2016 Epcot Flower & Garden Festival Walking Tour

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If EPCOT has been looking especially lovely lately, then the EPCOT Flower & Garden Festival must have begun!

The EPCOT Flower & Garden Festival is an annual celebration of the beauty of flowers, gardening, delicious food and family fun. This year the festival opened on March 2nd and will run through May 30th – a full 90 days!

This is the 23rd year for the EPCOT Flower & Garden Festival and boy has it grown! This year’s theme is “Fresh Food, Fun & Flowers” and features:

  • 30 million blooms, 500,000 plants, trees and shrubs, 700 container gardens, 200 floating mini-gardens, and 40 orange-and-green sunburst “flower towers”.
  • 13 outdoor kitchens offering over 30 tasting-sized entrees and over 50 beverage selections.
  • A beautiful Floral Sun topiary in golden colors (located behind Spaceship Earth).
  • Character topiaries throughout the park, including Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella and Prince Charming, Winnie the Pooh and Friends, and Frozen favorites Anna and Elsa!
  • Play areas for children such as the Cactus Road Rally (near Test Track) and the Music Garden Melodies play area featuring playground equipment for younger and older children, music-themed topiaries and interactive music-making features (walkway near Imagination!).
  • Gardens including Butterflies on the Go butterfly house with nearly 1,000 native butterflies and 2 dozen nectar plants, English Tea Garden, Japanese Mini Garden, and the all new Ranger Mickey & Friends.

Special Fun Fresh Weekends events are offered Friday through Sunday (10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.) and include complimentary gardening and horticulture demonstrations offered by specialists and the Garden Rocks concert series with well-known music acts such as Starship, the Little River Band, Blood, Sweat and Tears, Night Ranger and the Spinners.  Some weekends have a special theme such as the Outdoor Family Fun Weekend (April 8-10), Earth Day Weekend (April 22-24) and Florida Fresh Weekend (April 29 – May 1).

If you are looking for a more in-depth experience, then you might want to check out one of the special tours being offered during the festival.  The Gardens of the World Tour takes you behind the scenes at EPCOT with a Disney horticulturist where you will learn all about the landscaping at Walt Disney World, and how you can use some of their techniques at home ($69.00 per person, ages 12 and up, reservations recommended).  The complimentary English Tea Garden tour presented by Twinings of London is a 20 minute tour focused on growing and blending herbs.  The Behind the Seeds Tour is an hour-long tour through the indoor gardens and fish and alligator farming areas of The Land pavilion where you will learn about innovative gardening techniques such as hydroponics.  The Behind the Seeds Tour is offered year-round for a modest fee of $20.00 for adults and $16.00 for children.

The EPCOT Flower & Garden Festival is also a family friendly way to learn about conservation. The Disney Conservation Fund’s core goal is to get kids and families to spend more time outdoors. Many of the gardens throughout the festival were made possible by grants awarded by The Disney Conservation Fund.  If you can, spend a little extra time enjoying the Purple Martins, Backyard Habitat, and Nature Works Everywhere enjoying the beauty and connecting with your family.

Touring Tip!  Pick up a wearable EPCOT Flower & Garden Festival gift card (available at all festival merchandise locations).  You can load the card with any amount of money your like ($15.00 minimum).  The card has a stretchy band attached so you can wear it around your wrist or on a belt loop to keep it handy for quick and easy purchases of festival snacks, beverages and merchandise without having to use to MagicBand and PIN or fish money out of your wallet.  It’s a great budgeting tool, too!

Don’t forget to grab a complimentary passport Garden Passport.  This is a great way to keep track of what you want to see and do, and what you might have missed.  You can also have your passport stamped at each attraction and outdoor kitchen – it makes a great souvenir!  You can find these at festival merchandise locations, also.

Want to see these blooms up close? It’s not too late to plan a visit to Walt Disney World to experience all of the beautiful, educational, and tasty events that the EPCOT Flower & Garden Festival has to offer. Contact me at erica@mickeytravels.com to start planning your visit.

Special thank you to Laurie Smith for the photos!

Chip and Co Past Writers and Friends