The 27th annual Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival comes into full bloom this week. It runs daily, starting March 4 through June 1.
In addition to wildly creative topiaries in the shape of Disney characters, the 90-day spring event features 16 “outdoor kitchens” similar to the Orlando theme park’s Food and Wine Festival and the Garden Rocks concert series of artists such as the Pointer Sisters and Daughtry.
A new topiary to check out this year is Remy, the rat character from Ratatouille who was voiced by Patton Oswalt. The 5-foot-tall floral Remy has been placed atop a huge wheel of cheese brandishing a giant spoon as he reigns over a vegetable-and-herb garden sprouting tomatoes, eggplants, zucchini and onions. (You know, the ingredients for the famous French stew, ratatouille.) He’s kind of a teaser for the dark ride slated to open this summer called Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure.
For foodies, the outdoor kitchens include the new Magnolia Kitchen, located in the American Adventure pavilion, that serves low-country and gulf-region comfort foods such as grilled oysters, boudin with spicy mustard, a seafood boil and pecan cake.
The Flower and Garden Festival continues Disney’s recent ethos to carry lots of options for vegans and vegetarians, including the Impossible farmhouse meatball, street corn on the cob and a pineapple skewer at Refreshment Port and several other plant-based dishes.
There’s also the free English Tea Garden Tour presented by Twinings of London, which will be offered on select days. For $20, you can take the Royal Tea Garden Tour in the mornings at the United Kingdom pavilion and follow a knowledgeable guide through a tea garden to learn the history and artistry behind growing and blending tea. A post-tour treat of tea and scones is included.
Remember the Orange Bird that was the symbol of the Florida orange juice industry? He was brought out of retirement last year, and the Orange Bird-shaped sipper was a huge hit. The sipper is back again, filled with an orange-vanilla milkshake, as is the cute bird’s image on backpacks, glassware and jerseys.
The Garden Rocks concert series brings three shows a day (5:30, 6:45 and 8 p.m.) at the park’s America Gardens Theater. First up is Peabo Bryson, followed by the Orchestra starring former members of ELO (March 6 to 9) and the Guess Who (March 10 to 12).
Some festival newcomers include Don McLean (May 1 and 2), Thelma Houston (May 8 and 9) and Daughtry (May 24 and 25).
Here’s the full lineup:
- March 4-5: Peabo Bryson
- March 6-9: The Orchestra
- March 10-12: The Guess Who
- March 13-16: Simple Plan
- March 17-19: Starship featuring Mickey Thomas
- March 20-23: Mark Wills (new)
- March 24-26: The Spinners
- March 27-28: Sister Hazel
- March 29-30: The Pointer Sisters
- March 31-April 2: Steve Augeri, formerly of Journey
- April 3-4: Blood, Sweat & Tears
- April 5-6: Exposé
- April 7-9: Berlin
- April 10-11: A Flock of Seagulls
- April 12-13: Atlantic Starr (new)
- April 14-16: Tony Orlando
- April 17-18: High Valley (new)
- April 19-20: Rick Springfield
- April 21-23: Christopher Cross
- April 24-27: Plain White T’s
- April 28-30: Don Felder, formerly of the Eagles
- May 1-2: Don McLean (new)
- May 3-4: Casting Crowns (new)
- May 5-7: Ambrosia with Peter Beckett
- May 8-9: Thelma Houston
- May 10-11: The Allman Betts Band (new)
- May 12-14: Air Supply
- May 15-18: Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone
- May 19-21: Mike DelGuidice and Big Shot (new)
- May 22-23: Claudia Leitte (new)
- May 24-25: Daughtry (new)
- May 26-28: Marshall Tucker Band
- May 29-30: Crowder (new)
- May 31-June 1: Survivor
IF YOU GO
Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival
Access to the concerts and outdoor kitchens are included with regular Epcot admission, which starts at $109 for Florida residents at epcot.com. Food and drink purchases are additional.