Last Friday marked opening day at the new Epcot International Festival of the Arts. This year the annual festival runs Friday through Sunday each week, through February 20. Last Friday I attended a media meet and greet, then enjoyed the festival for the rest of the day with my family. Since I had such a great time and you can only eat so much food in one day, I returned on Sunday with my sister to explore the festival some more.
Have I mentioned lately how much I love being a season pass holder? Living in Central Florida definitely has some perks! I’m sure I’ll be going back again (and again) because the festival will feature new art each week, making each weekend original.
2017 Epcot International Festival of the Arts
The first ever Epcot International Festival of the Arts combines visual, culinary and performing arts from around the world. Disney is truly capturing the best of art with this festival! Read on to find out what you can expect!
Visual Arts takes center stage at Epcot with all different mediums represented in different gallery exhibits. Over 30 masters artists are featured such as Mary Blair known for “It’s a Small World” and Kim Gromoll who is featuring some spectacular “Star Wars” art. There is concept art never seen by the public before, and plenty of art available for purchase.
There is a fun Interactive Mural where guests can Paint By Number. Also, exclusive workshops and seminars for guests including a coveted Disney Imagineers half day class (limited to only 20 people/day).
And there’s more: hands-on experiences for the whole family, favorite Disney characters channeling their favorite artists, and live art creations throughout the park. It’s a colorful, whimsical celebration of a new artful Epcot.
Disney is known for showcasing the best food, and the Disney Culinary Team has pulled off what many thought could not be done. After sampling some (A LOT) of the festival’s culinary creations, I am blown away that they were able to pull off food of this quality on such a massive scale. It’s truly impressive! Throughout the park there are booths setup with culinary creations. Have your art… and EAT IT TOO! Here’s a sample of what’s in store:
The Painter’s Palate – Trio of Savory Croissant Doughnuts or “Cronuts” (Odyssey Festival Showcase)
Whipped Herb Cream Cheese with Sea Salt
Chicken Mousse with Fresh Herbs and Everything Bagel Seasoning
Spicy Tuna with Sriracha Mayonnaise and Sesame Seeds
Deconstructed Purple Sweet Potato Pie, Decadent Delights (Showcase Plaza)
Charcuterie Palette, Masterpiece Kitchen (Canada)
Artisan Cured Meats, Nueske’s Applewood-smoked Duck Breast, and Cheese
Mickey and Pluto White Chocolate Painting with Chocolate Easel, Masterpiece Kitchen (Canada)
Some of my family’s other favorites not pictured, include: Wild Mushroom Risotto found in Canada, Flank Steak Guarache served with Black Beans and available in Mexico, BLT with Crispy Pork Belly, Tomato Jam, and Soft Poached Egg found at Showcase Plaza, and my personal favorite the Deconstructed Breakfast with Maple-Bourbon Cream. Yum! Seriously, there are so many incredible eats to be had.
In addition to Visual Arts and Culinary Arts, the Epcot International Festival of the Arts gives guests a chance to experience Performing Arts with Broadway at the forefront. Disney brings an all-new showcase of Broadway talent to the America Gardens Theater stage featuring songs from Aladdin, The Lion King and more. Broadway artists including: Ashley Brown (“Mary Poppins”) and Josh Strickland (“Tarzan”), Kerry Butler (“Beauty and the Beast”) and Kevin Massey (“Aladdin”), Kissy Simmons and Alton Fitzgerald (“The Lion King”).
Performances at the America Gardens Theatre stage will be at 5:30 p.m., 6:45 p.m. and 8 p.m. Friday through Monday of each festival weekend.
Throughout the park there will also be acapella singing from American Music Machine, live performances from community arts groups, marching bands, jazz ensembles, college and university performing groups.
FOR THE KIDS
You should totally bring your kids with you to the inaugural Festival of the Arts. I had my 8 year old with me and she had a lot of fun. I love that this festival has something for everyone, young and old alike. Check out these activities especially for kids:
Kidcot Fun Stops – Kids of all ages can pick their palette, grab their brush, and create their own masterpiece on an art-filled odyssey around Epcot’s World Showcase. Each Kidcot Stop is re-imagined just for the Epcot International Festival of the Arts.
Figment’s Brush with the Masters – Start this art-filled scavenger hunt featuring Figment at Pin Central, Disney Traders or World Traveler. I recommend getting started on this as soon as you enter the park.
Animation Academy – Experience the magic of Disney animation at this highly informative and fun drawing class taught by a real Disney artist.
Wall Mural Paintings – See a masterpiece take shape right before your eyes, or, grab a brush and join in on the fun.
Photo Backdrops – Cross the Delaware with George Washington, scram along with Edvard Munch, and join Monet for a day at immersive photo stops throughout World Showcase.
What doesn’t belong in this picture?
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
The 2017 Epcot Festival of the Arts runs January 13, 2017 – February 20, 2017. Different experiences will be taking place on different dates, so keep up with the schedule of events on the Festival website.
The festival is included with regular Epcot admission.
For the extra experiences, reserve as quickly as possible as they will sell out. For more information or to make a reservation, call (407) WDW-TOUR.
Follow along all of the latest festival updates with hashtag #ArtfulEpcot.