26th Annual Epcot Flower & Garden Festival Starts March 6, 2019
The Disney Epcot Festival that Just Keeps Getting Better is Getting Set to Do It All Over Again
It’s hard to believe that it’s the 26th year of this signature Disney special event, but the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival is set to take place from March 6 to June 3, 2019. If you have never experienced this festival, it’s one not to be missed and is a personal favorite of mine.
Over the years, I have experienced this festival virtually every year since it first began. I have watched it festival grow from a very modest and colorful undertaking and blossom into the full-bloom garden and culinary event that it has become today. In fact, Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival has taken on many of the traits of its sister Food & Wine Festival in the fall, and that’s a great thing to anyone who visits.
As always, the 2019 edition promises to be a spectacular event, featuring lush new topiaries, edible delights, gardens to play in and an expanded lineup for the popular Garden Rocks Concert Series.
The 90-day event will features dozens of Disney-crafted topiaries and beds of multi-colored blooms that will transform the Epcot landscape into a floral extravaganza. These are always extremely popular with the Instagram crowd. All tolled, nearly 70,000 festival blooms will surround the lakes in Future World, while on the water, hundreds of colorful mini-gardens will be set afloat. If you can catch that shot on a blue-sky day with the monorail swooshing by in the background, you’ll have captured a classic Walt Disney World photo opp!
What to Watch for at the 2019 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival
Here is a look at some of the discoveries guests will make this year:
- The popular Garden Rocks Concert Series will now take place every day of the festival. If you have never seen Garden Rocks, it features classic chart-topping artists performing three shows daily on the America Gardens Theatre stage. In total, that’s over 270 concerts – more than ever before – featuring new and returning fan favorites spanning multiple genres. This year’s returning favorites include The Spinners and Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone. They will be joined by artists new to the festival, such as TobyMac, Steven Curtis Chapman and Colin Hay of Men at Work.
- As the festival has become more and more about food, the Creative new culinary dishes and several new outdoor kitchens will debut this year. AdventHealth will host a kitchen along with a nearby playground where the whole family can learn fun and interactive ways to stay healthy.
- Woody and Buzz Lightyear will welcome Bo Peep and her sheep to their Toy Story topiary near the Family Play Zone in Future World East.
- Spike’s Pollen-Nation Exploration family scavenger hunt will be more fun than ever this year with new locations to discover along the garden pollination trail. Guests can also commemorate their scavenger hunt experience with select merchandise offerings featuring everyone’s favorite bee, Spike. Another guest favorite returning to the festival April 5-21 (while supplies last) is the Eggstravaganza Scavenger Hunt, where guests can search for Disney character-themed eggs around World Showcase.
- To celebrate Disneynature’s “Penguins,” which opens on April 17, a nine-foot-tall art sculpture made from recycled marine debris will be on display in Future World. It features an adult and baby Adélie penguin. Created by the non-profit organization WashedAshore.org, this work of art is designed to inspire Guests to keep our oceans and waterways clear of plastic pollution.
Among the returning gardens and exhibits are the Goodness Garden Butterfly House presented by GoGo squeeZ, where nearly 1,000 native butterflies fly among the garden’s two dozen nectar plants. In addition, several World Showcase pavilions will include gardens with floral life representative of plants in their respective countries, such as the Kokodema Garden and Bonsai Collection in Japan, the Urban Spice Garden in Morocco and the Alpine Container Garden in Germany.
As festival-goers take in all these floral wonders, they will find fine tastes to savor along their journey. In addition to the Outdoor Kitchens, raised-bed or in-ground gardens of herbs and produce will offer the perfect inspiration for learning to grow healthy ingredients. Several Epcot food-and-beverage locations – including Taste Track and Refreshment Port– will offer festival-themed eats and libations. Additionally, guests can enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner at 15 popular Epcot restaurants and guaranteed seating for a nightly concert with a Garden Rocks Dining Package. Dining packages are now booking at FreshEpcot.com or by calling (407) WDW-DINE.
Guided tours are also available for those interested in learning more about nature’s magic. In Behind the Seeds – The Land, you can explore the fish farm and four greenhouses that make up The Land at Epcot. Additionally, two guided experiences exclusive to the festival include:
- The Royal Tea Garden Tour, presented by Twinings, which takes place each festival morning at the United Kingdom. For a small fee, guests can follow a knowledgeable guide through the 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 also will be offered on select days.
- During the Gardens of the World tour, guests will join a Disney horticulturist for a three-hour walking tour to explore the award-winning topiaries and gardens that make the festival so special. Guests will learn about the unique role landscaping plays at Walt Disney World and discover new plant materials and gardening techniques to use for home gardens.
Guided tours are offered select days throughout the festival for an additional fee. Epcot admission is required. For more information or to make a reservation, call (407) WDW-TOUR.
And what would a Disney festival be without lots of fun and unique branded items to purchase? Commemorate your visit to the 2019 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival with official event merchandise. You’ll find everything from apparel and headwear designed to capture the splendor of spring, to garden tools and accessories, and magical Disney keepsakes to adorn your home and garden.
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Mike Belobradic: The Finer Side of Disney Travel
Luxury Travel Blogger – Luxury Disney Travel Expert