Portions of my visit including my Park tickets and a Disney gift card to purchase food were covered during my visit. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Please note that I include affiliate links in my posts. Clicking through and making a purchase helps me in a small financial way, thank you!
This post has been updated & was originally published May 20, 2015.
In 2019, the Epcot Flower & Garden Festival runs from March 6 to June 3, 2019
Tips for Taking Kids to the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival
- Park guests receive a pocket guide to the Epcot Flower & Garden Festival, including where to find topiaries, gardens, demonstrations, dining and shows. Kids can check mark off each item as they visit, eat and watch. The guide makes a wonderful souvenir too, as they can recall & reminisce about your trip.
- All regular rides and attractions are open to guests during the Epcot Flower & Garden Festival. This includes Frozen Ever After (read my friend Leslie’s post on Trips with Tykes on how to access this ride without a wait).
- While the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival is a special event, you do not need a special ticket to attend. You can see all of the gardens and topiaries during this event for the cost of your regular Park ticket. A select few experiences require a separate purchase or a separate admission fee (like some of the cooking demonstrations).
- I recommend purchasing Walt Disney World discount ticket packages from my partner at Get Away Today.
Festival Highlight – Disney Character Topiaries
Every kid is going to love seeing these amazingly detailed topiaries in the shape of their favorite Disney characters! The topiary displays are definitely a highlight of this special event. Topiaries vary each year so the images you see in my post might vary on your visit. The detail and expression of them are simply jaw-dropping. In the World Showcase area, the characters are themed to the country (Belle & Beast in France, for instance).
There are Disney PhotoPass photographers set up near many of these topiaries so you can capture your entire family with these amazing creations.
New for 2019 – Bo Peep and Her Sheep with Buzz Lightyear and Woody from Toy Story 4
Try New Foods During the Festival
During the Festival, guests can purchase food at outdoor kitchen locations throughout the World Showcase area of Epcot. These are taster (appetizer) sized portions so you can try a variety of different dishes. These small portions are a great way to introduce new flavors to kids. Just a bite to see if they like it (my son discovered he liked baklava!)
2019 Kid-Friendly Tastes to Try:
- NEW Arbor at the Gardener’s Terrace: Mixed Berry Buttermilk Cake, served with Apple Cider Sorbet
- Germany: Toasted Pretzel Bread topped with Black Forest Ham and Melted Gruyère Cheese
- France: Macaron au Chocolat en Sucette: Large Chocolate Macaron Lollipop
- Florida Fresh: Key Lime Tart with Toasted Meringue
- Japan: Frushi – Fresh Pineapple, Strawberry and Melon rolled with Coconut Rice, sprinkled with Toasted Coconut and Whipped Cream with Raspberry Sauce on the side
- NEW Citrus Blossom: Orange Cream Slushy in a Souvenir Orange Bird Sipper Cup
- Mexico: Tres Leches: Milk-soaked Sponge Cake topped with Cajeta Whipped Cream and Almond Powder
- Caribbean: Sugar Cane Shrimp Skewer with Steamed Rice and Coconut-Lime Sauce
- China: Vegetable Spring Rolls
- Canada: Maple Popcorn Shake (non-alcoholic version)
- Pineapple Promenade: Pineapple Soft-serve Ice Cream with Fanta (non-alcoholic)
- Italy: Pizza Toscana: Rustic Italian Flatbread with Sweet Sausage, Caramelized Onion, Mozzarella, Asiago and Parmesan Cheeses
- NEW Flavor Full Kitchen: Mickey Tart Peanut Butter Mousse with Strawberry Jam and Boba Pearls
- Morocco: Walnut Honey Baklava
- Smokehouse: Pulled Pig Slider with Coleslaw
- Honey Bee-stro: Honey-Peach Cobbler Freeze (Non-alcoholic version)
- NEW Trowel & Trellis: Grilled Street Corn on the Cob with Savory Garlic Spread
Epcot is a very large park to cover and little legs can get tired quickly! Consider bringing or renting a stroller when taking babies, toddlers or preschoolers to Disney World. I recommend my travel partner Kingdom Strollers as they offer very competitive rates and will deliver for free directly to your resort hotel!
Spike’s Pollen Nation Exploration
From March 6 through June 3, 2019, kids and adults alike can participate in a springtime scavenger hunt starring Spike the honey bee. Purchase a special scavenger hunt map for $6.99 plus tax then return it completed for a prize!
Outdoor Concerts to Get Up and Dance
If you have a kid who loves to move and groove, make plans to watch one of the Garden Rocks concerts. These concerts take place three times each evening, 7 days a week from March 6 through June 3, 2019 at the outdoor America Gardens Theater. The cost of the concert is included in the price of admission. Older kids may roll their eyes at the more “classic rock” artists but you can be sure they’ll recognize some of the songs (like Don’t Stop Believin’ from Journey and Hotel California by the Eagles).
Garden Rocks concerts are free to view but there is an option that will ensure a seat. Book a Garden Rocks Concert Series Dining Package and you’ll be guaranteed seating to one of the three shows that day. There are 15 participating restaurant locations at varying price points.
Give Kids the Camera
Hand over your camera and you might be surprised with what amazingly detailed photos your kids snap. My son likes experimenting with the macro to get the detail on the tiniest flowers.
Get in the Garden and Play!
Several interactive play gardens encourage kids in active play. Both new this year are Bo Peep’s Playtime Training Grounds (inspired by Toy Story 4) and Play Full Garden. These interactive areas will get kids moving on the playground.
My youngster loved the Road to the Florida 500 back in 2015, where Cars favorites were on display!
What is There for Babies to Do?
Babies will enjoy the usual things at Epcot like a few rides and character meet n’ greets. During the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival, there are additional delights. Little ones will like the bright colored flower gardens. Make sure to point out the topiaries throughout the Park that are designed as familiar characters (like this adorable Winnie the Pooh).
Let Baby out of the stroller for a walk in the Family Play Zone. They are invited to explore and play in a garden that was planted just for them! For more ideas, see my DisneyBaby post on what to do at Epcot with babies.
Exploratory Gardens for Curious Kids
Curious kids love to learn at these detailed gardens at the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival. There are many gardens but these in particular really strike a chord with youngsters.
- Learn about butterflies at the The Goodness Garden Butterfly House. You may even see them emerging from their cocoons.
- Find out what herbs and produce are grown in the Garden Italiano that come together to make many kid’s favorite food – pizza!
- Learn about the importance of honeybees in the immersive Honey Bee-Stro garden.
- Kids can find out more about which plants can be turned into spices inside the fragrant Urban Spice Garden.
- NEW FOR 2019 – Penguin Sculpture created from repurposed trash pulled from our oceans inspires talk about being responsible with garbage.
Celebrating Easter at Epcot
From April 5 through April 21, 2019 the Egg-stravagenza Easter-themed egg hunt takes place in Epcot’s World Showcase. This popular scavenger hunt in World Showcase will keep everyone in search of Disney Character-themed eggs.
While you don’t have to purchase the map to search for the eggs, it is a fun (and reasonably inexpensive) activity for the kids. Guests can purchase one of these scavenger hunt map for $6.99 plus tax then return it to Disney Traders when completed for a special prize!
After Dark at Epcot
Stay late during the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival and enjoy nighttime entertainment. Several of the Garden Rocks Concerts take place after dark, with the concert stage lit for all to see.
Illuminations: Reflections of Earth is the evening show that takes place on the waters of the World Showcase Lagoon. This show will only be shown until the end of summer 2019. It will be replaced with a new nightly show at a later date.
What would you most like to explore with your kids at the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival?