EPCOT 2023 Festival of the Arts: The Best Things to Eat, Drink, See and Do

Festival of the Arts 2023 (Photo via Brooke McDonald)
Brooke McDonald
by Brooke McDonald
Last updated: 2:23 PM ET, Mon January 16, 2023

EPCOT 2023 Festival of the Arts Guide

It may be cold and gray in much of the country but EPCOT is bursting with color now that the 2023 EPCOT International Festival of the Arts has kicked off at Walt Disney World. Now through Feb. 20, 2023, EPCOT is home to a rainbow of sights, sounds and tastes during this annual celebration of the visual, performing and culinary arts.

From the DISNEY on BROADWAYConcert Series to inventive, stunningly plated dishes almost too pretty to eat, to an elevated starting role for fan-favorite festival mascot Figment during EPCOT's 40th anniversary year, this year's festival promises plenty to please Disney fans old and new. Here's what to eat, drink, see and do at this year's EPCOT International Festival of the Arts.

Get Started With a Festival Passport

From food studio menus and entertainment line-ups to photo ops and merchandise spots, your Festival Passport is your guide to all things festival. This year the book even includes activity pages and a Figment flipbook animation hidden in the corner. Be sure to checkMy Disney Experience for up-to-date showtimes.

Figment Takes Center Stage Like Never Before

Fans have adored the loveable purple dragon Figment for 40 years now, since the Journey Into Imagination pavilion opened with EPCOT in 1982, and the eponymous attraction in early 1983. This year, as EPCOT celebrates its 40th anniversary, the festival has unveiled "Figment's Inspiration Station at the Odyssey - Art, Food and Little Sparks of Magic" in the Odyssey pavilion. The space is a nostalgic hub for celebration of the history of the iconic attraction and character.

Figment's Inspiration Station Sparks Memories for Fans

Inside Figment's Inspiration Station at the Odyssey, core memories are unlocked for fans of the original 1983 Journey Into Imagination attraction. The Odyssey is packed with homages and even restored pieces from the original Journey Into Imagination ride and pavilion, including a Figment figure and rainbow nod to the now-closed ImageWorks "rainbow tunnel."

The 1982 Pin Tables Return

Two objects in Figment's Inspiration Station have made the memories flood back for fans who remember the original opening-day version of the Journey Into Imagination pavilion. Disney restored and brought back two original pin tables that were in the second-floor ImageWorks area of the pavilion. The tables are set in front of a recreation of the mural that was also in the load area of the original version of the ride. Original projectionss are also displayed as music plays from the 1983 ride.

A Rainbow of Flavors

The rainbow homages extend to the menu at Figment's Inspiration Station, with a colorful lineup of playful dishes and drinks. Rainbow Cake topped with freeze-dried Skittles is an early favorite that tastes as good as it photographs.

Grape Smoothie

Figment's face adorns this grape smoothie, topped with freeze-dried Skittles and served in a souvenir cup at Figment's Inspiration Station. Two more colorful dishes are served here too - Fruit Pizza, a tangy/salty/sweet watermelon-based dish, and Pop't Art, a sugar cookie with blueberry filling.

Rainbow Beer and Cider Flights

Sip the rainbow at Figment's Inspiration Station by ordering a Rainbow beer or cider flight - or both for the full spectrum. Hard ciders are flavored with black cherry, blood orange and passion fruit and beers range from a raspberry and blackberry sour to a blonde (green) ale.

Figment Popcorn Buckets Are Back

Last year's Festival of the Arts made national headlines for commanding hours-long opening-day waits for a souvenir Figment popcorn bucket filled with rainbow-colored popcorn. The buckets are back this year, this time with a commemorative EPCOT 40th anniversary strap, and you won't have to spend time standing in line to get one. Buckets are now available for purchase via mobile order for $25 each and can be picked up at your mobile order return time in Figment's Inspiration Station.

More Collectible Figment Merchandise

Figment is of course the star of this year's official festival merchandise, which includes a Spirit Jersey, MagicBand, pins, mug and tumbler.

A Figgy Figment

Figment also appears for the first time as a Disney Munchling - a collectible line of food-inspired, scented plush that first debuted last year. The Figment-inspired Munchling is - appropriately -fruity fig bar-scented.

A Moderne New Food Studio

It's not all rainbows and Skittles at this festival though. Many of the food studios serve some of the most sophisticated offerings of any EPCOT festival. New this year, Moderne, located near Test Track, lives up to its name in both presentation and flavor, serving four elaborately plated, inventive dishes: Compressed Watermelon Tataki, Angry Crab, Pan-Seared Scallop, and The Tropics - a new festival-favorite dessert of lillikoi mousse, guava cake, coconut crémeux, compressed pineapple and mango gel.

Elevated Comfort Food at The Artist's Table

Even American comfort food classics are presented artistically at this festival. At The Artist's Table in The American Adventure, the Three-Meat Meatloaf with Peas and Carrots looks anything but old-fashioned in this updated take on meatloaf served with green pea pudding, carrot ketchup, shaved carrot salad, and snap peas.

Duck and Dumplings

Also new this year at The Artist's Table, Duck and Dumplings is another crowd-pleasing comfort dish of smoked duck breast, ricotta dumplings, petite vegetables and duck jus.

Hummingbird Cake

Another new dish at The Artist's Table, Hummingbird Cake, a sophisticated version of the Southern classic, gets our seal of approval. The Banana Cake with pineapple, coconut, pecans and cream cheese frosting is served with banana sorbet that (thankfully) melts a bit more slowly during Florida winter.

Sipping Chocolate Flight

More dessert than drink, this sipping chocolate flight is an indulgent trio of sippable white, milk and dark chocolate, perfect for sharing and guaranteed to be a hit with kids. A boozy version, paired with Mozart Cream Liqueurs, is also available for the grown-ups.

L'Arte Di Mangiare

The Italy pavilion's festival food offerings can be hit or miss, but we found a couple winners this year at L'Arte Di Mangiare. You'll never look at a mozzarella stick the same way again after eating the Mozzarella Fritta. Flash-fried breaded fresh mozzarella is served with an artist's palette of condiments, including pesto, marinara, and a rich balsamic glaze. We'd also order the wild mushroom-stuffed ravioli with truffle butter and truffle pearls again and again, but the chocolate pudding is skippable (especially if you already downed that sipping chocolate flight!).

Find Figment Around World Showcase in 'Figment's Brush With the Masters' Scavenger Hunt

If you need some extra incentive to keep kids interested in cruising EPCOT's World Showcase as grown-ups sip and savor, try 'Figment's Brush With the Masters' scavenger hunt. Pick up a map for $9.99 from select merchandise locations and find Figment hiding within masterpieces hung throughout World Showcase.

Create Your Own Art With the 'Figment's Brush With the Masters' Prize

These paint-your-own figurines are some of the best prizes we've seen for EPCOT's festival scavenger hunts. Choose from four characters - Mickey, Minnie, Figment or Goofy. Pick up from any of several redemption locations throughout the park.

Take the 'Wonderful Walk of Colorful Cuisine'

This culinary scavenger hunt takes you in search of some of the most colorful dishes on festival menus. Collect a stamp in your Festival Passport each time you purchase any of seven vibrant dishes. Buy five (you can get five different ones but duplicates are okay too if you're teaming up with friends) and you'll be rewarded with a complimentary artist's palette cookie. The "Wonderful Walk" features sweet desserts and savory dishes, like this Almond Frangipane Cake from Pop Eats!

Pop Eats!

Everyone has a favorite dish, but if there's one great unifier, it's the Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup from Pop Eats! This classic has been around for a few years now, but the food studio has been changing it up annually with a second, slightly more elaborate version - this year it's made with pimento cheese, bacon and fried green tomato. Bonus points for presentation, too - the tomato soup comes piping hot (welcome on a cooler winter day) in a branded tin can.

Shop Festival Markets and Artist Galleries

Countless pieces of artwork are on display and available for purchase at Festival Markets and Artist Galleries throughout the park. Many of the exhibiting artists also make appearances, greeting guests and showcasing their techniques.

Art for Every Fan

From Disney Parks devotees to Marvel Comics buffs to diehard Star Wars fans and everyone in between, there's a piece of art for every guests - and every budget - from inexpensive postcard prints to large works on canvas like this Darth Vader painting by Christian Waggoner from ACME Archives.

Chalk Art

Artists use sidewalk chalk to create colorful interpretations of everything from Disney characters and scenes to elaborate recreations of famous works of art.

Chalk Full of Character

Look closely around the World Showcase pavilions and you'll spot Disney characters who've taken up temporary residence on the walls. Spot chalk drawings like Pascal in the Germany pavilion, Jiminy Cricket in the Italy pavilion and Duffy and Gelatoni in the Japan pavilion.

DISNEY on BROADWAY Concert Series

DISNEY on BROADWAY stars team up to perform iconic hits from some of the most famous Disney musicals. Thelineup of performers changes every two weeks. Consult theMy Disney Experience app for showtimes.

Guests Become the Artists at Expression Section

Guests can leave their own mark on a collaborative work of art created by Walt Disney Imagineers. At Expression Section, get paint and a brush and fill in a few squares of the interactive paint-by-number mural.

Visual Art in Performance

Watch a work of art come together to music. Visual artists create paintings of Disney characters on stage to the cheers of a live audience. See daily times in My Disney Experience.

Musical Performances

Musicians like saxophonist Don Black take the stage throughout the day in World Showcase Plaza, treating guests to musical art through a mix of interpretations of pop hits, Disney songs and more.

Free Up Your Hands With a Wearable Gift Card

Avoid having to fumble for your wallet while balancing plates and drinks with a wearable Disney Gift Card. This new one for the festival with a rainbow wristband is the cutest wearable card we've seen yet. Load it with $15 or more and wear it around your wrist for easy scanning to pay.

Spaceship Earth Journeys Into Imagination

Spaceship Earth has debuted a new "Beacon of Magic" display for the festival. A celebration of Figment and the original "Journey Into Imagination," the new temporary show features iconic music from the original ride, plus a new lighting package with lots of purple, orange and rainbow colors.

'Rainbow Connection' Returns to Spaceship Earth

A Muppets-themed "Rainbow Connection" Beacon of Magic debuted at the 2022 Festival of the Arts and it was such a hit that Disney brought it back for this year's festival. Starting at sunset, the Muppets and Figment shows rotate throughout the evening along with the EPCOT anthem and EPCOT 40th anniversary Beacon of Magic shows.

Artful Photo Ops

Become the subject of famous works of art like Leutze's "Washington Crossing the Delaware" or Botticelli's "Birth of Venus" or take your place in an Homage to Frida Kahlo at one of several "Artful Photo Ops" around the park.

Here's what to eat, drink, see and do at this year's EPCOT International Festival of the Arts.

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