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16 Fabulous Epcot Flower and Garden Festival Tips

top 16 tip for EPCOT flower and garden festival

16 Fabulous Epcot Flower and Garden Festival Tips

Time to learn the best Epcot Flower and Garden Festival tips for this year’s event.

Spring is around the corner and you probably can tell due to the pollen, the birds, the bees, and the flowers springing to life. This means that the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival is here!

There you will find me in the midst of the colorful garden creations, the brilliant seminars, and the tantalizing cocktails from February 28th through May 28th.

This is Epcot Flower and Garden Festival’s 25th year!

The Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival  has blossomed into its own major festival at Walt Disney World. I thought it would be great to give you some basics tips on how to maximize your time at the festival.

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Epcot Flower & Garden Festival

Epcot Flower & Garden Festival

Top 16 Tips for Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival:

1 – Go during the weekdays

Anyone visiting Walt Disney World on a regular day knows that going at the right time is extremely important. This concept is even more important during special events and holidays. That’s why I recommend attending the Flower & Garden Festival during the weekday (Monday through Thursday) in order to optimize your international globe hopping experience at Epcot.

Please Note:  The seminars and concerts are included with park admission. Food, drinks and special packages are sold separately. Epcot is open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily (festival “kitchens” open daily at 11 a.m.)
2 – Get there early

We’ve all heard the saying…

“the early bird catches the wormyou snooze, you lose”

…so on and so on. I

t’s the classic tip for any theme park visitor, especially any Disney guest.

Coming early to the Epcot Flower & Garden Festival will give you a chance to pace yourself by allowing you to enjoy the festival attractions in both Future World and World Showcase.

3 – Attend the seminars

There’s no better way to enjoy the event than attending the amazing educational classes, which are mostly free or budget friendly. A plus is that you will get to meet many of your favorite floral and topiary presenters in a much more relaxed environment compared to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival.

4 – Grab a Garden Passport
Elderflower Sangria Epcot

Elderflower Sangria

The passport is a pamphlet that allows you to personalize it with your name, country, date issued, and date of completion. It also includes the locations of the topiaries, the outdoor kitchen offerings, merchandise options, and concert information. Stickers are also included for you to mark off which kitchen you’ve visited.

5 – Buy a Disney wristlet gift card

For the typical pro foodie, savoring the many samples is a must; however, doing this without a set budget could turn a fun trip into one of financial regret…

…trust me, I’ve made this mistake a few times.

Buying the wristlet gift card will also prevent any unexpected credit card swiping if you’re a bit tipsy from the adult libations.

6 – Split the cost

Going with a friend or two or three always turns an already great journey into one of epicness!

Just ask my friends.

It also means that if you’re on a budget and down for sharing, then you can really try most of the dishes without leaving the park financially wounded.

7 – Visit the Festival Center

***The festival center is closed this year due to the massive expansion happening in Epcot. I will keep you up-to-date on any news I find out.***

Starting here is a must! It opens two hours before World Showcase and it is a good way to enjoy a few seminars and chat with Cast Members, possibly gaining some insider tips.

This year the Festival Center will only be open on the weekends from Friday through Sunday. During the Fun Fresh Weekends in the Festival Center, you will be able to enjoy complimentary gardening demonstrations, and meet a variety of horticulture specialists for tips on creating your own outdoor retreat!

8 – Explore the topiaries
CARS Flower & Garden Festival Topiary

CARS Flower & Garden Festival Topiary

Walkaround and check out the beautiful topiary displays created by the talented Disney staff. Don’t forget to get your picture at some of the spots with a Photopass opportunity.

9 – Map out your day

This is another classic tip for any avid Disney traveler. Visit the official Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival website for the complete guide.

This tip will save you the headache of missing out on unique things, especially if you’re only able to visit once. This tip is very important, because it will help guide you on where to find your gardening inspiration, what time seminars/demonstrations will occur, and any additional information regarding speakers, performers, and other special Disney guests.

10 – Plan to visit multiple times

You will need a few trips!

One to try it all, another trip for seminars, and one to retry your favorites dishes all over again.

11 – Plan for a cab or have a designated driver in the group

Previewing the festival’s menu should give you an idea of what delicious treats can be expected. There are many beverages that infuse fresh ingredients with lively spirits. Hopefully, you will leave balanced and able to walk out.

Be sure to have a plan for this kind of indulgence. This will make for a safe and fun experience at Epcot.

12 – Do the Egg hunt!
Disney Easter Egg Hunt-France Pavilion

Disney Easter Egg Hunt-France Pavilion

The Egg-stravaganza scavenger hunt has returned. You can purchase the map for $5.99 at Disney Traders. The goal of this fun game is to find themed eggs around Epcot World Showcase. You then turn it back in for a unique Disney character egg to take home.

13 – Do the Tea Garden Tour

In the United Kingdom pavilion, you can do a complimentary guided tour in the tea gardens called, The English Tea Garden tour. According to Disney, you’ll learn more about the artistry behind the growing and blending of herbs, which is vital for the creation of uniquely flavored brews.

  • The English Tea Garden tour lasts approximately 20 minutes.
  • Same-day registration is available in The Tea Caddy gift shop.
  • Advance registration is recommended, as each tour is limited to only 20 Guests.
  • Tours are held Monday through Thursday at 3:30 p.m. and 5:00 p.m., and Friday through Sunday at 1:00 p.m., 3:30 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.

There is another tour called the Royal Garden Tea Tour. This tour begins at 9:45 a.m. in the United Kingdom Pavilion. This is an upgraded tour with tea and scones included for $18.00.  This tour lasts 45 minutes. You can book the Royal Garden Tea Tour by calling (407) 939-8687.

14 – Eat your heart out!
Quinoa Vegetable "naanwhich" and Crispin Blackberry Pear Cider

Quinoa Vegetable “naanwhich” and Crispin Blackberry Pear Cider

Enjoy all of the delicious, fresh offerings in the Kitchens at this year’s Epcot Flower and Garden Festival.


2018 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival Outdoor Kitchens Menu
The Honey Bee-stro Hosted By National Honey BoardTM (Showcase Plaza):

Food:

  • Roasted Cauliflower with Buckwheat Honey Carrot Purée, Wild Rice Pilaf, Asparagus, Honey Blistered Grapes and Sunflower Brittle
  • Honey Tandoori Chicken Flatbread with White Cheddar Cheese, Charred Vegetables, Clover Honey Sour Cream and Micro Watercress
  • Local Wildflower Honey-Mascarpone Cheesecake with Orange Blossom Honey Ice Cream garnished with Fennel Pollen Meringue Kisses

Beverage:

  • Florida Orange Groves Winery Orange Blossom Honey Wine, St. Petersburg, FL
  • Orange Blossom Brewing Co. Orange Blossom Pilsner, Orlando, FL
  • Honey-Peach Cobbler Freeze with Blueberry Vodka
  • Honey-Peach Cobbler Freeze (non-alcoholic)
CIDER HOUSE (United Kingdom):

Food:

  • Pear Cider-brined Shredded Corned Beef with Braised Cabbage, Pears and Branston Dressing
  • House-made Potato and Cheddar Cheese Biscuit with Smoked Salmon Tartare
  • Freshly Baked Lemon Scone with Crème Fraîche and Mixed Berries

Beverage:

  • McKenzie’s Black Cherry Hard Cider, West Seneca, NY
  • Florida Beer Company Caribé Blood Orange Tropical Hard Cider, Cape Canaveral, FL
  • Ciderboys Grand Mimosa Apple Orange Hard Cider, Stevens Point, WI
  • Cider Flight
  • Martinelli’s Sparkling Cider, California (non-alcoholic)
LA ISLA FRESCA (Showcase Plaza):

Food:

  • Jamaican-braised Beef with Pigeon Pea Rice and Micro Cilantro
  • Sugar Cane Shrimp Skewer with Steamed Rice and Coconut-lime Sauce
  • Caribbean Conch Salad with Mango, Papaya and Pickled Red Onions
  • Tropical Mousse Cake: Layers of Passion Fruit Cake, Coconut Mousse and a Tropical Fruit Glaze with Fresh Pineapple

Beverage:

  • Golden Road Brewing Tart Mango Cart Wheat Ale, Los Angeles, CA
  • Tropical Freeze with Cruzan Mango Rum
  • Tropical Freeze (non-alcoholic)
THE BERRY BASKET (Showcase Plaza):

Food:

  • Lamb Chop with Quinoa Salad and Blackberry Gastrique
  • Field Greens with Fresh Strawberries, Crisp Quinoa, Strawberry Vinaigrette and Spiced Pecans
  • Warm Wild Berry Buckle with Pepper Berry Gelato

Beverage:

  • JDub’s Brewing Company Blueberry IPA, Sarasota, FL
  • Island Grove Blueberry Moscato, Hawthorne, FL
  • Twinings® Green Tea Berry Mint Julep
  • Twinings® Green Tea Berry Mint Julep (non-alcoholic)
NORTHERN BLOOM (Canada):

Food:

  • Seared Scallops with French Green Beans, Butter Potatoes, Brown Butter Vinaigrette and Apple-wood Smoked Bacon
  • Beef Tenderloin Tips, Mushroom Bordelaise Sauce, Whipped Potatoes with Garden Vegetables
  • Griddled Maple Pound Cake with Warm Peach Compote and Sweet Corn Gelato

Beverage:

  • Maple Popcorn Shake with Crown Royal Maple Whisky
  • Unibroue Maudite Amber Ale, Chambly, Québec
  • Maple Popcorn Shake (non-alcoholic)
  • Unibroue À Tout Le Monde Saison, Chambly, Québec
  • Unibroue Éphémère White Ale, Chambly, Québec
  • Beer Flight
FLEUR DE LYS (France):

Food:

  • Tarte à la Tomate Provençale: Provencal Tomato Tart with Sautéed Onions, Fresh Thyme and Rosemary on a Flaky Pastry Crust
  • Canard Confit Aux Gnocchi à la Parisienne: Braised Duck Confit with Parisian Gnocchi
  • Macaron au Chocolat en Sucette: Large Chocolate Macaron Lollipop

Beverage:

  • La Vie en Rose Frozen Slush: Grey Goose Vodka Orange, St. Germain Liqueur, White and Red Cranberry Juice
  • Kir Pomegranate: Sparkling Wine and Pama Pomegranate Liqueur
  • Cabernet Sauvignon, Village de France
  • Kronenbourg 1664 Blanc
JARDIN DE FIESTAS (Mexico):

Food:

  • Pork Taco: Slow-braised Pork Taco served with Apple Relish, Goat Cheese, and Chile de Árbol Sauce
  • Chilaquiles: Chilaquiles served with Ranchera Sauce, Chorizo, Mexican Cream, and Cotija Cheese
  • Capirotada: Bread Pudding served with Rompope

Beverage:

  • Tiger Lily Sangria
  • Rose Margarita
  • Violet Cassis Punch
  • Daisy Spicy Beer
LOTUS HOUSE (China):

Food:

  • Spicy Meatballs with Crispy Tofu
  • Fried Chicken Dumplings with Peanut Sauce
  • Vegetable Spring Rolls

Beverage:

    • Oolong Peach Bubble Tea (non-alcoholic)
    • BaiJoe Punch: Chinese Bai Jiu Spirit, Lychee, Coconut and Pineapple Juice
    • Kung Fu Punch: Vodka, Triple Sec, Mango and Orange Juice
    • Plum Wine Cooler
    • Tsingtao Lager


Discount Disney Tickets

PRIMAVERA KITCHEN (Italy):

Food:

  • Frittata di Asparagi: Asparagus Frittata, Mixed Greens and Citrus Dressing
  • Fritto Misto: Crispy Shrimps, Zucchini and Spicy Sauces
  • Ravioli all’ Aragosta, Germogli di Piselli: Maine Lobster Ravioli, Veloute Sauce, Pea Sprouts, Pear Drop Tomatoes and Salmon Roe
  • Panna Cotta al Melone: Cantaloupe Panna Cotta

Beverage:

  • Pinot Grigio
  • Chianti
  • Prosecco
  • Corbinello
  • Moscato
  • Bellini: Sparkling Wine and Peach Purée
  • Frozen Italian Margarita with Limoncello and Tequila
  • Moretti Lager L’Autentica
  • Moretti La Rossa
TASTE OF MARRAKESH (Morocco):

Food:

  • Harissa Chicken Kebab with Dried Fruit Couscous Salad
  • Fried Cauliflower with Capers, Garlic Parsley and Chili Ranch Sauce
  • Walnut Honey Baklava

Beverage:

  • Desert Rose: Sparkling Wine topped with Pomegranate Liqueur
  • White Sangria
  • Casa Beer
HANAMI (Japan):

Food:

  • Frushi: Fresh Pineapple, Strawberry and Melon rolled with Coconut Rice, Sprinkled with Toasted Coconut and Whipped Cream with Raspberry Sauce on the side
  • Ginger Beef Yaki Udon: Thin-sliced Beef, Onions, and Noodles tossed on the grill with Soy and Ginger

Teriyaki Salmon with Furikake Seasoned Brown Rice

Beverage:

  • Pineapple Momo Sake Cocktail
  • Karatamba “Dry Wave” Sake
  • Sapporo Draft Beer in a Kampai Cup
JOFFREY’S COFFEE & TEA COMPANY®:
  • Future World East – The Final Lap: Iced Tea topped with Frozen Passion Fruit with Vodka
  • Canada – Orange Blossom Twist: Frozen Orange Pineapple topped with Vodka
  • Showcase Plaza – Garden of Guava: Frozen Pink Guava topped with Rum or Vodka
  • The American Adventure – Strawberry Piña Colada: Frozen Piña Colada and Strawberry with Rum



15 – Watch the live concerts

Don’t feel bad if you’re not able to go to the first show. Most bands tend to change up the song lineup throughout the evening. I’ve found the second and third shows tend to be the best. The band is usually warmed up and there’s a better energy from both the crowd and the artists.

Remember that queue lines form on both sides of the theater.

2018 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival Concert Lineup

Shows are at 5:30, 6:45 and 8 p.m. at the America Gardens Theater.

  • March 2-5: Night Ranger
  • 9-12: Starship starring Mickey Thomas
  • 16-19:Simple Plan
  • 23-26:  Little River Band
  • 30-April 2: The Orchestra, starring former members of ELO
  • April 6-7: Foghat
  • 8-9: Survivor
  • 13-14:Smash Mouth
  • 15-16:Rick Springfield
  • 20-21: Jo Dee Messina
  • 22-23: Lonestar
  • 27-30: Blood, Sweat and Tears featuring Bo Bice
  • May 4-7:Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone
  • 11-12:Village People featuring Victor Willis
  • 13-14: Don Felder of the Eagles
  • 18-21:The Guess Who
  • 25-28: The Spinners
16 – Enjoy yourself!
Epcot Flower & Garden Festival

Epcot Flower & Garden Festival

You’re really going to have a great time, so try not to stress too much if you find yourself spending too much time at the Kitchens. There’s always something going on in the park that will bring great delight to your heart.

Check out the articles below for more Epcot Festivals and Walt Disney World Tips

Don’t forget to discover the new magical and mysterious Disney adventure of Pandora – The World of Avatar at Animal Kingdom® Theme Park.

For more theme park news, discounts, tips and guides, subscribe to the newsletter!

16 Tips for Epcot Flower and Garden Festival

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Until next time, Happy Park Hopping Hipsters!

NikkyJ

NikkyJ
NikkyJ

I’m a writer who loves ALL things amusement park related. I was born and raised in Florida, which attributes to my Theme Park passion. Every since I was a child I had a natural affinity to the parks here that has now spilled over into adulthood. Instead of rushing over to the thrill rides, like I used to, you may find me in the Italy Pavilion at EPCOT enjoying a nice glass of wine and a delightful book!

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