There’s a lot to be excited about when it comes to this year’s Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival which will run from March 1 – May 29, 2017. From food booths and workshops to tours and themed areas for the kids, the Festival is choc-a-bloc with activities that the whole family can enjoy. To give you a taste of the fantastic Spring that awaits, here’s 7 things you’ll want to be sure to include when visiting Epcot this festival season.
1. Themed Topiaries- (Pictured)- These amazing horticultural creations are always one of the main draws of a Flower and Garden visit and this year there’s even more of these fantastic works of art to check out. Making their debut this year will be a Belle topiary which will be on display in France as well as Figment the dragon. There will also been a main entrance topiary inspired by vintage Walt Disney short films featuring Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Daisy and Pluto. Huey, Dewey, and Dewey as well as Chip and Dale will also be on display again this year in front of Spaceship Earth.
2. Over a Dozen Fantastic Food Booths – No longer do Disney foodies have to wait until the Food and Wine festival to indulge in the amazing food kiosks that Epcot has become so renowned for. As a matter of fact this year’s Flower and Garden Festival will have 15 themed Garden Marketplaces where guests can enjoy savory dishes, sweet treats and a range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. The Festival is introducing two new booths this year. The Berry Basket will feature items like Lamb chop with Quinoa Salad and Blackberry Gastrique as well as Field Greens with Strawberries, Blue Cheese, Strawberry Vinaigrette and Spiced Pecans. The other kiosk is called Northern Bloom and will feature Seared Scallops, Port Tenderloin and Maple Shakes with Crown Royal.
For a complete list of Garden Marketplace menus check out this article on Chip and Co.
3. Garden Rocks Concert Series – A mainstay of the Flower and Garden Festival, Epcot’s concert series, Garden Rocks, will be back to entertain guests throughout the festival period. Disney released the official line-up this week which is as follows:
- March 3-4 – Jon Secada – “Just Another Day”
- March 5-6 – Dennis DeYoung – The Music of STYX – “Grand Illusion”
- March 10-13 – Pointer Sisters – “I’m So Excited”
- March 17-18 – Simple Plan – “Welcome to My Life” – NEW
- March 19-20 – Plain White T’s – “Hey There Delilah”
- March 24-27 – Night Ranger – “Sister Christian“
- March 31-April 3 – Little River Band – “Reminiscing”
- April 7-10 – Blood, Sweat & Tears featuring Bo Bice – “Spinning Wheel”
- April 14-17 – Gin Blossoms – “Hey Jealousy”
- April 21-24 – The Orchestra starring former members of ELO – “Evil Woman”
- April 28-29 – Exposé – “Point of No Return”
- April 30-May 1 – Berlin featuring Terri Nunn – “Take My Breath Away”
- May 5-8 – STARSHIP starring Mickey Thomas – “We Built This City”
- May 12-15 – The Guess Who – “American Woman”
- May 19-22 – Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone – “I’m Henry VIII, I Am”
- May 26-29 – The Spinners – “Working My Way Back To You”
The performances will take place each Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday during the festival with three performances at 5:20pm, 6:45pm and 8pm. Concerts are included with regular park admission to Epcot.
4. Garden Rocks Dining Package – Why not do dinner and concert? This year Epcot is offering a Garden Rocks Dining Package which is available to book at select restaurants for breakfast, lunch or dinner and includes reserved seating for one of the three nightly Garden Rocks concert performances. Package start at $39 per adult for breakfast and lunch and $53 per adult for dinner. For those on the Disney Dining Plan the packages will take up 2 Table Service dining credits. The offer is only available to book on the following dates:
- March 3, 4, 5, 6, 10, 11, 12, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27 and 31st
- April 1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17. 21,22, 23, and 24th
- May 5, 6, 7, 7, 19, 20, 21, 22
Bookings can currently be made by calling 407.WDW.DINE and may include the following participating restaurants;
- Akershus Royal Banquet Hall
- Chefs de France
- Coral Reef
- Garden Grill
- La Hacienda de San Angel
- Restaurant Marrakesh
- Nine Dragons
- Rose and Crown Pub and Dining Room
- San Angel Inn
- Spice Road Table (pictured)
- Teppan Edo
- Tokyo Disney
- Tutto Italia
- Tokyo Dining
- Via Napoli.
Guests should note that not all restaurants are available to book for all three meals each day. Spaces are expected to fill up quickly so advanced booking is strongly recommended.
5. Festival Tours – For those interested in delving a little bit deeper into the Flower and Garden Festival magic, Epcot is offering three tours that are perfect for enhancing your festival experience. These are as follows:
- Gardens of the World – Suitable for guests 16 and up and costing $85 per person this 3 hour behind-the-scenes tour will teach visitors how Disney creates the amazing topiaries that are only display at the Festival each year, will examine the importance of landscaping at Walt Disney World and will also take guests through some landscaping tutorials so that visitors can recreate the magic at home. The tour is available Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 9am – 12pm during the Festival. Advanced booked is highly recommended and can be made at 407.WDW.TOUR.
- English Tea Garden Presented by Twinings of London – During this 20 minute tour, visitors will learn about the artistry behind the growing and blending of herbs which are vital to the tea-making process. Guests will become familiar with over a dozen tea-flavoring plants which are whimsically tucked away in oversized saucers strewn throughout this classic English garden. The tour can be booked on the day by visiting The Tea Caddy gift shop in the UK Pavilion. Each tour is limited to 20 guests and are available Monday through Thursday at 4:00pm and 6:00pm and Saturday and Sunday at 2:00pm, 4:00pm and 6:30pm.
- Behind the Seeds Tour – Designed for the whole family, this behind-the-scenes tour of the Living with the Land greenhouses are available to book all year round but there is never a time more apt than during the Flower and Garden Festival. During this 1-hour tour guests will get to visit the fish farm during feeding time, release ladybugs into the greenhouse to protect plants, get an up close look at the gigantic fruits and vegetables, and learn about the latest plant-growing techniques. The tour costs $20 – $25 per adult and $16 – $20 per child and is typically held at the following times: 10:30am, 11:15am, 12:00pm, 12:45pm, 1:30pm, 2:15pm, 3:00pm, 3:45pm, 4:30pm. Tours can be booked at 407.WDW.TOUR
6. Family Friendly Weekends – This year’s Flower and Garden Festival will offer special themed weekends with a range of fun-filled and education activities for the whole gang. Here’s a look at just some of the events that will be on offer.
- Disney’s Animals, Science and Environment Conservation Specialists: During the weekends of March 31st – April 2nd and April 28th – 30th, guests will have the opportunity to meet Cast Members from Animal Kingdom park who host activities covering a variety of topics including what we can do to protect the planet.
- Celebrate Earth Day: From April 22nd – 24th guests will be able to enjoy a celebrate the Earth itself through fun games and activities. There will also be special talks happening at the Festival Center throughout the weekend.
- Discovery the Bounty of Florida Agriculture: Guests at the Festival from May 5th- 7th can join in this Sunshine State celebration where Florida Agricultural specialists will be on hand at the Festival Center to share their knowledge about a range of homegrown goods.
- Florida Federation of Garden Clubs: May 12th – 14th: See the talents of Florida gardeners on display during this amazing Festival Center showcase weekend. It may even inspire you to cultivate your green thumb.
7. Special Kid-Focused Activities: Who says the Flower and Garden Festival is just for grown-ups. Disney makes it fun for your little ones with lots to see do and explore. Here’s just a few of the activities your child can enjoy during festival time.
- Music Garden Melodies Playground- Located on the Imagination Walkway that connects Future World and the World Showcase, this area features the “Fab Five” topiaries including Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Pluto and Daisy dunk as well as a lot of hands-on amusements for kids to enjoy. Children can play instruments, practice their climbing skills and enjoy the Music-themed plants that call this area home. For an extra special treat pay the playground a visit in the evening hours when its all lit up.
- See the Purple Martins – Sponsored by Audubon Florida, families can enjoy the rare treat of seeing these special migratory songbirds who have recently made the trip from the Brazilian Rainforest to Walt Disney World.
- Butterflies on the Go – Presented by GoGo squeeZ, your kids will enjoy wandering through the foliage-filled exhibit that promises butterflies at every turn. Guests will be able to see several specials up close, learn more about their life cycles and may even catch one emerging from their cocoon.
So what are you waiting for? Make the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival part of your Spring plans. There are plenty of resorts and package options still available. Just fill out our form below to receive your FREE quote.
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Image copyright Disney.
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