By Melissa Fegely
I love visiting the Flower and Garden Festival every year because it brings a fresh and fun taste of spring to Epcot’s already beautiful landscape. The Festival runs from early March through mid-May, but no matter what time of the year it is, I’m always planning our next visit to it and anticipating how Disney will make it even more exciting than the previous year.
There are many things that Disney puts on display during the Festival, but here are a few of my favorites.
8. Themed children’s play areas that are exclusive to the Festival-
These playgrounds feature popular Disney characters and include fun equipment for kids to climb over, swing from, and burn off some energy. For the past several years there have been “Monster’s University” themed play structures for both younger and older kids, and also a smaller “Cars 2” play area. The best part is the comfortable benches and chairs placed in the shade for adults to relax and watch their children play. The playgrounds are only available during the weeks that the Flower and Garden Festival runs.
7. Exclusive Flower and Garden merchandise-
I always enjoy checking out the new merchandise displayed at the Flower & Garden Festival. There are items specifically branded for the Festival, like mugs, t-shirts, and pins, and there are many other creative items for sale from artisans, like garden flags, sundials, wind chimes, and birdfeeders. The vendors and merchandise are all located on the promenade around the World Showcase and inside the Festival Center.
6. Amazing Topiaries around Future World and World Showcase –
Put down the map and be on the lookout for the many character topiaries sprinkled throughout Future World and World Showcase. Several of the playful-looking topiaries are illuminated. My favorite is the Peter Pan topiary looking out from on top of a building in the United Kingdom pavilion, and everyone in my family has fun trying to find the next one as we walk around the park. As you meander around admiring the character topiaries, be sure to look for the lovely and lush floating mini gardens out on the water under the monorail.
5. Garden Rocks concerts –
On the weekends, well-known pop music bands play in the America Gardens Theatre. It’s fun to listen to great music while strolling around the World Showcase or just relaxing in the open air theater with a few tasty treats.
4. Tinker Bell’s Butterfly House –
Walk through this little oasis and discover hundreds of vibrant butterflies fluttering around plants and bushes. Hidden among the plants are magical fairy houses made out of everyday objects. It’s easy to imagine Tinker Bell and her friends living in these miniature houses. The Butterfly House is in Future World along the walkway that leads to Canada.
3. Food and Beverage Kiosks-
Similar to the kiosks set up for the Food and Wine Festival that occurs in the fall, these stands are set up around World Showcase and offer a taste of the culture from various countries, and some stands feature garden- fresh bite-sized creations. Small portions are available for purchase at the kiosks along with refreshing beverages. You can make a meal just by walking around and trying several different dishes. Disney offers a Garden Passport that can be stamped as you visit each stand.
2. Main Entrance Display-
I love being welcomed with the amazing character topiary in front of Epcot. Several characters, typically several of the Fab Five, are featured in springtime activities with colorful flower displays all around. It’s a great spot for a picture and a great way to start off the day with a smile.
1. No Additional Fee to Attend the Festival-
Unlike the separate hard ticket required to attend other special events in Walt Disney World, there are no additional fees needed to enjoy the glory of the Flower and Garden Festival, just regular admission to Epcot.