By: Sarah Stone
Since 1994, EPCOT has held a Flower and Garden Festival each spring to showcase elaborate topiaries, beautiful garden outposts, delicious food, and much more. It’s a fantastic experience if you have the chance to go—and yes, much like Food and Wine in the summer and fall, drinking around the world and getting festival passport stamps is a must!
I honestly can’t decide which of the two festivals is my favorite, so my husband Dave and I make sure to head to EPCOT at least twice a year to attend both. This year, the EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival runs through July 5th, so if you’re planning a Disney World trip, this is a can’t-miss.
Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind
We headed up to Orlando in late March to enjoy two days of Hollywood Studios and EPCOT. (One of these days I’ll write a Hollywood Studios post, but today the focus is on EPCOT!) Our first stop was Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind—I’ve been on it twice now, and gotta say it’s quickly becoming one of my absolute favorites.
We also hopped on Test Track, Journey into Imagination, Soarin’ Around the World, and Spaceship Earth—we skipped Frozen Ever After and Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure this time, but they’re both wonderful. The rides are an article for a different day—let’s get to the pretty stuff!
If you’re a plant person like I am—I enthusiastically tell anyone who will listen that we have more than 60 different palm trees and dozens of other types of plants throughout our front and back yards—you will adore the EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival. And you definitely can’t miss Butterfly Landing. This outpost is open until dusk each day during the festival, and really, it’s so easy to spend a lot of time here reading the interpretive panels and seeing how many butterflies you can spy on any single plant.
The highlight of the EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival is its many topiaries depicting Disney characters as well as animals like geese and butterflies. Here are just a few that you can find this year:
Just as impressive as the topiaries themselves are the gardens surrounding them—the Lion King, Bambi, and Peter Pan ones were absolutely gorgeous.
There were tons of character topiaries throughout EPCOT, so I’ll call it quits here on photos and just urge you to book a trip here and enjoy the views for yourself!
The gardens and plants I’m highlighting throughout this article don’t even begin to scratch the surface of what you can see at the Flower and Garden Festival. Two that I really loved outside of the topiary displays were the Miniature Garden outside of the Germany pavilion, as well as the bonsai displays and Zen garden around the Japan pavilion.
I spend most of my time in the Japan pavilion at EPCOT (and spend far too much money at the store full of goodies for complete nerds like myself)—here are a few bonsais that I loved during this trip. The bonsais pictured here include:
- Chinese banyan (Ficus microcarpa)
- Japanese boxwood (Buxus microphylla)
- Parrot’s beak (Gmelina philippensis)
- Cuban laurel (Ficus macrocarpa)
- Brazilian raintree (Chloroleucon tortum)