The annual Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival is almost here. The event in 2015 looks like it will be the best one ever. This year marks new arrivals, and the return of some old favorites. Here are eight reasons why the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival is one of the most popular special events at Walt Disney World. Park admission is required, but there is no added fee for most of the activities.
8) Length of the Festival
In 2015 the festival will run from March 4 until May 17. That’s over ten weeks of fun! It will be easy to fit into almost any schedule. Those looking to stay away from the heat and humidity will want to visit early. Spring Breakers will have a chance to join in on the fun. The festival is still going on during the first Star Wars Weekend, so guests arriving for that event will have a chance to take part. Because the festival lasts for 75 days, people will be able to enjoy it without it getting overcrowded.
7) Quick Response Codes
Want to learn about a topiary or the plants in a garden? Look for a Quick Response Code. That’s what they call those square patterns that you scan with your smartphone or tablet. The QR Code will give you more information. There are several free apps to choose from, and with most you can save the information to read later if you so choose.
6) Event Merchandise
The special event merchandise is always fun at Walt Disney World, and the merch at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival is no exception. You’ll find everything from T-shirts to tea cups. Special Mickey ears will be sold, you can dress Duffy up for the festival, and pin collectors won’t be disappointed. You can even take home a special Olaf and place him in your own garden. Once the festival is over, you won’t be able to buy these items again.
5) Garden Rocks Concert Series
In 2015 there will be a new concert series. Garden Rocks will take place on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. There will be three shows nightly, weather permitting. The schedule is as follows, but could change without notice:
3/06-3/08: Gin Blossoms
3/13-3/15: Pablo Cruise
3/20-3/22: En Vogue
4/03-4/05: The Orchestra starring former members of ELO
4/10-4/12: The Village People
4/17-4/19: Jon Secada
4/24-4/26: The Guess who
5/01-5/03: Taylor Dayne
5/08-5/10: Little River Band
5/15-5/17: Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone
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4) Mini Gardens
What would a garden festival be without gardens? Your kids can play in a garden based on the characters from Monsters, Inc. You’ll experience a butterfly habitat, see illuminated gardens, and more. You can also learn more about tea in the English Tea Garden. At the end of the tour you’ll receive some samples, and you’ll have a new appreciation for the different blends of tea.
3) HGTV Designer’s Stage
Once again, HGTV is a sponsor of the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival. On Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, guests can learn from the best. The HGTV Designer’s Stage will feature two shows each of the days, one at noon and the other at 3:00. The stage will be put to good use the other days of the week. Seminars and presentations will take place daily.
2) Outdoor Kitchens
Although the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival does not have food as its primary focus, there is still plenty to eat and drink. The Outdoor Kitchens, as they are called, are set up along World Showcase with treats that are not usually available in the park. You’ll find small plates at the 11 booths, and you’ll want to sample what they all have to offer. Disney Dining Plan snack credits can be used for many of the items. Make sure you have your passport stamped at each outdoor kitchen that you visit.
One of the best things about the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival is the variety of topiaries. In case you’re not familiar with what a topiary is, it’s a plant or plants that have been clipped into a shape or design. The topiaries at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival feature Disney classics such as Snow White, Cinderella, and Bambi, whimsical characters like Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy, and more. New for 2015 are Anna and Elsa from Frozen. They’ll be located in World Showcase Plaza. This year you’ll be greeted by Goofy and his pals Chip ‘n Dale near the park’s entrance. The topiaries are amazing, you’ll never be able to pick a favorite. Check them out after dark for an added surprise.