Denise's Corner

My 14 Tips for Visiting the 2019 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

Hi everyone!

The Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival is now in full bloom at Epcot! The event runs through June 3rd, 2019 and there are some fun changes this year. It is always exciting for me to check out the progress of flower quilts and topiaries in the weeks leading up to the Festival, and this year there are some new looks on a few of the topiaries and also new placements on many. I will post a topiary specific article in the next couple of days. There will be some additions to this article in the coming weeks, including embedding our Mousesteps Weekly #303 show today – we will talk a lot about the Festival!

Here are my 14 tips for 2019 (and that number could go up).

Belle and Beast in France.

Follow Mousesteps on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube! We recommend booking with MEI/Mouse Fan Travel.

1 – Pick up a Festival Passport. Every festival now includes a passport sized booklet, allowing for easy access to information specifically geared toward the applicable event. For 2019, the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival Passport lists the topiaries, Garden Rocks concerts, Outdoor Kitchen menus and more.

2019 Festival Passport.

2 – Enjoy an early breakfast in France. Les Halles Boulangerie-Patisserie opens at 9:00 a.m., which is earlier than most of World Showcase. This is in my tips article every single year. I love heading here at opening, and picking up breakfast – the bakery offers fresh baguettes, croissants, cheese plates, sandwiches, desserts and more. The bonus is that four of the most popular topiaries are in France this year – Belle & Beast and Kermit & Miss Piggy. So you can enjoy and photograph the topiaries before a lot of guests show up, and there are many more along the way once you leave (in the United Kingdom, Canada, etc.)

Breakfast in France at 9:00 a.m.

3 – Discover topiaries and gardens. There are about 60 topiaries around the park during the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival. If you’ve been before, you’ll notice that there are new locations for many and new looks for Dopey, Woody and Buzz Lightyear. New topiaries this year are Bo Peep and her sheep promoting Toy Story 4 with Woody and Buzz at Bo Peep’s Playtime Training Grounds (one of the two playgrounds). Other gardens and displays are scattered around the Festival, one of my favorites is the return of the Chinese zodiac figures in China. There is so much to see, so plan a full day!

Our video of the new Dopey topiary look (with Snow White).

Toy Story 4 topiaries – new this year is Bo Peep and her sheep!

4 – Look for bees with the Spike the Honey Bee “Spike’s Pollen-Nation Exploration” scavenger hunt. This scavenger hunt is back again this year, and it’s a pretty easy one so kids should find it entertaining and not difficult. The cost is $6.99 for 2019. Guests receive stickers and a map, then look for Spike the Bee in the various locations. The prize is a set of patches, and you can choose which set you want when you purchase the map. Spike is even on some Festival merchandise, it is nice to see a relatively obscure character becoming popular.

Spike the Bee.

Prize patches for “Spike’s Pollen-Nation Exploration”.

5 – Take a complimentary (or paid) Tea Garden Tour in the United Kingdom. The complimentary version of this tour is still available and we have enjoyed it for years. That is first come, first serve to sign up after World Showcase opens, head to the Tea Caddy at 11:00 a.m. I wrote up the Royal Tea Garden Tour in it’s first year and again in 2018. To book the Royal Tea Garden Tour at the cost of $20.00 per person – it does include tea and scones – call 407-WDW-TOUR. You can find more info about it on the Walt Disney World website. We have enjoyed this both years we took it!

English Tea Garden in World Showcase.

The tours sell out, so arrive at the Tea Caddy at 11:00 a.m. to sign up or reserve Royal Tea Garden Tour ahead.

There are also other tours available, including Behind the Seeds.

6 – Enjoy a Garden Rocks (formerly Flower Power) concert EVERY DAY through June 3rd!  It has been years since there have been daily concerts at the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival, I am so glad they are every day again. Garden Rocks Concerts in 2019 include Richard Marx, Lonestar, Rick Springfield and many more. The concerts run about 30 minutes and are included with Epcot admission!

7 – Purchase food and beverage samples at Outdoor Kitchens. This is the seventh year that Epcot has offered food booths, which have become a staple of all Epcot festivals now. I had the opportunity to try some items at a media event and also we’ve purchased samples at some booths. One of my favorites again this year is the Macaron au Chocolate en Sucette (Chocolate Macaron Lollipop) at Fleur de Lys in the France pavilion. And the Farmhouse Meatball at the Trowel & Trellis is incredible – I have never had meatless meat before (Trowel & Trellis is sponsored by Impossible) and it is delicious with so much flavor. You can also find the Orange Bird Sipper at The Citrus Blossom kiosk.

Orange Bird Sipper.

Kermit says “oui” to the Macaron au Chocolate (and so do I!)

8 – Visit the Washed Ashore Penguin Sculpture. The non-profit group Washed Ashore created this beautiful Adélie penguin sculpture – 9 feet tall! – made of trash that wasn’t disposed of properly. It is both educational but also promotes the upcoming film Penguins by DisneyNature. In the past, we’ve seen sand sculptures for the DisneyNature movies but this is a specifically conservation minded display.

Our video of the Adélie Penguin Sculpture Made of Recycled Trash.

9 – Purchase Festival Merchandise. There are five different collections of merchandise for the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival. During the media event, I spoke with Guest Experience Manager for Merchandise Will Dasso and he gave us a really great overview of the merchandise.

Our merchandise overview video from a media event.

Figment t-shirt “Let Your Imagination Grow Wild”.

10 – Take a break midday with a table service meal. Epcot World Showcase has a lot of wonderful dining options. On opening day of any festival we usually head to Via Napoli for pizza, though this year we went to Chefs de France and had a great meal. It is nice to take an extended break halfway through the day.

Lunch at Chefs de France.

11 – Stay through evening and enjoy Illuminated Gardens. Most of the topiaries are illuminated in the evening. Personally, I prefer viewing as many as I can at dusk – they are really great to photograph at that time, with the topiaries lit up and a little daylight still to fill in any shadows. We spent over an hour past Illuminations during the first week taking photos and video of the nighttime topiaries, I brought my tripod and we will have a video to share soon.

Mickey and Minnie illuminated.

12 – Watch “The Story of Coco” in Mexico. This show in Mexico features the Miguel puppet we’ve seen elsewhere – he is now in Epcot for the first time. While this isn’t a show specifically for the Festival, it started the same day and adds another element to a day at Epcot.

Our video of “The Story of Coco” show.

13 – Find eggs with the Egg-stravaganza for a limited time. From April 5 through April 21, the Egg-stravaganza will be back at Epcot! It adds a second scavenger hunt, Easter themed and should cost the same as Spike’s Pollen-Nation Exploration.

14 – If you are a Walt Disney World Annual Passholder, pick up your complimentary character magnet. There will be two different Passholder magnets through the Festival. Pluto is available from March 6 – April 10, and Daisy from April 11 – June 3, 2019.

One of the wonderful things about the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival is that it is ever-changing over the 90 days. For example, the flower quilt will have at least one full re-planting with spring plants in different colors. There always seems to be something new to see.

Will you be visiting during the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival?