We finally got to visit the EPCOT International Festival of the Arts last weekend and I wanted to make sure you know about how cool it is! It runs Fridays through Mondays until February 20th. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t expecting to love this festival so much because the Food and Wine and Flower and Garden festivals are ridiculously awesome and this one is new. But there’s SO much to see and do and it will probably appeal to families more than the other two festivals! Here’s my breakdown of the amazing experiences being offered this year.
In addition to the usual Kidcot Fun Stops, there’s a fun scavenger hunt based on famous works of art that you look for throughout the park. It’s similar to the scavenger hunt that was created for last year’s Food and Wine Festival and it’s lots of fun. You can purchase the kit with a map and stickers for $7 and let the kids have fun finding the artwork!
I loved the Wall Mural Painting area. It was such a cool idea! You go through a quick line to get a small cup of paint and a paintbrush, then head over to the wall to paint a couple of paint-by-number squares that match your paint color. The final piece is a unique work of art that you and the kids got to help create!
There are lots of photo backdrops throughout the park that put you right into some famous works of art like Washington Crossing the Delaware or The Scream. The Disney PhotoPass photographers are, of course, on hand to take your photo and they make sure to encourage you to make lots of silly gestures and ham it up for your picture.
My favorite family-friendly activity was definitely the Animation Academy where you learn to draw a classic Disney character from a real Disney animator. Don’t let Graham’s face fool you, he actually loved sitting in my lap and “helping” me draw Donald Duck!
Disney has this one figured out. It took them a while, but now that they realize people want more in the food department they sure are delivering. There are little stands set up just like at Food and Wine, but with different offerings that are all really creative. We tried a few things and liked all of them. The pricing and portions are similar to what you’d find at the Food and Wine Festival. The one disappointment we had was the Trio of Savory Croissant Doughnuts at The Painter’s Palate. They looked delicious, but at the price of $9.50 the portion was VERY small.
Jon’s favorite dish was the Choriqueso Taco at “El Artista Hambriento (The Hungry Artist)” in Mexico.
My favorite was also from Mexico, but I liked the Flank Steak Guarache. SO yummy!
We also tried the Pop’t Art (a sugar cookie with chocolate hazelnut filling) at The Painter’s Palate and it was good, but it would have been even better served warm.
Art Around the World
There are, of course, plenty of chances to see art as you make your way around World Showcase. Between chalk artists, artists painting throughout World Showcase, and special pop-up galleries, you get to see a wide variety of art being created.
I also love that there are different places where you can buy art – even art on shoes! We came across this stand personalizing Toms shoes with Disney inspired artwork!
There are lots more experiences that we didn’t have time for on the day we went, but I’d love to go back and check them out! The Disney on Broadway Concert Series sounds amazing. There are Broadway performers singing some wonderful Disney classics and I’ve heard it’s a must if you’re there in the evening. You can also learn to paint an animation cell in the Festival Showplace (for an additional charge).
There’s also plenty of room for expansion, so I can’t wait to see what the Imagineers come up with for next year’s festival!
Have you made a trip to the Festival of the Arts this year? What was your favorite thing about it?