Epcot International Festival of the Arts
The Epcot International Festival of the Arts is back for another round and I sure hope it's here to stay. The festival runs from January 12 through February 19 and if you play your cards right you might be able to catch both Festival of the Arts and Flower & Garden.
Although my favorite park has seemingly turned into one year-long festival at this point, I am happy to report that the Festival of the Arts, though short in length, has some unique offerings. From beautifully plated small bites to a paint by numbers mural, there's no shortage of things to see and do.
There have been an increase in paid activities at Disney lately so it was nice to walk around and experience festival extras that weren't necessarily up-charges. A fan favorite by far has to be the paint by numbers mural at the front of the World Showcase. Once completed, each mural is then added to the construction walls over by Ellen's Energy Adventure (RIP), with a new design debuting each week of the festival.
Throughout the World Showcase there are some fun photopass opportunities to take a picture inside of large scale paintings like Edvard Munch's The Scream and Emanual Luetze's George Washington's Crossing of the Delaware. I particularly enjoyed the stage behind the fountains, which featured live artist demonstrations and interactive statues.
Throughout the day there are also a variety of free and paid workshops and seminars. Over at the Odyssey Center I listened to a seminar from Mindy Johnson who wrote the book Ink & Paint: The Women of Walt Disney's Animation. Later in the day she was signing copies of her book over at the Art of Disney store.
Naturally, I snapped that up in a heartbeat. We hear about Walt Disney's accomplishments so often (and rightfully so, the man was incredible!) but never stop to think about the hardworking team around him. Beyond highlighting the women in animation, the book takes a closer look at the timeline of Walt Disney's animation studio.
As with any other festival at Epcot, OF COURSE there are food booths set up throughout the World Showcase and within the Odyssey Center. Every item that we tried was plated beautifully and it was obvious that presentation was of utmost importance. The deconstructed reuben (see photo below) was quite the showstopper.
Aside from the coconut panda rice cake in China, Max and I enjoyed everything that we tried this year. The savory croissant doughnuts were much improved from last year's version and the frose in France is not to be missed! It's a blend of rose wine, vodka, and mango puree. Max also loved the new croissant doughnut at the Refreshment Port but I think I still prefer the original with cinnamon sugar.
Be sure to check out the art booths throughout the World Showcase as well. Often you can find the artists there signing artwork or creating new pieces. BONUS - there's an entire booth dedicated solely to Star Wars artwork.
In the evening, catch your favorite Disney songs performed live by Disney on Broadway stars at the American pavilion outdoor theatre. Dining packages are also available for guests wanting preferred seating without the wait time.
Have you been to the Festival of the Arts yet? Let us know what your favorite things were in the comments!