Complete Guide : Epcot Festival Of The Arts

If you are visiting Walt Disney World during the winter and after the holidays, you need to check out Epcot Festival of The Arts. It is the first Epcot event of the year and it’s the parks newest festival. Because of the construction at Epcot this year a few things have had to move locations.

Epcot Festival of The Arts first debuted in 2017 and like many Epcot festivals, it was only offered on the weekends in its initial year. Since then, the Festival of The Arts has expanded with some offerings available every day of the week and some only on the weekends.

Last Year brought about Disney’s announcement that the popular Disney on Broadway concert series would take place every night of the festival and this continues this year again. This addition makes Epcot Festival of The Arts a full-fledged Epcot event now.

The festival will take place over the course of 39 days starting on January 17th and running through February 24th. This is included in your park ticket so there’s no additional cost to experience this. My family and I went to it in 2018 and we were pleasantly surprised.

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What Is Epcot’s Festival of The Arts?

The Epcot International Festival of the Arts made its debut in 2017 at Disney Worlds Epcot theme park from Jan 17-Feb 24. Disney has stated that there will be 25 Disney artists featuring their work at the event this year. However, this venue features everything from food to entertainment to interactive displays of shows, seminars, shopping, snacks and much more. We’re here to give you the scoop on why year after year this festival keeps coming back to Epcot!

Things to do at Festival of The Arts

There are a lot of fun things to see and try at the International Festival of the Arts. Whether it is trying some beautifully created dishes around the world showcase or having your picture taken in one of the many fun frames there is always something new to see at this festival.

For us, we loved walking around the countries and seeing the beautiful artwork that every booth had displayed. We saw some awesome pieces of artwork than any other time of the year we would have missed out on seeing.

Epcot Festival of The Arts is well balanced between things to do, entertainment and food.Complete Guide : Epcot Festival Of The Arts 2

The Festival Showplace

Since the Epcot experience has completely taken over the Odyssey building there is no official festival center and that means the number of workshops and seminars have been reduced this year but the most popular ones are still coming back.

This year there are five different paid for workshops that will be held at the showplace Plaza pavilion between Canada and the UK.

Ink & Paint Animation – Saturdays at 10:00 AM

Each week, you’ll paint a different Disney character:

  • Saturday, January 18, 2020 – Mickey Mouse
  • Saturday, January 25, 2020 – Minnie Mouse
  • Saturday, February 1, 2020 – Donald Duck
  • Saturday, February 8, 2020 – Pluto
  • Saturday, February 15, 2020 – Goofy
  • Saturday, February 22, 2020 – Mickey Mouse

3D paper crafting – Sunday, January 19, 2020 at 10:00 AM

Gesture drawing techniques – Sunday, January 26, 2020 at 10:00 AM & Sunday, February 16, 2020 at 10:00 AM

Animation 101: flip-book fundamentals – Sunday, February 2, 2020 at 10:00 AM & Sunday, February 23, 2020 at 10:00 AM

Doodling with Viz – Sunday, February 9, 2020 at 10:00 AM

You should note that these are not offered every day. Each workshop is offered on select days of the week as noted.  The price for these workshops are $45 per person and booking ahead is highly recommended.

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Animation Academy

If you want to do something for free there is the animation Academy which is extremely popular.  For 2020 this is moved to the American Gardens theater and will only take place twice a day at 12:30 and 1:30 p.m. but given that it’s a much larger space it should be able to accommodate a good number of people.

 

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Expressions Section

The expression section is essentially an oversized paint-by-numbers mural located on a construction wall on the back side of where the fountain of nations used to be located. This is great if you’re pressed for time because it only takes a couple of minutes instead of some of the longer workshops.

There’s usually a small booth where cast members will set you up with some paint. You can head on over to the mural and fill in some squares on the wall and in the past, you got to take home a free postcard of the same mural.

Artful Photo Opportunities

Around World Showcase you’ll find what are called artful photo ops at Epcot Festival of The Arts. Don’t be surprised when you see a long line at some of these because they are really popular.

Basically, Epcot has set up a photo op where you can step into a painting and get your picture taken with a photo pass
photographer. If you have memory maker (like we did) this is a really good picture to get, because it’s something you won’t find anywhere else in Disney World and it’s only offered at this event.

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Food Booths and Dining

During the International Festival of the Arts at Epcot, you can eat the art at many of the 12 food booths. What makes the food at the event so unique is its presentation.

My daughter’s favorite was the cookie that was made to look like an artist’s palette. POP Eats is a great place to find some of the new modern twists on classic dishes.

If you are interested in the value of using the Disney Dining plan while you are at Festival Of The Arts then you should check out this post over on The Mouse For Less.

There are also several deconstructed dishes like a Deconstructed BLT that’s is made from crisp Pork Belly, poached egg, and tomato jelly. An interesting beverage we found there was the Deconstructed Breakfast: Spiced Apple Chai Tea Shake with Cream Bourbon, garnished with a Waffle Crisp and Candied Bacon.

The artists’ palate is the place to find savory dished list Beef Wellington and an-Seared Scallops. Beverages are also available like the Chocolate and Beer Pairing Flight and the non-alcoholic Sipping Chocolate Flight: White, Milk, and Dark.

At the masterpiece kitchen, you will find a fabulous Charcuterie plate. This is a favorite of mine anytime we dine out. Disney didn’t disappoint! Check out Disney’s full menu list if you’d like to see all of the food featured at this event.

If you want guaranteed seating for the Disney on Broadway show you can book a Disney on Broadway Concert series dining package. Starting November 14, 2019, you can reserve your breakfast, lunch or dinner Disney on Broadway Concert Series Dining Package online as well as by calling (407) WDW-DINE.

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Entertainment at Festival of The Arts

Disney on Broadway brings some of your favorite performers from Disney Musicals… Tarzan, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King to name a few….and brings them center stage while you are swept away by the magical music from your favorite shows. Performances are now 7 days a week this year!

Here is a list of this years performances

  • January 17, 20, 21, & 24
    • Kissy Simmons and Alton Fitzgerald White (“The Lion King”)
  • January 18, 19, 22, & 23
    • Heidi Blickenstaff (“The Little Mermaid”; “Freaky Friday”) and Gavin Lee (“Mary Poppins”)
  • January 25 (yes, all 4 of them are performing on this day)
    • Kissy Simmons & Alton Fitzgerald White (“The Lion King”)
    • Heidi Blickenstaff (“The Little Mermaid”; “Freaky Friday”) and Gavin Lee (“Mary Poppins”)
  • January 26, 28, & 29 and February 1, 2, 5, & 6
    • Kara Lindsay (“Newsies”) and Kevin Massey (“Tarzan”)
  • January 27, 30, & 31 and February 3, 4, 7, & 8
    • Liana Hunt (“Newsies”) and Adam Jacobs (“Aladdin”)
  • February 9 (yes, all 4 of them are performing on this day)
    • Kara Lindsay (“Newsies”) and Kevin Massey (“Tarzan”)
    • Liana Hunt (“Newsies”) and Adam Jacobs (“Aladdin”)
  • February 10, 12, 13, 18, 19, 22, & 23
    • Ashley Brown (“Mary Poppins”) & Josh Strickland (“Tarzan”)
  • February 11, 14, 15, 16, 17, 20, & 21
    • Syndee Winters (“The Lion King”) and Michael James Scott (“Aladdin”)
  • February 24 (yes, all 4 of them are performing on this day)
    • Ashley Brown (“Mary Poppins”) & Josh Strickland (“Tarzan”)
    • Syndee Winters (“The Lion King”) and Michael James Scott (“Aladdin”)

There are two main stages where you can catch the shows at Festival of The Arts. The fountain view stage in the middle of future world. Everything from local school bands and local musical and visual artistry.

One of our personal favorites is that right in front of the fountain view stage, you can find the living statues, inspired by the future world pavilions. They come out several times per day through 5:30 PM.

NEW this year – Festival of the Arts will debut three new permanent films around Epcot.  First we have Awesome Planet in the Land and two new circle vision films Canada far and wide and finally The Beauty and the Beast sing-along in France.

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Planning A Day At Festival Of The Arts

Honestly, you don’t really need to plan your day unless you want to visit something specific at the festival. When we went to Disney World last year we knew that it was going on but we really didn’t know much about it. When we visit Epcot we pick a side to start and we work our way around the countries.

If your anything like me then you just want to buy something pretty to take home with you as a souvenir. There are plenty of places to take keepsakes home with you. There are several items of Festival gear like wine glasses, hats, coffee mugs, shirts and more.

With the Festival added to our visit we basically extended the amount of time that we spent in each country checking out the Festival offerings while there. That’s the great thing about most of the festivals at Epcot is that you don’t need to plan much, you can just show up and enjoy everything!

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Conclusion

Being that this is the newest festival to come to Epcot,I think that no one really knew what to expect but it has quickly become a fan favorite. We have been to both the Food and Wine Festival as well as the Flower and Garden Festival and we honestly enjoyed all of the Festivals that Epcot offers. They are all uniquely different but all offer great experiences and sights to see.

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Hi, I’m Heather And I love Disney Vacations

Ever since I was a little girl I've loved traveling to Disney World. As a former Disney Travel Agent I have planned trips for people from all over the world including close friends and family members.

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