Celebrating seven years of #ArtfulEpcot in 2023 is the Epcot International Festival of the Arts. Our information is the best guide to Epcot International Festival of the Arts because it contains everything you need and nothing you don’t. This festival is a great way to start the new year, featuring the celebration of food, music, and art.
The Best Guide to Epcot International Festival of the Arts 2023
First and foremost, let’s talk about what the festival is. If you’ve ever been to any of the other Epcot festivals, you will find the format for the one very similar. This year’s festival runs from January 13-February 20, 2023. In this guide to Epcot International Festival of the Arts, you will find information about what to eat, what to see, and what to skip on your vacation.
There are booths, or outdoor kitchens, set up in almost every World Showcase country as well as some other locations. These kitchens have all the fantastic food and drink offerings you’ll find at the festival.
Additionally, there is a big focus on live art. We saw artists drawing, painting, singing, and playing instruments. If you or a loved one are really into the arts, this festival is for you.
What to See
As with all the other festivals, there is a ton to see. There is no shortage of activities to do, whether watching a Broadway star’s performance or seeing an artist bring Peter Pan to life on the sidewalk with chalk.
One of my favorite things was walking around and seeing artists drawing and painting. I could have stood there all day watching them create art.
Entertainment offerings are returning this year, including Disney on Broadway. Some of the highlights of the festival include:
- Jan. 13, 15, 16, 19, 20 – Kara Lindsay (“Newsies”) & Kevin Massey (“Tarzan”)
- Jan. 14, 17, 18, 21, 22 – Arielle Jacobs (“Aladdin”) & Adam Jacobs (“Aladdin”)
- Jan. 23, 25, 26, 29, 30, Feb. 2, 3 – Patti Murin (“Frozen”) & Robert Creighton (“Frozen”)
- Jan. 24, 27, 28, 31, Feb. 1, 4, 5– Mandy Gonzalez (“AIDA”) & L. Steven Taylor (“The Lion King”)
- Feb. 7, 10, 11, 14, 15, 18, 19 – Kissy Simmons (“The Lion King”) & Josh Strickland (“Tarzan”)
- Feb. 6, 8, 9, 12, 13, 16, 17 – Ashley Brown (“Mary Poppins”) & Michael James Scott (“Aladdin”)
- Feb. 20 – Special, extended finale performance featuring Brown, Scott, Simmons & Strickland
What to Do at Epcot Festival of the Arts
There is also a lot to do among the many things to see. Activities abound for adults and children alike. All of the following are included with park admission:
- Expression Section: From park open-5 pm participate in a paint-by-numbers mural in the Showcase Plaza.
- Photo Ops: Put yourself into classic works of art. We had a lot of fun being silly and doing this free activity!
- Animation Academy: Learn to draw from a real Disney artist! This free event fills up rather quickly, so check the time’s guide and get in line early for each day’s sessions.
- Chalk Art: Search for beloved Disney characters drawn in chalk throughout the World Showcase.
- Family Fun Films: Check out the new films in France (Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along), Canada (Canada Far and Wide), and The Land (Awesome Planet). They make for a perfect break from all that walking!
Other activities are included for additional fees if you’re looking for something extra. “Figment’s Brush with the Masters” is like the other scavenger hunts during festivals.
Look for Figment in each World Showcase pavilion, put your sticker on your map, and once it’s filled up, return to the Showcase Plaza stores for your prize. This year’s prize looked like a notebook or coloring book, and we have plenty of those, so we opted out (no kids were with us on this trip).
What to Eat
Finally, on to the important stuff: the food! With so many festival kitchens, trying it all might seem overwhelming. Great news! You don’t have to.
Pro tip: visit with a friend or significant other. Order different dishes and drinks and share them. Attempting to eat and drink it all is futile. These are some of the highest rated items at Epcot Festival of the Arts:
- The Deconstructed BLT from Deconstructed Dish. It came with a crispy pork belly, tomato jam, and a soft poached egg. Find it on the right at you enter the Showcase Plaza, near the Port of Entry.
- Pop Eats!, near Port of Entry, has the delicious Pop’t Art pastry that makes for great Instagram photos (bonus points that it tastes good too)!
You can also enjoy tomato soup with grilled cheese here.
- Chorizo and potato empanada with turmeric aioli and annatto aioli from Vibrante & Vivido: Encanto Cocinna were a welcome addition last year, along with the spicy ajiaco soup with guajillo and arbol chili-spiced chicken, potato, avocado, corn, and creme fraiche.
Wonderful Walk of Colorful Cuisine is Back
Like the Festival of the Holidays Cookie Stroll, there is now a “stroll” for the Festival of the Arts.
According to the Disney website: Purchase any 5 menu items from the Wonderful Walk of Colorful Cuisine locations and be sure to collect a stamp to commemorate the occasion! Bring your Festival Passport—featuring your 5 new stamps—to Decadent Delights for a colorful culinary prize offered exclusively at the Festival.
Guests do not have to complete the “walk” in one visit. The festival ends this year on February 20, 2023. If guests bring their completed passport to the Festival Center by February 20, the “colorful prize” can still be picked up!
What to Drink (or Not Drink)
France is always an excellent location for a refreshing drink. This year, L’Art de la Cuisine Francaise is offering a Frozen French Martini with Grey Goose Vodka, vodka, chambord liqueur, pineapple, orange, and grape juices with lemon-lime foam.
Pastoral Palate, the German festival kitchen, offers “A Play on Rosé” flight that includes a rosé hard cider, rosé ale, and Frosé, which is just frozen rosé. We liked everything but the rosé ale.
The Kung Fu Punch from The Painted Panda was one drink everyone raved about but disappointed us. It was just too sweet and not blended very well. Thankfully, it hasn’t made a return to the China booth.
What to Wear to the Festival
Lastly, what should you wear to the festival? After all, it is in the early months of the year. Orlando does get somewhat chilly. I would highly, highly recommend layers. We were comfortably warm during the day, but the air temperatures went down considerably when the sun went down.
Even though it is winter, you’ll want to get in on the bright, cheery colors of the festival. Pinks, yellows, purples, and greens are welcome sights, especially during the doldrums of winter. However you come, come prepared to have fun and maybe learn something while on vacation.