Epcot International Festival of the Arts – CM102

Epcot International Festival of The Arts is brand new this year nad we are so excited about everything we are seeing from it! We are sharing all of the photo ops, spots, and fun things to do in this episode.


Steph (Capturingmagic_ on Twitter and Instagram) and ModernPhotoSolutions on Instagram and Facebook
Heather (I Love Characters. heatherw25 on Twitter and Instagram. ilovecharacters on FB)
Tanya (everymagicmoment.com. Tanyah666 on Twitter and Instagram)

Steph: Hey everyone. Welcome to Capturing Magic. I am Steph Clay and I'm here today with Tanya Hickman, who can be found at EveryMagicMemory, right?


Tanya: No.


Steph: No. EveryMagicMoment.


Tanya: So close. You almost had it.


Steph: So close. That's what happens when I go from my memory.


Tanya: You know we don't trust your memory, Steph.


Steph: The truth. EveryMagicMoment.com.


Tanya: Yes.


Steph: And TaynaH666 on social media.


Tanya: Yes.


Steph: We also have here with us Heather Winfield, who can be found @heatherw.com/character and heatherw25 on social media. Hello, Heather.


Heather: Hi.


Steph: All righty. Today, we are going to be talking about the arts festival at Epcot, International Arts Festival. Is that correct?


Heather: Yes


Steph: Okay.


Tanya: Super exciting. They are doing some really fun things down there for this.


Heather: It is really cool that I actually expanded my trip so I could catch the end of the festival.


Tanya: Yes.


Heather: Yeah. It was starting the weekend after I was there for marathon weekend, and it was ending the weekend before I was there for Princess. It just had such great reviews from everyone I know, and it just looked really cool. I just said, I need to go. So I added a couple days to the start of my trip.


Steph: Yeah, it runs from January 13 through February 20, and we are hoping that this is going to be a regular thing.


Heather: Yeah. Because everything says “inaugural” on it, so hopefully that means it'll be a yearly thing. It's only on the weekend; it's Friday through Monday. But I think everything's out. It's not like they remove it, but the actual festival itself is Fridays through Mondays.


Steph: Where you can catch the special concerts and artist appearances and all of that kind of stuff, that's going to be on your weekends?


Heather: Yes.


Steph: Okay. Let's talk about what they have going on.


Heather: Well, for us, I think we always like the photo ops.


Steph: Yes.


Heather: They have a ton of really cool photo ops at the festival. They have, even just when you first walk in, in that area where they usually have the bog, you know, the cranberry bog for the Food and Wine?


Steph: Yes.


Heather: I never know what to call that area. But there they have one of the backdrops that has the name of the festival. They're all like the things where they have it in front, and then you stand behind it, and there's another thing behind you. I'm sure there's a way to-


Steph: They're kind of 3D. They're dimensional.


Heather: Yeah. That's what all these photo ops are. That one said that, but then all around Epcot, I think it's mostly in the World Showcase, they have different artwork. So, you step into the artwork. Tanya and I are really into the Gilmore Girls, and there's this episode where it's the living art festival, where they were in the portraits.


Every time I see this, that's what I think of, even though you're not in full makeup. You could do that if you wanted; I don't know. But you can do, and they all look really cool. They have props, I think, for some of them, that they'll give you.


Tanya: They look really real.


Heather: Yeah. They have, I believe, I don't know if it's for all of them or for some of them, but they have the tripod set up in front of them, so you get the photo pass right there. It's probably they have it set up exactly how it'll look, but you get it on your camera or phone, too. But yeah, they all look really good.


Steph: I think that they look super fun. I'm kind of jealous. A lot jealous because they look super fun.


Heather: They also have magic shots.


Steph: Yes, some really cool special ones.


Heather: They have three Figment magic shots. Really exciting. They have one where he has a paintbrush because Figment is the main thing for the festival. He's on all the merchandise. They have a scavenger hunt where he's in different artwork all around the World Showcase, how they normally have for the Easter egg, or they have during the Food and Wine, they have with Remy.


It's the same type of thing and you get these magnets. So, he's in artwork on a magnet. You get to pick one if you want to do that.


Going back to magic shots, there's three with him, and he has the paintbrush. Then, there's another one where he has a light bulb over his head. Then, there's one that's just him, I think. But they're all over Epcot. There's so many different places I heard that they are, so I don't even know if I could list them all. If you see a photographer, just say, “Give me all the magic shots.”


Tanya: Yes.


Steph: Yeah, I love that they brought Figment back and that they're using him in this way. I think it's a perfect fit.


Heather: It is because this festival, I think a lot of people like it because it feels very old-school Epcot. It's like what Epcot is for, if that makes sense.


Steph: Yeah.


Heather: So, I think Figment fits right into that.


Steph: For sure. I'm seeing that they have living statues?


Heather: Yes, they have three. They're behind Spaceship Earth. You can get pictures with them. If you've been to Disney Springs, they have them down there, too. But yeah, they have the three of them set up there.


Steph: That's super cool.


Heather: It is. There's so much stuff, I don't even know what to even keep talking about. They have it in the Odyssey Center, they have a whole exhibit of Mary Blair art, and of Herb Ryman concept art. That's another huge reason I want to go because I love both of them. Who doesn't love Mary Blair art? If you do, don't tell me. Like Small World is everything.


But yeah, so they have a whole thing with that. They have some of the food … when I saw this, I sent it to everybody I knew. I was like, this is crazy! They have a little chocolate easel thing and it has Mary Blair Small World art on it. I can't even talk about it, it's just so cute.


They had other kinds of art, ones with Mickey and Pluto. That was just amazing. They have the food, obviously. They have all kinds of food.


But everything also looks kind of, I don't want to say fancy, but it's art. When I first saw it, I said, is that going to be able to look like that every time? But every time somebody posts a picture, it looks just as artwork-ish.


Steph: Fancy?


Heather: Yeah. They have a cookie that makes it look like it's an art palette where it has the different colors and then it has the whole – it's so simple, but it's still like, okay, you need to get that because it looks like an art palette.


Tanya: So cute.


Heather: Thy have this thing, it looks like a Pop Tart but it's not. It's some kind of art thing, and everybody said that's really good, the cookie. I don't know, there's all kinds of food, obviously. They have all the booths from Food and Wine, and Holiday, and Flower and Garden, they're all still up there. So, they have that. But they had a lot of that good stuff.


Oh, another thing that I know that they only do on the weekend is they have this wall mural, and it's like a paint by numbers thing. You go and they give you a little thing of paint, and then they have different numbers. So, you paint, I don't know, five of those numbers. Then, it ends up being this whole Epcot-looking mural.


Tanya: Paint-by-numbers kind of mural.


Heather: It's really cool and apparently popular because I think they actually had to do it twice last weekend because it had finished, and I remember people saying, oh, when I go tomorrow, I'm not going to do it. But then, they started it over again, so.


Steph: That's cool.


Heather: They have, what else? I mentioned the Broadway concerts. They have two Broadway singers. That's also on just the Friday through Monday. It changes, I think, every week or every two weeks. When I'm going, they were in Lion King. So, they're singing Lion Kind and Aida and- what else? There were a couple other Disney Broadway things. I'm excited for that because I love that.


Tanya: Yes! There's so much good stuff at this festival.


Heather: They also have different things that you could take part in. I think a lot of them are free. Like calligraphy in Japan, and different workshops. They have something, it's like $40 that you could do, but then other ones are completely free, like drawing.


They don't have the drawing classes in Hollywood Studios any more, but I think they have something like that here. There are just so many things that they have, the artists and … I don't even know what to say.


Tanya: See, I'm not the only one that zones out like that.


Heather: There was just so many things. I'm skimming the ones from … for this weekend, they had floral arranging, and water color, and spice blending, and truffle making, all these different things. These are the ones that are $40.


But then, they had other things where they would teach you calligraphy, and origami, and just teaching you about the animated films and all those things. Some of those are free, they're complimentary. Just go. There's so many … it's really cool.


Again everybody that I've seen gives it good reviews, which you know is rare. Everybody was [inaudible [00:11:00].


Steph: Yeah. Really, it looks amazing. It really does, and I'm excited about it because I think the way people are talking about it, and how excited people are, it makes me want to schedule a trip around that time, just that time, so that I can go to it for real. There's so much to do.


This is something that appeals to me a lot more than, say, something like Food and Wine, since I'm not a drinker, right?


Heather: Yeah. They still have the food and everything, but still, this doesn't seem like – I think when it was first announced, a lot of people were like okay, here's another excuse to use the food booths. But I think the food is not even secondary; I think it's even farther down the list of all the stuff that they have for you to do.


The food, though, anything I've seen about the food is good. You can snack on that in between doing the different art things. There's the art, and then there's music, and there's just everything.


Steph: It looks like you can do some dining packages, too, like concert packages, where you-


Heather: Yeah. I know they also had an annual pass pre-thing that you could get seats for it, but that sold out immediately. But yeah, they do have the dining like you would do for Candlelight and that kind of thing.


Steph: Yeah, I think that looks really fun, too. I guess you get priority seating for certain concerts? Is that how it works?


Heather: Yeah. Usually the way they do is it depends when you eat. There's only two showings, I think, each night. I don't know how …


Steph: Here it says that you're guaranteed seating for the 8 PM concert at the American Gardens Theater. So, you can eat and there's different restaurants and different prices, anywhere from $53 to $70, depending on which restaurant you want to eat at. The least expensive is Garden Grill, then Rose & Crown. Oh, Biergarten. Sorry, Biergarten is $53.


Then, going up from there, the most expensive is $69, which is Akershus. Is that how you say it? Akershus.


Heather: I just say [inaudible [00:13:32], or Princess. The Princess Dining.


Steph: [inaudible [00:13:35] dining in Norway. Then, Coral Reef also, as well. Then, you get passes for the concert that night.


Heather: There's three shows. It's [5:30], [6:45] and [8:00]. Like anything, you line up. Like I said, I'm not sure how crowded they've been, so I can't be, like, oh, you have to get there crazy earlier, like you would for Candlelight. It's like anything, too, in that area. You don't have to be sitting to hear them. So, if you just want to listen, you can just be standing around.


I'm really excited about that because I actually watched a live stream of the first one because I love both of the ones that they had the first two weekends. It was Ashley Brown, who was Mary Poppins on Broadway.


Tanya: Yeah!


Heather: And Tanya's favorite, Josh Strickland.


Tanya: I love him.


Heather: Usually they're at the Expo a lot, and they have different kind of Broadway shows. They're just fantastic.


Tanya: They're always together. They perform well together.


Steph: I think we're going to have to include a link to this food because I pulled it up on Disney's website. Oh my goodness!


Heather: Everything looks good and everything looks like-


Tanya: Art.


Heather: I don't really want to say – yeah, art. It's not fancy. That's why I just –


Tanya: Oh my gosh, the little paint palette cookies? Sweet!


Heather: Yes! Oh my god.


Tanya: I'm sorry, I just clicked the link.


Steph: Yes!


Heather: You weren't listening to me and you were like, “Yeah, I don't really.” Then, you see it. “Oh yeah! I need that.”


Steph: Yes!


Tanya: That's really cute.


Heather: You don't even care if you have to eat it, it's just like I need that, and to take a picture of it.


Tanya: That's when you do like I did with the Yule log cake at the California Adventure over the holidays. I took a picture of somebody else's cake. I was like, “I don't want it, but can I take a picture of yours?” Funny.


Yeah, it's really … I mean, the presentation is incredible. Really. Then, you read the descriptions and man, my mouth is totally watering.


Heather: Come with me, then.


Tanya: I know I need to. I know I need to. This overlaps with the Princess marathon?


Steph: No.


Heather: It finishes the last weekend is what the – the last weekend is actually President's Weekend, so it's going to be crowded. I think it was the 20th, whatever that Monday is. The 20th or the 21st, so that's the last weekend. Then, the next weekend is Princess.


It ends on the 20th and I was supposed to come in on the 22nd, and I was just like, I can't do this. Luckily I'm on Southwest and I can change it. So, I'm coming in on that Saturday now, so I can catch that.


Steph: In order to catch both of them, you'd have to have a 9- to 10-day trip, right?


Heather: Yeah.


Tanya: She's going 10 days.


Steph: No, I'm figuring for next year. Next year, if I want to do both, how long am I staying for?


Heather: Yeah. Who knows? Like anything, they could expand it. I think it was specifically done in between the two race weekends, since those are always, they don't have to worry about crowds then, people are there. But it still could be, from what I'm hearing, the crowds are there all the time, so it's popular. It's always possible that they could expand it, who knows?


Steph: Yeah, it seems like it's similar to the dates of Pirates and Princess.


Tanya: Oh, I missed that.


Steph: I know, me too. Maybe they should combine that with this. That would be awesome. Yeah. That's my vote right there.


Heather: Yeah.


Steph: Okay, that's some really exciting stuff. We're probably going to have to do a report when you come back so we can hear about how amazing and yummy it was.


Heather: Oh, definitely.


Tanya: We love food.


Steph: I know! I usually gain five pounds every time I go to Disney.


Heather: How many times am I trying to get Tanya to go to Food and Wine? She would just stand there and be, like, aah.


Tanya: The next time I go, it will be during Food and Wine, I'm sure. I'm trying to think of any other time during the year I'd really want to go, and I don't think there is. I think it's all food. Because Food and Wine, if you go at the tail end, you can catch Christmas, right?


Steph: Yeah.


Heather: They've expanded Food and Wine even longer.


Tanya: That's when it would be, then.


Steph: Very cool. All right.


Heather: The Flower and Garden, they have food too, and the food's usually good.


Tanya: What time of year is that, though?


Steph: It's spring. Mother's Day-ish.


Heather: No, it starts actually usually beginning of March.


Steph: Really?


Heather: Yeah. Because the stuff, when you go for Princess, most of the topiaries and everything will be up. Usually they wait until the last minute to put any new ones up. That's why I normally miss them, unless I come later on. But yeah, everything else is there. When you do the race, like when you do the 5K Princess, most of them will be out.


Steph: Does it go over Mother's Day? Clear till then?


Heather: Yeah. It usually goes March until mid-May-ish. Like I said, all these festivals keep expanding.


Steph: Because of popularity, so that's good.


Heather: Yeah. I love Flower and Garden. Epcot never looks better. It's just so beautiful.


Tanya: But it's hotter then.


Heather: If you go in March, April.


Tanya: Those are good times to go, yeah.


Heather: Weather in Florida is, you cannot-


Tanya: Yeah, I know.


Heather: When I was there, like I said, I had days, just now in January, that I had my down coat on and two hoodies, and it was freezing. The next day, I was in shorts. Winter is especially weird. You don't know what's going on. But any time, it's just-


Steph: It's the same way in California, too. I felt that way this last trip. One day I'm freezing with all of my layers and my winter coat, and then the next day I was hot. Yeah.


Okay, I looked up the dates. This year, it's from March 1 through May 29.


Heather: Oh, that did expand. Yeah.


Steph: That's a good three months.


Tanya: Yeah.


Heather: Oh, I forgot to mention, too. From this thing, they actually have a Figment topiary, because they had originally announced that it was going to be for the Flower and Garden, but they also have it for this. Another reason Tanya should come.


Tanya: I love me some Figment. I love Figment. Actually, it's been since 2011 that I went to Disney World, but I was seriously, money set aside to buy all the Figment merchandise and there was three things.


Steph: Oh shoot.


Tanya: I was so sad.


Heather: That's why you have to come back because now-


Tanya: Now there's more stuff.


Heather: Now he's come back as- yeah.


Tanya: Definitely gained back some popularity in the last couple years.


Steph: For sure. Probably the last three. I really think it started right around that last [D-23 [00:21:12] that we went to, when we were all there together.


Tanya: Uh-huh.


Heather: Yeah. When I met Figment?


Steph: Yes, when you met Figment. Yeah, that was – I really think that it was right before then when Figment started taking off again.


Tanya: Yeah.


Steph: Making a comeback. Yeah. Okay. Anything else, Heather?


Heather: I don't think so.


Steph: I want to go; I can't wait for people to be able to go.


Heather: Yeah, you should come.


Steph: Yeah. I'll just go.


Heather: Okay.


Tanya: I'll just go. I'll do that. This is a hard time of year to go through because it's right after Christmas. That's a hard time for me, at least.


Steph: It is hard. It's hard for a lot of people because our money's all gone.


Tanya: I spent it on all my imaginary children, aka myself. Merry Christmas to me.


Steph: They're puppies.


Tanya: Yeah.


Steph: All right, let's remind our listeners where to find each of us. Tanya?


Tanya: You can find me at EveryMagicMoment.com, and tanyah666 on all social media.


Steph: Heather? Did we lose her? Heather?


Tanya: At the very end?


Steph: For real. Anyway.


Tanya: You can find her at-


Steph: Yeah, you can find Heather at heatherw.com.


Heather: Hi.


Steph: Oh, you're there?


Heather: Of course. Finally that would happen when it's like … it happens a lot that I can't hear, but then it comes right back and I'm thinking, sure, it's finally the time when-


Steph: We're talking right to you. Okay, Heather.


Heather: Yeah?


Tanya: Where can they find you, Heather?


Steph: Where can we find you?


Heather: I'm at heatherw.com/character and on Facebook, it's I Love Characters, and everywhere else in social media it's heathers25.


Steph: Perfect. You can find me, I'm Steph Clay. You can find me at ModernPhotoSolutions.com, and also at CapturingMagic.me. Social media is ModernPhotoSolutions and CapturingMagic_.We would love to have you follow us there and interact with us there, as well.


Thank you so much for listening and spending some of your day with us. We really appreciate it. We will see you next time on Capturing Magic.