Fun Facts About The 2016 Epcot International Flower And Garden Festival

Flower & Garden 1

After months of winter here in Colorado, I’m definitely having spring fever. In just a few days it will be time for the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival to begin. This year I will have the pleasure of spending several days in Walt Disney World enjoying the festivities. I am beyond thrilled and of course, I am already counting down the days. Disney has lots of exciting things planned including past favorites as well as some new offerings. Here are some “fun facts” about the event courtesy of Disney to get you in the spirit:


Disney guests can enjoy 90 days of fresh festival fun during the 23rd Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival March 2 – May 30, 2016. Thirty million multi-hued blooms, 100-plus whimsical topiaries, nearly 1,000 native butterflies and dozens of new Outdoor Kitchen food and beverage tastes add multi-sensory festival fun to the “Fresh Epcot”-themed Walt Disney World Resort event.

Among this year’s fun festival facts:

  • Epcot Flower & Garden Festival30 million blooms blanket the park throughout the festival, which runs 90 colorful days and requires two complete crop rotations to keep floral displays fresh and seasonal.
  • 13 Outdoor Kitchens include the new La Isla Fresca and Cider House kitchens and gardens. Bauernmarkt: Farmer’s Market returns at Germany pavilion. Dozens of new sweet and savory food and beverage menu items add tasting fun and variety to the festival. Each marketplace will feature a garden planted with select produce and herbs to represent more than 50 overall beverage choices and more than 30 food items featured.
  • The festival’s front-entrance Fresh Food, Fun & Flowers topiary scene, inspired by a 1943 Donald Duck comic book called The Victory Garden features three new Disney Character topiaries — the first-ever Huey, Dewey and Louie topiaries in a comical gardening scene. More than 30 varieties of flowers, plants, and other garden materials are used to create the scene.
  • Epcot Flower & Garden FestivalThe new Floral Sun topiary scene behind Spaceship Earth paints the landscape with golden  colors, and 15 yellow “sunbursts” of red and yellow Joseph’s coat pop up in a Future World topiary bed.
  • Music Garden Melodies with Fab Five topiaries, a themed playground for children complete with innovative play systems featuring interactive musical gadgets, is one of the largest festival gardens created at nearly one-third acre. The garden includes a collection of plants with features that resemble musical instruments as part of the ambiance.
  • Anna and Elsa in full floral splendor appear (new last year) move to a fresh topiary vignette straight from the hit Disney film, “Frozen.” In the Norway pavilion scene that’s wired to twinkle by night, Elsa works her magic to conjure a colorful spring garden. About 25 varieties of flowers are planted to evoke the scene. Florals including hot pink, red, and orange Gerberas, blue and yellow Violas, violet Petunias and purple Dianthus blanket the spring transformation. Anna and Elsa topiaries are each about 6-1/2 feet tall and are created with plants that include variegated Ficus, green Ficus and the succulent Sedum Coral Reef. But Elsa will look taller because she’s standing closer to guests than Anna by about 8 feet.
  • At least 25 different plants, grasses and mosses of various colors, including pink and red begonias, dusty miller, palm fiber, palm seeds, ficus and lichen, are used to create and define facial and other features of festival character topiaries. The topiary team uses about 200 one-pound boxes of hairpins to attach plants and flowers to the topiaries.
  • Epcot Flower & Garden FestivalNearly 1,000 native butterflies represent up to 10 species at the expansive Butterflies on the Go butterfly house presented by GoGo squeeZ. Among the garden’s two dozen nectar plants are passion flower, coral honeysuckle, lantana, butterfly bush, blue porterweed, scarlet milkweed and canna lily.
  • 240 extra playground hours add extra festival magic for children and their families with the illuminated garden playgrounds staying open through park closing.
  • More than 500,000 plants, trees and shrubs are planted for the festival; 250,000 of those are annual blossoms installed for the festival.
  • Festival plants include 60 different species of trees, 47 types of palms, and 48 varieties of bedding plants.
  • 78 hands-on gardening demonstrations and seminars will be presented.
  • Forty 8-to-9-foot tall “flower towers in an orange-and-green sunburst theme make colorful statements across the festival landscape.
  • MEpcot International Flower And Garden Festivalore than 200 floating mini-gardens, each three feet in diameter, of multi-hued New Guinea impatiens provide splashes of color on two ponds that border the walkway between Future World and World Showcase.
  • 700 container gardens of flowers, herbs, plants and vegetables in clay pots, barrels and urns enhance the landscape throughout Epcot.
  • 400 Walt Disney World horticulturists are needed to install the festival landscape, topiaries and many exhibits; 100 Epcot horticulturists maintain topiaries and other festival displays.
  • It takes more than one full year and about 24,000 cast member hours to prepare for the annual festival.
  • The festival’s weekend Garden Rocks Concert Series includes 13 bands known for their Top 40 hits across four decades. This year’s musical hit-makers from the 1960s through 1990s include four new-to-the-festival acts Blood, Sweat & Tears, Georgia Satellites, Darlene Love, and BRIAN HOWE, former lead singer of Bad Company.

501 WaysHeading to Disney World soon?

If you are planning a vacation to Disney World, be sure to check out these valuable resources to help you save time and money:

What part of the Flower & Garden Festival are you most excited about?
Please leave a comment; I would love to hear from you!

2016 Garden Rocks Concert Series Bands Announced

Garden Rocks 1

If you plan to visit Disney World this spring during the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, here is some exciting news! Disney has just released the information about which bands will be appearing in the Garden Rocks Concert Series that runs during the festival. Here’s everything you need to know courtesy of Disney:


Thirteen pop bands with hits spanning several decades will play the Garden Rocks Concert Series at the 23rd Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival March 2-May 30, 2016. This year’s festival expands from 75 to 90 days, adding two additional concert series weekends to the lineup and extending the final weekend of performances to Memorial Day.

Garden Rocks 2Blood, Sweat & Tears, BRIAN HOWE, former lead singer of Bad Company, Darlene Love and Georgia Satellites will rock Epcot audiences for the first time. Night Ranger, a fan favorite band that’s played the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, will make a Flower & Garden Festival debut. The Orchestra starring former members of ELO, who topped charts in the 1970s and ‘80s, will kick off the concert series March 4-6.

Guests can dance in their seats each festival weekend to classic tunes at the park’s America Gardens Theatre. An eclectic mix of Flower & Garden Festival fan favorites includes the Village People, who debuted at the festival in 2013. With a nod to the 1960s, Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone will rock the house April 1-3. On Memorial Day, The Spinners will close the 90-day festival on a high note, extending their weekend performance to Monday.

Performances are at America Gardens Theatre at 5:30, 6:45 and 8pm every Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival and are included with Epcot admission. Here is this year’s lineup (subject to change without notice):

  • March 4-6: The Orchestra starring former members of ELO “Evil Woman”
  • March 11-13: Starship starring Mickey Thomas “We Built This City”
  • March 18-20: Little River Band “Lady”
  • March 25-27: Village People “Y.M.C.A.”
  • April 1-3: Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone “I’m Henry the VIII, I Am”
  • April 8-10: The Guess Who “These Eyes”
  • April 15-17: New! Blood, Sweat & Tears featuring Bo Bice “Spinning Wheel”
  • April 22-24: New! Brian Howe, former lead singer of Bad Company “Can’t Get Enough”
  • April 29-May 1: New! Georgia Satellites “Keep Your Hands to Yourself”
  • May 6-8: Gin Blossoms “Hey Jealousy”
  • May 13-15: New! Darlene Love “Wait ‘Til My Bobby Gets Home”
  • May 20-22: Night Ranger “Sister Christian”
  • May 27-30: The Spinners “Working My Way Back to You”

Looking for more information about the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival? Please check out this article that includes lots of details about what is currently planned!

501 WaysHeading to Disney World soon?

If you are planning a vacation to Disney World, be sure to check out these valuable resources to help you save time and money:

What band are you most excited to hear?
Please leave a comment; I would love to hear from you!

What’s On The Agenda At The 2015 Epcot Flower & Garden Festival

Epcot Flower & Garden Festival

It happens to me every year. Once Valentine’s Day arrives, I get a bad case of spring fever. I’m ready for the snow to stop falling and for the flowers to begin blooming. Unfortunately, where I live in Colorado, we still have a few months of winter left no matter what the calendar says. Lucky for me, I will soon be escaping the cold and traveling to Disney World to enjoy some warm sun and gorgeous scenery at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival. As I eagerly count down the days until my vacation, I’ve been enjoying all of the information and photos that Disney has been releasing about the upcoming event. In case you missed it, here’s everything that we know so far (photos courtesy of Disney):

The Basics

Epcot Flower & Garden FestivalThe 2015 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival will be held for 75 days from March 4 through May 17. This year’s theme is “Fresh Epcot” and once again this springtime event will feature beautiful blooms, exciting entertainment, and loads of delicious drinks and dishes. A few of the highlights are:

  • Disney themed topiaries
  • Magical gardens and exhibits
  • Garden Rocks Concert Series
  • Fun festival themed merchandise
  • Entertainment for the kids
  • Festival Event Center offering hands-on demonstrations
  • Outdoor Kitchens with delicious drinks and dishes

Disney Themed Topiaries

This year there will be over a dozen incredibly designed topiaries to view. Here’s what is planned:

  • Anna and Elsa located at World Showcase Plaza.
  • Goofy About Spring featuring Goofy, Chip ‘n Dale, and friends located near the main entrance.
  • Miss Piggy & Tour de Fleurs Garden located at the Italy Pavilion.
  • Spring is in the Air featuring butterfly topiaries located behind Spaceship Earth.
  • Disney-Pixar Buzz Lightyear located near Mission: SPACE.
  • The Living Desert Road Rally Play Area featuring Mater and Lightning McQueen located near Test Track.
  • Fantasia located at Future World West.
  • Phineas and Ferb located at the Odyssey Bridge.
  • Farmer Mickey and Minnie located between Future World and World Showcase.
  • Bambi and Friends featuring Bambi, Flower, and Thumper located at the Canada Pavilion.
  • Aurora and Prince Phillip located between the International Gateway and France Pavilion.
  • Beauty and the Beast located at the France Pavilion.
  • Disney-Pixar Woody located at the American Adventure.
  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs located at the Germany Pavilion.
  • Lady and the Tramp located at the Italy Pavilion.
  • The Lion King featuring Mufasa, Pumbaa, Rafiki, Sarabi, Simba, and Timon located at The Outpost between the Germany and China Pavilions.
  • Cinderella and Prince Charming located at the France Pavilion.
  • Year of the Ram located at the China Pavilion.
  • Troll located at the Norway Pavilion.

Magical Gardens and Exhibits

Throughout Future World and World Showcase, you will find many magnificent gardens and engaging interactive exhibits. Here are a few of the dozens of gardens that there will be to enjoy:

  • Illuminated Gardens – Select topiaries and festival play areas will be lit for even more after dark fun.
  • Butterflies on the Go – Learn about a butterfly’s life cycle and journey.
  • Mike & Sulley’s Monstrous Garden – A fun Monsters University themed play area to explore.
  • Health Garden – A unique garden near the Land pavilion in Future World will display ancient medicinal plants.

Garden Rocks Concert Series

This year, eleven bands will appear in the Garden Rocks Concert Series. Performances are at America Gardens Theatre at 5:30pm, 6:45pm, and 8:00pm every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evening. These concerts are included with your Epcot admission. Here’s the current lineup (subject to change without notice):

  • March 6 – 8: Gin Blossoms
  • March 13 – 15: Pablo Cruise
  • March 20 – 22: En Vogue
  • March 27 – 29: Starship
  • April 3 – 5: The Orchestra starring former members of ELO
  • April 10 – 12: Village People
  • April 17 – 19: Jon Secada
  • April 24 – 26: The Guess Who
  • May 1 – 3: Taylor Dayne
  • May 8 – 10: Little River Band
  • May 15 – 17: Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone

Festival Themed Merchandise

This year you will find a huge variety of festival themed merchandise including clothing, accessories, kitchenware, and more. These items will be available at the Festival Center (open Fridays through Sundays) as well as select merchandise locations throughout Epcot.

Entertainment For Kids

Epcot Flower & Garden FestivalThere will be plenty available to keep the kiddos entertained during the festival. There are two play areas – Mike & Sulley’s Monstrous Garden and Cactus Road Rally Garden with Mater and Lightning McQueen – both of which are illuminated at night for even more fun. The butterfly garden returns this year and is always a big hit with the younger set. Plus Disney has created a fun interactive scavenger hunt for kids to follow and discover topiaries of their favorite characters.Epcot Flower & Garden Festival

Festival Event Center

The Festival Event Center will be open every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday throughout the event to host complimentary demonstrations from gardening and horticulture specialists.

Outdoor Kitchens

The Flower & Garden Festival also includes eleven outdoor kitchens very much like what you see at the Food & Wine Festival in the fall. This year’s kitchens include Botanas Botanico,  Urban Farm Eats, Pineapple Promenade, Fleur de Lys, Taste of Marrakesh, Hanami, The Smokehouse, Primavera Kitchen, Lotus House, Jardin de Fiestas, and Florida Fresh. Be sure to pick up a Garden Passport and get stamped at your stops along the way. Passports will be available at the Festival Event Center, all Outdoor Kitchens, plus select merchandise locations. Disney has just released the full menus:

Botanas Botanico
  • Cachapa con Queso
  • Seafood Ceviche with Shrimp, Scallops and Grouper
  • White Corn Arepa
  • Coconut Tres Leches
  • Polar Beer
  • La Tizana
  • Monte Paschoal Reserve Tannat
  • Monte Paschoal Natural Brut White Sparkling Wine
Urban Farm Eats
  • Quinoa Vegetable Naanwich with Arugula Pesto & Oven-Dried Tomatoes
  • Kale Salad with Dried Cherries, Almonds and Goat Cheese
  • Ghost Pepper-Dusted Tilapia with Winter Melon Slaw
  • Urban Mary
  • Cucumber Lemon Spa Water
  • Hess Shirtail Creek Vineyard, Chardonnay
  • King Estate Acrobat Pinot Noir
  • Crispin Blackberry Pear Cider
Pineapple Promenade
  • Spicy Hot Dog with Pineapple Chutney and Sriracha Mayo
  • Pineapple Soft Serve
  • Pineapple Soft Serve with Sammy’s Beach Bar Red Head Macadamia Nut Flavored Rum
  • Pineapple Soft Serve with Parrot Bay Coconut Rum
  • Frozen Desert Violet Lemonade
  • Ace Pineapple Hard Cider
  • Sparkling Pineapple Wine
  • Berry Tea Cocktail with Twinings Cold-Brewed Mixed Berry Tea
Fleur de Lys
  • Macaron Guimauve à la Fraise (Strawberry Marshmallow Macaron)
  • Confit de Canard (Pulled Duck Confit) with Garlic and Parsley Potatoes
  • Gnocchi Parisien à la Provençal (Parisian Style Dumpling with Vegetables and Mushrooms)
  • Ice Pop Peach Grand Marnier Cocktail
  • La Vie en Rose St-Germain Vodka Slush
  • Kir Imperial with Sparkling Wine and Chambord Liquor
  • Beer Kronenbourg Blanc 1664
Taste of Marrakesh
  • Vegetarian Falafel Pocket with Cucumber Tomato Salad & Tahini Sauce
  • Harissa Chicken Kebab with Couscous Salad
  • Pistachio Baklava
  • Mint Iced Tea
  • White Sangria
  • Guerrouane Red
  • Desert Rose — Sparkling Wine with Pomegranate Liqueur
Hanami
  • Frushi (fresh pineapple, strawberry and melon rolled with raspberry coconut rice, sprinkled with toasted coconut and whipped cream)
  • Teriyaki Curry Bun
  • Salmon Sushi
  • Kirin Draft Beer
  • Yuzu Plum Wine Slush
  • Strawberry Nigori
  • Karatamba Sake
The Smokehouse
  • Beef Brisket Burnt Ends Hash with White Cheddar Fondue & Pickled Jalapeños
  • Pulled Pig Slider with Cole Slaw
  • Smoked Debreziner Sausage
  • Piggylicious Bacon Cupcake
  • Billy’s Chilies
  • Floridian Hefeweizen
  • Category 3 IPA
  • Maple Bacon Stout
  • Beer Flight
  • The Original Rib Shack Red Wine
  • Frozen Lemonade (with or without Palm Ridge Reserve Whiskey)
  • R.C. Sweet Tea made with Twinings Cold-Brewed English Classic Tea
Primavera Kitchen
  • Pinwheel of Mozzarella, Prosciutto, Ciabatta Bread
  • Three Cheese Manicotti
  • Lemon Panna Cotta
  • Placido Pinot Grigio
  • Placido Chianti
  • Bosco del Merlo Prosecco
  • Corbinello
  • White Peach Bellini
  • Strawberry Rossini
  • Frozen Italian primavera
  • Moretti Lager
  • Moretti La Rossa
Lotus House
  • Beijing Candied Strawberries
  • Kung Pao Chicken Bun
  • Vegetable Spring Roll
  • Oolong Peach Bubble Tea
  • Kung Fu Punch
  • South Sea Storm
  • Plum Wine
  • Tsing-Tao Beer
  • Honey Mango Wine Cooler
Jardin de Fiestas
  • Tacos with Achiote-Marinated Pork
  • Vegetarian Quesadilla
  • Flan de Chocolate Abuelita
  • Tecate with Patrón Citrónge
  • White Mexican Sangria
  • Blueberry Pomegranate Margarita
  • Tequila Liqueur Flight
Florida Fresh
  • Watermelon Salad with Pickled Onions, Baby Arugula and Feta Cheese
  • Shrimp and Stone-Ground Grits with Andouille Sausage
  • Florida Blueberry and Lemon Curd Tart
  • Watermelon Passion Fruit Slush
  • Key Lime Sparkling Wine
  • Blonde Ale
  • Channel Marker Red Ale
  • Feast of Flowers Farmhouse Ale (Festival Exclusive)
  • Jai Alai
  • Beer Flight

Epcot Flower & Garden Festival Schedule

Weekend 1: March 6 – 8, 2015
Festival Center Events
  • Hands-on presentations on the Greenhouse Stage: 11:00am and 2:00pm
  • Demonstrations on the Fresh Epcot Stage: 12:00pm and 3:00pm
Concert Series
  • Musical Act: Gin Blossoms
Spring into Spring Weekend 2: March 13 – 17, 2015 (extended by two days)
Festival Center Events
  • Hands-on presentations on the Greenhouse Stage: 11:00am and 2:00pm
  • Demonstrations on the Fresh Epcot Stage: 12:00pm and 3:00pm
Concert Series
  • Musical Act: Pablo Cruise
Extra Spring into Spring Experiences March 16 – 17, 2015
  • St. Patrick’s Day Celebration at the American Adventure
Weekend 3: March 20 – 22, 2015
Festival Center Events
  • Meet specialists from Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park
  • Hands-on presentations on the Greenhouse Stage: 11:00am and 2:00pm
  • Demonstrations on the Fresh Epcot Stage: 12:00pm and 3:00pm
Concert Series
  • Musical Act: En Vogue
Art in the Garden Weekend 4: March 27 – 29, 2015
Festival Center Events
  • Hands-on presentations on the Greenhouse Stage: 11:00am and 2:00pm
  • Demonstrations on the Fresh Epcot Stage: 12:00pm and 3:00pm
Concert Series
  • Musical Act: STARSHIP featuring Mickey Thomas
Extra Art in the Garden Experiences
  • From 11:00am to 7:00pm, see nature through the eyes of “Plein Air” artists, along with one-of-a-kind works of art in Guest Artist booths—located all throughout World Showcase.
Weekend 5: April 3 – 5, 2015
Festival Center Events
  • Hands-on presentations on the Greenhouse Stage: 11:00am and 2:00pm
  • Demonstrations on the Fresh Epcot Stage: 12:00pm and 3:00pm
Concert Series
  • Musical Act: The Orchestra
Weekend 6: April 10 – 12, 2015
Festival Center Events
  • Hands-on presentations on the Greenhouse Stage: 11:00am and 2:00pm
  • Demonstrations on the Fresh Epcot Stage: 12:00pm and 3:00pm
Concert Series
  • Musical Act: The Village People
Earth Day Weekend 7: April 17 – 22, 2015
Festival Center Events
  • Hands-on presentations on the Greenhouse Stage: 11:00am and 2:00pm
  • Demonstrations on the Fresh Epcot Stage: 12:00pm and 3:00pm
Concert Series
  • Musical Act: John Seceda
Extra Earth Day Weekend Experiences
  • Meet specialists from Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park: April 17 – 19, 2015
  • Hear about conservation efforts to protect coral reefs, sea turtles, sharks and more at The Seas with Nemo & Friends: April 22, 2015
  • See the grand reveal of a sand sculpture, based on the new Disneynature film Monkey Kingdom: April 22, 2015
Florida Fresh Weekend 8: April 24 – 26, 2015
Festival Center Events
  • Hands-on presentations on the Greenhouse Stage: 11:00am and 2:00pm
  • Demonstrations on the Fresh Epcot Stage: 12:00pm and 3:00pm
Concert Series
  • Musical Act: The Guess Who
Extra Florida Fresh Weekend Experiences
  • From 10:00am to 5:00pm, head for the Festival Center and discover why Florida is one of the top agriculture producing states in the nation.
Weekend 9: May 1 – 3, 2015
Festival Center Events
  • See a stunning display of hibiscus in a wide array of colors at the Hibiscus Show
  • Hands-on presentations on the Greenhouse Stage: 11:00am and 2:00pm
  • Demonstrations on the Fresh Epcot Stage: 12:00pm and 3:00pm
Concert Series
  • Musical Act: Taylor Dane
Weekend 10: May 8 – 10, 2015
Festival Center Events
  • Hands-on presentations on the Greenhouse Stage: 11:00am and 2:00pm
  • Demonstrations on the Fresh Epcot Stage: 12:00pm and 3:00pm
Concert Series
  • Musical Act: Little River Band
Weekend 11: May 15 – 17, 2015
Festival Center Events
  • Hands-on presentations on the Greenhouse Stage: 11:00am and 2:00pm
  • Demonstrations on the Fresh Epcot Stage: 12:00pm and 3:00pm
Concert Series
  • Musical Act: Herman’s Hermits Starring Peter Noone

Need help planning your time in Epcot?

Be sure to check out these resources to make the most of your visit to Epcot:

Heading to Disney World soon?

If you are planning a vacation to Disney World, be sure to check out these valuable resources to help you save money:

Have you attended the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival before?
What did you like the most? Are you going this year? Please leave a comment!

Happy Early Spring!