The Epcot Flower and Garden Festival began March 1 and continues through May 29, 2017. Last year’s International Flower & Garden Festival was 90 days. This year’s is about the same at 89 days.
During this Orlando theme park special event, guests get to experience the topiaries that are on display and participate in several free activities. There are also free concerts, presentations and kids activities. The outdoor kitchens which were introduced a couple of years ago will dot the beautiful landscape at Epcot and serve up a wide variety of cuisine (food and beverages are an additional cost). To get a taste of everything, it can run hundreds of dollars, so be sure to check out your choices, then narrow it down to a few dishes you feel you have to try. Remember, you can fill up later with your dinner show tickets at Capone’s Dinner & Show, which is just down the road from Epcot.
One of the new topiaries for this year’s Epcot Flower and Garden Festival features Phineas and Ferb located near the Odyssey Bridge. Another new favorite is The Three Caballeros topiary located where else, but at the Mexico Pavilion. You can find Figment, another new topiary behind Spaceship Earth.
Still in the list for most popular attractions are the Anna and Elsa topiaries. They return again with nearly 100 other topiaries spread out through the exhibits. These make for great photo ops! Have fun looking for them all. You may even be tempted to taste one at the newer edible garden near The Land Pavilion! You may also want to check out the Cactus Road Rally area. This garden is “sharp” as well as interesting. Too bad you won’t find a topiary of Al or any of the Wise Guys! To see them, you’ll just have to drive east on Hwy. 192 to Capone’s and have dinner and enjoy the show.
Outdoor Kitchens at The Epcot Flower and Garden Festival
Over a dozen outdoor kitchens feature food and drink items that are difficult to find at any Orlando restaurant. It is an excellent opportunity to test out some dishes you’ve been meaning to try. The new outdoor kitchens this year are Northern Bloom and The Berry Basket. The first representing Canadian foods and the other offering plenty of berry-licious dishes. Other Outdoor Kitchens include:
- Bauernmarkt: Farmer’s Market
- Cider House
- Fleur de Lys
- Florida Fresh
- Jardin de Fiestas
- La Isla Fresca
- Lotus House
- Northern Bloom
- Pineapple Promenade
- Primavera Kitchen (Mamma Capone’s favorite because it features Italian cuisine – try the meatball parmigiana)
- Taste of Marrakesh
- The Berry Basket
- THE SMOKEHOUSE: Barbecue and Brews
- Urban Farm Eats
- Specialty Coffee Carts Hosted by Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Company®
If you have kids, be sure to check out last year’s new play area themed around the “Fab Five” – Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald, and Pluto. You also won’t want to miss the Urban Farm Eats kitchen. It is a garden where your children can learn about many of the items we eat and how they are grown and raised. How can swimming fish help growing vegetables?
Garden Rocks Concert Series
After dining and doing, relax at a free concert during your weekend visit to this Orlando theme park at the Garden Rocks concert series. All concerts take place at America Gardens Theatre, with show times at 5:30 PM, 6:45 PM and 8:00 PM every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Currently the concert schedule features these popular acts:
- March 3 & 4, 2017 – Jon Secada
- March 5 & 6, 2017 – Dennis DeYoung featuring the music of STYX
- March 10 to 13, 2017 – The Pointer Sisters
- March 17 & 18, 2017 – Simple Plan – NEW!
- March 19 & 20, 2017 – Plain White T’s
- March 24 to 27, 2017 – Night Ranger
- March 31 to April 3, 2017 – Little River Band
- April 7 to 10, 2017 – Blood, Sweat and Tears featuring Bo Bice
- April 14 to 17, 2017 – Gin Blossoms
- April 21 to 24, 2017 – The Orchestra starring former members of ELO
- April 28 & 29, 2017 – Exposé – NEW!
- April 30 & May 1, 2017 – Berlin featuring Terri Nunn – NEW!
- May 5 to 8, 2017 – STARSHIP starring Mickey Thomas
- May 12 to 15, 2017 – The Guess Who
- May 19 to 22, 2017 – Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone
- May 26 to 29, 2017 – The Spinners
Epcot Flower and Garden Festival Tickets
While most Epcot Flower and Garden Festival events are included with your theme park ticket, some experiences require a separate purchase or a separate admission fee. The easiest way to know before you go is to visit Epcot’s web site or call 407-824-4321. Currently a one-day pass to Epcot ranges from $99 to $119.
If you’d like to enjoy a buffet dinner, some dancing and a spectacular show after visiting the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival, save a night for Capone’s. While there will not be any colorful topiaries growing at this Kissimmee attraction, there will be some colorful characters! Between the guests and the gangsters, you’ll be exposed to an entire garden of comedy variety. It’s a blast!