The biggest springtime event at Walt Disney World is Epcot’s International Flower and Garden Festival. This is an event for the senses. Come see beautiful gardens and spectacular topiaries modeled after your favorite Disney characters, try food from around the world, and experience grade-A entertainment. Here are our 15 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival tips to help you make the most of your visit. The festival takes place March 3rd to July 5th, 2021.
1. Use The Festival Passport
Pick up an International Flower and Garden Festival Passport when you enter the park. Use it to keep track of which food items you tried. Trust me, by the end of the day you won’t remember them all!
2. Go Cashless
When you arrive at Epcot, purchase a Flower and Garden Festival gift card to use around the park. They are tiny and conveniently placed on an elastic wristband so it’s easily accessible. We’ve been getting these for years and absolutely love them–they’re so much more convenient than digging out a wallet every time you want to buy something.
If you put more money on the gift card than you spend at the festival, don’t worry. You can use the gift card at Disney’s other properties, too.
3. Take Lots Of Pictures
Epcot is most photogenic during the International Flower and Garden Festival. Take lots of pictures–there is color everywhere you look.
4. Bring A Water Bottle
This is one of my favorite Epcot Flower and Garden Festival Tips. Bottles of water at Disney are $3.50 and it adds up quickly. We recommend bringing a water bottle with you to the park. You can fill it up at a water fountain in the park or with a free cup of ice water from a quick service restaurant.
You could take this tip one step further and bring a cheap bottle in case you were to lose it. I’ve lost my fair share of things at Disney over the years, so it definitely happens.
5. Take Advantage Of PhotoPass Spots
The Disney themed topiaries are the most photographed part of the festival–and with good reason! Prepare to be blown away by the impeccable displays making up Anna and Elsa, Beauty and the Beast, Mickey and Minnie, Winnie-the-Pooh and Friends, Lady and the Tramp, Lightening McQueen, and Simba, just to name a few.
Some of the topiaries are PhotoPass spots. Stop and have your picture taken with these beautiful works of art. Don’t want to buy a photo? Just ask the designated Cast Member to take a picture on your phone.
6. It’s Great For Kids
You might think the Flower and Garden Festival is just for adults–but it’s not! Throughout Epcot, you will find play areas and exhibits created just for children. Bo Peep’s Playtime Training Grounds is both a playground and garden while the Play Full Garden is a playground and outdoor kitchen that teaches kids about nutrition and wellness. Children will also love exploring the Goodness Garden Butterfly House.
For $6.99 plus tax, kids can take part in Spike’s Pollen Nation Exploration and the Egg-Stravaganza Scavenger Hunt (March 27th-April 12).
7. See A Free Concert
The Epcot Flower and Garden Festival includes a Garden Rocks Concert Series. These free concerts last 30-minutes and take place every day of the week at the American Gardens Theatre at 5:30, 6:45, and 8 PM–totaling 270 concerts over the duration of the festival.
Some of 2020’s performers are The Guess Who, Berlin, Christopher Cross, Plain White T’s, Casting Crowns, Air Supply, Daughtry, Marshall Tucker Band, and Survivor. The concert series was halted in 2021 due to COVID, but will return in full force for 2022.
8. Take A Tour
This is another one of my favorite Epcot Flower and Garden Festival Tips. You can take a guided tour and get a more in-depth look at the festival. This year, there are three tour offerings.
Gardens of the World is a 3-hour tour with a Disney Horticulturist. Explore the “lush landscapes and signature displays” through the World Showcase. The price is $85 plus tax and guests must be at least 12-years-old.
“Embark on a guided tour of an English tea garden” during The Royal Tea Garden Tour. It is $20 plus tax and includes a sampling of tea and scones.
The English Tea Garden tour is complimentary. During this 20-minute tour, you will learn about the artistry behind growing and blending herbs. Bring your camera as there are lots of photo opportunities.
9. Look At The Menus Ahead Of Time
This is the most important of our Epcot Flower and Garden Festival tips. There are more than 15 Outdoor Kitchens scattered throughout the park serving Spring’s Freshest Flavors. From Potato Pancakes to Beef Brisket, Fried Cauliflower to Tarte au Chévre, and Citrus Shortcake to Tres Leches, you can find it all during Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival. But, don’t fill up at the first Outdoor Kitchen you come to–look at the menus online ahead of time so you know what you want to try and can plan your visit accordingly.
Try the Frushi and Frozen Dessert Violet Lemonade–they are festival favorites.
10. Stroll Through The Gardens
The Gush-Worthy Gardens throughout the festival are often overshadowed by the Disney themed topiaries–but they are definitely worth exploring. You are sure to find gorgeous flower beds, potted plants, and wildlife habitats in each.
Although there are several to check out, be sure to visit the Shakespeare, Purple Martin, Kokedama, and Italiano Gardens.
11. Buy Exclusive Merchandise
While at the International Flower and Garden Festival, shop exclusive merchandise, only available during the festival. Items include t-shirts, drinkware, gardening tools, purses, jewelry, and Minnie ears.
Pin collectors, don’t miss out on buying a Flower and Garden Festival Trading Pin!
12. Use Free Wi-Fi
Walt Disney World provides free Wi-Fi inside the parks. Take advantage by posting pictures of your festival experience on social media.
#FreshEpcot is the festival’s hashtag.
13. Pick Up Your Passholder Magnet
Passholders can pick up an exclusive Flower and Garden Festival magnet from Mouse Gear. This year, there are two complimentary magnets: Donald Duck and Orange Bird.
14. Arrive Early
This is a basic Epcot tip. Epcot gets really crowded of the evening (starting around 4 PM) and even more so on the weekends. Get there early so you don’t spend majority of your time standing in line to take pictures of the topiaries and for the Outdoor Kitchens.
15. Use The Walt Disney World App
This is another one of my favorite Epcot Flower and Garden Festival Tips. Walt Disney World has a great mobile App (My Disney Experience) and I encourage everyone visiting to download it onto their smartphone. You can see ride wait times, view your PhotoPass photos, look at a map of the park, and keep track of your FastPasses plus dining reservations (and make them!).
During the Flower and Garden Festival, use the App to see where the Gardens and Outdoor Kitchens are (along with what is on the menu in case you didn’t follow tip #10).
Visit Epcot’s Flower And Garden Festival
The International Flower and Garden Festival is a lot of fun. I hope our 15 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival tips help you make the most of your visit.
If you have any additional tips, please let us know. We would love to add them to our list!
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