Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival 2017

Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Valentines
Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Valentines

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 24th year, the festival runs for 90 days from March 1 to May 29, 2017 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
  • garden designer presentations, workshops and weekend garden seminars
  • an interactive play areas for kids
  • over 100 Disney character themed topiary displays
  • outdoor kitchens where you can sample different foods
  • Garden Rocks™ Outdoor concert series (Friday through Sunday) featuring live performances of popular hits
  • a Harmony Garden Musical Playground for children and
  • Fun Fresh Weekend focussing on family togetherness

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 2017 Anna and Elsa return along with old favourites like:

  • Bambi, Flower and Thumper
  • Beauty and the Beast
  • Bromeliad Dragon
  • Buzz Lightyear and Woody
  • Cruz Ramirez
  • Donald, Daisy, Huey, Dewey and Louie
  • Fantasia
  • Festival Blooms
  • Lady and the Tramp
  • Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and Pluto
  • Panda
  • Peter Pan, Tinkerbell and Fairy Houses
  • Ranger Mickey and friends
  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
  • Stitch
  • Mufasa, Pumbaa, Rafiki, Sarabi, Simba and Timon
  • Winnie the Pooh and friends

New for 2017 are Belle, Figment, The Three Caballeros, Phineas and Ferb.

The gardens in 2017 cover a variety of themes including Alpine containers, Bonsai Collection, Butterflies on the Go presented by GoGo squeeZ™, Floating Mini-Gardens, Geranium Grandeur, Health & Healing Garden, Illuminated Gardens, Nature Works Everywhere, Pepper Fire Garden, Prehistoric Plants, Purple Martins Presented by Audubon Florida and a Shakespeare Garden.

Head to the Festival Center (between Mission: Space and Ellen’s Energy Adventure) to attend horticultural demonstrations and buy garden related merchandise. 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 2016 there are the 13 outdoor kitchens dotted around the World Showcase featuring foods from the different countries and nations. 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.

Each Friday, Saturday and Sunday 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.

Previous years

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 Food and Wine Festival.

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