Festival favorites at the 2023 Flower & Garden Festival! If you are considering a trip to Walt Disney World for the EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival, there is still plenty of time to visit. The festival may have started in March, but it runs all the way through July 5th, 2023.
There are some fabulous activities, eats and treats at the festival this year that I would personally consider “must-do’s”.
Here is a list of some of my favorites! Let’s dive right in.
Disclaimer: Some of the photos embedded within are from previous Flower & Garden festivals. While the topiary or food/drink are the same, the location and background imagery may have changed.
Festival Favorites: Top 5 Must Do Activities
The Butterfly House is also back this year! This is one of my very favorite parts of the festival! Over 1000 butterflies will fly amongst the garden (and Guests!) and the nearly 2 dozen nectar plants.
This is one of my absolute favorite offerings during the Flower & Garden Festival. It’s not to be missed. Visiting multiple times throughout your visit. I guarantee you each time you will see and learn something completely new! It’s fascinating.
One of the highlights of the festival are the amazing topiaries scattered all throughout the park. Each one meticulously crafted to represent one of our favorite characters from movies old and new. The topiaries become more and more realistic as the years go on. I’m always in awe of the Disney horticulture team and what they accomplish.
Every year, Disney adds new topiaries to highlight a new film or character(s). This year it’s Encanto! And the topiaries are super realistic, vibrant and fabulous!
Most topiaries remain in the same location as years past, however there are some that are shifted to make room for new ones. The list below outlines which topiaries are highlighted this year and where to find them.
Take a screenshot of the list below and take it with you. You don’t want to miss any!
- Encanto Topiaries (NEW in 2023!) – Mirabel, Antonio, Isabela and Luisa – EPCOT Main Entrance
- Woody, Bo Peep and Her Sheep from Toy Story – World Nature near The Land pavilion
- Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Chip, Dale & Pluto – Bridge to World Showcase
- Goofy – World Showcase
- The Three Caballeros (Jose, Donald, and Panchito): Mexico pavilion
- Donald and Daisy Duck – Community Garden near Connections Café and Eatery in World Celebration
- Princess Tiana Topiary (NEW in 2023!) – The American Adventure Pavilion
- Buzz Lightyear – World Discovery near Mission: SPACE
- Figment – near Imagination!
- Anna and Elsa – Norway Pavilion
- Troll – Norway Pavilion
- Dragon – Japan Pavilion
- Pandas – China Pavilion
- Rafiki, Simba, Mufasa, Sarabi, Pumbaa, and Timon from The Lion King: Between Imagination! and The Land pavilion
- Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs – Germany Pavilion
- Lady and the Tramp – Italy Pavilion
- Beauty and the Beast – France Pavilion
- Lumiere and Cogsworth – France Pavilion
- Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy – Between France and Morocco Pavilions
- Peter Pan, Captain Hook and Tick Tock – Between the United Kingdom and Canada Pavilions
- Winnie the Pooh and Friends (Rabbit, Eeyore, Piglet and Tigger) – United Kingdom Pavilion
- Tinker Bell’s Fairy House Garden – United Kingdom Pavilion
- Bambi and Friends – near Imagination!
- Geese: Canada pavilion
- Butterflies: Main Entrance, Scentsy Garden, Butterfly House, and World Showcase
There are over 20 different garden areas all across EPCOT, including floating gardens on the waters of World Nature, a bamboo garden in China, a tropical rainforest garden in Mexico and the English Tea Garden Presented by Twinings of London in the United Kingdom (where you can also take a Self-Guided Tea Tour!) Let’s take a look at the complete list!
- Blossoms of Fragrance Presented by Scentsy (NEW) – World Showcase Bridge: Follow your nose with the help of fresh, unforgettable fragrances.
- Outdoor Escapes Presented by OFF! Repellents – World Discovery: Unwind in refreshing spaces that show just how easy it is to create an outdoor escape.
- Floating Gardens – World Nature: More than 150 gardens drifting on the ponds that border the bridge to World Showcase.
- Festival Blooms – World Celebration: Admire thousands of flowers that form colorful panoramas—with a 50th Anniversary celebration theme.
- The Honey Bee-stro Hosted by National Honey Board – Rosewalk near Imagination!: Learn about honeybees’ critical role in the environment, and enjoy sweet and savory treats made possible by their hard work.
- Health Full Trail Presented by AdventHealth – Imagination! Walkway: Delight in an area made to inspire youthful energy! The whole family can learn ways to stay healthy at this Outdoor Kitchen and garden.
- Tropical Rainforest Garden – Mexico Pavilion: Discover the rich diversity of the Mexican rainforest and learn about its highly adaptive species.
- Extraordinary Orchids – Mexico Pavilion: Set eyes on these spectacular plants
- Bold Bromeliads – World Nature by The Land Pavilion: Tour a variety of these amazing plants.
- China Zodiac Garden – China Pavilion: Discover your zodiac in clever plant creations.
- Bamboo Garden – China Pavilion: Visit this garden to see bamboo in a variety of colors, patterns and sizes.
- Alpine Miniature Garden – Germany Pavilion: Appreciate the little things in this showcase of small dwellings nestled in a forest of fine shrubs.
- Garden Italiano – Italy Pavilion: This Tuscan kitchen garden features all the produce and herbs needed to create a classic Italian feast.
- Kokedema Garden – Japan Pavilion: Admire fresh expressions of an ancient Japanese art at this tranquil garden.
- Bonsai Collection – Japan Pavilion: Learn about the art of bonsai. Bonsai masters carefully shape and tend these miniature works of art, creating peace and balance with the earth.
- Spice Garden – Morocco Pavilion: Discover how Eastern cultures flourished, trading signature spices and herb blends
- France Bouquet Garden (NEW) – France: See bountiful blooms perfect for a bouquet of cut flowers.
- English Tea Garden Presented by Twinings: Unearth the history and art of tea-blending at this elegant English tea garden at the United Kingdom Pavilion
- Shakespeare Garden – United Kingdom Pavilion: Rediscover Shakespeare in this idyllic garden featuring excerpts from some of the Bard’s most famous sonnets
- Prehistoric Garden – World Discovery near Mission: SPACE: Imagine life on Earth 65 million years ago with astounding plant life that’s thrived since the age of the dinosaurs.
- Green Landing Family Play Zone – World Discovery: Enjoy playtime with WALL-E and his eco-friendly garden.
Garden Graze returns for 2023! Take a fun food stroll highlighting five (of at least 10) delicious offerings at the festival – all listed in the Festival Passport. Upon your Garden Graze purchase, you will receive a stamp for your Festival Passport.
Once you’ve collected all five stamps, bring your Festival Passport to Pineapple Promenade Outdoor Kitchen to receive a complimentary prize exclusive to the festival. Complete the Garden Graze at your leisure, and you can even bring back your stamped Festival Passport to EPCOT at any time during the festival to complete your Garden Graze.
Included Garden Graze culinary delights (choose any 5 of these selected 10 choices):
- Grilled Street Corn on the Cob with Savory Garlic Spread and Spicy Corn Chips – located at Florida Fresh
- Grilled Street Corn on the Cob with Savory Garlic Spread and Plant-Based Cotija Cheese – located at Florida Fresh
- Avocado Toast with Marinated Toy Box Tomatoes on Toasted Ciabatta – located at BRUNCHCOT
- Boneless Impossible™ Korean Short Rib with Cilantro-Lime Rice, Danmuji Slaw and Kimchee Mayonnaise – located at Trowel & Trellis Hosted by Impossible Foods
- Impossible Lumpia with Thai Sweet Chili Sauce – located at Trowel & Trellis Hosted by Impossible Foods
- Chocolate Cake with Black Currant Ganache, Mixed Berry Compote and Chocolate Ice Cream – located at Trowel & Trellis Hosted by Impossible Foods
- Potato Pancakes with House-Made Apple Sauce – located at Bauernmarkt: Farmer’s Market
- Coconut Tres Leches: Vanilla Cake soaked in Oat Milk, Almond Milk and Coconut Milk with Toasted Coconut – located at La Isla Fresca
- Pineapple Skewer with Tajin Seasoning – located at Refreshment Outpost
- Cookies ‘n “Cream” Chocolate Mousse Cup – located at The Land Cart
Garden Rocks Concert Series
The infamous Garden Rocks Concert Series is back and better than ever! Enjoy pop icons ranging from the 1960’s all the way through the 2000’s as they rock and jam on the American Gardens Theater (across from the American Adventure Pavilion). See here for this year’s full lineup. There are some fan favorites returning like Starship and Rick Springfield!
And if you are interested in priority seating for any one of the scheduled concerts, consider booking a dining package. Indulge in a meal (breakfast, lunch or dinner) at select restaurants throughout EPCOT and receive a priority seat (1 per person on the reservation) at one of the concerts that same evening. Note that you typically don’t get to select the time of the concert you attend (there are usually 3 performances in the evening; 5:30pm, 6:45pm, and 8:00pm est), but if you ask your server nicely, they may swap out the time if it conflicts with something else you have planned (like Genie+ or Individual Lightning Lane reservations).
The dining packages are offered Friday through Monday during the Flower and Garden Festival and are a great way to guarantee seating and you won’t have to wait hours to see your favorite performer. There are very limited same-day dining packages at the Regal Eagle Smokehouse. If you decide at the last minute to visit EPCOT and want to join the same-day list, visit the restaurant for more information. They are subject to availability, so visit early to secure your spot.
Festival Favorites: Top 5 Must Try Food & Drink
There are so many options and choices at the festival, there is really something for everyone’s tastes and cravings. These are some of my tried and true (and tasty) food snacks and drinks.
- Frushi: Strawberry, pineapple, and lychee wrapped in sweet rice and pink soy wrap served with whipped cream, drizzled raspberry sauce, and toasted coconut
Pineapple Promenade (Near Port of Entry)
- Frozen Desert Violet Lemonade (Non-alcoholic)
American Adventure Pavilion
- Spicy Chicken Gumbo with Andouille sausage and BEN’S ORIGINAL Long Grain & Wild Rice
- Bayou Cocktail: Bayou Spiced Rum, coconut rum, fruit punch, and orange juice
BRUNCHCOT (Near Test Track presented by Chevrolet)
- Avocado Toast with marinated toybox tomatoes on toasted ciabatta (Plant-based) (Garden Graze)
Festival Favorites: Top 5 Tips
Don’t forget to pick up your Guide Map and Passport.
These are essential to organizing your day. Know where you are going and use your Passport to check off where you’ve been and what you’ve tried. At the start of the day, highlight the offerings that are your “must do’s”, this way you can prioritize those and you don’t miss out!
Have a budget and stick with it!
With all the food and drink offerings at the festival, setting a limit right from the beginning is the best way not to go overboard. My suggestion is to put a set amount of money on the mini special event wristband gift cards. This will help you stay on track, and they are great souvenirs too!
Pace yourself and share!!
With so many options available to us every year at the Flower and Garden Festival, it’s easy to get over excited and dig right in to the food offerings. By the time you hit the halfway point, you’ve had enough! Prioritize what to eat and drink first and go slowly. There is plenty of time to try everything! Use your Festival Guide to help you navigate and plan.
Also, I highly recommend sharing with friends and family! This is a great way to maintain your appetite, save some money, and you get to try more things!
Take advantage of the activities
The Flower and Garden Festival offers unique activities for the young and young at heart, all centered around Disney’s horticulture program. Take advantage of these. Some are free, some are of minimal cost. All well worth it!
Find a place to sit and relax!
Scouting out a place to sit and enjoy your tasty treats may be difficult, especially on weekends. There are a lot of high top tables around the World Showcase, but there are also many nooks and crannies where you can grab a seat and enjoy your food and drink. My recommendation, scout out a table before you purchase treats. Have a friend hold the table while you get the food – another tip, ask to share a table! It’s a great way to meet new friends! I have met some of the most interesting people by doing this!
No matter how you do the Flower & Garden Festival, the key is to have a great time. If you aren’t having fun and are stressed out, none of it is worth it. There is no right or wrong way to do the festival. Whatever works for you IS the right way. After all, you are on vacation! Relax and enjoy. That’s what it’s all about.