EPCOT Festival of the Arts 2022: Short Duration, Long Lines, Limited Merch!

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The Fancy Floridian visited the EPCOT International Festival of the Arts looking for ears but was disappointed by many aspects of the experience

I have to start with the disclaimer that the EPCOT International Festival of the Arts is usually my favorite of Epcot’s annual festivals. I adore the theme, the interactive art, and especially the chance to meet and chat with so many talented artists and creators making Disney masterpieces (sometimes right in front of your eyes)!

This year, however, I was really underwhelmed by the festival experience. First of all, the Festival of the arts 2022 is short this year, running only from January 14 – February 21. (They also made sure it doesn’t overlap with any of the RunDisney race weekends, which might be better for crowds but really disappointed a lot of fans who already had trips booked for those weekends.

Although I visited Epcot with great friends on one of the most beautiful, crisp and sunny days of the year, it seemed like Disney’s merchandise problem overwhelmed many other aspects of the festival experience. And that’s a shame, because Disney does so many things so well that I hate to see the art and artists overshadowed by preventable lines and shortages.

Festival of the Arts 2022 Merchandise is Hard to Find

We know that Disney has been hit hard by supply chain issues… in fact, we’d like to dedicate this article to last three months worth of Stitch Crashes Disney plushies and pins that are allegedly still on a cargo ship somewhere.

But the way Disney has handled the merchandise shortages for special releases, RunDisney events, and festivals has been chaotic, to say the least. Sometimes merch that didn’t make it in time for an event like Halloween is in the Emporium months later (at full price, mind you) and sometimes it goes straight to Cast Connections and is never available to the general public. Will any of it ever hit shopDisney for those who can’t make it to the parks or should people pay personal shoppers? It’s anyone’s guess, which drives up panic-buying of items that may or may not sell out (I’m looking at you, 50th Anniversary Starbucks Tumblers).

Sadly, it seems like much of the Figment-themed merchandise for the Festival of the Arts 2022 has suffered the same shortages and supply chain issues. When I visited on the fourth day of the festival, there was a paltry offering of items and NO festival ears at all!

This single table and one rack of passholder hoodies comprised the entirety of Epcot’s festival merchandise this year. Booths around the World Showcase that usually sell festival merch instead had a few pieces of art hung inside. This continues the trend we saw at the Festival of the Holidays where Festival merch booths had been turned into champagne booths.

The one item I really liked was the Spirit Jersey, which features Figment and all sorts of creative pursuits! Hope you’re a size small, though because that was all that was in stock at Port of Entry.

There were three trinkets, including a good stock of Magic Bands, available.

A festival shirt and a thin Passholder-exclusive hoodie rounded out the festival merch. Seriously, that was all that was available! Of course, except for…

The Infamous Figment Popcorn Bucket

Photo: Attractions Magazine

I had heard the hype and the horror stories about waiting in 7-hour lines for this Figment Popcorn Bucket, but I didn’t think it would actually have an impact on my day. In fact, I was really hoping that the lines for the other Festival food booths would be smaller if everyone was tied up in the line for Pop Eats. “Surely it’s just exaggerated!” I said, naively, even as a friend who had bought 3 buckets the day before repeatedly implored me to buy her two more.

People were wearing anywhere from 2-6 of these things slung around their bodies and generally have NO spatial awareness. Let me tell you: these little buggers hurt when they smack into you

The problem was that: a) I got smacked by so many of these freaking buckets because everyone was wearing them on their front and back like some kind of hunting trophies and b) we really wanted to try the tomato soup and fancy grilled cheese sandwich at Pop Eats and couldn’t get it because of the 3 hour line for buckets.

I normally have no problem with people collecting whatever makes them happy. Follow your dreams, friends! But when a popcorn bucket becomes a status symbol that one must display on one’s person and then probably try to resell on eBay, I become less generous.

One great thing that did come out of this debacle: this bad sketch of a popcorn bucket raised over $1000 for charity!

The lines at the other food booths were also quite extensive. I’m hoping to go back and try the Encanto-inspired booth Vibrante & Vívido: Encanto Cocina, which everyone reported was fantastic!

Photo: Disney Food Blog

I think that my next visit I’m going to dress vibrant in honor of Encanto (and even brave the line to try the empanadas at the Encanto booth!) Fortunately, shopDisney has some really cute fashion items for both adults and children.

Don’t Visit Expecting Souveneirs

The experience of visiting the festival for its fashion left us feeling a little more like Oliver (from this cute sweater found at the Creations Shop) than happy-go-lucky Figment.

Space Mountain Ears by GrapeSodaClub on Etsy

But there’s still time to plan ahead and look fabulous if you’re heading to the Festival of the Arts 2022 in February! Check out our review of these Festival-inspired artist’s ears, which are unique showstoppers!

You can also find unique fashion pieces on shopDisney to ensure that your outfit is a work of art (and not rely on the whims of restocks at the physical stores). We’re loving the matching outfit trend right now!

And if you’re looking for a stand-out accessory at Epcot, don’t miss the new Disney Dooneys that were recently released (no word on whether a Festival of the Arts bag is forthcoming). Check out the new prints and styles here:

I hope this helps temper your expectations for Festival of the Arts 2022 fashion, FashionEarstas!

Do you know have a question for one of our FashionEarstas? We’d LOVE to hear from you! You can also find us on Instagram and Facebook (@fashionearsta), Pinterest, and our brand new YouTube channel! Be sure to follow us so that you’re always in the loop!

Pixie dust and glamour!

The Fancy Floridian Purple Minnie Mouse emoji with sunglasses

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