Disney’s Festival of the Arts is back for 2023, and we couldn’t be more excited!
Held from January 13 – February 20, 2023, this celebration of art is the perfect bridge between the decorations of the Festival of the Holidays and the bright florals that the Flower and Garden Festival bring.
Here’s a guide to when it is, what you can do, and how to best experience it.
What is the Epcot International Festival of the Arts?
With nearly year-round festivals, you may be wondering what makes the Epcot International Festival of the Arts unique or worth checking out on your next visit.
The answer is lots.
The Epcot International Festival of the Arts is a celebration of 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!).
In fact, about the only thing we don’t like about this festival is how short it is!
With only about 5 1/2 weeks of fun, you’ll have to be quick if you want to check it out.
Below, you’ll see exactly what you can expect to find if you attend.
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 13 – February 20, 2023.
Even though winter in Florida isn’t typically cold, it is definitely cooler than the summer. That makes it that much easier to stroll through the park, taking in all the sights, sounds, and tastes.
Festival of the Arts Map
Here’s the map for the 2022 International Festival of the Arts. We will update with the 2023 map as soon as it is available.
What exactly takes place during the festival?
Here’s what you can find for each:
Food *is* art, and for this festival, the chefs of Epcot create visual masterpieces that are both a feast for the eyes and the stomach!
In 2023 there are 16 food booths (or Food Studios as Disney likes to call them), including 2 new ones: Moderne and Figment’s Inspiration Station at the Odyssey.
And, though all Epcot festivals feature food booths, there’s special attention paid to the food presentation at Festival of the Arts. Almost too pretty to eat!
Like this Artist Palette Jumbo Chocolate Chip Cookie, which is served with a paintbrush so you can “paint” with your frosting:
To help you keep track of what is available, you can pick up free maps and festival Passports at any food kiosk. You can also find electronic listings of menus in the My Disney Experience app.
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).
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 the Food and Wine Festival is how tricky it can be to eat while standing and holding your flight of beer or 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 the Festival of the Arts a little bit easier, which is a definite win in our book.
The full list of booths for 2023 hasn’t been released yet, but here were the booths for 2022:
- The Artist’s Table (The American Adventure): Treat your taste buds to delectable dishes like beef Wellington or pan-seared scallops. Pair your dish with beer or a glass of wine.
- The Craftsman’s Courtyard – NEW! (Near Disney Traders) Enjoy savory seafood and refreshing salads, inspired by one of the many hubs of the Arts and Crafts movement: the coast of California.
- Deco Delights – NEW! (Near Port of Entry) Satisfy your sweet tooth with sleek desserts inspired by Art Deco, from the gilded glamor of the roaring 20’s to the bright pastels of Miami Beach.
- The Deconstructed Dish (Near Port of Entry) Rediscover your favorite dishes fragmented and presented as never before—like a BLT, French onion soup and key lime pie.
- The Donut Box (Near Test Track® presented by Chevrolet®) Sweeten your day with delicious donuts, which pair wonderfully with a glass of rosé or a coffee cocktail.
- El Artista Hambriento (Mexico) Delight in classic Mexican fare that’s sure to satisfy artists of any age. Highlights include carne asada and chocolate tacos.
- Goshiki (Japan) Celebrate the Japanese culinary arts with delectable dishes featuring “the 5 colors” of Japanese cuisine. Highlights include sushi donuts and sake.
- Gourmet Landscapes (Canada) Savor stunning dishes artfully composed with the finest ingredients that have been farmed and foraged from the land. Enjoy wild mushroom risotto, beet carpaccio and other farm-fresh delights.
- L’Art de la Cuisine Francaise (France) Discover delicious French treats and baked goods, from savory to sweet—including a black winter truffle croissant and warm brie in a bread bowl. Pair your dish with a French wine or frozen martini.
- L’Arte di Mangiare (Italy) Indulge in Baroque cuisine, prepared with rich color and dramatic flavor. This food studio serves up arancini, ravioli and more.
- The Painted Panda (China) Enjoy decorative cuisine inspired by magnificent Chinese art, like General Tso’s chicken shumai or the char siu pork buns. Plus, enjoy refreshing beverages like bubble tea and Chinese-inspired cocktails.
- Pastoral Palate (Germany) Help yourself to hearty dishes inspired by the rustic settings where Bavarian Folk Art was painted. Indulge in wild boar cassoulet, a red wine-braised beef short rib and more.
- Pop Eats (Near Port of Entry) Delight in mouthwatering masterpieces inspired by the most captivating Pop Art of the 20th century. Highlights include the colorful almond frangipane cake and the ever-popular Pop’t Art—a sugar cookie with a twist. Plus, enjoy savory dishes like tomato soup with grilled cheese.
- Tangierine Café: Flavors of the Medina (Morocco) Take your taste buds on a Moroccan adventure as you enjoy delectable dishes like grilled kebabs, almond phyllo pockets and more. Pair your dish with a flavorful hard cider or the chai tea mint mimosa.
- Vibrante & Vívido: Encanto Cocina (Between Morocco & France) Feast on authentic Colombian cuisine inspired by the Disney animated film Encanto—like spicy ajiaco soup or a house-made empanada with chorizo.
In addition to the booths above, you can also find festival treats at the following locations:
- Refreshment Port: Serving poutine, the Artist Palette Jumbo Chocolate Chip Cookie and refreshing beverages
- Refreshment Outpost: Serving plant-based bratwurst, the Artist Palette Jumbo Chocolate Chip Cookie and the Playalinda Brewing Company Blue Raspberry Blonde
- Funnel Cake: Serving a specialty funnel cake
- Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Company (all 4 in-park locations): Serving a unique, art-inspired cold-brew beverage at each location
Wonderful Walk of Colorful Cuisine
If you love sampling goodies at the Epcot festivals, you can’t go wrong with participating in this fun addition.
Much like the Cookie Stroll found during the Festival of the Holidays, the Wonderful Walk of Colorful Cuisine offers guests an exclusive culinary prize for trying 5 vibrant food items (and getting 5 stamps in your festival passport!).
Here are what you needed to collect for 2022:
- Red: Blood Orange-braised Beet Carpaccio with Mustard Vinaigrette, Pickled Clamshell Mushrooms, Golden Beets and Crostini – located at Gourmet Landscapes
- Green: Deconstructed Key Lime Pie featuring flexible Key Lime Curd, “Key Lime” Mousse, Graham Cracker Cake and Meringues – located at The Deconstructed Dish
- Yellow: House-made Chorizo and Potato Empanada with Turmeric Aïoli and Annatto Aïoli – located at Vibrante & Vivido: Encanto Cocina
- Orange: Pan-seared Scallops with Vanilla-Butternut Squash Purée, Brown Butter Cauliflower Purée and Lime Foam – located at The Artist’s Table
- Pink: Vanilla Donut with Strawberry Sugar, Strawberry Ice Cream, Fresh Strawberries and Strawberry Gelée – located at The Donut Box
- Reward: The Artist Palette Cookie (seen below)
And the best part is, you don’t have to do it all in 1 day. As long as you finish by the last day of the festival, you can snag the prize!
What would an Epcot festival be without entertainment? Here’s what you can find at this year’s Festival of the Arts:
Disney on Broadway
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.
We’ve seen some amazing artists during these concerts.
Every pair of artists performs a different set list based on the shows they’ve participated in, plus a sprinkling of a few other songs from Disney’s Broadway shows.
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 trying to do that.
During this time of the year, the smaller crowds mean 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.
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).
In 2022, the Disney on Broadway Concert Series ran daily (at 5:30, 6:45, & 8 p.m.) at the American Garden Theater.
We don’t have the full lineup of performers for 2023 yet, but here is the lineup from 2022:
- January 14, 16, 17, 20, & 21
- Arielle Jacobs and Adam Jacobs (“Aladdin”)
- January 15, 18, 19, 22 & 23
- Kerry Butler (“Beauty and the Beast”) and Telly Leung (“Aladdin”)
- January 24, 26, 27, 30, & 31 and February 3 & 4
- Heidi Blickenstaff (“The Little Mermaid”; “Freaky Friday”) and Robert Creighton (“Frozen”)
- January 25, 28, & 29 and February 1, 2, 5, & 6
- Kara Lindsay (“Newsies”) and Dan DeLuca (“Newsies”)
- February 7, 9, 10, 13, 14, 17, & 18
- Ashley Brown (“Mary Poppins”) & Josh Strickland (“Tarzan”)
- February 8, 11, 12, 15, 16, 19, & 20
- Kissy Simmons (“The Lion King”) and Michael James Scott (“Aladdin”)
- February 21 (yes, all 4 of them are performing on this day)
- Ashley Brown (“Mary Poppins”) & Josh Strickland (“Tarzan”)
- Kissy Simmons (“The Lion King”) and Michael James Scott (“Aladdin”)
Disney on Broadway Concert Series Dining Packages
If you want a guaranteed seat without having to get there too early, you can do a Dining Package. No word on when reservations will open for 2023, but in 2022 they opened up on December 14th.
Here’s how they work:
Dining Packages give you priority seating at one of the concerts, although, for most concerts, they are 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.
For reference, the last time we used one (which was in 2020) we showed up 5 minutes before the show started and still found an amazing seat in the 2nd row.
The following prices exclude tax and gratuity.
|RESTAURANT||ADULT (AGES 10 & UP)||CHILD (Ages 3 TO 9)|
|Coral Reef Restaurant|
The Living Seas
|Garden Grill Restaurant|
The Land Pavilion
|Rose & Crown Dining Room|
United Kingdom Pavilion
Visual Art in Performance
If you love visual arts, this performance is for you!
Here’s how Disney describes it:
Behold a high-energy, on-stage performance by a guest visual artist painting favorite Disney characters. In just minutes, colorful Disney images magically appear before your eyes.
No word yet on if this will be returning for 2023.
With over 100 artists, plus fun photo ops and opportunities to create your own art, there is plenty to see and do.
These fun life-sized paintings are always a hit.
Inside each painting, you’ll find a tip sheet that tells you how you should pose.
Be on the lookout for these Artful Photo Ops
Here are some of the photo ops from previous festivals. We expect to see a similar lineup for 2023:
- A homage to Frida Kahlo – Mexico Pavilion
- Mona Lisa (Leonardo da Vinci) – Between Italy and Germany
- The Scream (Edvard Munch) – Between Italy and Germany
- Washington Crossing the Delaware (Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze) – The American Adventure Pavilion
- Luncheon of the Boating Party (Pierre-Auguste Renoir) – International Gateway
- Peter Pan Storybook – Bridge to World Showcase
- Birth of Venus (Sandro Botticelli) – Italy Pavilion courtyard
- Café Terrace at Night and Sunflowers (Vincent van Gogh) – Bridge to World Showcase
You’ll once again be able to find artists around the World Showcase creating masterpieces out of chalk.
Both 2D and 3D pieces are available to see.
Kids can join in on the fun by leaving their own chalk masterpieces from 11:00 am until 4:00 pm at Kid’s Chalk Art, which is in World Nature near The Land.
Coming back for 2023 is the giant, paint-by-number mural.
If you have “add some graffiti to a wall in Epcot” on your bucket list, this experience is for you!
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.
And, don’t be afraid that it will be all filled in before you get a chance to help.
Disney resets it with a blank one regularly.
You can find it in World Nature from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm.
Figment’s Brush with the Masters
We are team “love a good scavenger hunt” and Festival of the Arts gets its very own Figment-themed version.
This fun scavenger hunt takes guests on a World Showcase tour while teaching you all about art.
Every time you find the Figment-themed picture frame, add the corresponding sticker to the pavilion on your map. Once completed, return your map to Disney Traders or World Traveler for an artful surprise.
The map costs $9.99 plus tax. You can pick it up at Port of Entry, Creations Shop, World Traveler, or Pin Traders – Camera Center.
With over 100 artists stationed throughout the park, there is a lot of fantastic art to see.
And this isn’t just paintings and sketches.
There are tons of different things!
You can even make your own art, like at this Spin Art booth:
And we thought this piece was adorable:
There’s something for just about every taste and style available to look at and purchase.
Animation Academy was a beloved attraction at Hollywood Studios before it closed, but Disney brings it back for Festival of the Arts.
You can draw Disney characters with help from a real animation artist at the America Gardens Theatre. The step-by-step session includes an artist’s board, paper, and a pencil.
This session is complimentary and typically takes place daily at 12:30 and 1:30 pm.
These mini-workshops are led by animation artists that teach you how to draw a Disney character.
Note: 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.
These sessions can be very popular, so we recommend lining up about 30 minutes before your desired session.
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 it into an afternoon and evening if you’d like to spend the morning touring attractions 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. So, if you can do a weekday, we highly recommend you do that.
Historical Festival of the Arts Information
There are a few things that Disney used to do for Festival of the Arts that we haven’t seen for several years. And while we don’t anticipate that they will make a return in 2023, we are keeping the information here just in case.
Drawing on Inspiration (no word on 2023)
If you love classic Epcot attractions and gorgeous art, definitely take a look at this display where you’ll find side-by-side pieces of artwork completed by two Disney Imagineers:
Workshops and seminars (no word on 2023)
Typically there is 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 from previous years:
- Ink & Paint Animation program will let participants learn about 2D Cel Animation and paint their own Ink & Paint Cel with a Disney Ink & Paint artist*
- Workshops that cover a wide variety of artistic skills such as 3D paper crafting, animation, mixed-media art, plus more*
- Seminars on creating your own works of art
* additional fee to participate
Living Statues (no word on 2023)
Putting a whole new spin on “rock-hard abs,” these living statues definitely made you look twice. But, although they were fun to see, they haven’t returned for several years.
What questions or other info do you have about the Festival of the Arts?
Please share in the comments.
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