The Epcot Flower and Garden Festival: A Celebration of Blooming Fun

Step into spring with the 2019 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival at Walt Disney World Resort.  This year's event is a FULL 90 days of blooming fun starting March 6th and concluding June 3rd.  Follow along for a full guide to events including gorgeous gardens, rocking entertainment, and fabulous foods commemorating the arrival of the new season.

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 Epcot center with flowers

Don't forget to do your preplanting! Oops, preplanning!

Epcot theme park hosts the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival annually.  You'll need valid Epcot admission to enter the event; annual pass holders can use their passes on valid non-blackout dates.  There is no additional charge to attend the festival, however bring extra money for the spring-themed foods, merchandise, and tours.  For more information on purchasing Walt Disney World tickets, MickeyVisit has some great tips.

Blooming Gardens

Whether you have a green thumb or aspire to green thumb status, the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival is a definite must when visiting during the spring.  Glorious gardens dazzle with bright colors and the famous Disney topiaries are plentiful.  Just to give you an idea of how big of a display the festival is, it takes more than a year, and hundreds of Disney team members – including horticulturists – to plan and plant for the 90-day festival.  The end result includes more than 30 million blooms and 700 gardens for everyone to explore.

Epcot with garden in front and sculptures of Disney characters out of plants

Topiaries

Back to the topiaries.  After a visit to England, Walt Disney debuted then-Disneyland Park with topiaries and thus bringing an interest to the cultivation process to the United States.  The topiaries are always a curiosity with guests and have become a must-see when visiting any Disney theme park.  At the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival expect to recognize at least 75 Disney-inspired plants. Look for characters from Toy Story, Winnie-the-Pooh, Mickey and Minnie, and Princesses in their native lands in World Showcase such as Elsa and Anna in Norway, and Belle in France.

Beauty and the Beast toparies

Specialty Hybrids

Also, take note of a few garden spotlights including the “Harmony Gardens” interactive, musical playground.  If you have smaller guests in your party, they'll enjoy channeling their inner musician on xylophones, drums, and chimes or expend some pent-up energy on the nearby playground.  Make sure to stay to take photos of the “Fab Five” topiaries as conductor Mickey oversees the area with Minnie, Donald, Pluto, and Goofy accompanying him.

Tinkerbell's Butterfly House is another must-stop for kids.  Enjoy an ethereal setting where fairy gardens and butterfly worlds unite.  This is a low-key activity where you can expect to spend about 20 minutes to enjoy the full experience.

How-To Gardens

Besides photographing the gorgeous blooms, keep your camera handy for any celebrity sightings.  Expect to see HGTV and DIY experts on-hand for not only gardening advice but also home improvement ideas and projects.  The instructional seminars are held on weekends and can be informative for garden enthusiasts at all levels.

Backstage Tours

English Tea Garden sign for the tour

If you'd like behind-the-scenes knowledge at the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival, there are a few tours available.  Choose from Gardens of the World, English Tea Gardens, or Behind the Seeds.

  • Gardens of the World– In this three-hour tour, you'll join a Disney Horticulturist for a backstage peek through the World Showcase Pavilion.
  • English Tea Gardens– Visit the beautiful grounds of the United Kingdom Pavilion in World Showcase.  This tour last 20 minutes and same-day guests registration is available in the Tea Caddy gift shop.
  • Behind The Seeds– Guests of all ages will visit the fish farm and four greenhouses in the fun-filled tour.

For reservations and more information regarding the tours, contact 407-WDW-TOUR.

Garden Rocks Concert Series

Image result for Garden Rocks Concert Series

One of the highlights of the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival is the always popular Garden Rocks Concert Series.  New this year, the musical presentations will be performed three times nightly seven days a week. You'll be able to enjoy music from the 1960s-1970s for a FULL 90 days, a total of 270 concerts.  Expect several top-name acts from those decades.

Here is the 2019 schedule for the Garden Rocks Series: 

Returning favorites like The Spinners and Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone will be joined by brand new artists like TobyMac, Steven Curtis Chapman and Colin Hay of Men at Work.

  • March 6-8: Journey former lead vocalist STEVE AUGERI (NEW) “Don’t Stop Believin’ ”
  • March 9-10: Glass Tiger (New to Garden Rocks) “Don’t Forget Me (When I’m Gone)”
  • March 11-12: Jon Anderson of YES (NEW) “Owner of A Lonely Heart”
  • March 13-14: Tony Orlando “Knock Three Times”
  • March 17-20: Simple Plan “Perfect”
  • March 21-22: Ambrosia (NEW) “Biggest Part of Me”
  • March 23-24: Magic Giant (NEW) “Set on Fire”
  • March 25-27: Air Supply (New to Garden Rocks) “All Out of Love”
  • March 28-29: Berlin featuring Terri Nunn “Take My Breath Away”
  • March 30-31: The Smithereens (NEW to Garden Rocks) “Top of the Pops”
  • April 1-2: Rick Springfield “Jessie’s Girl”
  • April 3-4: Christopher Cross (NEW to Garden Rocks) “Sailing”
  • April 5-7: The Spinners “Working My Way Back to You”
  • April 8-9: Dennis DeYoung, original member of the group STYX “Come Sail Away”
  • April 10-11: John Michael Montgomery (NEW) “I Love the Way You Love Me”
  • April 12-13: Sister Sledge (NEW to Garden Rocks) “We Are Family”
  • April 14-16: Night Ranger “Sister Christian”
  • April 17-19: Sister Hazel (NEW to Garden Rocks) “All For You”
  • April 20-21: Steven Curtis Chapman (NEW) “Cinderella”
  • April 22-23: TobyMac (NEW) “The Elements”
  • April 24-26: Lonestar “Amazed”
  • April 27-30: The Orchestra starring former members of ELO “Evil Woman”
  • May 1-4: Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone “I’m Henry VIII I Am”
  • May 5-7: Don Felder, Formerly of the Eagles “Hotel California”
  • May 8-9: A Flock of Seagulls (NEW) “I Ran (So Far Away)”
  • May 10-11: Marshall Tucker Band (NEW to Garden Rocks) “Heard It in a Love Song”
  • May 14-15: Richard Marx (New to Garden Rocks) “Right Here Waiting”
  • May 16- 19: STARSHIP starring Mickey Thomas “We Built This City”
  • May 20-21: Colin Hay of Men at Work (NEW) “Who Can It Be Now?”
  • May 22-23: War (NEW) “Why Can’t We Be Friends”
  • May 24-27: The Guess Who “American Woman”
  • May 28-29: Jon Secada “Just Another Day”
  • May 30- June 1: Blood, Sweat and Tears “Spinning Wheel”

Garden Rocks concert performances take place at 5:30 p.m., 6:45 p.m., and 8:00 p.m. each night of the festival and are included in regular park admission. Guests can enjoy guaranteed concert seating by reserving a Garden Rocks Dining Package and enjoying breakfast, lunch or dinner at select Epcot restaurants. Reservations for concert dining packages open Dec. 13. For more info or to make a reservation, call 407-WDW-DINE (407-939-3463) or visit FreshEpcot.com.

Culinary Cultivation at the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival

Image result for Outdoor Kitchens epcot

Outdoor Kitchens

Similar to Epcot's Food and Wine Festival and Disney California Adventure Park's Food and Wine Festival, the outdoor kitchens set up during the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival showcase a myriad of seasonal tastes.  Spring flavors including fresh berries, sweet honey, and even rich maple may find their way into the outdoor kitchens.  You'll definitely satisfy your taste buds with so many delicious foods available.  The participating kiosks can be a bit pricey but if you like a variety of tastes, it can be worth the cost.  If you're currently on the Walt Disney World Dining Plan, you can accumulate your snack points to redeem for these offerings during the festival.  This will save on your wallet.

Dining Packages

Make a full-day of the festival and purchase one of the Garden Rocks Concert Series dining packages.  These selections are priced by the locations and the meal of choice.  Select from breakfast, lunch or dinner at select Epcot locations.  You'll receive a guaranteed seating at one of the three concert performances scheduled that evening.  Annual passport discounts apply.  Call 407-WDW-DINE to secure a spot.

Souvenir Scatterings

Close up of seed packets

Look for special merchandise available for the festival.  Retail shops in Epcot and also online at Shop Disney Parks, guests can purchase special bags, carps, shirts and even magic bands highlighting the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival.  And yes, there are several gardening items such as watering cans and apparel.

And the buzz this year is the hopeful return of Spike the Bee's Pollen Nation Exploration Hunt.  Similar to the Egg-stravaganza scavenger hunts at other Disney parks, you purchase a map and corresponding stickers then enjoy the fun.  Travel through 12 of the spectacular gardens to find Spike then match the sticker to the corresponding location on the map.  Once finished, redeem the map for one of four festival patch sets.  Maps and stickers can be purchased at several retail locations including Pin Central and Port of Entry for $5.99 per set.

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