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2023 & 2024 Complete Guide to the Epcot festivals (calendar, tips, FAQs)

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2023 & 2024 Complete Guide to the Epcot festivals (calendar, tips, FAQs)

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 an Epcot festival or special event for nearly every guest.

Let’s take a look at what you need to know about Epcot festivals.

Epcot Festivals Calendar

Trying to pick a date to visit? Use the calendar below to easily see the 2023-2024 Epcot festival schedule:

epcot festivals calendar

Read more about all the festivals of Epcot:

Overview of all the Epcot Festivals

2023 Epcot Festival Calendar

All festival dates for 2023 have been confirmed:

  • Festival of the Arts: January 13 — February 20, 2023
  • Flower and Garden Festival : March 1 — July 5, 2023
  • Food and Wine Festival: July 27 — November 18, 2023
  • Festival of the Holidays: November 24 — December 30, 2023

2024 Epcot Festival Calendar

While Disney hasn’t released the full 2024 Festival Calendar quite yet, we can make some educated guesses as to when we think each festival will likely run.

These dates are for planning purposes only, and nothing is confirmed until Disney releases more information.

  • Festival of the Arts: January 12 — February 19, 2024 (confirmed dates)
  • Flower and Garden Festival : March 1 — July 5, 2024 (estimated dates)
  • Food and Wine Festival: July 25 — November 16, 2024 (estimated dates)
  • Festival of the Holidays: November 29 — December 30, 2024 (estimated dates)

And here’s a look at past festival dates:

Festival of the Arts (debuted in 2017)

  • 2024: January 12 — February 19
  • 2023: January 13 — February 20
  • 2022: January 14 — February 21
  • 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)

  • 2023: March 1 — July 5
  • 2022: March 2 — July 4
  • 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)

  • 2023: July 27 — November 18
  • 2022: July 14 — November 19
  • 2021: July 15 — November 20
  • 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)

  • 2023: November 24— December 30
  • 2022: November 25 — December 30
  • 2021: November 26 — December 30
  • 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)

Epcot Festival of the Arts

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
  • Themed-merchandise

Flower and Garden Festival (early March through early July)

Epcot's Flower & Garden Festival entrance

This 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
  • Themed-merchandise

Food and Wine Festival (mid to late July through mid-November)

epcot food and wine 2021 entrance

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 fewer 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
  • Themed-merchandise

Festival of the Holidays (late November through late December)

Candlelight processional

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
  • Themed-merchandise

How do the Epcot festivals compare?

There are a few similarities and differences between each festival. Let’s take a look!

Time of YearWinterSpring into SummerSummer into FallFall into Winter
LengthAbout 1 monthAbout 4 monthsAbout 4 monthsAbout 1 month
CelebrationsCulinary, performing, visual artsGardening, horticulture, botanyFine food and wineGlobal holiday traditions
Menu ItemsColorful global cuisine and drinks that imitate artFresh food and beverages from around the worldAuthentic global cuisine and beveragesSeasonal global food and drinks
Main EntertainmentDisney on Broadway Concert SeriesGarden Rocks Concert SeriesEat to the Beat SeriesCandlelight Processional
Scavenger HuntsFigment’s Brush with the MastersSpike’s Pollen-Nation Exploration and EggstravaganzaRemy’s Ratatouille Hide & SqueakOlaf’s Holiday Tradition Expedition
Food Passport StrollsWonderful Walk of Colorful CuisineGarden GrazeEmile’s Fromage MontageHoliday Cookie Stroll

What can I expect if attending a festival at Epcot?

Theme park tickets are required for entry

All Epcot festivals are included in 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 who 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.

All Items at The Alps booth

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.

seating area epcot food and wine

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.

You may not be able to snag Space 220 or Garden Grill, but you’ll likely find openings at many of the World Showcase restaurants (especially if you are flexible with your reservation time).

VIDEO: Epcot Festivals 2023

Are there dining packages available?

Epcot Forever

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.

Frequently asked questions

How does the Disney Dining Plan work with festivals?

When the Disney Dining Plan returns in January 2024 we expect that select items on festival menus will once again be included as a snack credit on the plan since the DDP symbol has remained on the menus throughout the suspension of the program.

While not every eligible item was a good value on the Disney Dining Plan, there were always some excellent options, and we look forward to once again analyzing them at the 2024 festivals.

Brew Wing booth Food and Wine festival

What are the pros and cons to each festival?

Each festival is unique and special in its 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, the later weeks can be brutally hot
Alice in Wonderland

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 former Future World is now broken up into new sections, including one called World Celebration, and although Disney has scrapped some of the more ambitious plans for this area, there are still several components that are being made as compliments to the many festivals, including:

World Celebration Gardens

World Celebration will offer a beautiful hub divided into several different gardens, with a central planter based on the five-ring EPCOT logo. Filled with ample seating and shade, you’ll be invited to connect with one another and the nature around you in this lush new area. Each of these gardens will have their own identities, and they’ll change along with the festivals throughout the year.

epcot world celebration garden

Communicore Hall and Communicore Plaza

Although it isn’t as grand as what was originally proposed, the new CommuniCore Hall area will serve to provide a much-needed indoor space for festival activities, something that has been missing.

CommuniCore Plaza, on the other hand, will be compiled of 2 stages designed to accommodate both small and large-scale concerts (like the ones found at every festival).

CommuniCore Plaza

The Odyssey Events Pavilion, which was historically used as the Festival Center during many of the festivals, now often houses festival booths (like Brew-Wing).

world celebration updates - map

For more on Epcot events and future additions, check out our what is coming to Epcot page.

Catherine C

Sunday 29th of January 2023

How far in advance does Disney usually announce festival dates? Specifically the Food and Wine festival? Planning a trip for September or October but am unsure if we should wait to book until Disney announces the confirmed festival dates and eat to the beat artists. Thanks!

ellen c

Saturday 19th of November 2022

wondering about new year's eve at epcot. what time to find a spot for fireworks? good viewing locations? thanks

Heather Thomas

Monday 28th of November 2022

When it comes to watching fireworks at Epcot, the goal is to make sure you can see clearly without trees/islands or buildings in your way. If you have nothing between you and the barges in the middle, you'll have a good view. Lots more info and a map of our favorite spots here --->