We love any excuse for delicious food, beautiful displays and learning experiences … and the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival is the perfect combination. Spring is one of our favorite times to visit Walt Disney World, thanks to the gorgeous weather, and Epcot is especially beautiful. The park blossoms into a striking garden that celebrates the sights, sounds and tastes of spring. Across Epcot, guests are treated to exquisitely crafted topiaries of Disney characters, a variety of themed gardens and play areas, and tantalizing farm to table-style dishes at the Outdoor Kitchens. The festival lets your love of music grow with the Garden Rocks Concert Series and beautiful landscaping will plant the seeds of your own gardening ideas. This year’s festival runs February 28 to May 28. Here's what's happening at Epcot Flower and Garden 2018.
Epcot Flower and Garden 2018 Overview
Move aside, Food & Wine ... Epcot Flower and Garden 2018 is one of our favorite festivals of the year! It is included with regular park admission. We love the spring vibes served around both Future World and World Showcase. It's a great way to celebrate the season and enjoy the beautiful weather!
Epcot is decked from Mexico to Canada, and from Future World East to West, with gorgeous gardens full of bright flowers perfect for family photo-ops. Character topiaries can be found around every corner, from classic favorites such as The Lion King ensemble to a near life-size version of Lightning McQueen from Cars. Interactive play areas, a butterfly garden and special seasonal art and merchandise will keep you and your tadpoles busy all day! And don't forget our favorite part of any festival ... the food! Epcot Flower and Garden 2018 plates up fresh favorites highlighting seasonal ingredients.
Sculpted Topiaries at Epcot Flower and Garden 2018
I’ve never left the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival without nagging Leap to re-do our landscaping. Inspiration is everywhere! Disney’s expert team of horticulturists work year-round to create beautiful landscapes across the park. Look for the topiaries at the entrance, in Future World and all around World Showcase. Epcot Flower and Garden 2018 exhibits its talent with incredible life-size recreations of beloved Disney characters such as Mickey and Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Chip and Dale, Anna and Elsa as well as pals Woody and Buzz Lightyear. Around World Showcase, you can find more amazing displays (and excellent photo-ops!) including the Seven Dwarfs, Beauty and the Beast and The Three Caballeros. Lady and the Tramp is my personal favorite ... look at those ears!
Stunning in the daylight, the topiaries take on a whole new life as the gardens and sculptures are illuminated at night. While there aren't any new character topiaries this year, Disney did a great job of creatively rearranging some of our favorites. For example - while Peter Pan can usually be found atop the United Kingdom pavilion, this year you'll spot him facing off with Captain Hook along World Showcase Lagoon.
Themed Gardens at Epcot Flower and Garden 2018
The festival features a number of themed gardens from the Shakespeare Garden in the United Kingdom pavilion to floating “mini gardens” between Future World and World Showcase. New this year is the Tropical Rainforest Garden in Mexico and the Imagination Play Garden, where tadpoles can explore all of their senses. Of course, Garden Italiano is a staple for me, as it highlights all the fresh ingredients in my favorite dishes. Yum!
While fun and educational for everyone, we really love how these exhibits teach our tadpoles how to create gardens and provide wildlife habitats … if pond life hasn’t taught them enough already!
A festival favorite, the Goodness Garden Butterfly House is back this year full of colorful blooms and a flurry of several species of butterfly. Explore the life of a butterfly from its emersion from chrysalis to adulthood and watch as the fully-grown butterflies flutter around the garden from flower to flower. You might even find a butterfly has alighted on you, especially if you’re wearing a flowered dress or shirt. This is the only place where a female will pay attention to Leap when he's wearing his loud floral aloha shirts. I kid – but not much.
Throughout the park, spring is in full bloom. Forty 8-to-9-foot-tall "flower towers" are scattered throughout at Epcot Flower and Garden 2018. More than 70,000 bedding plants surround the east and west lakes of Future World!
Interactive Play Areas at Epcot Flower and Garden 2018
Tadpoles have flower and garden activities especially for them. The all-new Imagination Play Garden, located on the walkway between Future World and World Showcase, surrounds your tadpoles with lush natural landscapes as they put all five senses to work on a net climber and through a musical maze. This was by far Lily's favorite spot ... and one of ours too! There are nice, shaded seating areas complete with checkers. This kept long-standing checkers competitors Leap and Tad busy for a while!
Another popular spot to let little ones burn off some energy is the Road to the Florida 500 featuring Cars pals Lightning McQueen and Tow-Mater. This jungle gym is located along the Test Track walkway.
Epcot Flower and Garden 2018 also debuted a scavenger hunt for your tadpoles! Spike's Pollen Nation Exploration costs $5.99 and takes little ones on an "I Spy"-style adventure throughout World Showcase. Once completed, you can return the map to Port of Entry for a surprise reward! This is a low-cost way to keep your tadpoles occupied and receive a cute souvenir as a result. Worth it!
Outdoor Kitchens at Epcot Flower and Garden 2018
I'm an epicurean amphibian. It's fun to see the topiaries and gardens, but my favorite plants are the ones I can eat! While Food & Wine is known for its delectable tastes and treats, Flower & Garden is my favorite place to snack thanks to its unique, fresh ingredients. There are 15 outdoor kitchens open from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. throughout the festival. I am buzzing with excitement for the brand new Honey Bee-stro that incorporates fresh honey into distinct plates, like the Honey Tandoori Chicken Flatbread with White Cheddar Cheese, charred vegetables, Clover Honey Sour Cream and Micro Watercress, pictured here alongside the Honey-Peach Cobbler Freeze and Wildflower Honey-Mascarpone Cheesecake. This outdoor kitchen is officially, by far, our new favorite, and a must-eat for all festival attendees. You can't go wrong with anything on the menu. We're already planning our trip back before the festival ends!
Festival favorites such as Florida Fresh, Lotus House and La Isla Fresca will be returning with a delicious selection. Don't forget to stop by Pineapple Promenade to grab the most Instagram-worthy drink, Violet Lemonade! Oh, and new this year is the Playalinda Brewing Company Violet Lemonade Ale. You read that right ... a VIOLET. LEMONADE. BEER. It's just as marvelous as it sounds!
Many other festival favorites have returned, including the perfect example of Epcot Flower and Garden 2018's fresh and unique eats: FRUSHI! Fresh Pineapple, Strawberry and Melon rolled with Coconut Rice, sprinkled with Toasted Coconut and Whipped Cream with Raspberry Sauce on the side.
Garden Rocks Concert Series at Epcot Flower and Garden 2018
It’s not all sunshine and butterflies at the Epcot Flower and Garden 2018 … there’s music too! Onstage at the America Pavilion Friday through Monday, evenings, guests may dance and sing along to classic songs by a wide array of artists.
Here is Epcot Flower and Garden 2018's lineup (subject to change without notice):
- March 2-5: Night Ranger “Sister Christian”
- March 9-12: STARSHIP starring Mickey Thomas “We Built This City”
- March 16-19: Simple Plan “Welcome to My Life”
- March 23-26: Little River Band “Reminiscing”
- March 30-April 2: The Orchestra starring former members of ELO “Evil Woman”
- April 6-7: Foghat (NEW!) “Slow Ride”
- April 8-9: Survivor (NEW to Garden Rocks!) “Eye of the Tiger”
- April 13-14: Smash Mouth (NEW to Garden Rocks!) “All Star”
- April 15-16: Rick Springfield (NEW to Garden Rocks!) “Jessie’s Girl”
- April 20-21: Jo Dee Messina (NEW to Garden Rocks!) “Stand by Me”
- April 22-23: Lonestar (NEW!) “Amazed”
- April 27-30: Blood, Sweat and Tears featuring Bo Bice “Spinning Wheel”
- May 4-7: Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone “I’m Henry VIII I Am”
- May 11-12: Village People “Y.M.C.A.”
- May 13-14: Don Felder, formerly of The Eagles (NEW!) “Hotel California”
- May 18-21: The Guess Who “American Woman”
- May 25-28: The Spinners “Working My Way Back to You”
Performances take place every Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday of the Epcot Flower and Garden 2018 at 5:30 p.m., 6:45 p.m. and 8 p.m. Be sure to get there at least 30 minutes early. Seats fill up quickly.
If you want to secure a good spot without waiting, dining packages are available. You can reserve a meal at Epcot anytime throughout the day, and come back later to a special seating area at one of the evening shows! We recommend this if you’re big fans and want primetime viewing.
Merchandise at Epcot Flower and Garden 2018
You may want to pack an extra duffle bag for your merch. You already know I couldn't leave without this Minnie-adorned Flower and Garden spirit jersey ... how cute! We are huge fans of all Epcot festivals, but we find Flower and Garden has the most gorgeous, fun merch.
There is an especially great selection of merchandise this year in celebration of Flower and Garden's 25th Anniversary. Heads up: There is no Festival Center for Epcot Flower and Garden 2018. But don't worry, you can find all of the awesome gear throughout booths in Future World and World Showcase.
The Epcot Flower and Garden Festival 2018 lets you discover fresh tastes, gorgeous gardens, and all the information you need to have a bounteous spring. The Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival is included with regular park admission.