In 2024, the Epcot International Festival of the Arts will celebrate eight years as an Epcot festival. Our information is the best guide because it contains everything you need and nothing you don’t. This colorful event is a great way to start the new year, featuring the celebration of food, music, art, and performing arts. It’s one of my favorite Walt Disney World special events. Plan to take in incredible performances, pose for Insta-worthy social media photos, and indulge in beautifully presented food. The festival celebrates three artistic disciplines: Culinary, Visual, and Performing Arts.
What and When is The Festival of the Arts?
The festival of the arts is a celebration of various forms of art, including music, dance, theater, visual arts, and more. It typically takes place annually in the later winter months, but the specific dates may vary. It is the first festival of the year at Epcot, which has become synonymous with being a “festival park.” The festival also features standalone marketplace booths called Food Studios that offer enhanced food options around the park.
The Best Guide to Epcot International Festival of the Arts 2024
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 12th to February 19th, 2024. In this guide to the Epcot International Festival of the Arts, you will find information about what to eat, what to see, and what to skip on your vacation, including food booth reviews.
There are booths, or Food Studios, set up in almost every World Showcase country as well as some other locations. These booths have all the fantastic food and drink offerings you’ll find at the festival, including popular items like rainbow cake, a sushi donut, and grilled cheese made with pimento cheese, bacon, and a fried green tomato.
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 at Festival of the Arts
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 their creative process! They are truly master artists.
Entertainment offerings returning this year include favorite Disney on Broadway performers. These performances take place in the American Gardens Theater each night at 5:45 pm, 6:45 pm, and 8 pm. These talented artists showcase their singing skills as they perform songs they helped make famous through their Broadway performances. This is the full lineup for the Broadway Concert Series:
- Jan. 12, 14, 15, 18, 20, 22, & 23– Caissie Levy (Frozen) & Patti Murin (Frozen)
- Jan. 13, 16, 17, 19, 21, 24, & 25- Gavin Lee (Beauty and the Beast) and Heidi Blickenstaff (The Little Mermaid)
- Jan. 26, 28, & 29- Ashley Brown (Mary Poppins) and L. Steven Taylor (The Lion King)
- Jan. 27, 30, & 31– Josh Strickland (Tarzan) and Kissy Simmons (The Lion King)
- Feb. 1, 3, 5, & 6- Ashley Brown (Mary Poppins) and L. Steven Taylor (The Lion King)
- Feb. 2, 4, 7, & 8- Josh Strickland (Tarzan) and Kissy Simmons (The Lion King)
- Feb. 9, 11, 12, 15, 18, & 19- Mandy Gonzalez (Aladdin) and Michael James Scott (Aladdin)
- Feb. 10, 13, 14, 16, 17, & 19- Bradley Gibson (The Lion King) and Shoba Narayan (Aladdin)
Dining packages are available and come with priority seating for the performance of your choice. Be sure to book those in advance as they can sell out!
What to Do at 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 famous works of art and become your own work 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 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 just like the familiar scavenger hunts offered during other festivals.
Search for Figment in each World Showcase pavilion, put your corresponding sticker on your map, and once it’s filled up, return to the World Showcase Plaza stores or Disney Traders 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). Don’t forget to purchase your map and stickers at the Creations Shop, Port of Entry, or World Traveler to get started on this art-filled journey exploring the colors of the rainbow.
Looking for a convenient way to pay during the festival? We love the convenience of the mini festival-themed Disney Gift Card. Load it for as little as $15 and wear it on your wrist for quick and easy scanning when you purchase all your festival delights. The gift card is good for festival exclusive merchandise, food, and drinks.
What to Eat at Festival of the Arts
Finally, on to the important stuff—the food! With so many food options, trying it all might seem overwhelming. Great news! You don’t have to try it all at once. However, my tip is to plan a visit with a friend or significant other. Order different dishes and drinks and share them. Attempting to eat and drink it all is futile—you’ll never have enough stomach space! These are some of the highest-rated items at the Epcot food items at the event:
- Highly recommend the Deconstructed BLT from Deconstructed Dish. It comes with a crispy pork belly, tomato jam, onion bread pudding, and watercress espuma. Find it on the right at you enter the Showcase Plaza, near the Port of Entry. The Deconstructed Key Lime Pie is also found here and is very popular on social media.
- Figment’s Inspiration Station at the Odyssey: Art, Food and Little Sparks of Magic has the popular rainbow cake with freeze-dried skittles, a blueberry-filled pastry tart with purple icing, and the wildly popular Figment Premium Popcorn Bucket with rainbow popcorn.
- At Pop Eats!, near the Port of Entry, we recommend the grilled cheese sandwiches (either one) with tomato soup.
- Chorizo and potato empanada with turmeric aioli and annatto aioli from Vibrante & Vivido: Encanto Cocinnawere a welcome addition in 2022 and are back in 2024.
Wonderful Walk of Colorful Cuisine
Like the Festival of the Holidays Cookie Stroll, there is now a “stroll” or a “food challenge,” for lack of a better term, 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 19, 2024. If guests bring their completed passport to the Festival Center by February 19, the “colorful prize” can still be picked up. Food photos are not required, but always lots of fun!
Special Drinks at Festival of the Arts
Don’t forget about interesting beverages when you’re trying new food! There are usually alcoholic and non-alcoholic choices to choose from in addition to bottled water and sodas. Here are our suggestions for what, or what not, to drink:
- The France Pavilion’s L’Art de la Cuisine Francaise has a Frozen French Martini with Grey Goose Vodka, vodka, Chambord liqueur, pineapple, orange, and grape juices with lemon-lime foam.
- Pastoral Palate, the German Food Studio, 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.
- Everyone on social media likes to give L’Arte di Mangiare in the Italy Pavilion a hard time for having uninspiring food, but let me tell you, their Italian Margarita made with tequila and limoncello is worth the stop to sample.
For a full list of food booths and their offerings, make sure to visit the official Festival of the Arts page on the Disney World website.
Should I Change My Park Pass Reservation to Attend the Festival of the Arts?
While the event is absolutely worth a visit, guests visiting Disney World no longer have to make Park Pass Reservations to visit any Walt Disney World theme park. Date-based tickets, also called regular park tickets, allow guests who have them to move about as they like when visiting their chosen park. Guests who have a Park Hopper option as part of their ticket can now park hop whenever they desire. The only exceptions to these new rules are tickets for:
- Student Groups
- Sports and Convention tickets
- Disney Military Salute Tickets
- Florida Resident Disney Thrills Ticket
- Annual Passholders
What to Wear to Festival of the Arts
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.