It’s the start of a new year at Disney and that can only mean one thing: It’s Epcot Festival of the Arts season! Artist palette chocolate chip cookies, anyone?
Returning for its sixth year from January 13 to February 20, 2023, Epcot’s ode to the culinary, visual and performing arts is swiftly becoming a Walt Disney World fan favorite. With food that’s a feast for both the eyes and mouth, musical acts and other entertainment around every corner and art sprinkled across the park like pixie dust, we’d tend to agree.
“Another festival?”, you might be thinking. “But Epcot already has so many.” And you, my friend, would be correct. Yes, at four festivals in, you might wonder what makes the Epcot International Festival of the Arts worth a visit. The answer is a lot.
So, grab your paintbrushes, put on your Figment spirit jersey and be sure to bring your appetites, folks, as we dig into all you need to know about Epcot Festival of the Arts 2023.
What Is the Epcot International Festival of the Arts?
The Epcot Festival of the Arts is a celebration of the culinary, performing and visual arts. Whether dutifully filling in squares at the communal paint-by-number mural, fangirling during the Disney on Broadway Concert Series, eating (and drinking!) your way through the food studios or admiring the endless pieces of art, this Epcot art festival truly is a feast for all the senses.
The absolute best part of this artsy soiree is that almost everything is included in the price of your park ticket. We’re talking access to:
16 festival-exclusive food studios (food and beverage costs not included)
Live visual art and musical performances
Meet-and-greets with artists
Interactive art experiences
Fun photo opportunities
And a veritable gallery’s worth of art pieces on display throughout the park
In short, if you’re a fan of music, theater, food or art, this is one Epcot festival you do not want to miss.
With so many shows to watch, things to buy and treats to eat, it can be next to impossible to keep track of everything. Plus, entertainment offerings vary weekly. So, remember to grab your Festival of the Arts Passport once you enter the park so you don’t miss anything.
If you’re easily tempted by tasty things or have a nasty habit of buying everything you touch (*raises hand slowly*), you might also want to snag one of Disney’s nifty gift cards you can wear around your wrist to make paying for stuff that much easier.
PRO TIP: We recommend checking out our ticket partner Undercover Tourist for great deals on discounted tickets.
When Is Disney Festival of the Arts 2023?
This year, Epcot Festival of the Arts 2023 dates are from January 13 to February 20, 2023, with the event running seven days a week. Epcot is currently open from 9 AM to 9 PM daily, with Early Park Entry from 8:30 PM to 9 PM, so be sure to plan your time accordingly.
When Is the Best Time to Visit the Festival of the Arts at Epcot?
In general, January and February are actually some of the best months to travel to the Walt Disney World Resort. Crowds are much more manageable and temperatures are mild (between about 74 and 53 degrees on average), two winning qualities when visiting somewhere as sticky as Central Florida.
Overall, we’d recommend steering clear of any holidays when schools might be out to avoid a potential onslaught of locals. So, consider giving the extended weekend of January 14-16 and February 18-20 a pass.
Where to Stay for the Festival of the Arts
Planning to stay on Disney property while visiting the Disney art festival? Choose an Epcot-area resort to spend less time driving and more time eating your way through your festival bucket list. Because #priorities.Plus, thanks to the Disney Skyliner, you now have even more places to rest your head, all while staying close to the artsy action and with some breathtaking bird’s-eye views as a bonus.
Culinary Arts: Festival of the Arts 2023 Food Studios
As with Epcot’s other festivals, one of the biggest draws of the Festival of the Arts is the amazing food. At this festival, however, next-level plating makes dishes almost too pretty to eat. Seriously, these are some very ‘grammable plates, so get your filters ready. Unfortunately, with great beauty comes a bigger price tag. Expect to pay between $5-$9 for food and $4-$10 for drinks.
This year, guests can choose from 16 different “food studios,” as well as other festival-exclusive snacks and treats, spread throughout the park, including the new Figment’s Inspiration Station: Art, Food and Little Sparks of Magic. Located in the Odyssey building, this booth serves up whimsical treats that everyone’s favorite purple dragon would surely love, as well as an assortment of beers and hard ciders.
Ready to start planning your culinary hopes and dreams for the festival? (We won’t judge, pinky promise.) Read on for the complete list of Festival of the Arts 2023 food studios.
The Artist’s Table – Near The American Adventure
Savory and sweet American-inspired dishes prepared in either the oven or on the stove.
The Craftsman’s Courtyard – Near Disney Traders
Light, beachy favorites like seafood and salads inspired by the California coast, one of the hearts of the Arts & Crafts movement.
Deco Delights – Near Port of Entry
Chic sweets styled after the glamour of the Art Deco movement.
The Deconstructed Dish – Near Showcase Plaza
Cuisine classics remixed and served for both the eyes and stomach.
El Artista Hambriento – Near Mexico
Comforting Mexican favorites rich in flavor and heritage.
NEW! Figment’s Inspiration Station: Art, Food and Little Sparks of Magic – Odyssey Building
Colorful sweets made to inspire your imagination and delight your tastebuds.
Goshiki – Near Japan
Artful displays of the Japanese culinary arts.
Gourmet Landscapes – Near Canada
Rustically elegant dishes made from foraged, farm-fresh ingredients.
L’Art de la Cuisine Francaise – Near France
Decadent French bites and baked goods ranging from sweet to savory.
L’Arte di Mangiare – Near Italy
Indulgent Italian dishes inspired by the richness and drama of the Baroque period.
Moderne – Near Test Track
Avant-garde dishes that put a modern twist on culinary favorites.
The Painted Panda – Near China
Sculptural snacks styled after China’s storied culinary traditions.
Pastoral Palate – Near Germany
Cozy, stick-to-your-ribs dishes straight from the quaint Bavarian countryside.
Pop Eats – Near Port of Entry
Palate-pleasing favorites inspired by colorful pop art.
Tangierine Café: Flavors of the Medina – Near Morocco
Complex Moroccan classics redolent with fragrant spices.
Vibrante & Vívido: Encanto Cocina – Between Morocco and France
Delectable Colombian cuisine styled after Disney’s newest animated movie, Encanto.
Refreshment Port – Near Canada
Year-round snack stand serving up portable bites like gnocchi poutine.
All-year food kiosk offering plant-based brats and Florida beer.
Sweet snack stop serving up funnel cakes laden with chocolate, ice cream and more.
Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Company
Disney’s other java-slinging outpost slinging seasonal coffee drinks.
Too Many Treats to Decide? Try the Wonderful Walk of Colorful Cuisine
With so many tempting dishes to try, how is one meant to narrow it down? If you have as much of a problem deciding as I do (they just all sound so good!), let this little culinary scavenger hunt do all the hard work for you. Just open your passport to find the list, and be sure to collect the stamps for each item as you try it. At the end, you’ll be rewarded with a huge chocolate chip cookie as pretty as a piece of art for free!
Performing Arts: Festival of the Arts 2023 Performances
As a proud musical theater nerd (the first step is acceptance), this writer’s favorite part of the Epcot International Festival of the Arts is without a doubt the musical performances, especially the DISNEY ON BROADWAY Concert Series. Featuring the stars of some of Disney’s hit Broadway shows singing the songs from their award-winning musicals, this is one show you won’t want to miss.
But, that’s not all you can count on for entertainment this year. Let’s dig into all the thrilling performances you can catch at the 2023 Festival of the Arts.
PRO TIP: Be sure to check out the schedule of events for the day you’ll be visiting and make note of any performances you can’t miss to save yourself lots of time and steps during your visit.
Festival of the Arts 2023 Performing Acts
DISNEY ON BROADWAY Concert Series
Sit back, relax, and just try to keep yourself from singing along (we bet you can’t do it!) as sensation Broadway stars perform songs from some of Disney’s hit musicals. Keep in mind that performers do rotate throughout the festival. So, if you know there’s one show or person in particular that you don’t want to me, be sure to plan accordingly. Shows take place three times daily in the America Gardens Theatre at 5:30 PM, 6:45 PM and 8:00 PM.
Kara Lindsay (Newsies) and Kevin Massey (Tarzan)
January 15 through 16
January 19 through 20
Arielle Jacobs (Aladdin) and Adam Jacobs (Aladdin)
January 17 through 18
January 21 through 22
Patti Murin (Frozen) and Robert Creighton (The Little Mermaid)
January 25 through 26
January 29 through 30
February 2 through 3
Mandy Gonzalez (Aida) and L. Steven Taylor (The Lion King)
January 27 through 28
January 31 through February 1
February 4 through 5
Ashley Brown (Mary Poppins) and Michael James Scott (Aladdin)
February 8 through 9
February 12 through 13
February 16 through 17
Kissy Simmons (The Lion King) and Josh Strickland (Tarzan)
February 10 through 11
February 14 through 15
February 18 through 19
Ashley Brown (Mary Poppins), Michael James Scott (Aladdin), Kissy Simmons (The Lion King) and Josh Strickland (Tarzan)
Art Defying Gravity
Strength, acrobatics, and imagination combine in this heart-racing, gravity-defying act at World Showcase Plaza.
Art in Performance
Prepare to be amazed as a guest visual artist paints some of the most beloved Disney characters in minutes right before your eyes.
Visual Arts: Festival of the Arts 2023 Interactive Experiences, Photo Ops, and More
Musical performances are nice and cocktails are dandy, but no trip to the Festival of the Arts is complete without enjoying all the visual arts on offer throughout the park. Whether shopping for the perfect artsy souvenir, posing for the camera while recreating one of the world’s most famous paintings, or channeling your inner Van Gogh during the Animation Academy, there’s sure to be something for everyone.
Chalk Art – Future World East
Art of Disney – American Adventure Pavilion
Marvel at the colors and traditions of Día de Muertos at the Mexico Folk Art Gallery – Mexico Pavilion
Set sail with the Vikings at the Stave Church Gallery – Norway Pavilion
Travel to the Shanghai Disney Resort without ever leaving Epcot at the House of the Whispering Willows – China Pavilion
Learn about all things “kawaii”, meaning cute, at the Bijutsu-kan Gallery – Japan Pavilion
Dig into Saharan cultures at Race Against the Sun: Ancient Technique to Modern Competition – Morocco Pavilion
Explore the story of French theater, dance, music, and movies at Tale as Old as Time: French Storytelling on Stage and Screen – France Pavilion
Art-Inspired Photo Ops
Believe it or not, these creative photo backdrops are one of this writer’s favorite parts of the Festival of the Arts (blame it on all those art history classes in college, or maybe one too many festival cocktails). There are eight of these magical photo ops sprinkled throughout the park, so keep your eyes peeled.
Have your camera ready or grab the nearest PhotoPass Photographer as you and your Disney crew bring some of history’s greatest paintings to life. And if you grab a couple of snaps of your group doing your best Washington Crossing the Delaware or Frieda Kahlo impressions, be sure to tag us on Instagram so we can see!
Merchandise and Artist Galleries
If there’s one thing Disney fans love as much as going to the parks, it’s buying Disney merch. And fortunately, the Epcot International Festival of the Arts has plenty to go around. Whether you’re looking for a new piece of art for your Disney gallery wall or the perfect Figment souvenir, you’re sure to find something at one of the many booths located throughout the park.
Even if you’re not planning on buying, be sure to check out each of the artists’ studios. Disney is bringing together more than 100 artists (both from Disney and visiting artists) to share their passion with you. So when you swing by the artist galleries, take a minute or two to talk with the artists about their process. You may just walk away with a personalized piece of art, or be inspired to create your own.
When it comes to art, oftentimes the best part is making it yourself. Luckily, the Festival of the Arts is chock full of opportunities for kids of all ages to unleash their inner Picasso.
Expression Section: A Paint-by-Number Mural (Daily, Park Open to 5pm)
Grab a cup of paint and a paintbrush as you join forces with other Epcot guests to complete a paint-by-number mural. Another writer favorite!
Kidcot Fun Stops
Who says Kidcot Fun Stops are just for kids? Roll up your sleeves and get in touch with your inner child as you create your own art-inspired masterpiece.
Figment’s Brush With The Masters
Experience the Festival of the Arts through new eyes with this scavenger hunt through World Showcase with Figment. Just buy a map and the corresponding stickers from Disney Traders or World Traveler at International Gateway, then set out in search of Figment as he hides in famous artworks. When the scavenger hunt is complete, return with the map to wherever you bought it for a surprise.
Chalk Full of Character
While you’re at it, keep a weathered eye open for some of your favorite Disney characters hidden throughout World Showcase.
Animation Academy(Daily, 12:30-1:00 PM at America Gardens Theatre)
Another writer favorite! Join a Disney Animation artist for a hands-on drawing lesson. By the end of the step-by-step class, you’ll walk away with a Disney character sketch of your very own.
Our Top Tips for Going to the Epcot Art Festival 2023
Here at Park Savers, we’re all about helping you make the most out of whatever it is you’re trying to do while exploring the Disney parks and resorts, whether that’s your time, money, or trip in general. So, here are our top recommendations for maximizing your Festival of the Arts experience:
1. Visit for a couple of days if you can.
With lighter crowds and pleasant temperatures throughout the festival, Epcot’s International Festival of the Arts can comfortably be enjoyed over a day and evening. However, with so much to see and do, we’d suggest stretching the fun out to two days if you have the time. You’ll get to try more dishes and drinks on your to-do list and not have to rush through all the amazing art and performances there are to see.
Or, if you’d rather not spend two full days at Epcot, take advantage of park hopping and split your second day at another park. Then, return to Epcot for the evening. Because I think we can all agree that Epcot nights are the best nights.
2. Steer clear of the weekends.
The rest of the world may not be aware of the awesomeness that is the Festival of the Arts just yet but trust us, the locals are definitely in on the secret. For blissfully light crowds, be sure to plan your visit for the weekdays (minus Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Presidents’ Day).
3. Disney PhotoPass Photographers are your friends.
I know, I know – in many cases, when you see someone at a theme park offering to take your picture, you turn away as fast as possible just so you can avoid the inevitable sales push. For the uninitiated, that simply isn’t the case at Disney, and boy, are we glad about that.
Disney PhotoPass Photographers are simply there to help you make some magical memories with your crew. If you buy something, great! And oftentimes, thanks to fun props and magic shots, they’re shots you’d like to keep anyway. So don’t be shy, stop by and say “hello.” You might just leave with your favorite festival souvenir.
4. Plan your food, drink, and merchandise budget (and what you’d like to try) beforehand.
$7 for a plate here, $8 for a cocktail there. A few Wonderground Gallery postcards later and before you know it, you’re fretting over that last avocado margarita you bought during a moment of weakness (it’s just so darn refreshing!). That’s the problem with all Epcot festivals, 20223 included: Everything just looks so good!
Add in bunches of festival-exclusive merchandise and access to tons of beautiful, Disney-themed art and you have a potential travel-budget disaster just waiting to happen. Save yourself the stress by making a list of your absolute must-try plates and set aside a certain amount of cash specifically for the festival if you’re worried about getting carried away. Disney’s wearable gift cards are great for staying on budget.
5. Divide your dishes and conquer more of your festival bucket list.
Sharing is caring. But in this case, sharing also means getting to try even more delicious bites and yummy drinks than you would have normally and saving money– both huge wins in our books.
6. Take time to connect and explore.
If there’s anything that the pandemic has taught us, it’s that connecting with people and a place is important. Fortunately, one of the beautiful things about Epcot is all the opportunities you have to learn about something new, whether it’s a different culture or some food you’ve never tried. That’s just as true with the Festival of the Arts.
One of the coolest things about Festival of the Arts is that you are able to talk to the many artists visiting the festival. So, don’t just look and then leave when visiting their booths. Spend a few minutes getting to know them and how Disney inspires them. And while you’re at it, why not try that dish you’ve been eyeing up? It’s sure to make your festival visit one you won’t forget.
Well, we hope that you enjoy the International Festival of the Arts as much as we do! This inspired festival is filled with things to do, whether you’re an art enthusiast or a family on their first Disney vacation. And besides, if there was ever a time we needed a bit more color in our lives, it’s certainly now.