Personally, Spring is my favorite time to visit Epcot, which of course brings Epcot Flower and Garden Festival. This is our full guide to the 2019 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival and everything you need to know before attending this beautiful event.
Believe It or Not flower and garden is actually Epcot’s longest-running event. The first festival took place back in 1993, now 26 years later it is also the longest festival in the Epcot calendar.
This year the festival begins on March 6 and runs until June 3rd. Making the 2019 festival a grand total of 90 days long; that means there’s plenty of opportunities to check this event out.
The Flower and Garden Festival is also arguably the most beautiful event at Epcot. It features over 70,000 festival blooms, there’s everything from floating floral displays, to Gardens around World Showcase reflecting each of the country’s natural plant life. But we also can’t forget the beautiful topiaries shaped like classic Disney characters.
The Garden Rocks concert series now runs all seven days of the week, for a total of 270 concerts to the American Gardens theater. But of course, who can forget food?! This year’s Flower and Garden Festival will feature a total of 16 outdoor kitchens serving up delicious seasonal food.
Flower and Garden Festival is like most Epcot festivals, there’s plenty of food to enjoy and there are activities for both adults and kids. But the floral displays are certainly the focus of this event if you have a passion for gardening and flowers you’re going to love this festival. The main feature that many Disney fans enjoy is the character topiaries. Back when this event first began character topiaries were dotted around World Showcase. Naturally, you would see characters from stories set in their respective countries.
Snow White could be found in Germany and although Lady and the Tramp is set in America who can forget the iconic scene at the Italian restaurant called Toni’s; hence why they’re placed here in the Italy Pavilion.
As the years have gone on other characters have been added to World Showcase such as Anna and Elsa to Norway back in 2015. But topiaries have also been blooming in Future World for several years now.
I personally love the Figment topiary located near the imagination pavilion this year. Bo Peep and her sheep will also join Buzz and Woody to make a great Toy Story display in Future World East.
Also, new this year we have the return of Miss Piggy and Kermit the Frog in the France pavilion replacing last year’s Lumiere and Cogsworth. These two first appeared at the festival in 2014, but they were not on display last year and they’ll be a fun return to expect for 2019.
But the floral displays don’t stop at the character topiaries, as Epcot is filled with dozens of gardens around the park. From small-scale ones like the Alpine container garden in Germany to large-scale ones like the butterfly house in Future World which is home to nearly a thousand made of butterflies.
The butterfly house is one of my favorite gardens in the park, this is normally located right behind Club pool and near the walkway adjacent to the Imagination pavilion. Inside you’ll get to marvel at dozens of nectar plants and learn about different species of butterflies up close.
Other gardens around Epcot are obvious and located right next to some outdoor kitchens like the Honey Bee-stro Garden for example. Which is an immersive garden that shows you how the sweet treat is created in beehives before making its way to your kitchen and dishes at your table.
While other gardens are subtle and reflect the range of plant life seen in the native countries represented in World Showcase, like the stunning vertical displays at the tropical rainforest garden in Mexico. Either way, there are tons of flower displays to see and enjoy around Epcot Flower and Garden.
Barrels By The Bay
But there are some displays that go beyond gardening and focus on sustainability projects. Returning for 2019 and not seen for a couple of years at the Flower and Garden Festival is the Barrels By The Bay, this is both an activity and a display. From March 8th to the 10th guests can participate in livening up some rain barrels with the use of paint and some fun stencils.
If you enjoyed the expressions section paint-by-numbers mural at the Festival Of The Arts, this will be a fun activity to participate in. The barrels are Coke Florida syrup receptacles recycled to protect community waterways from stormwater runoff pollution. After March 10th it will be on display before moving to their new homes in the community. This is going to be located by the fountain view stage which is next to MouseGear.
Over in Future World West, a new penguin sculpture will be built this year in honor of the upcoming Disney nature film Penguins. The newly minted sculpture will be created from
repurposed trash pulled from our oceans, another great environmental awareness project on display here at Epcot.
Tours at Flower and Garden
If strolling around Epcot Flower and Garden and taking in the beautiful floor of displays is simply not enough for you and you want to take things a step further; there are several additional tours that you can book that are especially good if you have a green thumb.
There are three different tours you can take to learn more about gardening. You can also participate in a special behind-the-scenes walking tour that is offered year-round, but it’s especially good to experience at this time of year. This tour, located inside the land pavilion, takes you through the greenhouses seen on the living with the land boat ride.
Not only will you see how scientists are discovering new ways to develop gardening techniques, but you’ll also learn how herbs fruits and vegetables are grown in the pavilion and make their way to dishes and restaurants around Walt Disney World. But as I mentioned, there are tours that are exclusively available during Flower and Garden Festival.
English Tea Garden Tour
The English Tea Garden Tour, as the name suggests is located in the UK pavilion and there are two different ways you can enjoy this. You can participate in the free version that takes place nearly every day of the festival and it’s sponsored by Twinings tea. Your guide will take you on an easy 20-minute tour of the garden and explain how herbs are grown to create different teas. This is available Monday through Thursday at 3:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. and is also available on Saturdays and Sundays at 1:00 3:30 and 5:00.
Like I said this is a free tour, but signing up early is essential because only 20 people are allowed on each tour. You can sign up for this tour only on the day you attend inside the tea caddy shop. There is a second way you can enjoy this tour, but it does involve a small fee, with that you do get to book it further in advance and of course, it includes a few more offerings.
Royal Tea Garden Tour
The Royal Tea Garden Tour costs $20 per person and it includes the free tour I just mentioned, however, it’s slightly longer at 45 minutes and afterward, you are served tea and scones inside the tea caddy shop. This is all done before World Showcase opens to normal day guests at 11:00 a.m. This is available every day of the festival and to book it all you have to do is call 407-WDW-TOUR.
Gardens Of The World Tour
The final tour option you can partake in during this event is the Gardens of The World tour. This is a higher-end tour that is good for a dedicated garden lover. This 3-hour tour is led by a horticulturist who will take you through the various pavilions in World Showcase. This is before it opens to regular day guests they’ll talk to you through the behind the scenes process of creating the beautiful displays as well as teach some techniques that you can take home with you.
The Gardens of The World tour is offered on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays throughout the entire festival. It starts at 9:00 a.m. and it runs until 12:00 noon. Guests must be at least twelve years old to participate and it’s priced at $85 per person. This does not include your entrance ticket to Epcot, but discounts are available for Annual Pass holders and DVC members.
Garden Rocks Concert Series
The Garden Rocks concert series has expanded to all seven days of the week throughout the entire festival. This year there will be 36 musical acts in total some are completely new to Epcot and others you’ve probably seen during the Food and Wine Festival. Returning acts include Rick Springfield on April 1st and 2nd and the band starship from May 16th to the 19th.
Each concert will take place three times a night at the American Gardens Theater at the back of World Showcase at 5:30 p.m., 6:45 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.
Garden Rocks Concert Series Lineup for 2019
- March 6-8: Steve Augeri
- March 9-10: Glass Tiger
- March 11-12: Jon Anderson
- March 13-14: Tony Orlando
- March 15-16: Wang Chung
- March 17-20: Simple Plan
- March 21-22: Ambrosia
- March 23-24: Magic Giant
- March 25-27: Air Supply
- March 28-29: Berlin featuring Terri Nunn
- March 30-31: The Smithereens
- April 1-2: Rick Springfield
- April 3-4: Christopher Cross
- April 5-7: The Spinners
- April 8-9: Dennis DeYoung
- April 10-11: John Michael Montgomery
- April 12-13: Sister Sledge
- April 14-16: Night Ranger
- April 17-19: Sister Hazel
- April 20-21: Steven Curtis Chapman
- April 22-23: TobyMac
- April 24-26: Lonestar
- April 27-30: The Orchestra starring former members of ELO
- May 1-4: Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone
- May 5-7: Don Felder, Formerly of the Eagles
- May 8-9: A Flock of Seagulls
- May 10-11: Marshall Tucker Band
- May 12-13: The Lovin’ Spoonful
- May 14-15: Richard Marx
- May 16-19: STARSHIP starring Mickey Thomas
- May 20-21: Colin Hay of Men at Work
- May 22-23: War
- March 24-27: The Guess Who
- May 28-29: Jon Secada
- May 30- June 1: Blood, Sweat and Tears
- June 2-June 3: Eddie Palmieri
2019 Garden Rocks Dining Packages
To get reserved seating for the show Disney is once again offering the garden rocks dining package. But unlike the Broadway concert at Festival Of The Arts, this dining package is available at nearly all the table service restaurants within Epcot.
Akershus Royal Banquet Hall (Norway)
Breakfast: $63 for adults; $38 for kids
Lunch: $73 for adults; $44 for kids
Dinner: $73 for adults; $44 for kids
Biergarten Restaurant (in Germany)
Lunch: $55 for adults; $31 for kids
Dinner: $55 for adults; $31 for kids
Chefs de France (in France)
Lunch: $72 for adults; $19 for kids
Dinner: $80 for adults; $25 for kids
Coral Reef Restaurant (in The Living Seas pavilion)
Lunch: $67 for adults; $22 for kids
Dinner: $67 for adults; $22 for kids
The Garden Grill Restaurant (inside The Land pavilion)
Breakfast $49 for adults; $30 for kids
Lunch: $63 for adults; $38 for kids
Dinner: $63 for adults; $38 for kids
La Hacienda de San Angel (in Mexico)
Dinner: $82 for adults; $25.75 for kids
Nine Dragons Restaurant (in China)
Lunch: $50 for adults; $16.99 for kids
Dinner: $58 for adults; $18.50 for kids
Restaurant Marrakesh (in Morocco)
Lunch: $52 for adults; $19 for kids
Dinner: $63 for adults; $19 for kids
Rose & Crown Pub & Dining Room (in U.K.)
Lunch: $57 for adults; $21 for kids
Dinner: $57 for adults; $21 for kids
San Angel Inn Restaurante (in Mexico)
Lunch: $70 for adults; $23 for kids
Dinner: $82 for adults; $25.75 for kids
Spice Road Table (in Morocco)
Lunch: $52 for adults; $19 for kids
Dinner: $63 for adults; $19 for kids
Teppan Edo (in Japan)
Lunch: $65 for adults; $20.50 for kids
Dinner: $78 for adults; $23.50 for kids
Tokyo Dining (in Japan)
Lunch: $65 for adults; $20.50 for kids
Dinner: $78 for adults; $23.50 for kids
Tutto Italia Ristorante (in Italy)
Lunch: $64 for adults; $22 for kids
Dinner: $70 for adults; $25 for kids
Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria (in Italy)
Lunch: $54 for adults; $20 for kids
Dinner: $57 for adults; $24 for kids
Entertainment For Kids
Like Festival of the Arts, Flower and Garden is great for all ages. There are plenty of activities that the little ones can get involved in and good entertainment for the adults to enjoy.
But let’s talk about activities specifically focused on the little ones. One aspect of Flower and Garden that I enjoy is that there are play areas that are designed with really little ones in mind.
This event usually includes at least two playgrounds and they allow toddlers to blow off some steam and run around for a little bit. Both of these areas are located in Future World.
One will be Bo peeps Playtime Training Grounds located near test track and Lightning McQueen’s topiary will still be featured in this area as well. The second play area will be the Playful Garden, this new play area will be located on the walkway by the imagination Pavilion on route to showcase Plaza and the Canada Pavilion. It will focus on nutrition and wellness and is sponsored by Advent health who will also sponsor the nearby flavorful outdoor kitchen.
The final activity that kids and some adults with the youthful spirit will enjoy are the events scavenger hunts. The first one is Spikes pollination exploration; this is Flower and Gardens’ main scavenger hunt and pretty similar to the ones we’ve seen at other Epcot events.
This specific one was introduced last year at Flower and Garden and features a vintage Disney character, Spike. Spike is hidden within all the countries inside World Showcase pollinating the flowers you can purchase an official scavenger hunt map at the port of entry store for $6.99. After marking all the locations you find Spike in, then you can go back to the store and redeem your map for a special prize.
The second scavenger hunt of Flower and Garden Festival is only available from April 5th to April 21st, just in time for Easter. The Eggstravaganza hunt is very similar to Spike’s scavenger hunt, the only difference is that there are hidden Easter eggs throughout all the countries in World Showcase featuring Disney characters. This is also priced at $6.99 and both scavenger hunts offer a discount to cast members and Annual Pass holders.
Annual Passholder Magnets
Speaking of Annual Pass holders, Flower and Garden will feature two, free annual pass holder magnets this year. From the festival start date on March 6th to April 10th, you can pick up a Pluto magnet. From April 11th to June 3rd pass holders can pick up this special Daisy magnet. This is the first time that both of these characters have been featured in an annual pass holder magnet. Like always you can pick this up at either Mousegear or the Port Of Entry Store and Showcase Plaza, make sure you’ve got your annual passes ready and an ID.
Outdoor Kitchens at Epcot Flower and Garden
If you’ve been before, then you know that Epcot is all about food and Flower and Garden is no stranger to decadent culinary dishes. What’s slightly different about this event is that it puts a focus on fresh ingredients above all else.
Many of the dishes served at the various outdoor kitchens include ingredients that can be seen growing in the gardens as you wait in line to order your food. Food and Wine is about range, Festival Of The Arts is about presentation, Flower and Garden is about fresh flavors and some that are also a bit more on the healthier side.
I’m happy to say that out of the 53 dishes at the outdoor kitchens this year, 11 are vegetarian. That may not sound like a lot, but by comparison Festival Of The Arts only featured five vegetarian dishes out of the 43 total this year. So Flower and Garden food certainly is great for those of you looking to avoid the heavier and heartier dishes, but still crave a unique range of flavors.
Another surprise for 2019 is that out of the 16 outdoor kitchens four of them will be new, let’s take a look at some of the menus now.
Arbor at the Gardeners Terrace
First, we have the Arbor at the Gardeners Terrace, this is going to be located at the Odyssey Building. This booth will feature ciders, so for those of you looking for the cider house booth that is sadly gone for 2019. But this booth will feature interesting dishes, such as the fried green tomatoes with blue crab fennel salad; and the smoked salmon stack with avocados tomatoes sour cream and some caviar. For dessert, this booth will serve up a mixed berry buttermilk cake with apple cider sorbet.
Flavor Full Kitchen
Next, we have the Flavor Full Kitchen presented by Advent health, this is located in that walkway by the imagination pavilion leading up to Canada. This booth will feature a citrus poached salmon and a peanut butter mousse with strawberry jam and boba pearls.
Over at the Citrus Blossom, those of you who love dole whips and citrus whirls in Adventureland are in for a treat. This booth will feature an orange cream slush served in an orange bird sipper. The Citrus Blossom will also include a lobster tail with grilled lemon, a tuna tataki, and the crispy citrus chicken.
Trowel and Trellis
The last new booth for 2019 is Trowel and Trellis, sponsored by impossible foods, this is the same company that sponsored earth eats at Food and Wine last year. At Flower and Garden, this booth is all about serving classic dishes with a unique twist. First, there’s the traditional corn on the cob served with savory garlic spread as opposed to just simple butter. For dessert, there’s the chocolate pudding terrarium which includes avocado cream, matcha crumb, pomegranate, and baby herbs.
Other Returning Booths
On top of the four new booths, many returning outdoor kitchens have completely new menus for this year’s festival. At Jardin De Fiestas in Mexico, we have almost an entirely new menu including the tres leches cake. Which is a milk-soaked sponge cake topped with caramel whipped cream and almond powder.
In China we have the Lotus House returning and this year it will feature house-made crab and cheese wontons.
Over a Primavera Kitchen in Italy, we have another full menu change. This year the booth will feature an Italian flatbread with sweet sausage caramelized onion and three cheeses, as well as a tri-colored cheese tortellini.
Over in Japan, we have Hanami which almost has a completely new menu this year and one new dish is the chilled soba noodle salad with pan-seared tuna and wasabi dressing.
Meanwhile, over at Fleur de Lys in France, an almost completely new menu includes a goat cheese tart, topped with caramelized onions.
For a full list of all the menus at this year’s Flower and Garden Festival, you can check out this handy guide.
Well, that just about complete’s our guide to Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival. If you are a gardening fanatic or just really enjoy taking in all the beautiful flowers and enjoying some of the new menus they have every year then this is an event for you!
The one big question on my mind is what will happen to the festival center once Disney makes all of the proposed upcoming changes to the landscape of Epcot in the coming years. Only time will tell, but one thing is for sure, this event will not get smaller. Thank you for reading, and come join our discussion about this over on any of our social media channels.