Guide to Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival for 2017

(Article last updated: March 11, 2017)

There are several special events held throughout the year at Disney World. Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival is 1 of those.

In this guide, I've got details on when it's held, what takes place, how I suggest touring and my thoughts on whether or not it's worth it.

Let's get started...

What is it?

The Flower and Garden Festival is an event held at Epcot every spring that focuses on special exhibits related to gardening (hence the name). There are other activities including unique food offerings and music as well. All details are below.

How much does it cost?

There's no special ticket required to attend the Flower and Garden Festival. Your park ticket to get into Epcot will allow you to enjoy all of the Flower and Garden Festival events (except for 1 tour - more info on that below).

When is it?

The Flower and Garden Festival typically takes place from the first part of March through the middle or end of May. In 2017, the dates are March 1-May 29.

What exactly takes place during the festival?

There are several different things that take place at Epcot during the Flower and Garden Festival.

Here are the main highlights:

Topiaries
One of my favorite parts is that the whole park has lots of topiaries (over 100!) that have been created in the shapes of Disney characters. Almost every year Disney rotates new topiaries into their display. In 2015, Anna and Elsa topiaries were introduced for the first time and 2016 saw Huey, Dewey and Louie topiaries added. For 2017, additions include a newly re-imagined Belle in France, a new Figment near Spaceship Earth and new Phineas and Ferb topiaries near the Odyssey Bridge.

Gardening seminars and workshops
In the Festival Center (located between Mission: Space and Ellen's Energy Adventure), experts appear to answer questions about gardening on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.

HGTV Designer Stage

Garden Rocks Concerts
Concerts are held during the weekends of Flower and Garden Festival and feature groups whose popularity peaked a couple of decades ago but who still sound great. Concerts take place at the American Gardens Theater on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and, new for 2017, Mondays at 5:30 p.m., 6:45 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Flower Power concert stage

The lineup for 2017 is:

  • March 3-4: Jon Secada (“Just Another Day”)
  • March 5-6: Dennis DeYoung – The Music of STYX (“Grand Illusion”)
  • March 10-13: The Pointer Sisters  (“I’m So Excited”)
  • March 17-18: Simple Plan (“Welcome to My Life”)
  • March 19-20: Plain White T’s  (“Hey There Delilah”)
  • March 24-27: Night Ranger  (“Sister Christian“)
  • March 31-April 3: Little River Band  (“Reminiscing”)
  • April 7-10:  Blood, Sweat & Tears featuring Bo Bice  (“Spinning Wheel”)
  • April 14-17: Gin Blossoms  (“Hey Jealousy”)
  • April 21-24: The Orchestra starring former members of ELO  (“Evil Woman”)
  • April 28-29: Exposé  (“Point of No Return”)
  • April 30-May 1: Berlin featuring Terri Nunn  (“Take My Breath Away”)
  • May 5-8: STARSHIP starring Mickey Thomas  (“We Built This City”)
  • May 12-15: The Guess Who (“American Woman”)
  • May 19-22: Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone (“I’m Henry VIII, I Am”)
  • May 26-29: The Spinners  (“Working My Way Back To You”)

Outdoor kitchens
Due to the popularity of the Food and Wine Festival, Disney started offering food and beverage options throughout the World Showcase.

For 2017, there are 15 different stations offering a variety of options, including two new ones - Northern Bloom and Berry Basket. Northern Bloom will have a menu themed around delicacies found in Canada, with Berry Basket offering a selection of berry themed items.

Keep in mind that many items can be purchased with Disney Dining Plan snack credits. You can see which items are covered by looking for the DDP icon on the menus.

You can find all of the menus and see food photos on Disney Food Blog's 2017 Flower and Garden info page.

Various gardens and play areas
There are lots of gardens, play areas and exhibits throughout Epcot for the festival. A couple worth noting:

  • New for 2017 - the Cars-themed interactive play gardens will have a new character from Cars 3 join the gang
  • The hands-on Harmony Gardens musical playground featuring Disney’s Fab Five topiaries including “band leader” Mickey Mouse (plus Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Pluto and Donald Duck) that debuted in 2016 returns in 2017. With the playground’s interactive drums, chimes and xylophones, visitors can create their own musical sounds when they’re not scampering across innovative outdoor climbing systems with safe, but challenging, net-based structures. Also, be sure to watch for music-themed plants that add harmony to the play area.
  • Tinker Bell's Butterfly House - located in Future World along the walkway that goes toward the Canada pavilion, this is a great place to stop along the way

Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival Passport/Guide

Get the 2017 Flower and Garden Passport below with info on every topiary, food kiosk, concert, etc.

2017 Flower and Garden Festival Passport

Tours
There are a couple of tours that are only offered during the Flower and Garden Festival.

  • Epcot Gardens of the World Tour - a 3 hour tour led by a Disney horticulturist. These are offered on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, from 9:00 AM to noon and cost $85.00, plus tax. You have to be 16-years-old or older to attend. You can book it by calling (407) WDW-TOUR.
  • English Tea Garden Presented by Twinings of London Tea - this a free tour that lasts 20 minutes and takes place in the United Kingdom pavilion. Guests should register by signing up in The Tea Caddy in the UK pavilion.

Epcot's Kidcot Garden Stop Field Guide

Kids can pick up a free Kidcot Garden Stop Field Guide at any of the Kidcot locations in the park. The kids version has a place for a stamp from each of the countries and information about fruits and berries native to the corresponding location.

How to plan your day

With the advent of FastPass+, everything is much more planned out in advance now so here's my suggestions for how to put your day at Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival together.

First, I'd suggest visiting on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday. That's when more things are offered so you'll get to experience more with your theme park ticket.

There are really only 2 main scheduled things to plan around: the gardening workshops/seminars and the Garden Rocks concerts.

Taking my general advice for touring Epcot and adapting them for the Flower and Garden Festival, this is what I would suggest.

  • Make FastPass+ reservations for Soarin OR Frozen Ever After, Spaceship Earth, and Turtle Talk with Crush
  • Arrive 30-45 minutes before park opening
  • Ride either Frozen Ever After or Soarin' (whichever one you don't have a FastPass+ for)
  • Mission: Space
  • The Seas with Nemo and Friends
  • Explore The Seas pavilion
  • Use FP+ for Turtle Talk with Crush (suggested FP+ time: sometime around 9:30-10:30)
  • Living with the Land
  • Use FP+ for Soarin OR Frozen Ever After (suggested FP+ time: 10:30-11:30)
  • Visit the Festival Center (open March 1st - 5th and then only Fridays-Sundays for the rest of the festival)
  • Gran Fiesta Tour
  • Rest of the day:
    Use FP+ for Spaceship Earth (suggested FP+ time: anytime in the afternoon or evening)
    Ride Test Track in the Single Rider Line
    Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival
    Journey Into Imagination with Figment
    Explore the World Showcase
    Garden Rocks concert at 5:30 p.m., 6:45 p.m. or 8 p.m.
    Explore Flower and Garden Festival exhibits and gardens
    Ellen’s Universe of Energy (takes 45 minutes)
    Illuminations (at night)

Is Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival worth it?

I think the Flower and Garden Festival is most likely worth it for people who are a bit older. And by "older" I mean those who were young when the featured musical acts were popular.

That doesn't mean other people won't enjoy it (my college-aged daughter loves it!); I just don't think it's probably worth designing a whole trip around, but if you're there, definitely take the time to enjoy it. You'll never see Epcot looking any prettier.

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So, will you be attending the Flower and Garden Festival? Or do you have questions that weren't covered here?

Please share in the comments.

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Kaitlin

I am going to be in Disney from may28-june3 and we are thinking about going to Epcot on May 29 for the flower festival. Is it worth it at that point? we are unsure about going Monday or Tuesday, Epcot is open later on Tuesday, and we are worried that Monday will be more crowded because it is the last day of the festival. With the topiaries still be up for Tuesday may 30?

Francesca Spathis

We will be there for Flower & Garden this May, so got Park Hopper tickets this time so we’d have the option to go a couple of times. Most looking forward to all of the topiaries and the food!

Kaitlin

I will also be going in May! I am going the very last day, May 29. Do you think if it will extra crowded that day since it is the last day? I really know nothing about it other than what I read here, just looking to see if I should plan epcot on a different day.

we wanted to go first part of may which was a green time on your calendar but there’s just no room availability at most of the resorts why would that be? Very puzzled why all the resorts seem to be full

Sharon Cartwright

There are a few resorts undergoing major refurbishments right now, so I wonder if that is having an effect on availability?

Katie

Does the 2017 Passport have a space for stickers/stamps? Grandson (age 4) would be much happier being able to fill a “sticker book” while we’re there. Food selections look amazing.

Jess

They stamp them at each country. Even better there is an Easter egg hunter egg featuring 3 foot character themed eggs. One each is hidden in each country around the world. You can buy a map for $6 , find the characters and put stickers on the map and then redeem it for a special character plastic egg.

Linda Bates

Noticed the dates for 2017 don’t line up right on the calendar. When I downloaded the “Passport” it too was wrong. (2016). When can we expect these updates to the site? Thanks, Linda B.

I’m so excited! While looking over your March calendar for 2017, I saw that this event will be happening! I am so excited! Your photos make it look spectacular!

Adina Long

I planned a WHOLE trip around it lol. Leaving Friday with just a 1 day ticket and leaving Sunday afternoon. I want the candied strawberries

Samantha

Does anyone know if the topisaries stay up after the festival ? My family has a trip planned for the beginning of July and we would love to see them.

Lisa Koedyker

I’m just curious if the topiaries remain up at Epcot for a while after the festival is over? We visit Disney World at different times of the year, but being from Michigan…we are often there when it is cold up here. Just wondering if we came in the beginning of June this year, if we’d still see the gorgeous flowers!

Madeline

We are going to Epcot 3 days before the start of the Flower and Garden festival for 2016. Do you know if some of the displays are up before the start date? Can we expect to see any of it? Thanks!

Jamie

These past few years we have gone a few days before the festival starts and they have some of the topiaries up. You just won’t be able to get merchandise or enjoy any of the food booths. Still very pretty to see the flowers and topiaries take shape!

Martin Rush

Myself and my partner are travelling to the U.S. next year and are visiting Epcot,do you have any idea on the garden festival line up and any dates,we saw the orchestra there last year and would love to see them again!!!

Eileen

How early should I arrive to get in line for a seminar/workshop? Thank you!

Dee

Has anybody been frustrated with this year’s map? Last year the food kiosks were marked in yellow with a corresponding number. This year it’s just the yellow knife & fork icon with no number next to it. 🙁

Kara

My husband and I are in our early 30’s and we just took our 2 year old to the festival last weekend (March 20-21). It was our first time and we loved it! Being someone who may over plan and always pack “just in case items”, I was regretting that I forgot misty fans! A great surprise was the COLD, complimentary (GoGo?) applesauce pouches that were handed out outside of the butterfly garden! En Vogue was the musical guest that weekend and they sounded awesome, still!

Nichole Murray

First of all, this blog is a life saver. THANK YOU for sharing all your knowledge!!

I have a question… My husband and I are arriving at Disney the very last weekend of the flower and garden festival. This is also the first weekend of Star Wars Weekends, so we are trying to determine the best ways to spend our time. Do you know if the butterfly garden will still be up after Sunday the 17th? It would work better for us to go to Epcot on Monday, but I don’t want to miss it!

Thank you!!

Nichole

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