Festivities include new Garden Rocks concerts, Outdoor Kitchen flavors and topiariesThe EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival continually sprouts fresh surprises for Walt Disney World Resort guests, and this year there’s more fun in store than ever before when the 90-day spring extravaganza bursts into bloom March 4. The 27th annual festival will run through June 1 with colorful new topiary whimsy, tasty seasonal bites and daily Garden Rocks concerts starring new musicians crossing many decades and genres.
|2019/ Matt Stroshane, photographer
Family-fun at the festival will include the charming new Remy topiary at the France pavilion, where Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure will open in summer 2020. The five-foot-tall floral Remy will stand atop a huge wheel of cheese brandishing a giant spoon as he reigns over a veggie-and-herb garden sprouting with tomatoes, eggplants, zucchini and onions. And a stunning new 18-foot-long dragon topiary that changes color in full sun will breathe fresh floral fantasy into the Japan pavilion.
Festival food is always a big draw, and delicious spring flavors will inspire guests to try sweet and savory treats from food-and-beverage stops throughout the park, including the new Magnolia Terrace, one of 16 Outdoor Kitchens popping up during the festival.
What began in 1994 as a 38-day celebration of Disney-style gardens and topiaries has grown over the years to a 90-day spring extravaganza with something for every generation. There’s enough music, food and floral fun to engage everyone in the family.
- New festival-exclusive dishes will debut at Outdoor Kitchens, including the new Magnolia Terrace at The American Adventure. Here, low-country, gulf-region comfort food will thrill fish fans with a Southern Seafood Boil and Grilled Oysters prepared on site for guests to view. Guests will also enjoy an innovative plant-based menu at Trowel & Trellis hosted by IMPOSSIBLE Foods.
- Guests can try the new Garden Graze Stroll to purchase five festival dishes from select locations, track their progress with Festival Passport stamps and receive a complimentary commemorative keepsake upon completing the delectable journey.
- Guests can celebrate spring with festival favorites including Orange Bird and Spike the Bee sipper cups and a Spike the Bee spork (available at select Outdoor Kitchens while supplies last).
- The popular Garden Rocks Concert Series will run three times daily featuring chart-toppers of the 1960s, ’70s, ’80s and ’90s on the America Gardens Theatre stage. That’s 270 concerts presenting new acts like Mark Wills and High Valley, and returning fan favorites spanning multiple genres. Back by demand: STARSHIP featuring Mickey Thomas, The Pointer Sisters, and Blood, Sweat & Tears.
- One of the best ways to enjoy the music is to book a Garden Rocks Concert Series Dining Package. Each package includes breakfast, lunch or dinner at a select Epcot restaurant and guaranteed concert seating.
- Bo Peep in top topiary form will round up her sheep and other Toy Story pals at Bo Peep’s Playtime Training Grounds topiary garden and playground.
- Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Goofy and Pluto will wield shovels and other tools to help with the historic EPCOT transformation now under way. Donald and Daisy topiaries will crop up at World Showcase Plaza for a photo op with mischievous nephews Huey, Dewey and Louie. Dozens of additional character topiaries including Belle, Beast, Kermit, Miss Piggy, Buzz Lightyear and more will dot the festival landscape, along with dozens of Disney-crafted “flower towers” and beds of multi-colored blooms.
- Spike’s Pollen Nation Exploration family scavenger hunt will be more fun than ever this year with festival surprises to uncover along the garden pollination trail.
- This year’s Goodness Garden Butterfly House presented by GoGo SqueeZ will move its flurry of vibrant-winged beauties to a new location between The Land and Imagination! Other not-to-miss gardens will include the Urban Spice Garden at the Morocco pavilion; and the Garden Italiano in Italy, where “Lady and the Tramp” topiaries share that famous plate of spaghetti.
- At the Health Full Trail presented by AdventHealth, the entire family can learn fun ways to stay active at a playground, enjoy healthy seasonal treats at an Outdoor Kitchen and relax and unwind in a decompression area.
- Spring themes will brighten festival merchandise collections with irresistible items. Mickey’s Home Grown Collection celebrates farmer’s market finds on clothing, a magnet, and drinkware. The Minnie’s World in Bloom Collection brings the freshest apparel, headwear, and other fashions right from the flower cart.
- Enjoy some extra sunshine with Orange Bird in a citrus-inspired merchandise collection made up of apparel, headwear, accessories and more. Spike the Bee is also dropping in with merchandise that’s all the buzz. Enjoy this sweet collection, ranging from drinkware, apparel and an ornament, among other items. All merchandise is available while supplies last.
- The Royal Tea Garden Tour will return each festival morning at the United Kingdom pavilion. For a small fee, guests can follow a knowledgeable guide through a tranquil tea garden setting to learn the history and artistry behind growing and blending tea. A post-tour treat of tea and scones is included. The shorter, complimentary English Tea Garden Tour presented by Twinings of London also will be offered on select days.
For this year’s festival, guests can also explore these just-opened EPCOT film attractions:
- “Awesome Planet” – This new 10-minute film in The Land pavilion offers a breathtaking look at Earth’s beauty and diversity through spectacular imagery, in-theater effects and an original score from Academy Award®-winning composer Steven Price.
- “Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along” – Directed by Don Hahn, who produced the animated and live-action “Beauty and the Beast” films, this magical experience in the France pavilion invites guests to embrace a twist on a “tale as old as time.” Angela Lansbury, who played Mrs. Potts in the original film, narrates the new sing-along that shares the pavillion’s theater with the classic “Impressions de France” film.
- “Canada Far and Wide in Circle-Vision 360” – Canada pavilion’s original “O Canada!” is refreshed with dazzling new scenes, a new musical score by Canadian composer Andrew Lockington and narration by award-winning Canadian actors Catherine O’Hara and Eugene Levy.
For more information about the 27th EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival, guests can call (407) W-DISNEY or visit FreshEPCOT.com.