EPCOT Flower and Garden Festival In One Day

EPCOT Flower and Garden Festival In One Day

Every year the EPCOT Flower and Garden Festival at Walt Disney World gets busier and busier! This festival is filled with beautiful flowers, gardens, performances, fresh foods and exclusive merchandise. Who can blame the vacationers and locals for descending upon the park from March through June every year? While EPCOT festivals are generally busy and generally crowded, we do have some strategies to help you make the most of your day. These tips can help you 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. 

flower and garden festival stuff to know

Visit on the Right Day

It’s true that EPCOT Park isn’t as crowded as Magic Kingdom. It is however, quite big, and the #1 park for the locals and passholders. Mostly due to the food selections and the drinks, you can always count on EPCOT Park to be busy during the weekends, and weeknight evenings from Thursday- Sunday. As such, we recommend you visit the festival on a weekday, and try to get your most important things done before 4 PM. After dinnertime, the crowds tend to get heavier, as people get off work and head to the park. For our Flower and Garden Festival in One Day at EPCOT Plan, we are incorporating as much as possible, as this is typically a 2-day park. 

  • Aim for a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday

Review the Menus Ahead of Time

Your best bet is to review the Festival Menus ahead of time. This is true for all EPCOT Festivals, and can help you streamline your day in the park. Grab the EPCOT Flower and Garden Festival Menus ahead of time here on the blog, so that you can decide what booths you can skip, and how much money you may need. Plan $8 for either a dish or drink. This is an average cost, and will help you decide what amount to allot on your Festival Gift Card to help you stay on budget. 

Arrive When the Park Opens

EPCOT Park hours are typically 9:00 AM- 9:00 PM. However, the Festival Booths don’t actually open until 11:00 AM. Don’t let that deter you! There is plenty to do, so that you can frontload your EPCOT day and make the most of your time in the park. It’s easy to use this time to check out the giftshops, grab your Festival gift cards, the Remy Game, ride some rides while crowds and more.  To do 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. Let’s dive in to the EPCOT Flower and Garden Festival in One Day itinerary.

disney epcot flower and garden festival 2018

Start at the Front of the Park

You may think that entering at EPCOT’s International Gateway, smack dab in the middle of the World Showcase is the best plan of action. Nevertheless, we’ll give you a few reasons you may want to reconsider. First, the Epcot Flower and Garden 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. As such if you’re hoping to get a picture in front of the topiaries with the Epcot ball in the backdrop, understand the crowds will NOT be lower later. This is a big reason you start at the front of the park. Because, it will only get busier as the day goes on. So, if you want to master the Flower and Garden Festival In One Day, this is a good first step. 

So if you want that picture, grab it first thing. Second, grab a Flower and Garden Festival Passport. Every Festival has a Passport Book, that you can find in little kiosks across the park. They are however, also right at the front. 

  1. Snap the Flower and Garden Festival Picture in front of the EPCOT ball. 
  2. Grab a Festival Passport. 

butterfly gardens at disney epcot flower and garden polkadotsandpixiedust.com

Things to Do Before the Festival Opens

To make the most of your day, tackling the Flower and Garden Festival In One Day means getting to EPCOT as soon as it opens. 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. The areas to cover between 9AM and 11AM are World Nature, World Celebration and World Discovery. This means you have to cover a lot of ground, and topiaries and gardens are everywhere. The best things to do during the early hours of the Flower and Garden Festival are some of the most fun. Disney 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. 

  1. Grab a Coffee, but beware the lines. If you see that waiting at Starbucks or Joffrey’s is too much, push this treat until later. 
  2. Visit the Topiaries and take pictures. Fewer people will be in the park early, so you can grab great photos. 
  3. Head to the Butterfly House! One of the most popular attractions, an early morning visit means fewer crowds
  4. Check out the How to Gardens. These specialty gardens can be found listed in your Festival Passport Book
  5. If you have time, Ride Soarin’, Test Track, Spaceship Earth and any other rides at the front of the park you like. 

Stop at Port of Entry Gift Shops

Around 10:30 AM, head to the Port of Entry gift shops. At this point you are getting ready for the Outdoor Kitchens to open, and there are plenty in this area. Some may open early, but first, there are some things to tackle. This area has another central Topiary garden that is a Disney PhotoPass area and almost always busy. Disney Pro Tip: The EPCOT Flower and Garden Festival has special wristlet gift cards that are exclusive to the festival. You can load as little as $15 on these and these are always, always, a great way to keep your spending under control. You can budget about $7 a dish at the festival and about $8 a drink, just to cover everything. Decide what you want and load your card appropriately. 

  1. Grab a photo at the Port of Entry Topiary Garden
  2. Head to the Gift Shops, to Check out Exclusive Flower and Garden Merchandise
  3. Grab a Flower and Garden Festival Wristlet Gift Card. This will help make paying for food and drinks a bit easier. 
  4. If traveling around Easter grab the EPCOT Easter Egg Stravaganza Scavenger Hunt Map. Disney bunnies can be seen hidden in each country. 
  5. Pick up the Spike’s Pollen Nation Exploration Game, or just try to find this little bee as you make your way around the park. 

polkadotpsandpixiedust.com topiaries at disney flower and garden festival

Head to World Showcase 

At 11 am the Outdoor Kitchens open across the park. If you’re planning for the Flower and Garden Festival In One Day 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. And it’s important to remember, that there are also lots of kitchens still to try at the front of the park too! However, we recommend you tackle World Showcase Kitchens first, and the rest on your way out. Disney Pro Tip: Go at your own pace and have fun. This is by far one of the best, easiest, most family-friendly festivals ever. 

  1. Turn left and head towards Mexico. You will beat the crowds who will naturally turn right upon entering the showcase.
  2. There are several kitchens set up in this promenade area. Stop at any that interest you. 
  3. Head to the Odyssey Pavilion, before Mexico, to take a look if anything is on your must try list. This pavilion is also great for mid-day breaks when it’s hot out. 
  4. Tackle each country, Mexico through Canada one at a time. You can check your festival passport for menus of what you’d like to try. 
  5. Be sure to stop and see the topiaries in each country.
  6. Search around for the hidden Easter eggs or Spike the Bee in the gardens so you can mark off your game maps.
  7. Leaving Canada be sure to grab whatever you need from the gift shops at Port of Entry. And remember to get your scavenger hunt game prizes before you leave this area. 


Visit Kitchens at the Front of the Park 

Once you leave the World Showcase, you can tackle World Nature, World Celebration and World Discovery before heading home. These areas of the park, are generally less crowded in the afternoon, and you’ll have your best chance at getting through the kitchens here. This is also your last chance for rides. So, as you round out your day at EPCOT, here are some things to do. 

  1. Visit the Kitchens on the way to World Nature
  2. Wrap to World Celebration for more kitchens, gardens and photo ops
  3. Head to World discovery for the last Kitchen booths, and the Playground area. 
  4. Be sure to get all the topiary pictures hidden in these areas of the park. 

Stop at Creations Gift Shop

This year’s Flower and Garden Festival merchandise is really lovely. And no one has as much EPCOT merch as the Creations Gift Shop. You should definitely round out your Epcot day with a stroll around the gift shop. A Must do for the Flower and Garden Festival In One Day, be sure to take the time to browse. 

Flower and Garden Festival in One Day!

We do love to take a couple of days to experience Flower and Garden, as there is so so so much to see. 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! These tips are shared to help you get a handle on what is sometimes a long day, with lots of eating and the need for a break. Here’s hoping that these tips help and you love the festival as much as we do. 

The Walt Disney World Flower and Garden Festival at Epcot runs March 4-June 1, 2020 and it's sure to be bustling with crowds! Think you can tackle it in one day? #disneyvacation #freshepcot

Co-Founder and Director at Polka Dot Pixie Co LLC | Website | + posts

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.

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