Epcot’s International Festival of the Arts

Fine arts is showcased at Epcot International Festival of the Arts. This festival has something to offer for all the senses as well as all ages. Tasty snacks, beautiful artwork, performances by Disney Broadway stars, and opportunities to make your own artwork are around every corner. All this is done while learning about art methods and artists from around the world. It’s a perfect educational activity disguised as fun!

What is the Epcot International Festival of the Arts?

The official answer from WDW is it’s a celebration of art, entertainment, and food.  In ordinary terms, it’s a festival celebrating the arts which includes painting, drawing, sculpting, music, dance, theatre, cooking and so much more. There is literally something for everyone at this festival even non creative peeps like me!

 

The artwork on display (and for purchase) is gorgeous and appeals to a wide range of artistic tastes. What makes it  better is that the artists many times are right there creating while you watch! These gracious artists welcome your child‘s questions as well as their comments. We’ve even had artists willing to hang out and discuss style, technique, and give creative tips. From our interactions with them, it seems like their favorite thing ( next to creating art) is encouraging young artists to keep on working and trying new things. I’ll tell you that nothing inspires and encourages a child who loves art more than a bona fide artist being interested in them and what they do.


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The Broadway style entertainment series is fabulous. If your family enjoys musicals, these shows are a must see. If your family is unfamiliar with Broadway style, this is a super way to introduce them to it. We’ve caught one show so far that featured a star from Disney’s Broadway production of Tarzan and a star from the film and Broadway adaptation of Newsies. They put on the most fun and energetic show, it just makes you want to go to the theater!  This is a great place to work on theater etiquette and other social skills with your child without shelling out tons of money for an actual ticket.
Now I can’t say that this next part is my favorite ( there’s just too much greatness to choose from), but it does make my homeschool mama heart pitter patter a little harder. Not only does your Passport to the Festival guide you to the delicious edible offerings, live performances, art and artists on display, it offers interactive activities! Your family can join others as they paint tiles that will create a large mural depicting scenes from the festival. You can take a drawing lesson from a genuine Disney artist ( if you’ve missed the Animation Academy at Hollywood Studios, this is it! only for the festival). Figment’s Brush with the Masters is a neat way to get the whole family working together to find various “figment`ized” works of art around World Showcase. You can purchase a map, which after you finish the scavenger hunt can be redeemed for a unique commemorative pin, or you can hunt on your own for the sheer fun of finding these works of art and how Figment has changed them. Of course you should celebrate completing the hunt with one of the delectable snacks from one of the many Festival booths.

There are life size reproductions of famous masterpieces all over that allow you to actually step into the painting. We had a blast reading about each painting and taking pictures of ourselves as the subjects. Sometimes we’d try to recreate the original and other times we’d do it “our way” to create our own interpretation of the piece. I’m sure it wasn’t what the artist had in mind but even that is another great lesson. Art is subjective.
Last but definitely not least is the art walk. The art walk takes you and your young artists around World Showcase searching out the artist’s palate placard in each country. You’ll find the placard with artistic and cultural displays. Your passport gives you a bit more information on the display for that country as well as a space to create your own version. you and your kids will learn about and create everything from their own Rosemaling in Norway to examining a linoleum block print that is in the Kinsey Collection, housed in the American Pavilion and making their own,.

How long is the Epcot International Festival of the Arts?

It normally runs the middle to end of January to the middle to end of February. It’s a great festival to fill in the gaps between the Holidays Around the World and the Flower and Garden Festival.

What is there to eat at Epcot Festival of the Arts?

I credit Epcot’s festivals with broadening my picky eater’s palate. This is where she learned that she likes lamb and that celery root puree is actually kind of tasty. These snack sized portions are perfect in size and price for trying something new. If you love it, you can buy another, if you don’t then there’s minimal food and money waste. It’s a fantastic way to scaffold new foods to make your child successful. It also exposes them to new cultures and their culinary traditions.There are always gluten free options available as well. If you have the Disney Dining Plan, these count as a snack credit which is perfect.
The best way to inspire a love of the arts is to immerse your students in it in a fun way. There isn’t a better way than The Festival of the Arts. It could be a stand alone lesson or a springboard into more in depth studies of an individual artist, a particular style of art, or even the culture of art within a certain country. The possibilities are virtually endless!

Check out my Youtube video on Homeschooling Using Disney Parks!

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