For 2021, Disney has modified its annual EPCOT Festival of the Arts (which opened up on January 8 and will run through February 11) in order to operate safely for Guests and Cast Members amid the pandemic. They eliminated some of the experiences of past years and brought some new (and safe) experiences to the table. But with so many changes, many are asking if it is worth visiting this year, or if they should wait until next year?
Well, I was at EPCOT during one of the first days of the 2021 Festival of the Arts, and I wanted to share my honest experience with you all.
The Reimagined EPCOT Festival of the Arts
In case you missed it, in the original announcement of this modified Festival of the Arts festival, Disney shared the following:
The Taste of EPCOT International Festival of the Arts offers fun for the whole family. Here is just a sketch of what you can expect when the event debuts in January:
- Indulge in over 15 Food Studios serving culinary art all around World Showcase
- Explore and purchase the brilliant and diverse work of Disney and other invited artists on display in marketplaces encircling World Showcase Lagoon
- Step into the scene at special photo locations scattered around the park
- Participate in a paint-by-number mural that serves as a collaborative art project for all
- Watch as visiting artists create magic right before your eyes
- Catch performances by favorite EPCOT musical artists Mariachi Cobre and the JAMMitors.
- Join an artful scavenger hunt as you search for Figment around World Showcase
- Shop for festival-exclusive merchandise
Something new that has never happened at the EPCOT Festival of the Arts before is Guests can enjoy Voices of Liberty, who will be performing some fan-favorite Disney songs such as “Let It Go” and “When You Wish Upon a Star” in the new show The Disney Storybook. The musical group will take the stage at America Gardens Theatre for the first time during an EPCOT Festival of the Arts event.
If you are looking for a place to sit down and enjoy some live music while munching on food items from the various kitchens around World Showcase, this is an addition you won’t want to miss.
Other entertainment is returning to the EPCOT Festival of the Arts as well, including the JAMMitors, the Visual Art in Performance, and Chalk Art – Future World East.
There are also Festival-exclusive food studios that are guaranteed to please nearly every palate including snacks, desserts, and drinks!
Additionally, Guests can also partake in some seminars, just like in years past, as well as try to find Figment in Figment’s Brush with the Master’s Scavenger Hunt, also returning for 2021.
So, Is it Worth it?
So again, with its modified version, many are wondering if it’s worth visiting EPCOT from January 8 through February 11 to experience this year’s Festival of the Arts. Well, here is my personal experience and honest thoughts about this year’s festival.
The food and drinks that are being offered at the festival this year are just outstanding. Not only are they visually appealing, but the flavors are also nothing like I have ever tasted before. I tried several different items from various Food Studios and none of them disappointed me.
Additionally, year after year, Guests visiting the Festival of the Arts are able to work together to create an incredible mural — all with paint-by-numbers! However, with the current pandemic, Disney World had to reimagine this annual activity in order to continue moving forward while also giving Guests what they enjoy at the parks.
For the 2021 festival, EPCOT has made some changes in order for Guests to still come together to create a masterpiece all while remaining safe, which I absolutely loved. Seeing Disney continue to adapt to the “new norm” is great to see and personally, I felt very safe during this experience.
And of course, it wouldn’t be the Festival of the Arts without seeing artwork from some incredible artists, including Thomas Kinkade. Looking at the pieces from various artists is such a fun experience, and even despite the current pandemic, this was still a highlight of the festival.
Overall, I say yes, the EPCOT International Festival of the Arts is worth visiting in 2021. Yes, there are some experiences missing while others have been reimagined, but EPCOT is still bringing the visual arts in several ways to Guests all around the world.
Editor’s Note: The opinions stated in this article do not necessarily reflect those of Inside the Magic overall.