The EPCOT Festival of the Arts is a celebration at Walt Disney World Resort, highlighting the convergence of culinary, visual, and performing arts. Guests can immerse themselves in artistic displays, enjoy culinary delights inspired by art, and participate in hands-on activities, making it a favorite among EPCOT’s festivals.
Introduction to the EPCOT International Festival of the Arts
Have you heard about the EPCOT International Festival of the Arts?
If not, you’re in for a treat.
This annual event at EPCOT is all about celebrating the arts, and it’s chock full of delicious food, exciting activities, amazing entertainment, and unique merchandise.
Whether you’re into visual arts, culinary arts, or performing arts, there’s something for everyone at this festival.
Keep reading to learn more about what to expect at the EPCOT International Festival of the Arts, and get ready to plan your visit from January 13 to February 20, 2023. See you there!
Overview of the EPCOT International Festival of the Arts
So, what can you expect at the EPCOT International Festival of the Arts?
Well, for starters, there will be 16 Food Studios serving up all sorts of culinary delights.
These aren’t your typical theme park snacks – these are dishes inspired by famous works of art or edible versions of your favorite Disney characters.
Trust me, you don’t want to miss out on these tasty treats.
But that’s not all – there’s also an Animation Academy where you can learn how to draw a Disney character from an animation artist.
Whether you’re a seasoned artist or a total novice, this is a chance to pick up a new skill and have some fun.
And if you’re a fan of Disney’s Broadway shows, you won’t want to miss the Disney on Broadway concerts series.
These live performances will feature songs from shows like “The Lion King” and “Aladdin,” so prepare to sing along!
In addition to these exciting offerings, there will also be art displays featuring works by Disney and other invited artists in marketplaces around World Showcase Lagoon.
And if you’re looking for some Instagram-worthy photo ops, there will be special photo locations scattered throughout the park.
Plus, you can join in on a collaborative art project by adding your own brushstrokes to the paint-by-number mural.
And that’s still not all – there will also be visiting artists creating magic right before your eyes, a scavenger hunt to search for Figment around World Showcase, and exclusive festival merchandise like t-shirts, hats, and more.
Plus, there will be workshops, demonstrations, and seminars on all sorts of artistic topics.
Highlights the EPCOT International Festival of the Arts
The EPCOT International Festival of the Arts is full of exciting and unique offerings that you won’t want to miss.
Here are some of the highlights:
1. Food Studios
The Food Studios are a highlight of the festival, offering a range of culinary creations that are as delicious as they are visually appealing.
These dishes are inspired by a variety of artistic mediums, such as famous works of art, literature, music, and more.
You might find dishes that are shaped like famous paintings or sculptures, or that are decorated with intricate designs and patterns.
In addition to these unique dishes, the Food Studios also offer edible versions of popular Disney characters.
You might find a Mickey Mouse-shaped snack or a dessert that is inspired by a beloved Disney film.
These dishes are sure to delight fans of all ages and are a must-try during the festival.
With 16 Food Studios to choose from, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to sample a variety of culinary creations.
You might want to try as many as you can and discover your new favorite dish!
2. Animation Academy
The Animation Academy is a unique and exciting offering at the festival, giving attendees the chance to learn how to draw a Disney character from an animation artist.
This is a rare opportunity to learn from professionals in the field and pick up some new skills.
Whether you’re a seasoned artist or a total novice, you’ll find something to enjoy at the Animation Academy.
The animation artist will provide step-by-step instructions on how to draw the chosen Disney character, so even those who have never drawn before can give it a try.
The artist will also be available to answer questions and provide guidance as you work on your drawing.
The Animation Academy is a fun and educational activity for all ages, so it’s a great way to spend some time at the festival.
Who knows, you might even discover a new hobby or talent!
3. Disney on Broadway concerts
The Disney on Broadway concerts are a must-see for fans of Disney’s Broadway shows.
During the festival, you’ll have the opportunity to hear live performances of your favorite songs from shows like “The Lion King,” “Aladdin,” and more.
These concerts are a great way to experience the magic of Disney’s Broadway productions in a live setting.
The Disney on Broadway concerts take place at the America Gardens Theatre in EPCOT, and they feature professional performers who have appeared in the Broadway shows or who have been trained in their styles.
These talented singers and actors will bring the music of Disney’s Broadway shows to life with their powerful voices and captivating performances.
If you’re a fan of Disney’s Broadway shows, you won’t want to miss the chance to hear these live performances at the EPCOT International Festival of the Arts.
Be sure to check the schedule and plan your visit accordingly.
You can also consider purchasing a dining package, which includes a reserved seat at a Disney on Broadway show, as well as a meal at a participating restaurant.
This is a great way to guarantee your spot at the concert and make the most of your festival experience.
4. Art displays
The art displays at the EPCOT International Festival of the Arts are a highlight of the festival and offer a great opportunity to see a wide range of artistic styles and mediums.
During the festival, you’ll find displays of art by Disney and other invited artists in marketplaces around World Showcase Lagoon.
These displays feature a variety of artistic mediums, including painting, drawing, sculpture, and more.
The art displays at the festival offer something for everyone, regardless of your artistic interests.
You’ll have the chance to see works by both well-known and emerging artists, and you’ll find a range of styles and themes represented in the displays.
It’s a great way to discover new artists and learn more about different artistic traditions.
5. Special photo locations
During the EPCOT International Festival of the Arts, you’ll have the opportunity to take photos in front of special photo locations that are scattered throughout the park.
These locations offer unique and visually striking backdrops that are perfect for capturing memorable photos.
The special photo locations at the festival are typically decorated with artwork and other elements that are inspired by the festival theme.
You might find yourself posing in front of a giant mural, a colorful display of flowers, or a scene from a popular Disney film.
Whatever the theme, these locations are sure to provide a unique and eye-catching backdrop for your photos.
6. Paint-by-number mural
The paint-by-number mural at the EPCOT International Festival of the Arts is a fun and interactive way for guests to participate in the festival.
This collaborative art project invites attendees to add their own brushstrokes to a giant mural that is displayed in the park.
It’s a unique opportunity to contribute to a piece of art that is created by many people and to be a part of something bigger than yourself.
To participate in the paint-by-number mural, you’ll need to pick up a paintbrush and some paint at the designated area.
You’ll be given a specific section of the mural to work on, and the mural will be divided into a grid of numbered squares.
Each square corresponds to a specific color, and you’ll need to paint your section using the correct colors. It’s a simple and fun activity that is perfect for all ages.
7. Visiting artists
One of the highlights of the EPCOT International Festival of the Arts is the chance to see visiting artists creating art right before your eyes.
These talented artists will be working in various locations throughout the park, allowing guests to watch as they create their artworks.
It’s a unique opportunity to see the artistic process in action and learn more about the techniques and mediums that the artists use.
In addition to watching the artists work, you may also have the opportunity to learn some of their techniques.
Some artists may offer demonstrations or workshops that teach guests how to create art in a specific medium or style.
These activities are a great way to pick up some new skills and perhaps even discover a new hobby.
If you’re interested in art and the artistic process, be sure to visit the visiting artists at the EPCOT International Festival of the Arts.
You’ll have the chance to see them create magic right before your eyes and perhaps even learn some of their techniques.
8. Scavenger hunt
The scavenger hunt at the EPCOT International Festival of the Arts is a fun and interactive way to explore the park and discover all that it has to offer.
During the festival, you’ll have the opportunity to join the search for Figment, a popular character from EPCOT.
Figment is a friendly dragon who is known for his mischievous and playful nature, and he’s sure to be a hit with guests of all ages.
To participate in the scavenger hunt, you’ll need to pick up a map and search for Figment throughout World Showcase.
You’ll find clues and hints along the way that will help you find his hiding spots.
As you search, you’ll also have the chance to learn more about the different countries and cultures represented in World Showcase.
It’s a fun and educational activity that the whole family can enjoy.
9. Festival-exclusive merchandise
One of the highlights of the EPCOT International Festival of the Arts is the chance to purchase exclusive merchandise that is only available during the festival.
You’ll find a range of t-shirts, hats, and other souvenirs that are unique to the festival and can’t be found anywhere else.
These items are a great way to commemorate your visit and add to your collection of Disney memorabilia.
The festival-exclusive merchandise typically features designs and themes related to the festival and its offerings.
You might find t-shirts with artwork inspired by famous works of art, or hats with graphics inspired by popular Disney characters.
There is also typically a range of other souvenirs available, such as mugs, keychains, and more.
How to participate in the festival
So, now that you know all about the amazing offerings at the EPCOT International Festival of the Arts, you’re probably wondering how you can participate.
First of all, the festival itself is included in the price of admission to EPCOT, so all you need to do is buy your ticket (or use your annual pass).
However, if you want to enjoy some of the special food, demonstrations, or other activities, there may be additional costs.
But don’t worry, there are ways to plan ahead and make the most of your visit.
For example, many of the activities at the festival can be booked in advance, so it’s a good idea to check out what’s available and make your reservations before you go.
And if you’re interested in guaranteed seating at the Disney on Broadway concerts, you might want to consider purchasing a dining package.
These packages include a meal at a participating restaurant and a reserved seat at a Disney on Broadway show, and they can be a great use of your Disney Dining Plan credits (if you have them).
When it comes to accommodation, any Disney hotel will do a fine job of getting you to and from EPCOT.
That said, some are more conveniently located than others if you’re spending a lot of time at the festival.
For example, it’s just a short walk to EPCOT from the Boardwalk Inn, Yacht Club, and Beach Club.
The Riviera Resort and Caribbean Beach are also just a short ride away on the Disney Skyliner.
And if you’re staying at Pop Century or Art of Animation, you can still take the Skyliner, but you’ll have to transfer at Caribbean Beach.
Finally, to help you navigate the festival and make the most of your visit, be sure to grab a Festival Passport and check out the information in the My Disney Experience app.
These resources will help you find your way around the park and make sure you don’t miss out on any of the exciting offerings.
Walt Disney World is the place to be if you love art, food, music and of course, Disney. At the EPCOT International Festival of the Arts you will be sure to find all those things, in abundance.
The International Festival of the Arts began in 2017, marking this year it’s 6th appearance in EPCOT. This year, it runs from January 14th through February 21st.
The EPCOT International Festival of the Arts was created to showcase established, new and emerging artists of all different artistic disciplines.
This includes exciting and blissfully delicious cuisines found only during this festival, 100 visual artists showcasing their work, a Broadway concert series and other performing arts throughout.
Let’s break down the International Festival of the Arts and all it has to offer.
With fifteen food studios, including two brand new to this years festivities, you are sure to find something that makes your mouth water.
In the new Craftsman Courtyard, enjoy savory seafood and delicious salads reminiscent of West Coast fare.
You can also stop by Deco Delight where you will taste dishes inspired by Art Deco, you will absolutely want to photograph your food before you take a bite.
For something extra fun you can take the Wonderful Walk of Colorful Cuisine. This is a food tour throughout the World Showcase offering five sweet and savory tastes that are listed in the Festival Passport.
Once you’ve received stamps for all five you will get to indulge in the Artist Palette Cookie.
A few foodie highlights…
At The Artist Table enjoy pan seared scallops with vanilla, butternut puree. In Japan be sure to grab a sushi donut made of rice and covered in tuna, salmon, seaweed, shrimp and cucumber.
France has the drinks, take it easy while sipping a L’Arte D’Mangiare. If you head over to Pop Eats, feel at home with a classic tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwich.
Speaking of Pop Eats, take a little side bar and check out the Pop Century Resort. Have you started planning your trip to Disney yet?
Grab your camera and get photoshoot ready because featured throughout the World Showcase are multiple options of famous paintings for you to step into.
Peter Pan Storybook, Mona Lisa, The Scream and more, become immersed into your favorite painting.
The many galleries and booths have artwork depicting the entertainment industry, and the work of James Coleman, a former Disney animator who is now creating fresh pieces that can be in your home.
It also has the classic Thomas Kinkade Studios where timeless Disney stories are told through his paintings.
Like we mentioned before there are over 100 artists on display.
If you love eclectic art genres you will spend your day admiring all the beauty the International Festival of the Arts has to offer.
For more interactive fun count how many Abu’s and Jiminy Cricket’s await you in the life size chalk drawings.
Use your skills to be a part of the giant paint by numbers in World Nature. If you’re feeling adventurous check out Figment’s Brush with the Masters Scavenger Hunt.
Whatever you decide to do, take it all in and enjoy your time at the Festival of the Arts.
Tale as old as time, song as old as rhyme, better save some time…to catch one of the Disney on Broadway Concert series.
Featuring several Broadway stars bringing you some Disney music goodness.
If you love Broadway and you love Disney this is a don’t miss.
You can check out the schedule and dates for different performers here.
Walking down the street don’t forget to look up, you just might see people flying or doing acrobatics in the sky.
A Little Disney Business
You will need to make a theme park reservation and have an admission ticket to EPCOT for the festival.
For a one day pass you can expect to pay $109.
The performance times and days for shows will vary and can be cancelled or change without notice.
It’s important when doing any Disneying to manage your expectations of the outing, especially if a festival is involved.
What a lovely stroll we’ve taken through the International Festival of the Arts. The Nerds senses are on overload but in the best possible way.
Even if you can’t get there this year, we absolutely recommend making EPCOT’s International Festival of the Arts a priority in your Disney travels.
Curoius what to pack for EPCOT?
Check out our complete EPCOT packing list.
Need help planning a trip to Disney? We have you covered in our Plan a Trip to Disney overview.
We’ll see you in the parks.
EPCOT Festival of the Arts: Food Reviews
EPCOT’s Festival of the Arts is a food-lover’s paradise!
EPCOT knows how to throw a party, and their Festival of the Arts is one of the best.
Filled with art and shops to peruse, it’s the food that really takes center stage.
A Nerdling posing on a 3D chalk drawing at Festival of the Arts.
stands out. We gathered the Nerdlings and Grammy Nerd and ventured around World Showcase to bring you the most interesting (and delicious) foods on offer.
Six people is a great number to explore all that the Festival of Arts has to offer.
This size group allows everyone to try a lot of different items while not “filling up” on any one thing.
Navigating celebrations like Festival of the Arts is always a race to try as much as you can before you get full.
Fortunately, the Nerds are experts at finding ways to eat and eat and eat and eat.
From sweet treats, to savory bites and full plates – here are our favorite Disney foods from EPCOT’s Festival of the Arts.
Sure, there are fun things to see and do as you explore the Festival of the Arts – but these activities and shops are a lot more fun with food in hand!
Showcase Plaza is located in the transition from Future World to World Showcase.
Some of our favorite foods were found in this area (the Nerd has quite a sweet tooth) – especially on the sweet side.
First up was the The Deconstructed Dish’s Deconstructed BLT: Crispy pork belly, tomato jam, brioche, watercress espuma and a soft-poached egg.
And it was a great and savory way to begin our tour.
This small treat packs a delicious punch!
The best thing, according to the Nerd, about starting savory is that it makes the sweet even sweeter.
This was the cast at The Citrus Blossom where we enjoyed an Orange Cream Shake (or two).
Best described as an orange and vanilla 50/50 bar blended in a cup – it was a fight over who would get the last sip.
Although we would come full circle before visiting Decadent Delights, since it is a part of Showcase Plaza it seemed best to address it now.
The tart lemon soft-serve and tangy raspberry soft-serve in (under?) a waffle cone were refreshing and refreshingly large.
These sweet items were larger than many of the foods we sampled around World Showcase.
Many would be worried about melting, but with six of us, we were just worried about getting more than one bite!
As we ventured south of the border, there were so many options!
Plus, the Nerd and Grammy Nerd were feeling like adding a little alcohol to the mix might make the experience even more fun.
Decisions, decisions and yet, Mexico seemed like the obvious location for a margarita.
The Taco de Chocolate continues EPCOT’s Festival of the Arts’ tradition of unique, pretty and delicious.
This Nerdy delight was a chocolate candy shell stuffed with Mexican chocolate mousse and a tropical fruit.
Let’s just say this small bite didn’t last long with six people ready to dive in.
We passed Norway and were getting a little full by the time we arrived in China. But fret not – none of us was to be deterred.
The Nerdlings are huge fans of boba and had been looking forward to the “Panda” Bubble Tea since we set out on our expedition.
Once again, we were lucky to snag a picture before the item vanished!
This Festival of the Arts drink is comprised of classic milk tea with black and white boba pearls.
And although it was not, strictly speaking, on the Festival of the Arts menu, we did stop by the Lotus Blossom cafe for some potstickers while in China.
Both selections were as good as expected (the Nerd loves some potstickers!) as we continued our way around the world.
EPCOT’s land without a country lies between China and Germany.
But this didn’t stop the Nerd family from immediately identifying a Festival of the Arts “must try” on our journey.
Some people loved the Warm Brown Sugar-stuffed Pretzel while others.
The stuffing was made with banana soft-serve ice cream and chocolate sauce.
Some people thought it tasted like bread, but others liked the banana-flavored ice cream.
Was this the Nerd family’s Festival of the Arts favorite? No. But it was clearly a popular choice!
Nothing from Germany grabbed our attention and we had big plans for Italy where the country’s pavilion offers three food choices and 11 different drinks on their Festival of the Arts menu.
First up was the Italian margarita – a frozen concoction made with tequila and limoncello.
If not for the impending brain freeze, the first adult to grab this delight might have finished the whole thing before sharing with others.
On the other side was our food selection of arancini.
These were sweet sausage fired risotto balls with pomodoro (a.k.a. tomato) sauce. These bite-sized wonders went quickly.
By this time, despite sharing these Festival of the Arts goodies six ways, it was time to rest our bellies (and perhaps our eyelids) in the towering colonial style buildings of the American pavilion.
We exited the theater refreshed and ready for more food….after all, we are a patriotic bunch.
For savory, we selected the Beef Wellington.
For the sweet, the Nerdlings snapped up the Artist Pallette – a plate-sized chocolate chip cookie with three globs of icing and a paint brush so that you can make art out of food and then eat it. I mean…this IS Festival of the Arts!
The Beef Wellington was pretty good and the cookie was definitely more interesting to play with than to eat. Though rest assured, it did get eaten.
We were now rolling along the World Showcase.
Full, happy with just a hint of regret for all we had eaten so far.
Although we had highlighted some items to try in Morocco and Japan, we decided to end our day in France – on of our favorite pavilions for food (and close to the Skyliner to go back to the room and sleep off the Festival of the Arts food coma).
The art of French cuisine is not very far from the truth, as the French phrase it modestly.
Cheesy was our first stop on our last tour during the Festival of the Arts. It was a warm creamy brie in a small homemade bread bowl called Creme de Brie en Petit Pain.
When six ravenous animals piled on top of the tiny bread bowl, this little guy had no idea what was about to happen to him.
It’s impossible to say how these people were hungry at this stage!
To top off our global Festival of the Arts foodie adventure, the Nerds, Nerdlings and Grammy Nerd opted for a Trio de Macarons described as an assortment of three house-made macarons in a gift box.
But they were tasty and it was an amazing day of eating.
Festival of the Arts Recap
We estimated we could do the same tour several days in a row and eat different items each time.
And yet, we did go back for our favorite sweets multiple times.
The Nerd and Nerdlings have an uncanny ability to eat sweet things non-stop and The Citrus Blossom’s Orange Cream Shake and Decadent Delights’ lemon soft-serve and raspberry soft-serve were our favorites.
If these three items were permanent fixtures, the would have easily made our list of the Top 12 Snacks at Disney World!
Festival of the Arts is a lot of fun for the entire family an dour group comes prepared for any food in any country!
A Nerd is always prepared. One never knows when a plastic knife, straw or set of chopsticks might be needed when touring Festival of the Arts.