I am really excited to share that the EPCOT International Festival of the Arts will be debuting on January 14, 2022!
This global celebration of the performing, culinary and visual arts runs through Feb. 21, 2022, as part of The World’s Most Magical Celebration honoring the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World Resort.
And, there’s more good news! The DISNEY ON BROADWAY Concert Series is returning for this year’s festival, where you can see some of your favorite entertainers perform Disney songs live at America Gardens Theatre in World Showcase.
During the festival, art lovers of all ages can enjoy inspirational experiences, such as:
Culinary delights from Food Studios around World Showcase
The Wonderful Walk of Colorful Cuisine – a fun food stroll featuring five delicious sweet and savory treats
Chalk artists turning walkways into stunning landscapes and portraits
Photo ops where you can step into famous artwork
A paint-by-number mural
Figment’s Brush with the Masters scavenger hunt
Performance and visual artists
Special festival merchandise
The EPCOT International Festival of the Artsis available with valid theme park admission and a park reservation for the same date.
I REALLY enjoy the Festival of the Arts, and I am beyond excited for the return of the Disney on Broadway Series!
As always, you can find more information about the EPCOT International Festival of the Arts and other special events by following @onthegoinmco on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube!
EPCOT 30 is really here, and I thought that I would take another look back at my first trip to EPCOT Center!
In 1986 my life changed forever, I was introduced to a place called EPCOT Center. I know that may sound a bit dramatic, but the happenings of this trip seem to have influenced and affected me for quite some time.
My family was by no means well off, and when it came time to make our family trip to Walt Disney World my parents were serious about making sure we made the most of our time here.
My parents have always been huge fans of Walt Disney World, and since they had already been to the Magic Kingdom they decided that our first park to visit would be the new EPCOT Center.
I had never been to a theme park, so armed with my Fisher Price camera (I was a bit of a rebel. No flash photography…I didn’t hear that…sorry) I was ready to make the most of my time here! I wish I could have found all of the pictures, but I am glad that I found these!!!
But pictures or no pictures, I wanted to share a few of my favorite and cherished moments.
In World of Motion, my brother’s favorite ride, my fondest memories are frantically pointing to all of the scenes and trying to find all of the funny details. The screens were full of fun background images, while the animatronics depicted scenes that were easy to identify with and fun to deconstruct.
In Horizons, I remember the optimism that we all felt for the future. I know that everyone who got the opportunity to experience Horizons has a fond memory of the smell of oranges. And while the orange smell on Soarin’ is a nice nod to this extinct attraction, it just isn’t the same to me. Here is my EPCOT30 confession, I was once meditating during a Yoga class, and we were encouraged to think of a happy memory and before the image could fully form I was hit by the Horizons orange smell and it instantly made me happy.
Journey into Imagination was the only ride, according got my Mom, where I was silent and in complete awe of what was surrounding me. Plus this one and only one ride cemented my life-long love of the Royal Purple Pigment Figment! Our trip was also right before Captain EO opened, and I remember begging to stay until we could see it unsuccessfully, So when EO returned to Epcot, I was absolutely beside myself because I was going to have the opportunity to see the movie I couldn’t see before. And as I was sitting in the theater before the movie started with Zoe, I couldn’t help but wiggle with the excitement and dance out at the end with her. I know it’s cheesy, but getting the chance to relive these memories with Zoe make me giddy!
As we walked around World Showcase on this first trip, we spent a lot of time in Mexico since it was my Dad’s favorite pavilion. I remember how badly we all wanted to eat ‘inside the pyramid’, as I called it, but my Dad protested saying it was too expensive. However in 2008, we were fortunate enough to take Mom and Dad to Walt Disney World with us for Zoe’s first trip to Walt Disney World and much like my family’s first trip Epcot was our first stop. But on this trip we skipped running to ride attractions, to go directly to Mexico to have our first meal of the trip at the San Angel Inn. The wait staff must have thought I was crazy, because as I sat down I started crying realizing I was making a 12 year old wish come true!
The newest pavilion at EPCOT Center was The Living Seas, and it was the most amazing thing I had ever seen. Our trip to Sea Base Alpha was the most moving and wonderful thing that I had ever done! The Hydrolators, our seacab journey, the interactive displays, and marine life were almost too much to take in. I kept asking if it was real!
And finally, there is my beloved Spaceship Earth. We all have that one attraction that speaks to us, and for me that attraction was Spaceship Earth. I loved, and still do, this slow moving journey through time. Communication is something we all do, and the history of communication fascinated me. Coming off of our first ride I must have asked a million questions prompting us to ride it 2 more times. Spaceship Earth will always be my most favorite ride, and I often think of how inspired I was as I walked off that first time and how much I am always searching for that same feeling of inspiration and curiosity in my life.
I hope that you enjoyed my reminiscing about my first trip to EPCOT Center on EPCOT30. What were your first memories about EPCOT Center?
So I posted this pic earlier on Twitter (from @shelleycaran)…
And while usually change is a good thing, when it comes to the Imagination Pavilion change makes me feel like Forest Gump. You never know what you are going to get, especially when it comes to the future of an unsponsored pavilion. *coughwondersoflifecough*
My first trip to EPCOT Center was in 1986. The Imagination Pavilion was AMAZING! The ride was captivating, and I remember wanting to ride it over and over again! It was an experience, and then when you went upstairs you really got to explore and connect with the subject at hand…Imagination.
Fast forward to today, and you have a tired ride that has no staying power. Besides the cuteness of Figment, which no one can deny, I find that my take away is bleak. Rather than exploring what Imagination is and can be we get shown how much imagination is fought, misunderstood, and held captive at times.
Kodak’s exit after 28 years of sponsorship is bittersweet, but with their departure I find hope that one day we’ll be “Makin Memories” and find the “One Little Spark” we have all been hoping for!
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