EPCOT Flower and Garden Festival Guide

Each year, EPCOT, one of Walt Disney World’s four theme parks in Orlando, Florida, hosts four different festivals spread across the calendar. EPCOT is known as the park that celebrates cultures from countries around the world and their festivals are no different. Typically, the festival schedule is as follows:

  • EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival (select dates March through July)
  • EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival (select dates July through November)
  • EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays (select dates November and December)
  • EPCOT International Festival of the Arts (select dates January and February)

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portrait shot of the blue pond with green plants, perfect cloud reflection against colorful flowers and a blue sky at EPCOT

Spring is all about the festival that is currently going on at EPCOT…the International Flower & Garden Festival. This year, the festival is running from March 1st through July 5th. The springtime event entices visitors to enjoy amazing art displays made completely of flowers and plants as well as food, live entertainment, and activities.

The festival offers an experience outside of a typical visit to EPCOT and the great part is that it does not require any additional admission to enjoy. Regular park admission will get you into the festival and allow you to enjoy the displays and exhibits. However, if you choose to purchase souvenirs, merchandise, food, or beverages, these will be an additional cost.

Things to Do at Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

Heather from Trimm Travels standing in front of the entrance to EPCOT with Mickey topiary

As I mentioned above, the festival is made up of art, food, and entertainment/activities. There are hundreds of art displays to see, outdoor kitchens that offer a variety of foods and beverages to enjoy, and SO many activities and live entertainment to add to your experience!

Topiaries

Heather from Trimm Travels standing in front of Disney character topiaries at EPCOT Flower and Garden Festival

There are a number of your favorite Disney characters made into topiaries all throughout the park. In my opinion, these are the best displays and some of the most popular and iconic photo spots during the festival. 

Some topiaries have been around for many years and continue to return to EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival annually. Notwithstanding, there are new additions each year as well. Some of the most popular topiary displays include:

  • Woody, Bo Beep, and Her Sheep near the Land Pavilion 
  • Some of the Disney classics including Mickey and Minnie Mouse on the Bridge to World Showcase and World Celebration
  • A cool Dragon right in front of the Torii Gate in the Japan Pavilion
Torii gate in Japan Pavilion with water in the background at EPCOT
  • Buzz Lightyear near the Mission: SPACE attraction
  • Jose, Donald, and Panchito, known as The Three Caballeros at the front of the Mexican Pavilion
  • The Queen of Ice, Elsa, and her sister Anna can be found at the Norway Pavilion
Elsa and Anna green topiaries at the EPCOT Flower and Garden Festival
  • Characters from The Lion King including Rafiki, Simba, Mufasa, and Sarabi can be found recreating the iconic scene of Simba’s presentation from the movie between Imagination! And The Land Pavilion
  • Snow White and Her Seven Dwarfs can be found at the Germany Pavilion
  • The Lovebird Dogs Lady and the Tramp admiring one another at the Italy Pavilion
  • Kermit the Frog and his longtime love, Miss Piggy are between France and Morocco Pavilions. Not sure why but Kermit was one of my favorites. Might be because of the water view behind him…
large green topiary of Kermit the Frog on a bicycle with water in the background at the EPCOT Flower and Garden Festival
  • Timon and Pumbaa can be found causing mischief between Imagination! And the Land Pavilion
  • Belle and The Beast can be found striking a ballroom pose at the France Pavilion
  • Peter Pan can be found facing his rival Captain Hook who is facing his rival, Tick Tock Croc located at the United Kingdom Pavilion
  • Winnie the Pooh and all of his woodland Friends (Rabbit, Eeyore, Piglet, and Tigger) are also located at the United Kingdom Pavilion
green topiaries of Winnie the Pooh and Friends at EPCOT

You might also like: EPCOT UPDATES: BREAKDOWN OF THE NEW PARK LAYOUT

Gardens & Exhibits

In addition to the topiaries, there are an array of gardens and exhibits with displays made from flowers and plants. Here are just a few of the many available:

  • Bambi’s Butterfly House located in World Nature: In this exhibit, guests get to see a wide variety of beautiful butterflies and learn everything there is to know about butterfly lifecycles. 
  • Bonsai Collection at Japan Pavilion: See the displays of bonsai plants and get the opportunity to see bonsai masters shape and tend to bonsai plants right before your eyes. 
  • Chinese Zodiac Topiary Garden located at China Pavilion: If you are into Astrology and Zodiac Signs, you will definitely want to check out the Chinese Zodiac Topiary Garden at China Pavilion. You will see a display of animals representing each Chinese Zodiac sign, made completely from plant materials.
  • Festival Blooms in World Celebration: Tons of flowers that make gorgeous panoramas. This might have been my favorite (of which I took full photography advantage)!
panorama of a pond with green plants and perfect cloud reflection against a colorful flower background at EPCOT
  • English Tea Garden by Twinings of London: Head over to the United Kingdom Pavilion to see the English Tea Garden featuring the history of tea blending including several plants used in Twinings’ blends. 
  • Floating Gardens located at World Nature: On the ponds along the walkway between Future World and the World Showcase you can find the Floating Gardens exhibit. This displays over 150 floral pots floating in the pond. I love this display-I think it looks so free and elegant. 
  • Prehistoric Garden located at World Discovery: See a display of plants and nature that existed in the age of the dinosaurs over 65 million years ago!
  • Tropical Rainforest Garden located at Mexico Pavilion: Here you will have the opportunity to learn all about what the Mexican Rainforest has to offer including the variety of species of plants and nature.

Activities and Entertainment

Heather from Trimm Travels posing against a wall with purple and blue butterfly wings at EPCOT

Sometimes when it comes to the Flower and Garden Festival, plants and art displays are not always the biggest hits, particularly with young kids. Fortunately, the festival offers several different activities and fun experiences for them to enjoy as well. Some of these activities include:

Activities

  • Spike’s Pollen-National Exploration: This adventure gives guests the opportunity to participate in a scavenger hunt and really dig deep into the festival. The cost is $9.99 plus tax per person and this gets your hunt map. Once you have completed your scavenger hunt, you can turn it in and collect your prize. 
  • Garden Graze: The Garden Graze gives guests the opportunity to sample some of the menu items available in the park while completing a mission and earning a prize. You can find the Garden Graze lineup in your Festival Passport and as you try the items on the menu, you will receive a stamp. Once you have collected 5 stamps (or more) you can bring your passport to Pineapple Promenade to redeem a treat exclusively found at the festival and collect your prize. 

Entertainment

  • Garden Rocks Concert Series: Every year, there are a number of musical acts scheduled to play at the Garden Rocks Concert Series. These performers put on a show at the America Gardens Theater in the America Pavilion on Fridays through Mondays. Some of the acts scheduled to appear from this year’s lineup include:
    • Smash Mouth
    • The Pointer Sisters
    • Casting Crowns
    • Daughtry
    • The Commodores
    • Rick Springfield
  • JAMMIN’ Gardeners: Another popular live music group that has visited the EPCOT Flower and Garden Festival frequently includes the JAMMIN’ Gardeners. This group (known as the JAMMitors outside of the festival) has a unique sound as they play their music on metal trash cans and they put on an excellent show multiple times a day during the festival dates. Each year the musicians try to customize their instruments to fit the Flower and Garden Festival theme and really make a memorable experience for their audience.

Dining at EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival

photo of delicious shrimp dish at EPCOT Flower and Garden Festival at sunset

In addition to the flower and garden displays, live entertainment, and activities there are also amazingly good food and beverage options to enjoy during the festival. There are several Outdoor Kitchens set up throughout the park that offer a variety of food and experiences. Some of the Outdoor Kitchens lined up include:

  • The Citrus Blossom: Located near the port of entry, this outdoor kitchen offers many dishes inspired by citrus fruits such as lemons, oranges, and limes. 
  • EPCOT Farmers Feast: This outdoor kitchen is located near Test Track and their menu is all about hearty home-style cooking made with farm-fresh ingredients.
  • Hanami: Located in Japan, this option serves a menu of Japanese-style dishes. The highlight? Frushi! I highly recommend it and can’t EVEN begin to tell you how good it is!
pink Frushi dish from Japan Pavilion at EPCOT with the Torii gate and sunset in the background
  • Northern Bloom: Located in the area of Canada, the Northern Bloom features a variety of Canadian-style dishes. 
  • Pineapple Promenade: If you are hungry for something fresh and fruity, Pineapple Promenade is the place to go. They have many options such as frozen treats with fruity flavors. 
  • Primavera Kitchen: Located in Italy, you can enjoy old-country-style dishes paired with wine from this outdoor kitchen
  • Trowel & Trellis Hosted by the Impossible Food brands: If you are vegan or enjoy plant-based dining, don’t worry Trowel & Trellis has got you covered! This outdoor kitchen offers a variety of dishes inspired by Impossible Foods.

Where to Stay During EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival

palm trees, flowers, and a fountain at a Disney World Resort

Photo Credit: Mia2you | Shutterstock.com

If you intend to visit the EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival, I highly recommend selecting a Disney Parks resort that is in the EPCOT Resorts Area. Disney World Hotel Resorts are broken down into four major categories which include value resort hotels, moderate resort hotels, deluxe resort hotels, and deluxe villa resorts.

Unfortunately, the EPCOT Resort Area does not have any value resorts but they do have many other options for guests to choose from. Selecting a resort in the EPCOT Resort Area allows you to have transportation to and from your resort. This makes things much more convenient for you, particularly if you spend much of your time at EPCOT Park. The resorts in the EPCOT area include:

  • Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort (Moderate Resort Hotels, $$): The Caribbean Beach Resort transports guests into an island paradise with décor inspired by the islands of Aruba, Barbados, Jamaica, Martinique, and Trinidad. The resort also offers a zero-entry pool with a waterslide, beaches, relaxing hammocks, and more!
  • Disney’s Beach Club Resort (Deluxe Resort Hotel, $$$): The Disney Beach Club Resort is a New England-style resort offering guests a place to stay as well as additional activities and amenities. These include a 24-Hour Fitness Center, an Outdoor Water Recreation Area, and incredible dining experiences. The resort is within walking distance of EPCOT Park.
  • Disney’s Yacht Club Resort (Deluxe Resort Hotel, $$$): The Yacht Club Resort is also a New England-style resort and is considered to be the more formal sister resort to Disney’s Beach Club Resort. It even shares a lot of amenities with the Beach Club Resort including the Ship Shape Health Club and the Outdoor Water Recreation Area. If you are looking for an incredible dining experience, the Yachtsman Steakhouse dining experience comes highly recommended. Similar to the Beach Club Resort, it is within walking distance of EPCOT.
  • Disney’s Boardwalk Inn (Deluxe Resort Hotel, $$$): The Boardwalk Inn is inspired by Atlantic City and offers its visitors plenty of resort amenities including Luna Park Pool, a fitness center, a Coney Island-inspired boardwalk with carnival games, and other fun activities. It is also conveniently located within walking distance of both EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios parks.
  • Disney’s Riviera Resort (Deluxe Villas Resort, $$$$): The Riveria Resort is absolutely beautiful, inspired by Europe, and is a deluxe villa resort. This means they offer tower studios designed for two-person parties, deluxe studios sleeping groups of up to five, and villas with up to 3 bedrooms which makes it much more comfortable for an extended stay or for larger groups/families. Additionally, the resort is conveniently located within a short walk to Disney’s Skyliner transportation service which transports guests to various locations including the EPCOT resort.

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Heather from Trimm Travels blowing a kiss to the camera in front of Mickey and Friends flower topiaries at EPCOT Flower and Garden Festival

If you are planning a visit to EPCOT during the International Flower and Garden Festival, I hope that this has provided you with the insight and information you need to make a meaningful trip. It is definitely a unique experience on top of the unique adventure to Disney World you’ve already imagined!

Is this your first time at the festival? Please be sure to let me know what your favorite part is. If you have visited the festival before, share with other readers any tips, information, or reviews that you may have. You know the drill-let me know below!

‘Til next time…

Trimm Travels,

Heather

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2 Comments

  1. I must say I never heard of the word topiary before, so this was quite educational. Are they truly made of live plants, or do they just want us to believe that? They seem almost too perfect, but if they are real, those are some talented gardeners.
    Also, what is frushi? Is it sushi with fruit? What do they fill it with?
    EPCOT screams adventure!

    1. Hi Ivan-Yes, they are truly made of live flowers and plants. Disney spares NO expense when creating their masterpieces. Absolutely amazing aren’t they? Also, yes…frushi is sushi made with fruit and not fish. They fill it with fruit and rice, etc for that colorful bite that everyone (whether you don’t like sushi or have dietary restrictions) can enjoy! EPCOT is a fun adventure especially for travelers! Thanks for reading! 🙂

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