First, let me answer. When Is the EPCOT Festival of the Arts? The arts festival runs from mid- January to mid-February, making EPCOT the home to festivals almost year-round.
It all started with the introduction of the spring EPCOT Flower and Garden Festival in 1994. The perennial fall favorite Food and Wine Festival was added to the line up the next year in 1995. The International Festival of the Holidays is EPCOT’s annual holiday celebration was added recently, and the Festival of the Arts rounds out the lineup.
The Festival of the Arts celebrates Culinary, Performing, and Visual Arts. While I will always love the other festivals, the Festival of the Arts has quickly become my favorite. It is an incredible balance of the beauty of Flower and Garden and gastronomy of Food and Wine with the added bonus of… BROADWAY!!
The Festival of the Arts features Food Studios located around Epcot’s World Showcase. Much like the Marketplace Booths for the other festivals, the Food Studios bring enhanced food offerings to Festival guests.
Unique to the Festival of the Arts is a focus on the presentation of the dishes. I find the sampling size to be a little bigger than other festivals, and the care and ART that goes into the plating is breathtaking. Because of this, the lines move a little slower.
Some of my favorites from recent festivals include:
Deconstructed BLT: Crispy Pork Belly, Tomato Jam and Soft Poached Egg Deconstructed Dish
Red Wine-braised Beef Short Rib with Parsnip Purée, Broccolini, Baby Tomatoes and Aged Balsamic Cuisine Classique
Wild Mushroom Risotto, Aged Parmesan, Truffle Shavings and Zinfandel Reduction The Masterpiece Kitchen
Almond Frangipane Cake layered with Raspberry Jam and Chocolate, Pop Eats
This is my favorite part of the Festival of the Arts.
While I love seeing childhood favorites like 98 degrees and Hanson at the Food and Wine Festival. Nothing compares to hearing Broadway Stars sing Disney on Broadway in Disney.
Tony Award winners from Beauty and the Beast, the Little Mermaid, Tarzan, Newsies, Mary Poppins, Freaky Friday, and the Lion King perform sets three times nightly with the songs that made them famous, Disney classics and incredible medleys and duets. Click here for the current schedule of performances
Food booths and concert series have become staples of the EPCOT festivals, but what sets apart The Festival of the Arts is the focus on the visual arts. Throughout the World Showcase, you will see live art exhibits in MANY mediums.
The most iconic is the interactive wall mural, which gives YOU the opportunity to be an artist. You are given a small spot of paint, a brush, and a number. You find your number on the giant wall mural and paint the largest paint by numbers you have ever seen.
There are also roped off areas for kids to create art with sidewalk chalk. These Festivals always have new and engaging activities for children. For more reasons not to skip EPCOT with kids check my video.
Iconic paintings by Masters like Van Gogh and Kahlo come to life when you step into a life-size recreation and become the subject of a masterpiece.
Disney artists set up booths of their work for purchase. They are on hand to answer questions, and many do demonstrations where you can watch them work. There are also live exhibitions by chalk artists.
Visual Arts are celebrated even more in the festival’s workshops in seminars. Complimentary seminars feature famous artists and illustrators as they explain the basics behind their art. For fee workshops, a unique opportunity to create original art and learn new skills. Topics include floral design, character sketching, ink & paint, 3D paper crafting, and everything in between! You can even experience the magic of Disney animation at a fun and informative drawing class taught by actual Disney artists.
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