BAY LAKE, Fla. – Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary celebration is blooming alongside spring with the EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival.
The festival kicked off Wednesday at EPCOT and runs through July 4.
[TRENDING: Deputies search for missing 15-year-old Orange County girl | A guide to Daytona Beach Bike Week 2022 | Become a News 6 Insider (it’s free!)]
The event allows guests to try and see fresh cuisine, colorful gardens, character topiaries, merchandise and live entertainment.
See all the highlights of this year’s festival below.
During the monthslong event, guests can try delicious foods guests from nearly 20 outdoor kitchens around World Showcase Lagoon.
New foods on the menu include the BLT Scone at Cider House, Crispy Mojo Marinated Pork Belly at the The Citrus Blossom, Local Wildflower Honey-Mascarpone Cheesecake at The Honey Bee-stro Hosted by National Honey Board. The EPCOT Farmers Feast outdoor kitchen will rotate out its menus throughout the festival.
Click here for all the menus and where to find them.
Guests can find all the menus by picking up a free Festival passport at an outdoor kitchen or at the front of the theme park.
The foodie stroll, known as the Garden Graze will also be returning this year. Guests who purchase five selected items and get their festival passport stamped will get a festival-exclusive treat at the Pineapple Promenade.
The five Garden Graze items include:
- Grilled Street Corn on the Cob with Savory Garlic Spread – located at Flavor Full Kitchen Hosted by AdventHealth
- Avocado Toast with Marinated Toy Box Tomatoes on Toasted Ciabatta – located at EPCOT Sunshine Griddle
- Grilled Baby Vegetables with Hummus Cream and Red Pepper Coulis – located at Trowel & Trellis Hosted by Impossible Foods
- Potato Pancakes with House-Made Apple Sauce – located at Bauernmarkt: Farmer’s Market
- Coconut Tres Leches: Vanilla Cake soaked in Oat Milk, Almond Milk and Coconut Milk with Toasted Coconut – located at La Isla Fresca
Gardens and topiaries
The first character topiary guests will see is Goofy.
The popular character can be seen with a 50th anniversary birthday cake in front of Spaceship Earth. On Goofy’s right and left sides are giant, colorful butterflies.
Walking toward World Showcase is the all-new fragrant garden presented by Scentsy.
“Surrounded by vibrant butterfly topiaries, guests will be invited to follow their noses to six scent stations—floral, fruity, citrus, spice, woods and fresh—to form lasting memories with the help of unforgettable aromas,” Disney leaders explained in an earlier blog post.
Other topiaries scattered around the park include the Seven Dwarfs, Buzz and Woody, Lumiere and Cogsworth, Mickey Mouse and his pals and so many more.
In addition to the character topiaries, guests will also get the chance to photograph flowerbeds, stumble upon exotic gardens, and learn more about sustainable foods.
The Garden Rocks Concert Series is returning this year to the America Gardens Theater.
The series features returning favorites like The Guess Who, Rick Springfield and Simple Plan to Latin hitmakers Melina León and Claudia Leitte, Christian music superstar TobyMac and groovin’ legends Kool & The Gang.
New this year, internationally recognized artists will take the stage Friday-Monday, while Orlando-based bands will perform Tuesday-Thursday.
Guests can secure a seat for the show by booking a Garden Rocks dining package.
Check out the full list of artists scheduled to perform below.
- March 4-5 – The Guess Who
- March 6-7 – Rick Springfield
- March 11-12 – Melina Leon
- March 18-19 – Mike DelGuidice, currently on tour with Billy Joel
- March 20-21 – Kool & The Gang
- March 25-28 – The Orchestra starring former members of ELO
- April 1-2 – The Spinners
- April 3-4 – The Pointer Sisters
- April 8-9 – Blue October
- April 15-16 – Tommy DeCarlo, singer of the band Boston
- April 17-18 – Don Felder, Formerly of The Eagles
- April 22-23 – STARSHIP featuring Mickey Thomas
- April 24-25 – Claudia Leitte
- April 29-30 – Berlin
- May 1-2 – TobyMac
- May 6-7 – Blood, Sweat & Tears
- May 8-9 – The Commodores
- May 13-14 – Ambrosia with Peter Beckett
- May 20-21 – A Flock Of Seagulls
- May 22-23 – Collin Raye
- May 27-28 – Thelma Houston
- May 29-30 – Little River Band
- June 3-6 – Simple Plan
- June 10-13 – Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone
- June 17-20 – Plain White T’s
- June 21-23 - Element
- June 24-25 - War
- June 26-27 - Daughtry
- June 28 -30 - Epic
- July 1-4 - M-80′s
In addition to the attractions and food, the festival will have several areas for families to explore. This year, families can take part in Spike’s Pollen-Nation Exploration.
“Follow Spike the Bee on his pollination trail, where he will “bee” busy collecting nectar and pollinating gardens at EPCOT,” Disney explained on its website. “To get started, purchase your map and stickers at select merchandise locations (available while supplies last). Once you have completed your scavenger hunt, return your completed map to Disney Traders or World Traveler for a special surprise.”
The cost of the event is $9.99 plus tax.
Families can also play in the whimsical Health Full Trail presented by AdventHealth or explore Bambi’s Butterfly House.
Five merchandise collections will be featured during this year’s festival.
Guests can celebrate the season alongside featured characters including Orange Bird, Spike the Bee, Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and Figment. Each of the collections feature a variety of bright and colorful items including colorful garden tools, cheerful drinkware, stylish accessories, whimsical artwork, shirts and more.
Disney said all the merchandise can be purchased at select festival retail locations and the park’s Creations shop. Select items will also be available for purchase online.
Click here to learn more about the EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival.
Use the form below to sign up for the ClickOrlando.com In the Loop: Theme Park Scoops newsletter, sent every Friday morning.