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The Best Way to Spend $50 at the 2024 Festival of the Arts

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You’ve got a few hours, and a limited budget. You’re on a mission to taste some of the best dishes at this year’s Festival of the Arts. What should you pick? Well, we’ve got an opinion on that …

First Course

🌈🆕 Verjus-roasted Beets –$5.50 | DDP

This is our team’s most favorite dish of the Festival. The beets are sweet, the cheese is tangy and soft, and the gastrique is plucky! Why are there mushrooms on the plate when they’re not in the description? We don’t know. Start your Festival right with a vegetable, you won’t be sorry! Bonus: this newcomer is also on the Wonderful Walk of Colorful Cuisine.

⭐ Cast Iron-roasted P.E.I. mussels –$8.00


Various members of our team may have eaten this dish oh, 6 or 7 times (apiece!) last year when it was at the Craftsman’s Courtyard. Never fear, it hasn’t lost a beat in the move to its new home at this new booth. It’s a chunk of change and you can’t get it with a Disney Dining Plan snack credit. Also, dishes at this booth are prepared after they are ordered and so you may have a longer wait than at other booths.

But … smash up a bit of the bread, scoop out the mussels, and spoon up a bit of each along with the magical veg and broth at the bottom of the bowl. You will quickly see why this is a returning favorite for us and why it’s worth the wait. And honestly that price is not bad at all for a Festival seafood dish.


⭐🌈 Tomato Soup with pimento cheese grilled cheese  –$6.50 | DDP

This is another returning favorite, and another dish from the Wonderful Walk of Colorful Cuisine. This plate remains the reigning champion of “Best Comfort Food” at the Festival. Dip your spicy grilled cheese in the fancy cup & ward off those chilly 65º Florida days. No need to share (or to mix the creamy topping into the tomato soup) unless you want to.

Second Course

⭐🌈 Chorizo and Potato Empanada –$6.75 | DDP

You might wonder how an empanada – typically an appetizer – managed to make it into the main course. This empanada is huge, and extremely well-stuffed. There’s a tiny bit of heat from the chorizo; just enough to be warming and not enough to be spicy. If you share this it could be an appetizer. But if you eat it on your own, the potatoes and flaky crust will leave you feeling comfortably stuffed.

🆕 Grilled Marinated Skirt Steak –$7.00 | DDP

A second brand-new dish enters the conversation this year! The blue cheese fondue is perfect with the tender steak, and the caramelized onions add just a bit of sweetness. This is a high-class steak-and-cheese, and we are here for it.

⭐ Red Wine-braised Beef Short Rib –$8.75 | DDP

Ah, Germany. It feels like every Festival, every dish at the Germany booth is our favorite. This was one of our Best $50 in 2023 and it still is. The parsnip puree is still wonderful, and the balsamic glaze is still incredible, and the beef is still so tender. As one of the more expensive dishes on this list, this is a great use of a Snack credit if you’re on the Disney Dining Plan.

Dessert Course

⭐ Black Forest Cake –$4.75 | DDP

Germany again! And another returning favorite. Chocolate, cherries, and cream should be in every single dessert. If you are visiting on Valentine’s Day, this should absolutely be on your menu. If not … we still think you should find some space for it.

Hummingbird Cake $4.75 | DDP

The Hummingbird Cake isn’t new to the Festival, but it’s new to our Best $50 list. Last year it was beaten out by the Crispy Almond Phyllo Pockets, which didn’t return this year. That doesn’t mean it isn’t a worthy entry, especially if you’re one of those folks who has never said “too sweet” to a dessert. It’s cake. It has a side of caramel. It’s doing America proud.

Time For the Check

Drum roll please … just $52! Yes, we are aware that the title says $50, but we’ve heard loud and clear that y’all prefer to have the best dishes as long as it’s in the ballpark. Got a bit more than $50 to spend? Check out what else you can find: 2024 EPCOT Festival of the Arts Menus.

Will you be heading to Festival of the Arts this year? Which of these dishes looks good to you? Let us know in the comments!

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Jennifer Heymont

Jennifer has a background in math and biology, so she ended up in Data Science where she gets to do both. She lives just north of Boston with her husband, kids, and assorted animal members of the family. Although it took three visits for the Disney bug to "take", she now really wishes she lived a lot closer to the Parks.

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