Spring comes early to central Florida when Epcot’s International Flower and Garden Festival is in town. This year the Flower and Garden Festival runs from March 1 to May 29. A visit to the Flower and Garden festival is a great accompaniment to a unit on botany and butterflies. Last year we brought our nature journals and sketched some of the many plants that Disney showcases during their festival. However, this year we opted to stroll around and enjoy the over 100 topiaries, gardens, exhibits, and tours. We always love the butterfly habitat, which showcases several species of butterflies in addition to the various stages of the butterfly lifecycle.
My favorite part of the flower and garden festival is the informative English Tea Garden tour presented by Twinings of London. The 20 minute tour located in the England Pavilion even gives tea samples during the tour. There is no fee for the guided tour but it is strongly suggested you sign up early for tours as the tour is limited to 20 guests. Other tours are available throughout the park for an additional fee.
In addition to the stunning flora and fauna, the International Flower and Garden Festival has so much to offer. Friday through Monday you can enjoy a blast from the past at the Garden Rocks Concert series. Tickets are included in the price of admission, but if you want a guaranteed close seat and a nice meal, you might consider reserving a Garden Rocks dining package. The weekend is also a great time to visit the festival center. Open Fridays thru Sunday, the festival center is the place to buy festival merchandise, listen and participate in hands on demonstrations, learn some new gardening tips, and even watch a short video about how the International Flower and Garden Festival was put together.
Located throughout the park are various interactive play areas for the kids. Mine are getting a little too old for the play areas as most are for kids 12 and under. But they have had fun playing on them in past years. If you visit the kidcot stops located at the various countries’ pavilions throughout The World Showcase, your child will receive a special Kidcot Garden Stop Field Guide that can be decorated and stamped at the various Kidcot stops.
Of course the festival wouldn’t be complete with out food. Epcot’s International Flower and Garden Festival has a plethora of outdoor kitchens with innumerable dishes to taste. You can pick up a 2017 Garden Passport to view the outdoor kitchens in addition to all the other highlights of the festival. The passport has stickers for you too check off all your favorites and must dos. My kids like to mark their favorites so I know what to buy for them. The International Flower and Garden Festival has taught me some new information about nature and about my kids: they have expensive tastes!