In 2017, Disney introduced a new festival called “Epcot International Festival of the Arts” running from mid February to late March. In the first year it ran for 24 days, over six four-day weekends but it has gradually matured over the following few years and in 2020 it ran for 39 consecutive days.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, in 2021 it is renamed “A Taste of Epcot International Festival of the Arts” to reflect the changes in structure with some events being cancelled due to social distancing and safety protocols.
In 2021 the A Taste of Epcot International Festival of the Arts dates are every day of the week for 46 days, from January 8 to February 22.
Now in its fifth year, it celebrates art, performance, food and drink from around the world with live musical performances and stage productions, art displays and like all Epcot festivals these days, gourmet food and special merchandise.
Like other Epcot festivals, a theme park admission ticket is required but there is no separate admission charge to attend the festival or view the music concerts. There are additional fees for the workshops.
Do not forget to pickup the Festival of the Arts passport when you enter Epcot for details of all the events especially the food and drink offerings. Collect stamps when you purchase festival food and drink samplers and if you fill your “palette” you could take home a special culinary prize
Epcot International Festival of the Arts Highlights
Highlights of the festival include:
- art exhibitions plus artist seminars and workshops from top Disney artists as well as local and nationally acclaimed artists. Topics include animation drawing, photography and making topiaries
- special food studios themed on gourmet food and drinks that are works of art in their own right
- performance artists
Disney on Broadway concert series featuring some of Disney’s best theatrical productions— Cancelled Disney on Broadway Dining Packages combining a three course meal at selected restaurants with priority seating for the Disney on Broadway concert series— Cancelled
Three new films debuted at Epcot to coincide with the 2020 festival and you can see them again in 2021:
- Awesome Planet — The Land pavilion; where art meets science with amazing images, special effects and an original musical score
- Canada Far and Wide in Circle-Vision 360 — The Canada pavilion; an update on the original O Canada! film, narrated by Catherine O’Hara and Eugene Levy
- Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along — The France pavilion; join in with your favourite songs from the films
All Disney firework displays are currently on hold but there are three character cavalcades running throughout the day:
- Frozen Promenade with Queen Anna and Elsa
- Mickey and Friends
- Princess Promenade
Art Exhibitions, Seminars and Workshops
In previous years, the World Showplace Events Pavilion, located between the United Kingdom and Canada pavilions, acted as the festival centre and played host to a range of interactive workshops, complimentary 30 minute seminars and exhibitions. Due to social distancing requirements most of the workshops have had to be cancelled for 2021.
Throughout the park you will be able to admire beautiful works of art, everything from jewellery making to photography, paper sculpting, t-shirt screen printing and painting. Watch over 100 artists working on new projects and even buy some of their work. You can even get some of them to customise the work for you.
As well as the outdoor stands and exhibits around both World Showplace and Future World, there are also a number of galleries inside some of the pavilions in World Showcase:
- American Adventure Pavilion — Art of Disney with original artwork and Festival merchandise
- American Adventure Pavilion — Creating Tradition: Innovation and Change in American Indian Art
- China Pavilion — House of the Whispering Willows celebrating the Shanghai Disney Resort
- France Pavilion — Tale as Old as Time: French Storytelling on Stage and Screen
- Japan Pavilion — Bijutsu-kan Gallery exhibiting Japan’s “kawaii” culture
- Mexico Pavilion — Mexico Folk Art Gallery with “Remember Me!” La Celebración del Día de Muertos gallery show
- Norway Pavilion — Stave Church Gallery with legendary gods and myths of the Vikings
Of course there is also a load of Disney Art Festival themed merchandise for sale including MagicBands, apparel, masks, trading pins and event posters.
Marvel at some of the sidewalk chalk artwork in Future World East to World Showcase. Look out for foot print symbols showing you where to stand to get some amazing 3D photo effects with some of the chalk art.
Artful Photo Opportunities
A big hit with all the guests are the “Artful Photo Opportunities” life-sized walk-in paintings where you can get photographs of yourself and your family in famous works of art like:
- Birth of Venus — Sandro Botticelli
- Café Terrace at Night and Sunflowers — Vincent van Gogh
- Homage to Frida Kahlo
- Luncheon of the Boating Party — Pierre-Auguste Renoir
- Mona Lisa — Leonardo da Vinci
- Peter Pan Storybook at the United Kingdom pavilion
- The Scream — Edvard Munch
- Washington Crossing the Delaware — Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze
Disney’s PhotoPass members are on hand to capture the moment.
The Animation Academy is a complimentary workshop at the America Gardens Theatre where an Animation Artist shows guest how to draw some of their favourite Disney characters. It takes place at 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. daily and an artist board, paper and pencil are provided.
You can design your very own custom t-shirt and have it printed right before you very eyes.
There are several events especially for kids.
Expression Section: Paint by Number Mural
There is a complimentary “painting-by-numbers” Expression Section: Paint by Number Mural at World Showcase Plaza where anyone can grab a paintbrush and take part in creating a larger than life artwork. It has been re-configured to cope with social distancing.
Figment’s Brush with the Masters Scavenger Hunt
Figment’s Brush with the Masters Scavenger Hunt is inspired by Figment the dragon. You can buy a World Showcase map and stickers for $7.99 plus tax at Pin Central, Disney Traders or World Traveler.
Then you can visit each of the World Showcase pavilions and search for famous pieces of artwork in a Figment-themed frame with a purple dragon. Stick the appropriate location sticker on your map and when you have found them all return to Disney Traders for a souvenir gift.
Also there are a number of Kidcot Fun Stop craft stations located around the World Showcase where kids can collect stamps and create a complimentary personalised souvenir.
Chalk Full of Character
You can even make your own game by seeing how many chalk drawings featuring Disney characters you can find throughout the park.
Epcot International Festival of the Arts Food Studios
There are around 16 themed food studios dotted around the World Showcase Promenade. Each has amazing works of culinary art that you can purchase and try sampler-sized portions for yourself. Prices are similar to other Epcot festival food but what sets them apart is the sheer artistry and presentation. Expect to pay around $5 to $8 for entrees and $4 to $6 for desserts.
The names of some of the studios give a clue to the style of cuisine:
- Citrus Blossom — Showcase Plaza
- Cuisine Classique — Germany
- Decadent Delights — Promenade Refreshments
- El Artista Hambriento (The Hungry Artist) — Mexico
- Festival Favorites — World Showplace
- Goshiki (Five Colours) — Japan
- L’Arte di Mangiare (The Art of Eating) — Italy
- L’Art de la Cuisine Française (The Art of French Cuisine) — France
- Masterpiece Kitchen — Canada
- Mosaic Canteen — Morocco
- Painter’s Palate — World Showplace
- Pop Eats — Showcase Plaza
- The Artist’s Table — The American Adventure
- The Deconstructed Dish — Showcase Plaza
- The Painted Panda — China
- Vibrante & Vívido (Vibrant & Vivid) — between Morocco & France (new for 2021)
In addition to the Festival of the Arts Food Studios, several of the regular food outlets offer special festival treats including the Refreshment Port, Refreshment Outpost and Funnel Cake.
If you are coffee fan and you also like chocolate bars then the four Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Company stands each gave a very special Festival of the Arts coffee offering:
- Caramel Canvas Latte — with peanut butter syrup, caramel, and dark chocolate sauce topped with Snickers® bar pieces at Showcase Plaza (Odyssey)
- Color-Me-Latte — with espresso, swiss chocolate syrup, and dark chocolate sauce sprinkled with M&M’s® candies at The American Adventure
- Starry Night Latte — with espresso, dulce de leche, white chocolate, and dark chocolate sauce topped with Milky Way® bar pieces at Future World East
- Creative Twist Latte — with brown butter toffee syrup and swiss chocolate syrup topped with Twix® bar pieces at the Canada pavillion
Check the festival passport for all the food and drink offerings and look out for the menu boards at each food studio. Note that to purchase and drink alcoholic beverages you must be 21 or older and you may need to show ID.
To wet your appetite, these are just a few of the new dishes and beverages for 2021:
- Lobster Poutine — lobster, lobster bisque cheese sauce, pickled jalapeños, and citrus cream
- Chilled Seafood Cocktail — octopus, scallops, shrimp, black garlic aïoli, tomato-coconut sauce, and Serrano-lime oil
- Prime Steak Tartare — pickled vegetables, parsley salad, béarnaise anglaise, and sous vide quail egg
- Pork Belly Pastor — pastor-marinated pork belly atop boniato purée with charred pineapple and crispy cilantro
- Moelleux à la Framboise et aux Chocolats Valrhona — molten chocolate and raspberry cake with pure origin Valrhona chocolates
- Bomboloni — cream-filled Italian doughnut with raspberry sauce and powdered sugar
- Red Velvet Funnel Cake — topped with cream cheese icing and pixie dust
- Barrel of Monks Brewing Raspberry Beret from Boca Raton, Florida
- Playalinda Brewing Co. Blue Raspberry Blonde from Titusville, Florida
- 1906 Reserva Especial Dark Amber Lager
- Frozen Piña Colada
Wonderful Walk of Colorful Cuisine
In your Disney passport you will see five specific colour coded artistic dishes:
- Red — Remy’s ratatouille with eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, tomatoes, and red pepper piperade at Festival Favorites
- Blue — Blue corn pupusa stuffed with cheese and topped with shredded pork, guajillo and árbol chile sauce, cabbage slaw, and aji amarillo crema at Vibrante & Vívido Food Studio
- Green — Pistachio cake with cherry mousse and Morello cherries at The Painter’s Palate
- Pink — Vanilla, rose water, and pistachio panna cotta at Masterpiece Kitchen
- Orange — Mouskoutchou orange cake with cinnamon-orange chocolate mousse at Mosaic Canteen
If you purchase and collect stamps for all five you can visit Decadent Delights to claim your reward; a The Artist Palette Cookie. You do not need to collect all five stamps on the same day if you visit more than once.
You will find performance artists in both Future World and the World Showcase with singers, dancers and acrobats. They perform every day unless stated otherwise:
- Voices of Liberty – The Disney Songbook — on stage at the America Gardens Theatre performing songs from the Disney Songbook, everything from “When You Wish Upon a Star” to “Let It Go”, new for 2021
- Art Defying Gravity — thrilling strength acts defying gravity and imagination at World Showplace
- Epcot Pianist — playing a variety of show tunes at World Showplace
- JAMMitors — fun group of musicians at the Mill Stage in the Canada Pavilion
- Visual Art in Performance — high-energy, on-stage performance by a guest visual artist painting favourite Disney characters within World Showplace ( Thursday to Sunday)
- Chalk Art – Future World East — imaginative chalk artists working on the sidewalks
You can also see Mariachi Cobre at the America Gardens Theatre alternating with Voices of Liberty.
Disney On Broadway - CANCELLED in 2021
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Disney On Broadway will not go ahead in 2021 but read on to get an idea of what was performed in 2020 and what we can expect in future years
The accompanying “Disney On Broadway” musical performances used to just be on over each long weekend (Fridays through Mondays) but since 2019 there are concerts every night. The concert series feature some of the Disney on Broadway stars singing favourite songs from Broadway shows including songs from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Tarzan, The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Frozen, Newsies, Freaky Friday, Mary Poppins and The Lion King.
There are three performances per night at the America Gardens Theatre Epcot in the World Showcase, at 5:30, 6:45 and 8:00 p.m. Seating is on a first-come-first-served basis unless you have booked a Disney on Broadway Dining Package in which case you are guaranteed priority seating.
The Disney On Broadway performances are effectively divided into three segments with two pairs of artists performing in each segment. Each night one of the pairs perform songs from around four Broadway shows.
On the last night of each segment, all four artists perform in a special “grand finale” concert. The next night a new segment starts with another group of four artists.
The artists rotate throughout the festival with a total of 117 performances.
Artists performing in 2020 are:
- Adam Jacobs - Aladdin
- Alton Fitzgerald White - The Lion King
- Ashley Brown - Mary Poppins
- Gavin Lee - Mary Poppins
- Heidi Blickenstaff - The Little Mermaid
- Josh Strickland - Tarzan
- Kara Lindsay - Newsies
- Kevin Massey - Tarzan
- Kissy Simmons - The Lion King
- Liana Hunt - Newsies
- Michael James Scott - Aladdin
- Syndee Winters - The Lion King
The provisional Disney On Broadway schedule for 2020 is:
- 17 January 2020 to 17 January 2020 - Kissy Simmons and Alton Fitzgerald White
- 18 January 2020 to 19 January 2020 - Heidi Blickenstaff and Gavin Lee
- 20 January 2020 to 21 January 2020 - Kissy Simmons and Alton Fitzgerald White
- 22 January 2020 to 23 January 2020 - Heidi Blickenstaff and Gavin Lee
- 24 January 2020 to 24 January 2020 - Kissy Simmons and Alton Fitzgerald White
- 25 January 2020 to 25 January 2020 - Kissy Simmons, Alton Fitzgerald White, Heidi Blickenstaff and Gavin Lee
- 26 January 2020 to 26 January 2020 - **Kara Lindsay and Kevin Massey **
- 27 January 2020 to 27 January 2020 - Liana Hunt and Adam Jacobs
- 28 January 2020 to 29 January 2020 - **Kara Lindsay and Kevin Massey **
- 30 January 2020 to 31 January 2020 - Liana Hunt and Adam Jacobs
- 1 February 2020 to 2 February 2020 - **Kara Lindsay and Kevin Massey **
- 3 February 2020 to 4 February 2020 - Liana Hunt and Adam Jacobs
- 5 February 2020 to 6 February 2020 - **Kara Lindsay and Kevin Massey **
- 7 February 2020 to 8 February 2020 - Liana Hunt and Adam Jacobs
- 9 February 2020 to 9 February 2020 - Kara Lindsay, Kevin Massey, Liana Hunt and Adam Jacobs
- 10 February 2020 to 10 February 2020 - Ashley Brown and Josh Strickland
- 11 February 2020 to 11 February 2020 - Syndee Winters and Michael James Scott
- 12 February 2020 to 13 February 2020 - Ashley Brown and Josh Strickland
- 14 February 2020 to 17 February 2020 - Syndee Winters and Michael James Scott
- 18 February 2020 to 19 February 2020 - Ashley Brown and Josh Strickland
- 20 February 2020 to 21 February 2020 - Syndee Winters and Michael James Scott
- 22 February 2020 to 23 February 2020 - Ashley Brown and Josh Strickland
- 24 February 2020 to 24 February 2020 - Ashley Brown, Josh Strickland, Syndee Winters and Michael James Scott
Disney on Broadway Dining Packages - CANCELLED in 2021
Information from 2020 shown for historical interest
As part of the Epcot International Festival of the Arts, you can book a special “Disney on Broadway Dining Package” that combines a three course meal or full buffet (breakfast, lunch or dinner) at one of several Epcot restaurants and guaranteed priority seating at one of the three evening Disney On Broadway musical concerts.
Your package includes either an appetiser, entrée and dessert plus a non-alcoholic drink or a full buffet.
Prices range from $52 to $69 for adults and $22 to $39 for children, depending upon the restaurant and whether you have breakfast, lunch or dinner. Reservations are recommended and prices do not include tax or gratuities.
The four participating table service restaurants for 2020 are:
- Biergarten Restaurant (Germany Pavilion) — lunch or dinner
- Coral Reef Restaurant (The Living Seas Pavilion) — lunch or dinner
- The Garden Grill Restaurant (The Land Pavilion) — breakfast, lunch or dinner
- Rose & Crown Pub & Dining Room (United Kingdom Pavilion) — lunch or dinner
Dining reservations must be at least two and a half hours before showtime. You can pick up your concert seating badges at the restaurant.
Guests can use credits from their Magic Your Way Regular Dining Plan or Deluxe Dining Plan but it requires two table service entitlements per package.
Epcot World Showcase: DestiNations Discovered
Also taking place during the Epcot International Festival of the Arts in 2020 was the “World Showcase: DestiNations Discovered Tour” in and around the eleven themed country pavilions that make up World Showcase.
The walking tour took around 4 1/2 hours and included a snack lunch. It operated on Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from September 1, 2019 to May 31, 2020 but has not been repeated for 2021.
Some of the tour went backstage for an added insight into the history, culture and food of the different countries.
Guest must be at least 16 years old and wear closed-toed shoes. You could make a reservation by calling (407) WDW-TOUR, price was $79 plus tax per adult.
Epcot International Festival of the Arts Information
You can get more information on the Epcot International Festival of the Arts at Disney’s Epcot International Festival of the Arts web site or by ringing 407 WDW-FEST (407 939–3378).
If you like your commemorative Epcot Festival of the Arts merchandise then you will find mugs, tee shirts, totes and much more at Art of Disney, Mouse Gear and World Traveler.