Another masterpiece has been created at Walt Disney World Resort. For those who have forecast that the wildly popular Epcot International Food & Wine Festival and Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival would continue to expand and grow until they merged into a continuous, year-long event, they are now one step closer to that reality. Simply said, the Epcot International Festival of the Arts is a celebration of the senses and a blast of Pixie Dust for your soul.
“Artful Epcot” is a journey of taste, touch, sound, smell, sight, and balance.
Epcot International Festival of the Arts
** Updated December 16, 2019
Dates for 2020 have been extended, with Epcot International Festival of the Arts open seven days a week from January 17 to February 24.
Though Epcot festival-goers have become accustomed to all sorts of food and beverage goodies, Epcot International Festival of the Arts feels different. A mere eight kiosks (or “Food Studios”) were assembled for the inaugural year’s six-week gig:
– The Masterpiece Kitchen (Canada)
– The Artist’s Table (The American Adventure)
– Cuisine Classique (Germany)
– El Artista Hambriento (Mexico)
– Pop Eats! (Showcase Plaza)
– E = AT^2 (Showcase Plaza)
– Decadent Delights (Showcase Plaza)
– The Painter’s Palate (Odyssey Festival Showcase)
In 2018, that became seven “Let Them Eat Art” kiosks (The Deconstructed Dish added, El Artista Hambierto is a permanent structure, and E=AT2 eliminated). Additionally, existing food venues offered festival-only specialties, such as the Painted Lady Latte (Joffrey’s in Future World East) and Artist Palette Jumbo Chocolate Chip Cookie (Fife & Drum Tavern).
For 2020, expect a return of The Deconstructed Dish, Cuisine Classique, The Artist’s Table, Pop Eats!, Decadent Delights, and The Masterpiece Kitchen. The year-round locations, such as and El Artista Hambierto, will add many new delectables for the anatomical palate.
If you get the opportunity, you must ask the Cast Members for the story behind each festival dish. Last year, my personal favorite was Pop Eats! and the theming behind it. In the Sixties, American pop artist Roy Lichtenstein rose to fame after his son pointed to a Mickey Mouse comic book and asked if he could draw that well. Lichentstein went on to paint using a series of dots, as you would find in a comic book. Many of the choices at this location are on ode to this artist- the Popping Bubbles Cocktail, specifically. Listen to this Cast Member describe the festival’s creative process, while assembling this fizzy, popping beverage.
Every taste has a story, don’t it?
Get painting! This expansive hands-on Wall Mural Painting takes form and color right before your eyes. Grab a “paintbrush”, numbered watercolor, and find a corresponding spot to leave your artistic mark. The finished masterpiece corresponds to a Disney lithograph, and is replaced as soon as it is completed. Return as often as you like. (If you are bringing the littles, ask the Cast Member for a number close to the ground!)
** New for 2019 was the opportunity to Paint with a Disney Artist. In 2020, on select Saturday mornings, individuals can learn art skills from Disney’s best. “Refreshments” (no longer breakfast will be served.while sampling a continental breakfast. The cost of this experience remains at $259 plus tax. Call and reserve in advance at (407) WDW-TOUR.
Authentic Broadway talent has come to Walt Disney World Resort. Many in the crowd were visibly overcome with the power of both the music, staging, and those voices. For the first and second weekends, Ashley Brown (the original Mary Poppins) and Josh Strickland (the original Tarzan) bring down the house with songs from those shows, as well as Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, and Frozen. Yes, they announced they had a big announcement for the crowd:
It became official- Frozen came to Broadway!! “Well now they know…” The Disney on Broadway Concert Series opened with Kerry Butler (Beauty and the Beast) and Kevin Massey (Tarzan), and Kissy Simmons (The Lion King) and Alton Fitzgerald White (The Lion King). Performances for 2020 are three shows nightly, and every two weeks new pairs of Disney talent will perform.
** Again this year, Disney on Broadway Concert Series Dining Packages will be available for the following restaurants: Biergarten Restaurant, Coral Reef Restaurant, The Garden Grill, and Rose & Crown Dining Room. As word (and song) gets out, you can expect large crowds for these professional performances. So, these packages have been a hit!
Maybe it’s just me, but I always associate Figment with the sense of smell. (Too many trips through the Smell Lab and quite a few hits from that skunk, no doubt…) Figment’s Brush with the Masters is a MUST-DO for families. Providing a fun art history lesson, this “art-filled scavenger hunt” resembles Remy’s Ratatouille Hide & Squeak, but with bona fide teachable moments built-in. Turn your completed map in for your choice of a Figment “Master.” I was thrilled to see Figment be given such distinction!
** The cost for this map in 2018 was $8.99. Let’s see what it comes in at in 2020…
Get yourself and your family into the picture. Literally! These fun PhotoPass opportunities scattered throughout World Showcase. While these Photo Backdrops provide oodles of laughs, they provide moments in art history for deeper discussion. Any opportunity to mix learning and pleasure is a WIN for parents. Step into your masterpiece in the France, Italy, Mexico, and The American Adventure Pavilions.
** In 2019, the visual arts were masterfully represented by Disney visiting artists. Our favorite, Kevin-John was there once again! In 2020 you can find him in the Official Disney Artist Pavilion near World Showcase on January 17, 18, 23, 24, and February 7, 8, 21, and 22. Check your program for exact times and locations.
Improve your soul’s equilibrium with “Creative Workshops.” These seminars are no longer free, but will cost $45. These interactive workshops, such as “Animation 101,” are offered throughout the Festival.
I would say the Epcot International Festival of the Arts is unlike the other more established Epcot Festivals. This event is more of a total feel-good experience as opposed to a food and beverage stumble. If I could go back every week, I would! This Festival is another blockbuster, and my forecast is that it will be expanded in the future. Yes, it’s a Mouseterpiece!!