In 2017, Walt Disney World hosted the first annual Epcot International Festival of the Arts. Joining the very popular Epcot International Food and Wine Festival and the Flower and Garden Festival, the Festival of the Arts offers something for everyone visiting the park. Admission to the festival is included with your valid park admission to Epcot, although there are some things that are offered at an additional fee.
During this year’s Disney Social Media Moms Celebration, we arrived a day early and had the opportunity to experience the festival on the very last day. In 2019, the festival will take place on January 18th to February 25th. Here’s a guide to the Epcot International Festival of the Arts.
Disclosure: We paid a fee to attend Disney’s Social Media Moms Celebration, but received discounts and perks. In addition, this post contains affiliate links and a purchase/click through one of these links may result in a commission paid to us.
All About the Epcot International Festival of the Arts at Walt Disney World
Festival of the Arts Showplace
The Odyssey Building, located at Future World East (right as you head toward the World Showcase), offers workshops, seminars, an animation academy, galleries, and merchandise. The workshops are offered at an additional fee, and should be booked in advance if possible (call 407-WDW-TOUR). These can be popular, so call once you’ve got your vacation dates set so you don’t miss out.
The festival offers a variety of different types of entertainment, including living statues, visual artists painting right in front of you, a performing arts showcase for local school bands, and a community arts showcase.
In addition, you can watch the Disney on Broadway Concert Series at the American Gardens Theatre. This concert series features Disney on Broadway stars performing favorite selections from Broadway shows. In 2019, this event will be expanded to seven days per week and will run at 5:30pm, 6:45pm, and 8pm. If you are familiar with this venue, it’s outdoors and can be viewed even if just walking by. During our trip, we didn’t sit in the theater, but did get to catch some of the music by passing by.
Just like at Disney’s Epcot International Food and Wine Festival, fun food selections are offered. You’ll find a variety of booths located through the World Showcase with selections including desserts, alcoholic beverages, and appetizers. You could definitely make an entire meal out of a few choices, so plan ahead! You can purchase an exclusive gift card for the festival that can make purchasing individual items a little easier, especially if you don’t have a MagicBand 2.
There’s also a Disney on Broadway Concert Series Dining Package. If you have your heart set on seeing a specific performer, this is a great way to get priority seating. This past year, there were five participating restaurants:
- The Rose and Crown
- Akershus Royal Banquet Hall
- Biergarten Restaurant
- The Garden Grill Restaurant
- The Coral Reef Restaurant
With the dining package, you’ll receive a three-course meal at your selected restaurant and priority seating at the theater. Rates vary by restaurant and meal, and you’ll need to book your reservation specifically for the package (and in advance).
There are plenty of other experiences offered through the Epcot International Festival of the Arts. Pick up a festival passport available at any of the shops or kiosks, and use it to explore the whole festival. In fact, you can even add stickers (included in the book) to “stamp” all of the locations that you’ve visited.
Other experiences include an art walk. Using your passport as a guide, you can walk through various exhibits in the world showcase. In 2018, this included a beautiful Coco themed exhibit located in the Mexican pavilion.
You’ll also find various “artful photo opps” located throughout the World Showcase. These large backdrops feature some of the world’s most popular art – and you can jump into the picture for a great photo opportunity.
There are also kiosks and shops featuring beautiful artwork. Artists are available to sign artwork on a scheduled basis, so you may be lucky and see one of your favorite Disney artists. Check the schedule in advance if there’s someone specific that you want to see.
That’s not all though! There are plenty of other art-themed experiences, including chalk art and galleries.
Have you been to Disney’s Festival of the Arts? What was your favorite experience?