You can visit Walt Disney World at any time of year, but savvy visitors will want to plan their trip around four key events: EPCOT’s festivals.
EPCOT International Festival of the Arts, the first of 2023, has just begun. Each one offers unique experiences that are not available at other times.
“That steak dish and that beer cheese soup at Canada for Food and Wine are only available during the festival. That Candlelight Processional entertainment, only time that you’re going to see it is if you come during Festival the Holidays, “EPCOT Festivals general manager Dave Kesting told USA TODAY. “So they all have similar components, but each has a different show-stopping star.”
Having a p. and a p. And there are only a few weeks out of the year when there are no festivals. Guests who do not plan their trips accordingly will miss out on the additional value for their tickets.
Here’s what visitors planning trips to Disney World should be aware of.
How many festivals is there at Disney World?
EPCOT hosts four festivals each year:
EPCOT International Arts Festival
International Flower & Garden Festival at EPCOT
EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays
What are the specific dates?
So far, the only 2023 dates announced are for the EPCOT International Festival of the Arts, which runs from January 13 to February 20.
Last year, Flower & Garden ran from March 2 to July 4, Food & Wine ran from July 14 to November 19, and Festival of the Holidays ran from November 25 to December 30.
What is the EPCOT Festival of the Arts?
The EPCOT International Festival of the Arts is a two-week long celebration of visual, performing, and culinary arts, showcasing over 100 Disney and visiting artists.
“This is one of the few opportunities to meet some of those artists,” Kesting said, citing renowned artist and conservationist Wyland and “Beauty and the Beast” actress Paige O’Hara as examples. “You know, the voice of Belle is also an artist, and meeting the voice of Belle and having that person sign your artwork is something that some people want to do.”
Among other things, guests can take drawing lessons from Disney artists and see Broadway stars live in the festival’s popular Disney on Broadway concert series.
“The Expression Section, which is our paint-by-numbers art mural that evolves throughout the day and throughout the week as guests paint and actually get to contribute to that piece of art, is one of our most highly rated experiences during Festival of the Arts,” said Ric DeCicco, business relations manager for EPCOT Food & Beverage.
Is EPCOT’s Flower and Garden Festival worth it?
Many fans say yes because EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival offers more than just eye-catching topiaries. There’s a butterfly house with live butterflies, a concert series called Garden Rocks, and Outdoor Kitchens that serve snack-sized garden-to-table cuisine.
“Next to each outdoor kitchen, our horticulture team plants the ingredients of that food that’s being made … You can actually see the ingredients that you will be eating,” Kesting said, noting that it’s inspired some guests to go home and grow their own plants. “The gardening bug bit them because they came for the food and were exposed to the gardens.”
Is EPCOT Food and Wine included?
Food & Wine Festivals in the United States. Those are paid for à la carte by guests.
“We keep it small portions that are designed for share-ability … lower price points so people can explore,” Kesting said. “If you just close your eyes and open your mind, the world of culinary will come to life if you just allow yourself to try a few items that you may never have thought you liked.”
Guests with dietary restrictions or food sensitivities may be accommodated.
“If they have a dietary need, they can let the cast know, and (the cast will) reach out to one of the chefs, and one of our festival chefs will go through and make sure based on the dietary needs if a dish is safe, if there’s anything they can have from those kiosks, or if there’s a way we can make that dish safe, so they can at least have part of it,” said Chef Kevin Downing, executive chef of EPCOT Festivals.
How long does EPCOT’s Festival of the Holidays last?
EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays lasts about a month, from around Thanksgiving to close to New Year’s. Guests can learn about how different cultures around the world celebrate different holidays and sample traditional foods such as yule logs and latkes during the event.
During the festival, many guests make a point of visiting EPCOT to see the Candlelight Processional, in which celebrity narrators tell the Christmas story alongside a live chorus and orchestra. Josh Gad, Mariska Hargitay, Simu Lu, and Angela Bassett were among last year’s narrators.
What is the cost of a day at EPCOT?
Except for Disney’s Animal Kingdom, all of Disney World’s theme parks have recently raised their prices. EPCOT one-day, one-park tickets now range from $114 to $179 per day, depending on the season. Previously, the starting price was $109.