The Walt Disney World EPCOT Flower and Garden Festival is sure to be bustling with crowds! If you’re hoping to make the most of your Epcot day, here is 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. Here’s how you can do the EPCOT Flower and Garden Festival In One Day.
Start at the Beginning
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. Navigating Epcot at Walt Disney World is not necessarily difficult, but we saw more people with maps this year than ever before. But if you’re hoping to tackle the EPCOT Flower and Garden Festival In One Day, you will need every tip here! Know that you physically won’t be able to eat at every booth, simply because of lines and time. But we’ll share the best tips for maximizing your time.
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.
FESTIVAL STOP #1 World Celebration
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 World Nature
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. If focused more on food and trying to do EPCOT Flower and Garden Festival In One Day, you can skip extra gardens that may not be of interest, but we think they are very cool. And well worth the time if you have it.
- Visit the topiaries, The Garden Butterfly House, the How to Gardens, and the Imagination Play Garden if you have little ones.
- Grab a coffee at Starbucks or Joffrey’s before heading into World Showcase.
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. From here, head to the Port of Entry gift shop to grab a Flower and Garden Festival Gift Card.
- If traveling around Easter grab the Egg Stravaganza Scavenger Hunt Map
- Pick up the Spike’s Pollen Nation Exploration Game Map
PRO TIP: EPCOT Flower and Garden Festival 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 World Discovery
- Head back down towards the Epcot fountains and head right into World Discovery near Mission Space and Test Track.
- Check out the topiaries, the special gardens. 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. Part of the EPCOT Flower and Garden Festival In One Day strategy is based on getting to the areas before ride crowds start to descend.
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.
- 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 be sure to stop at the Pineapple Promenade 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 it’s all highly recommended.
FESTIVAL STOP #6 Merchandise at Creations
This year’s 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 prize 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!
Flower and Garden Festival in One Day!
We do love to take a couple of days to experience Flower and Garden, there is so so so much to see, that if you have more than a day, plan for it. But, if not, hopefully, this one-day itinerary for Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival will help!
Rochelle Mariah is a writer, designer and photographer with an MLIS in Information Science and a B.S. in Arch and Design. Determined to make Planning a DIY Disney Vacation easier she makes lots of lists and drinks lots of coffee. When not designing apparel at Polka Dot Pixie Shop, she's watching old movies and planning the holidays. She has been traveling to Disney destinations since 2010.