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Guide to Epcot International Festival of the Arts

by Mommy Frog on September 3, 2019 11 Orlando   Video

Epcot International Festival of the ArtsThe Epcot International Festival of the Arts will be returning for its fourth year, starting on Jan. 17 through Feb. 24, 2020. This festival highlights creativity in all forms — the visual, performing and culinary arts. We’re so hoppy the event is taking place seven days a week, which gives us plenty of time to admire the art and devour limited-time treats from the Food Studios! Even better, the Epcot International Festival of the Arts is included with regular park admission.

In my not-so-humble opinion, this festival is Epcot's best. 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 2020 ... plus tips!

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. In 2019, we saw the sibling duo, Arielle Jacobs and Adam Jacobs, who have both starred in Broadway’s Aladdin (Arielle is the current Princess Jasmine and Adam originated the title role)! If you have theater-loving tadpoles in your family, you won’t want to miss the show. All of 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 Festival of the Arts - Disney Broadway Concerts - Arielle Jacob

Last year, performances took place NIGHTLY at the America Gardens Theatre in World Showcase at 5:30 p.m., 6:45 p.m. and 8 p.m. That means we can sing and dance every day of the week! Dining packages are available if you'd like to guarantee a show seating, and reservations are open online or by calling 407-939-7463. The lineup for 2020 has not yet been announced, but last year's performers are listed below.

Disney on Broadway Concert Series Schedule 2019

Jan. 18-19, 2019 – Kerry Butler & Kevin Massey

Jan. 20-21, 2019 – Meredith Inglesby & Steve Blanchard

Jan. 22-23, 2019 – Kerry Butler & Kevin Massey

Jan. 24-25, 2019 – Meredith Inglesby & Steve Blanchard

Jan. 26, 2019 – Kerry Butler & Kevin Massey

Jan. 27, 2019 – Meredith Inglesby & Steve Blanchard

Jan. 28-29, 2019 – Arielle Jacobs & Adam Jacobs

Jan. 30-31, 2019 – Heidi Blickenstaff & Gavin Lee

Feb. 1-2, 2019 – Arielle Jacobs & Adam Jacobs

Feb. 3-4, 2019 – Heidi Blickenstaff & Gavin Lee

Feb. 5-6, 2019 – Arielle Jacobs & Adam Jacobs

Feb. 7-8, 2019 – Heidi Blickenstaff & Gavin Lee

Feb. 9, 2019 – Arielle Jacobs & Adam Jacobs

Feb. 10, 2019 – Heidi Blickenstaff & Gavin Lee

Feb. 11-12, 2019 – Ashley Brown & Josh Strickland

Feb. 13-14, 2019 – Kissy Simmons & Alton Fitzgerald White

Feb. 15-16, 2019 – Ashley Brown & Josh Strickland

Feb. 17-18, 2019 – Kissy Simmons & Alton Fitzgerald White

Feb. 19-20, 2019 – Ashley Brown & Josh Strickland

Feb. 21-22, 2019 – Kissy Simmons & Alton Fitzgerald White

Feb. 23, 2019 – Ashley Brown & Josh Strickland

Feb. 24, 2019 – Kissy Simmons & Alton Fitzgerald White

Feb. 25, 2019 – Ashley Brown, Josh Strickland, Kissy Simmons, Alton Fitzgerald White

Epcot International Festival of the Arts Variety Acts

Art in Action

Epcot Festival of the Arts - Artist

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 Festival of the Arts - Michelle St. Laurent

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 have a quick chat with Michelle St. Laurent, one of our favorite Disney artists from last year. Her favorite characters to paint are the seven dwarfs!

Epcot Festival of the Arts - Stitch Chalk Art

What's wonderful about Epcot International Festival of the Arts is that the art spans beyond Disney. We watched artists create both 2-D and 3-D chalk art inspired by famous paintings in addition to beloved Disney characters. There is something for every Frog Family taste!

Drawing on Inspiration Gallery and Pavilion Galleries

Located at Odyssey Festival Showplace by Test Track, the brand-new Drawing on Inspiration Gallery features art that has influenced Disney history. Catch more multi-cultural art in the Pavilion Galleries open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.

  • American Heritage Gallery – American Adventure
    Explore the artistry of American Indian communities from seven geographic regions across the United States.
  • Bijutsu-kan Gallery – Japan
    Delve into the origin and evolution of “kawaii,” Japan’s cute culture.
  • Gallery of Arts and History – Morocco
    Check out the unique designs of time-honored crafts.
  • House of the Whispering Willows – China
    Discover the wonders of the new Shanghai Disney Resort.
  • Mexico Folk Art Gallery – Mexico
    Celebrate the artistry and traditions of Día de Muertos.
  • Stave Church Gallery – Norway
    Observe art representational of the culture that influenced Disney’s Frozen.
  • Chalk Gallery
    See forced perspective chalk art with a three-dimensional look and watch imaginative artists recreate works by famous masters.

Interactive Events

Epcot Festival of the Arts Mural

The whole family can get in on the arts action during Epcot Festival of the Arts interactive events. With Figment's Brush with the Master Scavenger Hunt, the tadpoles can purchase a map and stickers at locations around Epcot and then search for Figment hiding inside famous works of art at each World Showcase pavilion. At World Showcase Plaza, everyone can grab a paintbrush and contribute to a giant mural, which is typically open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

Epcot Festival of the Arts Crafts

The event brings back free Animation Academy classes during which you can learn to draw some of your favorite Disney characters. Hop over to Kidcot Fun Stops in each World Showcase pavilion to draw, color and collect activity cards.

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.

If you’re a fan of Etsy-esqué art, you’ll find yourself captivated around World Showcase by Disney-inspired artists selling custom products.

Epcot Festival of the Arts Candles

One of the coolest local art booths was Bowes Signature Candles, where you can create your own all-natural soy candle. Lily and Tad mixed and matched two of their favorite scents, designed the candle’s glass canvas and combined colors to create the wax. The candles were ready for pick-up about 45 minutes later.

Epcot Festival of the Arts Candles

Amazing Extras

While I’m a huge fan of planning ahead, the most magical parts of the Epcot International Festival of the Arts were spontaneous. While not on a set schedule, we came 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 kept us 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 toadally live for the food at Epcot’s annual festivals. Epcot International Festival of the Arts did not disappoint. Not only was the food absolutely delicious, but the platters were oh-so-Instagram-worthy. Each snack and meal is a work of art both in taste and sight! We were hoppy enough to try Sopes de Chilorio (a slow-braised pork dish served on fried corn dough) at Mexico’s Food Studio, the El Artista Hambriento, aka The Hungry Artist.

Epcot Festival of the Arts - Sopes de Chorilio

Festival-exclusive Food Studios were open daily during the festival from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. across Future World and World Showcase last year, and we suspect they will return again for 2020. Here are some of studios' food and drink highlights:

  • The Artist’s Table — Beef Wellington with mushroom bordelaise, fennel cream and roasted baby vegetables
  • Taste Track (Future World) — Lobster bacon macaroni and cheese in a bread cone
  • Takumi Table (Japan) — Sushi doughnut featuring salmon, tuna, shrimp, avocado and masago
  • L’Art de la Cuisine Française (France) — Warm creamy Brie in a bread bowl

Epcot International Festival of the Arts - Cookie

Don’t froget dessert! Some favorites among the tadpoles were the Artist Palette jumbo chocolate chip cookie (which can be found at multiple locations) and the white chocolate figment puzzle, complete with icing and sprinkles to decorate, at The Painter’s Palate.

Seminars and Workshops at Epcot International Festival of the Arts

Epcot Festival of the Arts Seminar

Disney artists, guest experts and cast members present both free 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 things like calligraphy and floral arranging, or photography and food styling.

Many seminars are free. Workshops are offered Friday to Monday. 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

  • Epcot Festival of the Arts PassportPick up a free festival passport at the park entrance before you head in. It was perfect for planning our day! Everything you need to know is packed inside, including all of the Food Studios menus and the times & locations for shows and activities.
  • Try scheduling your visit for Tuesday through Thursday and mornings for lighter crowds. Locals tend to stop by on the weekends!
  • If you have the time, try dedicating a full day to Epcot. There is so much to do and see at the Festival of the Arts!
  • 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 Festival of the Arts Aurora

  • There are many Disney character meet and greet stations located around the park. They even have their own individual art easel ready for the photo-op!

Epcot International Festival of the Arts - Star Wars Art

  • 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.
  • In general, all of the artist tents and Food Studios are located by the main path near the lagoon (rather than inside the pavilions). If you grab food at a Food Studio, you’ll need to find a nearby bench or a standing table.
  • Epcot Festival of the Arts - Bubble TeaDon’t forget about the other half of the Food Studios menus — the drinks! Parents can enjoy specialty adult beverages (Leap had a tough time picking among the many beer and wine options), while the tadpoles can sip on “Panda” bubble tea or the Pop-Artsicle slushy.
  • 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 can't wait to see what's in store for the festival in 2020. Have a question about the Epcot International Festival of the Arts? Ask away in comments, and then hop over to purchase discount Disney World tickets.

Related: Guide to Walt Disney World Events

Hoppy planning!

Keep hopping, Mommy Frog!
View Comments
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Feb 14, 2019 at 9:29 p.m. Melissa Says...

Hi there! I was wondering if you have any advice on how early to show up if we want to do a seminar? I'm not sure how popular they have been, and I definitely dont want to miss out!

Reply
Feb 21, 2019 at 2:48 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Melissa,

On weekdays a half hour should be fine. For weekends, you'd probably want to consider 45 minutes and perhaps a bit earlier if it was in the afternoon.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Feb 12, 2019 at 2:31 p.m. annie Says...

Thanks for all of the amazing tips and info! We are going next week and cannot wait to try some of the things you recommended!

On a side note...would you guys happen to know if Hollywood Studios will be hosting After Dark events or Morning Magic Ticketed events during the summer months? As of now it is only scheduled until April 13; but was hoping they would start selling tickets for the summer. Any info would be super. Thanks again for your awesome posts!

Reply
Feb 12, 2019 at 8:56 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Annie!

We haven't heard anything yet, but we have our eyes and ears open! There's some Extra Magic Hours for Hollywood Studios available in the summer (as I'm sure you saw!) but nothing ticketed like Morning Magic or After Dark just yet.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Jan 10, 2019 at 4:19 p.m. Ashley Says...

Is there a map that shows where the food studios are located?

Reply
Jan 17, 2019 at 8:27 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Ashley,

There will be a map of food locations available soon when the festival starts!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
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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