You have one more weekend to enjoy the Epcot International Festival of the Arts 2019 at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla. Don’t miss your chance. This festival is probably the most underrated in the World. Its publicity pales in comparison to the more popular Epcot International Food & Wine Festival and the upcoming Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival.
Each is worthy, but the Festival of the Arts holds a special place for me because it coincides with our annual trip to Disney. But it also offers a piece of old-school Disney philosophy. It brings me back to a time when Epcot was about bringing educational cultural experiences to its visitors. When I visited in the 1980s and early 1990s, it was still EPCOT, the experiential prototype community of tomorrow.
You will be inspired by seeing the artists demonstrating their skills and looking at the final product while the ink is still drying on the artist’s signature. Frankly, in a world driven by technology and business, we are quick to ignore the arts. But they give us life and ideas and purpose. They make everything else possible. By the way, Disney only exists because of Walt Disney, the artist.
Like the other festivals, there are food booths with signature drinks and little plates, all presented in an artistic manner. While the food items can be kind of expensive, many of them are included as snacks on the Disney dining plan.
At Italy’s Arte di Mangiare booth, you might enjoy the sweet-and-sour balsamic glazed pork ribs and sweet potato fries. The Deconstructed Dish offers a smooth strawberry cheesecake that is as pretty as it is delicious and a deconstructed BLT with pork belly, tomato jam, and soft-poached egg. Still, the standout for me was barbecue chips topped with lobster, bisque cheese sauce, and pickled jalapenos from Refreshment Port at World Showcase.
Of course, you can also enjoy the live entertainment. There are live statues, singing, dancing, and regards to Broadway. In fact, you can see the performers, who have brought Disney films (many of them animated) to life on stage. They sing all the hits at the Disney on Broadway Concert Series. You won’t be able to help yourself. You’ll be singing along by show’s end. It’s a promise.
Di Meglio is the author of Fun with the Family New Jersey (Globe Pequot Press, 2012). She also has written the Our Paesani column for ItaliansRus.com since 2003. You can follow the Italian Mamma on Facebook or Twitter @ItalianMamma10.