Spring is Blooming in Orlando
I am grateful that it is finally starting to warm up in Texas and feel like spring! In Orlando, a big spring event is already underway! At Disney World, The Flower and Garden Festival began on March 6th and doesn’t end until June 3rd! There is plenty of time to smell the roses, and the petunias, and the begonias… well, you get the idea!
I love the creative signs and topiaries that greet you at the entrance to Epcot each year during this festival. Mickey and Minnie look ready to play in the garden!
The Flower and Garden festival began in 1994 and has become a favorite time to visit for Disney World guests. The spring air, the lovely flowers, and the milder temperatures (milder than summer anyway) in the early months of the festival make it a great time to be in Orlando and at the Disney Parks in particular! If you have admission to Epcot, guess what? You have admission to the festival as well. It is not a separately ticketed event as most of the festival encompasses the addition of elaborate Topiaries and garden displays to Epcot’s already lovely landscape. Even if you are not a fan of putting on your gardening gloves, a big hat and working in your own yard, you will love being at Epcot for this. The smells are so wonderful, both the floral and the outdoor kitchen food booths, that you just can’t help but get a spring in your step while walking through the tulips.
If you happen to be into photography, this is a must do! Vibrant colors galore! I am not a professional photographer, but when I walk into any Disney park, I suddenly feel like I know what those extra buttons on my camera are for (I don’t) and start snapping away! I can only imagine how much fun photographing The Flower and Garden Festival is for people who really know what those extra buttons do!
The Flowers aren’t the only things showing stunning color! 17 outdoor kitchens will be open serving wonderfully colorful, fragrant, and delicious food! Just check out the citrus shortcake from one of the new kitchens, The Citrus Blossom.
There are three other kitchens new to the festival this year as well. Arbor, Trowel & Trellis, and Flavor Full Kitchen. The names alone are so cute it makes me want to try the food!
This is the fried green tomatoes with blue crab-fennel salad selection from Arbor. This looks yummy.
La Isla Fresca is one of the returning outdoor food kitchens. This sugar can shrimp skewer with steamed rice and coconut-lime sauce can be found here!
There are so many delectable looking dishes available you may want 2 or more days here just to keep trying food. If you are on one of the Disney dining plans be sure to ask which bites can be had using snack credits! Drinks aren’t left out either, from beer & cider flights to some sweet or sour slushy concoctions you certainly won’t go thirsty. And talk about vibrant color!
Amazing topiaries, great food, and garden displays may be the highlights of the Flower and Garden Festival, but they are not the only draw. The Garden Rocks concert series is also going on during this time as well! There is a concert scheduled for each day of the festival, and with 3 full months, that means 270 concerts! Concerts are held at the America Gardens Theatre in the American Adventure Pavilion and, the best part here, are included in Epcot admission!
Shows are 7 nights a week during the festival at 5:30 PM, 6:45 PM and 8 PM.
If you want to combine a great dinner and get guaranteed seating for one of the concerts, you may want to consider a dining package. The dining package will allow you to have breakfast, lunch, or dinner at nearly any table-service restaurant in Epcot and gives you guaranteed seating at one of three concert performances that day. It’s outdoor theater so you can hear the music without being in a seat, but it is nice to have a seat where you can see and hear a little more comfortably. One of our agents can get reservations (based on availability) as part of your trip planning
If the flowers, topiaries, food, and concerts aren’t enough, there are also some great things for kids to enjoy during the festival that you don’t see at other times of the year!
- The Goodness Garden Butterfly House allows you to learn all about the life cycle and observe several species of butterflies up close.
- Scavenger hunts! Purchase a map for $6.99 and go on a fun scavenger hunt with a honey bee named Spike. You are searching for his best blooms as he pollinates across Epcot. Return your completed map to point of entry and get a surprise for completing the hunt!
- A similar scavenger hunt happens from April 5th – April 21st where you are searching for Disney themed eggs! Again, you will need a map, but there is a surprise waiting for you as you finish!
- Enjoy 2 interactive play areas: Bo Peeps Playtime training grounds near Test Track or learns about nutrition and wellness at the Play Full Garden.
- In the Mexico pavilion, you can catch the story of Coco being brought to life by the musicians of the Mariachi Cobre and Miguel!
It’s always a magical time to visit Disney World and if you choose to go during The Flower and Garden Festival, don’t forget all of the “usual” things there are to do at Epcot. Soarin is a great ride and if you have a princess that still sings every line to Let It Go when Frozen is on, or even when it’s not on, be sure to tell your Castles and Dreams agent that a fast pass to the Frozen Ever After, the ride is a must! Oh, and don’t forget to study those fancy buttons on your camera!
The Garden Rocks concert lineup as published now:
Journey former lead vocalist STEVE AUGERI – NEW! March 6 through 8
Glass Tiger – NEW to Garden Rocks! March 9 through 10
Jon Anderson of Yes – NEW! March 11 through 12
Tony Orlando March 13 through 14
Wang Chung – NEW to Garden Rocks! March 15 through 16
Simple Plan March 17 through 20
Ambrosia – NEW! March 21 through 22
Magic Giant – NEW! March 23 through 24
Air Supply – NEW to Garden Rocks! March 25 through 27
Berlin, featuring Terri Nunn March 28 through 29
The Smithereens – NEW to Garden Rocks! March 30 through 31
Rick Springfield April 1 through 2
Christopher Cross – NEW to Garden Rocks! April 3 through 4
The Spinners April 5 through 7
Dennis DeYoung, original member of the group Styx April 8 through 9
John Michael Montgomery – NEW! April 10 through 11
Sister Sledge – NEW to Garden Rocks! April 12 through 13
Night Ranger April 14 through 16
Sister Hazel – NEW to Garden Rocks! April 17 through 19
Steven Curtis Chapman – NEW! April 20 through 21
TobyMac – NEW! April 22 through 23
Lonestar April 24 through 26
The Orchestra, starring former members of ELO April 27 through 30
Herman’s Hermits, starring Peter Noone May 1 through 4
Don Felder, formerly of The Eagles May 5 through 7
A Flock of Seagulls – NEW! May 8 through 9
Marshall Tucker Band – NEW to Garden Rocks! May 10 through 11
Peabo Bryson – NEW! May 12 through 13
Richard Marx – NEW to Garden Rocks! May 14 through 15
Starship, starring Mickey Thomas May 16 through 19
Colin Hay of Men at Work – NEW! May 20 through 21
War – NEW! May 22 through 23
The Guess Who May 24 through 27
Jon Secada May 28 through 29
Blood, Sweat and Tears May 30 through June 1
Eddie Palmieri – NEW! June 2 through June 3