What looks good and smells fantastic? The annual International Flower & Garden Festival at Epcot in Walt Disney World. It’s got it all: scrumptious outdoor kitchens, beautifully manicured topiaries and that wonderful Disney magic you’ve come to know and love. Here’s an overview of the festival, what to expect when you visit and tips and tricks for navigating the Epcot Flower & Garden Festival like a pro.
What is the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival?
Epcot’s International Flower and Garden Festival at Disney World is one of my personal favorites. Thinking of spring and warmer weather just brightens my day right on up. From March 4 through June 1, guests can experience the beauty and magic of this blooming good festival. Will kids enjoy it? Should families bother attending? My answer is yes! I’ve got all the details on exactly what to expect, what to do when you visit and why your family will love it!
If you’ve never attended the festival before, you may be curious about what it is. Do you need to be a gardener? What about a horticulturist? Not at all! An appreciation for beauty in nature and an appetite for good food are all you need to have a great time.
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According to the Walt Disney World website, here’s exactly what you have to look forward to:
- Outdoor kitchens offering delectable bites and libations
- Dozens of world-renowned, Disney-themed topiaries
- Breathtaking garden spaces and wildlife habitats
- Inspirational exhibits, a “How-To” Garden, and engaging Tours
- An outdoor concert series featuring fan-favorite bands
No green thumb required to enjoy this festival in a variety of ways. I’m personally fond of the outdoor kitchens, myself!
TravelingMom Tip: Pick up your “Garden Passport” as you enter the World Showcase to maximize your planning so you can be sure to hit all of the festival’s high points!
Outdoor Kitchens? Tell Me More!
Next, we have to talk about food! The Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival Outdoor Kitchens are my personal favorite. Unlike the plethora of kiosks at the Food and Wine festival, there are just over a dozen spots to try at Flower and Garden.
These are the 2020 Outdoor Kitchens:
- Bauernmarkt: Farmer’s Market (Germany)
- Cider House (UK)
- Fleur de Lys (France)
- Florida Fresh (between the France and Morocco pavilions)
- Hanami (Japan; this is where the popular “Frushi” is found)
- Jardin de Fiestas (Mexico)
- La Isla Fresca (Caribbean fare, located near the front of the World Showcase)
- Lotus House (China)
- Northern Bloom (Canada)
- Pineapple Promenade (Refreshment Port; this is where the popular “Violet Lemonade” frozen drink is found)
- Primavera Kitchen (Italy)
- Taste of Marrakesh (Morocco)
- The Smokehouse (American Adventure)
- The Honey Bee-stro Hosted by National Honey Board™ (located near the front of the World Showcase)
- The Citrus Blossom (find the souvenir Orange Bird Sipper cup here)
- Flavor Full Kitchen hosted by AdventHealth
- Trowel & Trellis hosted by Impossible Foods (all plant-based foods)
While the kitchens are open every day of the festival, they are only open 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. so plan accordingly. If you arrive at the park early, check out the rides in Future World like Test Track or Mission Space. Then you’ll be ready to head to the World Showcase and get your eat on!
TravelingMom Tip: Outdoor Kitchen portions are small. You’ll be able to snack your way around the festival, but don’t be surprised if you fill up fast! As a result, if you truly want to sample everything, find a buddy to split items with so you don’t have a stomachache later!
READ MORE: Where Are the Best Snacks at Epcot?
Epcot Festival Fun for Families
While the amazing display of topiaries is a huge crowd pleaser, there are many other activities for families of all ages to do! TWO scavenger hunts are happening around the World Showcase this year. Eggstravaganza is Easter-focused, and Spike’s Pollen Nation Exploration will last the length of the festival.
Eggstravaganza begins on March 27th and ends on April 12th Purchase a map and sticker set for $6.99 plus tax and prepare to go an adventure searching for Disney character-themed Easter eggs!
From March 4-June 1, have fun with Spike’s Pollen Nation Exploration. Just like the egg hunt, guests can purchase a map and sticker set for $6.99 plus tax and head out to look for Spike the Bee on flowers all over the World Showcase.
When you’ve found them all (the eggs and the bees), simply show your completed map to a Cast Member at the store of purchase to receive a prize!
TravelingMom Tip: If you don’t want to go back to the store, simply ask the Cast Member for the prize when you purchase the map to present to your child when the scavenger hunt is over.
Additional Entertainment at the Flower & Garden Festival
Finally, as if everything I’ve already shared isn’t enough, there is more! Interactive play areas are perfect for kids who need to let off some energy and parents who need a little break from all the walking!
My girls have always loved the play areas, and I wish Epcot would find a way to keep them up all year! Check out Bo Peeps‘ Playtime Training Grounds, inspired by Bo Peep and the rest of the characters from the Toy Story franchise. And the Play Full Garden, featuring interactive activities focusing on nutrition and wellness.
Don’t forget about The Goodness Garden Butterfly House either! Share the wonder of butterflies with your family from the beginning stages of life to fully formed butterflies.
Live Music at the Epcot Flower and Garden Show
Also, for the adults in your party, check out the Garden Rocks concert series! Check out who’s playing at the festival this year:
- 4-5: Peabo Bryson (NEW)
- 6-9: The Orchestra starring former members of ELO
- 10-12: The Guess Who
- 13-16: Simple Plan
- 17-19: Starship, featuring Mickey Thomas
- 20-23: Mark Wills (NEW)
- 24-26: The Spinners
- 27-28: Sister Hazel
- 29-30 The Pointer Sisters
- 31-April 2: Steve Augeri-Former Lead Vocalist of Journey
- 3-4: Blood, Sweat & Tears
- 5-6: Expose
- 7-9: Berlin
- 10-11: A Flock of Seagulls
- 12-13: Atlantic Starr (NEW)
- 14-16: Tony Orlando
- 17-18: High Valley (NEW)
- 19-20: Rick Springfield
- 21-23: Christopher Cross
- 24-27: Plain White T’s
- 28-30: Don Felder-Formerly of the Eagles
- 1-2: Don McLean (NEW)
- 3-4: Casting Crowns (NEW)
- 5-7: Ambrosia with Peter Beckett
- 8-9: Thelma Houston (NEW)
- 10-11: The Allman Betts Bands (NEW)
- 12-14: Air Supply
- 15-18: Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone
- 19-21: Mike DelGuidice & Big Shot (NEW)
- 22-23: Caludia Leitte (NEW)
- 24-25: Daughtry (NEW)
- 26-28: Marshall Tucker band
- 29-30: Crowder (NEW)
- 31-June 1: Survivor
TravelingMom Tip: All of the concerts are included in the price of your Epcot admission. FastPass+ reservations are not available to guarantee seats. So, if you’d like reserved seating, simply book a Garden Rocks dining package at any participating Epcot restaurant for breakfast, lunch, or dinner!
Flower & Garden Festival Merch
Finally, don’t forget to commemorate your trip to the International Flower and Garden Festival! Festival merchandise is always a wonderful way to remember your travels.
Violet Lemonade is a fan favorite festival drink, and it’s featured on a collection of apparel. Headwear, t-shirts, accessories and more can be found celebrating the popular Violet Lemonade drink.
Mickey Mouse and Minnie are always the stars of the festival. Minnie appears on a feminine collection of apparel, drinkware and accessories. Mickey Mouse appears on apparel, headware, garden stakes, statues and more!
Lastly, don’t miss out on the special “ears” that are unique to the Flower & Garden festival. With so many ears to choose from these days, you could wear a different set to each of the theme parks and maximize your Disney fun!
What is your favorite part of the International Flower and Garden Festival? Is it your favorite festival at the Walt Disney World Resort?