Epcot’s International Festival of the Arts is the first of Epcot’s major events/festivals. Held in the beginning of each year, it’s the perfect place to spend those cooler mornings and evenings; and, with lots of (duh!) art, food and drink, and performances, it’s definitely a fun time! So, for all the info you need on this amazing festival, check out our ultimate guide to Epcot’s International Festival of the Arts!
general info about epcot’s international festival of the arts
This special event is held between January and February of each year. Lasting about 4 weeks, it’s one of the shortest festivals that Epcot offers. With this special event, there isn’t an additional fee that must be paid. If you’ve purchased a ticket to be at the parks, you’re in!
Just keep sure to keep up-to-date on the general price of the tickets. There are often benefits to going for three or four days (and you get to see most, if not all, of the parks too!).
This event is focused on all things art: visual, performance, and (of course) culinary.
And, as an added bonus, you get to ride all of the rides too! A few of our faves? Test Track, Spaceship Earth (pro tip: make a funny face when they take your photo!), Soarin’ Around the World, and Frozen Ever After! If you’re all about the rides, be sure to check out our FastPass recommendations.
All around the park, there are stands featuring amazing artwork by various artists. From paintings to sculpture, you’ll be sure to find a Disney-inspired piece of art that you fancy. I go and am blown away by the talent and creativity of these people. It totally makes me wish I could draw!
There are also interactive things you can do too. Each year, there has been a fun paint-by-number mural that you get to be a part of. There’s also a drawing class (that I don’t go to because I can hardly draw a stick figure and would need some major help!), and there are super fun photo ops that feature well…art! The painting of Washington crossing the Delaware River? You can be part of it!
For those that love broadway or music, this is for you. There is a Disney on Broadway concert series that is simply amazing. This year, the man that played the genie in Aladdin (he was an all-time fave!) was there when we were! We didn’t make it to the show (the first one begins at 5:30 and it was a school night – we know…we’re lame!) but definitely plan to enjoy one next year. We hear they’re truly amazing.
There are also smaller shows/performances around. We saw the living statues and a man that we’re sure was a contortionist (the crowd was filled with too many tall people and kids on shoulders for us shorties to see) this year!
You can also meet various characters next to their portrait. It’s a fun way to interact with the characters – and we loved meeting Belle, even if she totally beat us by asking a book-related question first!
Oh man, this was our absolute favorite part about the festival. I mean, who doesn’t love some good food and drink? We know we sure love it! And there are lots of options too!
Please note that the food and drink begins at 11:00 am, when the World Showcase opens. We did attempt to get some of their donut and latte pairings for breakfast but were unable to get these prior to 11:00 either. So don’t be like us; don’t assume that breakfast food will be served at breakfast time!
The food is so amazing. We tried something from almost every country this year and only found one item that we disliked. That item was the Sea Butterfly, a beautiful, insta-worthy drink that was not worth it! To me, it tasted like pure vodka – and the cheap kind too!
See? Isn’t it so beautiful!? But, even though this one drink wasn’t so good, it didn’t ruin the overall experience (even if it was a waste of, like, 12 bucks!).
Now, the food is set up in various stands/stations around the World Showcase. There are stations dedicate to food that is reminiscent of the country you’re in and food that is pure art!
For those unsure of where to begin, pick up a passport; they’re located at either the front of the park or, if you’ve forgotten to grab one in the bustle of entering Epcot, get one when you grab your first treat. This passport contains a ton of info, ranging from the exact performers that are featured on the date(s) you’re there to the food that is served at each stand.
It’s fun, on its own, attempting to check off the various food stands or interactive exhibits. It’s kind of a personal game, and I always compete against myself. This time, I checked off all but two of the food stands.
Pro Tip: Go with a friend. You can share the items, which helps you cross things off while also saving money.
Now that we’ve given you some general info, we wanted to share some of our favorite experiences, food, and more. It is our guide to Epcot’s International Festival of the Arts, isn’t it?
While we love riding the rides, we truly love to explore the countries (and the various stands selling art) in search of all of the fun and hidden art. In each of the countries, there’s at least one character painted on the walls of a building. Did you see Lumiére in the last picture?
It’s such a fun little adventure to have, as it makes exploring the countries a different experience. Sometimes, I notice things that I never noticed before, like a little shop or a small seating area. It’s wonderful!
Next up? The photo ops! With all of the cute art up, there’s lots of backdrops for photos of you – or your food! Heck, check out some of the photos that are already in this post!?
But, for those craving more, here are a couple!
We loved attempting to improve our food photos for sure – and we kind of think we got the hang of it. Do you agree?
PS: We aren’t including a lot of photo spots, because you definitely need to check out our upcoming post about all of the epic Epcot photo spots! For now, check out our favorite Instagram spots at Hollywood Studios.
We truly loved a ton of the food and drink options, but here are a few of our all-time favorites: Wild Mushroom Risotto, Beef Wellington (it isn’t complete without the ibis that tried to steal it from us!), Diego’s Blackberry Margarita, and the Deconstructed BLT.
We tried few desserts, but the Chocolate, Peanut Butter, and Pretzel Crunch was absolutely amazing! For those that aren’t interested in something too sweet, this was the perfect thing to get!
In conclusion, Epcot’s International Festival of the Arts is a stunning special event that brings the joy into the new year. It’s perfect for those wanting a taste of one of Epcot’s festivals while also being in the park at a relatively “less busy” season.
Have you ever been? Were there things we left out? Do you have any other questions? Let us know in the comments below!