The Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival began a couple of weeks ago on March 1 and runs through May 29.
The Flower and Garden Festival is best known for the many topiaries, over 70 in fact, that are placed around the park. Many of the topiaries are the same as last year with a couple of great additions. The figment topiary that debuted during the Festival of the Arts was left in place but now surrounded with a colorful kaleidoscope of flowers.
The Belle topiary in France also received an update this year and now features the same amazing facial detail as Snow White, Anna, and Elsa. Noticeably missing this year were the dancing Cinderella and Prince Charming and Aurora and Prince Philip topiaries. I hope that these will return in future years with updates similar to Belle’s.
The Outdoor Kitchens are also back this year as are Festival favorites, including the Candied Strawberries, Frushi, Dole Whips, Spicy Pineapple Hotdog, Dole Whips, Smoked Pork Ribs, Beef Brisket, and warm chocolate cake. New additions include the Sugar Cane Shrimp Skewer, Maple Popcorn Shake, Carne Asada, and the Key Lime Tart. There is also a variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic at all of the Outdoor Kitchens.
Other Exhibits, Gardens, and Other Activities
There are also many exhibits and gardens set up around the park such as the Extraordinary Orchids in Mexico and the Floating Mini Gardens on the waters between Future World and World Showcase. In addition, there is the Bonsai Collection in Japan and much more. Butterflies on the Go is located in Future World. Here you can walk through a tent housing many different types of butterflies and their favorite flowers.
The Festival is the Egg Scavenger Hunt is back this year and extended for the duration of the festival. Guests can purchase a Scavenger Hunt map and after they find all of the character themed eggs redeem a prize. Each country in World Showcase will have one egg hidden somewhere around the Pavilion.
Tours and Presentations
There are also tours that guests can take, most at an additional charge, to learn even more about the gardens and plants around Epcot during the Festival. These include the Gardens of the World Tour, the English Tea Garden Tour, and the Royal Tea Garden Tour. The Behind the Seeds Tour at The Land is available year-round, but especially appropriate for this time of the year.
There are also seminars and “how to” demonstrations at the Festival Center on Friday through Sunday for those looking to learn more about horticulture. Additionally, they offer a wide variety of seminars and presentations which are all complimentary and seated on a first come, first served basis. There are too many to list here, but Disney has a schedule of all the events.
Garden Rocks Concerts
Finally, each day at the Flower and Garden Festival includes concerts from an artist or band from the past. The Garden Rocks Concerts are presented at 5:30pm, 6:45pm, and 8:00pm. This year’s line up includes:
- Jon Secada (March 3 & 4)
- Dennis DeYoung featuring the music of STYX (March 5 & 6)
- The Pointer Sisters (March 10 to 13)
- Simple Plan (NEW) (March 17 & 18)
- Plain White T’s (March 19 & 20)
- Night Ranger (March 24 to 27)
- Little River Band (March 31 to April 3)
- Blood, Sweat and Tears featuring Bo Bice (April 7 to 10)
- Gin Blossoms (April 14 to 17)
- The Orchestra starring former members of ELO (April 21 to 24)
- Expose (NEW) (April 28 & 29)
- Berlin featuring Terri Nunn (NEW) (April 30 & May 1)
- STARSHIP starring Mickey Thomas (May 5 to 8)
- The Guess Who (May 12 to 15)
- Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone (May 19 to 22)
- The Spinners (May 26 to 29)
There are also dining packages available that will give you reserved, preferred seating for the Concerts. Dining Packages range from $50 to $76 depending on the restaurant and whether you’ll be having lunch or dinner and are available at the following restaurants:
- Akershus Royal Banquet Hall
- Biergarten Restaurant
- Coral Reef Restaurant
- The Garden Grill Restaurant
- Nine Dragons Restaurant
- Restaurant Marrakesh
- Rose & Crown Pub & Dining Room
- San Angel Inn Restaurante
- Spice Road Table
- Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria
- Tutto Italia Ristorante
- Chefs de France
- Tokyo Dining
- Teppan Edo
- La Hacienda de San Angel