Festival of the Masters Archives

November 8, 2013

Festival of the Masters offers plenty of free, kid-friendly fun this weekend


What child does not enjoy making arts and crafts projects? This weekend, youngsters can participate in fun, free projects at Walt Disney World during the Festival of the Masters at Downtown Disney.

In recent years, the long-running outdoor festival that showcases fine art has expanded its scope, adding more and varied activities that appeal to the whole family. Basing the festival on creativity, and not just traditional art forms, has allowed there to be more activities that engage children. For example, amazing sidewalk chalk drawings by adult artists have been a staple at the festival. But who do you typically see outside drawing on driveways? Children, of course! So they have been given their own space to work, too, amid the 1,000 square feet of sidewalks that will be covered.

When sponsor Michaels Stores joined the Festival of the Masters two years ago, experts began offering presentations, how-to experiences and Make-It, Take-It booths -- many of which were designed for youngsters. This year, kids can make and take home a Mickey ear wood frame and a sun visor, color a Disney masterpiece featuring characters from the upcoming movie "Frozen," and contribute to a larger-than-life mural. These activities are located on the West Side of Downtown Disney near Bongos Cuban Cafe.



In previous years, animators also were stationed in the area to teach guests how to draw their favorite Disney characters. The classes were modeled after the Animation Academy inside DisneyQuest but also can be seen on Disney property in the lobby of the Art of Animation hotel. The animators take about 30 minutes to walk guests of all abilities through the process. My own children really enjoy the Animation Academy each time we go to DisneyQuest, and it's easy to see how this is a popular activity at the Festival of the Masters, too.

If the visual or decorative arts aren't what your kids enjoy the most, they might enjoy the performance art that will be on display at the festival. On the plaza in between DisneyQuest and Cirque du Soleil, performers from La Nouba will appear from 4 to 4:15 p.m. each day. In addition, there will be performance artists on stage at Waterside Stage throughout the day.

The applied arts also get their due at the festival, too. On the Marketplace side, kids can help build LEGO masterpieces and work on an interactive mural at the LEGO Imagination Center. Little MissMatched and Rainforest Cafe also are scheduled to offer kid-friendly activities, as well.

As I mentioned in my previous post, Disney Interactive has two booths to demonstrate its new video game system, Disney Infinity, and a new iOS app, Disney Animated. The Infinity booth is located in front of Once Upon A Toy in the Marketplace, while the Disney Animated booth is on the West Side. You can read more about both here.

Festival of the Masters begins today and runs through Sunday. Friday and Saturday hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and it's open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Admission and parking are free, as are all the kids' activities I have described. How often can you say that about a Walt Disney World event?


November 7, 2013

Test drive Disney Infinity at Festival of the Masters at Downtown Disney this weekend


Creativity comes in many forms, and some might speak to youngsters a little more readily. Thankfully for kids who will be at Walt Disney World's signature art festival this weekend, a video game will part of the artistic creations on display as Disney Interactive again has a presence at the Festival of the Masters. The event begins Friday at Downtown Disney.

The gaming division of The Walt Disney Company will offer guests the opportunity to play Disney Infinity at its booth at the festival. If you're on the fence about whether to buy the game for a holiday gift, this is your opportunity to take it for a test drive.

The game was released in North America in August so many Disney fans, including my 11-year-old son, already own some platform of the system. For them, this is an opportunity to talk to the Avalanche Software artists and programmers who helped develop the game. They will staff the booth, giving players pointers at four Xbox 360 stations.


Disney Interactive had a similar set-up at its booth at Car Masters Weekend at Downtown Disney in June. The four stations were configured to allow guests to try playset-only and multi-player versions with the Toy Box feature. The Toy Box aspect is a key difference between Disney Infinity and Activsion's Skylanders, which also uses collectible figures with in its video game. Disney Infinity's Toy Box mode allows players to mix Disney and Pixar characters and environments, creating unique games that players can share with their friends. Play-set mode, by comparison, puts the game characters in their own self-contained world that is appropriate only to their movie or TV show franchise.

The new Toy Story playset and Jack Skellington figure will be among those available for the demonstration. My son had hoped that Ralph and Vanellope von Schweetz from "Wreck-It Ralph" might be available for a preview, but a Disney publicist said they aren't part of the booth. (Ralph is scheduled to be released on Nov. 22 as an exclusive at Best Buy. Vanellope will be a Target exclusive available on Nov. 24.)

Visitors who play Disney Infinity at the demonstration booth also will be given game merchandise, such as a T-shirt or hat, while supplies last, the publicist told me.

The Disney Interactive booth will be located outside the Once Upon a Toy store at the Marketplace, where the gaming division has set up before, such as when it was was promoting its Epic Mickey titles. The booth will be open during regular festival hours: 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 8 and 9, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on November 10. Admission and parking are free.

To read my other stories about Disney Infinity, please click here, here and here.

There's also another digital artistic creation on display that probably will appeal to old and young alike. I'm told Disney Interactive also will have a booth for its newest iOS app, Disney Animated, that showcases 53 animated Disney films. The app, which sells for $13.99, takes users behind the scenes of the animation process. That demonstration booth will be located on the West Side near Cirque du Soleil.


November 2, 2012

Epic Mickey sequels go on sale early at Disney World's Festival of the Masters



Fans of the best-selling Disney Epic Mickey Wii game can play the sequels at the upcoming Festival of the Masters at Downtown Disney and then purchase them more than a week before their United States release date.

Disney Interactive Studios again will host a booth at the free annual outdoor arts festival. The sequel to the Wii game, Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two, will be released on all console platforms on Nov. 18, but guests who stop by the booth will be able to play Epic Mickey 2 on Xbox, PlayStation 3 Move and Wii platforms.

Another sequel, Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion, is designed for Nintendo 3DS systems and also will be available for guests to test drive. It, too, will be released on Nov. 18. Experts will be on hand to help guests get the hang of the side-scrolling game that allows them to choose their journey. (To read more abut the games and my interview with Warren Spector, please see my previous story.)


And though the graphics in the Epic Mickey games certainly qualify as art, the booth will offer guests other ways to become immersed in the art of the Disney video games. Mickey Mouse and Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, who are the stars of the games, will be featured in an original painting by David Garibaldi, the performance artist.


Plus, Disney artists will be on hand to create complimentary character sketches for guests. When we visited the first booth in 2010, my son was thrilled to receive sketches of Mickey and Oswald. Our artist, Jason Peltz, was happy to discuss with us how he got his start as an artist, which was a wonderful bonus since my son has a strong interest in art, and certainly, all things Disney.


This year the artists will draw Mickey, Oswald, Gremlin Gus, Horace Horsecollar, Elliot (Pete's Dragon), Lonesome Ghost, Clarabelle Cow, The Mad Doctor and Peg Leg Pete. Each guest may request one sketch.


At the first booth, we heard guests ask repeatedly about Epic Mickey-themed merchandise, but none was being sold. Disney listened and this year, fans can buy Oswald ear hats at nearby stores. Also, those who purchase any of the Epic Mickey sequels during the Festival of the Masters will receive a collector's pin of Mickey and Oswald.


The Epic Mickey booth will be located adjacent to Once Upon a Toy Store on the Marketplace side of Downtown Disney. It will be open from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. November 9 and 10 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. November 11. There no charge for admission or parking at Festival of the Masters.

EDITOR'S NOTE: You can also buy Epic Mickey games through the AllEars.Net Amazon store here.

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About Festival of the Masters

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to A Mom and The Magic in the Festival of the Masters category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

Downtown Disney food trucks is the previous category.

Ghirardelli Soda Fountain & Chocolate Shop is the next category.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.