It is happy days here on the blog, because one of my favorite festivals has finally arrived at Walt Disney World! Heading into its third year, the Epcot International Festival of the Arts is back and better than ever with new merchandise, feature artists, and a TON of delicious eats! The amount of unique food options added this year was a wonderful surprise. I am so happy to see some different and appealing offerings! This year’s festival is going to be one for the books, that’s for sure!
The Epcot International Festival of the Arts will be running every day from January 18th thru February 25th, 2019. There are heaps of activities to enjoy at this event; may it be browsing through art galleries showcasing specialty artists or tasting aesthetically pleasing snacks from thirteen different cabins, this festival is sure to have something for everyone. You can even grab a seat to enjoy the Disney on Broadway series which presents famous stars from the stage that performed in your favorite Disney Broadway shows. My two favorites of the event, Ashley Brown and Josh Strickland will be back in action and I can’t wait to see them perform!
Lets talk FOOD!
This year there are a lot of new, enjoyable items added to the list! First up, the Lemon Blood Orange Tart! Of course, you have to start out with a dessert and this was one of my most favorite delicacies I had throughout the World Showcase. Located at the Showcase Plaza, near the Port of Entry at the Decadent Delights cabin, this tart was so satisfying, picture perfect, and easily soothed my aching sweet-tooth! It was truly a delectable dessert that I will most likely be enjoying more of when I head back to Epcot for my next festival trip.
The Decadent Delights cabin has more to offer with quite a few other tasty desserts on the menu:
- White Chocolate and Purple Sweet Potato Mousse with caramel, coconut and maple meringue — This looked pretty, but I’m weary of the taste, not a huge fan of sweet potatoes, but I will definitely try it next time.
- Chocolate, peanut butter and pretzel crunch — YUM!
- Artist Palette Jumbo Chocolate chip cookie — You can find this cookie at almost every cabin around the World Showcase.
Next up, Créme de Brie en Petit Pain aka warm, creamy brie cheese in a house-made bread bowl. Straight from the heart of the France Pavilion, this snack is definitely for the cheese lovers out there! Now being an enormous fan of bread and cheese, I thought you really cannot go wrong with this mix. Sadly, this was not the case for this particular offering. The bread bowl was delicious, but maybe I am not as much of a fan of brie cheese as I thought I was! I am always willing to give something another shot though, so maybe I can try it again soon and see if I will change my mind!
Onto the Painted Panda cabin in the China Pavilion where we can find multiple appetizing snacks, like the Crystal Moon Cake! I love mochi, which consists of a gelatinous rice cake on the outside with an ice cream filling. Just like mochi, the Crystal Moon Cake is made up of the same type of rice cake, but instead of ice cream, it has a fruit filling and is garnished with a hint of toasted coconut! Being a lover of this type of dessert, I enjoyed the texture and taste, but for some it could be something that may need a bit more sweetness added! Personally, I loved it and adored the intricate design on the top.
Other great tasty treats presented at the Painted Panda cabin:
- Dragon and Phoenix — Spicy sautéed shrimp with spinach noodles (SO GOOD)
- Plum-infused Cherry Tomatoes
- “Panda” Bubble Tea — Non-alcoholic Classic Milk tea with Black and White Boba Pearls.
I have a feeling this next one is going to be a fan favorite! The Sushi Donut which is located at the Takumi Table in the Japan Pavilion is a new offering added this year. It is always good to push the boundaries when trying something new and with this one, they definitely did! Being a freshly made dish, I waited about 8-10 minutes for my Sushi Donut. This is considerably a bit longer than I would normally wait at any of the cabins, but having freshly made sushi takes time and at the end of it all, it became a beautiful piece of artwork! This dish features salmon, tuna, avocado, shrimp, and masago accented with citrus-soy gelée, with wasabi on the side. I personally did not love the citrus-soy gelée, but thankfully they offered soy sauce packets that you could add instead. I would suggest trying this if you are lover of sushi, but if you aren’t, maybe try the Taiyaki pastry (my ultimate favorite) which is another food item they offer at this cabin.
Next we’re off to Italy, where they have quite an array of different bites to enjoy! Having a need for something sweet, the Spuma al Miele d’Arancio was calling my name! This dessert is made up of Orange Honey Mousse with Peaches and Mint-Marjoram Cream and you can find this dish at the L’Arte Di Mangiare at the Italy Pavilion. Perfectly sweet, this dessert was delicious and very pleasing to the palate. I love peaches and thought they paired very well with the orange honey mousse. I will most likely get this again when enjoying the festival throughout this next month!
More eats found at this cabin:
- Barbabietole Dolco, Caprino Fritto — Roasted candied beet salad with Goat cheese fritters (Friends of Dwight Schrute, this is for you!)
- Costine di Maiale Aceto Balsamico — Sweet and sour balsamic-glazed Pork ribs
After stopping in Italy, it was off to Mexico to continue my food conquest around World Showcase. Say hello to the Sopes de Chilorio located at the El Artista Hambriento in the Mexico Pavilion! This beautiful creation consists of slow-braised pork marinated in Ancho chili paste served on fried corn dough covered with black beans, queso oaxaca, crema mexicana and salsa verde. This was my most favorite dish I tried at the Festival of the Arts and I don’t know if anything can top it! Let me be candid here, I stuffed my face with every delicious bite, allowing half of it to either land on the front of my shirt or slide down my face! IT WAS DELICIOUS! Every bite was overflowing with flavor and I almost went back and got another, it was that good!
To finish off the festival, I stopped by my final location to sample another new item added to the menu this year, the Paintbrush Churros! Located at the Taste Track cabin near the exit of Test Track, this tasty treat is absolutely adorable. I love this idea of having the churros look like painters’ brushes dipped in paint! This really goes so well with the theming of the festival as a whole and they tasted just as great! Just like any other churro, it’s smothered in cinnamon sugar, but these ones are dipped in colorful white chocolate, covering the top of the treat. I thoroughly enjoyed every bite of these lil’ beauties! Another addition to this cabin is the Lobster Bacon Macaroni and Cheese served in a bread cone. I have not been able to try one of these just yet, BUT you can bet that, that baby will be my next snack purchase!
Cheers to another successful International Festival of the Arts! I can’t wait to try more delicious eats, join in on the paint-by-number mural, and of course enjoy more Frosé! There is just so much to do at this festival and I can’t wait to explore through it all! Thank you so much for following along on this journey into IMAGINATION (and food photos). Have a great day and never stop dreaming!