Ilana Robinson | @disneymom2.0
Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival is currently running through July 5, 2023 and it’s so beautifully floral and conjures all of the right imagery of Spring (for those who are seeing snow outside their window right now, I apologize)! There is so much to take in, and such a short time to experience it all. So let’s jump right in to the top 5 things to do at the Flower and GardenFestival!
The main character during this festival season is most certainly all of the different topiaries shaped like many different Disney characters that you can see all over Epcot, including throughout the World Showcase. Admire the flowers that surround the topiaries, and take your photo at each location to collect them all!
It is worth mentioning that this year there are 5 new topiaries - a set of 4 Encanto characters positioned right at the entrance to the park, in front of Spaceship Earth (including Louisa, Mirabel, Antonio,and Isabela); and a new Tiana topiary in the America Pavilion in the World Showcase.
And just in case there is a particular character topiary you want to see, and you’re not sure where you can find it in the park, the official Festival Passport booklet has a list of all of the topiaries and their location within Epcot.
If you wander over to near the Imagination Pavilion (Figment ride), between that building and The Land (which houses Living with the Land and Soarin’), you’ll find Butterfly Landing, a closed butterfly pavilion housing many different butterfly species that you can see up close, photograph, and observe in their habitat. There are also many, many different beautiful flowers, each of them marked for identification. Enjoy watching the butterflies soar overhead, but be warned, they do sometimes land on you! The butterfly landing is sponsored by AdventHealth, and is such a beautiful experience, for all ages. Be sure to visit before dusk, because it closes for the evening.
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Spike’s Pollen-Nation Exploration Scavenger Hunt
There are a few main characters featured at the Flower and Garden Festival, which is, of course, reflected in the festival merchandise - the Orange Bird, Figment, and of course, Spike the Bee - who also has his own Scavenger Hunt throughout the pavilions of the World Showcase. You can purchase the hunt map/guide in any of the shops for $9.99, and on the back are stickers that you have to assign to each location based on what you see Spike holding in his hands at each location throughout the World Showcase. This year the prize for completion are either a cup or a plate with various characters on them. For each hunt you choose 1 item, out of a lineup of 6 (3 different cups, 3 different plates), and not a set per hunt. The prizes are all so cute - I’m not even sure which I would choose!
Inside of the back flap of the Festival Passport there are certain menu items notated (11 in total), that if you purchase those particular dishes, you earn a stamp. Once you have purchased 5 out of the 11 dishes, you can bring your stamped Festival Passport to the Pineapple Promenade booth to receive your complimentary festival treat. There’s no rush to complete the Garden Graze in one visit, either. Collect 5 stamps in your Passport booklet throughout the festival, and return any time for your treat. Be sure to check out which food items are on the list because many of them are already festival favorites, like the Grilled Street Corn on the Cob, and Avocado Toast!
Garden Rocks Concert Series
Every evening there is a live concert in the America Gardens Theatre in the America Pavilion with a different band, playing at 5:30 p.m., 6:45 p.m., and 8:00 p.m. - with each set lasting about 20-30 minutes! Some of the bands this concert season include Daughtry, Smash Mouth, Switchfoot, Kool & the Gang, Jason Scheff (longtime lead singer of Chicago), Rick Springfield, Plain White T’s, Simple Plan, and Wang Chung. For a full list of artists performing go to FreshEPCOT.com/GardenRocks
If you aren’t aware, they also offer Dining Packages at various restaurant locations at Epcot. Basically you pay a fixed price that includes a meal, plus VIP guaranteed seating on a particular day, for a particular artist, at a particular set. The Flower and Garden Festival is one of the longest running festivals at Epcot, which means that you have plenty of time to take in all of the different Topiaries, gardens, and festival food items! My personal preference is to visit the festival in the first 2 months, while the colorful topiaries are fresh, and the colors bright.
When do you plan to visit?
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