Five Fresh Finds from the EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival 2023

2023 EPCOT Flower & Garden Festival

Spring has sprung at Walt Disney World with the return of the resort’s most colorful annual event, and we’ve got your Unofficial Guide to what’s fresh at the EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival.

Floral display at 2023 EPCOT Flower & Garden Festival with Spaceship Earth in background
See the new experiences that are blooming at Walt Disney World’s EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival 2023.

The EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival returned on March 1st and runs through July 5th with all the elements fans have come to expect in the past few years: dazzling displays, delectable dishes, and lots of opportunities to dispose of your dollars. Hopefully, this will be the last Flower & Garden Festival frustrated by construction walls, as the seemingly endless overhaul of EPCOT’s central hub is scheduled to wrap up before the 2024 event sprouts. In the meantime, here are some highlight you won’t want to miss at this year’s celebration of springtime.

NEW Encanto Entrance Topiary and More

Right from the entrance plaza, visitors to the EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival 2023 will be greeted by the event’s newest topiary triumph, featuring the hit movie Encanto.

The entry display highlights Antonio, Isabela, Luisa, and Mirabel from Encanto’s magical Family Madrigal.

Farther inside the park, familiar floral friends—including members of the Fab Five and other Disney film favorites—have made their returns, some with refreshed features.

NEW Outdoor Kitchens and Garden Graze

Before you get too deep into the park, be sure to pick up a Flower & Garden Festival Passport, which (as always) is your essential guide to activities and edibles around the event.

The array of options at the outdoor kitchens can be overwhelming, but you can’t go wrong by flipping to the back page and following the Garden Graze menu, which highlights 10 different plant-based items.

A great spot to start your Garden Graze is at Brunchcot, the food truck located outside the exit of Test Track. It’s listed as a new addition to this year’s Festival, but its menu is similar to last year’s Sunshine Griddle.

Brunchcot’s avocado toast is millennial-approved with its substantial portion of creamy avocado and tart tomatoes.

Another great spot for collecting Garden Graze stamps is Trowel & Trellis, which offers three eligible items. The lumpia filled with Impossible meat substitute is flavorful enough to fool any carnivore, and the sweet chili sauce is addictive.

NEW Citrus Blossom and Orange Bird Merchandise at Odyssey

Although it isn’t on the Garden Graze circuit, your next essential stop should be just across the bridge from Brunchcot inside Odyssey, the new home of Citrus Blossom.

The fan-favorite outdoor kitchen has been upgraded from a booth along the promenade to a mini-pavilion celebrating the iconic Orange Bird, just as it was Figment’s headquarters during the 2023 EPCOT International Festival of the Arts.

This is the spot to pick up your Orange Bird sipper cups after using Mobile Order, as well as the place to pick up the full range of Orange Bird Merchandise.

And, although the Orange Bird is the guest of honor here, a certain mischievous purple dragon has also muscled his way into the festival’s merch collection.

While we’re talking about festival mascots, we can’t forget about Spike the Bee, who is back with a revamped version of his Pollen-Nation Exploration scavenger hunt.

NEW Songbird Meadow and Family-Friendly Garden

Back at the front half of EPCOT, there are two locations marked as new, both of which are really revisions of earlier attractions, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t worth checking out. Despite its name, the Family-Friendly Garden sponsored by OFF is just the previously existing playground with some new signage, but it provides a much-needed place for youngsters to burn off energy inside this more adult-oriented park.

Right across the walkway, Songbird Meadow expands on the clusters of birdhouses that have occupied the spot with an attractive new educational exhibit about protecting wildlife.

NEW Shishi-odoshi at Japan

Finally, among the Global Gardens found throughout World Showcase, we want to draw your attention to an easily overlooked addition to the Japan pavilion.

Along with the dramatic dragon topiary and traditional bonsai tree arrangements, this year you’ll find a fascinating exhibit of shishi-odoshi outside the Mitsukoshi department store.

Originally intended to ward away wildlife, these kinetic sculptures combine the beauty of a Zen garden with the physics of a Rube Goldberg contraption, creating entrancing loops of calming movement and subtle AMSR-style sounds.

We’ll end with a word of advice: If watching the shishi-odoshi makes you hungry for sushi, be aware that—unlike the the broadly accessible salmon “flower pots“ previously served during the Festival—the pungent cured mackerel featured in this year’s Hanami nigiri sampler is suggested for expert fish eaters only.

What are your most (or least) favorite fresh features at the EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival 2023? Let us know in the comments below!

For all there is to see and do at Walt Disney World, check out The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World, or to plan your family’s trip to Orlando, check out The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World with Kids

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