4 Ways to a Perfect Spring Day at Epcot’s Flower and Garden Fest

Enjoy the topiaries at Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival with kids.
Enjoy a perfect day strolling among the flowers while watching the butterflies dance about. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker

Since 1994, every spring the International Flower and Garden Festival opens like a field of flowers across Epcot. From the first week of March until the last week of May, plant lovers drool and daydream as they wander through the eye-popping displays. But what about the kids? I’ve pulled together a list of must dos at Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival with kids to keep Mom happy.

With over 70 topiary displays with Disney characters from every generation, I love meandering through Epcot discovering the displays. Each character is a piece of plant art and I take a few minutes to discover the details in each. I am amazed how the gardeners use plants and plant products to create characters with amazing detail.

Enjoy the topiaries with kids at Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival.
Stop and look at the topiaries of favorite characters at Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival with kids. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker

And think it’s the same every year, not so. Each year I find my favorite topiaries in a different spot. Even the blooms radiate different colors. As a plant lover, I study the way the gardeners group the plants in eye-popping arrangements. I seriously covet the container groupings. It’s everything I want on my patio.

Even though I am a foodie, I love Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival a tad more than the International Food and Wine Festival in the Fall. Read on and to see why.

Enjoy some pastries at Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival with kids.
I walk through the flowers while I nibble on French pastries. If I’m dreaming, don’t wake me up. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker

A Topiary for Every Movie

Well, almost. My girly faves are Elsa and Anna in Norway and France’s Beauty and the Beast topiaries. For my boys, Phineas and Ferb top the charts.

Stop by Elsa and Anna in Norway at Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival with kids.
A couple of my favorites, Elsa and Anna, enchant guests in Norway. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker

Along with the themed topiaries, some of the countries have themed gardens too. In Japan we find a display of Bonsai. In the United Kingdom, I’m enchanted by the Shakespeare Garden and the pots of tea plants.

Over 200 floating gardens catch us by surprise. They float and turn in the wind under the monorail near the Odyssey Bridge and the International Gateway.  

Enjoy the Beauty and the Beast topiaries in France when visiting Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival with kids.
Can’t miss these characters in France, they’re a couple of my favorites too. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker

Weekend Entertainment

On the weekends, Epcot comes alive with music at the Garden Rocks Concert. A free concert located in the America Gardens Theatre bringing national acts to the World Showcase.

Of course, special tours and tastings tantalize me. Though additional tickets might be required.

Enjoy delightful birdhouse at Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival with kids.
I love the topiaries yet this birdhouse delighted me as well. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker

Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival with Kids

Kids and gardens can be a hard sell. So stop by the Music Garden Melodies Playground. My favorite feature is sitting in the Adirondack chairs watching my kids play.

Stop and take a photo with Lightening McQueen at Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival with kids.
My youngest needed a photo with Cruz Ramirez. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker

Another must-do for kids, the Road to Florida 500 features Lightening McQueen and Cruz Ramirez.

We explore the butterfly garden, sponsored by Go-Go Squeez next. After chasing butterflies, my boys slurp down an applesauce pouch in one gulp.

Thumper and Bambi are all-time favorites at Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival with Kids.
Who can’t pass up Thumper and Bambi on a perfect Spring afternoon at Epcot’s International Flower and Garden Festival. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker

The Kidcot activities, a free educational booklet in selected countries in the World Showcase, get a fresh makeover for Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival with kids. Just grab a booklet head to a special desk in each pavilion. For 2017, kids learn about fruit from across the world.

Always running on-time, the miniature outdoor train in Germany excites my boys. I spend a few moments studying the tiny details with real trees to scale.

Take a hint from Snow White on how to get your kids whistling along as you lead the way to Epcot's International Flower and Garden Festival.

Dining during International Flower and Garden

One of my favorite parts of International Flower and Garden Festival is the food. Just for the festival, the Epcot chefs roll out farm-to-table offerings while mixologists concoct delicate spring inspired cocktails.

Sip a cocktail while strolling among the flowers at Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival.
I really can’t say no to a champagne cocktail. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker

At the outdoor kitchens sprinkled in the countries, I find farm-to-table items offering fresh alternatives for families. The small plates entice me to sample in every country. And the signature cocktails are hard to pass up, especially the champagne cocktails.

Looking for resorts and more information?

I’ve stayed at the Pop Century Resort, the Art of Animation Resort, the Caribbean Beach Resort, the Coronado Springs Resort and the Grand Floridan Resort and Spa.

If looking for off-property resorts, I’ve stayed at the Wyndham’s Lake Buena Vista, the Best Western Lake Buena Vista and the Mystic Dunes Resort and Golf Club.

I use the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World by Bob Sehlinger and Len Testa for every trip. It provides a comprehensive guide, packed with information. If this is your first visit, don’t try to do everything.

Disclosure:

My visit to Walt Disney World was hosted for review purposes. Some of my resort stays were hosted.

This post contains affiliate link in which I get a small commission if you purchase a book.

 

 

 

 

 

Celebrate Spring at Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival

Part of this trip was provided for free for review purposes. The opinions are solely that of the writer.

Ranger Mickey leads the ways as Disney celebrate the National Park Service's Centennial. Epcot's International Flower and Garden Festival
Ranger Mickey leads the way to Epcot’s International Flower and Garden Festival.

The carful of kids love our national parks and we’ve spent years driving to the corners of our country to explore them. So why are the carful of kids exploring Disney during National Parks Week? What does Disney and the National Parks have in common? I find out at Epcot’s International Flower and Garden Festival.

Disney is a sponsor of the National Park Service’s Centennial. I was a little shocked to hear this myself. I love Disney and I love our national parks but they’re kinda different.

Ranger Mickey celebrates the National Park Centennial at Epcot's International Flower and Garden Festival.
Ranger Mickey celebrates the National Park’s Centennial at Epcot’s International Flower and Garden Festival.

During the carful of kid’s exploration of Epcot’s International Flower and Garden Festival, I find Mickey as a Park Ranger in the National Park Foundation’s garden. Mickey celebrates the National Park’s Centennial and encourages kids to find their park. Yea, Ranger Mickey encourages families to explore the national park near them.

I am in love with the Lady topiary. Do you think I can take her back on the plane? Epcot's International Flower and Garden Festival
I’m in love with the Lady topiary. Do you think I can take her back on the plane?

Every spring since 1994, the International Flower and Garden Festival plants itself in Epcot. From the first week of March until the last week of May, plant lovers gaze and daydream as they wander through the amazing displays. It’s a must for the gardener, young and old.

Snow White and her Dwarfs march along next the the World Showcase Lagoon. Epcot's International Flower and Garden Festival
Snow White and her Dwarfs march along next to the World Showcase Lagoon.

With over 70 topiary displays with Disney characters of every generation, I love meandering through Epcot’s World Showcase discovering each display. Each character is a piece of plant art and I take a few minutes to discover the details in each. They’re spectacular.

Cogsworth is dancing away the day in his flower bed home in Epcot's France. International Flower and Garden Festival
Cogsworth is dancing away the day in his flower bed home in Epcot’s France.

For music-lovers, Epcot comes alive with the Garden Rocks Concert Series on the weekends. Check out the free concert located in the America Gardens Theatre; bringing national acts to the World Showcase.

Cinderella and Her Prince dance away as the setting sun baths them in golden light. Epcot's International Flower and Garden Festival
Cinderella and Her Prince dance as the setting sun baths them in golden light.

The floating gardens under the monorail near the Odyssey Bridge catch us by surprise. Turning ever so slightly in the breeze, they’re a delight. Everywhere I look, there’s beds of plant color that only Disney can dream up.

Belle and the Beast are crowd pleasers in Epcot's France. International Flower and Garden Festival
Belle and the Beast are crowd pleasers in Epcot’s France.

Next to the floating gardens, the carful of kids explore the butterfly garden that’s sponsored by Go-Go Squeez. After chasing butterflies, the carful of kids slurp an apple sauce pouch down in one gulp, compliments of Go-Go Squeez.

In Epcot's United Kingdom, I'm enchanted with the teacup gardens in all my favorite varieties. International Flower and Garden Festival
In Epcot’s United Kingdom, I’m enchanted with the teacup gardens in all my favorite varieties.

Along with the themed topiaries, some of the countries have themed gardens too. In Japan we find a display of Bonsai. In the United Kingdom, I’m enchanted in the Shakespeare Garden.

The traditional English garden dedicated to Shakespeare is a delight for Anglophiles and book-lovers alike. International Flower and Garden Festival
The traditional English garden dedicated to Shakespeare is a delight for Anglophiles and book-lovers alike.

If your kids aren’t as mesmerized with the International Flower and Garden Festival, find the kid-pleasing miniature outdoor train. I’m as delighted as my boys with Epcot’s Garden Railway located in Germany. With a scaled, living landscape and several trains running at once, it’s a must for the whole family.

Epcot's Garden Railway enchants kids and adults alike in Germany with it's tiny town and bonsai-like landscape. International Flower and Garden Festival
Epcot’s Garden Railway enchants kids and adults alike in Germany with it’s tiny town and bonsai-like, living landscape.

As the sun dips and the light begins to fade, the topiaries transform again. Thanks to their lighting, the topiaries glow into the night.

After the sun sets, Epcot's Minnie and Pluto topiaries glow against the inky, night sky. International Flower and Garden Festival
After the sun sets, Epcot’s Minnie and Pluto topiaries glow against the inky, night sky.

Along with the garden displays and topiaries, Epcot’s celebrates its farm-to-table initiative. With produce grown in the park, the International Flower and Garden Festival has special menu items throughout Epcot’s World Showcase. In the outdoor kitchens that are sprinkled throughout, I find farm-to-table items that are fresh alternatives for families. Yum!

Up Next: More Disney Fun!