The Flower and Garden Festival at EPCOT in Walt Disney World is just around the corner and if you’ve never been you definitely need to put it on your bucket list! Not only do you get to see some amazing Disney topiaries, but you can also taste some great seasonal foods and enjoy music by popular bands. The festival always takes place in the spring, but this year it has been expanded to 90 days instead of the usual 75 due to its popularity. The dates for 2016 are March 2 to May 30, so if you are visiting Walt Disney World any time during those dates I highly recommend you make time to enjoy this fabulous festival.
My kids and I happened to stumble upon it last spring for the first time and I can honestly say it was an enjoyable experience for all of us. The kids loved seeing all of their favorite Disney movie characters in topiary form and I loved sampling the tasty foods and beverages. Typically there are also some great gardening exhibits in the Festival Center each year. The kids and I loved walking through the Butterfly Garden which is set to return in 2016.
Greeting you this year at the EPCOT entrance will be topiaries of Donald and Daisy Duck as well as those rambunctious nephews of his Huey, Dewey and Louie. Ranger Mickey will be there as well in celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the National Parks Service. You can also find Anna and Elsa in the Norway Pavilion, Beauty and the Beast in France, and Peter Pan in England. There are over 100 of these topiaries located all over the World Showcase as well as Future World. My personal favorite is Lady and the Tramp in Italy! Also, be on the lookout for floating mini gardens throughout the park as well. And for the kids there is an interactive play area featuring the fab five, Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Goofy and Donald.
Returning for the fourth year in a row are the outdoor kitchens. There you can sample some spring inspired goodies that are always a crowd pleaser! Make sure to pick up a Flower and Garden passport and have it stamped at each booth. This makes a great, free souvenir to commemorate your trip. If you are on the Disney dining plan you can use your snack credits towards the food. I really enjoyed the beer flight and the shrimp and grits from the Florida Fresh booth last year!
If you happen to be there on a weekend you can also partake in lots of hands on presentations related to not only gardening, but conservation as well. On occasion famous tv stars have been known to be there sharing their knowledge. The weekends are also when the real fun begins, because that’s when the Garden Rocks Concert Series takes place at the American Gardens Theatre. In years past some of the performers have included En Vogue, The Village People and The Little River Band. The shows usually occur 3 times per night so you have plenty of time to catch some of your favorites.
I hope you are lucky enough to be there during this year’s Flower and Garden Festival and if not then I hope you will definitely add it to your list of must do things to see and do at Walt Disney World in Florida. I’m certainly planning on going again sometime in the near future!
The Garden Rocks concert series lineup:
- March 4-6 – The Orchestra starring former members of ELO “Evil Woman”
- March 11-13 – Starship starring Mickey Thomas “We Built This City”
- March 18-20 – Little River Band “Reminiscing”
- March 25-27 – Village People “Y.M.C.A.”
- April 1-3 – Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone “I’m Henry the VIII, I Am”
- April 8-10 – The Guess Who “American Woman”
- April 15-17 – NEW! Blood, Sweat & Tears featuring Bo Bice “Spinning Wheel”
- April 22-24 – NEW! BRIAN HOWE, former lead singer of Bad Company “Can’t Get Enough”
- April 29-May 1 – NEW! Georgia Satellites “Keep Your Hands to Yourself”
- May 6-8 – Gin Blossoms “Hey Jealousy”
- May 13-15 – NEW! Darlene Love “Wait ‘Til My Bobby Gets Home”
- May 20-22 – Night Ranger “Sister Christian”
- May 27-30 (Monday) – The Spinners “Working My Way Back to You”
Performances are at America Gardens Theatre at 5:30, 6:45, and 8 p.m. every Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the Festival.
Celebrating 23 years of blooming bliss that you DO NOT want to miss
Please note Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival is included in regular Epcot admission.
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