One of our favorite Walt Disney World seasonal events is back—with everyone’s favorite purple dragon at the forefront—and we’ve got your Unofficial Guide to five things Figment fans won’t want to miss at this year’s EPCOT International Festival of the Arts.
The EPCOT International Festival of the Arts is now running daily at Walt Disney World through February 20, and once again Figment—the mischievous purple dragon from EPCOT’s Imagination pavilion—is front and center as the event’s mascot.
Fans of Figment will easily spot him in a variety of forms, from the floral displays at the entrance and middle of the park, as well as in various creative interpretations on artwork all around EPCOT.
If you appreciate this imaginative imp as much as we do, here are five things you won’t want to overlook while enjoying the EPCOT International Festival of the Arts.
Participate in Public Art
The number one way to follow in Figment’s footsteps and get in the true Festival of the Arts spirit is by adding your own colorful mark to the Expression Section, a giant paint-by-numbers mural that guests can help fill in for free. (Tom Sawyer with his whitewashed fence would be so jealous!)
This year the mural is located on a construction wall just west of the central pathway between World Showcase and the former Future World. Pick up a cup of paint and a brush at the stand right around the corner, but be prepared to stand in line for your turn at this popular activity during peak times.
You can also get into the art without getting your hands messy by stepping into the Artful Photo Ops, which are once again arrayed around the park.
Finally, you can participate in the artistic activities in a less physical way simply by searching for famous artwork reimagined with Figment, which can be found hidden throughout the park.
Pay $9.99 for a map to track Figment’s locations, and you can pick up a small prize afterwards, or simply snap a photo and play along for free.
Take a Ride Into Your Imagination
Let’s get this one out of the way: The current version of EPCOT’s Journey Into Imagination ride isn’t…great. But although today’s version pales in comparison to the ambitious dark ride with Dreamfinder that originally filled the pavilion, there are a few positive things to say in its favor.
For one, the current ride is certainly better than the abominable version that briefly preceded it, as it at least features plenty of Figments, especially during its explosive finale. Second, Journey Into Imagination attracts some of the shortest wait times of any dark ride in the resort, so Figment fans can rest their feet while reuniting with their friend, without having to waste a Genie+ reservation. And there’s no better time of year to take a Journey with Figment than during the Festival of the Arts (except maybe the Festival of the Holidays, when he wears his Christmas sweater).
If you love Figment but consider even a walk-on to be too long of a wait for the attraction, take a virtual Journey Into Imagination with our 4K POV video above.
Sample Some Colorful Cuisine
It isn’t an EPCOT festival without a bounty of food and beverage options, and this year’s Food Studios are again serving up some of the most visually appealing bites you’ll ever see balanced atop theme park trash cans.
Some, like the Deconstructed BLT from Deconstructed Dish near Port of Entry, are composed of familiar comfort-food components that are presented in a creative way, while others transform exotic or intimidating ingredients into edible works of art. Have you ever dared taste unctuous roasted bone marrow topped with picked mushrooms, like this femur from Gourmet Landscapes outside Canada?
If you eat crustaceans and you really want to capture Figment’s crazy curiosity on a plate, head to the new Moderne food truck at Test Track’s exit and reel in an Angry Crab. From the oozing organs inside an entire deep-fried soft-shell crab, to the bursting boba balls on top, this eye-catching dish is packed with more sweet-and-salty surprises than even Dreamfinder could imagine.
Finally, if you prefer the fluid side of the Festival of the Arts, fear not: Beer and cider drinkers haven’t been left out of the fun! Find these colorful flights at Figment’s Inspiration Station.
Pick Up a Popcorn Bucket
Rainbow suds are far from the only reason to visit Inspiration Station because the newly made-over Odyssey building is bursting with Figment theming this year, making it ground zero for fans of the character.
As you may remember, many of those same fans formed massive lines around EPCOT during the 2022 Festival of the Arts in hopes of purchasing Figment-shaped popcorn buckets, which were originally released in limited quantities.
Fortunately, Figment popcorn buckets have returned for 2023, featuring new anniversary lanyards, and this time they are in plentiful supply. You don’t even need to stand in a queue to acquire one; simply open Walt Disney World’s smartphone app and use the Mobile Order feature.
Once your number is called, you should be able to swiftly check in and pick up your Figment popcorn bucket with minimal delay. Don’t panic, as there are plenty of Figments for everyone!
If simply eating rainbow-colored snacks out of his skull isn’t satisfactory enough, annual passholders can also snag exclusive merchandise featuring Figment, including T-shirts, cups, and collectible pins.
And speaking of pins…
Play with the Pin Tables
The entire Inspiration Station is awash in Figment fun, from the neon-style rainbow lights wrapping around the room, to the snippets of animation from the original attraction being projected across the walls. But in the back of the room, beneath the colorful mural, is where you’ll find a pair of pin tables, which tops our list as the number one must-see addition to this year’s Festival of the Arts, especially for Figment fans who fondly remember the original ImageWorks hands-on activity area above the ride.
Today, Imagination’s old ImageWorks lobby is now a DVC lounge. Although these are not the original pin tables from the 1980s, they still allow guests to form shimmering images by gently placing their hands against the dangling pins, evoking the same artistic excitement that kids enjoyed generations ago.
Add your handprint to the ever-evolving pin tables, and then wave farewell to Figment, who stands watch over the entrance with his paintbrush, as you head out to explore everything the EPCOT Festival of the Arts has to offer!
What’s your favorite thing about the EPCOT Festival of the Arts? Let us know in the comments below!
For all there is to see and do at Walt Disney World, check out The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World, or to plan your family’s trip to Orlando, check out The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World with Kids.
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