!
The Candlelight Processional is one of Epcot’s most beloved holiday traditions. Each night during the festival, a celebrity narrator tells the story of Christmas accompanied by a 50-piece orchestra and choir made up of the beautiful voices of Disney Cast Members. The performances take place at 5:15pm, 7:00pm and 8:30pm every night. Candlelight Processional Dining Packages are available and are strongly recommended due to the high popularity of this event. The dining package includes a meal at a select Epcot dining location along with a guaranteed seat at that night’s Candlelight Processional.
Olaf’s Holiday Tradition Expedition
Are you ready for a holiday-themed scavenger hunt starring your favorite Disney snowman? Guests looking to participate in this fun and festive scavenger hunt must purchase a scavenger map for $9.99 at Creations Shop, Port of Entry or World Traveler at International Gateway. Now it is time to go on a hunt around World Showcase to find holiday traditions that Olaf has found (and lost) along the way. Once you have found all the traditions, bring your map to Disney Traders, Creations Shop or World Traveler at International Gateway to redeem your prize! This year, guests received Frozen themed plates as a prize!
One of the most interesting parts of this festival is getting to see how different countries celebrate the holidays. There are Storytellers all around World Showcase waiting to share their traditions with you. The Storytellers can be found at:
- Mexico- Las Posadas Celebration
- Norway- MagicalBarn Santa
- China- Chinese Lion Dance
- Italy- La Befana
- The American Adventure- Santa Claus
- Japan- The Daruma
- The World Showcase Promenade- Hanukkah Storyteller
- France- Pere Noel
- United Kingdom- Father Christmas
- Canada- Canadian Holiday Voyagers
4. Epcot International Festival of the Arts
Last, but certainly not least, is the International Festival of the Arts. Debuting in 2017, this is Epcot’s newest festival. The event divided into three artistic categories: culinary, visual and performing arts. Festival of the Arts typically takes place from mid-January until late February.
There are a total of 15 food studios located around Epcot for this festival! The food is very aesthetically pleasing, after all it is an arts festival! Many of the dishes and drinks are also, of course, art inspired. Each food item has its own unique artistic flare!
Wonderful Walk of Colorful Cuisine
Like the other festivals, the Festival of the Arts also has a fun way to sample dishes at select Food Studios. To participate in the Wonderful Walk of Colorful Cuisine, grab your Festival Passport and purchase any five items from select locations. You must have a matching stamp for each food item that you purchase. Once you have collected all five stamps, bring your Festival Passport to Decadent Delights for a “colorful culinary treat”!
Disney on Broadway Concert Series
The Disney on Broadway Concert Series features performances by the very talented actors and actresses of Broadway. They perform some of Disney’s greatest hits! The concerts take place at the American Gardens Theater at the American Pavilion. Performances are at 5:30pm, 6:45pm and 8:00pm each night. Disney on Broadway Concert Series Dining Packages are also available to guarantee a seat and a great meal from one of Epcot’s select dining locations.
There are so many amazing visual arts performances to behold during this festival! First, there’s Visual Art in Performance, which allows guests to view high-energy artists paint Disney characters live on stage in just minutes! Another awesome visual art performance is the chalk artists. Incredibly talented artists create masterpiece chalk drawings on the ground of your favorite Disney characters. There is also Art Defying Gravity. This exciting show takes place at World Showplace (between United Kingdom and Canada) and is a thrill not to be missed!
All Disney fans should also check out the Animation Academy. This complimentary art session is an incredible and fun opportunity to learn from an actual Disney artist! If you’ve ever wanted to step inside of a painting, you’re in luck! There are special photo ops around the park to literally step inside of the most famous paintings in the world! Finally, there’s the Interactive Wall Mural. You can leave your mark on Epcot, literally! Guests participating in this event have the chance to paint their own small section of a wall that will become a huge piece of artwork!
Figment’s Brush with the Masters: Scavenger Hunt
Guests of all ages will love this scavenger hunt featuring fan favorite, Figment! Guests can visit Port of Entry, Creations Shop or World Traveler to purchase their map for $9.99. Each time you find Figment in the corresponding piece of art, simply place a sticker and move to the next section of the scavenger hunt. Once you have placed all the stickers and found all the Figments, head to Disney Traders or World Travelers to redeem your prize!
All of these festivals are fun and unique in their own way. Each festival changes every year and gets better and better. It was very hard to rank these because they all have such different and amazing things to offer. If you find yourself in Disney World during any of these festivals, do yourself a favor and go check them out. It is absolutely worth it! Which festival is your favorite and why?The Orlando Real on