If you’re visiting the Festival of the Arts, it’s important to know a thing or two before you go. Especially since park hours and experiences are limited! From deciding how many days to commit to the festival to choosing the best way to pay for your food. Add in activities, classes and the Figment Brush with the Masters Game and there are so many things that can fill your time! Here are our Festival of the Arts Top 10 Tips.
Festival of the Arts Know Before You Go
The Epcot International Festival of the Arts at Walt Disney World honors the visual, culinary and performance arts. This newer festival runs January 8- February 22, 2021 and is sure to have something for everyone! From culinary masterpieces at the outdoor kitchens, to your favorite Broadway stars on stage, the Festival of the Arts offers a lot to cover. Which may make our first tip seem out of place.
Scrap the Schedule
Believe it or not at the top of our Festival of the Arts Top 10 list is to go without a schedule! While there is a ton to do at the Festival of Arts, and planning is essential most of the time. For this EPCOT winter festival, it’s not about checking your favorite foods or performances off a list. This festival works best when you’re taking it slow. Culinary masterpieces take longer to make. Discussions with artists have no timeline. And you’ll want to stop and watch that impromptu performance. Things like dining reservations, and FastPasses could get in the way of a full day just appreciating art. And if you’re aiming to park hop somewhere else mid-day, forget about getting it all done. Our Best Advice? Decide ahead of time what you’re super excited to do and plan on that. But let everything else happen without keeping track of time.
Go to an Art Class
Even if you’re not bent on learning a new art skill, part of the allure of this festival is that you get air time with the professionals. So head to the Odyssey Center and sit in on a class. You may only learn how to draw Donald Duck, but chances are you’ll learn something new! Complimentary classes and seminars are part of the experience, so embrace em. You can learn to draw your favorite characters, get tips on better photography, or how to do lettering. There are so many classes throughout the festival. Be sure to check the Animation Academy schedule to see what’s happening during your vacation.
Try all the Festival Foods
With outdoor kitchens throughout the World Showcase, there is more food than you could possibly try! Pick your favorite cultural cuisines and see what beautiful masterpieces they’re cooking up. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly option, load the days food budget onto a Disney Gift Card. This will help you keep track of your spending and make getting through the food lines a little easier. Check out the Festival of the Arts Menus ahead of time to pick your favorites!
See the Disney on Broadway Concert Series
If you havn’t gotten the chance to see a Disney Broadway Performance in person, then you’re in for a treat! Disney hosts the actual Broadway performers in the American Gardens Theater. Whether you pick just one performance or try to see them all through your vacation, know that you are in the presence of greatness! The performers that visit Walt Disney World for this event are the best of the best and have played beloved Disney Characters on Broadway and across the world. Be sure to stop by for a performance!
Join in on the Community Art
A Disney Must-Do on our Festival of the Arts Top 10 taking the 15 minutes to help paint the massive mural, which is mainly just a paint-by-number, color, is a great way to be involved and play your part without too much pressure! As part of the Festival of the Arts experience you can make your mark as an artist while at Epcot. It’s a fun and free way to get involved and you often get a special souvenir freebie, usually a postcard, just for helping out!
Visit the Art Galleries
The BEST part about the Festival of the Arts is the artists. So be sure to check out all the pop-up galleries, art booths and art stands along the World Showcase. Artists with all sorts of styles paint Disney castles, characters, quotes and landscapes that you are sure to love! Also take time to chat with the artists! Many are available to talk about the art and sign their work! Such a bonus you don’t find too many places.
Play Figment’s Brush with the Master’s Scavenger Hunt
To be honest, the Disney Games are a big reason of why we go to the festivals at Walt Disney World. We absolutely LOVE them! Since these games are fun for kids and grown-ups alike grabbing the game board is usually the first thing we do when we arrive at the festival. For Festival of the Arts, this Figment-focused game is all about finding Figment in classic art pieces throughout the World Showcase. Of course you don’t have to find them all to get your prize, but it’s a fun way to really experience each country as your hunt for Figment. And learn about the Art that is highlighted throughout the game!
Stay at a Disney Boardwalk Resort
One of our biggest Festival of the Arts Top 10 Tips is to STAY at a Resort on the Disney Boardwalk. Since January and February are some of the cheapest times to visit Walt Disney World we highly recommend making it easy on yourself so you can be close to the action at EPCOT. Since the Boardwalk is close to the World Showcase you can come and go as you please without worrying about Disney transportation. Staying at the Boardwalk Inn, Yacht Club, Beach Club or the Swan & Dolphin Hotels gets you in walking distance of the festival action. Meaning you can spend more time at the festival at less time getting there.
Plan for the Weather
If you’re visiting Florida in the winter it pays to know how to pack for winter at Disney. While Florida is known to be pretty warm, in January and February it can get downright breezy! Check the weather ahead of time and pack layers. You may not see rain, but evenings can get chilly. And you don’t want to spend your Disney Budget on sweatshirts for the family just because you only packed shorts. So be sure to plan for the weather.
Buy the Art!
While this isn’t a sales pitch, we will take this part of the post to mention that all the artists are independent and make the trip to go to Walt Disney World specifically to show their work. It’s an honor for them to be part of the event and an amazing opportunity for you to see their art in person! So if you see something that catches your eye take note! Many artists offer both small and large prints, originals and even cards for purchase. Something at every price range. As this festival helps to showcase artists and their work, we love being able to support those talents with a purchase. Of course there are other ways to support the artists as well. Stopping to watch a show, engaging in conversation, and sharing something on socials means more than you know.
Festival of the Arts Top 10 List
Hopefully you get a chance to take a mini break to Florida this winter for the Epcot International Festival of the Arts. With lower crowds, better weather, and cheaper everything it’s truly a magical time to be at Walt Disney World.