Much of America may still be in the grips of winter weather, but spring is in full bloom at Walt Disney World, where the 2019 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival is now running daily through June 3rd.
Walt Disney World’s oldest and most colorful annual event returned to Epcot on March 6th for its 25th edition, and we’ve got the full rundown on all the foliage, food, and fun that you’ll find at this year’s Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival. Much like its sibling events, the recently concluded Festival of the Arts and the fall’s Food and Wine Festival, Epcot’s annual floral festival features delicious dishes and drinks at outdoor kitchens arrayed around Future World and World Showcase, as well as educational experiences, live musical performances, and exclusive event merchandise.
But of course, it’s the amazing topiary displays and lush landscaping that truly set Epcot’s springtime celebration apart. And the best news is that you can experience nearly everything that the Flower & Garden Festival has to offer at no extra charge, with your standard park admission or Annual Pass.
Here’s our Unofficial Guide to all the green goodness you’ll get to experience at the 2019 Epcot Flower & Garden Festival.
Topiaries and Gardens
The parks of the Walt Disney World resort are horticultural havens in every season, but springtime is when Epcot’s expert landscapers truly pull out all the stops. From intricately planted flowerbeds fit for a royal garden, to inspirational “How-To” displays suitable for a suburban backyard, the Flower & Garden Festival’s topiaries and gardens are guaranteed to make your appreciation of nature blossom.
New this year is a penguin sculpture crafted from plastic waste found in the oceans. The display, which is sponsored by Disneynature, can be found in Future World West.
Also new for 2019 is Bo Peep and Her Sheep, who join the topiaries of Buzz Lightyear and Woody from Toy Story 4 in Future World East.
You can discover other character-themed topiary displays around the park, featuring foliage versions of famous friends, ranging from Frozen’s Anna and Elsa, to Kermit and Miss Piggy from the Muppets.
Naturally, Mickey and Minnie are prominently displayed at Showcase Plaza, where you’ll find them enjoying a picnic amid topiary hearts.
Beyond the character topiaries, you’ll also find aesthetic and educational exhibits all around the park. Of particular note are the Purple Martin Garden (where Animal Kingdom Cast Members will be available on Tuesday and Friday afternoons to answer questions about their amazing 3,000-mile migration) and the ever-popular Goodness Garden Butterfly House Presented by GoGo squeeZ.
Foliage may be at the center of Epcot’s International Flower & Garden Festival, but food and beverages come in a close second. New for 2019 are four new outdoor kitchens:
Arbor at The Gardeners Terrace, located in The Odyssey Center, serves Fried Green Tomatoes with Blue Crab-Fennel Salad; Smoked Salmon Stack with Avocados; and Mixed Berry Buttermilk Cake with Apple Cider Sorbet, in addition to a selection of ciders and beers.
The Citrus Blossom, located near Refreshment Port, is offering Lobster Tail with Meyer Lemon Emulsion; Tuna Tataki with Spicy Yuzu Glaze; Crispy Citrus Chicken with Orange Aïoli and Baby Greens; Orange Chiffon Cake with Lemon Curd and Mandarins; and an Orange Cream Slushy in a Souvenir Orange Bird Sipper.
Flavor Full Kitchen hosted by AdventHealth, located near the Honey Bee-stro Garden, features Citrus-poached Salmon with Ancient Grain Salad; Roasted Beets and Cashew Cheese Salad; and Mickey Tart Peanut Butter Mousse with Strawberry Jam and Boba Pearls.
Trowel & Trellis Hosted by Impossible Foods, located outside the Mexico pavilion, is cooking up Grilled Street Corn on the Cob; Farmhouse Vegan Meatball with Lentil Bread; Chocolate Pudding Terrarium with Avocado Cream; and a variety of suja Organic Cold Pressed Juices.
In addition to the new outdoor kitchens, you’ll find over a dozen returning favorites, featuring fresh cuisine from around the world.
Garden Rocks Concert Series
Every evening during the 2019 Epcot Flower & Garden Festival, the American Gardens stage will spring to life for the Garden Rocks Concert series, which has been expanded to seven days per week for a total of 270 performances. Performances are held every day at 5:30 p.m., 6:45 p.m., and 8 p.m., with free seating available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
New additions to the Garden Rocks concert lineup for 2019 include former Journey lead vocalist Steve Augeri (March 6-8), Glass Tiger (March 9-10), Jon Anderson of Yes (March 11-12), Wang Chung (March 15-16), Ambrosia (March 21-22), Magic Giant (March 23-24), Air Supply (March 25-27), The Smithereens (March 30-31), Christopher Cross (April 3-4), John Michael Montgomery (April 10-11), Sister Sledge (April 12-13), Sister Hazel (April 17-19), Steven Curtis Chapman (April 20-21), TobyMac (April 22-23), A Flock of Seagulls (May 8-9), Marshall Tucker Band (May 10-11), Peabo Bryson (May 12-13), Richard Marx (May 14-15), Colin Hay of Men at Work (May 20-21), War (May 22-23), and Eddie Palmieri (June 2-June 3).
To guarantee a seat for the show, you can reserve a Garden Rocks Dining Package, which combines breakfast, lunch, or dinner at your choice of 15 restaurants, plus reserved viewing for one concert. Prices range from $49 to $82 for adults, or $17 to $38 for kids, and advance reservations are strongly recommended.
Educational Seminars and Tours
You can learn all about living with the land with the Flower & Garden Festival’s educational tours and exhibits, some of which require an extra fee. For example, Gardens of the World is a 3-hour walking tour led by a Disney horticulturalist, who will let you in on the Festival’s behind-the-scenes secrets; tours are held on select Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 9 a.m. to noon; cost is $85 per person. For $20-$25 per person, you can take a tour of the English Tea Garden or The Land’s greenhouses.
Other displays around World Showcase, such as the Kokedama Garden in Japan and the Alpine Container Garden in Germany, will give you free ideas on how to brighten up your own backyard garden.
On March 8-10, guests can help Barrels By The Bay decorate recycled rain barrels, which will help defend waterways against stormwater runoff pollution. Find the display outside Mouse Gear near the Fountain of Nations.
Kids’ Activities at the 2019 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival
Grownups don’t get to have all the fun at the Flower & Garden Festival because there’s plenty to entertain the little sprouts in your family, starting with Spike’s Pollen Nation Exploration. Purchase a map for $6.99 at Port of Entry, then complete your scavenger hunt by searching for flowers featuring the big honeybee to receive your prize.
AdventHealth is presenting a brand-new Play Garden along Imagination Walkway that’s made to inspire youthful energy and creativity for the whole family. And the Family Play Zone featuring Bo Peep’s Playtime Training Grounds is a playground near Test Track that’s themed to the upcoming film Toy Story 4.
Take home a souvenir of the 2019 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, such as something from Minnie’s Garden Party collection of feminine apparel or Mickey’s Garden Shed statuary.
Violet Lemonade, Imagination’s Figment, and Donald Duck are also featured in their own 2019 collectibles.
Finally, Annual Passholders should be sure to pick up a free magnet featuring Pluto (March 6-April 10) or Daisy (April 11-June 3) at Mouse Gear or Port of Entry. Passholder-exclusive shirts, pins, and tumblers featuring Figment are also available for purchase throughout the park.
For all there is to do at Walt Disney World check out The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World. If you are traveling with children you may want to purchase The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World with Kids.