The Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival showcases beautiful flowers, plants and food around Walt Disney World’s Epcot every spring. In 2022, the festival runs from March 2nd to July 4th. The festival is running for the 29th year in a row. This post will give an overview of what to expect out of the Epcot Flower & Garden Festival, including our favorite parts of the festival.
Over the years Epcot has become Festival Central. The Food & Wine Festival and Flower & Garden Festival have taken up more dates every year. They have also recently added the Festival of Arts in January and February as well as Festival of the Holidays in November and December. While the festivals started as a nice addition to slow parts of the year, now their reach may be a bit overextended. With Flower & Garden being extended for an extra month and Food & Wine starting earlier every year, there isn’t really an offseason for these festivals. Aside from huge crowds, this isn’t that big of a deal if the festivals offer something unique. While I can debate the merits of the Food & Wine Festival (which we’ll cover when the time comes), I do think the Flower & Garden Festival does offer something fresh to Epcot.
Epcot began as a park that, among other things, celebrated the beauty of the world and the ingenuity that would lead the planet into the future. Flower & Garden showcases both of those ideas and combines them seamlessly. Using the beauty of blooming spring flowers, Epcot enhances those with topiaries, flower beds, butterfly gardens and, of course, food.
Considering what the rest of Epcot looks like right now (hint: it’s a disaster), the festivals take center stage. The construction in Future World will probably hinder a few of the usual Flower & Garden displays, limiting the number of topiaries out in that area of the park. I expect the festival to be even more World Showcase focused than usual. Flower & Garden as a whole will likely be scaled back this year due to the pandemic but Disney hasn’t released full details yet so time will tell.
Here’s a look at what the 2022 Festival will offer!
Like the other Epcot Festivals (notably Food & Wine), Flower & Garden utilizes temporary booths around World Showcase to offer unique food items to guests. These booths are called Outdoor Kitchens. Most of these booths are themed to the countries around them. Most of the food items range from 5-10 dollars, with a few outliers. The alcoholic beverages range from $7-$10 typically and the non-alcoholic drinks are usually around $5. The portion size is never very large but is comparable to most snacks throughout the parks. Generally, I think the items at these booths are a little overpriced for what you get but the quality of food usually makes up for that. I’ve never been very disappointed in what I’ve paid for a snack at Flower & Garden or Food & Wine Festivals. You can find all of the booths and specialty items offered in this post!
We tried a number of different items from last year’s festival, many of which are returning. You can read about those here. A few of my favorite booths from the last few years are the Magnolia Terrace in American Adventure and Epcot Sunshine Griddle near Test Track. There are a host of new dishes this year and plenty of interesting things to try. We recommend snacking around here on a weekday, as the festival will get even more busy on the weekend.
Topiaries and Gardens
While the food is good and follows a pretty natural theme, the star of the festival are the, you guessed it, flowers and gardens. These are spread throughout the park but reside near or in World Showcase more than anywhere else.
The gardens are a nice treat that you can happen upon naturally throughout Epcot. Most of that is thanks to the season and flowers blooming. Many of these gardens or plants could be found throughout Disney Parks thanks to the wonderful horticulture staff that the parks utilize. There are exceptions that make Epcot unique though. My favorite of which are the beautiful gardens that surround the ponds on your way to World Showcase. If given the chance, entering the park via monorail is a great view of those gardens.
Another of my favorite gardens were the bonsai trees in the Japan Pavilion. I enjoyed seeing the different types of plants that aren’t typical in our country. There are a number of new gardens and exhibits for 2022 to check out throughout the festival.
The topiaries are a beautiful treat, that are a little less ‘natural’ than the gardens. That doesn’t make these presentations any less impressive or beautiful. These topiaries are most often of Disney characters and generally fit in with whatever area they reside.
One of my favorite aspects of the festival is the butterfly house, called Bambi’s Butterfly House. How a deer that old can still find time to run a butterfly garden is beyond me. The butterfly garden resides in Future World West, near the Imagination Pavilion. I could have included this in the Topiaries and Gardens section but I spent a good amount of time in the tent so it deserved a special shoutout. There’s an array of different butterfly species as well as some beautiful plants.
While the garden isn’t very big, we spent nearly half an hour in there, snapping photos and looking at all the different plants and butterflies. I thought it was a beautiful area that was really inviting.
What Else Does the Festival Offer?
Typically, the Flower & Garden Festival also features the Garden Rocks Concert Series. Some popular rock bands play in the America Gardens theaters, doing a few 30 minutes sets throughout the evening. Here’s a look at this year’s concert schedule:
- The Guess Who
March 4 & 5
- Rick Springfield
March 6 & 7
- Melina León – NEW to Garden
March 11 & 12
- CeCe Winans
March 13 & 14
- Mike DelGuidice, currently on tour with Billy Joel – NEW!
March 18 & 19
- Kool & The Gang – NEW to Garden Rocks!
March 20 & 21
- The Orchestra starring former members of ELO
March 25 to 28
- The Spinners
April 1 & 2
- The Pointer Sisters
April 3 & 4
- Blue October – NEW to Garden Rocks!
April 8 & 9
April 10 & 11
- Tommy DeCarlo, singer of the band BOSTON NEW!
April 15 & 16
- Don Felder, formerly of The Eagles
April 17 & 18
- STARSHIP featuring Mickey Thomas
April 22 & 23
- Claudia Leitte – NEW!
April 24 & 25
April 29 & 30
May 1 & 2
- Blood, Sweat & Tears
May 6 & 7
- The Commodores – NEW to Garden Rocks!
May 8 & 9
- Ambrosia with Peter Beckett – NEW!
May 13 & 14
May 15 & 16
- A Flock of Seagulls
May 20 & 21
- Collin Raye – NEW!
May 22 & 23
- Thelma Houston – NEW!
May 27 & 28
- Little River Band
May 29 & 30
- Simple Plan
June 3 to 6
- Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone
June 10 to 13
- Plain White T’s
June 17 to 20
June 24 & 25
June 26 & 27
For kids, there is an egg hunt as well as some temporary play areas. Who would have known, kids don’t really enjoy looking at flowers and eating somewhat experimental foods for hours on end. While I don’t consider the kid entertainment to be anything extraordinary, it is a nice addition for when the little ones get a little restless. There’s also a scavenger hunt and Health Full Trail for kids to enjoy at the festival.
Is the Flower & Garden Festival worth making a special trip for? How much extra time will I spend in Epcot due to the Festival?
Above are the two questions I consider to most align with those interested in the festival. There’s no hard and fast rule for this. If you like and enjoy plants more than the average person then the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival is definitely for you. Even if you’re not that into plants, like me, then you will still probably find the festival interesting, informative and beautiful. Is it worth making a special trip to Epcot for? Probably not, unless money isn’t an issue or you live close by. But, if you’re planning a trip and are somewhat flexible in timing then spring might be a good choice.
As far how many hours or days to allot for Epcot when the Festival is ongoing… That answer is even more tricky. I think you could fill up just a day exploring the Flower & Garden portion of Epcot as well as the World Showcase Pavilions. More realistically, if you’re planning for a day and a half for Epcot on a normal trip, I’d just make it two full days. If you have kids, that may be pushing it but I think most adults could easily spend 2 days at the park experiencing Epcot and Flower & Garden.
If you have questions or comments about the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, please leave them below in the comments. Planning at trip to Disney World? Check out our Disney World Trip Planning Guide. If you enjoy what you’re reading here on Wandering in Disney, please subscribe to the blog on the right side of this page. That’s where you can find links to our social media accounts, as well. Thank you for reading!
Categories: Vacation Tips