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With the Christmas Tree down, kids back at school and Typhoon Lagoon going through its annual refurbishment shutdown, Orlando feels a lot less busy.
I often think that January is a perfect time for adults to enjoy the more peaceful parks with a smug grin, as ride times (and blood pressure) drops!

As we attended the (hopefully first of many) Festival of the Arts event last week, a comment from a fellow travel writer made sense; “Nobody does Art like Disney!”
She was right, and it is often so easy to forget where this entertainment giant came from.
Pencils, ink, paint and patience!

Festival of The Arts – Quick Facts

  • All new festival for 2017,  ‘Festival of the Arts ‘.
  • The festival will run over six weekends from January 13th – February 20th
  • Fridays through to Mondays.
  • Included in regular park admission
  • Not confirmed to be a regular annual event (but we bet it is!)
  • A changing theme for each weekend
  • Excellent food kitchens (think a mini version of the Epcot Food & Wine Festival)
  • Visual art displays
  • Performing arts events and concerts

Visual Arts Displays

The World Showcase is literally turned into an art studio, as the artwork of many talented artists adorns the walkways.
Visitors loved the displays of past Disney artwork from Herb Ryman the man behind the early concept art for Disneyland Park, Magic Kingdom and Epcot.
Guests even have the opportunity to purchase artwork from Disney’s legendary artists, including Mary Blair.

Visual work over the six week event include Henna Art, Animation Classes, Photography, Face Painting, Origami plus lots of great art galleries located around the World Showcase.  Guests are encouraged to talk with the artists about their work.
We were lucky enough to watch Walfrido Garcia at work.
Walfrido was creating beautiful landscapes of his home country Hawaii and was only too happy to chat with us.
He shared with us that he was actually painting on paper rather than canvas due to the amount of space the canvas work takes up, he laughed that he would need a warehouse to store them all if he painted on canvas all of the time!
So beautiful were the Hawaiian themed scenes that I felt compelled to add Hawaii to our travel bucket list!

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Don’t be fooled into thinking the event is for adults only, after all this is Disney we are talking about.
Little promising artists are able to search for Figment using the paintings as clues located around the park.  To purchase a map guests can visit Disney Traders, World Traveler or Pin Central.  Don’t forget to pick up your prize from Disney Traders once you have completed your map!

We took part in the interactive wall mural located at the World Showcase Plaza.
Each guests is handed a small pot of paint and is given a number, the guest is then instructed to paint five squares on the wall!  We can’t wait to see the end result!

There will be various talented artist’s taking to the Future World Fountain Stage during the event where guests are able to watch as they create original pieces of art.  Unfortunately due to inclement weather we were unable to see artist Trevor Carlton at work.

There are a number of interactive workshops offered to guests over the festival period.  The workshops cover both culinary and visual arts.  Each workshop is $ 39 and located in the Odyssey Festival Showplace at 11:00 a.m.

Visual Arts Display Schedule

January 13th – 16th
Friday January 13th
11:00 a.m. “Magical” Mixed Media Art, Rachelle Eason, BoiLedBooks
Saturday January 14th
11:00 a.m. Gesture Drawing Class, Todd Bright, Disney Animator
Sunday January 15th
11:00 a.m. Floral Arranging with a Disney Floral and Gifts Designer
Monday January 16th
Modern Macrame, Sara Stoff, Fiber

January 20th – 23rd
Friday January 20th
Floral Arranging with a Disney Floral and Gifts Designer
Saturday January 21st
Watercolor Love, Rachelle Eason, BoiLedBooks
Sunday January 22nd
Become an Artisan Spice Blend Mix-Masster, Pam Smith, P.S. Flavor
Monday January 23rd
The Artistry of Amorette’s Patisserie, Jade Bowser, Amorette’s Patisserie, Disney Springs

January 27th – 30th
Friday January 27th
Truffle Making, Amy Holmes & Kathleen Dunn, The Ganachery, Disney Springs
Saturday January 28th
Ink and Paint Animation, Lynn Rippberger, Disney Animation Ink and Paint Artist
Sunday January 29th
The Art of Mixology, Eric Foster, Stacole Fine Wines and Spirits
Monday January 30th
Animation 101, todd Bright, Disney Animator

February 3rd – 6th
Friday February 3rd
Ink and Paint Animation, Lynn Rippberger,, Disney Animation Ink and Paint Artist
Saturday February 4th
Valentine Card Making, Tona Bell, The Paper Seahorse
Sunday February 5th
Intro to Modern Calligraphy, Singling Lee, CalligraLee
Monday February 6th
Artfully Blending Rea, Karon Cannon, Tea Craze

February 10th – 13th
Friday February 10th
Handwritten Typography, Simon Miranda , Creative Services Manager, Walt Disney World
Saturday February 11th
Become an Artisan Spice Blen Mix-Master, Pam Smith, P.S. Flavor
Sunday February 12th
Olive Oil 101, Marcy Elias, the Olive Pantry
Monday February 13th
Jewelry Making: Crystal Light Cuff Bracelet, Lymarie Suarez-Rivera, arie Jewelry, Artegon Marketplace

February 17th – 20th
Friday February 17th
Ink and Paint Animation, Lynn Rippberger, Disney Animation Ink and Paint Artist
Saturday February 18th
Floral Arranging with a Disney Floral and Gifts Designer
Sunday February 19th
Abstract Painting: A journey in Bringing Your Art to Life, Crystal Dombrowsky Art Work
Monday February 20th
Animation 101, Todd Bright, Disney Animator

Culinary Arts (oh the Food! It Tastes Gorgeous!)

 

The great thing about the culinary side of the festival is that guests actually get to watch the chefs create some of the dishes!
Please don’t be deterred by the long lines this is due to the fact that the chefs are simply making every single dish they serve perfect.
It can be slow, and this certainly isn’t for the impatient, it is for the guests who want to enjoy every minute of the dining experience from watching their dish being prepared, to admiring how it looks and slowly savoring the taste.
Believe us when we tell you it is worth the wait.

Cuisine Classique

  • Braised Beef Short Rib with Parsnip Puree, baby Tomatoes and Aged Balsamic
  • Seared Red Snapper with Braised Ratatouille and Lemon-Thyme Beurre Blanc
  • Port Wine Poached Pear, Vanilla Panna Cotta and Pistachio Crumbs
  • Artist Palette Jumbo Chocolate Chip Cookie
  • Beer Braising Flight
  • Bell’s Two Hearted American-style India Pale Ale
  • Campo Viejo Rioja Reserva Art Series
  • Duck Rabbit Milk Stout
  • Sierra Nevade Pale Ale

Decadent Delights

  • Crisp Caramel Chocolate Mousse Bar, Flavored Merengue Kisses and Passion Fruit Mousse
  • Dark Chocolate S’mores: Homemade Graham Cracker, Vanilla Kisses and White Chocolate ‘Fire’
  • Deconstructed Purple sweet Potato Pie, Salted Caramel, Bourbon-soaked Cake and Marshmallow Whipped Cream
  • Artist Palette Jumbo Chocolate Chip Cookie
  • Cherry Heering Liqueur
  • Courvoisier V.S. Cognac
  • Ferreira 10 Year Old Port
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Decadent Delights

E=AT

  • Deconstructed Reuben: Classic Reuben with Shredded Vorned Beef, Thousand Island Dressing, Pickled Red Cabbage and Rye Curl
  • Deconstructed BLT with Crispy Pork Belly, Tomato Jam and Soft Poached Egg
  • Cobb Salad with Smoked Duck Breast, Avocado Mousse, Nueske’s applewood Smoked Bacon and Blue Cheese
  • Figment White Chocolate Art Painting with Chocolate Easel
  • White Chocolate Mickey Puzzle with Artist Palette
  • Deconstructed Breakfast: Twinings Spiced Apple Chai Tea Shake with Maple Bourbon Cream, Waffle Crisp and Candied Bacon
  • Pop-Artsicle: Red, White and Blue Frozen Slushy

 

El Arista Hambriento

  • Choriqueso Taco served with Chihuahua Cheese, Red and Green Peppers over a Corn Tortilla and garnished with Poblano Peppers and Micro Cilantro
  • Huarache Flank Steak Guarache served with Black Beans, Salsa de Chile de Arbol, Frisee Lettuce, Queso Fresco, Red Cabbage, Shredded Carrots and Chipotle Mayo

Masterpiece Kitchen

  • Wild Mushroom Risotto, Aged Parmesan, Truffle Shavings and Zinfandel Reduction
  • Smoked Salmon Tartare, Caviar, Crisp Lavash and Traditional Accompaniments
  • Charcuterie Palette with Artisan Cured Mats, Nueske’s Smoked Duck Breast and Cheese
  • Triple Chocolate Mousse, Chocolate Crunch, Dark Chocolate Sauce and Gold Leaf form Disney’s Master Pastry Chef
  • White Chocolate Puzzle on an Artist Palette
  • Mickey and Pluto White Chocolate Painting with Chocolate Easel
  • Classic Sidecar with a Chocolate Twist
  • Perrier-Jouet Belle Epoque Brut Champage
  • The Meeker Vineyard Winemakers’ Handprint Merlo

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Painter’s Palate

  • Trio of Savory Croissant Doughnuts, Whipped Herb Cream Cheese with Sea Salt, Chicken Mousse with Fresh Herbs and Everything Bagel Seasoning, Spicy Tuna with Sriracha Mayonnaise and sesame seeds
  • Margarita Flatbread with Basil Pesto and Balsamic Drizzle
  • Mary Blair White Chocolate Art Paining with Chocolate Easel
  • Pop’t Art Abstract Designed Sugar Cookie and Chocolate Hazelnut Filling
  • White Chocolate Figment Puzzle on an Artist Palette
  • 3 Daughters Queens Court Strawberry Blonde Nitro
  • Neapolitan Beer Flight
  • Pomegranate Mule featuring the Ginger People Ginger Beer and Van Gogh Vodka
  • Young ‘s Double Chocolate Stout

Pop Eats

  • Shrimp Ceviche with Lime Mint Foam
  • Sous Vide Venison with Butternut Squash Puree, Pomegranate Reduction, Pickled Turnip and Juniper Berry Powder
  • Almond Frangipane Cake Layered with Raspberry Jam and Chocolate
  • Goofy White Chocolate Puzzle on the Artist Palette
  • Cloudem Silver Sparkling Wine
  • Popping Bubbles Cocktail

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The Artist’s Table

  • Pan-Seared Scallop with Chorizo, Roasted Red Pepper Coulis and a Parmesan Crisp
  • Roasted Pork Roulade with Marble Potatoes, Baby Carrots and Red Wine Sauce featuring Melissa’s Produce
  • Artist Palette Jumbo Chocolate Chip Cookie
  • Callebaut Belgian Sipping Chocolate Flight, White, Mild and Dark
  • Callebaut Belgian Sipping Chocolate, Dark Chocolate with Chambord
  • Perla Santa Coffee-flavored Wine

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We sampled the trio of Savory croissant doughnuts from The Painters Palate!
The three flavors included whipped herb cream cheese with sea salt, chicken mousse with fresh herbs and everything bagel seasoning and last but not least spicy tuna with sriracha mayonnaise and sesame seeds.
We absolutely loved the tuna doughnut, it was by far a favorite!

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Savory Croissant Donuts

The Pan-Seared Scallop with Chorizo, Roasted Red Pepper Coulis and a Parmesan Crisp.
I am not a huge fan of scallops due to the texture, however, these were cooked to perfection and the Roasted Red Pepper Coulis complimented the scallop fabulously, and with that crunchy Parmesan Crisp just perfect!

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Pan Seared Scallop and Chorizo

For dessert we ‘reluctantly’ indulged in the Triple Chocolate Mousse with a beautiful gold leaf topping.
The Mousse looked like it might be too sweet to finish, but we managed just fine, it was delicious.  We think this will be a firm favorite with chocolate fans.

Three alcoholic beverages!  (Phew I wasn’t the designated driver!!)
The Classic Sidecar with a Chocolate Twist this was probably my least favorite, however, I did enjoy the white chocolate twist.
Cloudem Silver Sparkling Wine with a beautiful shimmering effect definitely a party must.
Our favorite was the Popping Bubbles Cocktail, the sparkling wine turned a red shade due to the cranberry bubbles in the cocktails, the small bubbles are filled with cranberry juice and they literally pop in your mouth.
We loved these so much so we are expecting a delivery anytime soon!

 

We would have loved to sample everything on the menu, however, there are simply too many items to sample in one day, I guess we will just have to go back lots over the next six weeks and forget that we ever did decide upon a ‘healthy New Year!’.

The plates are small and not so filling that you can’t try a fair few.  We feel that guests could easily  go over budget with each plate costing between $ 5 and $ 14.  Maybe the best way to budget would be to purchase a Disney Gift Card that way you can put exactly how much you would like to spend on the card prior.

Festival of the Arts Dining Package

There is also a Festival of the Arts Dining Package which offers, breakfast, lunch and dinner options along with priority seating for the 8:00 p.m. concert.

Prices range from $ 39 through to $ 69.

Breakfast Options

  • Akershus
  • Garden Grill

Lunch Options

  • Akershus
  • Biergarten
  • Coral Reef
  • Garden Grill
  • Rose and Crown

Dinner Options

  • Akershus
  • Biergarten
  • Coral Reef
  • Garden Grill
  • Rose & Crown

Performing Arts (be prepared to be blown away!)

During the event there is three nightly performances by Broadway Artists.  The  Broadway talent can be enjoyed on The American Gardens Theatre Stage at 5:30 p.m., 6:45 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. during festival days.

January 13th – 16th and January 20th – 23rd
Ashley Brown
Josh Strickland
Performing songs form Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Tarzan, Mary Poppins and The Little Mermaid.

January 27th – 30th and February 3rd – 6th
Kerry Butler
Kevin Massey
Performing songs from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Tarzan, Newsies and Aladdin.

February 10th – 13th and 17th – 20th
Kissy Simmons
Alton Fitzgerald White
Performing songs from Disney’s The Lion King, Aida, Aladdin and The Little Mermaid.

The performing arts artists left us completely speechless, they were so spectacular, the performers right off the Broadway stage impressed with not only their amazing vocals but their spectacular stage presence.
Which isn’t surprising with their long list of credentials.

We hope that the Festival of Arts returns every year.
Please believe us, ‘if arts is your passion’ you will be very impressed!

We almost forgot to mention the living statues, there is that much to do and see we are literally struggling to report on it all!

We would highly recommend this event, after all we all know nobody can run a festival in true style like EPCOT can, The  Flower and Garden Festival and The Food and Wine Festival are testament to that!

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