Epcot Festival of the Arts(Article last updated January 25, 2019)

The newest of Epcot's festivals is the Festival of the Arts.

Held for a few weeks in January and February, this celebration of art is the perfect bridge between the decorations of the holidays and the bright florals of the spring.

Here's a guide to when it is, what you can do, and see how it compares to Epcot's other festivals.

What is Festival of the Arts?

With nearly year-round festivals, you may be wondering what makes Festival of the Arts unique or worth checking out on your next visit.

The answer is: lots.

Festival of the Arts is a truly immersive celebration into the visual, culinary, and performing arts.

It's packed full of things to see and do and taste and experience, and the wide variety of offerings is what makes this festival unique.

It's also why it is quickly becoming a favorite of guests (and us!).

Below, you'll see exactly what you can expect to find if you attend.

Festival of the Arts

How much does it cost?

Attending the festival is free with Epcot admission, but some events are an extra charge.

When is it?

Aside from the beautiful art you'll find during the festival, you are also very likely to find beautiful weather, too.

Festival of the Arts is held in January and February. This year it will be held January 18 - February 25, 2019.

Even though winter in Florida isn't typically cold, it is definitely cooler than the summer, making it that much easier to stroll through the park taking in all the sights, sounds, and tastes.

Festival of the Arts only took place on weekends when it started in 2017, but it now takes place 7 days a week with the entertainment (see more info below) also now taking place 7 days a week.

Festival of the arts photo op

What exactly takes place during the festival?

Food booths

Though all Epcot festivals feature food booths, there's special attention paid to the presentation of the food at Festival of the Arts. Almost too pretty to eat!

Cuisine Classique

There's also special festival offerings at restaurants, and there are several fun desserts that are available in multiple locations, like these Pop'd Art cookies:

Pop'd Art

Or this Artist Palette Jumbo Chocolate Chip Cookie:

Artist palette cookie

To help you keep track of everything you've tried, like with other festivals you can pick up one of the free "Passports" at nearly every booth/cash register.

Festival of the Arts passport

Inside you'll find checklists of every food and drink item available for purchase, plus lots of info on the different booths, Broadway concert series artists, and festival-exclusive events.

There are stickers included with your free Festival of the Arts Passport that you can use to track which booths you've visited.

Or, if you've been partaking heavily in the adult beverage offerings, you might find that you'd like to use the stickers as accents to your shirt (or forehead). That works, too.

Like with the other festivals, Disney offers cute gift cards that fit around your wrist. These can be handy if you want to stick to a wine or snack budget (which is something we always do).

Festival of the Arts gift card

Just kidding. I'm sure they are handy for that, but we don't participate in hateful things like "wine budgets."

One of the complaints we have with Food and Wine Festival is how tricky it can be to eat while standing and holding your flight glass of wine.

Because January and February are typically slower times of the year, that makes finding a place to sit and enjoy your food and drinks at Festival of the Arts a little bit easier, which is a definite win in our book.

Pop Art

Get menus for all food booths on Disney Food Blog's Festival of the Arts coverage.

Entertainment

One of the highlights of Festival of the Arts is the Disney on Broadway concert series at the American Garden Theatre, which is located at The American Adventure pavilion in the World Showcase.

Disney on Broadway

We've seen some amazing artists during these concerts.

Every pair of artists performs a different set list based around the shows they've participated in, plus a sprinkling of a few other songs from Disney's Broadway shows.

Disney on Broadway newsies

We've found that not every show is equal. Some artists focused on signature songs from shows, while others stuck to some of the lesser-known numbers.

If your trip lands on dates where you can see multiple shows with different performers (they rotate every couple of days), we recommend you try to do that.

The smaller crowds during this time of the year means that it is a lot easier to find a seat for one of these concerts than it is for things like the Candlelight Processional during the holidays.

Disney on Broadway frozen

If you don't care about how good your seat is, you can likely walk up and grab a spot shortly before the show starts.

For guests that want to be up closer, we recommend lining up 30-45 minutes early, or, for a truly up-close experience, consider one of the dining packages (more on those below).

Standby line for Disney on Broadway

In 2019, for the first time since The Festival of the Arts began, the Disney on Broadway Concert Series will run daily (at 5:30, 6:45, & 8 p.m.) at the American Garden Theater.

The schedule for 2019 will be:

  • January 18, 19, 22, 23, & 26
    • Kerry Butler (“Beauty and the Beast”) & Kevin Massey (“Tarzan”)
  • January 20, 21, 24, 25, & 27
    • Meredith Inglesby (“The Little Mermaid”) & Steve Blanchard (“Beauty and the Beast”)
  • January 28, & 29 and February 1, 2, 5, 6, & 9
    • Arielle Jacobs &  Adam Jacobs (“Aladdin”)
  • January 30, & 31 and February 3, 4, 7, 8, & 10
    • Heidi Blickenstaff (“Freaky Friday”) & Gavin Lee (“Mary Poppins”)
  • February 11, 12, 15, 16, 19, 20, & 23
    • Ashley Brown (“Mary Poppins”) & Josh Strickland (“Tarzan”)
  • February 13, 14, 17, 18, 21, 22, & 24
    • Kissy Simmons & Alton Fitzgerald White (“The Lion King”)
  • February 25 (yes, all 4 of them are performing on this day)
    • Ashley Brown (“Mary Poppins”) & Josh Strickland (“Tarzan”)
    • Kissy Simmons & Alton Fitzgerald White (“The Lion King”)

Disney on Broadway Concert Series Dining Packages

Dining Packages that give you priority seating at one of the concerts are also available (although not necessary).

The seating for these packages are in the very first few rows of the theater. Unless you want the very front row center, there isn't any need to line up early; we showed up 5 minutes before the show started and still found an amazing seat in the 2nd row.

Disney on Broadway dining package tickets

2019 Dining Packages became available to book online on November 8, 2018. You can also book one of the packages by calling (407) WDW-DINE.

Prices for 2019 are below:

Akershus Royal Banquet Hall (Norway Pavilion)

  • Breakfast: $63 adults/$38  kids
  • Lunch: $73 adults/$44 kids
  • Dinner: $73 adults/$44 for kids

Biergarten Restaurant (Germany Pavilion)

  • Lunch: $55 adults/$31 kids
  • Dinner: $55 adults/$31 kids

Coral Reef Restaurant  (The Living Seas Pavilion)

  • Lunch: $67 adults/$22 for kids
  • Dinner: $67 adults/$22 for kids

The Garden Grill Restaurant (The Land Pavilion)

  • Breakfast: $49 adults/$30 for kids
  • Lunch: $63 adults/$38 kids
  • Dinner: $63 adults/$38 for kids

Rose & Crown Pub & Dining Room (United Kingdom Pavilion)

  • Lunch: $57 adults/$21 for kids
  • Dinner: $57 adults/$21 for kids

Art throughout the park

As you walk through Epcot during the festival, you'll see amazing photo ops, art on display, and find art exhibits to enjoy.

Times for the activities below may vary from week to week so be sure you check the Times Guide the day you visit the park for the most up-to-date information.

Here's some of the highlights:

Photo ops

In addition to the photo ops with Festival signs, you'll find fun photo ops where you can actually go "inside" a famous painting in Mexico, Italy, The American Adventure, France, and United Kingdom pavilions.

Do you know what my favorite thing is about PhotoPass pictures?

They let you remember all the times you looked absolutely ridiculous.

Festival of the Arts photo op

Inside each painting you'll find a tip sheet that tells you how you should pose. I'm not sure exactly what this one said, but I think we nailed it.

Festival of the Arts photo op

For added fun, some of the pictures even include little videos guaranteeing you'll always have something to use as blackmail remember your visit.

Animation Academy

Animation Academy was a beloved attraction at Hollywood Studios before it closed, but Disney brings it back for Festival of the Arts.

These mini-workshops are led by animation artists that teach you how to draw a Disney character.

animation Academy artist

These classes are fast paced and probably not ideal for small children.

When you're done you'll be left with a fun souvenir to take home. Animation academy finished product

The times can vary, but the workshops generally happen in the afternoons inside of the Odyssey building (which is where the Festival of the Arts headquarters are located).

We recommend lining up about 30 minutes before your desired session.

Animation Academy crowd

One tip our animator told us was that the characters being drawn tend to get more difficult the later in the day, and they don't draw the same character twice on the same day.

Chalk art

You can find artists creating masterpieces out of chalk in the area between Future World East and the World Showcase Lagoon.

3D chalk art

Both 2D and 3D pieces are available to see.

2D chalk art

Living Statues

Putting a whole new spin on "rock hard abs," these living statues will make you look twice.

You can find them at Fountain Plaza.

Living statues

Wall mural

If you have "add some graffiti to a wall in Epcot" on your bucket list, this encounter is for you!

mural festival of the arts

Ok, this isn't graffiti, BUT it is an interactive experience that lets you help create a work of art large enough for all to see.

painting festival of the arts mural

And, don't worry if you're afraid that it will be all filled in before you get a chance to help.

Festival of the arts mural paint.

Disney resets it with a blank one on a regular basis.

Figment's Brush with the Masters

This fun scavenger hunt takes guests on a tour of the World Showcase while teaching you all about art. The map costs $6.99 plus tax, but it is a fun way to get younger kids involved in the festival.

Figments Brush with the Masters

Artist Booths

Throughout the park you'll find booths of art on display.

Booths

And this isn't just paintings and sketches.

There's tons of different things!

Like these fun painted Toms:

painted Tom shoes

Or these marbled scarves that you can design and do yourself:

Marbled scarves

There's something for just about every taste and style available to look at and purchase.

Workshops and seminars

There are a mix of workshops and seminars available during Festival of the Arts. Some are complimentary, and some cost extra.

Get the complete schedule, details, and pricing info on the Disney World site.

Here's a few highlights for 2019:

  • "Paint with a Disney Artist" program will let participants learn under the direction of a professional Disney artist*
  • For the younger crowd, there's Figment's Brush with the Master's Scavenger Hunt*
  • Workshops that cover a wide variety of artistic skills such as floral design, ink and paint, mixed-media art, plus more*
  • Seminars on creating your own works of art
  • International musicians and performance artists in the World Showcase, including the return of Bodh'aktan to the Canada Pavilion and a new act called Delta Q in the Germany Pavilion

* additional fee to participate

How to plan your time

Since this festival takes place at a time of year that has fantastically mild temps, it's fairly easy (and comfortable) to fit into an afternoon and evening if you'd like to spend the morning touring or have a late arrival.

You'll find that the seminars and workshops are busier on the weekends as this festival has quickly become quite popular with the locals.

Comparing to other Epcot festivals

Epcot has become a park with practically year-round festivals. Here's how their offerings compare.

Epcot Festival Comparison 2019

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What questions or other info do you have about the Festival of the Arts?

Please share in the comments.