Pairing unique and amazing cuisine with the beautiful works of talented artists, the Epcot International Festival of the Arts has something for everyone and is running now through February 19th. Whether you’re visiting Orlando or you’re an annual pass holder, EPCOT has something for everyone. This festival is one of my favorites during the year since it pairs two of my favorite things, delicious food and the arts! I made two short trips with family this weekend to experience as much of the festival as possible.
Know Before You Go:
Upon entering the theme park you are greeted with an amazing festival display to set the tone of the beauty of the festival. Additionally, a special guidebook called the Festival Passport is available nearby and will be a wonderful tool in organizing your festival experience. Do not forget to grab one!
As you venture through the park, take notice of where some of the festival booths begin so as not to miss some of my personal favorites. While most booths surround the World Showcase, a few are located at the front of the park near Test Track. At the Cuisine Classique, there is a delicious Beef Wellington. It even received the seal of approval from my 13-year-old!
Not far from the first booth at The Deconstructed Dish, you can find a deconstructed Strawberry Mint Julep. It was a delicious, refreshing slushie that can be served with or without alcohol (bourbon.)
As you continue your stroll toward the beginning of the World Showcase, make sure to keep your eyes peeled for artists creating beautiful sidewalk chalk art. The artists change daily and create breathtaking chalk art right in front of you. I love to see how their creations take shape as the day progresses.
Festival of the Arts Food:
With the majority of the 16 “Food Studios” housed in the World Showcase, there are so many delicious options as you explore Epcot’s countries and the many art booths.
In addition to the two dishes mentioned above, the following are my highlights from the festival:
Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese at Pop Eats!
Chorizo and Potato Empanada and Passion Fruit-filled Mango Cheesecake
at Vibrante &Vivido: Encanto Cocina
Torta Ricotta di Cioccolata at L’Arte Di Mangiare
Red Wine-braised Beef Short Rib at Pastoral Palate
Blueberry-filled Pastry Tart with Purple Icing at Figment’s Inspiration Station at the Odyssey
Located in the back of the Festival Passport is the Wonderful Walk of Colorful Cuisine which is essentially a stamp card for purchasing certain festival items. Collect any variation of 5 of the 6 listed dishes and receive an exclusive Festival Treat. Once your card is complete, return it to the Deco Delights booth and receive an adorable Artist Palette Cookie and souvenir Festival of the Arts cup filled with a delicious raspberry slushie. If you’re taking multiple trips to the Festival, you can accumulate your stamps. I like how the book does not have to be completed in one visit.
Festival of the Arts Things to Do:
This festival is not just all about the food. There are booths full of artwork for purchase, unique art experiences, performance art and even a Broadway Concert Series. There really is something for everyone.
Located before the World Showcase are several fun and kid-friendly activities. Be inspired by the sidewalk artists featured at the festival and create your own sidewalk art on the Bridge to World Showcase.
Across the way are several Artful Photo Ops placing you in popular artwork from favorite Disney movies. These photo opportunities continue into the World Showcase and feature classic art like “Mona Lisa” and “The Scream.”
If you’re feeling artistic yourself or want a custom art experience, head over to the Odyssey. Inside you’ll find Spin Art, Name Works and Sand Art all available for purchase. There are also several Figment photo ops and the very popular Figment Popcorn buckets for sale!
Another fun experience for the family is participating in Figment’s Brush with the Masters Scavenger Hunt. Located in various places throughout the park, find Figment and add that corresponding sticker to your map. Once completed, return your map to Creations Shop, Disney Traders or World Traveler to receive your prize! Maps are available for purchase at various retail shops throughout the park.
For live art demonstrations and performances, visit the World Showcase Plaza. Entertainment varies by the day and the schedule can be found in the My Disney Experience App.
Finally, one of my favorite things about this Festival is the Disney on Broadway Concert Series. I enjoy collecting a few festival snacks and finding a seat in the America Gardens Theatre to enjoy live concert performances by Disney on Broadway stars. With the variation of performers, the live concerts change throughout the festival. I love watching these talented Broadway stars perform award-winning songs from the roles they’ve done as well as other Disney on Broadway classics. There are three evening shows daily at 5:30pm, 6:45pm and 8:00pm. Don’t miss these great performances!
Whether you visit this EPCOT festival once or weekly, by yourself or with the whole family, you are guaranteed to have a wonderful time!