When it comes to Disney World, January and February tend to be part of the park’s “slow season.” In general, the beginning of the year is the least crowded time to visit and there is a world of difference from the holiday crowds you’ll see in December. It’s a great time to visit and even more so if you overlap your visit with the Epcot Festival of the Arts. Running for around 5 weeks from late January through February, Epcot’s Festival of the Arts is one of Disney’s newest additions. 2019 will be the third year of the festival and it is sure to be an amazing experience. We will be heading out to Epcot once again this January to check out this amazing festival.
Everything to know about the Incredible Epcot Festival of the Arts 2019
So what is the Festival of the Arts?
Held between January 18 – February 25, 2019, the festival is Disney’s “Ultimate Celebration of Art, Entertainment, and Food.” As part of the Epcot experience, the festival has a very international flare and incorporates both live and interactive performances, art exhibits, workshops and seminars, and delicious festival exclusive food items.
The Festival of the Arts is included as part of general admission, 7 days a week at Epcot. There is no need to buy any extra passes but a few of the more impressive workshops and seminars do come with an extra optional charge if you’d like to participate.
Here’s our breakdown of the festival events and everything you need to know to get the most out of your visit.
Festival of the Arts – Culinary Arts
If you have ever had a meal just too pretty to eat, you’ll appreciate the effort and skill of the culinary arts available during the Epcot Festival of the Arts. With exclusive art-inspired menus and treats available at the Food Studios, this is definitely one of the most “instagramable” food opportunities at Epcot.
The Food Studios are open throughout the day and feature small bites, beer, wine, and cocktails. Many of the dishes have fun art-inspired names with others incorporating elements from the art world’s most famous pieces. Some highlights include The Artist’s Table, The Painter’s Palate, Pop Eats!, and the Deconstructed Dish Studio.
Most visitors would say the food is not the real highlight of the Festival of Arts. For the true foodies and me, Epcot’s Food and Wine festival is still the best yearly event. That being said, I absolutely loved the art-inspired food options at the Festival of the Arts are not only delicious but also fun and beautiful.
Festival of the Arts – Performing Arts
Live and interactive performances take place throughout the park during the festival. While in the first two years of the event, major performances only happened on weekend nights, in year three the Festival of the Arts features nightly concerts, as well as smaller performances throughout the day.
During the Epcot Festival of the Arts, you might see living statues, marching bands, acrobatic performers, singers, or just about any other type of performing artist you might imagine. If you like to wander, you are sure to discover some really incredible art performances throughout the park.
One of the true highlights of the Festival of the Arts is the Disney on Broadway Concert Series. The concert’s taking place three times each night – 5:30, 6:45, and 8 p.m – at the America Gardens Theatre in World Showcase.
The Concert Series features performers directly from Disney’s award-winning Broadway shows who bring the magic of Broadway back to the Disney park. The 2-person shows incorporate some of the best music from your favorite Disney movies and also exclusive songs from the Broadway shows.
2019 EPCOT Festival of the Arts Show:
In 2019, the Concert Series will feature performers from all of Disney’s best Broadway shows including Beauty and the Beast, Tarzan, The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Mary Poppins, Freaky Friday, and The Lion King.
If you love Broadway shows or just like to sing along to your favorite Disney music, the Disney on Broadway Concert Series is a must-see. With three performances each night, seating is usually not an issue but if you’d prefer priority seating, Disney also offers dining packages with dinner and the show with a reserved seat.
EPCOT Festival of the Arts – Visual Arts
One of my kids’ favorite things about the Epcot Festival of the Arts, was getting to be a part of famous photos. Throughout the park, there are some incredible photo ops for you to take inside some of the world’s most famous art.
For the art lovers and the future artists in the family, the visual art exhibits, workshops, and seminars during the festival are all top notch. Art exhibits are arranged throughout the park and feature everything from iconic Disney art to themed galleries on American heritage, Mexico’s Dia de Muertos, and pieces from Nordic culture, a major influence on the Disney movie Frozen.
The Festival of the Arts is far from a simple art museum or gallery experience though. In addition to the galleries, the festival also features interactive art experiences and opportunities to see incredible artists practicing their craft.
At the Chalk Gallery, you can watch world-class chalk artists create fun, three-dimensional looking pieces. Around the World Showcase, you’ll find artists creating stained glass pieces, spray painting, and talking with guests while painting true Disney-inspired masterpieces.
If you’d like the chance to get even more hands-on, the Festival of the Arts also features a number of workshops and seminars, with some offered complementary and others as an extra cost. At the “Paint with a Disney Artist” workshop, you can learn directly from some of Disney’s best artists.
Floral design, mixed media, calligraphy, and many other art forms are also offered in paid workshops by experts. Younger artists in the family might want to check out “Figment’s Brush.”
There are truly artists around every corner during the Epcot Festival of the Arts. You might see an artist sketching a street scene in a small quiet corner or furiously dancing while simultaneously painting right in the middle of the action. If you’d like an extra special souvenir, art pieces throughout the park are also for sale from handmade wearable art pieces like jewelry and bags to giant (won’t fit in your luggage) wall art.
For many visitors, the Epcot International Festival of the Arts is one of the park’s best festivals to experience. While not as famous as the Food & Wine or Flower & Garden festivals, the Festival of the Arts has a bit of the best of both festivals, without the crowds. Whether you are an art lover or not, the Festival of the Arts is sure to make your Disney Epcot visit even more magical.
Have you Been to EPCOT Festival of the Arts?
Let us know your favorite part in the comments
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