Last Updated on January 29, 2023 by Heather
If you are visiting Walt Disney World during the winter and after the holidays, you need to check out Epcot International 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 International 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.
Two years ago 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 the Epcot Festival of The Arts a full-fledged Epcot event now.
The festival will take place over the course of 45 days starting on January 13th and running through February 20th. 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. This is the 7th Anniversary of the Festival of the Arts! We are looking forward to going again this year.
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. Typically Disney has over 25 Disney artists featuring their work at the event each year. Covid caused Disney to make some modifications but thankfully things are back to normal now! This festival really celebrates art in all kinds of ways and incorporates an artsy flare to just about everything in World Showcase.
Things to do at Festival of The Arts
There are a lot of fun things to see, do 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 that 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.
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, a sponge brush and what number to paint. You can head on over to the mural and fill in however many squares the cast members there tell you to do. This is really cool because you are truly part of creating some of the art in the park. As time goes on, you can see these come to life and know you had a little part in creating it! There are four different ones this year including the fan favorite Starry Night in Epcot. After you paint your squares a cast member gives you a souvenir bookmark of whichever mural you just painted part of, it’s a very cool keepsake.
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.
Some are Disney themed like the Mermaid Lagoon and Skull Rock ones and some are classic paintings like the famous painting of George Washington crossing the Delaware. These make for really great and fun family photos!
Figment’s Brush With The Masters Scavenger Hunt
It wouldn’t be an Epcot festival without a good scavenger hunt! And since Festival of the Arts is really Figment’s festival…..can we say 6 hour line for a Figment popcorn bucket….of course this one is Figment having some fun inside classic works of art. You search around World Showcase in each pavilion for works of art that have Figment inside of them. This is always one of my favorite things to do with the kids at festivals. It’s only $10 and you get a cute little prize at the end. This year the prize is your choice of a Mickey, Minnie, Goofy or Figment paint your own ceramic figurine. They are super cute and come with paint and a brush.
Food Booths and Dining
During the International Festival of the Arts at Epcot, you can eat the art at many of the 16 food kitchens. 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. Like tomato soup and grilled cheese!
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. But my favorite was the Deconstructed Key Lime Pie, it was delicious!
The artists’ palate is the place to find savory dishes like Beef Wellington and 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.
Just like other festivals there is a “food walk” in the back of the festival passport that encourages you to try different things from the booths for a special completer prize. This one is called the The Wonderful Walk of Colorful Cuisine and has some really fun items on it! There are 7. items on the list and you only need to collect 5 stamps to get the prize that is an artists cookie and a smoothie served in a souvenir cup!
Entertainment at Festival of The Arts
This festival is full of what Disney calls “Artistry in Action”. From musical performances in World Showcase Plaza to acrobatic artists and even Broadway Performers at the America’s Garden Theater, there is something for everyone! On top of all of these amazing entertainment options, you can also find artists creating amazing works of art right on the spot throughout World Showcase and the Odyssey Pavilion, they will also sign any artwork you purchase or bring of theirs!
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 or maybe see a certain artist or performer. 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!
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 enjoy all of the Festivals that Epcot offers. They are all uniquely different but all offer great experiences and sights to see.
What makes Festival of the Arts special is the attention to detail throughout all the offerings. Literally everything has been given an artsy touch, even the character meet and greets have some kind of artwork or special art themed twist in their area. It really is a beautiful festival and will add some magic to your Epcot day! Let us know below which one is your favorite Epcot festival!