Why the Epcot Festival of the Arts Should Be on Your To-Do List!

Courtney ReynoldsBlog

Last week, we were invited to a media preview of the Epcot International Festival of the Arts. Here’s what you can experience at the festival and why we think you should add it to your Disney To-Do List!

First of all, we would like to thank Disney for inviting us to this special media preview and for providing admission to the Epcot Festival of the Arts so we could bring you this inside look.

This year, the festival runs January 18 – February 25, 2019. The best part? You can experience the festival with your regular Epcot admission – no additional tickets required!

The Epcot Festival of the Arts is the perfect place to celebrate all things art!  – including visual, performing, and culinary arts. As a photographer and Broadway enthusiast, I personally love this festival! I see something inspiring and learn something new every time I visit.

Here’s a look at what you can expect to find at the festival this year!

Visual & Performing Arts

We started off our media preview with a reception, where we were greeted by our host Bobby. I wanted to give a special shout-out to Bobby because he was so full of energy and kept the event going smoothly throughout the day.

Our host Bobby kept the media event going smoothly throughout the day. Photo by Courtney Reynolds.

If you’re concerned about the Festival of the Arts simply being a glorified Disney art shop, don’t be! Yes, there are tents throughout the park where you can view and purchase beautiful pieces of Disney art, but there is so much more to experience.

For example, you can actually watch a Disney artist create a painting right in front of you!

Artist Trevor Carlton painting Figment live for guests at the media preview. Photo by Courtney Reynolds.

You can also watch chalk artists create stunning artwork right on the sidewalk!

Completed chalk art outside the media preview reception hall. Photo by Courtney Reynolds.

One of my favorite parts of the festival is the Living Statues. If you’re looking for a fun photo op, this is it! But be careful, turn your back on them and you might just become part of the show. I love watching guests’ amazement as the statues come to life!

The Living Statues are a fun, interactive photo op at the Festival of the Arts. Photo by Courtney Reynolds.
The Living Statues are a fun, interactive photo op at the Festival of the Arts. Photo by Courtney Reynolds.

Another cool interactive activity is the Expression Section, which is essentially a giant paint-by-number mural! Once you’ve painted your squares, you’ll receive a postcard with the finished artwork on it. Check back later in the day to see the completed mural!

The Expression Section is a fun, interactive experience at the festival. Photo by Courtney Reynolds.

The big news this year is that the Disney on Broadway Concert Series has been increased from three days a week to seven! Each night, two Disney on Broadway performers will join forces to sing a medley of your favorite Disney Broadway tunes.

At the media preview, we were treated to performances by Meredith Inglesby and Steve Blanchard, who performed songs from Beauty and the Beast; and Kerry Butler and Kevin Massey, who performed songs from Frozen.

Click here for more information about the Disney on Broadway Concert Series.

Kerry Butler and Kevin Massey performed a medley of Frozen songs at the media preview. Photo by Courtney Reynolds.
Meredith Inglesby and Steve Blanchard (not pictured) performed songs from Beauty and Beast at the media preview. Photo by Courtney Reynolds.

Culinary Arts

It wouldn’t be an Epcot festival without the notorious outdoor kitchens! What makes the Festival of the Arts menu stand out among all the other Epcot festivals is that the dishes not only deliver incredible flavor but also creative presentation. This year the festival has 15 culinary destinations to choose from.

A Disney chef is shown plating the Smoked Salmon and Cream Gâteau from the Painter’s Palate. Photo by Courtney Reynolds.
A Disney chef is shown speaking to media at the media preview. Photo by Courtney Reynolds.

Let’s take a look at some of the featured menu items!

Lemon Blood Orange Tart from Decadent Delights. Photo by Courtney Reynolds.
Beef Wellington from the Artist’s Table. Photo by Courtney Reynolds.
Shrimp Ceviche from Pop Eats. Photo by Courtney Reynolds.
Pan-seared Scallop from the Artist’s Table. Photo by Courtney Reynolds.

Festival of the Arts Merchandise

At the media preview, we were also given a glimpse of this year’s new festival merchandise and one thing was abundantly clear: Figment is here to stay! I am a huge Figment fan, so I am over the moon that he has essentially become the face of the Festival of the Arts.

Here are some of the items you can look forward to this year!

Festival of the Arts Tervis wine glass. Photo by Courtney Reynolds.
Festival of the Arts Tervis tumbler and coffee mug with stirring stick. Photo by Courtney Reynolds.
Festival of the Arts t-shirt. Photo by Courtney Reynolds.

There’s also an exclusive limited-edition MagicBand this year!

Festival of the Arts limited-edition MagicBand. Photo by Courtney Reynolds.

If you’re looking for an interactive souvenir, you’ll want to check out Figment’s Brush with the Masters scavenger hunt. This year, the prize for completing the scavenger hunt is a Festival of the Arts coloring book! There are three coloring books to choose from.

If you like Remy’s Hide and Squeak or Chip ‘n’ Dale’s Christmas Tree Spree, you’ll love this Figment-themed scavenger hunt.

The prize for completing Figment’s Brush with the Masters is your choice of three coloring books. Photo by Courtney Reynolds.

Guests can also browse and purchase artwork from over 50 visiting artists across 25 Festival Markets. Some markets even have artist signings and live demonstrations!

Why we love it!

There is just so much to do at the Epcot International Festival of the Arts and that alone is why you should add it to your Disney To-Do List. Beautiful artwork, unique photo ops, interactive activities, special musical performances, artist signings, colorful merchandise, complimentary seminars, delicious food… The list goes on!

Above it all, we love that this festival goes deep into the company’s roots to celebrate the thing that started it all: Walt’s love for art, creativity, and imagination.

For more on the Festival of the Arts, check out the January issue of WDW Magazine.

#NowMoreThanEver

Shortly after the Festival of the Arts media preview, we were able to preview some other new experiences around the parks.

Check out this blog post to see why it’s a great time #NowMoreThanEver to visit Walt Disney World!

For now, we’ll leave you with this sneak peek:

Mickey Mouse posing in his new birthday celebration outfit. Photo by Courtney Reynolds.
Mickey Mouse posing in his new birthday celebration outfit. Photo by Courtney Reynolds.

Another huge “Thank you!” to Disney for inviting us to this great media event!

By Courtney Reynolds

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About the Author

Courtney Reynolds

Courtney is a New England native currently living in Orlando. In addition to photography, she loves tacos, Donald Duck, and riding roller coasters.