Epcot theme park transforms into a floral wonderland during the Spring when it hosts its annual International Flower and Garden Festival. Over the course of 3 months the park celebrates all things nature, putting on lots of horticulture displays for its guests. The festival backdrop is Epcot’s World Showcase and to sit alongside the Butterfly Garden, tea garden and other festival pop-ups, the organisers add lots of new “outdoor kitchen” stalls to the World Showcase. The stalls offer tasting-size portions of world cuisine at reasonable prices, making it possible to eat around the world whilst the festival is on and not be so stuffed that you can’t enjoy strolling around the park. I loved visiting the festival on a couple of evenings whilst we were in Florida. The atmosphere was electric and it was so much fun to walk around when the sun started to go down. Epcot really comes alive at night when the festival is on! After three festival visits I managed to pick up a few pointers about how to make the most of the event, so without further ado, here are my top tips for visiting Epcot’s International Flower and Garden Festival.
1. Pick up a festival guide at the entrance to the World Showcase.
There are so many extra attractions at Epcot whilst the Flower and Garden Festival is on, that they’ve created a festival program. In the guide you’ll find activities to complete, stickers, lists of the topiaries, details about the temporary gardens and information about the Outdoor Kitchens. In order to not miss out on any of the topiaries or food stalls, pick up a guide at the entrance. We really enjoyed learning more about the Festival with the guide and it also made a great souvenir to take home.
2. Look out for the Disney character topiaries.
There are over 24 topiaries at the festival and you should make it your mission to try and see as many as possible. The topiaries represent the characters so well and it’s lots of fun getting to hunt them down. Most of the character topiaries have been placed in the World Showcase pavilions relevant to their feature films: for example you’ll find Winnie the Pooh in the United Kingdom and Snow White & Dopey in Germany. This makes walking around the World Showcase a lot of fun, especially when you stumble across some of your favourite characters in their appropriate locations.
3. Try the famous Violet Lemonade.
Disney Parks are famous for their creative drinks and the Violet Lemonade is certainly one of these. Served with a little flower garnish, the purple frozen lemonade is the most popular drink of the festival and it’s so adored by fans that they’ve started creating Violet Lemonade Flower and Garden merchandise. It’s totally different to any of the other frozen drinks at Walt Disney World but absolutely delicious, so make sure that purchasing the drink is top of your Flower and Garden Festival bucket list.
5. Don’t make any concrete plans for dinner when you’re visiting the Festival.
The World Showcase features 11 pavilions and they represent 11 countries around the world. There are permanent restaurants in each of the pavilions, but during festival season I’d avoid the sit down restaurants and head straight for the open kitchen “street food”. You can find spring rolls in China, scallops in Canada, “frushi” in Japan and many more bite-sized international snacks around the Showcase. The variety of cuisine is impressive and if you’re a foodie, I’d recommend having a light breakfast before you arrive at Epcot and snacking your way around the world.
6. Purchase special event souvenirs as you see them.
There are additional stalls out on the World Showcase whilst the festival is on, stocking limited edition event merchandise. This merchandise can only be bought from the festival stores or Mouse Gear (the main store at Epcot), so if you don’t purchase items as you see them, they might not be available later in your trip. There were lots of Minnie Mouse 2019 Flower and Garden souvenirs, so I ended up purchasing a few of them for my Disney Parks collection. I really recommend you visiting the festival stalls at the Flower and Garden Festival as the merchandise is so different to the usual year-round items.
There is so much to see at the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival and if you’re visiting soon, I hope you’ll keep these tips in mind. The flowers make Epcot the perfect theme park to visit in Spring and the festival runs throughout the entire season so you don’t have to be too specific about the timing of your trip to be able to make it to the Festival.
Now we’ve experienced Epcot during Festival season and had a fantastic time, I think we’ll aim to go back to Florida during the Spring or Autumn in the future so that we are around for either of Epcot’s major festivals. If we visit in Spring we’ll be able to experience the International Flower and Garden Festival again or if we try Autumn instead, we’ll be able to spend time at the Food and Wine Festival. Events make Epcot even more exciting than normal and if you’re visiting Florida during festival season, make sure a trip to one of the festivals is on the cards. Disney certainly know how to put on a good show!
Thanks for reading my blog today.
Love Kat xxxx