Walt Disney World aims to kick off the new year in dazzling, colorful fashion with the return of the Epcot International Festival of the Arts, opening January 16. The spectacular event, which has quickly become a favorite among both locals and visitors, expands to 39 days this year. In its third consecutive year, the festival continues to celebrate human achievement through the visual, performing and culinary arts, with a myriad of opportunities for guests to enter the world of artistic expression themselves.
The Visual Arts
Throughout Epcot during the Festival of the Arts, guests are immersed in a visual wonderland. Pop-up galleries offer an opportunity to view (and purchase) a wide array of Disney-inspired art. Visiting artists create works in various media as the hustle and bustle of the park surrounds them. Life-size, 3D reproductions of some of the world’s most famous paintings enable guests to become part of the history and the action, and have become a favorite photo op.
Guests can also grab a brush or pencil themselves, as they join in a collaborative, paint-by-numbers mural, or learn to sketch their favorite Disney character at the festival’s Animation Academy.
New in 2019: This year, in addition to crossing the Delaware with Washington or posing coyly as Venus emerging from the sea, guests can enjoy a brand new photo op featuring the beloved characters of Peter Pan and Neverland. Find the new display in the UK Pavilion.
Don’t Miss: Complimentary seminars that take place daily at 11:30 a.m. in Odyssey Festival Showplace. The 30-minute classes cover a wide range of subjects, with everything from flower arranging and photography to upcycling and watermelon carving. For a full list of seminars, visit Disney.com.
The Performing Arts
Acts of all stripes take the stage—or rather, stages—throughout the festival, as Epcot shines a light on the performing arts. Sing along with beloved favorites during the Disney on Broadway Concert Series. To reserve a seat, consider purchasing a dining package at one of five participating Epcot restaurants: Norway’s Akershus Royal Banquet Hall, Germany’s Biergarten, the UK’s Rose & Crown Pub and Restaurant, or the Garden Grill or Coral Reef, both located in Future World. To book, call (407) WDW DINE or visit the website.
In addition to the concert series An array of musical and variety acts appear throughout World Showcase, including fan favorites Bokh’aktan in the Canada Pavilion. Or, if your tastes run to feats of strength, you won’t want to miss acrobatics on the Fountain View Stage.
New in 2019: Included with the price of admission, the Disney on Broadway concert series features performers bringing your favorite Disney songs to life, and in 2019, the popular series expands to seven days per week, with three shows nightly.
Don’t Miss: The Living Statues. Inspired by their surroundings, you’ll swear these “statues” are inanimate objects—until they spring to life right before your eyes!
The Culinary Arts
Hungry yet? You’ve come to the right place. The festival promises to be a feast for all of your senses, as you are treated to dishes and drinks that are as beautiful as they are delicious. Each of the festival’s Food Studios convey a distinct theme as Disney chefs bring to life works and genres of art with their favorite palette: food and drink! Foodies will relish in tempting tastes from creatively themed spots such as Pop Eats! (celebrating pop art with visually-inspired bites), The Deconstructed Dish (proving that every dish is more than the sum of its parts), Masterpiece Kitchen (where culinary arts and fine wine collide).
New in 2019: The fork-tender Beef Wellington with mushroom bordelaise, fennel cream and roasted baby vegetables at The Artist’s Table is big enough to share.
A Smoked Salmon Gateau garnished with paddlefish caviar from The Painter’s Palate is an indulgent dish, paired perfectly with the Crémant de Bourgogne Veuve d’Ambal Expression, available at L’Art de la Cuisine Française in the France Pavilion.
Don’t Miss: The dishes are all delish, but desserts rule at the festival. Tired of the same old thing? Try something new with a Chocolate and Beer Pairing at The Artist’s Table, featuring a trio of beers that perfectly complement beautiful artisan chocolates. Or indulge in the Vanilla, Rose Water and Pistachio Panna Cotta from Masterpiece Kitchen.
However you celebrate the arts, don't miss this event, happening now through February 25, 2019.