8 Inspirational Activities You Can Do At the Festival of the Arts
Walt Disney once said, “I never intended to make art.” Intended or not, that is exactly what he did. From his films to his revolutionary parks, Uncle Walt created masterpieces that will inspire the world for generations. The artistic spirit can still be seen throughout the parks, particularly at the Epcot Festival of the Arts, which runs from January 8 through February 22. Let’s take a look at eight ways to get artistically inspired at this year’s festival.
One thing you can always count on: an Epcot festival is going to be overflowing with delicious food. The Festival of the Arts is no exception, featuring a massive celebration of the culinary arts. You can find dishes like Beef Wellington at the Artist’s Table, Pork Belly Pastor at El Artista Hambriento in the Mexico, a Sushi Donut at Goshiki in the Japan Pavilion, or the Trio de Macarons at L’Art de la Cuisine Francaise in the France Pavilion. There is also the kiosks are set up around the world showcase with foods that are both reflective of the country they are located in, and also designed to be aesthetically appealing to the eye. If you’ve been to the festival before, it may be tempting to find one of your old favorites, but if you want my advice I’d try something new. Art expands our horizons, and there is such a variety of foods available that if you’re willing to be a little adventurous you’ll probably find a new favorite.
2. The Wonderful Walk of Colorful Cuisine
Okay, this could technically be considered food, but it’s also kind of its own separate experience. You pick up a passport to the festival on your way in, and you’ll find specially selected food items noted. Find and buy those food items (there are five) as you meander through the park and you’ll earn a special treat.
Each item features a special color. The color red is highlighted in Remy’s Ratatouille (Eggplant, Zucchini, Yellow Squash, Tomatoes, and Red Pepper Piperade) which can be found at Festival Favorites. Blue is featured in the Blue Corn Pupusa stuffed with Cheese. The dish is topped with Shredded Pork, Guajillo and Árbol Chile Sauce, Cabbage Slaw, and Aji Amarillo Crema and can be bought at Vibrante & Vívido Food Studio. Proving that it’s delicious being green is the Pistachio Cake with Cherry Mousse and Morello Cherries located at The Painter’s Palate. A lovely shade of Pink is the color of the day in Vanilla, Rose Water, and Pistachio Panna Cotta, which is available at Masterpiece Kitchen. Rounding things out is Orange, the primary color of the Mouskoutchou (Orange Cake with Cinnamon-Orange Chocolate Mousse), which is located at Mosaic Canteen. Finish with all five colors and you’ll be rewarded with the Artist’s Palette Cookie, which resembles an artist’s palette with splashes of colorful “paint” on it.
3. Figment’s Brush With the Masters
Figment is an important part of the Festival of the Arts. After all, he’s the figment of imagination that gives us that one little spark. He’s also the mascot for Figment’s Brush With the Masters Scavenger Hunt. To take part, you simply have to purchase a map which costs 7.99. The map will guide you to specific pieces of art found throughout the World Showcase. Each piece of art features our mischievous little friend Figment. Not only does he inspire art, he’s become art! As you find each item you place the corresponding sticker onto your map. Once you’ve completed the scavenger hunt there’s a special prize. This year, you’ll receive a character puzzle! Not simply an ordinary jigsaw puzzle, this item is a bit of 3-D art that will resemble a Disney character when completed.
4. Interactive Paint-By-Number Mural
At the Epcot Festival of the Arts, you don’t just observe the art, you actually get to create it! The Paint by Number Mural has returned for this year’s festival in the Expression Section. To participate you’ll visit a booth where a Cast Member will provide you with a paintbrush and paint in the color of your choice. You’ll then find a spot corresponding to your color on the mural and paint five boxes. To ensure the health and safety of Guests, every other section of the mural is roped off, and Guests are brought in using alternating groups.
5. The Performing Arts!
Though there are some differences this year, Disney still wanted to celebrate the performing arts at this year’s festival. So, Guests can still enjoy a number of performances located around Future World and the World Showcase. Performers include the Voices of Liberty performing the Disney Songbook, Chalk Artists, and limited time performances by the JaMMitors, Art Defying Gravity (a physical strengths act), the Epcot Pianist, and Visual Art in Performance. The last offering is a high energy show which features a painter drawing favorite characters in just minutes!
6. Artist Galleries
One of the best features of the festival is the ability to discover new artists. There are galleries and merchandise booths located throughout the park, as well as live artists painting around the World Showcase. Art featured in the galleries includes Disney and non-Disney artists. You can even take some art home with you.
7. Chalk Full of Character
As you make your way through the park, be on the lookout for hidden characters. They’re everywhere! Called the Chalk Full of Character scavenger hunt, Guests can find images of characters scattered throughout the World Showcase. Among the characters you’ll find are Dante from Pixar’s Coco, Snowgies from Frozen Fever, Mushu from Mulan, Pascal from Tangled, Jiminy Cricket from Pinocchio, Amos from the animated short Ben & Me, Duffy and Gelatoni, Abu from Aladdin, the kittens from The Aristocats, Remy from Ratatouille, Peter Pan, Robin Hood, Little John and Skippy, as well as Koda from Brother Bear.
8. Step Into Art
Look, between you and me, I think you’re already a work of art. You. Yes, you reading this right now. However, if you REALLY want to become an immortal work of art, you can do so at the Festival of the Arts. Located within the park are recreations of famous paintings, designed so that you can literally step into them and have your photograph taken as part of the art. Photo ops include Washington Crossing the Delaware, the Mona Lisa, Homage to Frida Kahlo, The Scream by Edvard Munch, Luncheon of the Boating Party by Renoir, Peter Pan Storybook, Birth of Venus by Botticelli, and Cafe Terrace at Night and Sunflowers by Vincent Van Gogh.
No matter what your taste in art, there’s something at the Festival of the Arts to inspire you. Maybe you’ll go home and end up creating some art of your own. After all, one little spark of inspiration is at the start of all creation!