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, we've got details on when it's held, what takes place, how we suggest touring, and 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).
During the festival, nearly all of Epcot is decked out with gorgeous flowers and vegetation and all things garden.
If you find yourself visiting Epcot while the festival is taking place, you're in luck, because, in our opinion, the park is at its most beautiful then.
In addition to the beautiful flowers and topiaries, there are other activities that occur including unique food offerings and musical acts. All details about those 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 a couple of tours - more info on that below).
When is it?
The Flower and Garden Festival typically takes place from the first part of March through the end of May or early June.
In 2020, the Flower and Garden Festival dates are March 4 - June 1, 2020.
That's about 90 days to take in all of the gorgeous displays.
What exactly takes place during the festival?
There are several different things that take place at Epcot during the Flower and Garden Festival, most of which are free.
Much of the information below is from the 2019 festival, however, we will update it with 2020 information as soon as it becomes available.
One of the best parts is that the whole park has lots of topiaries (over 100!) that have been created in the shapes of Disney characters.
Every year Disney changes up the displays just a bit and typically adds at least a couple new ones to the mix.
In 2020, guests will be greeted by a brand new Remy topiary in the France pavilion.
This new topiary will be the centerpiece to an entire Ratatouille Garden which will be planted with all the delicious vegetables you use to create that classic comfort food.
And in 2019, Disney debuted a new topiary featuring Bo Peep and her sheep.
Garden Rocks Concerts & Dining Packages
In 2020, the Garden Rocks Concert Series takes place daily (which gives you lots of chances to check it out!).
General seating for the concerts is free and is included in your price of admission to the park.
But, if you want a more up-close view of the show you can purchase a Dining Package that will get you a seat in the first 3 rows (more on that below).
These concerts are fun and feature groups whose popularity peaked a couple of decades ago, but who still sound great.
You can catch the concerts every day during the festival at 5:30 p.m., 6:45 p.m., and 8:00 p.m.
The lineup for 2020 is:
- March 4-5 – Peabo Bryson*
- March 6-9 – The Orchestra starring former members of ELO
- March 10-12 – The Guess Who
- March 13-16 – Simple Plan
- March 17-19 – STARSHIP featuring Mickey Thomas
- March 20-23 – Mark Wills*
- March 24-26 – The Spinners
- March 27-28 – Sister Hazel
- March 29-30 – The Pointer Sisters
- March 31-April 2 – Former Journey Lead Vocalist Steve Augeri
- April 3-4 – Blood, Sweat & Tears
- April 5-6 – Exposé
- April 7-9 – Berlin
- April 10-11 – A Flock of Seagulls
- April 12-13 – Atlantic Star*
- April 14-16 – Tony Orlando
- April 17-18 – High Valley
- April 19-20 – Rick Springfield
- April 21-23 – TBD
- April 24-27 – Plain White T’s
- April 28-30 – Don Felder, formerly of The Eagles
- May 1-2 – Don McLean*
- May 3-4 – Casting Crowns*
- May 5-7 – Ambrosia with Peter Beckett*
- May 8-9 – Thelma Houston*
- May 10-11 – The Allman Betts Band*
- May 12-14 – Air Supply
- May 15-18 – Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone
- May 19-21 – Mike DelGuidice & Big Shot*
- May 22-23 – Claudia Leitte*
- May 24-25 – Daughtry*
- May 26-28 – Marshall Tucker Band
- May 29-30 – Crowder*
- May 31-June 1 – Survivor
* Acts new to the Garden Rocks Concert Series
It usually isn't too hard to snag a seat to one of the concerts; however, you'll want to arrive about 30 minutes before the show, or, if you prefer, you can avoid the line (and wait) altogether and book one of the Garden Rocks Dining Packages.
Each dinner package includes 1 guaranteed seat to the Garden Rocks concert on that night and a meal that includes an appetizer, entree, and dessert, or if a buffet, it will include 1 full buffet.
If you line up early for the dining package, you'll be allowed to enter a bit earlier than the standby line and can choose where to sit (on an aisle in the center usually gives the best view).
There's also reserved seating for this package which is the first 3 rows of the theater, and unless you want the front-center seat, you can show up much closer to show time (even up to just a few minutes before the show starts) and still snag a good spot.
On the Disney Dining Plan? The package can be booked with the Dining Plan at a cost of 2 credits/person.
2020 Garden Rocks Dining Packages
Biergarten Restaurant (World Showcase - Germany Pavilion)
Lunch: $57 for adults; $32 for kids
Dinner: $57 for adults; $32 for kids
Coral Reef Restaurant (Future World - The Living Seas Pavilion)
Lunch: $69 for adults; $22 for kids
Dinner: $69 for adults; $22 for kids
The Garden Grill Restaurant (Future World - Land Pavilion)
Breakfast $52 for adults; $31 for kids
Lunch: $65 for adults; $39 for kids
Dinner: $65 for adults; $39 for kids
Rose & Crown Pub & Dining Room (World Showcase - U.K. Pavilion)
Lunch: $57 for adults; $22 for kids
Dinner: $57 for adults; $22 for kids
Due to the popularity of the Food and Wine Festival, Disney started offering food and beverage options in special kiosks throughout the World Showcase at all of its festivals.
We are still waiting on details for 2020, but here's what we saw in 2019:
Popular food items for 2019
Though there are several fantastic food and drink options available, there are a handful of super popular items you might want to find and try for yourself.
Location: Pineapple Promenade outdoor kitchen at Showcase Plaza (area that separates Future World and World Showcase)
Location: Hanami outdoor kitchen in Japan
Orange Cream Slushy
Location: Citrus Blossom outdoor kitchen at Showcase Plaza (area that separates Future World and World Showcase)
Verrrrry popular since it's served in an Orange Bird sipper, so be prepare to line up early or get in line. Limit of 10 per person.
Location: Lotus House outdoor kitchen in China
Though it's not listed in the festival passport, the cotton candy in China is worth checking out.
In the same building as the Lotus House outdoor kitchen, you'll find these intricate cotton candy designs which are as pretty as they are fun to eat.
You can find all of the menus and see food photos on Disney Food Blog's Flower and Garden info page.
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.
Various gardens and play areas
Every year Disney installs several large gardens, play areas, and exhibits.
Here's what you could find in 2019. We will update this section with 2020 info as soon as it is available:
- Spike's Pollen-Nation Exploration family scavenger hunt returns and will include new locations to discover
- Eggstravaganza Scavenger Hunt (only available April 5-21 and while supplies last) will lead guests on a scavenger hunt for eggs through Epcot
- Play Full Garden filled with equipment designed to teach families fun and interactive ways to stay healthy
- Bo Peep's Playtime Training Grounds which is a fun (and permanent) playground for the whole family
- A 9-foot-tall sculpture created out of recycled marine debris in honor of the new Disneynature's feature film "Penguins"
- Goodness Garden Butterfly House which is located in Future World along the walkway that goes toward the Canada pavilion
There are typically 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.
- Royal Tea Garden Tour - this 45 minute tour has guests exploring an elegant tea garden to learn all about the artistry and history behind growing and blending tea. The cost is $20.00 per person and can be booked by calling (407) WDW-TOUR.
PhotoPass pictures and Magic Shots
Throughout the park you'll find PhotoPass photographers available to take your picture with some of the topiaries.
There are typically a couple stationed at the front of the park, on the main walkway in Showcase Plaza between Future World and the World Showcase, in France, and on the bridge heading over to France from the United Kingdom.
Most of the photographers are able to take both regular pictures in addition to cute festival-themed Magic Shots, so be sure to ask for those if you stop for a photo.
Fun (and CUTE!) Flower and Garden Festival merchandise can be found throughout the park.
Here's some of what we saw in 2019. 2020 merch should be released soon!
You'll find kiosks and booths located all around the World Showcase Lagoon.
For 2019 there were 5 different "themes" for merchandise: Minnie's Garden Party, Mickey's Garden Shed, Violet Lemonade Collection, Figment's Imagination Goes Wild, and Spike and Donald.
Get the Flower and Garden Festival map
The regular Epcot map includes Flower and Garden info during the Festival.
You can pick up the map at the park.
Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival Passport/Guide
Disney has begun issuing these cute little passports for festivals.
Inside the Flower and Garden Festival passport you'll find info on every topiary, food kiosk, concert, etc.
You can download a PDF version of the passport and/or get one for free at Epcot.
Best time to visit
The Flower and Garden Festival (like the other festivals offered at Epcot) is popular with the locals, so avoid the weekends for the lowest crowds.
Also, opening day of anything (including festivals like this one) are extremely popular so be prepared for that if you plan to visit during that time.
How to plan your day
Here are our suggestions for how to put your day at Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival together.
There are really only 1 main scheduled thing to plan around: the Garden Rocks concerts.
Taking general advice for touring Epcot and adapting them for the Flower and Garden Festival, this is what we'd 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)
- 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 (visit the topiaries and festival kitchens as you go)
Garden Rocks concert at 5:30 p.m., 6:45 p.m. or 8 p.m.
Explore more Flower and Garden Festival exhibits and gardens
Epcot Forever (at night)
Is Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival worth it?
Though the musical acts skew toward middle-aged and older visitors, anybody can enjoy this event. If you plan on being at Epcot during the festival dates, definitely take some time to enjoy Epcot looking its most beautiful.
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.