Epcot International Festival of the Arts will be returning for its fourth year, from Jan. 17 to 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 paint the full picture of the best eats and acts to enjoy during the Epcot International Festival of the Arts 2020 ... plus our top tips to make your visit a masterpiece!
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!
Performances take 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. Reservations can be made by calling (407) WDW-Fest or visiting ArtfulEpcot.com. The participating restaurants — Biergarten Restaurant, Coral Reef Restaurant and Rose & Crown Pub & Dining Room — serve lunch and dinner, while the Garden Grill Restaurant offers a breakfast option in addition to lunch and dinner.
Disney on Broadway Concert Series Schedule 2020
- Jan. 17, 20, 21 and 24 – Kissy Simmons and Alton Fitzgerald White (“The Lion King”)
- Jan. 18, 19, 22 and 23 – Heidi Blickenstaff (“The Little Mermaid”; “Freaky Friday”) and Gavin Lee (“Mary Poppins”)
- Jan. 25 – Special performance featuring Simmons, White, Blickenstaff and Lee
- Jan. 26, 28, 29; Feb. 1, 2, 5 and 6 – Kara Lindsay (“Newsies”) and Kevin Massey (“Tarzan”)
- Jan. 27, 30, 31; Feb. 3, 4, 7 and 8 – Liana Hunt (“Newsies”) and Adam Jacobs (“Aladdin”)
- Feb. 9 – Special performance featuring Lindsay, Massey, Hunt and Jacobs
- Feb. 10, 12, 13, 18, 19, 22 and 23 – Ashley Brown (“Mary Poppins”; “Beauty and the Beast”) and Josh Strickland ("Tarzan")
- Feb. 11, 14, 15, 16, 17, 20, 21 – Syndee Winters (“The Lion King”) and Michael James Scott (“Aladdin”)
- Feb. 24 – Special performance featuring Brown, Strickland, Winters and Scott
Keep hopping back, because there are additional January and February performances still to be announced!
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!
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!
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!
Drawing on Inspiration Gallery and Pavilion Galleries
Catch 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.
- 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
Discover the legendary gods and myths of Norway's real vikings.
- Chalk Gallery
See forced perspective chalk art with a three-dimensional look and watch imaginative artists recreate works by famous masters.
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.
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.
One of the coolest local art booths in 2019 was Bowes Signature Candles, where you could 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.
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 and Treats
If you know us at all by now, you know that we toadally live for the food at Epcot’s annual festivals. Festival-exclusive Food Studios will be open daily during the festival from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. across Future World and World Showcase. Full food menus are already listed on Disney's website. We see some returning favorites, such as the creamy Brie bread bowl, and new dishes to try!
New this year is the Wonderful Walk of Colorful Cuisine. Similar to the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays' Cookie Stroll, you'll receive a colorful culinary surprise if you get five menu items from the Wonderful Walk of Colorful Cuisine locations and receive a stamp in the Festival Passport for each of them.
Epcot International Festival of the Arts did not disappoint in 2019, so we're toadally hyped for 2020! 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.
Here are some additional studios' food and drink 2019 highlights:
- The Artist’s Table — Beef Wellington with mushroom bordelaise, fennel cream and roasted baby vegetables (returning in 2020)
- 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 (returning in 2020)
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
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
- Pick 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 and 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!
- 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!
- 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.
- Don’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