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Happy Holidays from Disneyland Resort Paris

Festival of the Masters Update

posted on August 20th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


If you’ve been to Downtown Disney or read our Blog lately, you know changes are coming. The area is undergoing the largest expansion in its history. As we prepare for Disney Springs, much of the area that traditionally houses the Festival of the Masters is unavailable due to expansion work and unfortunately we will not be able to host the event.

We appreciate the enthusiastic support we’ve received from the arts community, both locally and nationally, which has contributed to the long-running success of the Festival. Walt Disney World Resort is a strong supporter of the arts and we remain committed to nurturing the arts.

We ask for your patience and understanding during this time of growth and look forward to building new memories with you at Disney Springs.

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‘Oswald’s Drama’ Painting Unveiled for Festival of the Masters at Downtown Disney

posted on November 7th, 2013 by Will Gay, Creative Director, Disney's Yellow Shoes Creative Group


A couple of weeks ago we asked you, our faithful blog readers, to vote on a character you most wanted me to paint for the upcoming Festival of the Masters event this weekend at Downtown Disney. And, as you may already know, you chose Oswald!

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Needless to say I was very excited about that choice as well. Having grown up with a love for all things Disney animation, Oswald is one of my favorite characters. I love that he was the catalyst for Walt to create my all-time favorite character, Mickey Mouse. This is actually my first official painting of Oswald for the festival and Disney galleries. So, I did a little time-lapse video from my studio of it all coming together for you to see.

I hope you enjoy this painting as much as I enjoyed painting it! Here is what I call “Oswald’s Drama.” Hope to see you this weekend at the festival!

'Oswald's Drama' by Will Gay

Click on the image above to download a wallpaper of this graphic for your mobile device or iPad. Be sure to check out the terms of use about using the wallpaper before you download it.

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Celebrating 38 years of Festival of the Masters Magic at Downtown Disney

posted on November 5th, 2013 by Darcy Clark, Marketing Manager, Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort


Now in its 38th year, Festival of the Masters is an impressive event. With steady growth over the years, this open-air art festival that allows guests the chance to see and buy unique pieces now boasts over 300 artists, including more Disney artists than ever before. (I love that our guests have the chance to meet many of them in person – I’ve gotten to know a few of these artists and the passion they have for their work is inspiring and contagious!)

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Lately, I’ve gotten into crafting – I blame Pinterest – so I’m certain the interactive art & craft experiences presented by Michaels will be a huge hit with families. You’ll have the chance to “make and take” a Mickey ear wood frame and sun visor, color a Disney masterpiece featuring characters from “Frozen,” and contribute to a larger-than-life mural – all of this takes place at Downtown Disney West Side near Bongos.

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Another new element I’m super psyched about is Mixers & Masters, a “sip and stroll” offering that features artistically crafted cocktails from participating restaurant locations. And for guests who want to learn the art of making some of these signature beverages, the daily “Art of Mixology” seminars at the Waterside Stage are not to be missed!

Of course, popular favorites will return including over 130 fine artists who come from across the country — they’ll cover Downtown Disney with limited-edition painting, photography, sculpture, jewelry, glass, wood and more; more than 20 up-and-coming “emerging masters”; the 15th annual House of Blues Folk Art Festival “where the Art meets the Soul,” and the aforementioned Disney artists – over 25 of them will appear throughout the weekend at the Disney Artist Village, the “can’t-miss” hub for Disney art aficionados, for meet ‘n’ greets and signings. Additionally, awe-inspiring chalk artists will transform more than 1,000 square feet of sidewalk into a colorful display, and personally, I’m just as excited for the children’s chalk art activities that will give kids a chance to get creative!

I’m not able to attend this year because I’ll be in South Carolina meeting my brand-new niece or nephew (my sister’s new baby is scheduled to arrive tomorrow!), so I’m counting on all of you to check it out. If you’ve been before, please share what you’re most excited about seeing again, and if you attend this weekend, come back and comment to let me know what you enjoyed most.

Here’s to a colorful weekend for all of us!

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New ‘Mixers and Masters’ at Downtown Disney Festival of the Masters at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on October 22nd, 2013 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


At last, fall is in the air, and the 38th annual Festival of the Masters is back November 8-10, one of the premier gatherings of artists in the Southeast with one-of-a-kind and limited-edition paintings, photography, sculptures, jewelry and more.

There’s so much more, from live music to hands-on fun for all ages. And this year, artistic cocktails take a front seat with a new twist called “Mixers and Masters,” with dining locations featuring specialty drinks for sipping and strolling. Look for feather banners to indicate which restaurants will be participating, with each cocktail priced separately.
WPC_Pink Berry Martini

Blue Nile from Rainforest Café at Downtown Disney Strega-rita from Portobello at Downtown Disney Sangria from Fulton's Crab House at Downtown Disney

How about Caveman Painters Punch from T-Rex Café, or a Picasso Punch from Paradiso 37 . . . the Pinkberry Martini from Wolfgang Puck Café or a Blue Nile from Rainforest Café. Fulton’s Crab House will be pouring sangria, and Portobello has a Strega-rita (Strega is an orange-flavored Italian liqueur). Sip a Huckleberry Lemonade at Splitsville, a pineapple mojito at Bongos Cuban Café or a fruity Planet Feature Presentation from Planet Hollywood. Pick judiciously, there are lots of interesting tastes to try.

Three times a day you can stop by “The Art of Mixology” at the Waterside Stage, with experts showing what goes into making an artfully delicious cocktail during each 10-minute demo.

Festival hours are 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. November 8 and 9, and 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. on November 10. Admission and parking are free.

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Whistlin’ a New Tune with Festival of the Masters Signature Artist Joe Kaminski at Downtown Disney

posted on October 15th, 2013 by Darcy Clark, Marketing Manager, Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort


Early on in my Disney career, I had the pleasure of working at Disney’s Yellow Shoes Creative Group, the in-house creative agency for Disney Parks. I was an Account Manager and every day I was in awe of the talented creative minds that surrounded me. One of them was a copywriter named Joe Kaminski.

For the 6th year, Joe has been featured as the Signature Artist for Festival of the Masters. I’ve always admired Joe’s skills putting pen to paper; but paint to canvas? This was new! I recently sat down with Joe to find out how he transitions from an advertising copywriter by day to a respected Disney artist in his after-hour time.

Joe shared that some of his best inspiration comes from his peers. “I come to work and see all these ‘artsy’ folks around the office – guys like Don ‘Ducky’ Williams, who’s been illustrating Disney characters for over 30 years. I started out by doing some drawings and posting them around the walls of my office. At first, the Art Directors would laugh, but every now and then, they’d critique and give me some suggestions. Over time, they started to appreciate my drawings, which gave me the confidence to start painting. I dabbled. It was a sloppy learning process; my style is loose lines, not a lot of perfection, but that’s what makes it fun.”

When Joe learned of the annual competition to be featured as the Signature Artist for Festival of the Masters, he decided to give it a try. He entered one of his recognizable Mickey paintings and the rest is history.

This year, his latest effort, “Whistlin’ Mickey,” was selected. Joe thinks it’s fitting given the Downtown Disney expansion efforts now underway. “With all the new changes and magic going on at Downtown Disney, it’s like the property is whistin’ a new tune. So this works.”

'Whistlin’ Mickey' by Joe Kaminski

Joe will be attending the 38th annual Festival of the Masters presented by Michael’s, taking place November 8-10, 2013. As in years’ past, he’ll be signing his work and meeting guests. In addition, he’ll have several original pieces of art for sale.

I hope you’ve got your calendar marked and plan to attend this favorite fall event! In the meantime, you can learn more about Festival of the Masters here.

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‘Oswald the Lucky Rabbit’ Art Chosen to Celebrate Festival of the Masters at Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on September 30th, 2013 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


The votes are in from last week’s voting and Disney Parks Blog readers have chosen to feature Oswald the Lucky Rabbit in an original piece of art at this year’s Festival of the Masters event at Downtown Disney.

‘Oswald the Lucky Rabbit’ Art Chosen to Celebrate Festival of the Masters at Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort
*Graphic for reference only.

Yellow Shoes Creative Director and Disney Parks Blog author Will Gay will be creating the piece of art in the weeks leading up to the Festival of the Masters from November 8-11. Thank you to everyone who participated in the voting. Be sure to check back in November for more on this artwork.

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Vote, Help Choose Disney Character Art Celebrating Festival of the Masters

posted on September 25th, 2013 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


Beginning today, Disney Parks Blog readers have a chance to choose which Disney character will be featured in an original piece of art at this year’s Festival of the Masters event at Downtown Disney. The artwork will be created by Yellow Shoes Creative Director and blog author Will Gay in the weeks leading up to the November 8-11 event.

Here are your 10 choices – vote now and let us know your favorite.

Voting will be available through Monday, September 30, 2013. Be sure to check back to see which character will be featured in an original painting at this year’s Festival of the Masters.

Read these posts for more about the Festival of the Masters at Downtown Disney:

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Video: Festival of the Masters Begins at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on November 9th, 2012 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


This year’s Festival of the Masters presented by Michaels is underway at Downtown Disney and we spent the first day scouting things out for you. Here’s a taste of what’s going on this weekend.

It’s going to be a great weekend to head out to the Festival. If you’re joining us, here’s a complete list of Disney artist appearance times and locations and other information about the event.



Take a look at more from Festival of the Masters in the posts below:

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Behind The Scenes: Creating Disney Art for the Festival of the Masters at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on November 9th, 2012 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


Earlier this week, Will Gay shared an exclusive wallpaper of one of the many works of art you’ll see at this year’s Festival of the Masters presented by Michaels at Downtown Disney. Today, Will is giving a special behind-the-scenes peek at how he created a few others, including one of my favorites – Mickey’s Joy Ride.

The Festival begins today and runs through Sunday. To help you, we’ve posted artist appearance times and a few other details you need to know before heading out. Hope to see you there.

Read these posts for more about the Festival of the Masters at Downtown Disney:

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‘Flock of Sheep’ Sculptures to be Unveiled at Festival of the Masters at Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on November 8th, 2012 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


Last year, Irish artist Graham Knuttel kicked off the Festival of the Masters presented by Michaels with a spectacular piece of art that hangs permanently inside the Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant. This year, Graham is back – and he’s unveiling his latest sculptures.
‘Flock of Sheep’ Sculptures to Debut at Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant for Festival of the Masters

Tomorrow, the Dublin painter and sculptor will debut his sculpted wood and bronze “flock of sheep” to be installed at Raglan Road. And the sculptures are impressive. Each weighs about 100 pounds and stands more than 3-and-1/2 feet tall.

Graham will also be creating an original acrylic-on-canvas painting on the Raglan Road patio. You can bid on the artwork-in-progress during a silent auction between noon and 4 p.m. each day, and proceeds will be donated to the local Humane Society SPCA of Central Florida.

During your visit to the festival, you’ll also be able to meet some familiar faces from the Disney Parks Blog. We shared a Disney artist appearance schedule in yesterday’s post.

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