Disney World has just launched its first Epcot Festival of the Arts, and the event is a nifty blend of three types of art: visual, performing and culinary. Technically called Epcot® International Festival of the Arts, the event started on January 13 and will continue over the following five weekends, ending on February 20.
Most of you read this blog for food tips, so I'll save those for last. Here are other ways to get your culture on during the inaugural Epcot Festival of the Arts:
Epcot Festival of the Arts: Visual Arts
Plenty of artists make their living reinterpreting Disney characters into various art forms. During the Epcot Festival of the Arts, you'll get to see some of those artists create new work before your eyes. Here is Joe Kaminski, whose edgy artwork makes excellent merchandise.
Vendors around the World Showcase sell their wares, from official Disney prints to photography and books constructed of handmade paper. Disney itself, and the Arribas Brothers and Wyland Galleries that sell around Disney World, also have temporary shops set up. You won't find the kind of artisan goods that made the now-gone annual Festival of the Masters special, but this is Year 1. Give the festival time to expand its merchandise offerings.
But ... ta-da-dum ... the Epcot Festival of the Arts has these what they call "Artful photo-ops." Basically, classic paintings are replicated in human size, and you can step into the picture for a photo. Here are a few examples with people who happened to be posing as I walked by.
Epcot Festival of the Arts: Performing Arts
Epcot frequently has concerts at its America Gardens Theatre, and during the Epcot Festival of the Arts the performers will be singers who have performed in Disney plays on Broadway. Here's a typical marquis.
Pair that with a treasure hunt, and you'll have no trouble keeping the kids entertained during your visit.
Epcot Festival of the Arts: Culinary Arts
And then there's the food. Replicating the themed kiosks called Marketplaces at the annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, the Epcot Festival of the Arts has six food "studios." Here are some culinary highlights.
So that's it. Not really. The Epcot Festival of the Arts has several more components and you can get a full rundown here. Whether you simply watch an artist create, or make it a mission to experience all the offerings, you'll ultimately agree that the Epcot Festival of the Arts is a welcome supplement to the theme park.