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A Quick Guide to Epcot’s International Festival of the Arts

As you put together the itinerary for your upcoming spring Disney World resort vacation, be sure to include some time at Epcot, where you are invited to “celebrate the stories that connect people and cultures around the world.” 

Epcot is unique from the other Disney parks in that it hosts various cultural festivals throughout the year. In 2023, Epcot will kick off the calendar with its International Festival of the Arts, running January 13 through February 20. In March, the Flower and Garden Festival begins and runs through July 4. After that, the popular Food and Wine Festival runs from July through November, and the park rounds out the year with its International Festival of the Holidays in December.  

The first Epcot International Festival of the Arts was held in 2017, making this the newest of the Epcot festivals. While the Food and Wine Festival is known for its bites and beverages and the Flower and Garden Festival is known for its bountiful blossoms, the Festival of the Arts offers perhaps the best activities of all Epcot Festivals. You’ll be treated to live artists in action as well as on-site instruction for sketching your own Disney icons at Animation Academy, held daily from 12:30 – 1:00 pm at the America Gardens Theatre. You can even leave your own colorful mark on the park by contributing to the year’s paint-by-number wall mural at the Expression Section. 

One thing that you can always count on at Epcot is delicious, globally-inspired food. The Festival of the Arts delivers on this promise with its Food Studio offerings, composed of 16 food stands serving unique, art-inspired snacks and drinks. Plus, select permanent dining locations throughout the park will also feature limited edition festival fare. Guests are even invited to “take a wonderful walk of colorful cuisine” by picking up a Festival passport and embarking on a tasting of 7 specific dishes capped off by a colorful dessert. By collecting at least 5 of the 7 stamps offered at each tasting, you can receive a complimentary Artist Palette Cookie. If your visit to Epcot spans more than a single day, you can break up your passport completion over multiple visits.

Unlike some other Disney special events, admission to the Festival of the Arts is included in the regular price of Epcot park admission. Weekdays at the Festival often see lighter crowds, so plan accordingly. Festivals also typically see high attendance on the first and final few days, so scheduling your visit in the middle of a Festival is your best bet if you can swing it.

After a day of artistic indulgences, get some rest at a comfortable nearby resort hotel. Close to the parks, consider booking the Fairfield Inn Orlando Lake Buena Vista, or Crown Plaza Lake Buena Vista. Near International Drive, check out Aloft Orlando International Drive, Comfort Inn International, Element Orlando International Drive, or Best Western International Drive. Other excellent area accommodations include Wyndham Orlando Resort & Conference Center/Celebration, Staybridge Suites Orlando Royale Parc, and Fairfield Inn Orlando Airport. 

Need a place to stay while visiting? Choose one of our fantastic partner hotels.

Aloft International Drive (Orlando, FL)
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Element International Drive (Orlando, FL)
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Best Western International Drive (Orlando, FL)
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Wyndham Orlando Resort & Conference Center Celebration (Orlando, FL)
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Staybridge Suites Orlando Royale Parc (Orlando, FL)
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Fairfield Inn Orlando Airport (Orlando, FL)
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Fairfield Inn & Suites Orlando Lake Buena Vista (Orlando, FL)
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Comfort Inn International Drive (Orlando, FL)
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Best Western Palm Beach Gardens (Palm Beach, FL)
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Candlewood Suites Fort Myers/Sanibel Island (Fort Myers, FL)
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DoubleTree Atlanta North Druid Hills (Atlanta, GA)
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DoubleTree Rocky Mount (Rocky Mount, NC)
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Hampton Inn Atlanta North Druid Hills (Atlanta, GA)
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Hampton Inn Melbourne Viera (Melbourne, FL)
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Holiday Inn Melbourne - Viera Conference Center (Melbourne, FL)
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Hyatt Place Melbourne/Palm Bay (Melbourne, FL)
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Holiday Inn Savannah S I-95 Gateway (Savannah, GA)
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