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2019 Opening Weekend ~ EPCOT®️ International Flower & Garden Festival

Back and bigger than ever, the 2019 Epcot® International Flower & Garden Festival is in full swing, and I was lucky enough to experience it opening weekend.

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Flowers & Butterflies . . . & Margaritas, Oh my!

Back and bigger than ever, the 2019 Epcot® International Flower & Garden Festival is in full swing, and I was lucky enough to experience it opening weekend.

I was not alone.

While the crowds of any Disney special event opening weekend may tell others to steer clear, I have to admit I really like getting the scoop before the masses. Feel free to appreciate my crazy . . . because now you’ll have the insider’s knowledge, too!

I’ve broken down this report so you can easily find what you need to know to decide if a visit to this beautiful Disney festival should go on your list (spoiler alert . . . it should!)

And if you’re wondering if it’s too late to experience the 2019 Epcot® International Flower & Garden Festival firsthand, it is not! Running through June 3rd with room and dining options still available, there’s plenty of time left to get your Flower & Garden fix . . .just message me to get started!

Here’s what you should know . . .

What, When, Where . . .

The Epcot® International Flower & Garden Festival is an annual event, a little (well actually a whole LOT) extra for you to experience in Disney, one of several seasonal festivals held inside EPCOT®.

As its name implies, the Epcot® International Flower & Garden Festival is abloom with brilliant gardens, topiaries and other floral displays, but in addition you’ll find a great variety of cuisine from around the world, adult beverages (insert sunglasses emoji) and entertainment only offered during the festival.

The Festival takes place for a few months each Spring with 2019 dates running MARCH 6-JUNE 3.


Click HERE for a visitor’s guide – the PASSPORT – with complete listing and description of this year’s booths, exhibits and more. The paperback version of this little passport is free and available as you enter (either main entrance in front or World Showcase backdoor) where you obtain the regular park maps.

Is there an extra ticket cost?

Are you ready for this? NO!! Absolutely no additional cost! While you do need valid theme park admission, your standard entrance ticket to EPCOT® also allows you to experience almost all that the Flower & Garden Festival has to offer. Certain tours and dining packages are priced separately, of course, but you have access to all the exhibits, displays, concerts (just not reserved seating, see below for that ) and more without any additional expense!

What will you experience

that you can’t see at other times in Epcot®?

Topiary Displays, Exhibits & Gardens . . .

Much like Spaceship Earth is the iconic symbol of Epcot®, over two dozen giant topiaries form the picture that paints a thousand words for the Epcot® International Flower & Garden Festival, each being carefully created and meticulously pruned by a team of Disney horticulturists.

Click HERE for a list of all the topiary magic that awaits you this year!

While the towering topiaries are sure to catch your eye first, not to be missed are the many exhibits and gardens throughout both Future World and World Showcase.

From an elegant English Tea Garden in the UK to the Goodness Garden Butterfly House – where you just might be handed a complimentary, cold and I have to admit rather yummy GoGo Squeeze Applesauce as you exit – all your senses are sure to be stimulated.

And you might just leave a little smarter.

If you’re ready to balance that margarita or La Vie En Rose (see below) with a little culture and education, look for opportunities like the Purple Martin Garden where these migratory birds from the Brazilian Amazon return to Epcot to raise their young.

You’ll spot various pavilions throughout both Future World and World Showcase spotlighting everything from an Alpine Container Garden in Germany to a Tuscan Kitchen Garden in Italy. Got a thing for Shakespeare? Head to the UK where you can match quotes with flowers. The list goes on, you will not be bored, and you will not see and do it all in one visit.

Fun for kids . . .

The Empty Nester in me tends to have blinders on and focus on ways to “adult” in Disney. Indulge me, I’ve paid my dues and pushed more double strollers onto monorails than I can count. But before I go further and highlight more of the amazing adult experiences that the Flower & Garden Festival provides, I’m going to give a little attention to the kiddos . . . for they, too, will find this festival a must do!

For starters there are not one but two all new enchanting play areas!

Presented by Toy Story 4, Bo Peep’s Playtime Training Grounds (near Test Track® Presented by Chevrolet®) will delight fans of all ages.

There is also the Play Full Garden, hosted by AdventHealth with family friendly interactive activities focused on nutrition and wellness.

Two different scavenger hunts will keep everyone on their toes.

Spike’s Pollen Nation does require the purchase of a map ($6.99) but then you can follow Spike as he pollenates flower beds all across Epcot!

The Eggstravaganza Scavenger Hunt has a limited run around Easter – April 5-21, and again a $6.99 map purchase is required, but then you can hop all over World Showcase in search of Disney character-themed eggs.

The Story of Coco is a brand new entertainment option in Mexico. Several times each day, the magnificent Mariachi Cobre are joined by folklorico dancers to bring the story of Disney·Pixar’s Coco “to life.”

And did anyone say Meet & Greet? While not exclusive to Flower & Garden, just a reminder that some of most beloved Disney characters are welcoming visitors young and old all over EPCOT. I’ll admit I’m partial to visiting the Royal Sommerhus in Norway and spending time with Princess Anna and Queen Elsa, but not to be missed are Donald in Mexico, Snow White in Germany, Belle and Aurora in France, and more. There’s even an entire Character Spot in Future World where you’ll find Mickey, Minnie, & Goofy!

Now . . . let’s get back to those blinders . . . here’s more for the grownups!

Outdoor Kitchens . . .

While not as extensive a setup as EPCOT’s International Food & Wine Festival held every fall, the Outdoor Kitchen game is strong for Flower & Garden, and is getting stronger each year.

You will not go hungry!

One of the best aspects of Epcot festivals is the virtual elimination of needing those often elusive dining reservations. Granted, you still may want the relaxation and air-conditioning that comes with a full-service experience, but if you are just hitting the festival for a few hours, grazing is the way to go! Forget everyone having to agree on a venue . . . divide and conquer is the path to happiness here.

For my first (and certainly not last) visit to this year’s festival, I’m sure I walked off the calories between kitchens, and totally justified the following:

I missed my La Vie En Rose from previous visits, fortunately I’m returning in April to get it, and whatever else I didn’t have room for this time after my stomach and liver both cried “Mercy!”

Full disclosure, La Vie is pretty sweet, and I’m not sure how much “vie” makes it into every little glass, but it sure is pretty and ice cold . . . and if you’re even the slightest bit girly, you have to have one if only for the photo op.

PC: Fairytale Foodie

Now the little orange creme slushies you’re sure to see – the ones in the adorable orange bird cups – I can live without. First of all . . . the line. Actually, there’s no second of all, I’m sure the drink is just dandy, but waiting in that ridiculous line that stretched from Future World to World Showcase (slight but not that slight exaggeration). . .ehh, I’ll pass.

Garden Rocks Concerts

and Dining Packages . . .

Speaking of waiting, no need for “everybody waiting for the weekend”. . . the music at Flower & Garden Festival is nightly now! Sure, you can stop and smell the roses, but be sure to do it in a timely manner so you don’t miss the evening’s entertainment.

Concerts take place at the America Gardens Theatre in the American Adventure Pavilion and are included in Epcot admission. Shows are 7 nights a week during the festival at 5:30 PM, 6:45 PM and 8 PM.

My inner 80’s (and even a little 70’s) fangirl is swooning over the artists taking stage . . . pretty sure Disney is targeting my age demographic, no complaints, just taking note.


  • 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 

As with any Disney entertainment venue, the usual disclaimer . . .All entertainment is subject to change without notice.

Also worth noting, you’re not necessarily going to sit to enjoy the music without a dining package. Sure, there are extra seats in back to come by on a first come first serve basis, but it’s not a guarantee you’ll get one without lining up SUPER early, which I just don’t get. That’s valuable park time for me, so no thank you, I’ll just show up late and stand. Well not late, because then even standing room is gone, I just mean I’m not showing up the couple hours in advance others do.

So which is better, the dining package or winging it? I’ve done it both ways and it’s a tossup for me. Sometimes I just like grazing and standing in the back for the music, sometimes I like a guaranteed seat both for dining and listening. The good news, is you have the option, but if a package is your preference, be sure to book that well in advance of your visit, or have your trusted travel advisor make those arrangements for you.

The following is a list of the 15 participating restaurants with pricing for this year’s Garden Rocks Dining Package.

Each package includes an appetizer, entrée and dessert—or one (1) full buffet or family-style dining, where applicable—along with a non-alcoholic beverage and one (1) guaranteed seat to the Garden Rocks Concert held on the same day.

Akershus Royal Banquet Hall  | Norway Pavilion
Breakfast: $63 for adults; $38 for kids
Lunch: $73 for adults; $44 for kids
Dinner: $73 for adults; $44 for kids

Biergarten Restaurant  |  Germany Pavilion
Lunch: $55 for adults; $31 for kids
Dinner: $55 for adults; $31 for kids

Chefs de France | France Pavillion
Lunch: $72 for adults; $19 for kids
Dinner: $80 for adults; $25 for kids

Coral Reef Restaurant  | The Living Seas Pavilion
Lunch: $67 for adults; $22 for kids
Dinner: $67 for adults; $22 for kids

The Garden Grill Restaurant  | The Land Pavilion
Breakfast $49 for adults; $30 for kids
Lunch: $63 for adults; $38 for kids
Dinner: $63 for adults; $38 for kids

La Hacienda de San Angel  | Mexico Pavilion
Dinner: $82 for adults; $25.75 for kids

Nine Dragons Restaurant  | China Pavilion
Lunch: $50 for adults; $16.99 for kids
Dinner: $58 for adults; $18.50 for kids

Restaurant Marrakesh  | Morocco Pavilion
Lunch: $52 for adults; $19 for kids
Dinner: $63 for adults; $19 for kids

Rose & Crown Pub & Dining Room  | U.K. Pavilion
Lunch: $57 for adults; $21 for kids
Dinner: $57 for adults; $21 for kids

San Angel Inn Restaurante  | Mexico Pavilion
Lunch: $70 for adults; $23 for kids
Dinner: $82 for adults; $25.75 for kids

Spice Road Table  | Morocco Pavilion
Lunch: $52 for adults; $19 for kids
Dinner: $63 for adults; $19 for kids

Teppan Edo  | Japan Pavilion
Lunch: $65 for adults; $20.50 for kids
Dinner: $78 for adults; $23.50 for kids

Tokyo Dining  | Japan Pavilion
Lunch: $65 for adults; $20.50 for kids
Dinner: $78 for adults; $23.50 for kids

Tutto Italia Ristorante  | Italy Pavilion
Lunch: $64 for adults; $22 for kids
Dinner: $70 for adults; $25 for kids

Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria  | Italy Pavilion
Lunch: $54 for adults; $20 for kids
Dinner: $57 for adults; $24 for kids

Events & Tours . . .

If time is on your side, you can add one of several behind the scenes (or in this case, seeds) tours available throughout the day.

If those topiaries have you in awe, you should try the 3-hour walking tour, GARDENS OF THE WORLD, where a small group of guests joins a Disney horticulturalist for an educating and enlightening tour of the gardens around World Showcase. Mon, Tues, Thurs & Fri from 9AM-12PM $85pp/ages 12-up To book, (407) WDW-TOUR.

The ROYAL TEA GARDEN tour in the U.K. Pavilion begins at 9:30 AM before the World Showcase opens to the public at 11. This 45-minute tour will have you exploring the garden in-depth, and learning the artistry and history behind growing and blending tea before a visit to the Tea Caddy Shop for tea & scones. $20pp To book, (407) WDW-TOUR.

Twinings of London is presenting a shorter tea garden excursion and this one is complimentary! Tours are held Monday through Thursday at 3:30 PM and 5:00 PM, and Saturday and Sunday at 1:00 PM, 3:30 PM and 5:00 PM You do need to register same day at The Tea Caddy Gift Shop, as only 20 guests per slot allowed.

Behind the Seeds is a tour not exclusive to Flower & Garden Festival, but I can’t imagine a more timely season to experience it. Guests can visit the fish farm and greenhouses located inside the Land Pavilion on this 30 minute walking tour and discover the latest plant growing techniques including hydraponics. Adults $25, Children $20 To book, (407) WDW-TOUR.

All the Merch, Please!

You’re not going to go hungry and you’re not going to miss out on retail therapy when you attend the Epcot® International Flower & Garden Festival.

I keep promising to stop adding to my spirit jersey collection but much like Disney targets with their musical lineup, they see me coming a mile away.

What’s New This Year?

For 2019, there are four new outdoor kitchens: Arbor at The Gardeners Terrace, The Citrus Blossom, Trowel & Trellis hosted by Impossible Foods, and Flavor Full Kitchen hosted by AdventHealth.

New topiaries include Bo Peep and her Sheep and the Play Full Garden hosted by AdventHealth.

The magical bottom line . . 

EPCOT’s International Flower & Garden Festival gives guests even more reason to visit my favorite of the four Walt Disney World® Resort parks. With incredible beauty to see, wonderful flavor to taste, and sentimental melodies to hear, it’s one of my favorite ways to DO DISNEY DIFFERENTLY.

Need help making the most of your next adventure? I’m here to help…




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