This past week I went to the inaugural EPCOT Festival of the Arts. I had a great time at it, and I really hope that Disney does this again.
It was very much a first year event. I think it was a more popular than they expected. Several of the desserts sold out each day. I almost didn’t get my Pop’t Art! And, I never did manage to get the almond cake. Also, the Festival of the Arts print of the event sold out. It was a little frustrating as an attendee, but I’m glad to see it was doing so well.
The art at the event wasn’t what I was expecting either. Though, to be honest, I didn’t really do a lot of research. “EPCOT is having an art and food event” is enough to get me there without a lot of further reflection. The art was very much of the Wonderground/Art of Disney stripe, which was great. I was expecting a little more generic art, rather than Disney art. Kind of like that one “wine and cats” lady who sets up at Food and Wine. So seeing the more stylized Disney stuff, and the artists, was delightful.
I rather liked the Disney art, and I’d like to see a lot of more of the Wonderground artists next year. And, I’m hoping next year has a little more Scrooge art, too, once DuckTales hits the air. Hint hint.
I did find the areas hard to navigate, but that’s because as opposed to geography, everything was art based. I think there’s a natural free association between countries than between art and countries. So, I know that the Japan stand is in front of Japan, and I can make some connection Brazil and Morocco to understand that the Brazilian food (and their delicious cheese bread) is between Morocco and France. Maybe it’s that the World Showcase countries act as guideposts.
For Festival of the Arts, the food stands are themed by art. So the The Painter’s Palate pavilion, the E=A^2 pavilion. It’s on theme, but it doesn’t help you know what’s at that pavilion or what food is there. I don’t know a way around that.
The other minor complaint was that the food selections were very dessert heavy. Don’t get me wrong: I love dessert. But, for the wander-and-graze approach, I found less entree/protein choices to balance out the oh so tasty desserts. As such, there was more wandering to an entree I liked and then doubling back to dessert. Which is how I missed the almond cake.
The most fun dessert were the puzzles. Three to four pieces of chocolate that you assembled and then got to paint in frosting. And HUGE thanks to Brianne, who not only made sure that I got my Figment puzzle and paint brush when they had run out, but got the paintbrush in my choice of colors, and brought out extra colors of frosting for me. This was essential, because they didn’t have purple or orange frosting, and how do you paint Figment without those colors? He’d be off-model!
I didn’t spend too much time checking out the music. There were Disney Broadways stars, and I’m sure it would have been fun to see, but that wasn’t what drew me there. Maybe next time. Because I’ve got a feeling there will be a next time.
Food I had, shared or sampled:
- Trio of Savory Doughnuts
- Pop’t Art Handmade Cookie with Hazelnut Filling
- White Chocolate Figment Puzzle
- White Chocolate Art Painting with Chocolate Easel
- Artist Palette Jumbo Chocolate Chip Cookie
- BLY with Crispy Pork Belly, Tomato Jam and Soft Poached Egg
- Cobb Salad withSmoked Duck Breast, Avocado Mousse, Nueska’s Applewood-smoked Bacon and Bleu Cheese
- Sous Vide Venison with Butternut Squash Purée, Pomegranate Reduction, Pickled Turnip and Jupiter Berry Powder
- Choriqueso Taco served with Chihuahua Cheese, Red and Green Peppers over a Corn Tortilla , garnished with Poblano Peppers and Micro Cilantro (my favorite)
- Roasted Pork Roulade with Marble Potatoes and Baby Carrots with a Red Wine Sauce Featuring Melissa’s Produce
- Wild Mushroom Risotto, Aged Parmesean, Truffle Sahvings and Zinfandel Reduction
- Triple Chocolate Mousse, Chocolate Crunch, Dark Chocolate Sauce and Gold Leaf from Master Pastry Chef
- 3 Daughters Queens Court Strawberry Blonde Nitro