The Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival is in full swing right now and you really don’t want to miss this epic event. Epcot is undergoing a full range of park updates, which means the park is littered with construction, but don’t let that deter you from attending this event, up close, because it’s worth the very minor hassle.
The Flower & Garden Festival is my favorite way to see Epcot. The festival gets its name from the absurd amounts of flowers, flower quilts and topiaries you can find throughout the park. Each topiary is created to resemble one (or more) of your favorite Disney characters such as Snow White, Anna and Elsa from Frozen, Beauty and the Beast and many, many more.
This year, a new Remy topiary (from Ratatouille) will be featured at the French pavilion and is sure to be a huge draw. It will even be planted with veggies used in a traditional French ratatouille recipe!
This event is fun for all ages, with scavenger hunts that lead to cute prizes in play gardens perfect for kids and tweens. Teenagers generally enjoy the festival as well, due to the variety of performances, cultural displays and amazing evening fireworks/laser light show and seemingly random parades.
Always a standout at the festival, the Flower Quilt, located next to the Imagination pavilion circling the small pond, makes for the most amazing photo backdrop. Adding extra zing, the monorail sails right over top of it, adding an extra wow factor to your photos.
A crowd favorite, especially among the little ones, is the Goodness Garden Butterfly House, a kaleidoscope of butterflies in different stages of the life cycle. Located at Future World, this winding path is full of butterfly-friendly plants and flittering flutterbys! If you’re lucky, you might witness one bursting through their cocoon in chrysalises. If you’re really lucky, one might just land on you.
Of course, it’s not a festival without food! Like other Epcot festivals, you will find (and stumble onto) many different food options at individual booths and in outdoor kitchens around the park. Most will be located within the World Showcase themed to their respective countries. The food is usually light and refreshing, keeping with the Spring timeline.
One of my favorites treats from years past is the Honey Tandoori Chicken Flatbread with white Cheddar, charred vegetables, clover honey sour cream and micro watercress. It is truly to die for and is usually found at the Honey Bee-Stro booth in the Imagination pavilion.
If you’re a collector of fun Disney sippers and popcorn buckets, there is usually a new collectible of some sort available each year. Last year, it was the absolutely adorable Orange Bird sipper that was so popular there were hour-long lines to purchase it most days. Collectors take these things rather seriously, but with a little patience, you can avoid the long lines; I waited until later in the event and was able to snag one with a short, five-minute line.
The Flower & Garden Festival also offers the Garden Rocks Concert Series showcasing performers such as Daughtry, Simple Plan, A Flock of Seagulls, Plain White T’s, The Pointer Sisters, and The Guess Who, among others. For the first time in festival history, shows will be held in the evenings at: 5:30 p.m., 6:45 p.m., and 8 p.m. at the American Adventure Pavilion, and all concerts are included with standard park admission.
You still have time to enjoy this event but not much! The last day of the is Monday, June 1st! Go enjoy Epcot at its most beautiful. You’ll be glad you did!