Epcot at Walt Disney World is home to four annual festivals throughout the year. Flower and Garden, Food and Wine, and Festival of the Holidays are ones that have brought many guests to search about the park. One of them, a newer one, is my personal favorite. It’s possibly the best, and here are some considerations of that for the International Festival of the Arts at Epcot Center. And even though while writing this it is only a “Taste of” this year, there are still some great reasons why.
There are many things to see and do at each festival, but I think the most might be during Festival of the Arts. Artists dance and entertain while painting. Defying Gravity is an acrobatic team that performs amazing feats. This year, the Voices of Liberty sing favorite Disney tunes, but other years actors and actresses from Disney Broadway musicals take the stage to croon the audience at the American Adventure pavilion. Absent from this year, but present in others are the living statues that represent aspects of Future World. They pose for photos, but in playful ways that surprise guests.
Art is Everywhere
It might seem an exaggeration to say that art and artists are everywhere, but almost as many art booths are available as there are food booths. And that’s a lot! It’s hard to make it a few feet around World Showcase without encountering a small gallery of paintings or other types of art in tents. And it even expanded into an area of Future World! This year World Showplace featured a few artists and even Disney artists to view and buy pieces from. For anyone wanting to decorate their home or office with one-of-a-kind Disney art, this is the place to go to get it. If not, it is worth looking through it all as if visiting a museum.
There is one official scavenger hunt to find paintings that have been redone in Figment’s image. Figment’s Brush with the Masters takes you around World Showcase to find each famous country’s art with a touch of the purple dragon. To start, you purchase a map at various stores, and then you can redeem it for a prize. For the “Taste of” festival the prize is a paper stand sculpture. Other years have been pins and puzzles. It’s a fun hunt and even finding each pieces is fun because it’s Figment!
But, there are a couple of other “hunts” that are unofficial. A Wonderful Walk of Colorful Cuisine takes you on a journey to eat five dishes at the various booths for the Festival. The prize is a colorful sugar cookie in the shape of an artist’s palette. The choices are always great to get, and this year is no different. It is a fun way to sample the food that the festival has to offer!
The third hunt is to find all the characters painted on buildings around World Showcase. Various Disney images have been decorated outside the pavilions, though rather subtle. Little snow creations from Frozen are in Norway, for example. Robin Hood and Little John are in the UK pavilion, as another. It’s a fun way to spend the time in the Showcase.
Photos, Chalk Art, and Interactive Displays
Around the whole park are some photo ops that are unique to the Festival. Locations recreating famous paintings put you in the scenes. Usually there are magic shots associated with them along with PhotoPass photographers, but this year’s “Taste of” didn’t seem to have them and instead requires someone in your party to take your photo.
Butterfly wings of various designs are painted on construction walls for some fun selfies or regular photos. There are so many designs it would take some time to get them all!
Chalk art is located in the walk way from Future World to World Showcase. Chalk artists have recreated scenes from Disney or put characters into famous scenes to enjoy as you transition areas. It does sometimes change as the festival goes on, so don’t miss them all! They are amazing to look at and even get some photos of.
An interactive mural is located in Future World and allows guests to paint five squares each visit. The result will be a giant mural that also changes as the festival goes on! So far for 2021, scenes from Epcot will be the result as depicted from a complimentary bookmark depicting the final result.
Last, but not least, is the food. I would dare say this is the best selection of food at any festival at Epcot. Which is a bit ironic considering there is one called Food and Wine. The biggest reason that this is the best selection is that the food is to celebrate the culinary arts. So each dish is a picturesque display of food art. If you’re a foodie or Instagram socialite, this is the best way to spend your time at the festival. Besides it looking amazing each time, the tastes are exquisite. Again, it is about the culinary arts and flavors are paired together to create a colorful palette in the mouth. It is hard to find something outright bad at the booths. Each is very tasty and eye candy as well.
Sure, there are topiaries and food at other festivals. Santas sometimes decorate the Festival of Holidays. But, the atmosphere and sheer amount of things to do at Festival of the Arts is a big reason to go year after year! With different galleries, food, entertainment, and more, it is never the same year to year. On the first day of the “Taste of” I didn’t realize how much time had passed that I spent all day going from booth to booth, food to food, art to art that I hardly sat down at all! It was well worth all the walking!
Have you gone to Festival of the Arts or other festivals? What do you think? Let us know in the comments below!