Epcot’s Festival Dining Explained and Why You Want to Do It

Epcot is Walt Disney World’s festival hub, with four festivals planned throughout the year. These include the International Festival of the Arts (coming soon!), the International Festival of the Holidays, the International Food and Wine Festival, and the Flower and Garden Festival.

Spaceship Earth at Epcot

Each festival has a unique personality, but one thing they all have in common is festival dining in the form of food booths! 

We have the scoop on everything you need to know about Epcot festival dining and why you want to take advantage of it the next time you’re attending a festival at Epcot. 

What is Epcot festival dining?

Epcot has developed four incredible festivals, each lasting for several weeks (some lasting months!) at specific times throughout the year.

During these festivals, there are dozens of food and beverage booths throughout World Showcase and Future World where you can purchase appetizer-size dishes and glasses from around the world. It truly is a global foodie’s dream come true.

From year to year, each festival typically adds or refreshes 1-3 new booths and adds several new menu items, so there’s always something new to try!

Duck Confit Poutine

Also available at these festivals are chef demonstrations and seminars (often with celebrity chefs and some for an additional fee) that may offer some food or beverage samples as well.

When are Epcot’s festivals?

In chronological order:

Festival of the Arts: Takes place January through February (January 17 through February 24, 2020)

Epcot Festival of the Arts Artist’s Palette Cupcake

Flower & Garden Festival: Starts in March and continues through late May/early June (March 4 through June 1, 2020)

Ranger Mickey Crop 1
First Crop of the Ranger Mickey Mouse topiary garden photos at the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival.

Food & Wine Festival: Arguably Epcot’s biggest and most well-known food festival, the Food & Wine Festival now begins in late August and concludes shortly before Thanksgiving (no dates for 2020 yet)

Kenyan Coffee Barbecue Beef Tenderloin

Festival of the Holidays: Almost immediately following Food & Wine, the Festival of the Holidays runs from late November through late December at the end of the holiday season (no dates for 2020 yet)

Festival of the Holidays -Shi Wasu Japan Chirashi Sushi Tree

When you consider how long these festivals run, there’s very little time in the year when Epcot doesn’t have a festival going on — and that means specialty festival eats all year long!

Why should you plan on festival dining?

So now that you know what the festivals are all about and when each one takes place, here are some reasons why you want to check out their respective dining.

First, you get to try new things (some REALLY good things) at the festival booths.  A lot of the foods and drinks served exclusively during the festivals are arguably better than the food served at many Epcot restaurants!

Festival of the Holidays – Bavaria Beer and Cider Flight

Second, food sold at the booths are served in perfect appetizer-sized portions. This is great for “sampling around the world” and trying as many different things as possible.

If you’re on the Disney Dining Plan, most food items can be purchased using a Snack Credit, providing you with excellent value on your dining plan and of course not needing to worry about over-spending at the festival!

Deconstructed Pavlova

Finally, the Epcot festivals offers the ultimate convenience when you dine around the booths. There’s no need to worry about dining reservations, and you can call the shots on how much you eat and how much time you spend eating. You have full control on when to start, stop, and start again!

The festivals have become an Epcot staple and we couldn’t imagine the park without them!

What’s your favorite Epcot festival? Let us know in the comments!

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One Reply to “Epcot’s Festival Dining Explained and Why You Want to Do It”

  1. We love the festivals, although have never experienced the Arts. Bummer, our trip this year is late June, so no booths. Guess I better get my ADR’s down.