High prices at the Arts Festival food kiosks (compared to other EPCOT festivals)

Radeksgrl

Member
Original Poster
I went to the first day of the Art Festival yesterday, and was surprised and disappointed by the higher than normal prices at the food kiosks. This is compared to similar portion sizes and ingredients at the other festivals held throughout the year in EPCOT.

I’ve been an annual passholder for a few years now, and every year I seem to be on the fence as to whether I want to renew or not. There seems to be more and more negative each year – the upcharge events that seem to annoy me more each time I hear about a new one, the fact that I don’t even bother going to DHS anymore because half of the park is under construction, the constant and unrelenting crowds at the Magic Kingdom, and the new Premium fee-based Fastpass service at Disneyland (which could easily make it’s way over to the Disney World Parks). I did decide to renew again in November 2016 (and that one free extra month did factor into my decision making process), but the main reason I decided to renew was for the EPCOT Festivals. I love the Flower & Garden Festival…I love the Food & Wine Festival…I even love the food kiosks that pop up for the limited-time Holidays Around the World. But I’m not at all impressed by the Arts Festival (even though I do realize it was just the first day). I had other problems with the Art Festival outside of the food, but I’m limiting this “rant” to the food only.

First the higher prices, especially compared to comparable items at the other festivals. The single scallop dish I bought yesterday at Cuisine Classique was $6.25, whereas the single scallop dish at the 2016 Food & Wine Festival was $5.50 (and was also more generous with the accompaniments). The desserts at F&G and F&W usually range from $3.50-$4.00. But for the 2 desserts I tried yesterday, one was $6.50 and the other was $6.75, and that was for similar if not smaller portions sizes. I found this to be the trend for all of the menu items I tried yesterday, higher prices for the same portion size (and even worse, sometimes higher prices AND small portions). One of the worst values I came across was $9 for what turned out to be a medium-size “scoop” of risotto, hardly more than a few bites.

There is artsy “plating” to some of the dishes, and maybe Disney thinks that justifies what I see as pretty significant price increases across the board. But this artsy plating was also causing long delays in getting your food at some of the kiosks. Understandably this was the first day of the festival with new dishes for each kiosk to make, but it was also a very slow day in terms of attendance (because of the rain). After ordering the previously mentioned and extremely overpriced risotto form Masterpiece Kitchen, I waited close to 15 minutes to get it. I kept thinking, why is it taking so long to put a scoop of rice in a cup? Well, the problem was the Charcuterie Palette sold at the same kiosk. Instead of the meat and cheese plate being made ahead of time and stored in a refrigerator in the kiosk (like they have done during other festivals), each plate is made to order which takes absolutely forever.

If you’ve ever been to an EPCOT festival, you how busy the front of those kiosks can get while people wait for their food, even if that wait is only 2-3 minutes. Now imagine people having to wait in front of the kiosks for 15+ minutes, with the group of people waiting getting bigger and bigger with each passing minute, and the line getting longer and longer because so much time needs to be dedicated to preparing just one of the multiple menu items. People were not happy, and this was on a slow day. A busy day could turn into a nightmare really quickly. Disney is usually pretty efficient with their festival food prep, but not at this Arts Festival.

Like I said, I’m all about the festivals at EPCOT. As a local, I'm lucky to be able to visit EPCOT on many days during any given festival event, especially with the longer festivals. And I’m a repeat buyer, once I find the individual menu items I like I can easily buy each of those individual menu items 5-6 more times over the course of the festival. That’s a lot of money Disney makes off my love of food. But of the 5 menu items I tried at the Arts Festival yesterday, I would not get any of them again, and certainly not at their current price point. While for the most part they tasted fine, none of them blew me away or came even close to justifying what I paid for them.
 

JenniferS

Needs more Reylo.
Premium Member
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Thanks for the insightful review. I'm not a fan of the Festival food kiosks for the most part. Too expensive/small portion size. There are way better ways to spend my money/snack credits in World Showcase.
 

Minnesota disney fan

Well-Known Member
OP: Can you tell us what other insights you have to the Festival? You mentioned more than the food.
We are going in 3 weeks and want to go to this Festival, but would like to hear more about your other experiences.
Thanks.
 

Radeksgrl

Member
Original Poster
Food is always expensive at Disney, that's a given and something I've come to expect. But the food at the Arts Festival is way overpriced, even by Disney standards. The other thing I was disappointed in were the art kiosks themselves. The are a lot of art kiosks around the World Showcase, and I checked out all of them. 95% of the art I saw I had already seen, if not in EPCOT then in one of the other 3 major Disney theme parks. I was really expecting to see more "original" art, even if was Disney-themed. But I only saw a handful of items that were totally new to me. Also, the art kiosks are very small, literally only two people can fit in each side at a time (many of the kiosks are split into two sides, like two small closets next to each other with the checkout register in the middle). My guess is they were set up like this to maximize "wall space" to hang more art. But that leaves very little space for people to get inside and actually see the art. The art that is facing out, on the back walls, you can see from outside the kiosk. But the the art on the two walls on each side that essentially face into the kiosk, you have to be able to get inside the kiosk to see that art. Like I said, yesterday was a really slow day, but I still had to wait in lines to get "inside" each kiosk to see the art. On a busy day, forget about it! As they say, good concept but poor execution.
 
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Radeksgrl

Member
Original Poster
I also wanted to mention that there were some higher priced menu items, in the $8-$13 range, at the food kiosks during Holidays Around the World at EPCOT. However, those menu items were entrée size, so the higher prices made sense. Unfortunately at the Arts Festival you are paying the higher price but only getting tapas size portions.
 

71jason

Well-Known Member
Agreed the art aspects were a bit underwhelming. I think one tent had an artist I hadn't seen before. Otherwise, the usual suspects--David Doss, Jasmine Becket Griffith, the "Boiled Pages" lady (who is actually wonderful, I wish I could remember her name). Very talented people, but nothing you haven't seen before if you frequent the parks or Disney Springs.

I was impressed by the Blair and Ryman galleries. However, each is forced to share space with a gift shop selling seemingly random pieces pulled out of Art of Disney. It kind of cheapened the experience.

I agree with OP, food prices seemed high. Alcohol prices still in line with F&W tho--of course, that's still ridiculous. (By way of comparison, $9 for a 3-beer flight; my friends are playing a tap takeover at HoB today with 4-beer flights for $7.) For all the "yet another festival" complaints, there are actually just a handful of booths. I expected more.

I caught about a third of the show from beyond the rope-line. Fine if you're into show tune versions of Disney songs.

The Figment topiary is cool. He's completely removed from anything Festival related, as well as JIYI. Hopefully they forget to remove him next month and he stays as just a mascot for EPCOT.

All in all, slightly disappointed, mainly because I had such high hopes. The Odyssey galleries suggest WDW could have done something really special if they wanted to. But they'd rather sell overpriced craft beer samples and clear out Art of Disney's back room.
 

Radeksgrl

Member
Original Poster
I hope that this is just a one-off thing with the Arts Festival, and not a trend towards higher food prices at all of the EPCOT festivals. I've already stopped going to some of the Disney restaurants because they increased the price for the same amount of food (which of course was overpriced to begin with). And if they price me out of EPCOT festival food, then they will lose me as a passholder.
 

peter11435

Well-Known Member
Interesting opinion. I was very disappointed when I first saw the prices posted for the art festival items. But having sampled many of the dishes I found them to be larger portions than typical food and wine festival and in some cases higher quality ingredients. I agree the risotto portion was small but there was actual black truffle shavings which contributed to its price point.
 

Disneyhead'71

Well-Known Member
Why don't they just make food and wine booths permanent all year round. It's getting close to that now
That's what World Showcase was before they started all this nonsense. It's just you went in and sat down, relaxed, had a drink, chatted, ate, and had a wonderful time. Now you can spend $150 walking nonstop eating and drinking "snack" sized portions off of paper plates and plastic cups.

And still leave hungry.
 

danv3

Well-Known Member
The slow speed for plating the dishes was a significant issue on Friday. Can't imagine how that will play on a Saturday or Sunday.
 

Bolt

Well-Known Member
The slow speed for plating the dishes was a significant issue on Friday. Can't imagine how that will play on a Saturday or Sunday.
Lines actually moved fast today. They seemed to be in a much better rhythm.

The Popt Art was insanely delicious and was only $4 - I didn't actually finish it because it was bigger than what I wanted. The chocolate easel is a clever idea, tad expensive after you realize you just look at it and then eat it. The slushy I got from one of kiosks was only $3.75, too.

The prices nowhere compare to how high Holidays Around The World were. Those kiosks essentially wanted you to get your full meal in a portion ($10-$14 each for that festival)

My advice is just be smart on what you pick but portion sizes did seem much larger than Food and Wine.
 

matt9112

Well-Known Member
That's what World Showcase was before they started all this nonsense. It's just you went in and sat down, relaxed, had a drink, chatted, ate, and had a wonderful time. Now you can spend $150 walking nonstop eating and drinking "snack" sized portions off of paper plates and plastic cups.

And still leave hungry.
yeah sad when IKEA gives you real glassware and plates in there cafeteria and at Disney your treated like peasants.
 

matt9112

Well-Known Member
Not sure how that's a real comparison - that comparison would be they do paper plates inside the restaurants at Epcot? Were they serving hot dogs at Disney in glassware in the old days?

Also, peasants would use the wrong your...
IKEA is a quick serve style cafe....some quick serve lacks seating maybe as an argument? and the peasantry was sarcasm.
 
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