The Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival runs through May 30, which means there’s more than a month left to enjoy this annual event. You don’t have to have a green thumb to enjoy it; the Disney gardeners do all the work, and you get to enjoy their colorful flowers and whimsical topiaries scattered around the park.
The festival means you’ll want to spend a full day at Epcot (or more) to soak it all in, especially if you visit on a weekend. This list is far from comprehensive, but it contains the highlights of a typical weekend day at the park to show you just how much you can see and do. The photos were all taken on a whirlwind day at the event.
Enjoy the Gardens and Topiaries
If you hit the festival early in the season, you’ll marvel at the way in which the gardens have evolved. Plants have grown in nicely, and some have been swapped out as the weather gets warmer. Even if you make your first visit mid to late season, you’ll love the flowers and Disney character topiaries scattered throughout the park.
Hit the Butterfly Garden
It’s tempting to do it early in the day, since it’s at the edge of Future World, where you’ll see it on your way to World Showcase. However, I recommend hitting it a bit later because the butterflies seem to get very active in the early to mid-afternoon.
Pop Into the Festival Center
The Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival is open on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday throughout the event. Inside you’ll find presentations, hands-on classes, displays and more. If you come to the festival year after year, you’ll particularly enjoy learning more about its history and how the topiaries are created. There’s also an excellent merchandise selection.
Enjoy Food and Beverages
Come hungry to the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival, as it’s starting to rival the Food and Wine Festival for delicious dishes and libations. The Outdoor Kitchens start at the edge of Future World and dot World Showcase with a smorgasbord of tasty offerings. Come early, do lunch, then do another round for dinner.
Let the Kids Run and Play
The Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival always features playgrounds, and this year there’s a new one that combines topiaries with music. Youngsters can romp, play, and create sweet sounds in the Music Garden Melodies play area.
See a Garden Rocks Concert
See a Garden Rocks concert. When you visit the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival on the weekend, you have your choice of three nightly concert times. Artists vary; this weekend is Blood, Sweat and Tears featuring Bo Bice. Upcoming artists include Bad Company starring Brian Howe (4/22 to 24); Georgia Satellites (4/29 to 5/1); Gin Blossoms (5/6 to 8); Darlene Love (5/13 to 15); Night Ranger (5/20 to 22); and The Spinners (5/27 to 30).
Meet a Character
The Disney characters are always on hand, even after the festival, but it’s always fun to pop in and say hello to them. Joy and Sadness are always great fun to interact with. Joy is a bundle of energy, and Baymax is around, too, looking for hugs.
Enjoy Free Coke Products
Enjoy some Coke products in Club Cool. Don’t you love those little freebies like the samples of Coke flavors from around the world? Club Cool lets you sample a variety of tasty (and one not so tasty) options. It’s a nice way to take a break and get a little sugar rush.
Illuminations, the nightly World Showcase spectacular, is the perfect cap to your night. There’s no reason to leave Epcot early, as many of the topiaries have lights that turn them into a different experience after dark. Check them out, then grab a spot around World Showcase to enjoy the music and fireworks.
Watch for Surprises
You never know exactly when something exciting might pop up, like the band pictured here that did a round of the fountain in Future World, complete with baton twirlers, cheerleaders, and a flag team.