The Complete Guide To The Epcot International Festival of the Arts
Now back for its 4th year, here’s your complete guide to the Epcot International Festival of the Arts which opened on January 17 at Epcot and runs through February 24. The now annual event The event features visiting artists, an array of foodie delights and opportunities for guests to embrace their own inner artists. This year is bigger and more magical than ever before with something for every member of the family. Whether you’re a fan of all things Broadway, or getting up close with artisans of all kinds or just love great food and are ready to get up close and personal and learn how that food comes to life, here are 5 not to miss things at the Epcot International Festival of the Arts.
Beginning on January 17, the Epcot International Festival of the Arts at Walt Disney World Resort returns for its annual celebration of the visual, culinary and performing arts.
My very favorite of all of the events that Epcot has over the course of the year, 2020 will bring with it 39 days with offerings for every age to match every passion and continues through Feb. 24, 2020 this year promising more live music than ever before, along with fresh tastes to savor and new artwork to admire and bring home.
There is no better time to stroll around the International Showcase sampling all of the fares, talking to artists bringing their works of art to life and capping off the evening with some of the best Broadway performers around. If you’re already making plans as I am don’t miss any of these unique experience:
Broadway Concert Series
I am all about Broadway in any way, shape or form and thanks to the Epcot International Festival of the Arts, it is all about the Broadway Concert series. Where else could you see your favorite Broadway performers and enjoy a Broadway-style sing-along all included with your Epcot admission? Now you can now sing along to their favorite Disney Broadway tunes.
Magical Music Takes Center Stage
Here’s who’s lighting up the stage as part of the Disney on Broadway Concert Series. Performances are at 5:30 PM, 6:45 PM and 8:00 PM daily from January 17 to February 24, 2020.*Looking for a little something extra? Spice up your night with special performances featuring twice the star power on select dates!
Kissy Simmons and Alton Fitzgerald White
- January 17
- January 20 through 21
- January 24
Heidi Blickenstaff and Gavin Lee
- January 18 through 19
- January 22 through 23
Heidi Blickenstaff, Gavin Lee, Kissy Simmons, Alton Fitzgerald White
- January 25*
Kara Lindsay and Kevin Massey
- January 26
- January 28 through 29
- February 1 through 2
- February 5 through 6
Liana Hunt and Adam Jacobs
- January 27
- January 30 through 31
- February 3 through 4
- February 7 through 8
Liana Hunt, Adam Jacobs, Kara Lindsay and Kevin Massey
- February 9*
Ashley Brown and Josh Strickland
- February 10
- February 12 through 13
- February 18 through 19
- February 22 through 23
Michael James Scott and Syndee Winters
- February 11
- February 14 through 17
- February 20 through 21
Ashley Brown, Michael James Scott, Josh Strickland and Syndee Winters
- February 24*
And even better, the Disney on Broadway Concert Series is now 7 days per week! Performances are at 5:30 PM, 6:45 PM and 8:00 PM daily from January 18 to February 25, 2019.
The best way to take advantage and make sure you have the best seat possible is by booking a Disney on Broadway Concert Series Dining Package, which allows you to make a breakfast, lunch or dinner reservation at a participating Epcot restaurant and later enjoy priority seating at a show. Dining package reservations open Nov. 8, and for more information, visit Disneyworld.com or call 407-939-3463.
Eat, Drink, And Be Merry-Food Studios Serve Up Culinary Arts
This year, treat yourself to the best in culinary delights.
Twelve festival Food Studios plus additional food and beverage locations will take culinary arts to the next level with scrumptious, imaginative dishes – artistically sculpted and ready for camera closeups. New this year is the Wonderful Walk of Colorful Cuisine featuring a culinary reward – where you can collect a stamp in your festival passports for each menu item purchased along the Wonderful Walk will fill their “palette” and receive a delicious technicolor treat.
The Food Studios are an edible wonderland of dishes and beverages, from the Deconstructed Reuben and Rainboba drink at The Deconstructed Dish Food Studio, to the Wild Mushroom Risotto and Classic Sidecar with a Chocolate Twist at The Masterpiece Kitchen at the Canada pavilion. The Decadent Delights Food Studio features the sweetest takes on culinary art like the Lemon Blood-Orange Tart and the White Chocolate Figment Puzzle on an Artist Palette. Guests will discover new twists on festival favorites, as well as a broad selection of libations from craft brewers and global wineries.
Also new for the 2020 festival, guests can book a Saturday or Sunday Le Cellier Brunch, a leisurely prix fixe bounty in the Canada pavilion.
Drop by The Artist’s Table for beef wellington with mushroom bordelaise, fennel cream, and roasted baby vegetables, or enjoy smoked salmon and cream gâteau with egg yolk cream, paddlefish caviar and micro-herbs at The Painter’s Palate. Pop Eats! will serve up almond frangipane cake with raspberry and chocolate, while red wine-braised short rib with parsnip purée, broccolini, baby tomatoes and aged balsamic will be available at Cuisine Classique.
Or my favorite, test your own artistic, decorating talents and bring your Easel Cookie to life, proving that you can have your cookie and eat it too!
Step Into The Picture And Help To Create A Masterpiece
One of the favorite parts of the Festival each year is the opportunity to actually step into the picture of some of the greatest works of art.
A kaleidoscope of visual art will surround festival guests, who can immerse themselves in a brand-new Artful Photo Op featuring two Vincent Van Gogh paintings: Café Terrace at Night and Sunflowers; create their own hand-painted take-home item with Artistic Marbling, and design their own custom T-shirt at Enemy Ink. Gallery exhibits showcase cultures around the globe – from Mexico to Norway, Japan to Morocco. Chalk artists will astonish guests as they create multi-dimensional sidewalk masterpieces.
Family fun will be in full swing every festival day:
- Join Figment’s Brush with the Masters, a scavenger hunt where the friendly dragon has painted himself into famous pieces of art in each World Showcase pavilion.
- Explore the Green Landing Family Play Zone where Wall-E and Eve invite the entire family to enjoy a lush, green environment built for exploring.
- Jump into photo-ops located throughout Epcot, such as the Peter Pan Storybook installation by the United Kingdom pavilion where guests can flap their fins in Mermaid Lagoon or get their pirate on at Skull Rock.
- Get creative with friends, family and other guests at the interactive Expression Section: A Paint-by-Number wall mural in Future World.
- Let the kids pick their palette and express themselves at Kidcot Fun Stops reimagined just for the Epcot International Festival of the Arts.
And once you’ve become a part of the picture, don’t forget to grab a paintbrush and help create a masterpiece by leaving behind your legacy as you become a part of the wall mural along World Showcase Plaza.
It’s Time To Get Your Learning On
Whether you’ve dreamed of learning to cook from the best chefs in the culinary world, or always wanted to learn to paint or create jewelry or wanted to know what it’s like to help make music come alive, the Epcot International Festival of the Arts is the perfect place for the new learner and the lifelong learner alike. Some of the classes that await you include:
- The Paint with a Disney Artist program invites guests to learn under the tutelage of a professional (offered select Fridays and Sundays, including continental breakfast, for an additional fee).
- Performing artists are scheduled throughout the festival, demonstrating gravity-defying feats of strength, acrobatics, and many other skills.
- International musical and variety acts will share their talents with guests, including the return of Bodh’aktan to the Canada stage and Delta Q, a new group performing in Germany.
Guests can join in the fun of Figment’s Brush with the Masters Scavenger Hunt by purchasing a map at select merchandise locations.
A variety of workshops led by professionals will teach different artistic techniques, such as floral design, ink and paint, mixed-media art and more (offered Friday-Monday for an additional fee). As a memento of what they learn, guests will take their creations home with them.
- Complimentary 30-minute seminars will give guests helpful instruction for producing their own artwork at home.
Bring Home Memories With Exclusive Commemorative Merchandise
This year’s commemorative festival merchandise featuring our favorite Epcot resident, Figment. Let’s take a look! Figment Color Co. is ready to bring its expertise in imagination and creativity in this colorful, all-new collection. From the brand new spirit jersey to the magical flip sequin headband and paint can-inspired crossbody to my festival look. These colors truly bring out the perfect pigments that make up Figment!
3 All-New On-Screen Experiences Now Open
Several new on-screen experiences are now open and are waiting just for you:
“Awesome Planet” – This new 10-minute film in The Land pavilion offers a breathtaking look at Earth’s beauty and diversity through spectacular imagery, in-theater effects and an original score from Academy Award-winning® composer Steven Price.
“Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along” – Directed by Don Hahn, who produced the animated and live-action “Beauty and the Beast” films, this magical experience at the France pavilion invites guests to embrace a twist on a “tale as old as time.” Angela Lansbury, who played Mrs. Potts in the original film, narrates the new sing-along that runs in rotation with “Impressions de France,” just upgraded to 4K projection.
“Canada Far and Wide in Circle-Vision 360” – Canada pavilion’s original “O Canada!” is refreshed with dazzling new scenes, a new musical score by Canadian composer Andrew Lockington and insightful narration by award-winning actors Catherine O’Hara and Eugene Levy.
Whether you’re looking for a new kind of experience for the entire family, are looking to share and extend your love of the visual, culinary and performing arts or expanding your knowledge base and looking to introduce your family to something new in a fun and hands-on way, there is no better festival for the entire family than the Epcot International Festival of the Arts. Now that you’ve seen the complete guide, what are you the most excited to experience first?
It’s the perfect multigenerational outing or just for a day all on your own at Epcot.
Premium festival experiences that include Paint with a Disney Artist and the World Showcase: Destinations Discovered guided tour are available to guests for a fee. To book one of these experiences, guests can call (407) WDW-TOUR or sign up for openings still available on the day of their festival visit. Visit ArtfulEpcot.com for details.
To book an interactive workshop featuring Ink & Paint Animation, 3D Paper Crafting, Gesture Drawing Basics, Animation 101 or Doodling (additional fee) that take place Saturdays and Sundays at 10 a.m. in World Showplace, call 407-WDW-FEST or visit Guest Relations in the park.
Don’t miss the Epcot International Festival of the Arts, now open through February 24 at Epcot at the Walt Disney World Resort. What’s your best tip for experiencing the Epcot International Festival of the Arts?