Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival 2018
One of the first big festivals of the year at Walt Disney World is the annual spring time Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival. Now in its 25th year, the festival runs for 90 days from February 28 to May 28, 2018 and admission is included with the standard ticket (except for special tours). Prior to 2016, the festival ran for 75 days.
Epcot is transformed into a riot of colour with over 500,000 flowers, shrubs and trees decorating the park. At night, some of the gardens are illuminated.
There is something for everyone at the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival with:
- themed flower and garden displays
- presentations, workshops and seminars on gardening, landscaping and cooking
- an interactive play areas for kids
- over 100 Disney character themed topiary displays
- more than a dozen outdoor kitchens where you can sample different food and drinks
- Garden Rocks™ outdoor weekend concert series (Friday through Monday) featuring live performances of popular hits
- children’s gardens and playgrounds
- Fun Fresh Weekend focussing on family togetherness
- special Garden Rocks dining packages
For 2018 there are several brand new gardens including a Future World interactive play garden, the children’s Road to Florida 500 garden with a play maze and a Cars 3 themed garden featuring highway bingo.
There are also two scavenger hunts, the popular Egg-stravaganza scavenger hunt and the all new Spike the Honey Bee Pollen Nation Exploration scavenger hunt.
Maps and stickers for Egg-stravaganza can be purchased for $5.99 plus tax from Disney Trader, Pin Central or World Traveler locations. The Spike the Honey Bee scavenger hunt also costs $5.99 plus tax from Port of Entry.
Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival Topiaries
Not unsurprisingly 2015 saw the arrival of sisters Anna and Elsa from the hit movie “Frozen”, celebrating the films icy finale in topiary form.
In 2018, Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and Goofy greet festival guests at the front entrance to Epcot and many old favourites are to be found around the park including:
- Anna and Elsa
- Aurora & Prince Phillip
- Bambi, Flower and Thumper
- Beauty and the Beast
- Buzz Lightyear & Woody from Disney Pixar Toy Story
- Cinderella & Prince Charming
- Daisy Duck, Chip and Dale
- Donald Duck with Huey, Dewey and Louie
- Farmer Mickey & Minnie
- Lady and the Tramp
- Lighting and Cruz from the Disney Pixar Cars
- Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and Goofy
- Miss Piggy & Tour de Fleurs Garden
- Pandas and Bromeliad Dragon
- Peter Pan, Captain Hook & Tick Tock the Crocodile
- Phineas and Ferb
- Simba, Pumbaa, Timon, Rafiki, Mufasa and Sarabi from The Lion King
- Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
- The Three Caballeros
- Winnie-the-Pooh & Friends
New for 2017 were Belle, Figment, The Three Caballeros, Phineas and Ferb.
Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival Gardens
The gardens in 2018 cover a variety of themes including Alpine Container Garden, Bamboo Garden, Bonsai Collection, English Tea Garden Presented by Twinings of London®, Festival Blooms, Floating Mini-Gardens, Florida Fresh Garden, Garden Italiano, Imagination Play Garden, Purple Martin Garden, Road to the Florida 500, Shakespeare Garden, The Goodness Garden Butterfly House Presented by GoGo squeeZ, The How-To Garden, Tropical Rainforest Garden and Urban Spice.
Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival Events
Unlike previous years, in 2018 there is no single Festival Center (previously in the Wonders of Life building between Mission: Space and Ellen’s Energy Adventure) where you could attend horticultural demonstrations and buy garden related merchandise. Instead seminars and merchandise have been spread around the park in other pavilions. You can pick up useful tips when you watch designers and personalities at special presentations and seminars, each featuring a celebrity guest speaker each weekend.
Like previous years there are around 15 outdoor kitchens dotted around the World Showcase featuring foods from many different countries and nations, both those represented by the Epcot country pavilions and more. Many items can be purchased through the Disney Dining Plan as snack credits.
A useful tip is to pick up a Garden Passport to help track your eats.
Returning for a second year is the Royal Tea Garden Tour at the United Kingdom pavilion which lasts around 45 minutes. Guests receive a guided tour through an English tea garden to learn a little of the history of growing and blending tea. The price is $18 plus tax per person and includes tea and scones after the tour. There is also a complimentary English Tea Garden Tour on select dates.
Garden Rocks Concert Series
Each Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday there are a series of outdoor Garden Rocks Concerts held at the America Gardens Theatre next to the American Adventure in World Showcase, featuring popular rock music bands from the 60s and 70s and beyond.
Showtimes are 5:30 p.m., 6:45 pm. and 8:00 p.m. with seating on a first-come first-served basis.
Garden Rocks Concert Series Dining Packages
If you want reserved seating at the concerts, you can purchase a Garden Rocks Concert Series Dining Package which gives you either breakfast, lunch or dinner at a select Epcot restaurant and guaranteed seating at one of three evening concerts the same day.
The meals are either a three course meal or a full buffet plus a non-alcoholic drink depending upon location.
In 2014 you could see Kermit and Miss Piggy from the Muppets promoting the new Muppets movie “Muppets Most Wanted”. As well as the Muppets, there were many other Disney favourites including Mickey Mouse, Goofy, Donald Duck and Daisy, Timon and Pumba, Peter Pan, Captain Hook and the Croc.
For the second year, there was a series of around a dozen Garden Marketplace kiosks dotted around the pavilions in the World Showcase, featuring fresh food and drinks from the host nations, including muppet themed treats like Piggylicious Bacon Cupcakes.
Many items were available on the Disney Dining Plan (snacks) and typically cost around $4.00 to $6.00. You could also buy a wristlet gift card that could be preloaded with money, making purchases easier, similar to the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival.