Tips For Visiting the Epcot International Festival of the Arts 2018, Including Disney on Broadway Concert Series and Food Studios
The Epcot International Festival of the Arts kicked off on January 12th, 2018. This is just the second year of the Festival, which became popular very quickly and has expanded both in offerings and dates for this year. The 2017 debut saw only 4 days a week for the Epcot Festival of the Arts, which now is an every day event through February 19th, 2018. This is now probably my second favorite Walt Disney World event behind the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival, which we'll be sharing with you for our 12th year in just over a month. Mousesteps Weekly show #254 will be mostly about the Epcot International Festival of the Arts and I will embed that when we record it.
I especially like that Epcot's resident dragon Figment is again a big part of the Epcot International Festival of the Arts.
Here are my tips for the Festival!
1 - Plan to visit toward the end of the run - The Epcot International Festival of the Arts ends just 9 days before the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival begins on February 28th, 2018. Even if you cannot be in town for both events, beginning your vacation at the end of Epcot Festival of the Arts will allow you to see some beautiful gardens and topiaries that start filling in a couple of weeks or more prior to the longtime springtime flower festival. It just adds more beauty for your vacation. Of course, Epcot is beautiful even if you visit earlier too.
Festivals collide in 2017
2 - Stay at an Epcot area resort - If Epcot is your main reason to visit, the Epcot area resorts that encompass Disney's Yacht & Beach Club Resort, Disney's Boardwalk Resort & Villas and the non-Disney owned Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resorts are easily walkable and make visiting the park much easier. These resorts are also easily accessible to Disney's Hollywood Studios by foot or Friendship Boat. Check with our sponsor MEI/Mousefan Travel for pricing on these or any other resorts.
Disney's Boardwalk Resort
3 - Make a plan ahead of time - Not everything needs to be scheduled out to enjoy this event. But if you are looking to try your hand at a class that would require a reservation, you'll want to secure that ahead if possible. Many seminars are free and you can just show up on the day.
4 - Pick up a Festival Passport - All Epcot festivals now offer a Festival Passport. This is a handy way to keep track of what is going on, it is compact and even includes some stickers and pages for the Art Walk.
5 - Play Figment's Brush with the Masters scavenger hunt. - This is inexpensive, fun and the prize is a pin this year instead of a magnet. Guests stop at each World Showcase country and look for Figment in artwork.
Figment in artwork for Figment's Brush with the Masters
6 - See a Disney on Broadway Concert Series concert - Each weekend during the festival, Broadway performers share songs from Disney shows. These songs can be from Tarzan, Mary Poppins, The Little Mermaid, Newsies and more. The concerts last about a half hour.
Jenn Gambatese and Kevin Massey, first weekend of the 2018 Epcot International Festival of the Arts
7 - Visit Food Studios - All Epcot festivals include food, and the Epcot International Festival of the Arts is no exception. There aren't the abundance of booths that the Epcot Food & Wine Festival has, but there are more than last year and of course there are the regular (and plentiful) Epcot restaurants to enjoy as well. For myself, I prefer to try a few food booth samples and then sit down for a full meal at a table service restaurant on the opening day of any festival if we are there all day. Some guests dine exlusively at the booths, there are options for everyone.
Coconut Panda Rice Cake from the Painted Panda booth
8 - Take a class at the Animation Academy - The Animation Academy is no longer offered at Disney's Hollywood Studios or DisneyQuest, so this is the chance you have to learn drawing from a Disney artist. This is included with the price of park admission and is fun! The class this year moved to the Odyssey Festival Showplace.
9 - Participate in seminars and interactive workshops - Interactive Workshops are an added charge, and include Floral Arranging, Gesture Drawing Class and more. These cost $39.00 and Annual Passholders and DVC Members do receive a discount. The workshops remind me of the Disney Institute back when there were public classes, I enjoyed painting a cel last year. There are also free seminars, and those include Home Brewing, Watermelon Carving and Photography 101.
Disney Creative Concept Artist Lon Smart conducts a seminar
10 - See Living Statues, Community Showcase Performances, Chalk Art & More - There is a lot to see around the Festival as well. Chalk art can be found near the former Universe of Energy, with a chalk area for kids too. Living statues are back next to the Fountain of Nations. There is other artwork and performances to enjoy as well. And the Art Walk is pretty fun, check that out in your Festival Passport.
Stitch in chalk art
11 - Purchase Festival Merchandise - The amount of dedicated merchandise for Epcot International Festival of the Arts is modest compared with other festivals, but there is some - including shirts, Tervis mugs, a Festival ceramic mug and more. Plus, guests can buy artwork around World Showcase as well as in Future World.
Figment Passholder Tervis
12 - Meet characters along with their artwork - As with last year, some character meet and greets also include artwork. I didn't notice any new ones, but the characters are Donald Duck, Snow White, Belle, Princess Aurora and Alice. It does add a little more fun to the experience!
Donald Duck artwork in Mexico
13 - Find special photo opportunities that put you in the art - There are more this year than last, terrific photo ops that include a nighttime one behind Spaceship Earth (I highly recommend that!)
Fun night photo backdrop
14 - Help paint a wall mural - It doesn't sound very exciting, but guests can paint 5 squares on a large mural and receive a themed postcard. It is actually fun and the takeaway is nice! Last year this experience was sponsored by Glidden, but does not appear to be this year.
Figments on a paint-by-number mural
15 - Meet Disney artists and authors - Depending on the day, you can meet different Disney artists and sometimes authors as well. Check out the offical Epcot International Festival of the Arts website for more information for your visit.
Have a great time if you choose to visit the Epcot International Festival of the Arts!
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