This year’s Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival runs through June 3, and it’s packed with beautiful flowers, gardens, and topiaries all over the park! Flower & Garden Festival has really been stepping it up in recent years, with new experiences, gardens, and outdoor kitchens, along with the expanded live music series, and this year is no different.
We were thrilled to see more topiaries expanded to Future World, with newly designed Cars and Toy Story topiaries (featuring Bo Peep and her sheep), and more! It also felt like the rest of the floral decor around the park was really enhanced for this year’s festival more than it had been in the past, and these small details really added to the whole experience.
If you’re planning a quick trip to the festival or just looking for what’s new and noteworthy, here are our picks for this year’s must-see gardens and topiaries:
New for 2019, this sculpture is actually the only one at the festival not made out of flowers– it’s actually made entirely out of recycled trash from the ocean! If you look closely at the details on this sculpture, you can make out what some of the trash was before it was improperly discarded into our oceans. Disney is always working on finding new ways to save the environment and bring awareness to important issues like climate change and conservation and this sculpture is the best instance of this at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.
Miss Piggy & Kermit the Frog
New for 2019, Miss Piggy and Kermit the Frog really add to the France pavilion at this year’s festival! Miss Piggy is surrounded by her wardrobe pieces, with outfits that are also entirely made out of plants and flowers, and Kermit is on a bike holding a baguette (of course, because France). If you love Muppets, make France a must-do on your next Flower & Garden Trip!
France is also home to the Beauty and the Beast topiary and some of the best festival snacks (the Macaron au Chocolat en Sucette, a chocolate macaron lollipop, and La Vie en Rose Frozen Slushy, made with Grey Goose Vodka Orange, St. Germain Liqueur, white and red cranberry juice).
Mickey & Minnie
You can find these topiaries right as you want into World Showcase from Future World, and I love the design of these topiaries this year! This is one of my favorite PhotoPass locations, and even though topiaries have been slowly making their way into Future World my favorite parts of Flower & Garden are still in World Showcase and I always sort of see these topiaries as the “start” of the festival. Pro tip: Get here early because when the park starts to get crowded this is a very popular photo spot!
Snow White & Dopey
Dopey has a new look for this year’s festival and it’s definitely worth checking out! Find Dopey’s new and improved slightly more animated look next to Snow White in Germany in World Showcase. Dopey’s re-design is really well done and I’m always so impressed with how Disney’s landscaping team is able to get so many details into characters made entirely out of flowers.
The Festival Blooms (or “Flower Quilt” as many people refer to it as) cradles the lakes in Future World and it’s one of the most photogenic spots at the festival. I always wait a couple of minutes for the monorail to come by to capture the best shot, and regardless of how much time you plan to spend at the festival it’s definitely worth the stop since you’ll likely walk by it on your way in and out anyway. If you’re able to visit the festival multiple times, continue to check on this quilt as the colors of some of the flowers may have changed!
The floating mini-gardens combined with the quilt as a backdrop (and the Imagination pavilion if you’re on this side of Future World) make up on of my favorite views at Flower and Garden Festival. There are about 100 floating plots that make up these mini-gardens, and they really make for a picturesque view of the festival. + There are often PhotoPass photographers stationed by the entrance to World Showcase with Future World as the background so you can get some of these in your shot.
Goodness Garden Butterfly House
My favorite garden in Future World is easily the butterfly house! It’s on my must-do list every year, and since it’s entirely dependent on the butterflies and plant life inside, each visit can be really different. (This also means that if you don’t see tons of butterflies on your first visit you should definitely make one more stop before you leave the festival.)
Get the most out of your visit to the Butterfly House with these tips:
- Visit early in the morning or in late afternoon. The Butterfly House is most crowded when Future World tends to be the most crowded. If you make it one of your first stops when the park opens, or wait until the afternoon when most guests are in World Showcase it won’t be as busy.
- Take your time. You may not see lots of butterflies right away, especially because many of them camouflage really well. Take your time walking through (and admire the flowers inside while you do!) and you’re sure to see some butterflies.
- Read the labels. I feel like I learned so much about butterflies just from reading all of the labels! These descriptions may also come with tips for how to spot them.
- Watch your children. It doesn’t seem like it’s usually an issue, but it’s worth mentioning that you should keep an extra close eye on the kids here. Lots of the garden is within reach and you don’t want to see them accidentally damage anything that could affect the butterflies.
My absolute FAVORITE garden at the festival! The Shakespeare Garden takes the flora and fauna mentioned in his plays (both literally and as metaphors) and arranges them among lines from the play that mention them. It’s a beautiful garden in the UK pavilion in World Showcase that gives some physical context to the words Shakespeare carefully chose in works like Hamlet, Twelfth Night, Romeo & Juliet, and more.
*If Shakespeare isn’t your thing (give it another chance first of all, because it’s a much more enjoyable read when it’s not a high school requirement), but check out the other gardens and topiaries in the UK. This pavilion really has something for everyone, with the other Flower & Garden stops featuring Winnie the Pooh, Peter Pan, and the English Tea Garden.
Before you go
Especially if you’re planning your first visit to the festival, we recommend checking freshepcot.com before you go! Disney’s official site will give you the most up-to-date information on what’s being offered during the events, and you’ll be able to find details for booking dining packages for the Garden Rocks music series, walking tours, and more.
We also have our Guide to the 2019 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival that covers everything from the topiaries to the music, outdoor kitchens, and more. I think the biggest mistakes guests make at Epcot’s festivals is simply lack of planning and not knowing all there is to do, and it can definitely be overwhelming to figure all of this out while you’re in the parks, so it’s really helpful to read up on the festival before you go.