Epcot is becoming Walt Disney World’s premiere park for festivals. One of the most magical is the spring Flower and Garden Festival. From scrumptious outdoor kitchens to beautifully manicured topiaries to that wonderful Disney magic we’ve all come to know and expect, this year’s festival is sure to be an incredible one. We’ve got a great roundup of what the festival is, what to expect when you visit, and why families will love visiting Epcot together.
Essential Guide to Epcot Flower and Garden Festival for Families
Celebrating its 25th year, Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival is one of my personal favorites. Thinking of spring and warmer weather just brightens my day right on up. From February 28 through May 28, 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!
What is Epcot Flower and Garden Festival?
First, let’s begin with an explanation. If you’ve never attended the festival before, you may be curious about what it is. Do you need to be a gardener? Not at all! Above all, an appreciation for beauty in nature and an appetite for good food are all you need to have a great time.
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 matter if your thumb is brown or green, you can enjoy this festival in a variety of ways. I’m personally fond of the outdoor kitchens, myself!
Traveling Mom 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!
Next, we have to talk about food! The Epcot Flower and Garden Festival Outdoor Kitchens are my personal favorite. Unlike the plethora of kiosks at the Food & Wine festival, there are just over a dozen spots to try at Flower and Garden. These are the 2018 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” 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)
Traveling Mom 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!
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 16 and ends on April 1st. Purchase a map and sticker set and prepare to go an adventure searching for Disney character-themed Easter eggs!
From February 28-May 28, have fun with “Spike’s Pollen Nation Exploration.” Just like the egg hunt, guests can purchase a map and sticker set 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!
Traveling Mom 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.
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 keep them up all year, honestly! New for 2018 is the Imagination Play Garden featuring a net climber and a musical maze, and the How-To Garden featuring lots of hands-on fun!
Also, for the adults in your party, don’t forget about the Garden Rocks concert series! Check out who’s playing at the festival this year:
- 2-5: Night Ranger
- 9-12: Starship Starring Mickey Thomas
- 16-19: Simple Plan
- 23-26: Little River Band
- March 30-April 2: The Orchestra Starring Former Members of ELO
- 6-7: Foghat
- 8-9: Survivor
- 13-14: Smashmouth
- 15-16: Rick Springfield
- 20-21: Jo Dee Messina
- 27-30: Blood, Sweat, and Tears ft. Bo Bice
- 4-7: Herman’s Hermits Starring Peter Noone
- 11-2: Village People ft. Victor Willis
- 13-14: Don Felder, formerly of The Eagles
- 18-21: The Guess Who
- 25-28: The Spinners
Traveling Mom Tip: All of the concerts are included in the price of your Epcot admission. FastPass+ reservations are not available to guarantee seats. If you’d like reserved seating, simply book a Garden Rocks dining package at any participating Epcot restaurant for breakfast, lunch, or dinner!
Enjoy all the festival has to offer. I hope you found my essential guide to Epcot Flower and Garden Festival for families helpful!