When you first think of Disney World, you may think of Big Thunder Mountain, Spaceship Earth, and It’s a Small World.  There are also meet-and-greets with Mickey Mouse, Disney Princesses, and everyone in between. What you may not know is that Disney World is also home to many seasonal festivals.  These festivals all include limited-time attractions and events, and (most importantly) amazing food!  And due to that variety, many people ask,  Which Disney World festival is best?

This first series of blog posts will talk about each of the festival activities and attractions.  If you’re planning a trip to see the mouse, you can decide which Disney World festival is best… for you.

The Disney Festivals

Spaceship Earth at night reflecting shades of purple and blue
Spaceship Earth at night

Epcot is the hub for the Disney World festivals, with a majority of the activity occurring within that park. Although the festival themes will expand to many of the parks, Epcot is where it’s at if you’re looking to be in the thick of it. A typical year at Disney includes four main festivals.  There are also a variety of additional extraordinary events throughout the year (Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party is not to be missed). The year begins with Epcot International Festival of the Arts, kicking off in January. Springtime brings the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, usually running late winter through late spring. Late summer begins the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival which runs through the end of fall. The year closes out with the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays, running late November through the end of December, usually ending right before New Year’s Eve.

Epcot International Festival of the Arts

Since the Festival of the Arts is the first one in the year, let’s start there.

Epcot International Festival of the Arts Logo
Epcot International Festival of the Arts

The Festival of the Arts debuted in 2017, and celebrates art, entertainment, and food. There are performances throughout Epcot during the festival, including Broadway-inspired shows, marching bands, and acrobats!  There’s also a Disney on Broadway concert series. There are visits from featured artists, where you can view displays of their artwork and learn about the work behind their designs. It’s a bright and colorful festival that just makes you feel happy! How can you not, with all of the bright and cheery colors around? 

The Food

As with all the Disney festivals, the most important part an additional focus is the food. This is one festival where the focus is on food that is as visually enjoyable as it is delicious. There’s a variety of art-themed meals, snacks, desserts, and drinks.  The festival also includes seminars and workshops with culinary experts (tickets may be required for some of those events). The Festival of the Arts brings in Food Studios to enhance the offerings by the standard landmarks around the World Showcase, and there were 14 Food Studios in 2019. The offerings ranged from sipping chocolate, to donut-shaped sushi, to warm brie in a bread bowl, to lobster bacon mac and cheese, and just about everything in between. Man, that was tough to write without drooling on the keyboard!

Whether you’re looking to enjoy behind-the-scenes insights from artists, to a broadway-themed Disney musical event, to some drool-worthy food, the Festival of the Arts is an exciting and fun festival for just about everyone. And it’s pretty darn beautiful to look at as well.

Part 2 of the Festival Series

A towering Goofy figure composed of flowers
Flower & Garden Festival – Goofy

Check back soon for Part 2, where I’ll talk about the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, which is probably my kids’ favorite one of the year.

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