Entertainment Editor

We’re in festival mode yet again.

The 2019 Epcot International Festival of the Arts kicked off on Friday, less than one month after the park wrapped up its International Festival of the Holidays (Dec. 30, 2018).

While Epcot seems to be Central Florida’s festival headquarters, each event holds its own theme and uniqueness. 

The International Festival of the Arts features artists from around the globe, all showcasing their work throughout the park’s World Showcase of country pavilions. (Of course there’s live and interactive entertainment, food, beverages, merchandise and more, to continue the art theme.)

Festival of the Arts

Live entertainment

Disney on Broadway Concert Series

Guests of all ages can experience the sounds of the Disney on Broadway Concert Series. With performances seven days a week, and different pairs of stars performing every two weeks, there will be a show for every Disney-lover. All performances are at the America Gardens Theatre, located in the America pavilion of the World Showcase. Note: Dining packages are available for this show.

See this month’s schedule:

• Jan. 24-25 — Meredith Inglesby and Steve Blanchard

• Jan. 26 — Kerry Butler and Kevin Massey 

• Jan. 27 — Meredith Inglesby and Steve Blanchard

• Jan. 28-29 — Arielle Jacobs and Adam Jacobs

• Jan. 30-31 — Heidi Blickenstaff and Gavin Lee

For February’s schedule, or for more information on the series or dining packages, visit https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/entertainment/epcot/broadway-concert-series/

Live performance art

Something really fun that happens at Epcot’s International Festival of the Arts is the live performance art. Guests are invited to watch artists create a masterpiece right before their eyes, and then take it home with them (for a price, of course).

“[Guests] can actually purchase art created in our park, live before [their] eyes,” said Will Dasso, Merchandise Guest Experience Manager for Walt Disney World’s Epcot. “It’s such a treat to be able to offer that, to showcase the visual arts and performing arts coming together.”

All performance paintings are created in 30 minutes or less, live on stage in Fountain View.

Additional live entertainment

More notable, live entertainment includes international musical and variety acts (like the return of Bodh’aktan to the Canada stage and introducing Delta Q on the Germany stage), live statues, acrobatics, visiting bands and more. Times guides may be picked up upon park entry.

Interactive entertainment

Animation Academy

The Animation Academy allows guests to get a free drawing lesson of a Disney character with a Walt Disney World professional. This, as well as other workshops and seminars, are available at the Odyssey Festival Showplace. 

Available options, times guides and scheduling is available at https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/events-tours/epcot/epcot-international-festival-of-the-arts-workshops/

Photo opportunities

Don’t forget to get in on some “Artful Photo Ops” throughout your visit. Cell phone or Disney Photo Pass photos may be taken in front of artistic backdrops, inspired by world-known classic pieces.

Paint-by-the-Number Mural

Want to leave your mark at Epcot? Now’s your chance. Guests can really be part of the festival by participating in an interactive display. Stop by the Paint-by-the-Number Mural, located within World Showcase, grab a numbered paint cup, find your number and paint a few squares. The massive murals start as just black and white squares, and become beautiful works of art by the end of the festival. The mural isn’t something you’ll get to take home with you, but after painting your squares, you can pick up a free postcard version.

Food and drinks

What would an Epcot festival be without some tasty treats? 

“The food and drinks are as beautiful and creative as they are delicious,” said Dave Kesting, Food and Beverage Director and Festival Director for Epcot, as many of the plates are quite literally edible works of art. 

Some festival plates include Deconstructed BLT with Crispy Pork Belly, Tomato Jam and Soft Poached Egg; Red Wine-braised Beef Short Rib with Parsnip Purée, Broccolini, Baby Tomatoes and Aged Balsamic; Lemon and Blood Orange Tart; Artist Palette Jumbo Chocolate Chip Cookie; and more. 

Some festival beverages include Concrete Beach Brewery Rosé Ale (from Miami, FL); Frosé; Blue Sky Black Cherry Boba Freeze (non-alcoholic); Neapolitan Beer Flight; and more.

Merchandise

While the focus of the International Festival of the Arts is truly on the artisans’ work, there’s a lot more to buy than just artwork. Festival-exclusive merchandise is available through Feb. 25, and includes apparel (shirts and Spirit Jerseys), accessories (ears and pins), dishware and more. One of the highlights is the all-new Magic Band, which proudly features Figment — the star of the festival.

“We have never had a Festival of the Arts Magic Band, so we’re very excited to offer this,” said Dasso. 

More information

For more information on the 2019 International Festival of the Arts, https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/events-tours/epcot/epcot-international-festival-of-the-arts/