Epcot in Bloom
Did you know? The Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival is Epcot’s longest-running festival (this year marked its 27th year)!
It is always a highly anticipated event as guests love to see those beautiful topiary displays. Although we can’t currently see the festival in person, let’s spend a few minutes looking at photos from this year and previous festivals, as we plan what activities we’d like to do in the future!
The festival began back in 1994 as a five-week festival highlighting the beauty of nature with floral displays around the park. Each plant used was tested in advance by Disney gardeners to ensure that the plants could develop in Florida soil.
The festival has now expanded to feature tours of the gardens and guest speakers to provide park goers expert advice on gardening to use at home. Festival goers get to experience the famed topiary displays, outdoor kitchens, tours, exhibits, and concerts, making the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival fun for the whole family!
Since it began, this event has continued to bloom and has now grown into a 90-day spectacle!
The festival is included in the price of your park ticket; however, some tours will cost extra.
The topiary displays, created by Disney’s incredibly talented horticulturists, are meticulously created and certainly a fan favorite of the festival. The horticulturists plan the topiaries based on where they will be located around the park, so the theme really flows well. Looking for Buzz Lightyear? He can be found near Mission: SPACE. The Pandas can be found at the China pavilion, and new this year, Remy can be found in the France pavilion!
Although the most iconic, the topiary displays are just the beginning of what Epcot offers during the Flower and Garden Festival! Similar to the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, the Flower and Garden festival also offer outdoor kitchens! Serving up the freshest ingredients, the outdoor kitchens can be found around the World Showcase.
Typically, each outdoor kitchen will feature one to three savory food options, a sweet food option, and then both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages to enjoy. Based on what we have seen in past years, the food options typically count as a snack credit on the Dining Plan, as well as most non-alcoholic beverages. If you are not using the dining plan, you can always purchase anything you would like out of pocket, or use your Magic Band to charge to your room and enjoy the food as you stroll around the World Showcase!
Another great offering during the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival is the Garden Rocks Concert Series. Throughout the festival, concerts are held at the America Gardens Theatre in the American Adventure Pavilion. Some of the performers you could see are; The Guess Who, The Pointer Sisters, Rick Springfield, and Air Supply, just to name a few. The full concert list can be found on Disney’s website, and they are definitely worth checking out!
Epcot also offers exclusive tours during the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival. One of the tours you can take is the Gardens of the World tour. This is led by one of Disney’s Horticulturists and takes you on a walking tour around the World Showcase Pavilions. During your tour, your guide will tell stories about the topiary displays and gardens. They will also describe the landscaping around the parks, and teach you gardening techniques you can take home and put to use in your very own garden! This tour lasts three hours and is an extra fee on top of your park ticket. This can be booked through Disney’s website.
Another tour offered is the Royal Tea Garden Tour. This tour takes place at the United Kingdom Pavilion before the World Showcase opens to the general public. This guided tour takes you on an in-depth trip into the tea garden, and teaches you the brilliance behind growing and making your own teas. You will also enjoy samples of tea and scones. This tour typically lasts about 45 minutes and is also an additional charge on top of your park ticket.
As well as being educational, the Flower and Garden Festival is also super interactive! Around the park, you can find different activities made with kids in mind! There’s Bo Peep’s Playtime Training Grounds located near the Test Track Walkway. This is an outdoor, interactive Toy Story themed playground for guests to enjoy.
You can also visit The Goodness Garden Butterfly House, where you can learn about the life cycle of a butterfly while getting up-close to several different types of butterflies! This is a great place for nature lovers to see the circle of life right before their eyes!
Spike’s Pollen Nation Exploration is a scavenger hunt guests can take part in while traveling around the park, staring Spike the Honey Bee. At Port of Entry, you can purchase a map to participate in the scavenger hunt following Spike around the World Showcase. Once you have found all of the flowers featuring Spike, you can return your completed map to Port of Entry for a special surprise!
Yes, the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival has certainly been part of magical memories for families for over two decades, and I look forward to it being part of many more memories in future years!