Epcot International Festival of the Arts: A Perfect 24 Hours 1

Epcot International Festival of the Arts: A Perfect 24 Hours

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Greetings Internet Stranger and welcome to 24 hours with the Epcot International Festival of the Arts. All our lives we hear people telling us we need to grow up. “Grow up and get a job!” your parents say. “Grow up and make a commitment!” your lover pleads. “Grow up and pay your rent!” your landlord leaves on a note attached to your front door with a knife.

But what if you don’t feel like being a grown-up? Then the Epcot International Festival of the Arts is the destination for you! For many, the best time of year to visit Epcot is during the Festival of the Arts, but this itinerary works year round.

At the Epcot International Festival of the Arts, you can chit chat with people who have dedicated their lives to making art for Disney at the Festival of the Arts. You can stuff your face with cakes shaped like modern art. And you get to cuddle up with Figment, arguably the cultiest of all cult fan faves at Disney. Let’s not waste another second of our day here!

Epcot international festival of the arts

Epcot International Festival of the Arts

Where Should I Stay?

As a solo-traveling non-driver, I recommend staying at one of the Disney resorts because the transportation to and from the parks to the hotel is so convenient. I like to stay at one of the Port Orleans hotels because I am ride or die for The Princess and the Frog.

In order to get the most out of your 24 hours at the Epcot International Festival of the Arts, I suggest you get coffee at your hotel, hop on the free shuttle, and arrive at Disney in time to enter the park as soon as possible when it opens.

However, you don’t have to stay at a Disney resort if you’d rather be more independent. Orlando has thousands upon thousands of excellent hotels.

Click here to see many excellent hotels available near Disney.

This search engine will help you find the most affordable and convenient hotel during your day with Epcot International Festival of the Arts. With tons of options to choose from, I’m sure you’ll find something for your schedule and budget.

24 hours of looking for Figment in Epcot

Epcot International Festival of the Arts

Morning: Ride the Rides

For those of you who’ve never really spent time in EPCOT, it’s one of four main theme parks at Disney World in Orlando, Florida. EPCOT is basically a permanent World’s Fair.

It’s currently divided into four parts: World Celebration, World Discovery, World Nature and World Showcase. The most popular part is World Showcase, which displays cultural products from many lands. (But not even once will the song “It’s a Small World” be played.)

World Showcase doesn’t really open until 11, so I always recommend starting in the other areas. Keep in mind that EPCOT is going to be completely redesigned over the next couple of years, so I’ll be sure to keep this post updated. Even if it means flying down to Florida and faffing about in the sunshine every single year, I will suffer through it just to keep you happy, Internet Stranger!

Even though I prefer World Showcase, there’s still plenty of wacky hijinks to get up to in the other parts of Epcot. Plus, it’s the best place to start the Epcot International Festival of the Arts

I’ll start you off with…

Three fun facts: Epcot International Festival of the Arts

24 hours of looking for Figment in Epcot
1) where can i get breakfast?

One of the best things about attending the Epcot International Festival of the Arts is that you can eat festival-exclusive treats. I suggest getting breakfast at Sunshine Seasons. This food court is located inside the Land Pavilion building.

Just follow the signs or ask a Disney cast member for help if you’re lost. (I’m not exactly sure what happens to a Disney cast member who refuses to help a guest, but I think they are dropped into a pit containing sharks with laser beams on their heads.)

You can get normal breakfast food at Sunshine Seasons, but you shouldn’t. Instead get one of the cakes they prepare for special occasions. (There’s pretty much always a special occasion at Disney.)

I have no idea what is in this cake, but it was as light as a magic carpet ride and it tasted like my favorite sesame seed candy, halvah. Ask the cast members what’s in it if you have a nut allergy, but I doubt it’s Nut Free.

The coolest part of this cake is that the palette and brush are made of fondant, so they are edible. Find a gullible child, tell him they’re a real palette and brush, and then eat them before his eyes to see if it makes him cry! It’s the perfect snack for the Epcot International Festival of the Arts.

24 hours of looking for Figment in Epcot
2) where can i avoid the sunshine/crowds?

If the Central Florida sunshine is frying your brains or the lines and swarms of tourist babies are getting to you, stop in the Short Film Festival. It’s located in the Imagination! Pavilion which is the perfect Future World Pavilion to see during the Epcot International Festival of the Arts. You’ll be able to take a load off your tootsies, and there’s never a line here.

Plus you can see three Disney and Pixar shorts in the glorious third dimension! There’s three shorts and the exact line-up can change any time. But every time I’ve gone, the spectacular Disney short “Get a Horse” has been showing.

Do yourself a favor and don’t watch this short online. Wait until you can see it in 3D at this theater. You’ll thank me later. And if you forget, I’ll just show up at your house in the middle of the night and demand thanks, Internet Stranger!

24 hours of looking for Figment in Epcot
3) who is this figment guy?

First of all, let’s treat Figment with the respect and dignity he deserves. Figment isn’t a guy; he’s a ridiculous purple talking dragon. He is also the mascot of Epcot.

I wonder if Epcot sometimes feels bad that everyone knows about the Magic Kingdom’s mascot, Mickey Mouse, but only Dis-Nerds like me know about poor Figgy. But you know about Figment or you wouldn’t be interested in this itinerary, would you?

24 hours of looking for Figment in Epcot

This ride is the perfect spot for someone at the Epcot International Festival of the Arts. Figment represents the imagination. You’ll see the purple fellow all over the Epcot Festival of the Arts. Figment also has his own Journey Into Imagination ride in the Imagination! Pavilion, right next to the Disney and Pixar shorts.

There’s usually not a long line here, but pro tip! The lines for Figment’s ride are longer during the Epcot Festival of the Arts than any other time. So you might want to use a Lightning Lane for the Figment ride if and only if you’re visiting Epcot during the Festival of the Arts.

If you’ve ever wanted to see an imaginary purple dragon inflict psychological abuse on a member of Monty Python, this is the ride for you!

24 hours of looking for Figment in Epcot

Epcot International Festival of the Arts

Afternoon: World Showcase Part One

All right, Internet Stranger! It’s time for me to show you the best part of attending a Disney festival: the food! There are several different festivals at Epcot every year, and during each festival there are booths with international and thematically appropriate foods for you to snack on!

Of course, not every dish is a winner. (Not that I was able to taste every dish. After all, I am not an imaginary purple dragon.)

But I will steer you only towards my favorite treats. The lines at the Epcot Festival of the Arts food booths can look long, but I promise you they’ll move quickly. You’ll have more than enough time to try…

approximately top 5: Epcot International Festival of the Arts

24 hours of looking for Figment in Epcot
1) popcorn and beer tasting

One of the things that makes Epcot the best Disney park is the delightful amount of quality booze! Don’t sleep on the fun alcohol/snack pairings while enjoying the Epcot International Festival of the Arts

I tried this beer and popcorn pairing at the Painter’s Palette booth, which no longer exists, but at the 2023 Festival of the Arts, you can get popcorn at Figment’s Inspiration Station if you order it through the mobile app and a beer flight at The Artist’s Table or Deco Delights or Figment’s Inspiration Station.

I suggest starting with the light beer and working your way up. The pilsner is paired with barbecue popcorn for a classic American taste. The IPA goes with jalapeno but somehow the two “love em or hate em flavors” go together as swimmingly as Dory and Nemo.

And speaking of “love em or hate em”, the final pairing is dark beer and blue cheese. You really need a strong beer to stand up to the Ultimate Power of blue cheese.

24 hours of looking for Figment in Epcot
2) Orange Sweet Goodness

We’ve kicked off our lunch with beer and popcorn, now we need to continue this wholesome treat with dessert and wine! Follow your Festival of the Arts map (they are available for free everywhere at Epcot) to the Deco Delights booth where we will indulge in sweet snacks like the orange mousse with lemon cake and Florida Orange Groves Winery Black and Blue Port.

I’m a totally curd head, and I approve this tart. The curd was neither too sweet nor too heavy, and the crust was as crunchy as one of Thumper’s carrots. I was surprised at how much I liked the port considering it came from Florida.

I didn’t even think it was legal to make port outside of Portugal. But then they don’t really need to obey international laws in the swamps of Central Florida. It’s the famous Central Florida Gator Exemption.

24 hours of looking for Figment in Epcot
3) el artista hambriento

There are two main kinds of food booths at the Epcot Festival of the Arts. Some have a theme only related to the arts, and others sell the cuisine of a particular country. The Mexico pavilion hosts El Artista Hambriento, which I’m sure is Spanish for the Hamburger Artist. Or maybe it’s the Cheeseburger Artist because brie is a cheese.

The scallops I ate at this booth aren’t available in 2022, but you can still get the a smoky margarita like my Diego margarita. (I assume the Diego is for Diego Rivera who probably didn’t consider himself a Hamburger Artist. After all, he was a Communist.)

My Diego margarita was made with passion fruit because he was so passionate, but the 2020 margarita will be made with blackberry because…I’m not exactly sure. But the Mexican pavilion is top notch at margaritas, so I’m sure you’ll enjoy it even if the blackberries aren’t logical.

This past year the margarita at this booth was made with marshmallows, which is something Figment would definitely approve of.

24 hours of looking for Figment in Epcot
4) pop Eats

See what a classy event the Epcot Festival of the Arts is, Internet Stranger? I bet you didn’t expect to be eating a cake that was inspired by a Mondrian painting at Disney World! This treat, which is one of the most popular dishes at the Festival of the Arts year after year, is an almond frangipane cake layered with raspberry jam and rich chocolate.

Raspberry and chocolate go together like Timon and Pumbaa! The cake is so moist you could cut it just by looking at it. Plus this is one of the most affordable dishes at the Festival of the Arts. Any time I go to the Festival of the Arts, I would be happy to eat this dish. #eatit #apologizestoweirdal

24 hours of looking for Figment in Epcot
6) Gourmet Landscapes

I think each art-themed food booth at the Epcot Festival of the Arts is supposed to focus on a different type of food, but it wasn’t always clear to me what the theme was supposed to be. But I think the theme at the Gourmet Landscapes booth is “class out the wazoo”. The dishes are all European classics like bone marrow and beet tartare.

But my favorite was this risotto with Parmesan cheese and truffle shavings. First Mondrian paintings and now truffles and Parm! It’s too bad when you tell non Dis-nerds that you go here for the fine dining and fine art they will probably not believe you.

24 hours of looking for Figment in Epcot

Epcot International Festival of the Arts

Evening: Even More World Showcase!

Ordinarily I suggest doing two entirely different things in the afternoon and the evening. But at the Epcot Festival of the Arts, it’s just more of the delightful same! Continue snacking, slurping down quality booze, and staring at pictures of masterpieces that have been defaced with the image of a giant purple imaginary dragon!

approximately top 5: Epcot International Festival of the Arts

24 hours of looking for Figment in Epcot
1) deconstructed dish

The Deconstructed Dish has the coolest theme of any of the art food booths. They take classics and give them an oddball twist.

Their most popular plate, at least according to the interwebs, is the deconstructed BLT. Instead of bacon it has pork belly, and instead of a tomato it has tomato jam. Plus there’s an egg on top, so it’s kind of like BLT and eggs. Clever and yum-alicious!

24 hours of looking for Figment in Epcot
2) l’art du cuisine francaise

France never disappoints at these food events, possibly because a legit French restaurant group runs the France pavilion.

And you won’t be disappointed with the Creme de Brie en Petit Pain. It’s warm bread, warm cheese, and it has a freaking Eiffel Tower on it! I should have bothered to take an actual cute Instagram photo that didn’t have my skirt in it.

24 hours of looking for Figment in Epcot

If you only get one drink at Epcot, let it be from the martini selection at the French pavilion either. They make their drinks with the French premium vodka Grey Goose.

Considering how smooth the vodka is and that it’s always blended with fruit juice, you could probably down three of these bad boys before feeling any pain. But please don’t! This is Disney World! Think of the children!

24 hours of looking for Figment in Epcot
3) Morocco

Another pavilion that usually has tasty snacks is the Morocco pavilion. Again this is probably because the actual Moroccan government helped build the pavilion. Smart on their part because spending time here would make anyone want to visit Morocco. I’ve met many staff members here from Morocco, and they’re extremely enthusiastic about discussing the country with you.

I recommend the flatbread topped with whatever goodies they have to offer, like this one above with zaatar and artichokes. Given the large size of the dish, it’s one of the best bangs for your buck at the Festival of the Arts.

The bread is a little doughy, but the tangy tasty of the zaatar spice is quite addictive. And unlike the Grey Goose, if you have three of these you won’t run the risk of getting evicted from Epcot for intoxication!

24 hours of looking for Figment in Epcot
4) goshiki

The Japanese pavilion is the final pavilion that never, ever disappoints me food-wise at Epcot. Again, the sponsorship matters and the Japanese pavilion is under the aegis of the legendary Japanese department store Mitsukoshi.

Just look at that majestic sushi donut! I was impressed with how well the sushi rice stuck together to form a perfect circle. And there’s Mickey-shaped wasabi on the side if you need a little kick.

If your blood alcohol levels can stand it, pick up the sake cocktail at the Japanese pavilion. The one I tried was a combination of sake and Calpico.

Sake is Japanese rice wine and Calpico is a Japanese soda made with milk. It sounds like they’d be disgusting, but the drink is as pink and dreamy as a ballgown entirely made by singing mice.

24 hours of looking for Figment in Epcot
5) disney on broadway concert

Even though the food is the best thing to enjoy while spending 24 hours at the Epcot International Festival of the Arts, it’s not the only thing. Make sure to hit up at least one of the cultural offerings that don’t involve stuffing your face. I suggest the Disney on Broadway concerts. (They’re free with admission to Epcot, but show up a bit before the show begins to make sure you get a seat.

Showtimes will be posted at the concert stage in the American pavilion.) But you can see the list of performers here. The emphasis at Disney on Broadway is Disney’s Broadway productions, not the films. That means you might hear songs from Newsies, so prepare yourself accordingly. I was surprised to learn that there had actually been a stage production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

Oh, so you’ll put on a musical of that notorious flop, Disney, but when I keep begging you to do a live-action remake of The Great Mouse Detective, you keep blocking my calls? Typical!

24 hours of looking for Figment in Epcot

Epcot International Festival of the Arts

Tools For Travel

  • A cell charger so that you’ll be able to keep taking photos all day
  • The best guide to Disney World and Epcot
  • The most reliable travel umbrella that is small enough to fit in my purse, but strong enough to stand up to powerful winds during our day at the Epcot International Festival of the Arts
  • These great TSA approved clear toiletries bags, so I can always keep spare toothpaste and travel sized toiletries in any carry-on.
  • My book Get Lost, that I wrote myself with all my best travel tips. This book will show you how travel can take you on a journey of self-discovery.
24 hours of looking for Figment in Epcot

That’s the Epcot International Festival of the Arts

What would you do at the Epcot International Festival of the Arts? Are you ready to start booking your hotel in Orlando? Are you satisfied with Figment tormenting a member of Monty Python or should he move on to the cast of Saturday Night Live?

And who should play Live-Action Ratigan in my dream remake of The Great Mouse Detective? (I think Bill Hader because he does a great Vincent Price impersonation.) Email me at stellajane@aroundtheworldin24hours.com and let me know!

Note: If you want to know how I put my travel itineraries together, just click here. Keep in mind that while each article is about how to spend 24 hours in a place, that doesn’t mean you should ONLY spend 24 hours in Epcot.

You can also try Snacking Around the World at Epcot. Don’t forget to add on this Epcot itinerary. Try out a Magic Kingdom itinerary. Check out a Disney Animal Kingdom itinerary. Go for a Disney Hollywood Studios for adults itinerary.

You can see the best Epcot Food and Wine booths. You can also go for 24 hours in Miami. Get to know the best day tours in Miami. Experience a Disney Hollywood Studios one day itinerary. Enjoy a Disney World for adults only itinerary.

Epcot International Festival of the Arts: A Perfect 24 Hours 2

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