EPCOT’s 22nd Annual International Flower and Garden Festival is right around the corner! This 75-day event takes place from March 4th through May 17th. This year marks the third consecutive year that EPCOT has incorporated tapas-sized dishes, deserts, and delicious drinks! Often referred to as the “Mini Food and Wine Festival,” the International Flower and Garden Festival is truly an event that cannot be missed!
What to Expect
With 2015 offering 10 new mini-gardens, 11 outdoor kitchens and over 100 locally grown Disney Character topiaries, it is no surprise that it takes more than a full year and about 24,000 cast member hours in order to prepare for the annual event. There are 400 Walt Disney World horticulturists that are needed in order to put everything together in time, including 30 million blooms that cover the park all throughout the festival. The topiaries are a regular staple of the festival. Of course there will be all the classics like Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald Duck, and Pluto. But this year, everyone’s talking about two new additions: Disney’s very own royal sisters, Elsa and Anna! Be sure to check out the dynamic duo at the entrance of The World Showcase.
Rock Out at Garden Rocks
Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, go back in time at the Garden Rocks Concert Series and enjoy some of your favorite bands from the 60s, 70s, and 80s! These eleven bands take the stage every weekend and perform three shows a night. Since the music is performed in an open-arena, there is no need to get there early for good seats. The design of the American Garden Theatre lets you continue walking around to enjoy the beautiful flowers and gardens, while at the same time, being able to jam out to the bands. Check out this year’s lineup!
2015 New Additions
One of the most exciting, new exhibits of 2015 is The Urban Farm. This kiosk will demonstrate how you can grow your own produce at home, and you don’t need to live on a farm to do so. They’ll show you have to raise fresh fish and chickens at your home, and even teach you the art of bee farming. After learning tips from the chefs, guests can sample actual items from the demonstrations nearby at their restaurant, The Urban Farm Eats.
Also new this year will be free, 15 minute cooking demonstrations given by actual Disney Chefs! Located at the Port of Entry, they will be showcasing the actual recipes and dishes from the festival. You can attend to ask questions, learn cooking pointers, or just watch and see how it’s made. Make sure you check out these exhibits that happened every Friday, Saturday and Sunday throughout the entire festival starting at 3 p.m.
Full Menu Line-Up
With 11 kitchen kiosks at the Festival this year, your taste buds will never be able to thank you enough! Since these bite-size samples only cost around $5, you’ll be able to taste and try everything without taking a huge hit to your wallet. From the Kung Pao Chicken Bun at Lotus House to the delicious Strawberry Marshmallow Macaroon at the famous Fleur de Lys, you’ll definitely want to sample everything. And let’s not forget the drinks! This year there will be a new twist on the classic Pineapple Soft Serve: Coconut Rum! If the Dole Whips aren’t your thing, no worries. There are at least two different cocktails at each of the kitchen kiosks that showcase their own unique style! Check out the full menu here!
A common misconception about the Flower and Garden Festival is that once it gets dark out, the festival comes to an end. This is completely inaccurate. After the sun goes down, everything becomes brilliantly illuminated and the fun continues. The topiaries and gardens light up and give you a whole new perspective of their beauty in the dark! Rest assured that you can continue to eat, drink and dance your way through the foliage!
Great news! In order to visit the festival, you don’t need a special ticket. Entrance into the festival is included with your regular admission to EPCOT. Additionally, when you arrive, make sure to pick up your Garden Passports to have stamped at each of your stops along the way. You can find these at the Festival Welcome Center, all of the outdoor kitchens, and at the merchandise stores, as well.
One of the greatest aspects of the EPCOT’s International Flower and Garden Festival is that there will always be something to satisfy all your senses! There is so much to see, smell, taste, hear, and touch that it will make you want to return year after year. So make sure to mark your calendar as the festival is just a week away!