Spring is in the air! Well, at least it should be according to Punxsutawney Phil. Thank you again for not seeing your shadow; we’re all ready for warmer weather! In the DVC Duo house, the kick-off of the Flower and Garden Festival at Epcot means we’re in the home stretch of winter and Epcot’s festival season. From the gorgeous ground-covers, to the culinary delights, and even the show stopping topiaries, the festival has something for everyone. Did you find your trowel in the garage? Great, we got some planting to do in this DVC Duo guide to Epcot’s International Flower and Garden Festival.
When is the Festival?
The Flower and Garden Festival kicks off on Wednesday March 6, 2019 and runs through June 3, 2019. The celebration is spread all around Epcot with the majority of the festivities in the World Showcase or the festival center in Future World. You may even find a special Magic shot from a Disney PhotoPass photographer out there!
If you ask any Disneyphile what’s the star of the show at the Flower and Garden festival you may get different answers, but all will agree the topiaries are jaw dropping! Every country you walk through and everywhere you turn you’ll see works of gardening art from the amazing horticulturists of Walt Disney World. What they can do with flowers and shrubs is unreal. Nate can barely trim the hedges without looking like a Picasso.
Passholder Insights: If you’re looking to capture photos of the topiaries try to head to the park early in the day, midweek. The crowds tend to get larger as the day progresses and the weekend draws closer.
If the topiaries aren’t enough, no worries we got you covered. This is the Flower and Garden Festival afterall. All around Epcot you’ll see flower beds filled with vibrant flowers laid out in beautiful designs. From the butterfly garden to the rose gardens, or our favorite, the flower embankments near the Odyssey, Disney goes all out with the planting.
The majority of the countries around the World Showcase offer unique gardens to check out. You’ll want to make sure to head into each country to see the displays. One of our favorites is always the bamboo garden in China. Keep your eyes peeled for special games that you can play similar to an “I spy”!
Passholder Insights: The flowers are beautiful no matter when you go. If you’re looking for “peak” bloom season we would recommend the beginning of May.
No we’re not talking about those hard to remove, always embedded, and way to too heavy rocks you in find your flower beds, we’re talking about the concert series in the America pavilion. For this year’s Flower and Garden Festival the Garden Rocks concert series is moving to 7 days a week. That’s right, 90 straight days of music in the America pavilion! Seating is first come first served if you’re not doing the dining package. You’ll want to line up to the right of the venue when facing Spaceship Earth, between the American and Italy pavilions.
Every day there will be musical performances at 5:30 pm, 6:45 pm, and 8 pm, from an array of famous musicians. For a full list of artists and performance dates check out the official lineup here. Dates, times, and performers do change, so make sure to check the My Disney Experience app when arriving at the park.
Passholder Insights: If you have a “must see” act on a specific date and time, we would recommend checking out the Dining Package to secure you and your group a spot.
Garden Rocks! – Dining Package
Looking for a reserved seat for the Garden Rocks Concert series? We would recommend looking into one of the dining packages. For all the performances on all the dates, Disney offers a dining package that includes a three-course meal or full buffet, and non-alcoholic beverage, along with a premium seat at the show.
The dining package is offered at all the sit down restaurants within Epcot, both around World Showcase and Future World. You can enjoy breakfast, lunch, or dinner. To make reservations contact Walt Disney World Dining.
Passholder Insights: The dining package is a great way to do multiple things at once. At the restaurants, like Garden Grill, you can reserve your seat for the show, enjoy a meal, and meet Mickey! Both Garden Grill and Akershus Royal Banquet Hall are character dining.
What About the Food!
We love flowers and exploring the gardens, but the way to our hearts is through our stomachs. With well over 15 different food and beverage booths sprinkled throughout the World Showcase and Future World, the Flower and Garden Festival is also great for those foodies. Centered on fresh garden and backyard flavors, you’ll find a variety of dishes to try, as well as alcoholic and non-alcoholic libations.
If you’re barbecue fans like us, we would definitely recommend checking out the smokehouse booth in the America pavilion. They are offering some of the best barbecue we’ve tried at Walt Disney World, outside Flame Tree Barbecue at Animal Kingdom.
Passholder Insights: If you’re on the Disney Dining Plan you can use your snack credits on a lot of dishes.
Is there a tour for that? More than likely there is at the Flower and Garden Festival. If you’re looking for a more personal or in depth tour of the festival definitely check out one of the four different tours offered. Tours range from no cost to $85 per person. Below are the four tours being offered this year:
- Gardens of the World – $85 per person – 3-hour tour small group around all the gardens with a Disney horticulturist
- Royal Tea Garden – $20 per person – 45-minute tour exploring the UK Pavilion tea gardens and learning the art of growing and blending tea. Don’t forget to get your scones and tea at the end!
- English Tea Garden – Free – 20-minute presentations regarding the different teas grown in the English Tea Garden.
- Behind the Seeds – $25 per person – tour through The Land pavilion gardens and learning about the sustainable growing techniques Disney is researching.
Beyond the tours you’ll find a variety of presentations throughout the Flower and Garden festival. A couple of great places to check out for the different presentations would be the Festival Center next to Mission Space, and the Odyssey.
Something for the Kids
Guests both young and young at heart will be able to join a scavenger hunt around the World Showcase. Help Spike find the best blossoms to pollinate as you buzz around the World Showcase. You can pick up a map at Port of Entry for $6.99 plus tax. Mark off your map as you make your way around and turn it in for your prize!
Passholder Insights: Around the Easter holiday (April 5th to 21st) Disney hides Easter eggs within the countries. Can you find them all?
The International Flower and Garden Festival is a wonderful event at Epcot. Tons of amazing flowers and topiaries to see and delicious food to enjoy!