This is our second article in our coverage of the Epcot Festival of the Arts!
This year, Epcot debuted it’s first International Festival of the Arts, beginning on January 13, 2017. The festival will be celebrated Fridays through Mondays through February 20, 2017. My family and I were able to visit on the first day of the festival, and had an excellent time. So what makes the festival so special and not to be missed?
Much like the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival, this Festival of the Arts brings tons of merchandise tents to the World Showcase. Each tent has a theme or specific artists featured, and it’s a great opportunity to see artwork that you would otherwise miss or be introduced to new artists altogether. On specific dates, the artists are also present and willing to sign any artwork you purchase. We found the artwork to be diverse, celebrating different characters, locations or facets of the Disney Company. While some of the items are original paintings and listed at thousands of dollars, they also offered small prints at very reasonable prices.
In the Odyssey Center, there were two indoor art displays– one for Mary Blair and another for Herbert Ryman (both Disney Legends). While small, the artwork featured is beautiful and educational. I highly recommend stopping in to see these displays while they are available.
The Festival will also feature art classes and demonstrations, though we were unable to attend any of these special events. They are priced at $39/person and range from drawing to flower arrangements to food demonstrations and more.
Figment’s Brush with the Masters
Figment is a big part of this festival, with a large Figment topiary greeting guests near the park entrance. One fun activity being offered as part of the event is Figment’s Brush with the Masters, which leads you on a scavenger hunt around the World Showcase to find classic paintings where Figment has inserted himself. If you find all of the correct Figments, you earn a special prize. We had a lot of fun playing this hunt and earning our prize, and were glad to have an inexpensive souvenir from the event. Figment’s Brush with the Masters costs $6.99 plus tax, and is an excellent family activity.
You will also find Figment’s paint pallet has replaced Duffy at the Kidcot locations. It was nice to have an alternative item for the kids to color and get stamped around the World Showcase, and the theming of this was right in line with the festival.
The Photopass Opportunities
An unexpected surprise of the festival were special PhotoPass opportunities set up around the park which allowed guests to step inside of famous paintings. These were a nice change from the old standby photo spots, and the photographers had a lot of fun poses to suggest. It was a lot of fun stepping into these life sized works of art.
We also found that each of the character photo locations had specially drawn paintings of the character you were about to meet. It was fun finding the different artist representations for our favorites.
The Epcot Festival of the Arts Food
Any festival at Epcot wouldn’t be complete without special food offerings and this festival is no different. Much like the Epcot Food and Wine Festival or Epcot Flower and Garden Festival, the Festival of the Arts has food kiosks (called Food Studios) set up around the park with a variety of offerings.
We found that the offerings leaned towards desserts a little more than the other festivals we had attended, but everything we ate was delicious and beautifully prepared. There is a focus at this event on aesthetics, so the chefs really took extra time and effort in making each dish look as impressive as it tasted. We were told that the mod looking almond frangipane cake took a full thirty days for chefs to prepare.
The trio of savory croissant doughnuts was surprisingly amazing, and the mushroom risotto was memorably delicious as well. We started to get full about halfway through the studios, and I wish we had another day to try out the items we missed! Don’t miss the passport booklet for the festival, which we picked up at the front of the park near the park maps. It had a list of all the activities and food items so you could check off what you’d tried as you marched along.
I’m hopeful that the Epcot Festival of the Arts we keep coming back year after year, because it definitely added to our day at Epcot.
Which part of this year’s Epcot Festival of the Arts would you like to see return? Share in the comments.