Grab your paint palette and brushes, froggy friends! It’s time to paint the town (literally!). The EPCOT International Festival of the Arts is underway and I am SO excited. The Frog Family loves this festival for a million reasons, but it takes my top spot as the best EPCOT festival for kids like me, Lily Frog. This festival is “chalk-full” (pun toadally intended) with hands-on activities, exciting scavenger hunts, delicious food offerings, plus amazing entertainment and shopping experiences. Of course, the best part of the festival is learning about the different art forms and even being able to meet Disney artists! In this post, I’ll be diving deep into everything you need to know for an epic day at the EPCOT International Festival of the Arts with kids. Now, let’s get artsy!
Prep For a Day of Creativity at EPCOT International Festival of the Arts with Kids
Just like any artist, there’s a little prep work involved before diving in to create a real masterpiece. I feel the same way about spending a day at EPCOT Festival of the Arts with kids. With a little bit of preparation and planning, you’ll be sure to create a real showstopper of a day!
Be sure to download my checklist before you hop into the park!
Upon entering the park, pick up a Festival Passport. This colorful little booklet will be your lifeline as you make your way through the festival. Inside, you’ll find a list of artful activities, entertainment offerings, merchandise information, as well as animation activity pages about your favorite Disney films. You’ll also want to have the My Disney Experience app downloaded to your phone and ready to go as that is where you will find the park hours and specific entertainment showtimes.
If you have elementary-aged tadpoles on up, consider purchasing a Festival Disney gift card for each of them. The Festival Disney gift cards are themed with the festival’s mascot — Figment the purple dragon! Purchasing a Festival Disney gift card allows you to set a budget and load a predetermined amount onto the card. Mommy and Daddy Frog do this for my brother Tad and me. We get to spend our money on whatever we want, Mom and Dad don’t have to worry about busting the budget, and it comes with a stretchy wristband so we don’t lose our cards. We think the card and wristband make for a frogtastic souvenir to take home too!
One of my favorite interactive activities to complete is Figment’s Brush With The Masters Scavenger Hunt (more on that below!). To save you time and an extra step or two, pick up the Figment scavenger hunt map at the same time as your Disney gift cards. You can find the gift cards and scavenger hunt maps at Pin Traders, Gateway Gifts, Port of Entry, Disney Traders and World Traveler.
Create Your Own Masterpiece
Are you a creator, love art or just like to work with your hands? Then the EPCOT International Festival of the Arts is definitely for you. This festival offers several hands-on activities that allow you to express your creative flair!
Expression Section: A Paint-By-Number Mural
When at home or school, I love to color and paint. My teacher even told Mommy Frog that I’m a real natural! One of my favorite activities is to complete a paint-by-number in one of my art books. Would you believe that there is a larger-than-life version of this at EPCOT? In collaboration with other guests, you will create a colorful mural that is out on display for all to enjoy.
To do this, you’ll head over to the Expression Section kiosk and pick up a small tub of paint and a paintbrush. The tubs of paint are labeled with a corresponding number on the mural. Cast members explained that each froggy in our family was allowed to paint up to six squares. What’s even more frogtacular is that this activity is toadally FREE! The Expression Section: Paint-By-Number-Mural is located on the bridge leading to the World Showcase between the hours of 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. daily.
Kids’ Chalk Art
If you’ve ever wanted to leave your mark, the Kids’ Chalk Art is the perfect place to do that! Kids can visit the Chalk Art area and create their very own chalk masterpieces. Families are welcome to create together too. You’ll find a cast member staked out here. Ask for a bucket of chalk and get down to business! The Kids’ Chalk Art is open from 11 a.m. until about 5 p.m. and is also available free of charge.
As a budding artist, one of my favorite activities at the Festival of the Arts is the Animation Academy. Here, you basically get to take a FREE group art class, led by a Disney artist who teaches you how to draw animated Disney characters! This year, the sessions are held in the American Gardens Theatre and are offered twice each day at 12:30 and 1:30 p.m. The first session is known to be a little easier and perfect for younger froglets. Being able to walk away with a piece of art that I created all by myself is super exciting. Also, I think it makes for a unique souvenir. I couldn’t wait to hang up my new artwork in my room! Keep in mind that this is a popular event, so be sure to arrive early. Space is limited and the experience is available first-come, first-served.
Another way to create a one-in-a-kind art piece is to try your hand (or feet) at Spin Art! Just like it sounds, you’ll pick up to four different colors and then hop onto a stationary bike and pedal your feet to create your own froggerific masterpiece. There’s also the option to use your hands to spin the drum to design your canvas. To get started, head over to the Festival Market in the Germany Pavilion. There is a fee associated with this activity. One canvas is $19, or two for $30. You can also add an 8x10 frame for $10 more.
Go on an Artsy Scavenger Hunt
Just about everywhere you turn, there is amazing art to be found throughout the EPCOT International Festival of the Arts. But that’s obvious, right? But did you know that there are loads of hidden gems just waiting to be found? In fact, there are actually two separate scavenger hunts that you can complete — both filled with artistry and excitement!
Figment’s Brush with the Masters Scavenger Hunt
The old and young alike will love searching for the Festival of the Arts mascot — Figment! Offered every year, this scavenger hunt has you searching for fine art pieces throughout the World Showcase, but with a little spark of imagination added! Yes, that mischievous little dragon has somehow managed to make his way into famous works of art and your family gets to set out on a hunt to find them all. Some of these locations even take you deep into the nooks and crannies of each pavilion. You'll really get the opportunity to explore EPCOT.
You can search for Figment at your leisure as you make your way around the World Showcase, or you can choose to purchase the official scavenger hunt, complete with a map and stickers. The purchase price is $9.99, plus tax. Once you complete the hunt, be sure to return with your completed map to either Pin Traders, Gateway Gifts, Port of Entry, Disney Traders or World Travelers and collect your prize! This year’s prize is a paint-your-own Disney character. Character choices include Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Goofy and, of course, Figment!
Chalk Full of Character
If searching for Figment doesn’t wear you out, you’ll definitely want to be on the lookout for even more chalky characters. Tucked in throughout the World Showcase, you’ll spy colorful Disney characters in each of the pavilions. From Abu to Sorcerer Mickey, the Frog Family loves spotting these throughout our day. We even make it a competition to see who can find the most. Another fun thing we started doing was taking a photo of each one and creating a photo book of them all. This hunt is completely self-guided and while there isn’t an official map or prize associated, it’s still a ton of fun!
Become Part of the Art
Have you ever looked at an amazing piece of art and imagined about how neat it would be if you were actually a part of it? Well, thanks to the 3-D artful photo-ops found throughout EPCOT during the festival, now you can literally leap into and become a part of a fine art display! You'll probably even recognize some of these famous art pieces, but notice that there’s a missing subject or two. That’s where you come in!
Here’s where you can find them all:
- “Cafe Terrace at Night” and “Sunflowers” by Vincent Van Gogh, Bridge to the World Showcase
- “Luncheon of the Boating Party” by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Bridge to the World Showcase
- Peter Pan Storybook, United Kingdom Pavilion
- “Washington Crossing the Delaware” by Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze, The American Adventure Pavilion
- “Birth of Venus” by Sandro Botticelli, Italy Pavilion
- “Mona Lisa” by Leonardo da Vinci and “The Scream” by Edvard Munch, Between Italy & Germany Pavilion
- A Homage to Frida Kahlo, Mexico Pavilion
There’s no shortage of entertainment options to be had at the Festival of the Arts. Whether you see lively musicians, jaw-dropping acrobatic acts or talented performing artists, there’s something for everyone. The Frog Family enjoys catching a lot of the entertainment spontaneously as we wind our way through the festival. However, if you or your tadpoles know you want to see a certain performance, check the Entertainment section of the My Disney Experience app for the most accurate showtimes and locations for the days that you’re visiting.
For tadpoles like my brother Tad and me, these are our frog favorites:
- Art Defying Gravity: Watch an acrobatic troupe perform thrilling strength acts. Performances take place Wednesday through Sunday at the World Showcase Plaza.
- Visual Art is Performance: Dance along as an artist paints a colorful Disney character in sync with the speed and rhythm of a pop hit!
- Disney on Broadway Concert Series: Sing along to beloved Disney classics and Broadway musical numbers. There are three performance times offered each evening as well as dinner packages. Check out our guide to EPCOT’s Disney on Broadway Concert Series.
Colorful & Delicious Food Studios
Don't mind that sound — it’s just me smacking my little froggy lips! Out of all the art forms to be found at the Festival of the Arts, culinary art might just be the most appreciated. Each Food Studio offers a variety of both artful and delicious food offerings. Yum!
If you have tadpoles with adventurous palettes, then BOOM! You’re all set. However, if you hoppen to have kiddos who are picky and not willing to try foods that are non-traditional, have no worries! Be sure to visit the all-new Figment's Inspiration Station at the Odyssey. The blueberry-stuffed Pop'T Art or the refreshing fruit pizza is sure to be a hit.
Mommy Frog helped me put together a short list of a few more popular foods she thinks most kids will enjoy!
Here are our top foodie picks for EPCOT International Festival of the Arts with kids:
- Tomato Soup & Grilled Cheese at Pop Eats!
- Deconstructed Apple Pie à la mode at The Deconstructed Dish
- Orange Mousse with Lemon Cake and Raspberry Meringues at Deco Delights
- Passion Fruit Mousse with Dragon Fruit Jam at Vibrante & Vívido Encanto Cocina
- Mocha Funnel Cake at Funnel Cake The American Adventure
- Mozzarella Fritta at L'Arte Di Mangiare
Wave Hello to Figment
A trip to EPCOT International Festival of the Arts with kids just wouldn't be complete without a visit to the Imagination Pavilion to wave hello to Figment himself! The Journey Into Imagination with Figment attraction is a must-do for me! Figment's silly antics make us giggle throughout the entire ride. We are always inspired that all it takes is one little spark of imagination to create something new!
Take Home a Work of Art
Lastly, be sure to commemorate your tadpole's fun-filled day at EPCOT International Festival of the Arts. You'll definitely want to take home a piece of art or merchandise. The festival is exploding with stunning art pieces to choose from. Got a tight budget? Then you'll find framed prints of many of the original pieces. There are even postcard-sized prints that are perfect for getting signed by one of the talented Disney artists!
In addition to the art studios, you'll find Festival Markets that offer a variety of Disney merchandise. This year's Festival Merchandise design, of course, features Figment along with chalkboards and brightly colored rainbows. In addition, the Figment Popcorn Bucket and Figment Disney Munchlings are two popular merchandise items out this year.
Are you ready to leave your creative mark at the EPCOT International Festival of the Arts with kids? Let us know what you’re looking forward to the most, or leave your questions in the comments. We’d love to hear from you!
Related: Our Colorful Guide to EPCOT International Festival of the Arts 2023