Wander Always & Stay Wilde


Epcot International Festival of the Arts 2021

The EPCOT International Festival of the Arts is here! Over the years, this has become one of my favorite festivals that this park has hosted. With the combination of the Culinary Arts, Performing Arts, and Visual Arts, this festival combines all of the best of the arts with a bit of Disney magic. As you enter the park, be sure to pick up a Festival Passport and map of EPCOT so that you can explore all of the festival’s offerings through both Future World and the World Showcase. You can also find all of the information about the Festival on the My Disney Experience app. This long weekend trip to the Festival of the Arts was a girl’s weekend with my mom, and we not only enjoyed the Festival of the Arts but also other areas of the Walt Disney World Resort, as you will see later in this post! But first, let’s take a look at the Festival of the Arts!


In the entrance plaza of the park, EPCOT recently debuted its new, reimagined fountain that ties together the past, present, and future of the park. The fountain sits in the same location of the original fountain that welcomed the park’s opening in 1982!

As you walk down either side of Showcase Plaza, you will find the incredible Chalk Art created by artists from all over the world. There are both 2D and 3D versions that artists have created, and as you walk through you may even see an artist at work!

As you walk toward Showcase Plaza, you can find the “Drawing on Inspiration” exhibition that shows the artwork of Disney Imagineers! There are side-by-side pieces of artwork from the Imagineers, Jimmy Pickering, and Morgan Lee Richardson, that showcase classic attractions.

You can find these beautiful butterfly wings as Photo Opts around the park! There are so many different designs to take photos with, and there are a variety of different colors, sizes, and heights for all park-goers to interact with and enjoy.


From Showcase Plaza to the World Showcase portion of the park, you will find the majority of the culinary offerings, visual arts, and performing arts for the Festival. From this point, there are two different directions in which you can explore the World Showcase, both of which will lead around the World Showcase Lagoon. Left will take you toward Mexico and Norway while going right will lead you toward Canada and the United Kingdom. Now, this is where the Festival Passport (or the My Disney Experience app) can be a helpful aid. I would go whichever way will lead you to the cuisine you want to try first. If you decide to go on any rides in Future World, looking through the culinary offerings in the passport while waiting in line will help in your decision on which country to start within the World Showcase. EPCOT has been opening later in the day (currently 11 a.m.), which is lunchtime, so by the time you make it toward the World Showcase, chances are you are ready for something to eat! For this trip, we started right toward Canada, especially since I knew my mom would want some fish and chips for lunch in the United Kingdom! We split a plate at the Yorkshire County Fish Shop before snacking our way around the world!

Located in between the Canada and United Kingdom pavilions is the World Showcase Events Pavilion, where you can find select culinary festival favorites as well as Visual Art Performances. There are plenty of spread-out tables inside for you to relax, have a bite to eat, and enjoy the live performances on stage. There are also several Disney art-related galleries for you to explore inside! The day we visited it was fairly quiet inside, which offered a nice break from the action of the park.

There are several Artful Photo Opts throughout the park with unique installations of classic works throughout Art History. Inside each installation, there is a photograph of the actual painting to aid you in posing for a picture! The works you see are The Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli, Luncheon of the Boating Party by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, The Scream by Edvard Munch, Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci, and Washington Crossing the Delaware by Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze.


EPCOT has opened up the gates to the front entrance to the new Ratatouille ride in the France Pavilion, coming soon in 2021! The ride’s entrance will border the waters across the way from the International Gateway (an alternative entrance and exit to the park), making a quiet area to watch the Skyliner pass overhead. Although the ride’s entrance is still boarded up, it seems as though as you walk along the walkway adjacent to the water, you will make a left into a courtyard of Gusteau’s. I am excited about this new and anticipated addition to the World Showcase!

This bridge between the United Kingdom and France is the entrance (and exit) of the International Gateway. This is an alternative way to enter the park from Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resorts, Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Hotels, Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s BoardWalk Inn and Villas. There is also a new Skyliner station that can take you to Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Disney’s Pop Century Resort, and Disney’s Riviera Resort as well as Hollywood Studios.

New this year to the Festival is the “Characters off the Page” located in the United Kingdom pavilion. As you stroll through the English courtyard toward the back of the pavilion (the exit to the gift shops will lead you here) you can view different portraits of your favorite Disney characters from around the world. This area is very quiet, and actually where we enjoyed our plate of fish and chips!

Culinary Arts at the Festival

Compared to EPCOT’s other International festivals, I have found that the Festival of the Arts offers some of the tastiest and most unique dishes in both Future World and the World Showcase pavilions. With food kiosks located all around, there is no way that you will be hungry while walking through the park! Make sure to reference those Festival passports so that you can plan your food adventure around the park and the “world!”

The Blue Corn Pupusa at Vibrante & Vivido was the hit of the day! The kiosk is located between France and Morocco featuring colorful Latin cuisine. I had done some research on the different selections that would be located throughout the park, and the pupusa looked most intriguing. After ordering and tasting this dish, it quickly became one of our favorites! The dish features a cheese-stuffed pupusa topped with shredded pork, guajillo, and arbol chile sauce, cabbage slaw, and aji cream. My only criticism was that I wish there was more cabbage to balance out the pupusa.

At the Mosaic Canteen, located between the Morocco and Japan Pavilion, I got the Mediterranean Flatbread. For the price, this plate was a lot bigger than what I had expected. The flatbread has za’atar pesto, artichokes, roasted peppers, sundried tomatoes, and fennel cream. I am not sure if I would order this plate again, but it was worth the money to try it!

One of my favorite bites of the day was the Sushi Donut at Goshiki, located in the Japan pavilion. I had this dish last year at the Festival of the Arts, and it was my favorite! When I saw it on the menu for this year, I knew I would be getting it again! The donut-shaped sushi features fresh salmon, tuna, shrimp, cucumber, ginger, and sesame seeds with wasabi aioli, sriracha, and eel sauce. So delicious! I would have gotten a second plate of this if I was not already full from all of the yummy bites from around the world! Considering the price of sushi rolls at the restaurants in the Japan pavilion, this dish is worth the price and the hype!

Throughout the park, there are also numerous kiosks and merchants where you can purchase artwork or other souvenirs from the festival. One of my favorites to visit is Sugarboo & Co. You can find this kiosk located closest to the Germany pavilion in the World Showcase. I am a fan of Sugarboo’s beautiful books and typographic quotes. Last year, I bought a large iron lock and key and a copy of J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan. And best of all, I was able to use my Annual Passholder discount on all that I purchased!

Expression Section: A Paint-by-Number Mural.

Located in Future World, by the Land, you can find the Expression Section: A Paint-by-Number Mural. This activity is open daily from the park’s opening until 5 pm. I love this section because you have the opportunity to be a part of creating a large-scale mural. I have been told that the mural can take up to a few days to reach completion (before a new one is replaced and the process begins again throughout the festival). To participate, a cast member will give you a paintbrush and a small container of paint with a number on it. They will tell you how many squares to paint that match the number you were given. It is always fun to walk past the mural as you leave the park to see the day’s progress!

Have you been to the Festival of Arts this year or even in years past? What are your favorite things to do at the festival?

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