What’s New at the 2024 EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival

2024 EPCOT Flower & Garden Festival

The weather may say we’re still in the midst of winter, but springtime is blooming early at Walt Disney World with the February 28th start of the 2024 EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival. Fans of this long-running event will find much that’s familiar, but we’ve picked out a few new things that you should be sure to see.

Honey-glazed Cauliflower with honey-roasted carrot purée, wild rice pilaf, spring vegetables, honey-blistered grapes, and sunflower brittle at The Honey Bee-stro at 2024 EPCOT Flower & Garden Festival
Honey-glazed cauliflower is one of the sweet new plant-centric snacks to savor at Walt Disney World’s 2024 EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival, February 28-May 27. (Photos courtesy of Disney)

New Festival Ending Date

Over the years, we’ve become accustomed to the ever-expanding schedules of EPCOT’s seasonal festivals, which have extended to such an extent that there are only a handful of weeks left in the year to experience EPCOT without an event going on. For example, in 2023, the EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival ran through July 5, then the EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival kicked off only three weeks later on July 27.

However, this year’s Flower & Garden Festival schedule has taken a step in the opposite direction, and the festival is currently set to conclude on May 27, more than a month earlier than last year.

If the 2024 EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival (dates have not yet been officially announced) follows suit and starts later, we may have “Diet EPCOT“ back for most of the upcoming summer season. So check the calendar, and plan accordingly to enjoy the festival while you can!

New Character Topiaries & Global Gardens

Disney’s iconic character topiaries are a key component of EPCOT’s horticultural heritage, and each year a few new floral figures are added to the lineup.

The 2024 EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival is no exception, and here’s where you can find this year’s brand-new topiary displays:

  • Asha, Valentino, and Star from Disney’s Wish are at EPCOT’s main entrance.
  • Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy is near Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind.
  • Miguel and Dante from Coco are in World Showcase at the Mexico Pavilion.

Beyond these new additions, you’ll also find that most of your old favorite characters have again cropped up around the park—from Anna & Elsa in Norway, to Kermit & Piggy in Morocco—with a few finding new homes. Learn where all the topiaries are located at this link.

Also, you don’t want to overlook the Global Gardens exhibits that sprout each festival season, such as the Butterfly Landing walk-through near Imagination, and the English Tea and Shakespeare gardens in the United Kingdom Pavilion. Brand-new for 2024 are a Penjing Garden of miniature landscapes in the China Pavilion and a display of topiary garden gnomes in the Germany Pavilion.

New Plant-Based Dining Options

Admiring the agriculture optically from afar is all well and good, but EPCOT’s International Flower & Garden Festival also encourages guests to appreciate plants with their other senses: namely taste and smell! Although the park’s other events often emphasize animal proteins, the Flower & Garden Festival tends to offer more for herbivores to enjoy, and this edition looks to be no exception.

The 2024 EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival features 20 Outdoor Kitchens selling sample-size dishes and drinks, with a total of 60 new food and beverage items distributed around the park.

Among those new additions are some plant-based offerings (and plant-forward, depending on your definition) that we are especially eager to try:

  • IMPOSSIBLE Jamaican Beef Patty with Spicy Papaya Syrup at La Isla Fresca (between France and Morocco)
  • Steam Bun filled with vegetables and plant-based soy meat at Hanami (Japan)
  • Seasonal Fruit Parfait with sweet chili sauce and DOLE Whip Mango at Refreshment Outpost
  • Honey-glazed cauliflower with honey-roasted carrot purée, wild rice pilaf, spring vegetables, honey-blistered grapes, and sunflower brittle at The Honey Bee-stro

Moreover, the Outdoor Kitchens have also brought back several plant-based favorites that are included on this year’s Garden Graze Food Stroll, which offers a free plant-based DOLE Whip dessert from Pineapple Promenade after five eligible purchases.

Some participating Garden Graze dishes that we can recommend this year are:

  • Potato Pancakes with house-made apple sauce at Bauernmarkt (Germany)
  • IMPOSSIBLE Farmhouse Meatball with lentil bread, spinach, marinated vegetables, and creamy herb aïoli at Trowel & Trellis (near Disney Traders)
  • Avocado Toast with marinated tomatoes and plant-based cheese crumbles on toasted ciabatta at Brunchcot (outside Test Track)
  • Grilled Street Corn on the Cob with savory garlic spread and plant-based cheese at Farmers Feast
  • Florida Strawberry Shortcake at Florida Fresh (near Port of Entry)

New Garden Rocks Concert Series

The musical concert series held in the American Gardens amphitheater that accompanies every EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival has gone through a lot of changes since the days it was primarily known for “Flower Power“ acts from the 1960s, but you’ll still hear some classic vinyl mainstays such as the Commodores (March 17-18), The Orchestra (March 22-25), Pointer Sisters (March 31-April 1), Starship Featuring Mickey Thomas (April 26-27), and Herman’s Hermits Starring Peter Noone (April 28-29), all of whom are making encore appearances.

This year EPCOT is also welcoming a few new acts to the 2024 Garden Rocks lineup, who represent a diverse range of eras and genres. First-time performers at this year’s Flower & Garden Festival are:

  • Modern English (March 15-16)
  • Crowder (April 7-8)
  • Monsieur Perine (May 3)
  • Fonseca (May 6)
  • Lit (May 24-25)

In addition, Raul Acosta & Oro Solido will perform with Luisito Ayala and The Puerto Rican Power Band on May 4, and then the pair will return on May 5 with Magic Juan.

Concerts are held daily at 5:30 p.m., 6:45 p.m., and 8 p.m.; standby seating is included in all park admission, but dining packages with reserved seating are available.

What are you most excited to experience at the 2024 EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival? 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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