Another masterpiece has been created at Walt Disney World Resort. For those who have forecast that the wildly popular Epcot International Food & Wine Festival and Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival would continue to expand and grow until they merged into a continuous, year-long event, they are now one step closer to that reality. Simply said, the inaugural Epcot International Festival of the Arts is a celebration of the senses and a blast of Pixie Dust for your soul.
"Artful Epcot" is a journey of taste, touch, sound, smell, sight, and balance.
Though Epcot festival-goers have become accustomed to all sorts of food and beverage goodies, Epcot International Festival of the Arts feels different. A mere eight kiosks have been assembled for this six-week gig:
- Masterpiece Kitchen (Canada)
- The Artist's Table (The American Adventure)
- Cuisine Classique (Germany)
- El Artista Hambriento (Mexico)
- Pop Eats! (Showcase Plaza)
- E = AT^2 (Showcase Plaza)
- Decadent Delights (Showcase Plaza)
- The Painter's Palate (Odyssey Festival Showcase)
Additionally, existing food venues will offer festival-only specialties, such as Gingerbread Funnel (Funnel Cake) and Artist Palette Jumbo Chocolate Chip Cookie (Fife & Drum Tavern).
If you get the opportunity, you must ask the Cast Members for the story behind each festival dish. My personal favorite was Pop Eats! and the theming behind it. In the Sixties, American pop artist Roy Lichtenstein rose to fame after his son pointed to a Mickey Mouse comic book and asked if he could draw that well. Lichentstein went on to paint using a series of dots, as you would find in a comic book. Many of the choices at this location are on ode to this artist- the Popping Bubbles Cocktail, specifically. Listen to this Cast Member describe the festival's creative process, while assembling this fizzy, popping beverage.
There's some pop history behind that Popping Bubbles Cocktail!
Every taste has a story, don't it?
Get painting! This expansive Wall Mural Painting takes form and color right before your eyes. Grab a "paintbrush", numbered watercolor, and find a corresponding spot to leave your artistic mark. The finished masterpiece corresponds to a Disney lithograph, and is replaced as soon as it is completed. Return as often as you like. (If you are bringing the littles, ask the Cast Member for a number close to the ground!)
Authentic Broadway talent has come to Walt Disney World Resort. Many in the crowd were visibly overcome with the power of both the music, staging, and those voices. For the first and second weekends, Ashley Brown (the original Mary Poppins) and Josh Strickland (the original Tarzan) bring down the house with songs from those shows, as well as Disney's Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, and Frozen. Yes, they announced they had a big announcement for the crowd:
It's official- Frozen is coming to Broadway!! "Well now they know..." The Disney on Broadway Concert Series will continue in the remaining weeks with Kerry Butler (Beauty and the Beast) and Kevin Massey (Tarzan), and Kissy Simmons (The Lion King) and Alton Fitzgerald White (The Lion King).
Maybe it's just me, but I always associate Figment with the sense of smell. (Too many trips through the Smell Lab and quite a few hits from that skunk, no doubt...) Figment's Brush with the Masters is a MUST-DO for families. Providing a fun art history lesson, this "art-filled scavenger hunt" resembles Remy's Ratatouille Hide & Squeak, but with bona fide teachable moments built-in. Turn your completed map in for your choice of a Figment "Master." I was thrilled to see Figment be given such distinction!
Get you and your family into the picture, literally, with these PhotoPass opportunities scattered throughout World Showcase. These Photo Backdrops provide oodles of laughs, but again, moments in art history for deeper discussion. Any opportunity to mix learning and pleasure is a WIN for parents.
Improve your soul's equilibrium with these Complimentary Seminars, a lecture series that offers arts tips on a wide variety of topics, from Watermelon Carving to Photography 101. I attended the Artisan Spice Blends Seminar & Tasting and "From Animated Films to Theme Parks" with Creative Concept Artist, Lon Smart; SO much to learn, so many inspired topics to choose from. For an additional fee, Interactive Workshops are also offered throughout the festival.
The inaugural Epcot International Festival of the Arts is open, Fridays through Mondays, until February 20th. Unlike the other more established Epcot festivals, I would say this past weekend was more of a total feel-good experience as opposed to a food and beverage stumble. If I could go back next week, I would! This festival is another blockbuster, and my forecast is that it will be expanded in the future. Yes, it's a Mouseterpiece!!