Must Do’s for Your Trip to the EPCOT International Festival of the Arts

The EPCOT International Festival of the Arts returns to this Disney Park January 3-February 20, 2023. While EPCOT does host several festivals throughout the course of the year, the Festival of the Arts has become a fan favorite since it debuted in 2017.

The festival comes with everything Disney fans know and love about EPCOT’s seasonal events, including outdoor kitchens, a live music series, and exclusive merchandise, but it also comes with several experiences specific to the arts that you simply cannot miss.

EPCOT International Festival of the Arts

Credit: Disney Tips

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These are the tips you need to take with you for your next trip to the EPCOT International Festival of the Arts:

Stay at a Disney Resort

There are lots of advantages to staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel, but the most important especially if your visit is focused on an EPCOT festival is the close proximity to the Disney Park and the ability to enter the Park earlier than non-Resort Guests.

Like EPCOT’s other annual festivals, the majority of the events and experiences during the Festival of the Arts are found around World Showcase. Still, entering the Park early and starting your day off in World Nature, World Celebration, or World Discovery, means you will have more time to experience your favorite attractions in the rest of the Park along with festival-exclusive offerings before the remainder of the crowds are let inside. Staying at a Disney Resort also means that your hotel room will be close by if you need to take a midday break, which can be especially helpful if you are traveling with little ones.

If it’s within your budget, you may even want to consider staying at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort, Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resorts, or Disney’s BoardWalk Inn, as each of these Resorts is in walking distance to the International Gateway entrance to World Showcase.

Disney's BoardWalk

Credit: Disney

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Pick up a festival passport

With any EPCOT festival comes the opportunity to taste your way around the event thanks to themed outdoor kitchens. The snack (and specialty cocktail) options can easily become overwhelming with so many unique treats to choose from, and picking up a festival passport will help you check out all the menus throughout your visit.

While most of the information in the festival passport is also found within the My Disney Experience app, many Guests find the passport easier to navigate as it showcases experiences specific to the festival. Inside, you can also find information on the Disney on Broadway music series, artist demonstrations, specialty merchandise, and more.

EPCOT International Festival of the Arts

Credit: Tricia Kennedy

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Don’t miss the photo ops

One of our favorite parts of the EPCOT International Festival of the Arts is the new lineup of photo ops exclusive to this event. Guests can become a part of notable works of art by posing within iconic paintings, and the magic shots during this event are unmatched.

If you have ever been on the fence about purchasing Memory Maker, which allows you to download all of your Disney PhotoPass images for one set price, this festival might be just the time to do it!

EPCOT International Festival of the Arts

Credit: Disney

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Consider a dining package

The Disney on Broadway Concert Series runs throughout the EPCOT International Festival of the Arts in the America Gardens Theatre at the American Adventure pavilion. The performances include several renowned artists from Disney’s Broadway productions, including Kara Lindsay (Newsies), Kevin Massey (Tarzan), Arielle Jacobs (Aladdin), Adam Jacobs (Aladdin), Patti Murin (Frozen), and Robert Creighton (Frozen) to name a few.

To ensure you are able to score a seat for the performance of your choice, you may want to consider booking a dining package. Disney on Broadway dining packages include lunch or dinner at select EPCOT restaurants, either at a buffet or with a prix fixe menu, for an added fee, that allows for early seating to the performances.

Disney on Broadway Concert Series

Credit: Disney

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Don’t miss interactive art demonstrations

Some of the best experiences at the Festival of the Arts come with live demonstrations by renowned artists, and opportunities for Guests to participate in their own artmaking as well. During the event, Guests can see live sidewalk chalk drawings take place, and even meet artists behind some of their favorite Disney works of art.

The paint-by-number mural is also available during the event, and is a great way for the whole family to contribute to a community-style piece of art that will change over the course of the festival.

We will continue to monitor updates for the 2023 EPCOT International Festival of the Arts here on Disney Tips, but we hope these tips help you start your planning for the most artistic time of the year at Walt Disney World.

About Brittany DiCologero

Brittany is a New England-based writer focused on the history of the Walt Disney World Resort. She is the author of "Red, White, and Disney: The Myths and Reality of American History at the Walt Disney World Resort," and "Brittany Earns Her Ears."