So who says January is the wrong time to visit Walt Disney World? Not me. No calendar day is the wrong day to visit Walt Disney World! Perhaps those naysayers on January travel to the happiest place on earth are comparing it to the busy times as Halloween and Christmas as there are bonus events and additional goodies as exclusive parades and merchandise. Well, my friends, these goodies also are on offer in January – but this time at Epcot. Let us explain further with our experience at Disney’s Epcot International Festival of the Arts.

Disney’s Epcot International Festival of the Arts
Disney’s Epcot International Festival of the Arts

Disney’s Epcot International Festival of The Arts

Logistics:

  • The Festival takes place at Epcot!
  • New for 2018, the festival activities will be available 7 days a week! (Until now it was only certain days.)
  • It is no extra charge to attend the festival. It is fully accessible with your park admission!
  • The festival features various art media including, fine, culinary, performing, and more.
  • There is exclusive festival merchandise including pins, clothing, and more.
  • An interactive Scavenger Hunt featuring Figment will take you through the World Showcase for exclusive pin prizes.
  • Fun and interactive Memory Maker photo booths are be scattered around the park.
  • The Animation Academy will be open for seminars and workshops
  • Various shows and music performances will be available for exclusive viewing and with dining packages.
  • Meet artists on site showcasing their work
Disney’s Epcot International Festival of the Arts
Disney’s Epcot International Festival of the Arts

Fine Art

So this was one of our favourite parts of the festival (not our wallet’s favourite though!) Scattered throughout the park in the World Showcase Disney artists display their exclusive pieces for guests to admire and purchase. We were amazed at all the jaw-dropping gorgeous pieces. The artistic depictions of favourite characters was awe-inspiring to budding artists and seasoned ones alike. We took away with us some beautiful collectible pieces including an original canvas of Lilo and Stitch, a Seven Dwarfs print, and a gorgeous illustrated book exclusively distributed at the festival. Each piece we purchased was created and developed by a different featured artist. And as luck would have it, we got the absolute pleasure of meeting two of them.

Disney’s Epcot International Festival of the Arts
Disney’s Epcot International Festival of the Arts

Stephen Fishwick

We met Stephen at Disney’s Epcot International Festival of Arts! His artistic brilliance was behind the creation of our gorgeous Lilo and Stitch canvas. After studies in Southern California and showing talent in his high school years, it is no wonder after seeing examples of his work, that Disney requested his expertise through paint. The piece we purchased came with an accompanied certificate of authenticity and, lucky for us, his artist’s signature. Stephen will be at the festival for its duration. Do yourself a favour and check out his work! We loved all his work and with grave difficulty had to choose just one piece to take with us.

Stephen Fishwick signing our piece of art at Disney's Epcot Festival of the Arts
Stephen Fishwick signing our piece of art at Disney’s Epcot Festival of the Arts

 

With Stephen Fishwick at Disney's Epcot Festival of the Arts
With Stephen Fishwick at Disney’s Epcot Festival of the Arts

Rob Kaz

My husband was completely enamored with this artist’s work. The character illustration, combined with the intricate paint strokes made for classic superb artistry. An artist whose frog “Beau” is hidden in all his works, who is passionate about everything he does, and whose works photos simply don’t do justice, Rob was a pleasure to meet and one of the more humble. A talented one whose life began in New Jersey, Rob took his skills to Florida where fate met him when an animation gallery owner was taken aback by his work. Nowadays, you can see pieces with licensed characters from a variety of brands including Disney, Pixar, Warner Bros, Peanuts, and Lucasfilms. Our find was a beautiful book, or as I call it, my husband’s newfound inspiration.

Rob Kaz's Beau Frog who is hidden in all Rob's Work
Rob Kaz’s Beau Frog who is hidden in all Rob’s Work

 

Meeting Rob Kaz at Disney's Epcot International Festival of the Arts
Meeting Rob Kaz at Disney’s Epcot International Festival of the Arts

Figment’s Scavenger Hunt

So I totally loved this element. Scavenger Hunts are so fun! In this case, I was super chuffed to take part not only to find Figment within world famous artworks, but also for the exclusive pins given as prizes for completing it. There are four exclusive pins to choose from so my husband and I each purchased a package so we could get two of them for our collection.

Figment Scavenger Hunt, Disney's Epcot International Festival of the Arts
Figment Scavenger Hunt, Disney’s Epcot International Festival of the Arts

 

Figment Scavenger Hunt, Disney's Epcot International Festival of the Arts
Figment Scavenger Hunt, Disney’s Epcot International Festival of the Arts

 

Figment Scavenger Hunt, Disney's Epcot International Festival of the Arts
Figment Scavenger Hunt, Disney’s Epcot International Festival of the Arts

 

 

Our Scavenger Hunt and pins
Our Scavenger Hunt and pins

 

Figment Scavenger Hunt, Disney's Epcot International Festival of the Arts
Figment Scavenger Hunt, Disney’s Epcot International Festival of the Arts

Animation Academy

So when you visit Epcot during the International Festival of the Arts you have the opportunity to attend complimentary seminars on a variety of art forms. I seriously was tempted to attend one that explains the skills required for exceptional foam art on espresso drinks (Yes coffee snobs, there are actual courses baristas take to craft that PERFECT heart on your crema…). But sadly conflicting schedules kept us from enjoying this session. But this may not be the case for you! When you get to the park, do check the times and schedule of seminars in the academy as there are quite a few spanning the entire artistry spectrum. Everything from animation to fine art, to botanical, to culinary.

Incredible Foam Art on my Latte at Mildred's
Learn to do Incredible Foam Art like this!

Although we missed out on the foam art workshop, we were able to take in one of the art classes running with an animator! All day she held sessions featuring various Disney characters for guests to draw together. We caught the class featuring Tigger! Hubby and I followed along and although he is the artist in the family, I don’t think my piece turned out half bad….

Animation Academy
Animation Academy

 

Animation Academy
Animation Academy

 

Animation Academy
Animation Academy

 

My hubby's Tigger drawing!
My hubby’s Tigger drawing!

Food

Epcot does not shy away from excellent food. And that is all year round. So you can only imagine what was on offer for the festival. Everything from tasting plates, to artistically crafted dishes and drinks for the master chefs out there seeking inspiration.

International Festival of Arts Palette cookie credit: Disney Insider
International Festival of Arts Palette cookie
credit: Disney Insider

The food truly takes gastronomy up a notch in the parks. If you have an appetite for some extraordinary dishes, do consider eating your way through the festival in lieu of having a 3-course meal at the already stylish and gourmet restaurants throughout the premises.

If tasting plates, although elegant and flavourful, really aren’t your thing, but you want to enjoy the culinary side of the festival with a bang, you can opt for a dining and show package. Some of Epcot’s wonderful restaurants are participating in these great package deals that include special seating for the Broadway productions and concerts scheduled during the event. Do make your reservations early as they will fill up very quickly. (especially since this year Frozen is one of the shows!)

For a full listing of all the restaurants, booths, cuisines, and signature libations featured in the festival, as well as showtimes and schedules for the dining packages, do pick up one of the passports from one of the many cast members handing them out throughout the park.

The World Showcase - the backdrop to Disney's Epcot International Festival of the Arts - find some great dining here.
The World Showcase – the backdrop to Disney’s Epcot International Festival of the Arts – find some great dining here.

Memory Maker Photo Booths

If you haven’t already, before you arrive on your holiday BUY THE MEMORY MAKER. Now some of you who are going on a fixed budget may be thinking it is a pricey add-on, but seriously my friends, it is worth every single penny. First off, you get ALL the ride photos and videos included. Think about that for a second. You go on the Toy Story ride and get a ride photo and video included. Your epic screaming face on Aerosmith Rockin’ Roller Coaster is priceless and you want it on your mantle. It is included. To buy them individually will cost MORE than the price of the Memory Maker! Okay so enough of my sales plug, but honestly, buy the thing. And buy it prior to your arrival to save $50 approx.!

Disney's Epcot International Festival of the Arts - a photo included in the Memory Maker!
Disney’s Epcot International Festival of the Arts – a photo included in the Memory Maker!

So there are these really cool photo booths scattered all across the World Showcase for Disney’s Epcot International Festival of the Arts. I mean, it isn’t every day that you get the chance to pose like Mona Lisa is it? These fun booths give guests some fun memories and allow them to have their contribution to the fine art world. Each booth has an accompanied Memory Maker photographer AND many of them also include a fun video. We enjoyed posing like some of the most famous portraits of all time and have hilarious memories from our trip.

Disney's Epcot International Festival of the Arts - a photo included in the Memory Maker!
Disney’s Epcot International Festival of the Arts – a photo included in the Memory Maker!

 

Disney's Epcot International Festival of the Arts - a photo included in the Memory Maker!
Disney’s Epcot International Festival of the Arts – a photo included in the Memory Maker!

 

Disney's Epcot International Festival of the Arts - a photo included in the Memory Maker!
Disney’s Epcot International Festival of the Arts – a photo included in the Memory Maker!

 

Show Off Your Art Skills

Now, you didn’t think that Disney wouldn’t have something fun and interactive for guests to put their art skills to the test now did you? I have touched on the Animation Academy sessions with the animator, BUT how about painting the official mural? Guests can grab a paintbrush and actually paint a few squares of the official mural. With thousands contributing to the masterpiece, within days (though freezing while we were there!) it was turning into a true piece of art.

paintbrushes are given to guests to paint the mural
paintbrushes are given to guests to paint the mural

Although it was quite chilly when we took in Disney’s Epcot Festival of the Arts, we can highly recommend heading to Walt Disney World during January and February to take in the event. Meeting the artists, drawing characters, and eating brilliantly crafted food makes for such a fun time and endless memories. Be sure to make the most of your time with the scavenger hunt, posing for photos, and stopping to meet the artists behind the talent. That in itself is a work of art.

Want to show off your fandom at the parks with adorable Disney outfits? Grab yours below!

Ratatouille skirt

Ratatouille skirt
Ratatouille skirt
Credit: Brave Little Tailor

Figment dress

Figment dress
Figment dress
Credit: Brave Little Tailor

Violet Lemonade t-shirt inspired by Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival!

Violet Lemonade t-shirt inspired by Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival!
Violet Lemonade t-shirt inspired by Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival!
Credit: Brave Little Tailor
Disney's Epcot International Festival of the Arts
Disney’s Epcot International Festival of the Arts

 

Your Guide to Disney's Epcot International Festival of Arts
Your Guide to Disney’s Epcot International Festival of Arts 

 

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