International Festival of the Arts
International Festival of the Arts is held in the late winter months. They brought Broadway stars to the stage to perform songs from the stage productions.
We spent a large portion of our time searching for Figment, cleverly hidden in famous works of art in each country. (There is a photo of him crossing the Delaware River in the slideshow.)
Photopass was especially worth the purchase during Festival of the Arts, with creative spots for us to put ourselves in works of art.
International Flower & Garden Festival
Flower and Garden Festival incorporated plants into every part of the experience. Disney movie themed topiaries filled the park. Like other festivals, a guidebook marked themed kiosks with drinks and small dishes.
Interactive playgrounds tucked in between attractions provided seating for parents and a space for Alice to play with other kids. Educational elements were woven into the fun as well, with a focus on pollinators in the temporary butterfly house and with “Spike’s POLLEN Nation Exploration” scavenger hunt. Our favorite kiosk was honey-themed, with infused drinks and food.
Musical acts were popular artists from years gone by; we saw Toad the Wet Sprocket (All I Want) and The Guess Who (American Woman).
International Food & Wine Festival
Food & Wine Festival is arguably the most popular at Epcot, drawing especially large crowds on weekends. Of the festivals it is the least kid-centric, attracting a heavy “drink around the world” presence. Like Flower & Garden festival, the musical acts are also retro; I introduced Alice to the “mall rock” of my youth with a Tiffany concert. Additional classes, cooking demos, and wine talks were also offered.
Festival of the Holidays
Festival of the Holidays highlighted winter celebrations around the world. We met Le Befana, the “good witch” of Italian Christmas lore, listened to a mariachi play holiday songs, watched a Chinese Dragon Dance, and learned about the UK traditions from Father Christmas. Kiosks also replicated seasonal international dishes.
The Candlelight Processional combined a reading of the story of Bethlehem with a choir singing carols. We reserved seats by booking a package with our Biergarten dinner, where we enjoyed time with a British family with the traditional German beer house-seating style.
4 Steps to Get Ready to Visit Epcot during a Festival
Plan your Dining
If traveling during a festival, look up the kiosk menus before you go to decide if you want to replace meals with small dishes. We usually booked on sit-down meal as a break, but then filled the rest of the day snacking.
Check Out the Musical Acts
Each Festival has a 3-4 day window for the artist on the main stage at the American Experience. Look at the schedule to see who will be at the park when you visit, and add one of the performance times to your plan. Extremely popular performers and the Candlelight Processional fill up fast, so consider booking dining with reserved seating.
Make a Schedule
World Showcase is expansive, so deciding which festival performances are a must do for your family is helpful. Have a general schedule in mind, but when you are there allow for plans to change if something new catches your interest.If traveling during a festival, look up the kiosk menus before you go to decide if you want to replace meals with small dishes. We usually booked on sit-down meal as a break, but then filled the rest of the day snacking.
Get Your Passports Ready
Before you leave, introduce kids to the countries they will visit in the world showcase. The Kidcot Fun Stops let them collect stamps them meet ambassadors from each country.