Epcot has become the center of special events at Walt Disney World in recent years, with more than half of Epcot’s current calendar now taken up by events like the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival and the brand new Epcot Festival of the Arts. And with this park going through its own transformation, Disney is working hard to make every event as interesting as possible. Over the past few weeks, Disney has announced a number of changes to some of its annual events, including the park’s newest event, introduced earlier this year:
Epcot International Festival of the Arts returns bigger in 2018
Earlier this year, Epcot kicked off the first-ever Festival of the Arts, which featured tons of interesting art displays, demonstrations, hands-on activities, specialty food kiosks and even performances from Broadway performers. The lineup truly had something for everyone and it proved to be quite a hit with park-goers, driving some much-needed attendance boosts in the early weeks of 2017. With that in mind, it probably comes as little surprise that it was confirmed earlier this year that Disney will be officially bringing the Festival of the Arts back for a second year in 2018. And now we have the first details about what we can expect from the second annual Festival:
Last year’s Epcot International Festival of the Arts was a bit of a test, with Disney seeing if guests would respond to a fourth annual event at this park. Since they weren’t sure at first, most of the activities for 2017’s five-week long International Festival of the Arts were held on the weekends, with only merchandise available during the week. However, it looks like 2018’s event going to be getting rid of this stipulation.
Like in 2017, the 2018 edition of the Epcot Festival of the Arts will run for 5 weeks early in the year from January 12th to February 19th. However, it looks like Disney will be expanding the event to seven days a week, like the other three annual festivals that take place at this park. Though some of the entertainment options (like the Disney on Broadway series) will still continue to be weekends only in 2018, food kiosks, demonstrations and other activities will be available on Monday through Friday.
This change makes a lot of sense, as this event really drew people to this park last year, and Disney is likely hoping for an even bigger boost with the daily schedule in 2018. Of course, they will likely need to boost this event with more activities during the week to make this everyday schedule work, and it will be interesting to see in the next few months what is announced for this second annual event.
2. Epcot Christmas festivities are rebranded into The Epcot International Festival of the Holidays
Though Epcot has played host to the annual Holidays Around the World event for more than a decade, it looks like this event is getting a bit of a makeover this year, with a new name as well: The Epcot International Festival of the Holidays. This year’s festival will include many components of the former Holidays Around the World, including the fan-favorite Candlelight Processional, and many of the Christmas-specific entertainment options like the Chinese New Year display, Julenessen story and the tale of La Befana. However, there are a number of new additions coming in November to this celebration:
- New food options: A total of 15 Holiday Kitchens kiosks this year, serving up more holiday cookies and other sweet seasonal treats than ever before. In addition, the Odyssey will be open this year, serving snowflake sugar cookies and warm apple fritters with cinnamon ice cream.
- Additional entertainment: In addition to the Joyful gospel choir, this year’s event will also include a fun, interactive musical group that interweaves the music of Hanukkah with jazz, rock and hip-hop influences
- A new scavenger hunt: Chip & Dale’s Christmas Tree Spree scavenger hunt where guests can help the chipmunks find ornaments for their Christmas tree. Maps can be purchased at select merchandise locations like Pin Central and World Traveler for $6.99 plus tax
Though this holiday offering has been offered in the past, it looks that, like with the Epcot International Festival of the Arts, Disney is looking to super-size this offering so that there is even more for guests to experience this holiday season at this park.
Will you be attending either of these upcoming special events at Epcot? Or do you think this park’s focus on limited-time events is going to backfire? Let us know what you think in the comments below!
-Originally published in Theme Park Insider, By Amanda Kondolojy, Wednesday, September 20, 2017 23:56
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