Tag Archives | Epcot Flower and Garden

Epcot Flower and Garden Festival – What’s New This Year

The Epcot Flower and Garden Festival began February 28 and continues through May 28, 2018. Every year the festival runs close to 90 days. This year marks the 25th annual event.

Epcot Flower & Garden Festival

Donald and Daisy at the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival. ©Disney.

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.

Buy Half Price Tickets!

Epcot Gardens

Anna and Elsa Topiaries at the Epcot Flower & Garden Festival

Anna and Elsa will remain very popular at this year’s festival. ©Disney

The new topiary for this year’s Epcot Flower and Garden Festival features Mickey, Minnie and Goofy located at the main entrance. Still others feature Tinker Bell, Troll, Stitch and many other familiar characters. 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 a topiary 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 kitchen this year is the Honey Bee-stro. The menu features all-natural food and drink infused with what else, but honey. Other Outdoor Kitchens include:

  • Bauernmarkt: Farmer’s Market
  • Cider House
  • Fleur de Lys
  • Florida Fresh
  • Hanami
  • 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
  • Specialty Coffee Carts Hosted by Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Company®

If you have kids, be sure to check out this year’s new play areas. They are the Imagination Play Garden and the How-To Garden. You also won’t want to miss the Road to the Florida 500. Your children can zip around the race track while you sit back and recharge.

Garden Rocks Concert Series

Epcot Flower and Garden Festival performance

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 2-5, 2018 – Night Ranger
  • March 9-12, 2018 – Starship starring Mickey Thomas
  • March 16-19, 2018 – Simple Plan
  • March 23-26, 2018 – Little River Band
  • March 30-April 2, 2018 – The Orchestra, starring former members of ELO
  • April 6-7, 2018 – Foghat – NEW!
  • April 8-9 – Survivor – NEW!
  • April 13-14, 2018 – Smash Mouth – NEW!
  • April 15-16, 2018 – Rick Springfield – NEW!
  • April 20-21, 2018 – Jo Dee Messina – NEW!
  • April 22-23, 2018 – Lonestar – NEW!
  • April 27-30, 2018 – Blood, Sweat and Tears, featuring Bo Bice
  • May 4-7, 2018 -Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone
  • May 11-12, 2018 – Village People featuring Victor Willis
  • May 13-14, 2018 – Don Felder, formerly of The Eagles – NEW!
  • May 18-21, 2018 – The Guess Who
  • May 25-28, 2018 – 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 website or call 407-824-4321. Currently, a one-day pass to Epcot starts at $102.00.

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!

No Shortage of Fun Things to Do This Weekend

What a fabulous weekend we have in store for us in Central Florida! Spring Break is starting (or continues) for many school districts, Bike Week is wrapping up and the Orlando theme parks are as inviting as ever. It is a great time to visit the attractions or participate in one of the many other fun things to do.

Theme Park Garden Festival

The Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival will continue. On the weekends there are more presentations and activities. Be sure to read more about this year’s festival in my previous post.

Professional Sports

If you want to catch some professional baseball, check out the Atlanta Braves. Their Spring Training facilities are located at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. It is an affordable way for the entire family to watch their favorite players. This weekend, the Braves take on the Rays on Friday at 1:05pm, and the Cardinals on Saturday at 1:05pm.

If you like sports, we can always count on the Orlando Magic to feed our professional basketball fever. This weekend the Magic take on the Washington Wizards at the Amway Center in downtown Orlando at 7:00pm. Tickets start as low as $15. This venue is spectacular, so be sure to see a game when you are able to.

If you are vacationing in Central Florida through next week, you shouldn’t miss the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill. This is one of the most spectacular golf tournaments of the PGA Tour. Some of the best players will be competing. Prices start at $47 for a daily adult ticket and $15 for ages 13 to 17. The money raised at this tournament helps the kids at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children. For information and tickets, go to www.arnoldpalmerinvitational.com or call 407-876-2888.

Air Show

Tico Warbird Air Show

Who doesn’t enjoy an air show? This weekend, March 14-16 the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum & TICO AirShow will take place in Titusville, Florida. For those of you visiting the Orlando theme parks, Titusville is about an hour drive east, just north of Cocoa Beach. It is an easy drive and well worth it to see this special event. This annual air show highlights military aviation and features some of the most famous trainer, transport, fighter and bomber aircraft that flew in combat around the world.

St. Patricks Day Festival

For Spring Breakers that are 18 and older (preferrably 21 and over), this weekend marks the beginning of the Mighty Festival. This festival takes place at Raglan Road Irish Pub and spans over 4 days leading up to St. Patrick’s Day. All weekend long, Irish music will be featured on multiple stages. Plenty of beer choices and a menu that isn’t too shabby either. Check them out at www.raglanroad.com.

Orlando Dinner Show

After a day of baseball, airplanes, Irish music or any of the other numerous fun things to do this weekend, head to Capone’s Dinner & Show in Kissimmee, Florida. This dinner show is great for the entire family. With loads of action, singing, dancing and mobster attitude, your gang will feast at the buffet and enjoy every minute of it. Be sure to use the half off coupon on the web site.

It’s a great time to be in Central Florida – enjoy!

Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival Begins This Week

 

Epcot Flower & Garden Topiary

© Epcot

The Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival begins this week (March 5) and continues through May 18. If you’ve ever attended this Orlando theme park during this special event, then you’ll most likely know about the topiaries that are on display. You may also know about the concerts, presentations and kids activities, but unless you attended last year, you may not know about the outdoor kitchens. Making a return this year, outdoor kitchens will dot the beautiful landscape at Epcot and serve up a wide variety of cuisine.

Over a dozen outdoor kitchens will feature food and drink items that would be difficult to find at any other Orlando restaurant. How do bacon cupcakes, watermelon salad or Florida kumquat pie sound? These items and many more fill the menus at the Flower & Garden Festival. The outdoor kitchens include:

  • Florida Fresh (next to Germany pavilion)
  • Hanami (near Japan Pavilion)
  • Jardin de Fiestas (near the Mexico Pavilion)
  • Fleur de Lys (France Pavilion)
  • Lotus House (near China Pavilion)
  • Pineapple Promenade (near Canada)
  • Primavera Kitchen (Italy)
  • Taste of Marrakesh (near Morocco Pavilion)
  • Urban Farm Eats
  • The Smokehouse (near American Adventure)
  • The Buttercup Cottage (near United Kingdom Pavilion)
  • Intermissions Café (Festival Center)

The new topiaries for this year will feature Kermit and Frog and Miss Piggy. Goofy, Donald Duck and Daisy Duck will also be featured at the front entrance. Nearly 100 topiaries in all are spread out through the exhibits. These make for great photo ops! Have fun looking for them all! You may want to find them the easy way, with a guided tour led by a Disney horticulturist. The 3-hour tour of special displays and award-winning international gardens takes place Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, from 9:00 AM to noon. It is an additional coast of $64.00, plus tax.

Returning to the Orlando theme park this year are the numerous HGTV workshops. Every day during the Flower & Garden Festival several do-it-yourself projects will be featured, and on the weekends, events will  be hosted by many guest celebrities. Children will also have many activities to keep them busy. Currently scheduled HGTV design celebrities are:

  • March 7-9: Vern Yip, “Design Star”
  • March 14-16: Chris Lambton, “Going Yard”
  • March 21-23: Matt Blashaw, “Yard Crashers”
  • March 28-30: Matt Meunster, “Bath Crashers”
  • April 4-6: Taniya Nayak, “House Hunters on Vacation”
  • April 11-13: Amy Matthews, “Renovation Raiders”
  • April 18-20: John Gidding, “Curb Appeal”
  • April 25-27: David Bromstad, “Color Splash”
  • May 2-4:Chip Wade, “Elbow Room”
  • May 9-11: Genevieve Gorder, “Design Star”
  • May 16-18: Alison Victoria, “Kitchen Crashers”

After dining and doing, relax at a concert during your visit to this attraction. Many vocalists return each year to perform at this Central Florida special event. New acts include Gary Lewis and the Playboys, and The Alan Parsons Live Project. Currently the concert schedule features these pop acts:

  • March 7-9: The Guess Who “American Woman”
  • March 14-16: Gary Lewis and The Playboys “This Diamond Ring”
  • March 21-23: The Orchestra Starring Former Members of ELO “Evil Woman”
  • March 28-30: The Lovin’ Spoonful “Summer in the City”
  • April 4-6: Paul Revere & The Raiders “Good Thing”
  • April 11-13: Village People “YMCA”
  • April 18-20: The Grass Roots “Midnight Confessions”
  • April 25-27: Herman’s Hermits Starring Peter Noone “I’m Henry the VIII, I Am”
  • May 2-4: STARSHIP Starring Mickey Thomas “We Built This City”
  • May 9-11: Chubby Checker & The Wildcats “The Twist”
  • May 16-18: Alan Parsons Live Project “Eye in the Sky”

While most Epcot Flower & 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 Epcots web site. By the way, the Watermelon Salad recipe is shared on the Epcot’s web site too. Enjoy!

Spring Break in Orlando


Orlando is one of the most popular destinations for families during spring break.  And, it’s no surprise, with all the fun things to do in Orlando!

This year, families can still enjoy the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival at Disney World.  This festival showcases some amazing topiary figures of Disney characters, as well as beautiful and colorful displays of flowers, and even live music.  And, Universal Studios Orlando is still doing their Mardi Gras celebrations, with street performers, free concerts, parades, Cajun cuisine, and New Orleans bands in the French Quarter.   Also happening now is the Atlanta Braves Spring Training at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista.  Orlando Science Center will be hosting a couple of School Break Camps as well, ‘A Bug’s Life’ on March 25th, as well as ‘Lego-Rama’ camp from March 28th thru April 1st.

Take this time to enjoy the great primary theme parks (4 Disney Resorts and 2 Universal Orlando parks), as well as many lesser-known attractions.  You can find a complete listing of all the attractions: primary, secondary, water parks, museums, animal attractions, natural attractions, etc. in our attractions guide.  It’s also a great time of year to take advantage of some of the great shows listed in our guide, including the fabulous Capone’s dinner and show.