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OpEd: EPCOT Should Always Have International Festivals Going On!

When so many representatives of the World’s people are gathered in one place, there should always be a celebration for which we can all eat, drink, and be merry.

EPCOT Monorail

Credit: Disney

EPCOT’s World Showcase has become the home of some incredible “International Festivals” that bring Guests to Walt Disney World for something more than just Mickey Mouse, Cinderella Castle, and other Magic Kingdom classics. What started out as the International Food and Wine Festival has grown to include the EPCOT International Festival of the Arts, the EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival, and the EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays. And with each mini world celebration, the periphery of World Showcase Lagoon features participation from both permanent and visiting nations and regions around the world. It is also thanks to the popularity of these festivals that we have live performances like the Candlelight Processional, the Broadway Concert Series, and the Garden Rocks Concert Series.

Candlelight processional

Credit: Disney

But since their debuts, each EPCOT Festival has had one thing in common: they appear to get longer and longer with each year. And that is a good thing. In fact, I submit that World Showcase should always have an EPCOT International Festival of some kind in progress with some kind of outdoor kitchen set up to make any foodie feel like a world traveler.

Just yesterday, Disney Parks confirmed the duration of Springtime’s EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival. Visitors to World Showcase will get to experience it from March 1 – July 5, 2023. Before that, the EPCOT International Festival of the Arts will end on February 20, 2023. This leaves only a week to transform all of World Showcase, from the doorsteps of World Nature and World Discovery (formerly Future World) to the American Adventure Pavilion. And it is expected that the EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival will follow behind at the same pace.

epcot international flower garden festival anna elsa

Anna and Elsa sculptures at the EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival/Courtesy of D23

We are already at the point where there is an International Festival of some kind happening at the Walt Disney World Resort’s second-oldest Theme Park, with only a week or so separating one from the other.

It appears that not every Disney Fan is not thrilled with this news. One popular thought is that, by extending the festivals, it takes away the specialness that comes with limited access. But, to me, it makes perfect sense. After all, Disney World is home to literally one of the few permanent World Fairs in existence. From the Mexico Pavilion to the Germany Pavilion, each Guest becomes a world traveler on their Walt Disney World Vacation thanks to the ultra-immersive experiences provided by these pavilions and the cultural representatives that run them. It should always be a time of celebration!

EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival

Credit: Disney

Walt Disney wanted EPCOT to be “a showcase to the world.” So, why not let it be a showcase of how the diverse peoples of the world over can remain together in a permanent way where we can eat, drink, and be merry, as well as stop together to smell the roses (and other flowers), make beautiful art together, and celebrate the holidays. Personally, I argue that there is no better fabricated culturally enriching edutainment hub in the world than EPCOT and each seasonal festival only heightens that status.

By extending the festivals for as long as they have, Disney World has allowed more Guests to experience the festivities, as well as keep visiting countries around longer (and possibly beta test to see which ones could get a permanent spot along World Showcase Lagoon).

EPCOT Encanto Booth

Image Credit: TK Bosacki/DisneyFanatic

Related: Honest Review: EPCOT’s “Encanto” Booth

So, let’s keep the celebrations going! Whether you prefer a holiday kitchen over a garden graze, you base your trips around the performance schedule of the America Gardens Theatre, you have a favorite food studio, or you are just here for the tequila bar in the Mexico Pavilion, there is something worth celebrating for everyone at EPCOT. And that is just another layer of the Disney Magic you will find at the Walt Disney World Resort.

If you and your party are looking to plan a trip to EPCOT for one of its International Festivals, please reach out to the Walt Disney Travel Company for the most up-to-date Disney World Vacation information.

World Showcase

Credit: Disney Fanatic

Related: Which Other Countries Were Almost Added to EPCOT’s World Showcase and What Could Be Still to Come?

We at Disney Fanatic will continue to update our readers on Disney Parks news and stories as more developments come to light.

Disclaimer: the opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s and may not reflect the sentiments of Disney Fanatic as a whole.

About T.K. Bosacki

TK is a writer and editor based in Tampa, FL with a passion for all things Disney, and adventure.