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Guide to Epcot International Festival of the Arts

by Mommy Frog on January 16, 2018 5 Orlando

With the holidays behind us, we need something new and exciting to look forward to in 2018. There's nothing this Frog Family enjoys more than ringing in the New Year with a trip to our favorite place ... Walt Disney World! And what better way to celebrate than with the Epcot International Festival of the Arts? After making its debut in 2017, the Epcot International Festival of the Arts is making its return between Jan. 12 through Feb. 19 this year. We’re so hoppy the festival will be taking place seven days a week this year! Even better, the Epcot International Festival of the Arts is included with regular park admission.

Epcot International Festival of the Arts - Living Statue

In my not-so-humble opinion, this new festival is Epcot's best yet. Entertainment abounds with live broadway performances, art being created on-site and more. We're here to give you the lowdown on the best eats and acts to enjoy during the Epcot International Festival of the Arts 2018 ... plus tips!

Epcot International Festival of the Arts - Entrance

Disney on Broadway Concert Series at Epcot International Festival of the Arts

We’re no Broadway connoisseurs, but this Frog Family has fallen in love with the Disney on Broadway Concert Series. We were lucky enough to catch Ashley Brown (Broadway’s original Mary Poppins) and Josh Strickland (Broadway’s original Tarzan) last year. This year, we saw Jenn Gambatese and Kevin Massey, who gave guests a preview of what Frozen on Broadway will sound like when it hits New York City this year! If you have theater-loving tadpoles in your family, this is a can’t miss. These performers will blow you away with their talent and have you singing all night long! If you’ve heard “Let It Go” one too many times in your household (we’ve all been there) have no fear — these performers dig deep into Disney classics and offer a unique style. Our favorite part is hearing songs exclusive to the Broadway shows ... not included in the original films!

Epcot International Festival of the Arts - Disney on Broadway

Performances take place nightly Friday through Monday at 5:30 p.m., 6:45 p.m. and 8 p.m. at the America Gardens Theatre in World Showcase.

Jan. 12 to 15

Performers: Jenn Gambatese and Kevin Massey

Songs from: TarzanAladdinNewsies and Frozen

Jan. 19 to 22

Performers: Kara Lindsay (NEW!) and Kevin Massey

Songs from: TarzanAladdinNewsiesand Frozen

Jan. 26 to 29

Performers: Kissy Simmons and Alton Fitzgerald White

Songs from: TarzanThe Lion KingAidaAladdinand The Little Mermaid

Feb. 2 to 5

Performers: Kissy Simmons and Alton Fitzgerald White

Songs from: TarzanThe Lion KingAidaAladdinand The Little Mermaid

Feb. 9 to 12

Performers: Ashley Brown and Josh Strickland

Songs from: Beauty and the BeastTarzanThe Little MermaidMary PoppinsNewsiesand Frozen

Feb. 16 to 19

Performers: Ashley Brown and Josh Strickland

Songs from: Beauty and the BeastTarzanThe Little MermaidMary PoppinsNewsies and Frozen

Epcot International Festival of the Arts Variety Acts

Art in Action

Everywhere you turn at the Epcot International Festival of the Arts, you’ll find inspiration. Not being personally graced with artistic talent myself, watching art come alive is fascinating for me. Throughout World Showcase, some of your favorite Disney artists can be found bringing their unique styles to life. No kidding — we spent 30 minutes watching an artist create the Beauty and the Beast stained glass mural with auto paint last year. The whole frog family was mesmerized! The creativity is truly astounding. What’s even cooler is that you can purchase the pieces that you watched being created before your very eyes!

Epcot International Festival of the Arts - Greg McCullough

Tons of artists can be found around World Showcase, whether creating something new on the spot, talking with guests or signing their work. We were lucky enough to chat with one of our favorites Greg McCullough! Buying this giant Mickey and Minnie piece was a totally reasonable purchase, right? Now, to figure out how to get it back home to the pond ...

What's wonderful about Epcot International Festival of the Arts is that the art spans beyond Disney. There is something for every Frog Family taste! We loved spending some time watching Rob Kaz bring his signature paintings and characters to life, and Noah demonstrate his unique take on classic Disney characters.

Community Arts Showcase

Epcot International Festival of the Arts is chock full of professional artists — painters, singers and more are around every corner! We love that the Festival also shines a light on young performers. Between Broadway performances at America Gardens Theatre, up-and-coming local talent is showcased. This year, Central Florida performers are the main event, but we anticipate the reach expanding in future festival years!

If you’re a fan of Etsy-esqué art, you’ll find yourself captivated around World Showcase by Disney-inspired artists selling custom products. We couldn’t leave without a family set of hand-painted Toms shoes for the whole family, adorned with our favorite Disney characters.

Epcot International Festival of the Arts - Custom Toms

Being quite the nature-conscious frog, another one of our favorites this year was the Jortra Boutique booth, with jewelry made entirely out of recycled materials such as bamboo, orange peels and coffee beans.

Epcot International Festival of the Arts - Jortra Booth

Amazing Extras

While I’m a huge fan of planning ahead, I find the most magical parts of the Epcot International Festival of the Arts are spontaneous. While not on a set schedule, you can come across an endless array of live performances while strolling through Future World and World Showcase. Living statues, visiting marching bands, acrobatics and gravity-defying feats of strength will have you entertained for hours. This is arguably Epcot’s most entertaining festival by far.

Epcot International Festival of the Arts Eats & Treats

If you know us at all by now, you know that we live for the food at Epcot’s annual festivals. Epcot International Festival of the Arts does not disappoint. Not only is the food absolutely delicious, but the platters are oh-so-Instagram-worthy. Each snack and meal is a work of art both in taste and sight! Last year, we were #blessed enough to try a trio of drinking chocolate at the America Pavilion...and you KNOW I had to go back for more this year!

Epcot International Festival of the Arts - Drinking Chocolate

Festival-exclusive Food Studios are open daily during the festival from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. across Future World and World Showcase. Below we’ve featured a highlight of our most anticipated dishes and drinks at this year’s food studios:

The Masterpiece Kitchen: Classic Sidecar with a Chocolate Twist

Decadent Delights: S’mores Tart: House-smoked Buttermilk Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Mousse, Toasted Marshmallow Meringue, Graham Cracker Dust and Malted Milk Chocolate Sauce

Pop Eats!: Shrimp Ceviche with Lime Mint Foam

The Painter’s Palate: Pomegranate Mule featuring Van Gogh Vodka

*Honorable mention: Last year's highly sought-after Trio of Savory Croissant Donuts is back and better than ever! The new and improved recipes are perfect to share.

The Artist’s Table: Roasted Pork Roulade with Butternut Squash Purée, Marble Potatoes and Baby Carrots with a Red Wine Sauce featuring Melissa’s Produce

Cuisine Classique: Caramel Cream Tart with Caramel Glaze topped with Cream Puffs

The Deconstructed Dish: Atypical BLT with Crispy Pork Belly, Tomato Jam and Soft Poached Egg

Epcot International Festival of the Arts - Deconstructed Food

The Deconstructed Dish food studio was very popular amongst guests during our day at Epcot International Festival of the Arts, and understandably so. We indulged ourselves with the Deconstructed Reuben (Shredded Corned Beef, Thousand Island Dressing, Pickled Red Cabbage and a Rye Curl) and Deconstructed Breakfast (Twinings® Spiced Apple Chai Tea Shake with Maple Bourbon Cream, a Waffle Crisp and Candied Bacon.) The Reuben was unlike any flavor we had ever experienced before, and the breakfast shake was a family favorite ... both absolutely delicious and we toad-ally recommend this can't-miss stop!

Seminars and Workshops at Epcot International Festival of the Arts

Disney artists, guest experts and cast members present both complimentary and paid learning experiences at Epcot International Festival of the Arts. Explore your creative horizons or take your talents to the next level with different events each week! Learn anything from calligraphy to floral arranging, and photography to food styling. I personally can't wait to check out the Trailblazing Ladies of Disney Animation. I'm hoping to take Lily to the art seminar hosted by Paige O'Hara (the voice of Princess Belle) as well. Talk about GIRL POWER!

Many seminars are free, and paid workshops range between $39 and $259. Many of these even include a piece of art — created by you! Be sure to save room in your luggage for that new beautiful, hand-painted canvas. Check out the full schedule of seminars and workshops here.

Epcot International Festival of the Arts Tips and Tricks

    • Try scheduling your visit for Tuesday through Thursday for lighter crowds. Locals tend to stop by on the weekends!
    • If you have the time, try dedicating a full day to Epcot if you don't already. There is so much to do and see at the Festival of the Arts!
    • After your Animation Academy at the Odyssey Festival Showplace, take a look at the exhibit on international attraction art. You can see the different poster versions for Dumbo, Space Mountain and more from Disney parks around the globe!
    • That being said, it is worth fighting heavier crowds if you are interested in checking out the Disney on Broadway Concert Series. These performances take place exclusively Friday through Monday. Mondays will be significantly less busy than Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
    • Attend the first showing at 5:30 p.m. of the Disney on Broadway concert series. Crowds usually increase later in the evening. (We also like to play it safe and catch the first showing in case weather interferes later!)
    • Arrive at least 30 minutes ahead of time for a good seat at any Epcot International Festival of the Arts exclusive performance.
    • If you’re already planning on a sit-down meal during your day at Epcot, we highly recommend the Disney on Broadway Concert Series Dining Package. Not only will you get a delicious meal at one of Epcot’s five best restaurants, but also guaranteed prime seating at the concert.
    • Find interactive photo-ops throughout World Showcase. You and your tadpoles can become part of classic masterpieces for fun family photos!Epcot International Festival of the Arts - Photo Op
  • Take time to visit with the artists around World Showcase. Watch them paint and chat with them! If art interests your tadpoles, this is a truly unique opportunity to show them where their creativity can take them. We love seeing Lily inspired to make her own giant dreamcatcher, and Tad excited to go home and paint his favorite Star Wars character.
  • Share your snacks! Many of the festival flavors are quite unique and rich. Some flavors may be too intense to indulge in a full serving of yourself. Sample around the world and split, sip and savor flavors among your Frog Squad. This is the perfect way to introduce your little ones to exciting new ingredients and teach them about culture.

Epcot International Festival of the Arts - Food

  • Check out your usual food stops such as Refreshment Outpost and Fife & Drum for more special Epcot International Festival of the Arts food and beverages.
  • Find unique Festival merchandise, special pins and more in the Festival Showplace and around the park. As always, we recommend creating a "wishlist" throughout the day and picking up all of your sought-after items at the Festival Showplace (inside the Odyssey building) on your way out. You'll find the best selection here! We are obsessed with this year's colorful logo adorned on everything from wine glasses to sweatshirts.
  • Play with the art! Be sure to stop by the "Expression Section," where each guest is given a small container of paint and a paintbrush to contribute to a huge mural. This is an awesome way to show your tadpoles how their little bit of help can be part of a beautiful, bigger picture ... literally.

Epcot International Festival of the Arts - Figment Mural

This Festival isn't over until the Fat Lady sings .. .and in this case, that will be me on Feb. 19 after I'm stuffed with this delicious food. We can't wait to indulge! Have a question about the Epcot International Festival of the Arts? Ask away in comments, and hop on over to our discount Disney World ticket page to snag Epcot tickets.

Related: Guide to Walt Disney World Events

Hoppy planning!

Keep hopping, Mommy Frog!
View Comments
<<  Newer Posts | Older Posts  >>
Jan 19, 2018 at 5:09 a.m. Janice Says...

My fiancé and I got engaged at Epcot a week before the festival and was looking all over for a great painting of Mickey and Minnie to commemorate. We didn't find THE one until I saw this painting you posted on your blog on Disney's instagram story. I am so jealous you bought that! Any idea where I could get one?

Reply
Jan 23, 2018 at 12:16 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Janice!

Wow, what a magical story! That makes us so happy to hear. You might be referring to the piece by Greg McCullough, also featured in this post. How beautiful is that? We've scoured the internet to find it for you, but it looks like it might only be available in the parks. We wish we could get it for you! Let us know if we can help you with any more details.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Jan 16, 2018 at 1 a.m. Can you use dining plan for the food Says...

Please advise - we are on the dining plan and have made dining reservations. Wondering how that work

Reply
Jan 17, 2018 at 1:17 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi there,

You may be able to use dining plan snack credits for small food items throughout the festival, but not most. Depending on the type of meal plan, you should be able to use your sit-down meal credits for wherever you have a dining reservation!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Jan 9, 2018 at 8:48 p.m. thao Says...

This all looks amazing - especially those desserts! I've got even more reasons to get down to Florida now!

Reply
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