The Epcot International Festival of the Arts is one of Epcot’s newer festivals at Walt Dsiney World. And with the announcement of its arrival came quite a bit of chatter. While some people grumbled that Epcot would be in a constant state of hosting festivals, others embraced it. Personally, we loved the idea as we found it to be pretty consistent with Walt’s original vision of a permanent World’s Fair at Epcot. If you’re ready to embrace this new wintertime Florida festival filled with artsy shows, art, and pretty food here’s our experience and what you can expect!
Epcot International Festival of the Arts Best Time to Go
The festival runs Fridays-Mondays with it seeming like Saturdays are going to be the busiest. No surprise there! We ended up spending an entire day in Epcot on a Monday and the crowds were pretty manageable. The festival features arts of all kinds. Visual arts with art booths, very similar to what you would see at a traditional art fair. Performing arts feature the vocal stylings of many different artists as well as Broadway talent featured at America Garden Theater Stage. And then for the Foodie, you can experience very pretty food to with the Culinary Arts. Yum.
International Arts Festival at Epcot: The Visual Arts
The visual arts, which includes art prints and original works. You can see chalk art on the sidewalk to art demos set to music(our favorite!). Everything is scattered throughout the World Showcase, so no matter where you turn there will be something artsy waiting. Prints and original works of art from artists around the world are available for purchase. And some of the artists are present if you’d like to meet them or have something signed. Now is the time to get that gallery wall piece you’ve been eyeing! This is a very experiential portion of the Festival. We enjoyed just browsing through the art tents and admiring the beautiful work of these talented artists!
Our favorite part of the Visual Arts parts of the festival is an interactive mural that Disney has set up as a paint by number. Just see the cast member at the front of the mural for your paintbrush and paint! The mural painting is only open to painters for part of the day. While we’re not sure this will be available every year, it was super fun to interact with the art.
International Arts Festival at Epcot: Performing Arts
The performing arts are featured at America Garden Theater Stage in the America pavilion. You can see different Broadway talent each weekend of the festival. There’s also a stage set up between the entrance of the World Showcase and Future World where you can listen to the vocal talents of different groups from orchestra to acappella.
This seemed like a great place to take a break and always seemed to have somewhat of a crowd. And even better, we were able to catch a pretty cool performance by an artist who painted to music! Super fun and really awesome to watch.
International Arts Festival at Epcot: Culinary Arts
As with all Disney Epcot festivals, there are food booths set up throughout the World Showcase. As these are not the centerpiece of the festival there are not nearly as many as you would expect to find at the Food and Wine Festival. However we found a pretty wide variety of foods, all which were works of art themselves. While we did notice price points slightly higher here than at the Food and Wine Festival we also noticed quite a few of the items were available as snack credits. If you’re using the Disney Dining Plan this is a great use of a snack credit as we saw some food items priced as high as $7.50. Score. Just look for the DDP snack credit notation.
Check out the Festival of the Arts 2019 Menus!
Here are some of our favorite foods from the last festival:
- Huarache from The Hungry Artist in the Mexico pavilion
- Braised Beef Short Rib from Cuisine Classique in Germany
- Dark Chocolate S’mores from Decadent Delights
- Almond Frangipane Cake from Pop Eats
International Arts Festival at Epcot: For the kids…(big or small)
Similar to Remy’s Hide and Squeak during the Food and Wine Festival, the International Festival of the Arts has a scavenger hunt. The Arts Festival scavenger hunt is Figment’s Brush with the Masters. It will cost you $6.99 to buy the map and at the end of your hunt, you will receive a Figment magnet for your hard work. Basically, you will travel around the world showcase and in each country find a painting with Figment. We enjoyed this game, however it was a little more difficult to get started than the Remy game. Figment is hidden really well, just about everywhere. I’ll give you a hint though- they’re inside the buildings, not outside. And you can sometimes find Figment near the Kidcot stops. However this wasn’t true 100% of the time. Another tip to remember that these are large Figment paintings, so if you don’t see it, it’s not there.
International Arts Festival at Epcot: Photo Ops
In addition to the artwork throughout the World Showcase, there were several Photo ops where you can become part of the art! Oversized framed artwork serves as a backdrop for the photo and Photo Pass photographers are situated with each piece for ease of photo taking- we didn’t take advantage of this but a lot of people seemed to be having a good time with it!
Overall we really loved the International Festival of the Arts and think its a great addition to Epcot’s lineup of festivals. With great food, a great vibe and lots of beautiful and fun artwork to peruse, we think this is a great event for art and Disney lovers alike!