We’ve attended two days of the 2015 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival so far – once on a weekday, and the other on the weekend. We have 13 tips for you to make the most out of your Epcot Flower & Garden Festival day! This is our second article on the Festival, the first being a 240 photo tour of opening day – plus there are numerous videos within this article to get a better sense of the Festival. We have been covering the Festival for 9 years now, it is my favorite time of year at Walt Disney World.
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#1: Plan Ahead – If you are visiting over a weekend, that is the best time to visit the Festival. This year, the Festival Center is only open on the weekends (Friday – Sunday), and that is when you will find the Garden Rocks concerts as well (formerly known as the Flower Power concert series).
#2: Pick up a Garden Passport – This pocket-sized pamphlet has almost everything you need to know about the Epcot Flower & Garden Festival in an easy-to-read format.
#3: Visit Anna and Elsa Topiaries Early – I always encourage guests to walk to World Showcase early in the morning for great viewing of some of the most popular topiaries. Frozen’s Anna and Elsa are at the entrance to World Showcase – and while Photopass won’t be there early, you can get great shots from every direction of this new topiary display for 2015. On the way, you can catch Farmer Mickey and Minnie with Spaceship Earth behind them. From there, I recommend walking to the France pavilion for breakfast (Les Halles Boulangerie opens at 9:00 a.m.), stopping for topiaries that include Bambi, Thumper, and Flower; Winnie the Pooh; and Beauty and the Beast. Once the clock strikes 11:00 a.m., you are well positioned for the rest of World Showcase.
Standing Between Anna and Elsa
Here is our video of the Anna and Elsa Topiary Display.
Farmer Mickey and Minnie.
We have a video of Festival Highlights!
Cinderella and Prince Charming Dance in France.
Beauty and the Beast Early in the Morning.
#4: Take the Twinings Tea Tour – We always enjoy the Twinings Tea Tour, which lasts about 20 minutes and offers a few tea samples as a takeaway. This tour is free, and needs to be signed up for early. If you eat breakfast in France early, head to the Tea Caddy in the UK pavlion – just one country away – at 11:00 a.m. to sign up.
#5: Look for Additional Gardens – In addition to the plethora of topiaries and flowers that beautify Epcot at this time of year, there are more smaller gardens than ever before. In the United Kingdom, a Shakespeare Garden has been added (the Tea Garden is still there). There is an Disney-Pixar “Inside Out” Emotion Garden in Future World West, which has been very popular, and even a small Prehistoric Garden at the Universe of Energy. There are a few gardens we haven’t even seen yet.
Here is our video of the “Inside Out” Emotion Garden!
#6: Try Outdoor Kitchens – There are fewer booths than at the Epcot Food & Wine Festival, but we enjoy occasionally trying a few new items around World Showcase. One tip: The Beef Brisket Burnt Ends Hash at The Smokehouse at the America Pavilion might not sound delicious (at least to me, “burnt” and “hash” didn’t equal an appetizing thought), but it is worth stopping for. We also enjoyed the Strawberry Marshmallow Macaron at Fleur de Lys in France – but then again, we enjoy almost everything in France!
Strawberry Marshmallow Macaron in France
#7: Visit the Festival Center – I highly recommend stopping here if you have an interest in the Festival and are visiting on the weekend (Friday-Sunday). We always enjoy the “making of” film that is shown, which is all about the current Festival. I have no idea how Disney gets it filmed and edited so quickly! There is also a horticulture exhibit which includes Anna and Elsa maquettes, telling how they (and other topiaries) are made. Festival shopping can be done here, and we always enjoy the Greenhouse Stage seminar.
#8: See a Garden Rocks Concert – Weekend concerts include the Little River Band, Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone, and Taylor Dayne. Arrive early for the best seat! Concerts are Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at 5:30 p.m., 6:45 p.m., and 8:00 p.m.
#9: Stop at the Germany Train Display – Each year, the Germany train display celebrates the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival (as it also does for other the Epcot Food & Wine Festival and Holidays Around the World). Small banners are created, and a new – tiny – sign, welcoming guests in German has also been added for 2015.
Germany Train Display Celebrates Festival
#10: Visit During a Special Weekend – There are a few special weekends during the Festival, by far my favorite is Art in the Garden. Guest artists create works of art in front of guests. We look forward to Earth Day Weekend as well, which will include a Monkey Kingdom sand sculpture.
#11: Buy Festival Merchandise – Each year, we always pick up the Festival calendar and usually a t-shirt. There are some Frozen items that are limited edition (and some that aren’t), but if you see something you like – buy it then. You never know if it will sell out.
Chip and Dale Garden Statues
Here is our video look at the Epcot Flower & Garden Festival merchandise. Some items are Limited Edition, and a number of items will sell out during the Festival.
#12: Stay for the Illuminated Gardens – Visit many of the topiaries you enjoyed during the daytime as they are illuminated at night.
Epcot At Dusk
Snow White Illuminated
Here is our video of the Illuminated Topiaries:
Entrance Topiary at Night
#13: Enjoy the Festival! There is so much work that is put into every topiary, every flower planted – and it is my favorite time of year at the Walt Disney World parks.
Chip & Dale Topiaries Debuted this Year.
Thumper, Bambi and Flower at Canada Pavilion
Mater at the Cactus Road Rally.
The Epcot Flower and Garden Festival runs through May 17th, 2015 and is included with Epcot park admission.