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PHOTO REPORT: EPCOT 1/7/21 (Donald Still Missing From Gran Fiesta Tour, More Festival Preparations, Arendelle Aqua Lemonade Returns, and More)

Hello from a lovely day here at EPCOT! We came to check out all the final preparations being made for the Taste of EPCOT International Festival of the Arts, which is now open—consider this a retrospective! We found a lot of new things around the park, so let’s get started!

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We started off by checking on some of the construction going on in the park. We found new framing going up in the Innoventions East building, and workers in man lifts actively working in the rafters of the building.

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We found a bright blue tarp had been added to the facade of the Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind building.

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We took a look at the Play! Pavilion, but found that no new work could be seen to have been done recently.

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In The Seas Pavilion, the window maintenance continues on the rear window of the saltwater tank. No timeline is known for this project.

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The large gate leading to the road outside of the park in the France Pavilion expansion seems to be finished after languishing in a only-primed state for some time. The wall closest to the hinge points is still taped off to protect it from paint overspray. It’s nice to see it looking so clean and fresh!

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In World Showcase, no new progress has been made to the new food booth at the Italy Pavilion. It wasn’t a very exciting day for construction!

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We stopped in to Gran Fiesta Tour to check on Donald, but found that he was still missing from the final scene of the attraction. Only his sombrero remains in his place.

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With the Festival of the Arts opening, a lot of aspects of the festival were already in place today, including some of the food booth menus, art displays, and photo ops.

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Artists were seen moving in to their tents and setting up their artwork.

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Chalk artists have been hard at work for at least a day now creating beautiful works of art on the sidewalk on the way to World Showcase.

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This piece, which we saw in progress yesterday, was finished today.

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The Expression Section, which was only a paint-by-numbers canvas yesterday, was fully set up today, complete with social distancing measures in place to protect guests as they paint. For more pictures and information, check out our article here.

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We got an exciting preview of this year’s festival passport. For a look inside, check out our article here.

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Most of the menus were out for the food booths, giving us a look at what we might like to start with tomorrow. For a look at all the available menus, check out our article here.

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We also got a look at this year’s new booth, Vibrante & Vivido. For more information and a look at the brand new menu offerings, check out our article here.

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We found the “Characters Off The Page” portraits, which are usually displayed at each character’s meet and greet location, all on display in the United Kingdom Pavilion garden. For more pictures and information, check out our article here.

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Unfortunately our trip around the park wasn’t all new excitement. The Waffles booth is closed, and has had its sign removed, meaning it won’t be opening tomorrow as a part of the festival. It did make a late appearance for Festival of the Holidays, so there’s still hope, but it’s closed for now.

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The pin booth in the Canada Pavilion was closed today, and its sign was removed as well. We’re not sure if this booth will become something different moving forward, or it if was just closed today.

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A QR code has been added to the Yorkshire County Fish Shop. For a moment we thought it might be getting a mobile order option, but unfortunately it only leads guests to the menu online, which seems a bit redundant considering the location of the QR code.

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The outdoor champagne and beer bar which was recently installed on the patio of the temporarily unavailable Tangerine Cafe in the Morocco Pavilion has disappeared without so much as a “cheers”. We’re sorry to see it go!

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The Rally of the Gazelles video screen is back on in the Race Against The Sun exhibit, although the seat remains blocked off “for your safety”.

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Arendelle Aqua Lemonade has returned to Block & Hans in American Adventure. This is currently the only location Arendelle Aqua Lemonade is available within a park, although it is available in Disney Springs.

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We found American Gardens Theatre with a new look for the festival, and we are loving the paint splatter look!

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There’s a new sign outside of La Gemma Elegante in the Italy Pavilion reminding guests to visit the shops for “unique Venetian masks”.

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We stopped by Karamell Kuche in the Germany Pavilion to get one of our favorite snacks, the Gingerbread Salted Caramel Buttercream Cookie Sandwich, and were saddened to hear that it would be leaving the menu soon. If this is your favorite treat here too, get it while you can!

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We found some new merchandise today that caught our eye. These two new AirPods charging cases are a fun way to show off your love for your favorite character.

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At Mouse Gear, we found three new distressed women’s clothing pieces. The first was this grey Walt Disney World hoodie. We love the sleeve detail of the castle on the shoulder. It retails for $49.99.

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Next was this cut off long sleeve shirt featuring a “Mickey Mouse 1928” design. It retails for $39.99.

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Lastly was this cheerful Walt Disney World women’s tied crop shirt. It retails for $36.99.

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At ImageWorks, we found two new Soarin’ merchandise items. The first was a youth shirt featuring Minnie Mouse, retailing for $24.99.

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The second was this unisex ringer shirt featuring the attraction logo, retailing for $29.99.

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In the Mexico Pavilion, we found this nightshirt featuring a sugar skull design retailing for $34.99.

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We had a great day at EPCOT, and we hope you enjoyed coming along with us. Have a magical day!

For more information on booking your next trip with our official travel agent sponsor, the Vacationeer, visit wdwnt.travel.

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