Sams Disney Diary Episode #70 - Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival - Preparing for 2016, looking back at 2015

#70: Gearing Up for Epcots Annual Flower and Garden Festival

Welcome to this month’s Blogorail Red Loop. Today we are sharing what you can expect when you visit the Disney parks this spring


Epcot Flower and Garden Festival - Mickey and Minnie Topiary 2015
Epcot Flower and Garden Festival – Mickey and Minnie Topiary 2015

It’s that time of year again; to me, the most wonderful time of the year. The snow is finally leaving the northern states, the sun is making some appearances, the local baseball teams are headed to Florida for spring training, and the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival is ready to kickoff.

This year the Festival is bigger than ever and has been expanded two additional weeks from 75 days to 90

Epcot Flower and Garden Festival - Festival Blooms
Epcot Flower and Garden Festival – Festival Blooms

days, from March 2 to May 30th 2016. The Festival transforms Epcot into a vibrant spectacle of spring time beauty, featuring special events and activities sure to keep the entire family happy.

With over 30 million blooms, 700 gardens, 200 floating flower beds, flower towers, 70 Disney themed topiaries, event theaters, horticulture exhibits, hands-on presentations, event playgrounds, butterfly gardens, Garden Rocks concerts, The Harmony Garden Musical Playground, outdoor kitchens…. WOW – Welcome to spring! This is my favorite time to visit Epcot! I couldn’t think of any other way to kick off spring! It’s an annual family event.

As we prepare for the 2016 Festival, it’s a tradition to look back at last year – So Sam’s Disney Diary the Video includes lots of details and special offerings from the 2015 Flower and Garden Festival.

As far as 2016 – Here’s what you can expect!

Epcot Flower and Garden Festival - Bambi and Friends in Canada
Epcot Flower and Garden Festival – Bambi and Friends in Canada

Topiaries: The topiaries are spectacular, and get better every year. If you haven’t been to the Festival in a while, you may have missed the recent addition of night time lighting, making the topiaries a wonderful sight daily and nightly.

  • New for 2016: Fresh Food, Fun & Flowers at the Main Entrance: Featuring Donald, Daisy, Huey, Dewey and Louie
  • New for 2016: Ranger Mickey & Friends In Future World East
  • Buzz Lightyear: in Future World East
  • Fantasia: Future World West
  • Phineas and Ferb: Future World East
  • Minnie, Mickey & Pluto: Showcase Plaza
  • Anna & Elsa: Norway
  • Bromeliad Dragon: China
  • Simba & Friends: African Outpost
  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: Germany
  • Lady and The Tramp: Italy
  • Woody’s: American Adventure
  • Beauty and the Beast: France
  • Winnie the Pooh and Friends: United Kingdom
  • Peter Pan, Captain Hook and the Croc: United Kingdom
  • Bambi & Friends: Canada
Epcot Flower and Garden Festival - Beauty and the Beast Topiaries in France
Epcot Flower and Garden Festival – Beauty and the Beast Topiaries in France

Like 2015, the Festival Center is only open on the weekends, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10:00am till 5:00pm. New for 2016 are “themed” weekends where a new adventure awaits, including complementary garden presentations and a variety of outdoor specialists ready to answer your questions.

Also in the Festival Center you’ll find the Garden Theater… inside there is a “Making” of Flower and Garden Festival video playing in a loop.   It is incredible and a must see for any fan of how the event is put together.   I plan to do my best to record that video this year… it’s that good. You’ll find 7 different “stages” in all with presentations and exhibits matching the weekend theme.

The “Themed” Weekends for 2016 start in April and run through early May, almost a “Mini-Festival” within a Festival.

  • April 1-3: Art in the Garden Weekend
  • April 8-10: Outdoor Family Fun Weekend
    • Featuring: Animal Kingdom Specialist and “Bugs are Cool”
  • April 22-24: Earth Day Weekend
    • Featuring: Specialist from The Seas with Nemo & Friends
  • April 28-May1: Florida Fresh Weekend
  • May 6-8: Florida Federation of Garden Clubs
Epcot Flower and Garden Festival - Cactus Road Rally with Mater and Lightning McQueen
Epcot Flower and Garden Festival – Cactus Road Rally with Mater and Lightning McQueen

The children’s play areas are back and a must if you have young children. It’s a place within the Festival for them to be part of the action. With the New “Musical Garden Melodies”, discover the “Roots” of your favorite instruments and the “Cactus Road Rally” – Featuring Topiaries of Mater and Lightning McQueen – Learn how dessert plants “Beat the Heat” – The kids will love it. It’s a feature that I wish was part of the Food and Wine Festival – Get the kids involved.

Outdoor Kitchens and Garden Destinations have become a big part of Flower and Garden Festival. Hard to believe the outdoor kitchens have only been around for a few years. Kitchens for 2016 include:

  • New for 2016: La Isla Fresca World Showcase Promenade
  • New for 2016: Cider House United Kingdom
  • Urban Farm Eats Walkway near Imagination!
  • Pineapple Promenade World Showcase Promenade
  • Jardin de Fiestas Mexico
  • Epcot Flower and Garden Festival Outdoor Kitchen
    Epcot Flower and Garden Festival Outdoor Kitchen

    Lotus House China

  • Bauernmarkt: Farmer’s Market Germany
  • Primavera Kitchen Italy
  • THE SMOKEHOUSE: Barbecue and Brews The American Adventure
  • Hanami Japan
  • Taste of Marrakesh Morocco
  • Florida Fresh Between Morocco and France
  • Fleur de Lys France

You will also find 19 Garden Destinations around World Showcase. The gardens provide a welcome distraction walking around World Showcase; don’t rush by. Take a minute to literally smell the roses.

Epcot Flower and Garden Festival - Butterfly Blooms
Epcot Flower and Garden Festival – Butterfly Blooms

The Butterfly Garden “Butterflies on the Go” is a great place to learn about the journey of the Monarch Butterfly. It’s quite the journey across the continent. Great photo opportunities here, and a Disney Topiary or two as well. It’s interesting to note that all of the butterflies are released into the wild at the end of the Festival.

Epcot Flower and Garden Festival - Anna and Elsa Topiaries
Epcot Flower and Garden Festival – Anna and Elsa Topiaries

You can assume that Festival merchandise will be just about “everywhere” within Epcot. Remember, the Festival Center, where you can find just about every item, is only open Friday, Saturday and Sunday 10:00am till 5:00pm.

Looking for something a little different? There are a special tours offered during the Festival: The English Tea Garden Tour, Epcot Gardens of the World and Behind the Seeds Tour, and if you’re an annual pass holder, but sure to pick up your exclusive Flower & Garden Special Edition Print: Donald Duck in March, Goofy in April and Mickey Mouse in May.

Get all the details at www.freshepcot.com and thanks for visiting, watching and reading SamsDisneyDiary!

The Updated 2016 Garden Rocks Concert Schedule

  • Sams Disney Diary Frozen Around World Showcase - Garden Rocks with the Village People
    Garden Rocks with the Village People

    March 4–6: The Orchestra starring former members of ELO “Evil Woman”

  • March 11–13: STARSHIP featuring Mickey Thomas “We Built This City”
  • March 18–20: Little River Band “Reminiscing”
  • March 25–27: Village People “Y.M.C.A.”
  • April 1–3: Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone “I’m Henry VIII, I Am”
  • April 8–10: The Guess Who “American Woman”
  • April 15–17: NEW! Blood, Sweat and Tears “Spinning Wheel”
  • April 22–24: NEW! “Bad Company former lead singer”, BRIAN HOWE “Can’t Get Enough”
  • April 29–May 1: NEW! Georgia Satellites “Keep Your Hands to Yourself”
  • May 6–8: Gin Blossoms “Hey Jealousy”
  • May 13–15: NEW! Darlene Love “Wait Till My Bobby Gets Home”
  • May 20–22: NEW! Night Ranger “Sister Christian”
  • May 27– Monday, May 30: The Spinners “Working My Way Back To You”

Thanks for watching and reading SamsDisneyDiary, but sure to subscribe to the YouTube Channel for all of the videos!!  And be sure to check out The Disney Nerds Podcast – here on iTunes and atwww.thedisneynerdspodcast.com



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12 thoughts on “#70: Gearing Up for Epcots Annual Flower and Garden Festival

  1. Epcot is beautiful all year around, but never as much as the Flower and Garden Festival. It is so colorful and picturesque. I love it. Thanks for sharing these awesome pictures!

  2. Seriously, I watched the video and never realized how much I had missed. I loved the walkthrough showing how they made the topiaries.