Stop and Smell the Flowers: A Tour of the EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival

Posted:  Events Parks Tours

EPCOT’s International Flower and Garden Festival has to be my favorite EPCOT festival. I think it’s because it signifies the start of Spring, sunshine, and flowers, and all those things are associated with happiness for me.

 This year, the EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival will run from March 1st – July 5th, 2023. With 19 outdoor kitchens, six experiences and exhibits, and dozens of topiaries and gardens, there are so many things to see, do, and eat.

When you enter EPCOT from the main entrance, you will be greeted by the new Encanto topiaries. Make sure to say “Hola” to Mirabel, Antonio, Isabela, and Luisa! 

Luisa and Mirabel Topiary

Speaking of new, you can also check out the new Community Garden in World Celebration. Here is where you will find the Donald and Daisy topiaries.

Heading just past Spaceship Earth, you will start to see some of the outdoor kitchens and interactive experiences available during the festival.

To the right of Spaceship Earth, we’ll start our journey at the Butterfly Landing near the Imagination pavilion in World Nature. Here you can enter a tent and get an up-close interaction with butterflies. This is our first spot, as the experience will close at dusk each day.

Butterfly Landing Sign with flowers

Next, we will head left over to the Mission: SPACE area. Don’t worry. We won’t be going on this ride in this blog. We are here to visit our topiary friend Buzz Lightyear and see the Prehistoric Garden, which includes plant life that has grown and evolved since the dinosaurs were still around.

Buzz Lightyear Topiary

While we are over here, let’s move over to the Test Track area. Here you will find a new outdoor kitchen this year, BRUNCHCOT, and a returning classic EPCOT Farmers Feast.

As the name implies, BRUNCHCOT will have brunch classics and new items with a twist, such as a Froot Loops Shake and Fried Cinnamon Roll Bites with Cream Cheese Frosting and Candied Bacon.

BrunchCot Kitchen

EPCOT Farmers Feast will include dishes and drinks that feature farm-fresh ingredients. This is a seasonal menu and will switch offerings throughout the festival, so be sure to check Disney’s website for the most up-to-date information.

Nearby, there will also be 2 of the offered experiences, the Family-Friendly Garden and the Songbird Meadow, both of which are new to the festival this year.

The Family-Friendly Garden is a camp-themed playground and garden area for younger and older guests to enjoy. Not only are there things to do for young ones to burn off some energy, but there is also a path to enjoy a stroll looking at the flowers planted in the garden.

In Songbird Meadow, you can learn how to help protect the Songbird population through small changes at home in your garden.

Now we will head over to the Odyssey pavilion, where the Citrus Blossom is located. Here you can grab many citrus-themed dishes, desserts, and alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.

Mickey and Minnie Topiary

As you cross the bridge to enter the World Showcase through the Port of Entry, stop by the Blossoms of Fragrance exhibit to smell some aromatic flowers. As you continue down, grab a photo of the Mickey, Minnie, Chip, Dale, and Pluto topiaries. At the end of the bridge by the Port of Entry, you will be greeted by the Goofy topiary.

Goofy Topiary

I know there is some debate on how to enter the World Showcase; however, for this blog, we will be heading left and starting toward Mexico. If you prefer to start in Canada, that is totally fine as well, but you will have to reverse the blog from this point out.

Before you reach the Mexico pavilion, you will see the Florida Fresh outdoor kitchen. Grab some Grilled Street Corn, Blackened Fish Slider, Watermelon Salad, or a Cucumber Watermelon Slushie to add some freshness to your day.

Jardin de Fiestas Outdoor Kitchen

As you enter the Mexico pavilion, head to the Jardin de Fiestas booth to grab a Quesadilla de Flor de Calabaza or a Taco Vampiro. They will also be serving Margaritas and a Craft Mexican Lager. Don’t forget to snap a photo of the topiary of the Three Caballeros, José, Donald, and Panchito.

While enjoying your snacks, stop by the Desert Garden, which features plants that grow in the desert and adapt to the harsh living conditions, or the Tropical Rainforest Garden, where you can see how other plants also flourish and adapt to these humid conditions.

Troll Topiary in Norway

As you stroll through Norway, stop and see Anna, Elsa, and the Troll topiaries.

Elsa and Anna Topiary

In the China pavilion, the Lotus House outdoor kitchen offers a Spicy Mala Chicken Skewer with Creamy Peanut Sauce, House-made Cheesy Crab Wontons, and Pan-fried Vegetable Dumplings. For non-alcoholic beverages, you can enjoy a Classic Bubble Milk Tea. There will be three alcoholic beverage offerings; Kung Fu Master, Tang Dynasty, and Tropical Moon.

Panda Topiary in China

If you head into the pavilion, you can find some hungry panda topiaries. You can wander over to the Bamboo Garden to learn more about what the pandas are snacking on or take a break in the China Zodiac Garden inspired by the 12 creatures of the Chinese zodiac.

As you head towards the Germany pavilion, you can grab a Pineapple Skewer with Tajin Seasoning or a beverage, like a Tangerine Soft-serve and Cream Soda float, a Lavender Martini, or one of their offered beers at Refreshment Outpost.

Snow White and Dopey Topiary

If you a fan of potatoes, pretzels, or cheese, the Bauernmarkt: Farmer’s Market booth in the Germany pavilion is the spot for you! You can find two different Potato Pancakes, Toasted Pretzel Bread, and Warm Cheese Strudel with Mixed Berries offered here. There will also be some German wines and beers available. This may be the perfect time to share a dish with one or seven friends. Here you will find the Snow White and Seven Dwarves’ topiaries. Make sure you also take the time to admire the Miniature Garden in the Germany pavilion.

Six Dwarves Topiary

Just in front of the World Showcase Lagoon in the Italy pavilion, you can see the Lady and the Tramp topiary.

If you are looking for a three-course meal with smaller portions, stop by Primavera Kitchen. You can enjoy a Caesar con Gamberett, Tortelloni Primavera, and Budino alle Nocciole. For alcoholic beverages, there will be beer, wine, sangria, and a margarita offered.

Primavera Kitchen Sign

Wanting to learn more about the delicious flavors in the food you just had? Head over to the Garden Italiano to see some of the featured produce and herbs used in creating these Italian dishes.

Fried Cheese with Sauce from Primavera Kitchen

In the American Adventure pavilion, head to Magnolia Terrace to enjoy some southern cuisine with comfort food classics like a Muffuletta Panini, Spicy Chicken Gumbo, Crawfish Pie, and Bananas Foster Bread Pudding. The Bayou Cocktail and beers are available for purchase as well. 

Another new addition this year is the gorgeous Tiana topiary in the American Adventure pavilion, and make sure to do your most royal pose for this picture.

Tiana Topiary

A returning classic for the International Flower and Garden Festival is the Garden Rocks Concert Series. At the American Gardens Theatre, you can see an outdoor concert with some pretty big names. With artists like Rick Springfield, Plain White T’s, and the Spinners performing, make sure you check out Disney’s website to see who will be performing when you visit the festival. 

As we continue our stroll to the Japan pavilion, our next stop will be at the Hanami outdoor kitchen. You can find the iconic Frushi, as well Hanami Sushi and Creamy Shrimp Udon offered here, as well a Cherry Blossom Pilsner, Hakushika Hana Kohaku Plum Sake, and Hakushika Hana Kohaku Plum Sake.

Shishi-odoshi Sign

Near the gates overlooking the World Showcase Lagoon in the Japan pavilion, you can spot a magnificent dragon topiary. If you head into the pavilion, you can see the Bonsai Collection Garden, where you can learn more about the art of bonsai; the Kokedema Garden, where you can relax in this peaceful oasis; and the new Shishi-odoshi, with features a traditional Japanese bamboo water fountain.

Shishi-odoshi Water Fountain

In the Morocco pavilion, Tangierine Café will offer two delicious kebab options and a hummus platter of 3 different hummus. Alcoholic beverages offered will feature fruity and floral flavors such as pomegranate, strawberry, elderflower, and tangerine.

While in Morocco, take a walk through the Spice Garden and learn about the Eastern cultures used to trade herbs and spices, making them more valuable than gold.

Spice Garden

As you transition from Morocco into France, you can stop by La Isla Fresca. For the more adventurous diners, try the Braised Oxtail with Pigeon Pea Rice or stick to something more familiar with Sugar Cane Shrimp Skewer or Coconut Tres Leches. Enjoy some Caribbean-inspired beverages like the non-alcoholic Tropical Breeze, a Coconut Key Lime Ale, or Florida Orange Groves Winery Tropical Perception White Sangria.

Coconut Tres Leches Cake

You can also find my favorite topiaries from the entire festival, Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy, close to La Isla Fresca.

Kermit and Miss Piggy Topiaries

When entering the Paris pavilion, grab a delicious Goat Cheese Croissant, Niçoise Gnocchi, Chocolate Tart, or Caramelized Beignet from the Fleur de Lys outdoor kitchen. The kitchen will also offer beer, Wine, and Cocktails. 

Belle and the Beast Topiaries

If you are a fan of Beauty and the Beast, make sure to visit all the wonderful topiaries of Beauty and the Beast, Lumiere, and Cogsworth. To continue your fairytale fantasy, take a stroll over to the Bouquet Garden and dream about receiving some of these gorgeous flowers from your special someone. 

While the United Kingdom pavilion does not have an outdoor kitchen, they do have a plethora of gardens and topiaries. You can take a tour of the English Tea Garden and learn about the history of tea-blending and see some plants that are used in Twinings’ teas!

Tinkerbelle Topiary in a Garden

You can also walk through the Topiary Heritage Garden and learn about the artwork of creating and tending to the topiaries at EPCOT and Disney World has changed over the years, or stroll through the Shakespeare Garden and see how flowers and nature-inspired some of his most famous pieces of work.

Visit Winnie the Pooh and Friends, Rabbit, Eeyore, Piglet and Tigger, topiaries, and Tinker Bell’s Fairy House Garden in the United Kingdom Pavilion. As well, don’t forget to check out the Peter Pan, Captain Hook, and Tick Tock Croc topiaries as you leave the United Kingdom pavilion and head towards the Canada pavilion.

Peter Pan and Captain Hook Topiaries

The next stop is the Canada Pavilion, where you can grab some Seared Scallops, Beef Tenderloin Tips, or a Chocolate Maple Whisky Cake from the Northern Bloom outdoor kitchen. You can also grab a Canadian-produced beer or a whole beer flight to try a few different ones. A non-alcoholic offering is the Maple Popcorn Shake.

While visiting the Canada pavilion, you can see some magnificent geese topiaries. 

At the Refreshment Port, you can snack on some Shrimp Scampi Poutine or grab a Mighty Swell Purple Magic Spiked Seltzer, Villa Maria Earth Garden Sauvignon Blanc, or Frozen Mojito.

Impossible Korean Short Rib from Trowel and Trellis

 As you make your way back over to the port of entry, head over to Trowel & Trellis to dig into some plant-based dishes. This includes the Boneless Impossible Korean Short Rib, Impossible Lumpia with Thai Sweet Chili Sauce, Chocolate Cake with Black Currant Ganache, Mixed Berry Compote, and Chocolate Ice Cream. Drink offerings will include Twinings® Iced Green Tea with Cranberry and Lime, which is non-alcoholic, and interesting alcoholic offerings as well. 

For some honey-infused treats, head over to the Honey Bee-Stro. If you’re still hungry, you can try the Chicken and Honey Sweet Corn Bread Waffle with Whipped Honey Butter and Spicy Honey, Pollinator Flatbread, or Honey-Mascarpone Cheesecake. Cool off with a Honey-Peach Cobbler Freeze with Streusel (non-alcoholic) or B. Nektar New Wave Lemonade Mead, Florida Orange Groves Winery Orange Blossom Honey Wine, and Honey-Peach Freeze with Blueberry Vodka and Streusel (all alcoholic).

Chicken and Waffles from Honey Bee-Stro

You can also learn about honeybees’ critical role in the environment in this outdoor kitchen.

Honey Bee-Stro Garden Sign

For some tropical-inspired treats, end your day at Pineapple Promenade. Grab a Spicy Hot Dog with Pineapple Chutney and Plantain Chips or the classic DOLE Whip. Another iconic refreshment offered at this outdoor kitchen is the Frozen Desert Violet Lemonade. Other drinks for purchase include DOLE Whip with Fanta (non-alcoholic), and alcoholic 3 Daughters Brewing Tropical Hef, BrewDog Hazy Jane IPA, Urban Artifact Teak Tropical American Fruit Tart, Playalinda Brewing Company Violet Lemonade Ale, Florida Orange Groves Winery Sparkling Pineapple Wine, and DOLE Whip topped with Sōmrus Mango Cream Liqueur. You can also enjoy any of the pineapple beers served in a flight as well. 

Now that we have explored all that is offered in the World Showcase, there are still a few topiaries and gardens that can be seen near the Land Pavilion, Connections Eatery and Connections Cafe, and the Imagination Pavilion.

Woody Topiary

Near the Land Pavilion, you can find topiaries of Woody, Bo Peep, and her Sheep, the Bold Bromeliads Garden, where you can see unique and colorful plants that can survive in diverse climates and conditions, and the Floating Gardens, with more than 150 plots on the pond next to World Showcase.

Lion King Topiary

Between the Land Pavilion and the Imagination Pavilion, you can find all of your favorite Lion King characters, Simba, Rafiki, Mufasa, Sarabi, Pumbaa, and Timon!

In the Imagination Pavilion area, you will see my other favorite topiary of the festival, Figment! Nestled right in front of his attraction, you can snap a quick picture before heading on to the ride.

Figment Topiary

You can find Bambi and Friends just outside the Imagination Pavilion just before you get to Refreshment Port.

As you exit EPCOT, stop by Connections Eatery to check out the indoor garden, Connections Conservatory Garden. This may give you some inspiration to help spruce up your home.

Floating flowers in water

Merchandise for the Festival can be found throughout the World Showcase at the merchandise booths as well as the Port of Entry Shop and Creations Shop.

EPCOT’s International Flower and Garden Festival runs until July 5th, 2023. If you have not yet had the chance to see the festival this year, be sure to try and get there before it ends!



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