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Making the Most of Epcot’s Flower & Garden Festival

It’s time once again for the 2020 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival, where you’ll be treated to sights like Ratatouille’s Remy, one of the new topiaries, as well as some of the construction walls as Epcot undergoes a massive renovation. Despite the ongoing work, there’s plenty to enjoy at the festival this year, and here are some tips to help you make the most of your experience.

The Flower & Garden Festival runs daily from March 4 through June 1, ensuring plenty of time to visit this beautiful parkwide display. It’s not just flowers and character topiaries, either. There are also great outdoor kitchens that are getting into the spirit with plants influencing some of the menus. The construction walls have gone up practically right at the entrance, but regardless of which path you take, they’ll lead you to the World Showcase, where you’ll find the majority of the Flower & Garden festivities.

The topiaries are big news this year at the festival, with some new additions and other designs revamped and moved to new locations. For example, the dragon topiary that used to be in China has received a big makeover and is now in the Japan Pavilion. Meanwhile, Peter Pan is the latest character to join the topiary lineup, as he gets to go head to head with Captain Hook. Plus, as mentioned, Remy from Ratatouille is making his debut in the France Pavilion. He stands surrounded by a maze-like array of plantings that represent his important ingredients. Because many of the previous years’ topiaries have moved around and new ones have been added, be sure you get a map and festival passport to ensure you don’t miss anything.

It’s not really a festival without some special food items, and this year, there are 16 outdoor kitchens. Some are returning from last year, but there’s also a new addition, Magnolia Kitchen, which is serving up lots of great Southern favorites in the American Adventure Pavilion. Among the mouth-watering options are grilled oysters, a seafood boil with shrimp, crawfish, and mussels, boudin sausage “two ways” with spicy mustard, and pecan cake. Of course, some of the kitchens are focusing on more plant-based themes. The Trowel & Trellis kitchen is serving up the Impossible Farmhouse meatball, that includes lentil bread, spinach and marinated veggies. They also have naturally sweet street corn on the cob. Refreshment Port is serving up a variety of meat-free options and delicious pineapple skewers. In fact, make sure you get your Garden Graze Guide to check off your stops on the plant-based food stroll through the Festival and receive a free commemorative glass.

The popular Garden Rocks Concert Series is still taking place three times per evening each night of the festival. Best of all, these concerts are free with Epcot admission. There are also Garden Rocks Dining Packages available for an extra cost.

It’s not just topiaries and treats. There are guided tours with topics such as the kinds of plants that go into making various types of tea. The Butterfly House returns once again, and there are a variety of garden programs and exhibits to enjoy. Be sure to check the official schedules and lists to find out if you need to make advance reservations or purchase tickets for any of the extra programs.

With interactive play areas and lots of fun merchandise (including Spike the Bee and Orange Bird), along with the variety of events and displays, the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival is sure to appeal to all ages. Book your reservations at Fantasy World resort in Kissimmee for a great base to visit the festival and all of the parks and attractions.

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