For 90 days, the annual Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival is the perfect way to introduce the whole family to Epcot. Kids will instantly connect with Mickey, Minnie, Daisy, and Pluto, welcoming all in front of Spaceship Earth.
More than 100 topiaries are sure to please young and old. While some topiaries are new, others are returning, much to the delight of visitors. Some of our favorite “evergreens” are Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and The Lady and the Tramp.
Favorites for kids are the Beauty and the Beast topiaries in France, Anna and Elsa at the Norway Pavilion, and the topiaries of Lightning McQueen and Cruz Besouro inside the Road to the Florida 500 garden and playground.
Parents will love the new Figment topiary behind Spaceship Earth, The Three Caballeros near the Mexican Pavilion, and the Fantasia topiaries located at Future World.
Peter Pan, Tinker Bell, and the Fairy Houses from Pixie Hollow at the United Kingdom Pavilion comprise one of the most amazing displays, pleasing kids and parents alike.
One of my favorite topiaries is the dragon at the China pavilion.
Letting Off Steam at Epcot
Several interactive play gardens create opportunities for kids to let off steam. Our favorite is the Music Garden Melodies Playground, which includes drums, chimes, and xylophones built into children’s outdoor climbing systems. Parents will also love the playground because it provides comfortable, shaded seating areas.
The Road to the Florida 500 garden located near Test Track is home to Lightning McQueen and Cruz Besouro. Here, parents can relax and recharge while the kids play in a desert-themed mini garden (complete with a jungle gym), inspired by the Disney Pixar film Cars.
Family-Friendly Activities Abound
Throughout the festival, special family-friendly weekends offer eco-friendly activities, such as meeting Disney’s Animals, Science, Environment, and Conservation Specialists.
On select days you can meet Captain Ron, the Sea-turtle-egg-sniffing dog.
On April 22nd-24th, Epcot will celebrate Earth Day, followed by the Discover the Bounty of Florida Agriculture event, May 5th-7th. The Florida Federation of Garden Clubs ends the International Flower and Garden celebration with events held May 12th-14th.
Butterflies on the Go is a tent filled with different species of butterflies, fluttering around flowers, plants, and visitors. Kids can learn about cocoons in several different stages of development.
Observe butterflies up close as they rest on flowers or, if you are patient enough, on your hand.
Introduce the Kids to Foods from Around the World
Young children are curious, and the food booths are a perfect way to introduce them to new tastes. In Morocco, taste homemade falafel; at Hanami, at the booth of the Japan pavilion, try Frushi, which is a combination of fresh pineapple, strawberry, and melon, rolled with raspberry coconut rice.
The Tarte à l’Onion Alsacienne (Alsatian onion tart with sautéed onions, fresh thyme, and rosemary on puff pastry crust) at Fleur de Lys is a crowd-pleaser.
Another winner is the Warm Wild Berry Buckle with Pepper Berry Sorbet from The Berry Basket, a newcomer to the Flower and Garden Festival.
Time for the Easter Egg Hunt!
Held throughout the duration of the festival, the Epcot Easter EGGstravaganza is another great family activity. Purchase the EGGstravaganza map and stickers for $5.99 at the Pin Trading kiosk in Future World, at Disney Traders at the entrance to World Showcase, or at World Traveler at International Gateway. The EGGstravaganza will take place until the end of the festival this year, instead of ending after Easter, like it had in previous years.
Next, go around the World Showcase and find the hidden egg at each pavilion. Eggs are about a foot and a half tall and look like the stickers provided with the EGGstravaganza map.
Every time you find an egg, put the correct sticker on your map. Eggs, at times, are difficult to find, and they’re hidden in unexpected places.
Once you’ve found all 12 eggs, you can claim your prize—a choice of one Disney character-themed egg—at the Disney Traders shop. I found the EGGstravaganza scavenger hunt exciting, and my favorite egg to spot was the Figment egg.
While you do not have to complete the hunt to get your prize, note that the prize eggs are not all replicas of the eggs displayed in the park. Yours Truly was very disappointed not to get a Figment egg at the end of the hunt.
For more information on family travel to Walt Disney World, check out The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World with Kids.
What is your favorite part about experiencing the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival? Share in the comments.
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