This is our 8th year covering the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival! It is always exciting to see what is new, and to find out which old favorites will return. We’ve been taking photos and video to share over the last 10 days, but the official opening day was yesterday (March 5th, 2014). We look forward to enjoying activities, concerts and the beauty of spring over the next 2+ months! Here are 240 photos, along with videos.
When you finish this article, check out our Festival tips!
Before taking a look at this year, here are links to the last 7 years to enjoy too!
These photos are from the last 10 days, which many being from yesterday. After a LEGOLAND press event, we headed for Epcot and were there by noon. This is one of the very last photos I took, after dark. Keep reading for photos that include day into night! The last few days have been cloudy, but you’ll see some beautiful blue skies that we had before the Festival officially opened in the photos as well.
The opening topiary is called “Spring is in the Air! with Daisy, Goofy and Donald. It reminds me of the Great Outdoors topiary display from a few years earlier, but smaller.
We ran into Mother Nature and Rose Petal on their golf cart near Spaceship Earth.
A topiary elephant points the way to the Festival Center.
Behind Spaceship Earth is a continuation of the “Spring is in the Air” theme, with Pluto, Minnie and Mickey.
The flower quilts are always beautiful! We hope they eventually bring back the nautical flags, a favorite from a previous year.
There is a new topiary display this year, a Soccer Goofy topiary. Guests can get in the net and square off with Goofy for photos! Donald stays in the outfield. Jeff and I each went in for photos, I would never want to be a goalie (even when I played soccer in grade school) and covered my face from the ball. 🙂
Phineas and Ferb are back again, near Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure.
Mater’s Parts, Plants & Play Garden is back, behind the other flower quilt.
Scattered around the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival are seating areas that are especially attractive to adults. The Garden Retreat is one such place, near Mater’s Parts, Plants & Play Garden.
This walkway heads toward Test Track.
Two Pixar topiaries are here – Lightning McQueen and Mater. The guidemap says that you can spot a “few of your favorite Cars characters, including Lightning McQueen and Mater” – but they are the only topiaries here.
A playground is in view of the topiaries.
Buzz Lightyear again stands tall in front of Mission: Space.
We went to the Festival Center to create a project at the Greenhouse Stage yesterday, which we do every year. Nearly all of our plants are from Epcot! We arrived an hour early, and just made it in.
Orchids and other plants and flowers create a lush landscape inside the Festival Center.
We stopped by Intermissions Cafe for lunch, and picked up two Caprese shooters – only a dollar each! This was my favorite “taste” of what we enjoyed at the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival.
We split a chicken wrap, which was pretty good.
For anyone who enjoys plants, the Greenhouse Stage activities are at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. each day, and more guests can participate on weekends (Fri-Sun).
We learned about tropical plants, and now have two more of our own! Topics are different each weekday, with Fri-Sun being the same.
I like the gardening display in the Festival Center with Gnome Mickey.
Tinker Bell’s Butterfly Garden is back, with more butterflies and less fairies. Tinker Bell is the only fairy topiary this year, and she is outside.
There are fairy houses inside.
The upcoming film “The Pirate Fairy” is being promoted here. We interviewed Christina Hendricks and Tom Hiddleston about the film last year!
I know that the topiaries can gum up the works inside the butterfly house, but I noticed a lot more guests handling the butterflies instead of focusing on topiaries. The butterfly wings are pretty delicate, and broken wings end up being inevitable when handled. The butterflies are beautiful to look at.
This beautiful glass sculpture was designed by artist Craig Mitchell Smith.
This butterfly had beautiful colors.
Tinker Bell is right outside the tent.
Instead of next to the butterfly tent, these butterfly topiaries are in Future World West. This section of the park rarely has anything to note the Festival, it was nice seeing the butterflies here.
The flower planters light up at night and sparkle!
I wish the opening day of the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival looked this beautiful, but the cloudy days do allow for more even toned photos.
Opening day threatened of rain, but fortunately it held off all day.
There are beautiful yellow and pink leaved trees blooming right now, but the leaves only stay for a few weeks at most.
Mike and Sulley are part of the Monstrous Playground along the Imagination walkway. All of the playground pieces are monstrous!
There is a lot that can be learned at the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival. We didn’t even have time for most of the exhibits.
Sorcerer Mickey and the Fantasia broomsticks lead the way to World Showcase.
Flanking the Sorcerer Mickey display are the mushrooms, ostriches, hippos and alligator!
Bambi, Thumper and Flower are next to the DVC booth at the Canada pavilion.
Guests can shop at kiosks around World Showcase.
Near Canada, a sand sculpture for Disneynature “Bears” is being added. We always love the sand sculptures!
Victoria Gardens is still growing in.
In the United Kingdom pavilion, topiaries abound! Captain Hook, Tick Tock Croc and Peter Pan take over the Sportsman’s Shoppe.
The English Tea Garden is always a favorite of ours, and the tea tours sell out quickly (it is free). We highly recommend the tour!
This little squirrel looked cute among the flowers.
Twinings makes wonderful cold brewed tea.
Pooh, Eeyore, Rabbit, Piglet and Tigger all are part of the topiary display here.
Nearing the France Pavilion, Sleeping Beauty and Prince Philip share a dance.
Cinderella and Prince Charming are nearby.
My favorite time of the day to visit the France pavilion is before it opens. Les Halles Patisserie does open before the rest of World Showcase, so we stopped by for a breakfast item and to enjoy the topiaries when it was quiet. Beauty and the Beast, Lumiere and Cogsworth, and Mrs. Potts with Chip are here.
Inside the bakery, these look like Macaron tarts.
We have picked these Macarons up once before, they are delicious!
A snack we enjoyed was a half baguette, which costs less than $2.00.
There is much more to see around World Showcase, we enjoy the Backyard Play Garden presented by GoGo Squeez.
I remember this club house from a fairy display a few years back – the roof has GoGo Squeez cartons now.
Passing by Spice Road Table, we noticed a new item since our last visit – the Mix Grill Skewers.
We didn’t try too many samples, but we stopped for a few. The Harissa Chicken Kebab with Cous Cous was delicious, but I wouldn’t recommend it for $5.00.
Everyone has raved about the Frushi, so we tried it. The combination of fruit, coconut rice and whipped cream made for a yummy snack!
In Japan, guests can enjoy bonsai trees on display for the Festival.
Our next food stop was The Smokehouse in the America Pavilion, which also includes a Woody topiary.
We split the Piggylicious Cupcake and Jeff had the Smoked Turkey “Rib” (not sure what the quotes are for). The bacon cupcake with maple frosting didn’t look especially appetizing to me, but the flavors really worked well. Jeff enjoyed the “Rib”.
Heading to Italy, this is the land of flowers!
Lady and the Tramp are back in their usual spot, which flowers surrounding them and making a beautiful background on the staircase.
A bee takes in the scent.
Our next stop is Miss Piggy and Kermit, waiting at the Bahnof Train Station. We guess they will be waiting over two months! They are promoting the upcoming film “Muppets Most Wanted”.
Before the topiaries were put in place, the Train Station setting was added.
Here is our video of Miss Piggy and Kermit:
For the first time ever, Snow White has a face! I hope this trend continues next year to the other princesses, and I think Tinker Bell would look nice with one too.
Here is one of our preview videos:
The train display in Germany always celebrates festivals, including the Epcot Flower & Garden Festival.
A one legged duck approached us – it was the first time we’ve seen him, but he gets around really well.
Timon and Pumba switched places at the last minute from their placement up until opening day.
Across the walkway, Rafiki holds Simba high.
A troll in Norway holds a lantern.
1000 orchid plants beautify the Mexico pavilion.
There is an Aquaponics display.
The Illuminated Gardens took quite some time to light last night, so I didn’t get a chance to see all of them. We were told it should be working better now. However, for photos, these lights aren’t always great. Some of the displays – like this Bambi display – have harsh shadows. Sunset is a better time for some topiaries. Not all topiaries are part of the Illuminated Gardens.
Cinderella and Prince Charming sparkle, as does the tree next to them. This is a great effect!
It was a very busy day yesterday, so I stopped at topiaries that weren’t so crowded. We plan to go back for more night photos next week!
Mrs. Potts and Chip.
Lady and the Tramp also sparkle.
Miss Piggy and Kermit photograph quite nicely at night!
I took some photos of the China pavilion – it’s hard to take a bad photo of it.
The Fantasia ostriches lit up eventually.
This was a very hard topiary display to photograph at night. Mickey was lit up, Minnie wsn’t and Pluto had a small amount of light on him.
The opening topiary display is lit up at night, and looks great with Spaceship Earth behind it.
Check out our video of the Illuminated Gardens:
Butterfly projections light up the ground and monorail station.
Here are some merchandise offerings this year – the green t-shirt is a favorite of ours, and we plan to buy a calendar.
This is my favorite time of year at Walt Disney World, I highly recommend a visit (for at least one day) to the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival!