The Festival of the Arts at Epcot Walt Disney World is a newer, smaller festival, true. But that doesn’t mean you’ll get to see everything in a one-day visit. We’ll do our best, however, to share the tips and tricks that help us navigate Epcot so you can maximize your festival time. Whether you’re excited to see the foods, the art booths, play the interactive games, or just browse the festival, we’ll lay out your strategy to see the Epcot Festival of the arts in One Day
Planning a Festival of the Arts Disney Vacation
When is the Festival of the Arts at EPCOT, Walt Disney World?
This year the Epcot International Festival of the Arts at Epcot runs from January 12 – February 19, 2024. And with it comes the return of Disney on Broadway performances, new art booths, kitchens, and more!
Festival of the Arts Checklist
When tackling a festival like the Festival of the Arts it’s good to know what’s on the list! So here’s a quick roundup of everything that you can do during this winter festival at Walt Disney World.
What can you do at Epcot’s International Festival of the Arts?
- Joffrey’s Coffee Carts across the park at EPCOT have Festival of the Arts specific treats!
- Make your own Joffrey’s Coffee Disney Copycat Recipes at home this year!
- Artists and Galleries can be found throughout World Showcase
- Outdoor Food Studios in World Showcase Open 11 am- 9 pm
- Check out the Festival of the Arts Menus to plan your foodie journey
- The Broadway Concert Series in the America Gardens Theatre Shows at 530, 645, and 8 pm
- Complimentary Seminars & Workshops in the Odyssey Center and the World Showplace.
- The Figment Brush with the Master’s Scavenger Hunt Game
- Special Event Merchandise
- Unique Photo Ops throughout the World Showcase, always open. Photo Pass begins at 11 am
- Hidden Art Work known as Pixie Paintings with one character painted on a building in each country
- Acrobatic and Physical Art Performances: at the main stage on the Midway
- Wonderful Walk of Colorful Cuisine highlighting 5 dishes across the event, once collected wins you a freebie treat.
EPCOT Festival Strategy
Okay! If you’re hoping to tackle the Epcot Festival of the Arts in one day you need to know a few tips to maximize your time. While we do like to spend at least two days exploring this festival if you’re limited by time, no worries. We’ve got you covered from the moment you step foot into the park. Here’s our best path around the festival.
How to Start your Disney EPCOT Day
Walt Disney World Epcot generally opens at 9 am, with the World Showcase opening at 11 am. Most of our Disney vacation advice usually involves the words “get there early”. This festival is no exception. Here’s the general morning prep itinerary.
- Arrive at 8:45 am, assuming some security and park entrance time you should enter Epcot a little after 9 am as long as you’re not visiting on a weekend.
- Once inside Epcot, you can take in everything in Future World. Joffrey’s kiosks, merchandise stands, and other pop-up spaces will showcase Festival of the Arts things to check out.
- Next, head straight to the Showcase Plaza section anchored by the two-port gift shops
- Be sure to grab pictures of the Chalk Art that lines the midway between Future World and the World Showcase on the way.
- Check out the Festival Center. This is the hub of the festival and will house some merchandise, galleries and host the art classes happening that day. If you’re hoping to take part in a drawing class later. Pop in to register for the day’s class.
Epcot Festival of the Arts Checklist
Then head to the Disney Traders gift shop in Showplace Plaza
- Grab your Festival Passport
- Oogle the Merchandise
- Grab a gift card wristlet and load it with some funds for the day
- Purchase a Figment Brush with the Master’s Scavenger Hunt Game
Festival of the Arts in World Showcase
All countries from the Canada side to France will be “open”. As in you’ll be able to see and grab pictures of the art on the buildings, or anything not in a food studio or gallery. The actual shops and kitchens however won’t open until 11 am. Depending on when you arrive you may be able to see some art galleries early.
We always try to be in the middle of the magic by the time 11 am arrives. Our strategy for this is to settle in and have breakfast at Les Halles Boulangerie-Patisserie in France. This quick-service restaurant is open at 9 am and a great place to grab a croissant, coffee, or mimosa while you wait for the countries to open. It also gives you the opportunity to check out your times’ guide, and passport and makes a plan on what shows, or food studios you want to visit.
Festival of the Arts Planning
Prior to 11 am you should have taken care of the above ( getting your passport, grabbing pics, and breakfast). You could even use that early time of time to ride Soarin’ or any favorite rides in Future World. Once 11 am strikes, from France you have two options. Turn right or left and tackle the food studios, find Figment, and see the shows. We suggest you turn right and head towards Morocco.
The festival will be the emptiest right at 11 am so if you can get the majority of the countries done early, you’ll be ahead of the game by the time the hoards arrive.
From France to Mexico
Walking from France through Mexico back at the front of the World Showcase you would have gone through several countries, tried foods at the food studios, searched for Figment in the giftshops and near kidcot locations, and maybe have seen the character artwork on some of the buildings.
Showcase Plaza to The Odyssey Festival Center to Future World
As you’re leaving Mexico you’ll see a few food studios near the bridge to the Odyssey Festival Center in Showcase Plaza. Grab food here if anything strikes your fancy. Your next stop is the festival center. Turn right down the bridge and check out a class, galleries, and food studios in the building.
Once you’ve had your fill of the Odyssey continue down the bridge to EPCOT Discovery, near Mission space. Here you’ll find the Taste Track area with additional food studios. From here head back towards the center of Future World near the fountains. This would be a great time to take a break and watch the performances happening on stage. Check the times’ guide below for what you want to make sure you see. Starbucks is close by if you need a pick me up or the Creations Shop if shopping is more your fancy.
Showcase Plaza to the United Kingdom
From Showcase Plaza turn right towards Canada. On the way, you’ll pass several really great food studios and the Community Mural. Participating by painting a few squares on the mural is FREE, so we definitely recommend taking 10 minutes to take part. Canada and the U.K are easy countries to navigate. In these countries be sure to find Figment and complete your scavenger hunt. The UK doesn’t have a food studio, so at this point you’re wrapping up your day.
Take a Break on the Boardwalk
At this point, you may have eaten enough. But you may also still need lunch. If that’s the case, head over to the Boardwalk through the International Gateway between The UK and France. It will be less crowded than the festival and you can grab something as simple as a pizza at the Pizza Window of Trattoria al Forno.
Wrapping up your Evening at the Festival of the Arts
Once you’ve covered the countries, played your Figment game, taken pics at the pop-up photo op stations, and tried all the food you wanted it may be 5pm or it may be 8 pm… It really all depends on what pace you took throughout the day. Either way, we recommend finishing the evening at the American Gardens Theatre. Grab a seat for one of the Broadway performances.
To finish your evening don’t forget to:
- Grab something from the Werthers store on the way out ( yes, not Festival of the Arts related..but there is nothing like Werthers popcorn as a nighttime snack).
- Turn in your Figment game to get stamped and collect your prize.
Check out all our Epcot Festival of the Arts posts!
Whether you’re looking for the best photo spots at the Festival of the Arts, a list of the BEST foods at the festival, or your next artistic coffee from Joffreys, you can find it all on our Festival of the Arts page.
Rochelle Mariah is a writer, designer and photographer with an MLIS in Information Science and a B.S. in Arch and Design. Determined to make Planning a DIY Disney Vacation easier she makes lots of lists and drinks lots of coffee. When not designing apparel at Polka Dot Pixie Shop, she's watching old movies and planning the holidays. She has been traveling to Disney destinations since 2010.