The New Year is here and the holidays are officially over, but that doesn’t mean the fun has to stop. Preparations for this year’s Epcot International Festival of the Arts are officially underway. Let’s check it out.
Festival of the Arts
This is the third year for the Festival of the Arts, and it looks like most everything I liked about it from last year is returning. You can see a full list of what will be at the Festival here.
All the food booths are set up with “Coming Soon” signage. The buildings themselves are all holdovers from Food and Wine and Festival of the Holidays, but with entirely different culinary themes.
There will be other booths as well, which haven’t been set up yet. The missing ones will mostly be located in Future World.
Merchandise booths have also gotten some signage.
This wall in World Showcase Plaza will be used for the paint-by-numbers activity. This was a hit last year and I expect it to go over well again this year.
Between Africa and Germany they have a whole herd of tents set up. These will be for artists to show off their wares.
Over near Imagination!, the Cheese Studio booth from Food and Wine is completely gone.
The Chocolate Studio booth remains, however. I’m assuming they’re going to use it for the Festival of the Arts.
They’re currently building the stage at the America Gardens Theater for the Disney on Broadway shows. These performances are my favorite part of the festival, and I’m glad to see that the lineup is on par with previous years.
Set up for the 2019 Walt Disney World Marathon has commenced! The first race is on Thursday, January 10th. The tents take over the easternmost parking lots and will stay up well into February for the Princess Half Marathon.
Thousands of runners require hundreds of toilets.
Guardians of the Galaxy is coming along slowly but surely. Once this building is completely sealed in, we’ll really have no idea how far along they are. I guess we can enjoy the visibility while it lasts.
Personally, I’ll be very happy when they finish the exterior of the old Universe of Energy building. It pains me to see it in such a state.
The new Space Restaurant between Mission Space and Test Track is slowly going vertical. New pillars have recently arisen.
You can tell that these map out the curved wall of the restaurant. Looks like it will only be about a half-circle, instead of what I assumed (based on concept art) to be more of a round restaurant.
The structure on the far left is actually left over from the old Mission Space HP Lounge (that was mainly used as storage.) Looks like they’re incorporating that space into the new build.
Illumination’s replacement looks like it will be quite a big project. Lots of work going on in the lagoon.
Japan’s new restaurant looks about the same as last week. Active construction still going on.
France is also currently under the knife. This will be the walkway to the new Ratatouille area. I would expect this garden area to be reworked eventually as well.
Concrete walls are going up along the waterway here, either to block guests’ view of International Gateway, or vice-versa.
They also seemed to be missing a lamp…
The Behind the Seeds tour got a new desk! It’s right next to the Living with the Land exit.
It used to be over here by Soarin’. A much more sensible location, in my opinion.
They released a whole plethora of merchandise for the “World’s Largest Mouse Party”, aka Mickey’s 90th Birthday year. You can check it all out right here.
Happy New Year from the Mitsukoshi Store. They had really cute Sanrio Daruma dolls for the new year.
China, on the other hand, is still selling Shanghai Disney Grand Opening merchandise.
Poutine Alert: The Beef Brisket poutine at the Refreshment Port, previously a “seasonal” option during Food and Wine, seems to be on the regular menu now.
And last but not least, I was made an Honorary Junior Jammitor. So I’ve got that going for me now. I guess I can retire now.
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