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  • Writer's pictureKristen W.

Epcot’s International Flower and Garden Festival

I've been going back and forth as to whether or not I should do a post of my visit to Epcot's International Flower and Garden Festival. Since there is little less than a month left of this festival, I decided to share my latest visit with you and even offer some tips and tricks for visiting the festival. One of my favorite things about going to Disney in the Spring is the Flower and Garden Festival. The festival will start in early March and will go through the beginning of June. They revamp the park with character topiaries, gardens everywhere and some really delicious food, on top of what they normally have!

The view as you enter Epcot

One of the first things you notice, as you are walking around Epcot, are all of the character topiaries. Disney does bring out some new ones each year, but the one's in World Showcase typically stay the same. This year they had some gorgeous butterflies as you entered the park with some really pretty, and large, pink and purple flowers. There were also new topiaries for Mickey/Minnie, Goofy and Pluto as you walked down the main walkway. As you start to walk around World Showcase you will see Winnie the Pooh and Friends, Bambi, Beauty and the Beast, Bo Peep, Peter Pan, Anna and Elsa, Snow White with Dopey, Lady and the Tramp and there is even one for Lion King. There are so many different topiaries to see that it is a fun addition to Epcot. Personally, I wish they would keep them up year round!

In addition to the topiaries, the Disney Imagineers have created some gorgeous gardens throughout the park. The topiaries are all set in gardens, but they have also created gardens throughout the entire park. The amount of color you see will just brighten your day. I took a lot of pictures of the gardens, but I don't want to overload you, so I will only share a few!

Ok...let's get to my favorite part, the food! Like the Food and Wine Festival, Flower and Garden utilizes the little houses all over World Showcase for different food options. Flower and Garden isn't completely based on different food from all over the world, but it's all about trying Spring's freshest flavors. Disney definitely knows how to do food with these festivals because everything we ate was delicious. I'm going to make these photos bigger, so your mouth can water right along with mine!

Lobster Tail with Meyer Lemon Emulsion and Grilled Lemon

1. Beef Tenderloin Tips, Mushroom Bordelaise Sauce, and Whipped Potatoes with Garden Vegetables

2. Seared Scallops with French Green Beans, Butter Potatoes, Brown Butter Vinaigrette, and Apple-wood Smoked Bacon

1. Pulled Pig Slider with Coleslaw

2. Shredded Beef Brisket with Smoked Potato, Chorizo Fondue, and Green Tomato Relish

Spicy Blackened Shrimp and Cheddar Cheese Grits with Brown Gravy and Local Sweet Corn Relish

1. Fresh Pineapple, Strawberry, and Melon rolled with Coconut Rice, sprinkled with Toasted Coconut, Whipped Cream

with Raspberry Sauce on the side

2. Spicy Hand Roll from the Sushi House in Japan

1. Fresh Pineapple, Strawberry, and Melon rolled with Coconut Rice, sprinkled with Toasted Coconut, Whipped Cream

with Raspberry Sauce on the side

2. Chilled Soba Noodle Salad with Pan-seared Tuna and Wasabi Dressing

1. House-made Crab and Cheese Wontons

2. “Panda” Bubble Tea: Classic Milk Tea with Black and White Bobas

Toasted Pretzel Bread topped with Black Forest Ham and Melted Gruyère Cheese

Grilled Street Corn on the Cob with Savory Garlic Spread

1. Beef Torta: Braised Beef served on a Crispy Sourdough Roll with Queso Oaxaca, Avocado, Pickled Onions,

and Jalapeños in a Spicy Habanero Sauce

2. Tlacoyo: Blue Corn Masa topped with Black Bean Spread, Ground Chorizo, Queso Fresco, and Mexican Cream

On top of the flowers and food, they also have Garden Rocks Concert Series that is held at the American Adventure Stage at the back of World Showcase. They will publish the list of artists in advance, so you will be able to plan your trip around seeing a specific artist. The concerts last about 30 minutes and the showtimes are 5:30 pm, 6:45 pm and 8:00 pm. If you want guaranteed seating at one of the shows, you can book a dining package which will give you breakfast, lunch or dinner reservations at one of the restaurants in World Showcase and guaranteed seating for one of the three evening concerts.

If you want to take your visit one step further, Epcot officer several exclusive tours during the Flower and Garden Festival. I didn't do any of these while I was there, but I definitely saw a lot of people doing them. Here's what they are offering for this years event:

  • Gardens of the World: This tour is over three hours and you will get to explore the lush landscapes and signature displays of the Flower and Garden Festival. You will get to hear about the award-winning topiaries and gardens, which are make the festival so special, learn about the landscaping role at Disney, learns ways to apply this landscaping to your own home garden an discover new plant materials and gardening techniques. The cost for this tour is $85 and the tours take place on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

  • Royal Tea Garden Tour: This tour is a guided tour through the an English tea garden and you will get to sample some teas and scones. This tour is going on at the same time as the Twinings Tea Experience, which I will share more about later, but you will sit on the patio of the Rose and Crown Pub and taste your teas and scones. The cost for this tour is $20 and begins at 9:30 am, which is before World Showcase Opens.

  • English Tea Garden Presented by Twinings of London®: During this guided tour, you will learn about the artistry behind growing and blending of the herbs they use to make their tea. Definitely bring your camera, or you phone, because they have some of their tea flavoring plants in the cutest oversized saucers throughout the garden. This tour does not need an advance registration, as you can sign up the same day at the Tea Shop in the United Kingdom. There is no fee to do this tour and it only lasts 20 minutes!

Disney is running some pretty good deals on hotel rooms through the end of Flower and Garden, but if you aren't looking to stay on Disney property, they have some pretty amazing Good Neighbor Hotels that are close to the parks. If you are looking for a last minute trip or if you are local and looking for a staycation, definitely check out Epcot's International Flower and Garden Festival. You will not be disappointed!

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