The Best Time To Visit Epcot

Epcot is, in more than one way, one of the best Disney parks to visit with the family. The Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom might be a no-brainer to some with their popular attractions, but it often surprises me that Epcot doesn’t come first when planning a family trip to Disney World. Epcot attractions are perfect for a family vacation, offering a good time for all ages with its variety of entertainment, educational, and gastronomic experiences. But when is the best time to visit Epcot?

The Best Time To Visit Epcot

What makes Epcot truly special and different from the other parks is its year-round festivals. Mostly organized around the World Showcase Lagoon, these four distinct events bring extra magic to the park. If you’re looking for the best time to visit Epcot, planning around which festival to attend is definitely a great way to go. This is a complete guide to Epcot’s annual festivals. We’ve included details on the times of the year each festival is held and the highlights of each. 

The Best Time To Visit Epcot

The park recently became a top contender as one of the top theme parks with the addition of some exciting new attractions—Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind and Moana: The Journey of Water—giving Epcot the advantage it had been missing: more fun activities for kids and teens.

Epcot International Festival of the Arts

(Mid January to mid-February)

The shortest festival of the year is also the most colorful and creative one and offers a wide choice of exclusive entertainment.

My favorite is the Animation Academy, where children (and adults) can learn how to draw their favorite Disney characters. 

Artistic Atmosphere

During the festival, you can also meet with Disney Imagineers and invited artists at the marketplace on the World Showcase, where you can buy their art. Some of them will create the next artwork live during the festival.


The Best Time To Visit Epcot

For the foodies, Disney would not miss the opportunity to offer an exclusive food experience. The Food Studios, situated all over the Lagoon, serve colorful and innovative plates and cocktails. Who doesn’t love a good rainbow shortcake?

Interactive Experiences

Don’t miss the Scavenger Hunt designed for the little ones: Figment’s Brush with the Masters. For a little less than $10, you can purchase the map. The mission is to find Figment, Epcot’s adorable purple dragon, hidden throughout the park and win a special collectible prize once the map is completed.

Finally, look out for the Expression Section, where you will be able to collaborate on a giant paint-by-number mural and for the many photo locations – placed all over the park. You’ll not only leave the park with great memories but also feeling very creative.

The Festival of the Arts is the best time to visit Epcot if you’re a fan of art and food. It’s a great way to start the year.

​Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival 

(Early March to early July)

The Flower and Garden Festival is, in my opinion, the most beautiful festival of the year. In the spring and summer months, the park gets decorated with Disney character’s topiaries. It’s the best time to visit Epcot if you’re looking for family pictures. Tens of thousands of plants and flowers are brought to decorate the park. 

The Best Time To Visit Epcot

In addition to admiring the colorful flower displays, you can explore the different gardens created for the occasion. 

Floral Delights

Head to the popular Butterfly Garden to learn everything about caterpillars and butterflies, admire beautiful specimens, and observe chrysalis. Or, visit the Bonsai Collection in Japan, the Bouquet Garden in France, or the Bamboo Garden in China. It’s a perfect family trip for spring break or early summer getaway. You can spend an entire day exploring the diversity of ecosystems existing on our planet and experience what Disney does best – making learning fun and entertaining. 

To add to the festival’s already vibrant vibe, a series of concerts are organized daily at the Garden Rocks stage (5:30 pm, 6:45 pm, and 8 pm every day). Some of the guests are internationally renowned. The 2023 series hosted Kool and the Gang or Don Felder from the Eagles. 

Beyond the Blooms

The food experience is very much aligned with the Festival, and takes the opportunity to make it educational by proposing sustainable plates. In addition to delicious healthy choices, you’ll also find many gluten/wheat-friendly and plant-based options. 

This festival is not only a lovely reenergizing break between two other Disney park visits but is also a great way to learn more about and expose kids to sustainability while having fun. 

Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

(End of July to mid-November)

The Food & Wine Festival is my favorite festival. I’m not sure if it’s because I am a French-food-obsessed-seasoned traveler, but one thing is certain. There is something wonderful about going around the world with family and friends in just a few hours and trying delicacies and spirits from every represented country. For the occasion, Epcot also extends the list of World Showcase countries, with temporary pavilions for different countries such as Spain, India, and Brazil.

The Best Time To Visit Epcot

In addition to the Food Marketplace, Epcot also organizes additional activities, from seminars with renowned Disney Chefs to curated tastings and classes. 

Don’t forget to grab a complimentary Festival Passport. It should be the first thing you do at the main entrance to the park. It will give you all the information you need to tour the Food & Wine Festival and display each country’s menu. 

Culinary delights

It’s also the best time to visit Epcot if you are a cheese lover. You can collect “Emile’s Montage” stamps at certain locations (trust the French, you’ll want to play). You will get an exclusive complementary treat once your full cheese passport is stamped.  

For the little ones, a scavenger hunt is organized every year: Remy’s Ratatouille Hide & Squeak. For a little less than $10, you can purchase a map at the main Disney stores in the park. The kids will have a great time with the stickers. They put on the map each time they find Remi hidden in the park. And no good scavenger hunt comes without a treasure as a reward. Once Remy has been spotted all over the world, you’ll be invited to redeem a collectible gift.

Finally, it would not be a Festival without music. Eat to the Beat is a series of concerts happening at the America Gardens Theater stage. It hosts both local and internationally renowned bands. 

The Food & Wine Festival has all you and your family need to feel content. You’ll find everything from delicious food options to great entertainment. 

Epcot ​International Festival of the Holidays

(End of November to December 30)

This last festival of the year is probably also the most enchanting one. The Epcot International Festival of the Holidays showcases Christmas and Holiday traditions around the world. 

The Best Time To Visit Epcot

Is the holiday season a special time of the year for you? If you want to create a memorable celebration with your family away from home, the Festival of the Holidays is definitely the best time to visit Epcot. You will love the different entertainment options and beautiful Christmas decorations available during the festival.

Festive Atmosphere

The popular Candlelight Processional, happening daily at the America Gardens Theater, carries all the Christmas magic (5 pm, 6:45 pm, and 8 pm every day). A large choir performs Holiday songs while typically a famous narrator (such as Neil Patrick Harris, Eva Longoria, and John Stamos in 2023) tells the audience a Christmas story.

Consider booking the Dinner Package, which will secure you a premium spot in the theater and make you skip the long lines that usually form hours before the show.

Other great entertainment options are available all day. My favorite is walking around the World Showcase Lagoon and getting to listen to local Holiday storytellers, as they share stories and traditions of their country. I think this brings a special international layer to the Holidays.

sweet treats

Let’s not forget to celebrate with delicious Holiday food. Epcot is at the rendezvous, offering a large selection of international delicacies. 

If you have a sweet tooth, I strongly recommend it. How can I not? The Marché de Noel’s dessert in France – the traditional “Buche de Noel” (Yule Log Cake). 

Finally, Epcot Festival of the Holidays offers its version of the scavenger hunt with Chip & Dale’s Christmas Tree Spree for a small fee. This is the perfect activity for the little ones, who will help Chip & Dale collect Christmas ornaments for their Christmas tree. Once you collect all the ornaments, head up to one of the Disney stores to collect an exclusive seasonal prize.

Held from late-November to December, it’s the perfect time of year to experience the festive spirit at a Disney World theme park. It’s past the peak season of summer so it’s perfect for a Walt Disney World vacation with the family, but be aware that you’ll find the busiest days are near Christmas. 

Aside from crowd levels, there are hardly better ways to celebrate the holidays away from home. All the Disney magic is here to make it a memorable adventure for you and your dear ones.

Epcot Through The Festival Seasons

In addition to a large panel of entertainment available year-round, Epcot boasts a variety of captivating festivals celebrating the seasons. This makes it unique and wonderful with each visit. There’s no doubt about it, if you’re planning a trip to Epcot, you’ll have a better time if you visit during one of their festivals. Fortunately, there’s a festival happening most of the time.

Now, the hardest part of organizing your vacation will be for you to choose what festival and special events to go to and when, but once you know your travel dates, Luxe Recess can take care of the rest of your Disney vacation. We plan turn-key luxury Disney vacations for 2 to 32, and we’ve done it all.