One of the best Spring Break trips in the US I can think of is the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival at Disney World.
I don’t know about you, but I am not the biggest fan of Winter! I love to celebrate the end of this dismal, cold season with a trip to ring in the Spring season.
Keep reading to learn all of my best Epcot Flower and Garden Festival tips to ensure a spectacular Disney World Spring Break trip.
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Table of contents
- Before you book, check the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival concert schedule
- For the best Disney World resort deals, book early
- Reserve your Epcot restaurant reservations 180 days before your trip starts
- Book your FastPasses 60 days before your trip starts
- Avoid the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival on the weekend if you can’t deal with crowds
- If you have the Disney Dining Plan, save your snack credits
- Come ready to taste everything on the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival menu
- Learn more about the Disney topiaries and gardens with a special tour
- See Spring’s unofficial mascot at the Epcot butterfly garden
- BONUS: Don’t forget your Epcot Flower and Garden Festival merchandise
- What are your top Epcot Flower and Garden Festival tips?
Before you book, check the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival concert schedule
One of the classic parts of Epcot’s festivals are its concerts and shows. So before you book your resort deal, check the schedule so you can plan your trip when your favorite musical act is scheduled.
In 2021, the usual celebrity concerts are cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, Disney World has replaced them with tribute bands, so you’ll still get your live entertainment fix.
Here’s who’s performing in 2021 at the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival.
- March 5 to 8
- April 16 to 19
- May 28 to 31
Motown in Motion (Motown and R&B)
- March 19 to 22
- April 30 to May 3
- June 11 to 14
Vintage Vinyl Band (Vintage Pop)
- March 12 to 15
- April 23 to 26
- June 4 to 7
The Hooligans (Pop)
- March 26 to 29
- May 7 to 10
- June 18 to 21
The Spazmatics (80s Pop)
- April 2 to 5
- May 14 to 17
- June 25 to 28
Latin Ambition (Latin and Pop)
- April 9 to 12
- May 21 to 24
- July 2 to 5
For the best Disney World resort deals, book early
Book your Disney World resort package as far in advance as you can for the best deal.
In 2021, the festival runs from March 3 through July 5. At a minimum, you should book more than 6 months ahead of your desired date.
Additionally, most Disney World resort deals for the Spring season will come out more than 6 months ahead, such as the ever popular free dining deals or reduced prices on hotels.
TIP: If you prefer deluxe level resorts, you can save money by renting a Disney Vacation Club (DVC) villa via an independent broker.
If you can swing it financially, I recommend booking one of the hotels near Epcot. This will cut down on your commute to Epcot, giving you more time at the park.
The 3 hotels closest to Epcot are the Caribbean Beach Resort, Yacht Club Resort, and Beach Club Resort.
All are excellent resorts, though my pick goes to the Yacht Club Resort or Beach Club Resort, as they have a sand-bottom pool that is quite refreshing to lounge in on a hot afternoon.
If you stay at the Yacht Club Resort or Beach Club Resort, you can walk to Epcot, as these 2 hotels are right next to Epcot!
That said, the Caribbean Beach Resort just finished a massive update that is definitely worth checking out and right next door is the newest Disney World resort, Riviera Resort.
Both resorts have a Skyliner stop, so you can quickly hop to Epcot via the Skyliner air gondolas. As the aliens from Toy Story say…OooOooohhHhh!
Reserve your Epcot restaurant reservations 180 days before your trip starts
At 180 days before the first day of your trip, you can book your restaurant reservations. Reservations fill up FAST, so don’t sleep on this tip!
Some of the best Epcot restaurant reservations to consider are Le Cellier Steakhouse, Teppan Edo, Monsieur Paul, and La Hacienda de San Angel.
My all-time favorite table service restaurant at Epcot, however, is Akershus Royal Banquet Hall, where you can get delicious Norwegian meatballs. Nom!
Of course, your restaurant reservations don’t have to be at Epcot. But if you’re there for the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival, I’m betting you’ll be spending most of your time there.
That said, reservations only apply to table service (aka sit-down) meals, so you can always skip this tip if you plan to stick to the food booths and quick service meals.
Book your FastPasses 60 days before your trip starts
Listen up, because this tip is even more important than booking your restaurant reservations.
Fastpasses are FREE and drastically cut down on wait time for your favorite rides.
Want to avoid standing in line for Soarin’ for over an hour? Book a FastPass.
Dying to try out Avatar Flight of Passage at Animal Kingdom, but not willing to wait in line for over 2 hours? Book a FastPass.
No one enjoys waiting in line, so you’d be insane to not book FastPasses for your trip. The trick is that you can’t do this until 60 days before your trip starts.
Set a reminder. Actually, set multiple reminders! FastPasses go quick, so you want to book them as soon as you’re available.
Avoid the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival on the weekend if you can’t deal with crowds
The Flower and Garden Festival is more crowded on the weekends, as it’s when local residents are more likely to visit (in addition to out of town tourists).
So if you loath crowds, schedule your visit during the week so you can wander around the World Showcase without feeling like a sardine packed in a tin.
You might also like: The Ultimate Guide to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival
If you have the Disney Dining Plan, save your snack credits
NOTE: Due to COVID-19, the DDP has been put on hold, so you won’t be able to take advantage of this tip in 2021 unless Disney World opens it back up before the festival ends. As of March 2021, it is still on hold.
Most of the food and drink at the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival can be purchased using snack credits from the Disney Dining Plan.
Using these credits is a great way to save money and still sample lots of food and drink at the festival.
All of the Disney Dining Plans come with 2 snack credits per day, so even if you’re only visiting for a long weekend, that’s anywhere from 4-6 snack credits to play with.
Come ready to taste everything on the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival menu
Don’t let the festival’s name fool you – it’s more than just Disney topiaries and gardens!
In fact, I’ll be so bold as to say the biggest (and best) part of the festival are its food booths, like the super popular Pineapple Promenade, The Honey Bee-stro, and Florida Fresh.
If I had to suggest 1 dish or drink from each both, here’s my pick for 2021:
- Bauernmarkt: Potato pancakes with homemade apple sauce
- Cider House: 3 Daughters Brewing pink lemonade cider from St. Petersburg, FL
- The Citrus Blossom: Meyer lemon-poached lobster salad with grapefruit-rosé vinaigrette, yuzu-marinated hearts of palm and avocado-yuzu panna cotta
- Epcot Farmers Feast: Hibiscus lemonade cocktail with Islamorada Brewery & Distillery Hibiscus gin
- Epcot Sunshine Griddle: Fruit Loops shake
- Festival Favorites: Fried green tomatoes with blue crab fennel salad, remoulade, and smoked paprika oil
- Flavor Full Kitchen: Grilled baby vegetables with hummus cream and red pepper coulis
- Fleur de Lys: Caramelized beignet filled with vanilla cream and glazed with caramel fleur de sel
- Hanami: Frushi (strawberry, cantaloupe, and pineapple rolled in rice and pink soy wrap) aka candy sushi roll
- The Honey Bee-stro: Local wildflower honey-marscapone cheesecake with orange blossom honey whipped cream
- Jardin de Fiestas: Passionfruit margarita
- La Isla Fresca: sugar cane shrimp skewer w/ steamed rice and coconut-lime sauce
- Lotus House: Panda bubble tea
- Magnolia Terrace: crawfish étouffée with Andouille sausage and dirty rice
- Northern Bloom: Maple popcorn shake (whisky shot optional!)
- Pineapple Promenade: Violet lemonade
- Primavera Kitchen: traditional Sicilian cannoli
- Taste of Marrakesh: Moroccan seafood couscous
- Trowel & Trellis: boneless Impossible Korean short rib with cilantro-lime rice, danmuji slaw, and kimchee mayo
Learn more about the Disney topiaries and gardens with a special tour
If you’re interested in learning more about some of the gorgeous gardens and topiaries throughout Epcot, there are 2 tours to choose from.
NOTE: Due to COVID-19, these tours are not available in 2021. Hopefully they will be back in 2022!
Royal Garden Tea Tour
Join the Royal Garden Tea Tour at the UK pavilion for a 45-minute tour of the English tea garden. The tour runs daily at 9:30 am and costs $20 (not including tax).
The Royal Garden Tea Tour includes tea and scones, so it’s perfect for a quick breakfast.
The tour starts before the World Showcase opens to the public, so it’s best to reserve your spot on the tour ahead of time. You can do this by calling (407) WDW-TOUR in advance.
TIP: If you just want a quick intro to the English Tea Garden, sans scones and tea, there is a 20-minute version of the Royal Garden Tea Tour available for free.
The mini tour runs 2-3 times per day during the festival, depending on the day of the week. Stop by The Tea Caddy store in the UK pavilion for times and to reserve your spot.
Gardens of the World Tour
For super gardening and horticulture enthusiasts, the Gardens of the World Tour is right up your alley.
This 3-hour tour takes you through several gardens across the entire Epcot World Showcase. The tour costs $85 (not including tax) and runs from 9am to noon several times a week.
For specific dates and to make reservations for the Gardens of the World Tour, call (407) WDW-TOUR.
See Spring’s unofficial mascot at the Epcot butterfly garden
The Epcot Flower and Garden Festival features a butterfly garden, formally known as the Goodness Garden Butterfly House.
The Epcot butterfly garden hosts over 1,000 butterflies and 2 dozen nectar plants and flowers. It is located between Future World West and the Canada Pavilion.
Nothing says Spring like pretty plants, colorful flowers, and fluttering butterflies!
BONUS: Don’t forget your Epcot Flower and Garden Festival merchandise
Epcot Flower and Garden merchandise can be purchased online at ShopDisney or at the MouseGear gift shop in Epcot.
I’m loving the plethora of Citrus Bird merchandise this year! Shop for fun Epcot Flower and Garden merchandise in the widget below.
What are your top Epcot Flower and Garden Festival tips?
I hope you enjoy your trip to Disney World for the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival. Leave a comment below and let me know how your trip went – especially all the yummy food you tried!
This post was originally published in March 2016 on Frost +Sun. It was last updated when it moved to The Park Pixie on May 4, 2021.