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Dates: March 1 through May 29, 2017 – Epcot
Each year from March through May Epcot blooms into a beautiful burst of brilliant buds as thousands upon thousands of flowers are planted throughout the park. With colorful floral displays, inventive topiaries, special gardens, and other unique events, this event definitely enhances the Epcot experience. Keep in mind that you will need a park ticket for Epcot in order to visit the Flower & Garden Festival. The good news is that there is no additional charge once you enter the park.
Near the front entrance of Epcot you will find a grand topiary featuring Goofy, Chip, and Dale. The new star topiary for 2015 that will sit at the entrance to World Showcase is a magnificent display featuring the planted debut of Anna and Elsa. We're going to go out on the limb of a shrubbery here and guess that one will be popular.
Other topiaries will dot both Future World and the entirety of World Showcase. Returning favorites will include likenesses of several princesses as well as favorite characters from The Lion King, Peter Pan, Bambi, Fantasia, and Phineas and Ferb. Once the sun sets the topiaries come to life…figuratively, as they are each theatrically lit.
Outdoor Kitchen Booths
Another aspect of the Epcot International Flower & Garden festival that was introduced in 2013 is the Outdoor Kitchen (formerly Food and Beverage Marketplace) Booths. These stands pop up all around World Showcase serving small plates of food as well as interesting drinks in various culinary styles such as Asian, barbecue, and a faraway land called Florida. Like a miniature version of Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival that is held in the fall, these booths have been quite popular and are sure to remain busy.
Fun Fresh Weekends
Each weekend during the Flower & Garden Festival the Festival Center opens with a hodgepodge of things. There will apparently be "hands-on presentations" and "demonstrations," although the details are not yet available. Don't worry, we'll update this page as soon as the schedule is announced.
Garden Rocks Concert Series
Epcot’s gardens have plenty of flowers, but they also have some rock thanks to the Garden Rocks Concert Series (which was previously known by the overly-groovy Flower Power). Each Friday, Saturday, and Sunday during the Flower & Garden Festival the America Gardens Theatre hosts well known singers and bands. Okay, they may not be well known by the darn kids of today, but if you’ve put a few miles on your odometer, or are at least old enough to remember riding Magic Kingdom’s Skyway, you have surely heard these groups.
The Garden Rocks performers for 2017 are:
- March 3-4 – Jon Secada
- March 5-6 – Dennis DeYoung - The Music of STYX
- March 10-13 – Pointer Sisters
- March 17-18 – Simple Plan
- March 19-20 – Plain White T's
- March 24-27 – Night Ranger
- March 31-April 3 – Little River Band
- April 7-10 – Blood, Sweat, and Tears
- April 14-17 – Gin Blossoms
- April 21-24 – The Orchestra Starring ELO Former Members
- April 28-29 – Expose
- April 30-May 1 – Berlin featuring Terri Nunn
- May 5-8 – Starship Starring Mickey Thomas
- May 12-15 – The Guess Who
- May 19-22 – Herman’s Hermits Starring Peter Noone
- May 26-29 – The Spinners
Due to the length of the Festival, the crowds ebb and flow throughout its run. During periods such as spring break season (mid-March) and Easter (early to mid-April) the park will be very busy. Some other periods such as late April are much more manageable. Weekend will be busier than weekdays, so if you aren’t interested in the presentations or Garden Rocks concerts, visiting on a weekday may be a better option.
The Marketplace booths add a different element as well since they bring people into the park for meals. The booths will get busier as the day goes on, so if visiting the food stands is an important thing for you try to be there as early as you can. The good news is that the Outdoor Kitchen booths also keep people out of the attraction lines, so even when World Showcase seems congested the waits at many of the attractions will be reasonable.
For all the details and to find out the best way to plan your days at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival make sure you use all the tools at your disposal, including Touring Plans and a fully detailed Crowd Calendar, right here at TouringPlans.com.
Last updated by Brian McNichols on February 2, 2017