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What To Know: The 2019 Epcot International Festival of the Arts at Walt Disney World

The third annual Epcot International Festival of the Arts started on January 18, and will run daily until February 25. Epcot’s fourth festival continues to expand and improve! Here is what you need to know and experience if you are going. You’d better hurry, though, there isn’t much time left.

1. Food Studios

The extra food offerings around World Showcase and in a few other areas are one of the highlights of all four festivals. For Festival of the Arts, they’re called Food Studios. The snack sized food items aren’t just delicious, they are literal works of art. There are choices such as Deconstructed Reuben with Shredded Corned Beef, Thousand Island Dressing, Pickled Red Cabbage and a Rye Curl, and Artist Palette Jumbo Chocolate Chip Cookie. The dishes are so creative that you will want to take a picture before you take a bite.

2. Disney on Broadway Concert Series

If you are a fan of musicals, you will not want to miss this! Musical theater stars are paired together, and they perform some of your favorite Disney songs. There’s a male and a female voice, and they sing together in perfect harmony. Disney on Broadway has expanded to daily in 2019, and there are three shows each evening of the festival. Concerts are included with your park admission, but to guarantee a seat you might want to book a Disney on Broadway Concert Series Dining Package.

3. Paint-By-Number Mural

One must-do that will not take up much of your time is the Paint-By-Number Mural. You’ll be given a small container of paint with a number on top, a sponge paintbrush, and told how many squares you can fill in. You will then find the number and paint the correct number of squares. When done, you’ll be given a postcard that will tell you what the finished picture will look like if everyone followed the rules and painted within the lines. It’s fun to watch the picture take shape, so you’ll want to stop by several times to see how things are progressing.

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4. Artful Photo Ops

There are several different spots where you might recognize the artwork, but notice that something is missing. It turns out that what is missing is you! There are PhotoPass photographers on hand at the Artful Photo Ops, or ask them to take the picture with your camera or phone. Part of the fun of these photo ops is that you can really play a part, so try your best to mimic the original artwork.

5. Visual Art in Performance

If you visit Festival of the Arts on a Friday, Saturday, Sunday, or Monday, make your way to the Fountain of Nations Stage at either noon or 4:00pm. Art will be created right before your eyes. A performance artist will create a picture on a blank (or background only) canvas. There is music, and you are encouraged to cheer the artist on. It is amazing to watch the artwork form before your eyes. There will come a moment when you realize what the final piece will be, and then you and the rest of the crowd will cheer even louder. When the artwork is complete just a few minutes later, you’ll walk away, wondering how in the world someone can create something so amazing in such a short period of time.

6. More at the Fountain of Nations Stage

There are two other reasons why you’ll want to spend some time at the Fountain of Nations Stage. The first is Art Defying Gravity. This is an acrobatic show that will leave you in awe. The second reason is that that is where you’ll find the Living Statues. You’ll think that they really are statues; until they move. This is a great photo op, just don’t be surprised if the statue’s pose isn’t the same as when you walked over. The living statues are a blast to watch. Be warned, it’s easy to lose track of time, but you’ll be enjoying yourself so much that it won’t really matter.

7. Workshops and Seminars

First the seminars. These are held at 11:30 and 2:00 daily in the Odyssey Festival Showplace. You can learn about music, creating art, flowers, and plenty of other topics. The 30 minute seminars are included with your Epcot ticket. Workshops, on the other hand, are held on select days. You can learn about floral arranging, calligraphy, and the basics of flip art, among other things. The workshops cost $39, and reservations can be made by calling 407-WDW-TOUR (407-939-8687).

8. Paint with a Disney Artist

If you’d like to take your talent to the next level, you might want to sign up for Paint with a Disney Artist. You can learn from one of the best. All levels of experience are welcome, as long as you’re 12 or older. The cost is $259 per person, and a light breakfast is included. Call 407-WDW-TOUR (407-939-8687) for more information.

9. Galleries and Artwork for Sale

If you’re a fan of visual art, you will want to give yourself extra time to visit the many galleries. They are located around World Showcase, although there is not one in each country. There is also plenty of artwork for sale. Take some time and browse the works of the featured artists, you’re sure to find something that you want to take home with you. If getting your artwork home will be a problem, arrangements can be made to safely ship it for you.

10. Chalk Art

If you have never seen the chalk art at Epcot, you will be shocked by the amount of detail. There could be an artist creating a masterpiece while you are there. If so, make sure you return later in the day so that you can see the finished picture. If you have a future chalk artist in your party, there is an area where kids can create their own chalk masterpieces. Who knows, maybe it will inspire them so much that they will become a featured artist at the 20th annual Epcot International Festival of the Arts.

About PaulaK

I grew up in Western Massachusetts. When I was nine my family went to Disneyland and I was hooked. I grew up, attended New England College in Henniker, NH and eventually moved to Virginia. I worked as a disc jockey, married and became a full time mom when our daughter was born. Fast forward several years. In 2010 we moved to Central Florida and my Disney obsession grew. I now work as a freelance writer and spend my spare time in the parks. Under the name Paula Brown I penned the novels Dream Wanderers and The Coffee Cruiser. I also am a co-author of Dining at Walt Disney World: The Definitive Guide. I'm obsessed with Star Wars, so this is a good time to live in Central Florida. I've been a vegetarian for well over a decade, a choice that my daughter eventually made as well. While my husband still hasn't joined us fully he has given up most meats except for seafood. I was relieved to find that vegetarian dining is not difficult at Walt Disney World.