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Doing Festival of the Arts in 2024 – PREP 392

Doing Festival of the Arts in 2024 – PREP 392

The 2024 Epcot Festival of the Arts is underway. We were there for the first two days and ate and drank every festival item! Listen to hear our favorite items, which food studios top our list of best value for a mini-meal, and what other fun activities are available for guests at this year’s festival. 

Click the Guide to Festival of the Arts link for a map outlining all of the food studios and highlighting our favorites – plus pictures and reviews of every item.

Daily updates begin at 31 minutes.

Basics

Festival of the Arts is one of our favorite festivals, even though it is one of the shortest. There is so many fun things going on with the Festival in January and February for the five weeks of the festivals.

When Festival of the Arts began, it was only on the weekends.

Why is this festival great?

  • The weather – it is cooler and that really makes eating, drinking, and enjoying the activities much more enjoyable.
  • The aesthetic is really beautiful and colorful. There are also a lot of fun things to enjoy. There are good food booths, but there are fewer ones as compared to other festivals.

What is there to do?

Be sure to check the schedule and see what time these offerings are available.

  • Disney on Broadway performers come and provide entertainment each night at the America Gardens Theatre in the American Pavilion. Be sure to check out the schedule if you want to see someone specific. You can also get a dining package to get a good seat or see someone specific.
  • Visual art in performance is on the plaza stage between the World Showcase and the rest of Epcot. This is where an artist creates their artwork for all to see.
  • There are a lot of photo opportunities including with photo pass photographers. There are also 3D photo boxes where you can become part of a painting. There are three new options this year, which is really fun. Be sure to ask for the magic shot options!
  • There is chalk art on the walkway connecting the World Showcase. Professional artists are creating art and you can watch them create. There is also a section for kids to create their own art.
  • Paint by Number Wall art – you can take paint and add it to the mural. When you have done this, they will give you a bookmark of the completed work. They rotate this out about every once a week so that there is always a mural.
  • Figments Brush with the Masters – This is a $9.99 scavenger hunt. The scavenger hunt has art on it and you go around and find the art. The prize for this scavenger hunt is a figurine you can paint. You do not need to complete the scavenger hunt in order to collect your prize.
  • There are artists booths and galleries around Epcot as well. Artists have booths set up where you can purchase art or speak with them. The schedule for this is not available in your My Disney Experience app, but you can save it here.
  • Animation Academy is also available during the day in the America Gardens Theatre where you can learn how to draw a specific character.
  • You can also find Face Painting by Refreshment Outpost. There are special options only available during Festival of the Arts.
  • There is special merchandise that you can purchase around Epcot. This can be purchased in stores but also in small booths or carts around Epcot. Don’t forget to use mobile checkout to save time.

In the past there were other options but those hvae not returned this year.

Food Offerings

This was our first year eating and drinking everything offered. The lines can be long due to the smaller number of booths. However, the lines do move quickly.

The food is often presented in really creative and colorful ways. This makes it very fun to experience.

Favorite Individual Items

  • Rainbow cake – Figment’s Inspiration Station
  • Grilled marinated skirt steak – Craftsman’s Courtyard This is especially good if you like blue cheese!
  • Beef short rib – Pastoral Palate (This is the Germany booth) This comes with mashed potatoes as well!
  • Rose flight – Pastoral Palate The fun thing about this option is because it is Rose three ways – frozen, wine, and beer.
  • Chorizo and potato empanada – Encanto Cocina This is a large item that is perfect for a meal!
  • Jumbo chocolate chip cookie – Refreshment Port This looks like a paint palete and you can paint on it with icing.
  • Tomato soup with grilled cheese – Pop Eats
  • Vanilla Porter – Deco Delights This is available in a flight as well.
  • Molten cake – France This is really creative and delicious!

Favorite Booths

We love booths that have more than one good option because you can get several good items at one place. This saves time and waiting in line!

  • Pastoral Palate – There are two things on our favorites list from this booth in Germany. You cannot go wrong!
  • Encanto Cocina
  • Craftsman’s Courtyard
  • Tangerine Cafe – While we didn’t name anything individually from this booth, we liked it overall. This used to be a Quick Service option and has come back as a booth. This booth is almost the same from festival to festival.
  • Deco Delights
  • Figment’s Inspiration Station – This booth has really good rainbow options and everything is delicious.

Things to Note

No matter what festival, we do not like the booths in Italy and China. It is expensive and the food is not great. The lines are always long and there are lots of better options elsewhere.

Daily Updates

Day 1 – Travel Day

Shannon’s flight was being pushed back due to the weather. Heather arrived the night before and her flight was very rough.

The plan for this trip is to explore the Disney Dining Plan. It was released again recently and the goal is to test how it will work.

The second goal is to eat everything at Festival of the Arts and explore that festival.

Shannon landed at the airport and took a Lyft to Coronado Springs. As soon as she arrived, she received the text that her room was ready. Heather was waiting for her in the lobby.

They went to the room to get settled in Gran Destino Tower. Shannon is very grateful that they are at this resort when there is bad weather because you can take the elevator down to get food or drinks. There are also covered walkways to Coronado as well.

Heather and Shannon made a walk-up reservation to Rix Sports Bar at Coronado Springs resort. They waited a bit, walked over, and as they arrived, they were able to be seated. 

They really like Rix Sports Bar because they can get some good food and drinks. After dinner at Rix Sports Bar, Heather and Shannon were in the room waiting for Felecia. 

She landed and was headed to the resort in a Lyft when the tornado warnings were issued for the area. Thankfully, she arrived to the resort safely. 

After Felecia arrived, they went to Dahlia Lounge. Toledo was closed because they are closed two days a week. They had some delicious small plates of food and drinks. 

Dahlia Lounge does accept the Disney Dining Plan, both quick service and table service credits are accepted, depending on what you’d like to order. 

Day 2

The day started with an 11:30 a.m. reservation at Hollywood and Vine. Every few months the theme changes and now it is the Silver Screen Dine, so they wanted to check it out.

Hollywood and Vine used to be one of Shannon’s least favorite restaurants because of the food. However, when it reopened, they went from a buffet to family style and the food was much better. Now that it is back at a buffet the food is still really good.

The characters are Minnie, Mickey, Pluto, and Goofy. They are in wonderful and unique outfits. 

They have the Disney Dining Plan for just two people but have three people in their party. They wanted to use the credits for Hollywood and Vine and ended up being able to do that, but it was a bit tricky. 

You can potentially ask to split your check if you want to use dining credits for more people than are on your Dining Plan. If you split your check and have two on one ticket and one on another, you can use the dining plan credits for everyone.

After Hollywood and Vine, they headed over to Animal Kingdom. They love being at Animal Kingdom in January because it isn’t hot. 

They went right to the Maharaja Jungle Trek and then to Festival of the Lion King. They got the front row and were able to exit as soon as it was over.

They left Animal Kingdom via a Minnie Van to get to Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue at Fort Wilderness. They arrived a little early for their 3:30 p.m. check-in. 

While they waited, they checked out the new horse barn and then walked over to check in. Shannon realized prior to checking in that she accidentally booked their dinner for the next day. 

Because they were already there, she went to the ticket window and asked if they could switch their reservation. They were able to do that and go tier 3. They originally had tier 2. 

They had delicious food and white and red sangria carafes. Shannon did note that this is a very loud experience. 

After that, they took a Minnie Van back to their resort to get ready for the Hollywood Studios After Hours event. The weather is really wonderful and makes it easier to have longer days.

They arrived at Hollywood Studios at 7 p.m. which is the earliest you can get in with your after hours ticket. They wanted to test some touring plans beginning at 9 p.m. so they started riding rides.

They did Rise of the Resistance, Star Tours, Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, Tower of Terror, every ride in Toy Story Land, and ended at Smuggler’s Run. Slinky Dog Dash was down for most of the night but they were able to catch it up and ride with just a 15 minute wait. They were able to ride every ride available. 

They were also excited to see that characters were meeting. They met Rafikki, Pinocchio, Mary Poppins, and several other unique characters.

Snacks and drinks are also included like popcorn, ice cream bars, and bottled drinks. 

Day 3

They day started by going to Disney Springs to go to the new Indian restaurant, eet by Maneet Chauhan. It was very convenient because it is right by the ride-share dropoff. 

This restaurant does not have any discounts or accept the Disney Dining Plan, but it was very tasty. After eating, they wandered around a bit before going back to their resort.

They went to dinner at Toledo tonight for dinner. They used the Disney Dining Plan. They have three adults in their party but only have two people on the Disney Dining  Plan. 

They asked for their check to be split so that they could use the 3 remaining credits for the three people in their party. They were able to do that without any problem. 

This can be a really great use of dining plan credits. On the menu at Toledo is a $110 rib eye steak for two people. Shannon also notes that this is one of the best meals they have had in a long time.

After dinner, they went to Magic Kingdom After Hours. They arrived right at 8 p.m. but could have entered as early at 7 p.m. with their After Hours ticket. Happily Ever After was just happening as they entered.

The Magic Kingdom After Hours is unique because you can see Happily Ever After while the park is still open and Enchantment during the event.

They did experience some rain so they went to Mickey’s PhilHarmagic and by the time they came out, the rain was just about done. 

They did a bunch of rides before 10 p.m. with very low wait times. After 10 p.m. during the After Hours event official start time, even Seven Dwarfs Mine Train only had a 15 minute wait time.  

There aren’t any special characters or surprises during this event. The two character interactions are the Princesses at Princess Fairytale Hall and Mickey at Town Square. 

Day 4

The focus today is Festival of the Arts as it’s the first day of this festival. Our team is eating and drinking everything available at this festival for the first time!

They started in the Odyssey Building around 10:30 a.m. This is a very busy building and you can get the popcorn bucket there. There are some delicious food options in there as well.

By 12:30 p.m. they have had 4 or 5 booths and none of them were terrible. They found the Mexico booth to be much better for this festival as they normally do not like the food options.

Be sure to mobile order the popcorn bucket early in the morning. They were able to mobile one at 8:30 a.m. before the park even opened to be picked up later in the day.

In the afternoon they had two booths that were delicious including Craftsman’s Courtyard and Pastoral Palete. Those were two especially good options where many things on the menu are good.

The Italy booth was another disappointment this year, as it has been with other festivals. The chocolate cake wasn’t bad, but everything else was a disappointment.

They did get the chocolate funnel cake ice cream sandwich in the American Pavilion. This was delicious but the booth doesn’t accept room charges or gift cards.

By 6:45 p.m. they finished the booths for today. The day ended in Connections Eatery to get the festival options. Then they went to Connections to get Annual Passholder shirts to see the show on Spaceship Earth.

There is always a show on Spaceship Earth for each festival and it changes for each one.

Day 5

After taking a Minnie Van to Beach Club, they got into Epcot through the International Gateway. Our first stop was the France booth but they were sold out of several things and the line was very long. Their most expensive option was initially a snack option on the Disney Dining Plan, but this was marked out today.

They went to Gourmet Landscapes which has a lot of interesting options including bone marrow and beets. They went to Refreshment Port next and there was the traditional poutine as usual plus some festival options. Everything was good except for the gnocchi poutine.

Pop Eats was really cute as well and had grilled cheese with tomato soup. They didn’t like everything there, but it was a good option.

The next stop was Deco Delights and the theme is Neapolitan, where there are three options in one. They’d tried the China booth yesterday but not everything was available, so they went back today and got everything. It wasn’t good and is still not a booth to recommend.

So far we have not been able to use one quick service credit as three snack credits. They have been told it is not possible by cast members and have not been able to do that via mobile order either.

The last booth on our list was France and they had all of the food items available this time. There were two food items and two food items on the menu that we enjoyed. The lines are always very long for the France booth during each festival.

Because they had a lot of quick service credits, they opted to use it at the one quick service option at Coronado Springs. This is very large but the food was not good. This was the only option to use the quick service credits.

The refillable mug included with the dining plan is very small. It seems significantly smaller than the old mugs.

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