The Walt Disney World Flower and Garden Festival is sure to be bustling with crowds so we wanted to share our best strategy for navigating the festival so you can tackle the outdoor kitchens, see the topiaries and take advantage of everything the festival has to offer without wasting time, or money.
Navigating Epcot at Walt Disney World is not necessarily difficult, but we saw more people with maps this year than ever before.
Since this is the first full week of the Disney Flower and Garden Festival 2018 we feel like we still have time to share our best strategies for getting to all the topiaries and booths without getting lost or going insane.
PRO TIP: Visit the festival on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, and plan to be at Epcot all day. It will take one full day to cover.
START AT THE BEGINNING AND START EARLY
The festival is pretty big. It covers all of Epcot so getting into Epcot early is key. Everyone, and we mean everyone, will be pouring into Epcot throughout the festival. If you’re hoping to get a picture in front of the topiaries in front of the Epcot ball understand the crowds will not be lower later, it will only get busier as the day goes on, so if you want that picture, grab it first thing.
FESTIVAL STOP #1: MAP AND PASSPORT KIOSK
On your way into the park grab your map and festival passport at the kiosk right near the entrance, after you’ve cleared the magic band scanners. These will be your lifeline throughout the day to make sure you’re seeing everything you want. Get familiar with the topiary, garden and outdoor kitchen icons in the legend of the map.
FESTIVAL STOP #2: FUTURE WORLD WEST
If you’re in the park as soon as it opens you’ll be there at 9 am, which is two hours before World Showcase will open. This gives you time to cover ground at the front of the park and get your bearings.
- Grab a coffee from Starbucks at Fountain View and head right into Future World West near The Land and The Seas.
- Visit the topiaries, The Goodness Garden Butterfly House, the How to gardens and the Imagination Play Garden if you have little ones.
PRO TIP: The Butterfly House is open throughout the early months of the festival but may not be around by May; go early if you’re hoping to see it.
FESTIVAL STOP #3: SHOWCASE PLAZA
- The play gardens path leads to Showcase Plaza. Once done getting your best pictures of the bay area head to the Port of Entry shop to grab a Flower and Garden Festival Gift Card.
- If travelling around Easter grab the Egg Stravaganza Scavenger Hunt Map (starting March 16th for a limited time).
- Pick up the Spike’s Pollen Nation Exploration Game Map for 5.99 and your choice of a set of 3 patches as a reward for finding the bee around the world showcase, which you’ll tackle later.
PRO TIP: F&G has special wrist-let gift cards in 3 designs that are exclusive to the festival. You can load as little as 15 dollars on these and these are always, always, a great way to keep your spending under control. You can budget about 5 dollars a dish at the festival and about 8 dollars a drink, just to cover everything. Decide what you want and load your card appropriately.
FESTIVAL STOP #4: FUTURE WORLD EAST
- Head back down towards the Epcot fountains and head right into Future World East near Mission Space and Test Track.
- Check out the topiaries, the special gardens, and the Cars Road to Florida 500 section. This area has a ton of unique topiaries and will be super crowded as the day goes on. So be sure to visit this area in the morning.
FESTIVAL STOP #5: WORLD SHOWCASE
At 11 am the Outdoor Kitchens open across the park. Get ready for mayhem and lines. If you’re visiting during the week though, these lines won’t be horrible and you’ll be just fine.
PRO TIP: Go at your own pace and have fun. This is by far one of the best, easiest, most family friendly festivals ever.
- Turn left and head towards Mexico. You will beat the crowds who will naturally turn right upon entering the showcase.
- Visit the Showcase Plaza Booths first if you can. We like The Berry Basket on the Mexico side.
- Tackle Mexico through Canada one at a time. You can check your festival passport for menus of what you’d like to try. This is what we loved at the outdoor kitchens and a few of our favorite festival foods for 2018.
- Mexico: Jardin de Fiestas: Chilaquiles
- China: Lotus House: Everything
- Germany: Bauernmarkt:Everything
- Italy: Primavera Kitchen: Frozen Italian Margarita
- America: Smokehouse: Warm Chocolate Cake
- Japan: Hanami: Frushi and Ginger Beef Yakiudon
- Morocco: Taste of Marrakesh: Harissa Chicken Kebab and Fried Cauliflower
- Florida Fresh: Carne Guisada and Watermelon Cucumber Slushy
- France: Fleur de Lys: Macaron au Chocolate en Sucette and La Vie en Rose Frozen Slush
- United Kingdom: Cider House: Freshly Bakesd Lemon Scone
- Canada: Northern Bloom: Griddled Maple Pound Cake and Maple Popcorn Shake
- Be sure to stop and see the topiaries in each country.
- Search around for the hidden Easter eggs or Spike the bee hidden in the gardens so you can mark off your game maps.
- Leaving Canada stop at the Pineapple Promanade kitchen for the Violet Lemonade. Also check out the new Honey Bee-stro kitchen in the Showcase Plaza before leaving. We loved everything at this booth and its all highly recommended.
FESTIVAL STOP #6: MOUSE GEAR ON YOUR WAY OUT
This years Flower and Garden Festival merchandise is really lovely this year. You should definitely round out your Epcot day with a stroll around the gift shop and be sure to get your patches for your finished bee game, redeemable at the gift shops.
The Flower and Garden festival really is one of the best festivals at Disney and you just can’t beat the experience if you go at the right time. We hope you love it as much as we did!