Five Artsy Things to Know about Epcot International Festival of the Arts

Epcot International Festival of the Arts

If you squeal with delight over Walt Disney World‘s famous Epcot festivals (International Flower & Garden and International Food & Wine), warm up those vocal chords because there’s a new one in town: Epcot International Festival of the Arts. For its inaugural year, WDW is going all out with its magical blend of art, food, and fun. Here’s the top five things you need to know before you go.

Epcot International Festival of the Arts Triple Chocolate Mousse.
Epcot International Festival of the Arts Triple Chocolate Mousse. Credit: Walt Disney World News

Kickoff and Details

February 13th is the opening date for the art festival and will take place over six weekends through February 20, 2017. From Friday through Monday each week, FotA will feature new art each week which will not only include artwork but food masterpieces as well.

For this year, there’s a fun collaboration with Disney Theatrical Productions. Each night, a new showcase of music and Broadway talent will take to the America Gardens Theatre stage. Performances will be at 5:30 p.m., 6:45 p.m. and 8 p.m. Friday through Monday of each festival weekend. These shows are likely to be standing room only, so if you really want or need to sit, queue up early.

Over the six weekends of the festival, park Guests will enjoy different pairings of phenomenal Broadway talent in concert, performing songs from some of Disney on Broadway’s award-winning shows, including ‪The Lion King‪, Newsies, and Aladdin, plus others that have not been announced.

Just in case you need it, here’s the official Epcot map.

Disney Artists

One of our favorite things to do at Epcot is head to The Art of Disney store near Spaceship Earth and watch live Disney artists create drawings for guests. Happily, the FotA will incorporate Disney super artists and will include live sessions.

Pieces from Disney historical artist Mary Blair and Herb Ryman art of Epcot, to current Disney artists Joe Kaminski and Costa Alavezos will be shown, and watching their creative processes is alone worth a visit. Hands-on workshops and complimentary seminars will be available as well.

PhotoPass Photo Ops

PhotoPass “paparazzi” will be hanging around World Showcase to add magic into your Memory Maker photos. “Festival Guests can cross the Delaware with George Washington, scream along with Edvard Munch or embody Monet’s impressionistic flair at immersive photo stops throughout World Showcase.”

Photo Locations

  • American Adventure
  • Future World Fountain Stage Plaza
  • Italy
  • United Kingdom
Epcot International Festival of the Arts Pop Tart Art.
Epcot International Festival of the Arts Pop Tart Art. Credit: Walt Disney World News

Featured Exhibits

Throughout Epcot, there’s plenty of exhibits to give you inspiration:

  • Mary Blair
    Experience the legendary genius of Mary Blair, one of Disney’s most beloved and iconic artists.
  • Herb Ryman
    Study pieces by the visionary behind early concept art for Disneyland Park, Magic Kingdom park and Epcot.
  • Disney-Inspired Original Art
    Take home original artwork created by some of Disney’s most beloved artists.

Featured Exhibit Details

  • Odyssey Festival Showplace
  • Fridays through Mondays, January 13 to February 20
  • Exhibits open from 11:00 AM to 9:00 PM
  • Epcot admission required
  • Events are subject to change or cancellation without notice

Pavilion Exhibits

  • American Heritage Gallery – American Adventure
    Journey through 400 years of African-American achievement.
  • Art of Disney – Future World West
    Purchase work by popular Disney artists as well as Festival merchandise.
  • Bijutsu-kan Gallery – Japan
    Delve into the origin and evolution of “kawaii,” Japan’s cute culture.
  • Gallery of Arts and History – Morocco
    Check out the unique designs of time-honored crafts.
  • House of the Whispering Willows – China
    Discover the wonders of the new Shanghai Disney Resort.
  • Mexico Folk Art Gallery – Mexico
    Learn about traditional wood carvings and life in the Oaxacan culture.
  • Stave Church Gallery – Norway
    Observe art representational of the culture that influenced Disney’s Frozen.
  • Walking Chalk Gallery – World Showcase
    Watch imaginative chalk artists recreate works by famous masters.

Pavilion Exhibit Details

  • Various pavilions throughout World Showcase, Epcot
  • Fridays through Mondays, January 13 to February 20
  • Exhibits open from 11:00 AM to 9:00 PM
  • Epcot admission required
  • Events are subject to change or cancellation without notice

Making plans to hit the new Epcot Festival of the Arts? Here's five important tips to know before you go - especially if you have kids!

Kid-Friendly To-Dos

There’s plenty of activities for the kiddos at this festival, happily, so there should be no complaints of nothing to do:

Animation Academy
A fun and informative drawing class taught by actual Disney artists.

Figment’s Brush with the Masters Scavenger Hunt
Search for clues that will lead straight to Epcot’s beloved character. You’ll need to purchase a World Showcase map and stickers at Pin Central, Disney Traders or World Traveler. After, visit each of the World Showcase pavilions to find artwork in a Figment-themed frame, then locate Figment within the picture. Once you’ve found Figment, add the corresponding location sticker to the correct pavilion on your map. You’re than able to turn in your completed map at Disney Traders for a special surprise.

Interactive Wall Mural
The World Showcase Plaza is where you’ll need to visit for this one. Guests will be able to watch creativity come alive as Disney artists create a giant mural. Bonus: Guests can grab a paintbrush and help with the creation.

Kidcot Fun Stops

Stop at the Kidcot Fun Stops around the World Showcase (each country’s pavilion has one) and make your own masterpiece.

World Showcase: Destinations Discovered Tour
A five hour tour featuring all 11 countries in World Showcase. 400 years of culture, food and history will be shown. The iconic architecture that’s inspired Disney animators for years will be highlighted while learning how the 3-D replicas are created for each pavilion.

During the tour there’s a pit stop for lunch at the Rose & Crown Dining Room (alcohol will be available to guests 21 years of age and older.). Tours begin at 8:15am each morning of the festival and are $116.09 per guest including tax. Annual Passholders, DVC Members, and Disney Visa cardholders will receive 15% off the tour cost. Tours are expected to fill up quickly so, if you know you’ll want to take it, head to the official WDW website and schedule immediately.


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3 Thoughts to “Five Artsy Things to Know about Epcot International Festival of the Arts”

  1. What a fun opportunity to recognize and experience the arts. I wish I could go to this!!

    1. Karyn Locke

      Me, too! I be living vicariously thorough others for this year. Thanks for stopping by and please feel free to snoop around!

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