First Take: 2019 Festival of the Arts Runs Through February 25!

The Epcot International Festival of the Arts  has returned for the third year in a row, running today (January 18) through February 25, and we’re so excited! Guests are once again able to experience the arts in three ways: through beautifully prepared cuisine, visual art and a lineup of Broadway-caliber live entertainment.

Epcot Festival of the Arts program

We had a preview of the festival a few days before it kicked off, and then had a walk around Epcot today to see it in full effect. Here are some highlights of this event that celebrates ART in its many forms.

Get IN-volved with Art

Returning this year are the special photo ops where you can actually step inside an iconic masterpiece and become part of the artwork. We love these 3D artworks — they make for such fun, whimsical photos.

Epcot International Festival of the Arts 3D Photo Op
Epcot International Festival of the Arts 3D Photo Op

Also returning is the “paint-by-number” mural — you have the chance to fill in numbered squares, and can watch the wall art progress over the course of the day.

Epcot Festival of the Arts Mural

Of course, there are other ways to get involved with art — the Festival of the Arts has daily seminars, workshops and other hands-on activities in the Odyssey Festival Showplace.

Great Performances

One of our favorite parts of the Festival of the Arts is the Disney on Broadway concert series, which features a bevy of talented performers direct from the Great White Way.

Disney on Broadway concert series marquis

This year, for the first time, the shows are presented daily during the festival, with performances at 5:30, 6:45 and 8 p.m. at the America Gardens Theatre stage. The series starts this week with husband/wife duo Kerry Butler (who performed on Broadway in “Beauty and the Beast”) and Kevin Massey (Disney’s “Tarzan”). If you want to be guaranteed a seat at one of these concerts, you can try booking the special dining package. Passholders take note: Passholders can save on Disney on Broadway Concert Series Dining Packages.

To book the dining package visit Disneyworld.com or call 407-939-3463.

There are also other live performances throughout the festival’s run — gravity-defying acrobats, high-energy visual artists, local high schools and other musical groups and more take the Fountainview stage.

Calling on the Culinary

Whether you’re a foodie, or just simply like to eat, you’ll enjoy how the Festival of the Arts pays the fine art of cuisine its due with a variety of savory and sweet treats at its 13 Food Studios positioned throughout the park.

Samples of some of the Food Studios foods at the Festival of the Arts
Samples of some of the Food Studios foods at the Festival of the Arts
Pop Art pop-tarts
Festival of the Arts Latte Art at the Joffrey’s cart in Future World
One of the 13 Food Studios around Epcot during the Festival of the Arts

You may also find some surprises at other locations in Epcot, like this peanut butter treat we stumbled upon in Sunshine Seasons in the Land.

Sunshine Season special festival treat

There are also some other unusual culinary experiences that combine with visual art, like sugar painting and dragon beard candy by Chinese artist Wenbo Zhang at the Painted Panda Food Studio near the China pavilion.

Wenbo Zhang
Dragon Beard Candy

You can find the complete menus for the Food Studios updated with prices here.

Merchandise and More

Figment seems to be the unofficial mascot of the Festival of the Arts and we spotted his likeness on a wide variety of merchandise, from Tervis tumblers to mugs to apparel.

Figment tumblers
Check out the handle on this Figment-themed festival mug
Figment-accented merchandise for the 2019 Epcot Festival of the Arts
Figment headbands galore!

Figment also is featured on the Annual Passholder magnet, while supplies last. You can pick up your complimentary magnet at Mouse Gear  or Port of Entry.

Figment featured on the Annual Passholder magnet

Another Figment find — the returning Figment’s Brush with the Masters Scavenger Hunt. Purchase a map for $6.99 at one of the participating shops, then search for Figment’s image hiding in paintings scattered around World Showcase. Once you find Figment everwhere, trade your completed map in for a special surprise!

Figment’s Brush with the Masters signage
Figment’s Brush with the Masters map

Of course Figment isn’t the only character featured on festival merchandise. There’s a new plush Mickey, as well as an assortment of Limited Release character pins.

New Mickey plush featured at the festival
Limited Edition Festival of the Arts Pin
Limited Edition Festival of the Arts Pin
Limited Release Mickey Mouse Festival of the Arts Pin
Limited Edition Festival of the Arts Pin featuring Mickey and Minnie

You can see some of the other merchandise and passholder specials in the preview post here.

That’s our first quick overview of the 2019 Festival of the Arts — we expect to pay several visits to check out as many of the activities as possible, because this annual event has quickly risen to the top of the list of our favorite things.

What about you? Do you like what you’ve seen so far of the Festival of the Arts? Do you have plans to visit? Let us know in the comments below.

Remember! When you’re in Disney tag @allearsnet in your photos!

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Debra Martin Koma wrote about food, travel and lifestyle issues for a number of local and national publications before she fell in love with Walt Disney World on her first visit — when she was 34! She's returned to her Laughing Place more times than she can count in the ensuing years, and enthusiastically shares her passion with readers of AllEars.Net and AllEars®. Deb also co-authored (along with Deb Wills) PassPorter's Open Mouse for Walt Disney World and the Disney Cruise Line, a travel guide designed for all travelers to Walt Disney World who may require special attention, from special diets to mobility issues.

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