Monday, January 16, 2017

Epcot's New Festival of the Arts Is A Figment Love-Fest

On Friday John and I spent an exceptionally soggy day checking out Epcot's first ever Festival of the Arts.


The rain may have put a damper on things - literally - but it also kept the crowds and temperature down, so I'll take it.

Best thing of the whole Festival greets you right behind Spaceship Earth:


FIGMENT TOPIARY!!

Isn't he perfect?! Gah. I want one in my front yard. (Would that be weird? Because I'm ok with being weird.)

And another surprise awaits you just past the fountain:


These living statues will look familiar if you've been to Disney Springs lately, though they're different designs and on new custom platforms. I've been trying to figure out the themes: Copper is obviously Earth/Nature (wind power, flowers, etc.), and Silver is Space, but Gold is... steampunk? I... I don't get it.


Whatever, I got the coolest shot of Gold:

HDR is fun.

And that's the actual sky color! Talk about a literal gray day.

(All of these were taken with my iPhone 6S. I edited this one with Snapseed - also on my phone -  but most of the others were done in Adobe Lightroom.)

Over in the Odyssey Building there are daily art presentations on stage:

Plus themed food and drink and exclusive merchandise:


Noticing a theme here?



Aw yeah Figment!

There's also some great art for sale:




Best of all, there are two small walk-through exhibits. One's for Mary Blair:

... though if you go in expecting her iconic Small World style - like I did - you'll be disappointed. Still, some nice paintings, and this adorable sketch:


My favorite is the second exhibit, dedicated to Herbert Ryman:

 
He did the most incredible concept art for the parks. Check it out:



I would seriously hang any of these in my house!

I love how big they are, too, so you can see all the little details.


It's been far too long since we had a Figment picture in here.

BOOYAH.

These fabulous chocolate paintings (on chocolate easels, natch!) are just one of the many art-themed foods being sold around the park. When this chef saw me ogling them, he beckoned me over and held it up so I could take a picture. 

There are other chocolate art options at different booths around the Showcase:
 

There are so many pretty food items, though, I won't bother trying to mention them all. Head over to Disney Food Blog for a complete list and tons of photos, if you're curious.


Once you get to the World Showcase you'll find some of the most clever photo ops I've ever seen:
 
These set-ups let you walk inside famous paintings, and as you can see even from my angle, the illusion is crazy convincing. (The group before this had someone pretending to throw up over the side of the boat. Ha!) There are three or four of these photo spots around the showcase.


 Another fun thing to look out for? Almost all of the character spots have custom paintings!

Doc painted this one, while it looks like there was a... disagreement... over who painted Aurora's:

Baha! Such a great touch.

Look for other paintings by Belle's dad (which has an amazing, steampunky easel) and Alice. Since Morocco doesn't allow art of living things, though, you won't find one near Jasmine & Aladdin. This also affects the Figment Scavenger Hunt, but more on that in a sec.

First, look at this suh-WEET picture:
 
I combined my phone's fish eye lens (womp womp) with the panorama feature. Nifty, right? 

Moving on.
 
Also around the Showcase are artist tents, selling a mix of both Disney and non-Disney art. Some of my favorite artists, like Kristin Tercek and Jerrod Maruyuma, are having signings throughout the Festival at these, so keep an eye out!

OK, now let's talk my favorite part of the Festival: the Figment Scavenger Hunt.


Just like the annual Easter Egg Hunts, this involves purchasing a map & stickers, which you'll place on the corresponding country as you find them.

If $7 seems steep, keep in mind you get a prize at the end: one of these four Figment magnets.


Also, "Figment's Brush with the Masters"?


C'mon, that pun alone is worth $7.

The stickers are of famous paintings, but they are oh-so-slightly misleading:

If you don't want to know why the stickers are misleading, because you plan to do this Hunt sometime before it ends Feb. 20th, then GO NO FURTHER. 

Yep, I'm about to post major Scavenger Hunt spoilers from all of the Showcase countries. So again, if you want to be surprised, do NOT scroll down.

But for everyone else, who can't visit in time to experience it yourself? Prepare to be DELIGHTED.


Here we go.


Starting in Mexico, you have to enter the building itself to find the first painting:


At first I completely fixated on the Figment accent on the frame (there was much squeeing), so John had to point out that Figment was also IN the painting itself.

 See him? 

Here, I'll zoom in:


Right then and there we knew: this was gonna be goooood.

Yep, not only does the Hunt make you go into each country's buildings (unlike the Easter Eggs, which are always outside), you also get to see how the Imagineers incorporated Figment into each famous painting!

And lemme tell ya, they are SO FUN.




Let's take a closer look at that frame accent, because I love it with the love of a thousand squishies:



K, back to the paintings:



I won't tell you exactly where the painting are in each country, but they're almost all in shops, and I think all are near or in the KidCot areas.

Remember how I said Morocco doesn't allow art of living things? That makes its painting the only Figment-less one:

But you'll note it IS in Figment colors.

Oh hey, I just noticed Figment's reflection is waving to him in this one:

And he's wearing a beret! Cute!

Some of the paintings were hard to get close to, so I had to zoom in on these last ones:



And that's the whole hunt!

Hope you guys got a kick out of your virtual visit with me!

Again, the Festival runs every weekend (including Fridays) through February 20th. If you go, be sure to tell me which foods you tried and liked, so I know what to get next time!

[Note: I'll be announcing my art winners next post, so you've got a few extra days to enter!]

50 comments:

  1. This looks like so much phone! Your pics are fantastic as well.

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  2. Maybe the gold statue is something like time(travel) what with all the clocks and details that seem to be from different eras. (The chariot, car wheel, old-school pilot outfit) :D

    (I have no idea what the theme of the park is (from the Netherlands, so all I know is what I've seen on your blog) but it seems a bit fitting with the other themes of the statues :) )

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    1. Yeah, I was thinking similarly that it could be showing the advancement of transportation technology over time. Epcot is meant to be education-themed, and although there's no super direct tie-in in the park, showing the advancement of travel methods would fit in with the overall concepts.

      I see the chariot at the back, the wheels are sort of train-like, the pilot is in early aviation gear, and the front of the vehicle and steering wheel are from a car. Also, the triangular bit on top of the gears up front sort of reminds me of a navigational sextant from a ship, but that might be a bit of a stretch...

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    2. The wings on the chariot signal Mercury, Greek god of travelers. So I think you're absolutely right.

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  3. Could the gold guy be time, or the future? Progress of innovation, because of the steering wheel and the clocks?

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  4. Jen, I love it when you take us on these virtual tours. You make a nice break from a dreary, snow-covered work day. Thanks!

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  5. Maybe Gold represents the Industrial Age between Nature and Space?

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    1. Oooh, I think you're on to something! That's got to be it, right?

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    2. I was thinking a transportation theme because of the aviator goggles, the steering wheel, the rocket shape of the base, etc :) But I do love the aforementioned theme of 'time travel'....

      Btw...I am DYING that you referenced Strong Bad!!

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    3. My thought too...Agricultural Age, Industrial Age, Space Age.

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    4. I had a similar thought... Agriculture, Industry, & Technology. The various staples/stages of a society. :-)

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  6. How fun is all of that?! I love that they do things like this. I can tell you that while I'd love to go during the summer, you guys have shared so much that I know, no matter when we get to schedule a visit to the park, we'll find fun stuff. I would adore a photo of my boys in that Washington piece. lol It would go over the couch.

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  7. So, which magnet did you end up with?
    -SM3

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    1. We went with the Blue Boy - but the dress & bonnet was a close second. :D

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    2. I would have such a hard time choosing!
      -SM3

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  8. Wow, that is just AWESOME! Never have I missed Orlando more. :( Thanks for sharing such great photos that it's almost like I got to be there in person.

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  9. So cool! We were actually there on Friday; I now regret not emailing you in advance! It was SO WET.

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  10. I am dying. Figment is my faaaavorite. I wish I could sneak down there before it's over for a Figment love-fest but I'm in CT. Thank you for sharing!

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  11. So is Monday 20th Feb the last day of it do you know? No, ignore me, just read it properly, just weekends huh. Doh. Was wondering whether the kids would make it there in time - traveling on Saturday though. :'( They both like Figment and art so I'll show them your pictures instead. :) x Lovely pics BTW!

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  12. Ugh I just love Figment! I'm glad I can enjoy the parks through you guys! Thanks for being awesome!!

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  13. I would love to see the Mary Blair exhibit! Do you know if they made a book to go with it? I went to an exhibit on her career at the Disney Family Museum as few years ago, and it said that her trip to South America was hugely influential to her now-iconic style. They included a few pieces from then, but it would be cool to see more of those style transition pieces.

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  14. Gah! Figment scavenger hunt will still be there when I'm there! I'm SO excited!
    I want to read this whole post, but want to be able to do hunt too!

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  15. THE FRAMES!! ohmydog, disney needs to sell the figment frames. i'd buy at least one, if not more. pure perfection!!
    thanks so much for this post and the photos. i'll never get down there for this so it was quite special.

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  16. DID YOU JUST SAY WOMP WOMP?!?!

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  17. Great photos! Had to laugh when you're talking about keeping the temperature down even in January

    Ah, Florida.

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  18. So much Figment! Love how they incorporated him in so many places. I think I need one of those bags and a frame and the magnets and ...........

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  19. Figgieeeeeeee! Sooo cool! I wish there was a way for those of us nearer to DL to play. I especially love Figment in "The Scream." I think I would have had to buy several maps so I could end up with all the magnets. Alas, I don't see myself getting to Florida any time soon. ;)
    -Zippy

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  20. Please oh please oh pleeeaaassseeee say that you'll be taking group orders for the Figment t-shirts!!!!

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  21. You say Morocco doesn't allow art to portray living things, yet Figment is on the frame.....

    Wish I was there.

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  22. I am visiting Epcot for the first time ever in early February. All of this makes me even more excited than I already was!!!

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  23. Yay with all the Figment! I think the Living statues probably represent the different pavillions in FutureWorld- The Land (the nature one), Space (Rocket Ship), and the Gold guy... is probably World of Motion/Test Track. If there are others I'm betting that's their theme.

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  24. So much fun! Thanks for the virtual tour!

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  25. I kind of see Figment in the Morocco one.

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  26. I'd agree that the living statues are meant to be the pavilions, but if not, the guy in gold might be Helios the Sun.

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  27. This is lovely, and thank you for the spoilers - far too far away to go see for myself! Although that may have to change if the grey weather is as noteworthy as it seems there, it's rather too common here to have that actual sky colour...

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  28. SQUEEEEE Figment. Thanks for sharing this!!

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  29. "Since Morocco doesn't allow art of living things, though, you won't find one near Jasmine & Aladdin."

    Can anyone expand on this? The Morocco part of the part doesn't allow this... because?? Why? That seems like such a strange rule

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    1. The way I understand it, and I am by no means an expert, is that some Islamic countries practice aniconism, meaning they don't allow the creation of images of sentient beings. Some have taken that to mean they don't allow any living things depicted in art at all which is why you mainly see patterns. From what I understand, Disney worked closely with the Moroccan government to make sure they were being culturally sensitive. Fun fact: the Morocco pavilion is the only one not outlined in lights during Illuminations, presumably because doing so would turn the pavilion itself into an icon of sorts. Again, not an expert so feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

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    2. Thanks for explaining this. I was wondering too.

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  30. Thank you for sharing these things so we can live vicariously through you! It looks like a ton of fun.

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  31. Am I the only one seeing the silver space-wang, I mean cock-et-&-balls, I mean space rocket in the silver living statue???

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  32. That looks like so much fun! Disney, why you so far away and so expensive?!?!

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  33. I just love Figment, and I'm happy to see Epcot embracing him as their ambassador, just like he was in the 80s!

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  34. I would guess gold represents industry, industrial age, innovation in the mechanical and automation.

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  35. I would say that the gold one is definitely time or the future but the silver one...I think someone in imagineering is having some fun since the spaceship with the smoke spirals looks a little phallic? Is it just me? (I don't think it's just me) The12 year old inside me was giggling. Thanks for an awesome post!

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    1. yeah, I definitely saw space-junk if-ya-know-what-I-mean!! Clearly I am immature as hell.....

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  36. Mercury (gold), Venus (copper), Mars (silver)? I surely would look forward to the other planets....

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  37. Oh, that's awesome! I'm sad that we don't get to WDW often enough to go to more of the festivals, but thank you for posting so many pics that it (almost) feels like I was there in person!

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  38. Jen, I'm in Disney right now and was in Epcot yesterday. The living statues have signs now of what they are. The gold statue is motion. There are 6 all together. 3 at a time. They were soooo cool

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  39. Worth noting is that the scavenger hunt is available any day; we just went on Wednesday and were able to get the sticker charts and magnets. Sadly, the kids were a bit too little for World Showcase and gave up around Germany.

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