By Holley Long
It may technically still be winter, but let’s face it—Orlando felt the stirrings of Spring weeks ago, and we are now fully engulfed in the season. We’re enjoying the warmer weather, and we’re also enjoying the return of an annual event at a Disney World park.
That’s right: EPCOT’s International Flower and Garden Festival is finally here!
The Flower and Garden Festival is a springtime event at the Disney park, filled with Disney character topiaries, luscious gardens, and delicious flavors. Running from March 1 to July 5, it’s one of EPCOT’s longest festivals. Don’t worry about an additional cost to attend—as long as you have a valid park admission, you’re good to go.
Delicious, international food is a staple of any EPCOT festival, and Flower and Garden is no exception. Each food booth (or outdoor kitchen) features creative, garden-fresh sips and bites you can snack on throughout the park.
Braised Oxtail with pigeon pea rice (left) & Sugar Cane Shrimp Skewer with BEN’S ORIGINAL Long Grain White Rice, mango salsa, and coconut-lime sauce (right)
The outdoor kitchens open for this year’s festival are:
- BRUNCHCOT (Near Test Track)
- EPCOT Farmers Feast (Near Test Track)
- The Citrus Blossom (Odyssey Pavilion)
- Florida Fresh (Near Disney Traders)
- Jardin de Fiestas (Mexico Pavilion)
- Lotus House (China Pavilion)
- Bauernmarkt: Farmer’s Market (Germany Pavilion)
- Primavera Kitchen (Italy Pavilion)
- Magnolia Terrace (American Adventure Pavilion)
- Hanami (Japan Pavilion)
- Tangierine Café: Flavors of the Medina (Morocco Pavilion)
- La Isla Fresca (Between Morocco and France)
- Fleur de Lys (France Pavilion)
- Northern Bloom (Canada Pavilion)
- Trowel & Trellis Hosted by Impossible™ (Near Port of Entry)
- The Honey Bee-stro Hosted by National Honey Board™ (Near Port of Entry)
- Pineapple Promenade (Near Port of Entry)
Returning dishes include Frushi from the Japan Pavilion, the Froot Loops Shake at BRUNCHCOT, and, a personal favorite, the La Vie en Rose Frozen Slush from the France Pavilion.
Frushi (Strawberry, pineapple, and lychee wrapped in sweet rice and pink soy wrap served with whipped cream, drizzled raspberry sauce, and toasted coconut) (left) & Creamy Shrimp Udon (Udon soup with shrimp and spring vegetables) (right)
Also returning is the Garden Graze, a food stroll guided by a Festival Passport. Try at least five of the ten dishes listed on the passport and receive a specialty treat at Pineapple Promenade.
Activities, Shows and More
There’s no shortage of things to explore during the festival. Aside from the beautiful topiary sculptures of Disney characters, during your visit you can check out different species of butterflies at the Butterfly Landing, located near Imagination! in World Nature. If you love butterflies, there's also a beautiful display of flowers loved by these insects at the Blossoms of Fragrance.
If music and dancing are more your speed, the Garden Rocks Concert Series is for you. With three concerts a night throughout the event, you can rock out to performances by bands including Daughtry, Smash Mouth, and Plain White T’s.
There are also fun activities for the kids. Help the little ones follow Spike the Bee on his pollination trail by purchasing a map and stickers from a participating EPCOT merchandise site, then search for the busy bee as he pollinates the gardens. Place a sticker on the map when you find him, then return the map to Disney Traders or World Traveler for a prize.
Beginning March 13, your kids can also participate in the Egg-Stravaganza Scavenger Hunt. With a map and stickers in hand, search the park for hidden, Disney-themed eggs. Add a sticker to the map when you find one, and when you finish the hunt take the map to Disney Traders or World Traveler for a special surprise.
Be sure to also check out the new merchandise this year! There is a selection of adorable Orange Bird items including a spirit jersey, loungefly, ear headband, and tumbler. In addition to this, there's also a Snow White collection with a flower-lined headband, crocs, and Dooney and Bourke bag.
All Images by Walt Disney World
With beautiful gardens, delicious food, and exciting entertainment, the Flower and Garden Festival is sure to be a good time throughout the spring season—and into summer! You have plenty of time to check it out, but pro tip: go to the festival with a plan. With so much going on, you’ll want to make sure you get your fill.
After all, the festival only comes once a year—so be sure to make the most of it!
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