Taste of EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival

I grew up visiting Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, every few years, staying in the classic hotels – the Polynesian and Contemporary Resorts – wearing my oversized plastic sunglasses and hypercolor t-shirts, making sure my keds were bright white and vacation pic ready. My favorite WDW memories, however, are of my first visits with my own children when they still prioritized meet and greets with princesses over buffet meals and roller coasters. Our favorite time to visit the World? The holiday season. There’s just nothing quite like “snow” falling on Main Street, U.S.A. as Santa makes his way from the castle to the train station. Magical.

Santa Claus Main Street USA

But my absolute favorite time to visit Walt Disney World by my darned self is during the International Flower & Garden Festival at EPCOT.

Now called Taste of EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival, this yearly event kicked off yesterday, March 3rd, and runs through July 5th. This season at EPCOT does so much to warm my soul after a long winter that I often let my mind wander to past trips while I’m shoveling snow or chipping ice off of my car’s windshield. When I begin to see the green tips of daffodil leaves poking up through my soil, I know that it’s time for food and flowers at EPCOT.

While the glorious sunshine and incredible abundance of flowers are the main reasons I fell in love with this season at EPCOT, the park-wide event has grown over the years to include fun for the entire family along with the traditional Disney character topiaries. And that key word “taste” in the title? That’s a nod to the fresh flavors from Outdoor Kitchens scattered around the park.

Here’s what you can expect from the Taste of EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival this year:

Discover Topiaries Full of Disney Character

Nearly 100 individual topiaries bloom across the park, including floral sculptures of Disney characters as well as fanciful gardens. Highlights include:

  • Sorcerer Mickey Mouse at the park’s main entrance
  • Lady and the Tramp in the Italy pavilion
  • Anna and Elsa in the Norway pavilion
  • Remy in the France pavilion
  • Tinker Bell and the Fairy Houses in the United Kingdom pavilion
Photo courtesy of Disney Parks (David Roark, photographer)

Gardens Are Flowering and Ready to Explore

Guests can soak in the sights of spring in 20 different garden areas all across EPCOT, including:

  • English Tea Garden Presented by Twinings of London in the United Kingdom pavilion, which also offers a Self-Guided Tea Tour.
  • The Goodness Garden Butterfly House Presented by GoGo squeeZ, offering a kaleidoscopic view of butterflies up close, in all their extraordinary color.
  • Growing the Future Presented by Murata Electronics, a fun and fascinating experience exploring how cutting-edge technology paired with agricultural science can transform the future (beginning April 3).
  • Health Full Trail Presented by AdventHealth, where those looking for inspiration, creativity and some youthful energy learn ways to stay healthy.
  • Honey Bee-stro Hosted by National Honey Board, where guests learn about honey bees’ critical role in the environment while enjoying sweet and savory treats made possible by their hard work.
  • Outdoor Escapes Presented by OFF! Repellents, a rustic terrace for guests to unwind and find inspiration to create refreshing outdoor spaces for family and friends.
Photo courtesy of Disney Parks (Caitlyn McCabe, photographer)

Outdoor Kitchens Feature Fresh Food and Drink

Guests can embark on a mouth-watering journey around the park to experience a smorgasbord of options, with more than 20 delectable stops to choose from. Each Outdoor Kitchen offers a specialty menu of creative cuisine and libations to savor and sip. New options this year include:

  • EPCOT Sunshine Griddle, offering Avocado Toast, Shrimp and Grits, Corned Beef Brisket Hash and more
  • EPCOT Farmers Feast, featuring Spring Onion Soup, Duck Confit and more
  • The Lavender Honey Mustard-marinated Chicken Flatbread at The Honey Bee-stro Hosted by National Honey Board
  • Impossible Sausage and Kale Soup at Trowel & Trellis Hosted by Impossible Foods
  • Lemon-Orange Smoothie in a new Orange Bird sipper cup at The Citrus Blossom
  • Bayou Cocktail at Magnolia Terrace
  • Maple Popcorn Shake at Northern Bloom

For the full menu available at this year’s festival, visit FreshEPCOT.com.

Photo courtesy of Disney Parks (Caitlyn McCabe, photographer)

Live Music Abounds Throughout the Festival

Fans of live entertainment will have plenty to enjoy this year as music springs to life around World Showcase.

  • ­New this year, featured musical groups from the Orlando area perform songs of yesterday and today at America Gardens Theatre every Friday through Monday of the festival.
  • Voices of Liberty perform an all-American a cappella showcase at America Gardens Theatre, celebrating the landscape, heart and human spirit of America.
  • Mariachi Cobre takes the America Gardens Theatre stage for performances of world-famous Mexican folk music.
  • The Jammin’ Gardeners play rhythmic beats with inspired backyard percussion on the Mill Stage at the Canada pavilion.
  • In World Showplace, the EPCOT Pianist plays a selection of popular songs ideal for springtime.

Scavenger Hunts Offer Family Fun

Special themed scavenger hunts encourage guests to explore the festival and provide a fun way for families and friends to spend their day at the park.

  • Spike’s Pollen-Nation Exploration – Gardeners of all ages follow Spike on his pollination trail, where he will be busy as a bee collecting nectar and pollinating gardens throughout EPCOT. (Map purchase required, available while supplies last at select retail locations.)
  • Egg-stravaganza Scavenger Hunt (Beginning March 19) – Guests set out on a delightful hunt across the park for decorative eggs inspired by Disney characters. (Map purchase required, available while supplies last at select retail locations for a limited time.)
  • Garden Graze – Guests who purchase five festival menu items from select locations receive a complimentary commemorative keepsake; guests can pick up a Festival Passport to get started.

Festival Merchandise Showcases Favorite Characters

Guests can commemorate their visit with official event merchandise, including apparel, headwear, drinkware and more.

  • Orange Bird welcomes the sunshine with all things yellow, orange and white in a bright collection of apparel, drinkware and a headband.
  • Spike the Bee offers sweet reminders of festival fun, featured on apparel, drinkware and an adorable garden stake.
  • Minnie Mouse lives life in full bloom with a collection of apparel, headwear, garden accessories and MagicBand.
  • Figment brings sustainable materials such as organic cotton, bamboo and repurposed paper to a collection featuring apparel, accessories and more.

The Taste of EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival is included with park admission (Disney Park Pass reservation required for entry). For more information visit DisneyParksBlog.com or follow #FreshEPCOT on social media platforms. To learn more about what Disney Parks are doing to keep guests safe, visit Disney Parks’ Know Before You Go.

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